Archives for Upgrades and Renos

What Home Owners Can Do With a Tax Refund

  If you are a homeowner, a tax refund presents opportunities to invest for a profit that aren’t available to renters. Whether you plan to sell, stay or are undecided, there are ways to optimize the financial impact of your refund. The first step is to treat your refund check the same as you treat your paycheck. Avoid the temptation to splurge and give that refund money a purpose. Here are three home owner-only options to grow that refund:   But, Are You Withholding Too Much? Most of us enjoy getting a large tax refund every spring. But, a refund
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How Important Is Home Staging?

Because the Internet has changed the way we buy and sell homes, most real estate professionals believe home staging is critical to selling success. Almost all home buyers begin their search online meaning sellers need to make a good first impression so potential buyers want to see their home in person. Hence, staging has taken the residential real estate industry by storm and many sellers are hiring professionals to help them make that first impression. National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Chris Polychron says “staging is an excellent tool that can be used to give a home a little extra
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7 Deadly Sins of Home Renos

  Homeowners who renovate only to boost resale value should aim for a return on investment (ROI) of three dollars for every dollar invested. Resale renos should be neutral in colour and conservative in tone so they appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers. And, cost control always trumps elegance.   In fact, some renovations can actually damage your home’s value. These supposed improvements not only add nothing to your bottom line, they may make your home less attractive to potential buyers and bring down its value. Here are seven such expensive mistakes to avoid.   Pools A pool
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5 Questions to Ask Before Replacing Your Roof

  Most of us have little or no experience with re-roofing, so this post by home reno expert Bob Vila is a valuable guide to the questions a homeowner should ask before hiring a roofer.  First, ask for an estimate that is comprehensive enough (permits, inspections, materials, labour, contingency) to establish a firm budget.  Discuss the proposal in detail with the contractor.   Find out what materials are being used and get the specifications in writing.  Avoid cheaper, low quality materials, especially the shingles, because sub-standard materials reduce a roof’s life expectancy costing you more over the long term.  
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Reno Investments Providing the Highest Returns

This detailed Home Inspection Network post provides useful data to anyone who is considering a home renovation. Author Bev Siciliano begins by explaining what many do not realize – we might not fully recoup our investment when the home is sold.  For that reason alone, home renovations should be analyzed individually to ensure we get the highest return on investment (ROI).   Generally, renovations that provide the best return on resale are superficial upgrades, like painting and decorating, with limited capital outlay and maximum impact.   According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s latest Home Renovation Survey, renovations with the highest
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The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage

  This article from Bob Vila gives eight handy tips to consider when using your basement for storage.   The suggestions include taking advantage of vertical space by building up and not out, using open shelves for frequently-used items and built-in cabinets to conceal toys or cleaning supplies, storing off-season gear in sealed bins to protect from moisture and dust, using a pulley-hoist to store heavy or bulky items from the ceiling, protecting tools stored in the open with a coating of machine oil to prevent rust and running a humidifier in the basement to suck moisture from the air and
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5 tips for eco-friendly renovations

  If you are renovating, you should consider the green strategies suggested in this realestate.com post by Danielle King.  For example, add insulation to the roof and external walls and you could save 25% on energy costs.  Replace inefficient windows or add window film since up to 40% of your heating can be lost through windows in winter.   Energy efficient appliances, LED lighting and solar panels will also contribute savings, while protecting the environment. Implement water collection techniques to use rainwater for toilets and the garden.  Include water efficient faucets and showerheads. Add high-flow taps that make baths and
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Create a beautiful bathroom for the ages

  As people age, reduced mobility, impaired balance, failing vision and muscle weakness make them more susceptible to injuries in their home, and bathrooms are no exception.  This Consumer Reports article tells how the latest design trends are helping owners upgrade their bathrooms with changes that enhance safety while retaining their beauty and avoiding an institutional look. In addition, subtle name changes have made useful improvements like shower rails (formerly called grab bars) and higher-seated toilets (“comfort height”) more acceptable.   By widening the bathroom doorway, removing the raised sill and replacing knobs with easier-to-open handles you improve access. Installing slip-resistant tile
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Higher electricity costs: how to circumvent them

  Because the cost of electricity is expected to rise as a result of the federal Liberals’ green energy policies, prudent investors should pay attention to the energy consumption of their rental properties. This Canadian Real Estate Magazine post advises landlords to find ways to become more energy efficient such as installing programmable thermostats and motion sensor lights. More important is to pass the higher cost of hydro on to their tenants, whenever possible, and to implement an energy consumption ceiling for their all-inclusive leases.  To read more click here. Source: Blog
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