6 Questions to Ask Your Contractor

As a homeowner, it’s nearly guaranteed that you’ll need the help of a contractor at some point. Contractors bring the expertise and experience you need to have a successful home project completed. But not all contractors are the same!

While there are amazing contractors out there who are pros at what they do and at running the business side of things, some other contractors can either be a nightmare to work with or may leave you with poorly done work. That’s why it’s imperative that you ask any contractor these 6 questions to make sure the contractor is a good fit.

1. How long have you been in business? A contractor who has run their business for a while is more likely to be doing good work and will have more experience. Be cautious around new businesses that don’t have many reviews or references.

2. How long have you worked with the subcontractors? Most contractors will subcontract out some of the work, especially for large projects. You should check on the subcontractors and make sure that the working relationships between the contractor and the subcontractors is good by asking this question.

3. How many other projects are you working on? It’s common for projects to exceed the originally quoted timeline. This often happens because of delays in materials, but it can also happen if a contractor has overbooked their team. Asking this question will help you get an idea of how long the work will take.

4. What is the expected payment system? Every contractor is different when it comes to money. Some want 50% upfront and 50% at the end of the project, others will put you on a payment plan throughout the length of the project.

5. What kind of insurance do you carry? Working with an insured contractor is critical if you want any peace of mind. Make sure your contractor carries all of the required insurances for their work as this will protect you in case of an error or accident.

6. Who is my point of contact? Many contractors will work with you directly while others will have you work with an account manager. Make sure you know who the best person to contact is so you can get your questions answered quickly.

A great contractor is like a great real estate agent–basically your best friend! If you want recommendations for contractors in our area, reach out to our team!


4 Things Every Homebuyer Should Know

When you’re going through the real estate process, you’ll have the expert help of a real estate agent to guide you. But, like most things in life, the journey is a whole lot easier when you’re informed and have a foundation of knowledge to draw on.

This is one of the reasons why buyers should check out the Buyer Guide, which has a ton of great info and provides an overview of the real estate process. But chances are that you haven’t heard much about 4 things that can really impact your home buying experience because no one really seems to be talking about them. Let’s change that!

The Power of Pre-Approval: A pre-approval is basically a stamp of approval from a lender that says that you’re likely to qualify for a certain amount of a mortgage loan based on your financial situation and history. This is a big deal for sellers because it means that if they select your offer with a pre-approval, your financing is much more likely to go through and the deal has a much higher chance of successfully closing.

Hidden Gems in an up-and-coming neighbourhood: Buying a low-priced hidden gem–a property with great potential that doesn’t require a total remodel–in a neighbourhood that’s not yet popular is a smart real estate strategy. Why? As the neighbourhood gets more popular and more amenities pop up, the house will appreciate in value due to the location. This means that you can build equity quickly and make a great return on your investment when you sell.

Future Resale Factor: When you’re looking at homes, don’t forget to focus on the future resale factor of the property. You’re making an investment when you buy a home, so it’s important to make sure that it will net a positive return on investment when you go to sell. Ask your agent to help you find properties with features that will add to its future resale factor.

The Art of CompromiseBuying a house is a way of making a business deal with the sellers. As with most deals, negotiation and compromise is the way to create a deal that works for both sides of the table. Before putting an offer down, ask yourself what you’re willing to compromise on and then expect to negotiate over those compromises. This is another reason why it’s important that your agent is a skilled negotiator!


8 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Painting

With the colder season approaching, now is the perfect time to do a few projects around the house and get your space looking great before the rush of the holidays. One of the best ways to take a room from dinghy or dated to fresh and bright is through paint!

When sellers ask how to boost their home’s value, painting is one of the first suggestions offered. That’s because the way a room looks and feels is entirely dependent on the colour of the walls and ceiling. Now that you know why painting is such a great fall home project, you’ll want these 8 painting tips to make the painting process as easy as possible.

  1. Safeguard belongings: Take all of the easily moveable things out of the space with a focus on anything breakable or fabric. While no one wants an accident to happen, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  2. Fill holes: Look over your walls and find any holes from hangings that need to be filled. For small holes, spackle or drywall compound will do the trick.
  3. Repair cracks: Check out your walls and ceiling for any cracks and patch them up. If you find any large cracks, it’s a good idea to get an inspector to check them out.
  4. Add caulk: Next, take a look at anywhere caulk is applied (baseboards, windows, door frames) and caulk anywhere there’s a gap.
  5. Clean and prime: Don’t skip this step! Cleaning and priming your walls will make the actual painting part go so much faster and you’ll use less of your paint–saving money in the long run.
  6. Tape it all up: Once your walls are dry and ready to go, tape it up and drape tarps/drop cloths over any large pieces of furniture.
  7. Gather your supplies: You’re nearly ready to paint. Make sure to gather all your supplies into the room to make everything easily accessible.
  8. Paint!

These tips will help you make your space look like it was painted by a professional without the expense. With just a gallon of paint or two and a little time, you can refresh your home and make it the space to be as the weather gets colder.


Why Real Estate is Still the Best Investment: A Financial Analysis

You've heard the cliché a thousand times: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Well, consider this blog your invitation to diversify, with a spotlight on why real estate remains a rock-solid choice. Forget the get-rich-quick schemes; let's talk about long-term gains and financial fortitude. 

Tangible Assets: The Beauty of Bricks and Mortar 

Investing in stocks is all well and good until market volatility gives you whiplash. Real estate, on the other hand, gives you a tangible asset—something you can see, touch, and utilize. There's a measure of control and stability that's reassuring. 

Cash Flow: The Gift that Keeps on Giving 

Rental properties offer the beauty of consistent cash flow. You've got a monthly income that often exceeds your property's expenses, leading to a steady, passive income stream. Try getting that from your stock portfolio.

Tax Advantages: The Icing on the Cake 

Now, I'm no accountant, but even I can't ignore the plethora of tax benefits that come with real estate investment. Depreciation, property tax deductions, and capital gains benefits are just a few fiscal perks. 

Leverage: Maximizing ROI 

With real estate, a small percentage down payment opens the door to a valuable asset, allowing you to leverage your investment. That means a higher potential return on investment (ROI) compared to the initial amount you put in. 

Appreciation: The Long Game 

Historically, real estate values have consistently appreciated over time. That makes it a fantastic long-term investment. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and your real estate empire won't be either—but give it time. 

Equity Build-up: Two Birds, One Stone 

If you've financed your property with a mortgage, each payment builds equity. It's like a forced savings plan, all while you're potentially making money from the property. What's not to love? 

Diversification: A Portfolio's Best Friend 

Real estate offers excellent diversification for your investment portfolio. It often has a low correlation with other financial assets, providing a cushion against market volatility. 

The Realtor Factor 

Think of your realtor as the conductor of your financial orchestra. A knowledgeable agent can guide you through property selection, negotiation, and long-term planning, turning your investment dreams into achievable goals. 

Investing in real estate isn't just about buying property; it's about securing financial freedom and stability. But hey, don't just take my word for it. If you're ready to take the plunge—or even if you're just testing the waters—lets chat. We'll crunch the numbers, scrutinize the data, and chart a path that aligns with your financial aspirations. 

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.