You Ask, We Answer: When is the Right Time to Upgrade to a Larger Home

Mon, 27 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Upgrading to a Larger Home – Are you ready?

Many homebuyers face the question of size when looking for their next home. Do they downsize, stay the same, or upgrade to a larger home? To help answer this question, here are some factors to take into consideration when determining if you should upgrade to a larger home.

 

Affordability

With larger homes come more financial responsibility. Typically larger homes will come with a larger mortgage, repair/maintenance, utilities, and insurance payments as well as increased property taxes. Are you ready financially for these larger expenses? Take into account these estimated expenses when going over your household budget. Remember, ideally you’ll want to be able to maintain a comfortable quality of life and still be able to save for the future when these larger expenses are taken into account with your budget.

 

Down Payments

There is a need in most cases during the property buying process to make a down payment and to pay for closing costs. You should include these expenses in your estimations while keeping in mind that selling the existing property and accessing equity will yield most or all of the funds that are needed to make a new purchase. Working with a real estate professional and a mortgage broker will help you to get more information about these two factors before making a sound financial decision.

 

When the time is right for you to upgrade to a larger home, you should consider working with an experienced real estate agent to sell your existing property and help you in the process of buying a new home.

Space Saving Upgrades

Mon, 20 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Giving a Smaller Home a More Roomy Feel

Smaller rooms can create a decorating challenge for homeowners. While some may be dealing with a space that is smaller overall – such as an condo or apartment – others may have just a couple of smaller rooms that look and feel cramped. While enlarging these rooms may not be an option, there may be a few upgrades to consider that can give these rooms a more spacious and open feel.

 

Light Paint Colours

Dark colours can add dramatic flair to a room, and they certainly will make a bold statement. However, they also can create the feeling that the room is smaller than it is. It is best to paint with light paint colours on the walls or even to choose a lighter colour for the ceiling. In addition to these colours, a lighter floor colour can also add the feeling of depth to the space. If the use of bolder, brighter hues is preferred, consider adding a pattern in combination with lighter colours to the ceiling. Another idea is to use stripes with alternating darker and lighter hues on the walls to create the illusion of space.

 

Shelving Installed Close to the Ceiling

Storage space is often a concern with smaller rooms, and cabinets and bookshelves can take up valuable floor space in any room. A smart idea for smaller rooms is to install shelving or even cabinetry closer to the ceiling. This can enable the space below it to be kept open or to be used for other purposes, such as for other furnishings that must be kept on the floor.

 

Recessed or Flush Lighting

Lighting is an important element in any room, and brighter lighting can make a space look larger in many situations. Darker shadows cast about a room can make the space feel closed off. More than that, overhead lights that hang down, such as pendants or chandeliers, can create a visual illusion that makes the room feel smaller than it is.

To achieve the goal of casting light throughout the room more evenly while removing these hanging light fixtures from the space, install recessed or flush lights into the ceiling. These can be combined with small table lamps if necessary to brighten up any areas that may still be dark or shadowy. Avoid tall, imposing lamps when decorating a smaller room.

Decorating a smaller room is rarely easy to do, and there are many things that homeowners can do when decorating that actually may make a smaller room appear to be even smaller. These are a few tips that can be followed to make the space appear to be more roomy and spacious, but there are also other ideas for decorating as well as built-in upgrades to consider. Ideally, the fully decorated room will be stylish and functional as well as appear to be spacious.

With proper research and planning, a homeowner can achieve the desired results. 

The Scoop on Home Inspections

Mon, 13 Nov by edmontonhomepros

A home inspection, while not required in all areas, should be an indispensable part of your home buying or selling process. It is worth the cost up front to save you money and headaches down the road.

What a Home Inspection Entails

A home inspector will provide a thorough inspection of the home’s interior and exterior to alert you to any damage that may cause potential problems in the future. He or she will look at the house as a whole and evaluate how the different components work together and affect each other. The inspector will identify any areas that need repairs or are unsafe and advise you on what your next steps should be.

Benefits for a Home Buyer

When you are purchasing a home, you want to know that it is going to be safe for you and your family for many years to come. Obviously, you don’t want to buy a home that is rotting from the inside out. A home inspector can alert you to issues that are minor right now but could potentially become much more serious in the future. Purchasing a home is a major decision. The results of the inspection may lead you to reconsider buying a particular house if it is likely to have a lot of problems in the future. It can protect you from huge unexpected expenses.

Benefits for a Home Seller

If you are the one selling the home, it is a good idea to request a home inspection prior to listing your home on the market. Potential buyers of your home are likely to have an inspection done, and you don’t want there to be any surprises. If there are issues with the house, buyers may rescind their offers or make offers only on the condition that you repair the problems before they finalize the purchase. It is better if you know about any problems in advance. An inspection gives you the opportunity to make sure the house is in its best possible condition when buyers start coming to look at it. This will streamline the purchasing process and make potential buyers feel much more confident that your home is the right choice for them.

When you are ready to buy or sell a home, or have any questions regarding home inspections, get in touch!

Why Use a REALTOR®?

Mon, 06 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Why a Realtor Streamlines the Process of Selling Your Home

So, it is time to move onwards and upwards in life and move house! Moving is a dynamic process that involves much more than a simple transaction. From marketing to proper evaluations and inspections, it is advisable to use the services of an experienced professional realtor to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The following challenges are what a professional can help you avoid when selling your home:

Time Spent on Potential Buyers

Selling a home by yourself will be a significant time commitment that should not be underestimated. Perhaps the greatest commitment to your time will be in scheduling and hosting viewings of your property. Are you ready and able to pick up the phone every time you have an inquiry? Are you able to sift out the simply curious from real potential buyers to avoid unnecessary viewings? Realtors are experienced in asking the kind of qualifying questions that sort out the wheat from the chaff. And how many evenings, weekends, and weekday hours are you able to give up to show interested parties your home? You’ll then have to pro-actively follow up on interest after viewings.

Marketing and Valuation

As well as the time involved in doing your own marketing, there are also practical considerations around how successfully you will get the information out there. Yes, you can list your property on various websites and specialist portals that realtors use. However, realtors also have extended networks of active potential buyers that they will reach out to with information on your property, a channel you will almost certainly not have access to.

You would have to be confident that you could realistically value your property correctly if you chose to put your home on the market yourself. Things you may be oblivious to can be widely considered as flaws by potential buyers. A professional realtor has the experience to point those out and suggest small changes which will make your property more attractive.

Negotiating

Realtors are both objective and experienced, having negotiated hundreds or thousands of real estate transactions. They know how to spot the signs a potential buyer has formed an emotional attachment towards your property and how to leverage that to your benefit. They also know how to spot signs of nervousness that might pose a threat to the eventual sale and how best to allay such fears. They won’t make compromises because they have been charmed by a prospective buyer, or behave irrationally because they don’t like them on a personal level.

Avoiding Getting Sued

This is a genuine concern that owners operating without a realtor must be acutely aware of. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the sale of a property. Getting it wrong can at best delay the sale and at worst lead to putting yourself in danger of legal proceedings. Seller’s disclosure is a particular concern. What can be considered a defect, hazard, or nuisance varies depending on where you live. Realtors know exactly what is required of the seller. If a mistake is made, then they have insurance, ensuring that a seller does not personally suffer.

Are Edmonton Homes Becoming More Affordable?

Tue, 25 Nov by edmontonhomepros
Edmonton Homes More Affordable

Homes like these energy efficient Oxford area homes are becoming more affordable in Edmonton Photo credit: CTV

This week, RBC Economics released a report that states that overall, Canada’s real estate has become slightly more affordable.

Even with the fast-rising prices in Vancouver and Toronto (and to a degree Calgary), the country is still in relatively good shape.

RBC Economics says that rising household incomes, lowered utility costs and low interest rates are making it easier for people to enter the market.

As you might have seen in our last post, there are many factors at play that can influence affordability and pricing of real estate. The Canadian Real Estate Association quoted a 7.1% year-over-year increase over October 2013. The MLS home price index posted price gains of 5.5% over last year (which is quite a bit lower than CREA’s numbers).

Either way, with the big three markets influencing our national landscape, it may seem easy for some to believe that home affordability is slipping away.

It isn’t.

Across the western provinces, homes have slightly risen in price—once we remove Calgary and Vancouver from the equation. Both cities’ markets have witnessed growth far beyond the national average. In many other markets, we’ve seen only slight to moderate growth at rates that are very comfortable for those markets.

We call the prices respectable because the drop in fixed mortgage rates is keeping the market strong. Also, the gradual rising incomes in the west are also helping to keep homes affordable.

So many of us are preparing to hear panic about the market, but the price conditions of Edmonton homes—as well as other western cities—are robust with a firm foundation.

We have settled into a solid growth trend, and affordability for Edmonton home buyers is improving. It’s never been a better time to get into the market.


If you are thinking about buying or selling your Edmonton home, get in touch with the Edmonton Home Pros team.

We’ve got the experience to help you make sense of the market and find the home that’s right for you and your family.

 

2014 Canada Avg Home Prices and Edmonton Real Estate

Tue, 18 Nov by edmontonhomepros
Canada's Average Housing Prices: Edmonton Real Estate

Graphics designed and published by CBC.

It’s been a big year for many of Canada’s hottest housing markets.

The average buying price of a home jumped up over 7% compared to the same time last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

At the same time, the actual number of homes sold is almost identical in growth (7%).

With having a soft spell earlier this year, this is welcome news for anyone in the market or looking to get into it.

For one thing, October tends to be a softer month than the busier days in the spring and summer, as people are eager to buy and sell. But having an October that is this active bodes well for the busier housing markets, and this includes Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.

Additionally, the two hottest markets in the city appear to be lifting the numbers slightly. Taking Vancouver and Toronto out of the equation, the average home price for the rest of the country is $330,596 with a year-over-year rate increase of just 5.4%.

Several of our country’s major cities have seen slight declines in year-over-year pricing. Sherbrooke Quebec saw the most dramatic with a drop of 14%. The remaining 8 cities saw pricing declines between 0.3% and 3.7%, which shouldn’t shake up those local markets too badly.

The Edmonton Home Pros Team has worked for years in the hearts and surrounding areas of these communities

We’ve seen the numerous market changes and forces at play, and we can help you navigate the market whether you are buying or selling your home.

Don’t be alarmed with steady growth. The Edmonton real estate market is strong and continues to follow a path that many in our industry have seen coming. They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and if you are looking to make a move in the marketplace, there is no better time than now.

So get in touch with us and we can have a conversation about making the right decisions for you and your family.

Add Punch to Your Curb Appeal: Paint Your Front Door

Tue, 28 Oct by edmontonhomepros
Here are just a few of the limitless colour options available.

Here are just a few of the limitless colour options available.

There are few things in an Edmonton autumn more rewarding that a welcoming home. We all love that feeling of entertaining friends or family and just watching eyes light up when they walk through your place. Few things in the world provide that much quiet satisfaction.

But there is one thing that is just as satisfying: Making people feel the same way before they walk in the door.

There are ways to make your exterior incredibly welcoming and elaborate, but that takes time and money, and it requires upkeep.

But what if I told you that with a couple hours of planning and execution and about a quart of paint, you can completely transform the look of your front exterior, adding an incredible amount of personality and creating a focal point that will attract eyes from even down the street?

1. Choosing the door is easy. Choosing the colour isn’t so easy.

You might want to avoid picking a favourite colour first when it comes to painting your front door. Instead, take stock of the architecture of your front of house and look at the accents and root colours. Are there bricks? What are the root colours of the wood being used? You could even coordinate with shutters or other accents. This is a great way to highlight those elements, if they are hidden behind brush or trees.

But make sure that you make it part of your style as well. If you just for the architectural match, you’ll end up with something that matches… likely a little too well.

2. Watch the Sun.

When people design the interiors of their homes, the colours they pick look like the colours should, bold and brilliant. When we take these same colour samples outside, they can lose some of that lustre under direct sunlight. So to reduce the chances of getting to soft a shade, test your samples under different lighting conditions. Choose from bright sunny days, cloudy mid days, and even clear evenings. Explore the colour inside the home too. Remember, half of the door will be visible from the inside.

2. Pick the Right Paint.

Picking the right paint isn’t just about picking the longest pasting paint or the right stuff to bind to the surface. You also have to think about the state of the door and its age. If your door has been around and seen more than its share of bumps, a high gloss paint, though attractive, will reveal imperfections with incredible detail. Choose from the matte, low lustre or even semi gloss paint finishes and be sure that they will work well on the surface of your door.

Painting and personalizing your front door is one of the quickest ways to change the look of your home and add a level of punch to your curb appeal. The Edmonton Home Pros Team hugely supports the idea of making a home yours. If you would like to learn more about homes in Edmonton with great curb appeal, get in touch with the Edmonton Home Pros Team. We’d be happy to talk about what options may be available to you.

 

 

Setting The Stage- Part Two

Fri, 12 Jul by edmontonhomepros

This is the second part to the Setting The Stage blog series. To read part one click on the link below:

Setting The Stage Part 1

Whether you are preparing your home for a private showing or getting it ready for an Edmonton Open House, the right home staging techniques will have your Edmonton Home For Sale looking like new!

  • Decorate Away. You don’t have to purchase new furniture or completely redecorate your home to make it attractive. Add a vase filled with fresh flowers on your dinette or a flat surface to give your room a fresh scent. Remove and declutter items from your front entrance such as coats or shoes. Consider purchasing some decorative pillows to go along with your couch.

    Stephen's Home Staging Tips

  • Depersonalize. An important aspect to decorating is depersonalization, throughout your home remove any personal pictures or personal items. You want visitors to visualize themselves living in your Edmonton home for sale.

  • Let there be lighting. Is there a room in your home that has a dungeon-like feel? Consider adding new light fixtures or chandeliers to give that room an extra sparkle. Strategically placed mirrors serve as a window, giving the room dimension and brightening dark corners by reflecting light. For the rest of the house, open up the blinds and curtains to let in natural light. If the weather permits, pry open the window too so fresh air circulates throughout the room.

Did you know Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team can offer assistance in professional home staging? Over the years, we have cultivated a list of trusted business contacts including professional home stagers. Contact Stephen Lau today and get your home ready for the Edmonton real estate market.

Setting The Stage- Part One

Fri, 07 Jun by edmontonhomepros

Did you know that within the first 20 seconds that a prospective buyers enters your home, they decide whether or not they can picture themselves living in it? When it comes to real estate, first impressions always count. Don’t lose out on the right buyer on account of a poorly staged home, with the right decorative staging, decluttering, and depersonalization, your home can sell faster and for more money.

In this 2 part blog series, Edmonton Home Pros invites you to enter the world of home staging and home decorating. By following our tips and adding your personal touch, we know your home will hit the market stage ready.

Home Staging Tips

  • Bring on the charm. Your home is beautiful, inside and out. It’s one of the reasons why you decided to purchase it. Now that the time has come to move on and sell your Edmonton home, you want to show prospective buyers the beauty of your home by accentuating its features. Create a positive welcoming vibe from the moment you enter your home and maintain that atmosphere throughout the home.
  • Appealing Curbs. What is the first thing visitors see as drive up to your home? Do you have a nice manicured lawn with a clutter free deck? Curb appeal is crucial, so make sure your front door has been painted recently or consider replacing the numbers outside of your home. Give your home’s gutters a good cleaning before your showing, you don’t want the winter debris to take away from your home’s outer beauty.

Did you know Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team can offer assistance in professional home staging? Over the years, we have cultivated a list of trusted business contacts including professional home stagers. Contact Stephen Lau today and get your home ready for the Edmonton real estate market. Stay tuned to this series to learn more about staging your home’s interior.

Selling Your Home – Why Edmonton Open Houses Work!

Fri, 16 Nov by edmontonhomepros

So you’ve decided to sell your home, congratulations! With the help of Edmonton’s trusted real estate group, Edmonton Home Pros, we know you’ll sell your home for top dollar. How? Through support, complimentary home evaluations, and our knowledgeable team of agents who help you every step of the way. We are also firm believers in hosting an extensive open house. A picture says 1,000 words, but an open house leaves you speechless.

Through open houses, potential buyers get a better feel of what is nice about your Edmonton home. As they walk through it they visualize themselves living there, creating a special connection between buyers and their future homes. Open houses are an excellent way to network and introduce your house to the Edmonton real estate market; which maximizes its selling value. Edmonton Home Pros help you with the promotion and advertisement of a showing. We provide you with optimal signage during public viewings, maximizing your exposure.

With private events, we provide an advanced opportunity for the ideal buyers to bid. Whether it’s a public showing or a private showing, you can trust us to showcase your home in the best light possible. We offer our services to any Edmonton home, including luxury houses. Once a month, Edmonton Home Pros puts on a Luxury Night for Edmonton luxury home owners looking to sell. In the past, Edmonton Luxury nights have provided guests with complimentary food, entertainment and wine.

Ready to sell your Edmonton home? Contact Stephen Lau, for your free Edmonton home evaluation today.

Edmonton home buyers seeking information on our next open house, please contact our office at: 780.566.8016.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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