Monday, September 27, 2021

How To Find A Good Home Inspector

One of the most important steps in the home buying process is the inspection. A professional inspection can tell you whether the home has any hidden issues or areas that could become a problem in the future. First, you must find a reliable inspector who will get the job done right. Here's what to look for. 

  • Look for someone with experience. Pay close attention to the inspector's work background. How many years have they been an inspector? Do they have formal training in residential construction, proper maintenance, testing and diagnostics, and defect recognition? Have they inspected properties like the one you're in interested in (townhouse, cottage, heritage home)? In most part of the country, there are no training requirements for home inspectors, so it's imperative that you do your research. 
  • Make sure they have insurance. There are two types of insurance that a home inspector can have: errors and omission insurance, and general liability insurance. Errors and omission insurance covers an inspector in the event they miss a crucial detail during their inspection that results in damages for the homeowner. General liability insurance protects against bodily injuries or property damage that occurs while the inspector is gone. 
  • They should provide the necessary documents. A reliable home inspector should be able to provide a written contract and a written report upon completion of the inspection. They should also be able to provide you with at least three references and the home inspection checklist they'll be using. 
  • Ask if you can attend the inspection. Most home inspectors should encourage you to attend the inspection. That way you can ask questions during the inspection, and the inspector can point out any areas of concern. 
  • Ask for recommendation. Ask your real estate agent, friends, and family if they can suggest a home inspector they've worked with in the past. But don't just hire the first name that comes up. Collect a few candidates, do your research, and get quotes before making your choice. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Clever Ways To Get Your Entryway Organized

Notorious for being a dumping zone as everyone heads into and out of the house, entranceways can be tricky to keep tidy. A few simple space-saving tricks will have this much-used area in tip-top shape.

Stand tall - add function and make a stylish statement with a patterned umbrella stand that houses other upright items, such as yoga mats and shoehorns, too.

Take a seat - place to perch by the front door provides a convenient spot to slip shoes and boots on and off. Choose a stylish chair instead of a bulky bench to keep the space from looking too crowded.

Coat check - set the tone for your home right from the front door. To ensure that coats and accessories are immediately hung up instead of thrown on the floor, mount hooks at various levels to make them accessible to everyone, no matter how small. Source hooks with multiple pegs to accommodate more items, but don't go overboard.

Under foot - designate a spot for shoes to dry—in this case, an oversize vintage silver serving tray. Don't worry about it being too fancy for footwear; a tray like this will only get more beautiful with age, but to prolong its shelf life and to catch water and dirt, place an absorbent mat (try a ribbed rubber or synthetic fibre, such as olefin or polypropylene) on top.

Monday, September 13, 2021

How to Protect Your Basement From Flooding


Flooding is one of the worst nightmares for homeowners. A basement flood can destroy all your personal belongings and cause untold damage to your property in mere minutes. Even if you've never experienced flooding in your home before, it doesn't mean it can't happen in the future. All it takes is one heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt. 

While much of flooding prevention has to do with your municipality's system of underground pipes, sewers, and catch basins, there are still actions you can take to further protect your home from basement flooding. Here are a couple ideas. 

Have a permeable driveway 

Using pervious or porous material in your driveway allows rain and melting snow to seep through the surface and trickle down to the soil and gravel below. This cuts down on storm runoff and minimizes the risk of flooding in your home. There are many ways to accomplish this. You could opt for a grass driveway with two tire strips, go simple with loose stones and gravel, or opt for permeable concrete. 

Fix cracks in your foundation 

Ground water gets into your basement through holes and cracks in your foundation walls and floors. If your home is older, you may want to check and repair any cracks or holes in the basement walls and floors. 

Plant a rain garden

A rain garden is a shallow depression that collects rain and melted snow that may run off your grass, roof, and driveway. Rain gardens are also a nice way to add beauty while complementing the rest of your landscape. Just make sure you choose the location appropriately. Too close to your home and it could exacerbate basement flooding. Make sure to also redirect your downspouts so that it goes toward your rain garden. 

Consider using a rain barrel

Why not collect all the rainwater and put it to good use? Rain barrels are an excellent way to minimize storm water runoff. All you need to do is set up your own downspout so that it empties into the rain barrel where it will be stored and used for activities like washing your car and windows, or watering your shrubs. Not only does it prevent flooding, it helps you save on your water bill. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

GTA REALTORS® Release August 2021 Stats

TRREB is reporting the third-best sales result on record for the month of August. While the market has taken its regular summer breather, it is clear that the demand for ownership housing remains strong. At the same time, the supply of listings is down. The result has been tighter market conditions and sustained competition between buyers, resulting in double-digit annual increases in selling prices.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,596 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in August 2021 – down by 19.9 per cent compared to the August 2020 record of 10,738. The condominium apartment market segment bucked the overall sales trend, with year-over-year growth in sales, continuing a marked resurgence in 2021. The number of new listings entered into the System was down year-over-year by 43 per cent.

“The fact that new listings were at the lowest level for the past decade is alarming. It is clear that the supply of homes is not keeping pace with demand, and this situation will become worse once immigration into Canada resumes. The federal parties vying for office in the upcoming federal election have all made housing supply and affordability a focal point. Working with provincial and municipal levels of government on solving supply-related issues is much more important to affordability than interfering with consumer choice during the home buying and selling offer process or revisiting demand-side policies that will at best have a short-term impact on market conditions,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

The August 2021 MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 17.4 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all homes combined was up by 12.6 per cent year-over-year to $1,070,911. The strongest annual rates of price growth are still being experienced for low-rise home types. However, average condominium apartment price growth is now well-above inflation as well. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price continued to trend upward in August.

“Sales have accounted for a much higher share of new listings this year compared to last, and the story was no different in August. There has been no relief on the supply side for home buyers, in fact, competition between these buyers have increased. As we move toward 2022, expect market conditions to become tighter as population growth in the GTA starts to trend back to pre-COVID levels,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

TRREB MLS® New Listings August 2021

TRREB MLS® Sales-to-New Listings Ratio August 2021

TRREB MLS® Average Resale Home Price August 2021

TRREB MLS® Sales August 2021