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Check Internet Service Availability before you Buy

Until a couple of years ago, internet access was a nice-to-have for most homeowners. But these days, it’s fast becoming a necessity. Kids need good internet to do homework assignments. You may need reliable internet to work from home and attend online meetings.

So, when shopping for a new home, it’s wise to check if the property which you’re interested in making an offer on has good internet available. The last thing you want is to move into a home only to discover that the internet service is slow and faster options are unavailable.

There are many ways to do find out.

For example, most internet services websites have a feature where you can type on the address and find out what type of internet services are available. Pay attention to how the service is delivered to your home, as well as the upload and download speeds.

Traditionally, cable and fiber offer the highest speeds with the most stable connections. However, satellite and DSL can be very good, too, depending on the service provider.

For online meetings (i.e., ZOOM) you’ll need an internet service with 4Mbps upload and 3Mbps download. (Most internet service plan descriptions show those download and upload numbers.) Keep in mind that if you have several internet users in your home — watching a movie, playing a game, etc., — you’ll need higher upload and download speeds.

Your best bet is to call the internet service company and explain your requirements. Learn what service options are available for the home you’re thinking of buying.

Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Call today.

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Tips on Buying the Right Video Doorbell

Video doorbells have become so popular that it’s not uncommon for visitors to smile as they come up to the door. They want to make a good impression on the video!

These doorbells are definitely convenient. Depending on the model you purchase, you can see who’s there and even speak to that person before opening your door. Some systems even allow for recording.

If you haven’t purchased a video doorbell yet, there are some important things to consider when shopping for one.

First, make sure the resolution is at least 1080p. If it’s less than that, the image quality will be blurry — especially at night.

Video doorbells come in wired or battery versions. Battery versions are easy to install, but you’ll need to keep the battery charged. Wired versions are more secure and reliable.

However, the installation is more complex.

It’s recommended that you choose a video doorbell with cloud storage options (including date stamping.) That way, anything that’s recorded will be stored, and you’ll be able to recover it if needed.

Finally, make sure the doorbell works with your mobile phone. That way, you can receive alerts when someone approaches your front door.

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5 Easy Ways to Make your Home More Eco-Friendly

These days, people are more environmentally conscious. When it comes to their homes, that often starts with being more thoughtful about heating and cooling so they’re consuming less energy. With that in mind, here are some tips for making your home more eco-friendly:

1. Install a smart thermostat. Modern thermostats come with various features that help you manage heating and cooling, so you use less energy. For example, you can program a thermostat to adjust temperature during the workday and then turn on heating or cooling an hour before you get home.

2. Take advantage of non-peak times. Many utilities (electricity, water, etc.) offer price breaks at non-peak periods. For example, washing your clothes later in the evening might reduce your water bill. Ask your utility providers about available price-saving programs.

3. Buy energy-saving products. A wide range of products are available to help you lower energy consumption, from shower faucets to kitchen ranges. The next time you’re shopping for an appliance or fixture, ensure it has eco-friendly features.

4. Replace worn insulation. A one-inch crack in window insulation can cause your home’s HVAC system to work harder. That’s why experts advise that you check the insulation around doors and windows once a year and repair or replace it where necessary.

5. Manage passive heat. It’s no surprise that a window letting in the sun will make a room warmer. So, take advantage of this free energy source. Let sun into rooms on cool days, so your furnace doesn’t have to come on as often. Do the opposite on hot days.

I’m well-connected in the local home industry. If you need any advice or recommendations, call today!

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Viewing Homes when You Have Little Time to View Homes

Have you ever had to go last-minute gift shopping? If so, you know what that can be like. You don’t have time to amble casually through numerous stores in hopes of coming across something suitable. The clock is ticking. You need to find the right gift, now!

A similar thing can sometimes happen when shopping for a new home. You may not have a lot of time available in your schedule. Yet, you need to view properties and find the right home, quickly.

So, how do you do that on a tight schedule?

One way is to be clear on the type of home you want to get into. The more narrow your search parameters, the more likely you are to view properties that are strong candidates.

Create a profile of your dream home, including property type, number of bedrooms, features, and other details. Also, be clear on the kind of neighbourhood you’d like to live in — including the type of street.

In addition, you should ensure that you’re shopping within the correct price range. Find out what the type of home you want is currently selling for on today’s market. Then, make sure you’re shopping within that range.

If you discover that your budget is below what ideal homes are selling for, adjust either your budget or your property expectations. If you can’t increase your budget, don’t panic. Chances are, you can still get a great home in your price range.

When scheduling viewing appointments, see as many homes as you can on each trip. That way, you’ll make the most of your viewing time. Also, when seeing a property, ensure you get all the information you need to make a decision. You’ll want to avoid having to view a property twice.

Want to find the ideal home faster? Call today!

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Painting Tips for Getting the Job Done Faster

Unless painting a room is a passion, you probably want to finish the task as soon as possible — while still doing a quality job. Here are some tips for doing just that:

  • One-coat paints. Having to do a second coat is time-consuming. Fortunately, there are several “one coat” paints that can get the job done, well, in one coat! They don’t work for every type of project. But, if your walls are in good condition and you’re not dramatically changing the underlying colour, a one-coat paint is worth considering.
  • Leverage various-sized rollers. Most people use rollers for the main wall surface and switch to brushes for the tight areas. Instead of a brush, try a smaller roller. That can speed up the painting considerably.
  • Use quality brushes and rollers. Cheap brushes tend to not hold paint evenly and can also shed fibres – which you then have to pick off the painted surface. Good quality brushes and rollers may cost a little more, but the paint will be applied more smoothly and evenly — saving you time.​​​​​​​​​
  • Wear your painter’s tape. When running painter’s tape to prep a room, wear the roll on your wrist. That way, you won’t constantly be reaching for it.
  • Wrap rollers and brushes in plastic. For longer painting jobs, wrap rollers and brushes that are not in use in plastic wrap or baggies (the kind you use in the kitchen.) That will keep the brushes and rollers wet while you take a break.
  • Start in the middle. Most people start at the end of a wall and work their way to the center. You’ll paint faster if you do the opposite. In addition, you’ll avoid applying too much paint in the corners (which people are apt to do when they start there).

Want more tips for preparing your home for sale? Call me.

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How Buyers Often Find Out about your Listing

There are many ways buyers can find out about your home for sale. Some will see the lawn sign. Others will notice the listing on MLS. Still others might find out via an advertisement or social media post.

But, there is one other way buyers will discover your listing — and it can be pivotal to the success of your sale.

The agent can make sure they know.

In some cases, buyers shopping for a particular type of home, or those who are targeting a specific neighbourhood, will get on an agent’s alert system. The agent will arrange for the buyers to be alerted as soon as an ideal property comes up on the market. That’s why being strategic when creating an MLS profile and other listing materials is so important. You want interested buyers to be notified of your listing!

Agents often also have a network of buyers they are in touch with regularly or who are actively looking to buy a home. They reach out to these contacts as soon as a desired property is listed. Say, for example, you put your property on the market. The agent you work with may already have qualified buyers in mind. If so, that increases the chances of your home selling quickly and for a top price.

Good agents also have a robust network of professional contacts — such as real estate lawyers, contractors, and even other agents — that they can potentially tap to find qualified buyers.

Overall, well-connected agents are more likely to be able to leverage their networks to attract ideal buyers to your listing.

Want to discuss how I can attract high-interest, qualified buyers to your listing? Call me.

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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.