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2017 was a very busy year for both the Waterloo Region real estate market and Team Pinto. In addition to many other things, over the course of the year, we published more than 150 blog posts intended to inform, advise and maybe even entertain Waterloo Region homeowners, homebuyers and home sellers.
With 2018 now officially in full swing – the grown-ups are back at work and the kids have gone back to school- we thought we’d take a look back at some of our most popular posts from 2017 and give anyone who missed them a chance to catch up or if you did catch them the first time around, the chance to enjoy them again.
5 Simple, Sensible Home Security Tips for New Homeowners
Finally getting the keys to your first home is certainly an occasion that calls for some celebrating. But before you get caught up in planning that big, fun housewarming party, it’s important to make certain your new home is as secure as possible.
In general, new homeowners can be especially vulnerable to security risks, as they are just starting to learn about their new home and new neighborhood. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track in regards to home security and make your new home a safer place to be.
Do a Test Drive
This is something you should probably do even before you buy; take a drive around your potential new neighbourhood at different times of the day and night and also on both a weekday and a weekend. Neighbourhoods do tend to change as the sun goes down, or as people leave work for the weekend, and what seems like a quiet, sedate street may change considerably at night.
Meet the Neighbours
New homeowners should not only get acquainted with their new neighborhood but with their neighbours as well. Not only is aa great way to join in the community in general but it can also be a good way to get a real handle on the safety of the neighbourhood – and what you might need to watch out for – that dry web site facts and figures really don’t inform you about.
Perform a Home Security Audit
After you’ve moved the last of the boxes into your new home you should take the time to inspect all of its entry points and identify any outdated or malfunctioning locks.But it’s not just the doors you need to take a look at, windows can be points of great vulnerability in a home, especially an older one, so they need to be properly secured as well.
Focus on Prevention
Some people – make that many people – do decide to install a formal home security system to protect both their property and themselves. Your new home may very well already have one in place.Thereare also a growing number of ‘DIY’ home security systems that are relatively inexpensive to purchase, install and maintain.
But whether you decide to alarm up or not, there are also some rather simple, but often overlooked, ways you can help make your home a safer place: Read More
Simple Ways to Minimize Stress When Buying or Selling a Home
Did you know that several large research studies have shown that buying or selling a home has the potential to be one of the most stressful periods in an adult’s life, right up there with getting divorced or filing for bankruptcy!
While no one can really claim to know how to make the process stress free there are some ways you can minimize the stress involved. Here are just a few of the most effective:
Home Buyers: Make that Wants List
Before you begin booking showings, or hitting open houses sit down and make a fairly solid ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ list in regards to just what you are really looking for in a new home. If you do not take the time to do this you are likely to find yourself spending far too much time looking at homes that are completely unsuitable and the home hunting process will seem to drag on and on.
Home Buyers: Get that Pre Approval
Getting a mortgage pre approval before you begin looking for a new home does more than just inspire confidence in home sellers. By eliminating that ‘will we won’t we’ white knuckle period that people used to go through waiting for a mortgage approval to comin in on a property they had already fallen in love with you will be eliminating an awful lot of stress and uncertainty.
Home Sellers: Stop Taking Things Personally
Even though you plan on leaving it in the near future, you still love your home and it can be rather upsetting to hear others criticize it, or, worse still, what you’ve done with it over the years. The very best way to avoid this upset is simply try to make sure you are not in the property when your home is shown. Home buyers are making decisions about a huge step in their lives and no, they rarely ever consider that the observations they are making might be rather rude or hurtful to the people who own the home they are making them about. Read More
Overcoming the Emotional Hurdles When Selling Your Home
Maybe you think you are not really that emotionally attached to your home. Putting it on the market and moving on to a more suitable new one shouldn’t be too hard.. Then however, the For Sale sign does go up and you find that everywhere you turn every nook and cranny of the place holds a sweet memory, has a special significance and you realise that, on an emotional level, this whole home selling business might not be so easy after all.
All of this is, of course, perfectly normal, and it’s likely that everyone who lives in the home will feel the same way. But letting too many emotions get in the way and ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’ can delay or even derail the successful sale of your Waterloo Region home.
Avoiding Emotional Pricing
Almost every seller, left to their own devices, has a tendency to overprice their home. And those who are particularly emotionally invested in it (again, most people) will usually be even more inclined to do so. They believe that because they have so enjoyed living in the place over the years there will be a ‘special family’ out there who will also fall in love and be willing to pay more to to own it.
Home buyers rarely feel the same way though. But they are often willing to pay more for a particular location or home features that add perceived value to the home. That means that when preparing a home for sale its owners should go beyond basic repairs and deep cleaning and stage the home to create an impression of the type of lifestyle buyers could have if they do buy it. Read More
Interesting and Random Facts About the Wonderful Waterloo Region
The Kitchener-Waterloo region has developed into Canada’s leading communities in innovation and technology. But a part from its fine-tuned tech reputation, the Kitchener-Waterloo region carries more story than meets the eye. Here’s just a few fast facts about some of the things that make the Waterloo Region so unique, and such a great place to live.
The Waterloo Region Gave Birth to the Ontario Craft Beer Craze
The craft beer industry is a big one across Ontario these days. But did you know that the very first one – The Brick Brewery – opened in Waterloo way back in 1984 and remains one of the most respected to this day? If you head out there you’ll find a number of amazing brews to sample, but don’t miss the Waterloo Pilsner, it’s amazing.
Kitchener Was the First City to Launch the “Blue Box” Recycling System
Always up to host innovative new ideas the City of Kitchener was the first municipality in Canada to introduce the blue box recycling system (BBRS) in 1983. After it’s success there it ultimately led to the planet-saving recycling system we see today found across the world. Read More
The 5 Huge Reasons For Sale By Owner is a Disastrous Idea
Some people truly believe – initially anyway – that if they skip the standard initial first step in the home selling process – hiring a real estate agent – they will save themselves tons of money. That assumption is, to put it bluntly, completely wrong.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You would say that, you’re a real estate agent. True, but as such it’s my responsibility, and that of every other real estate agent, to look out for home sellers, even the once we haven’t met yet. That’s why I’ve put together this honest list of just five of the biggest reasons why trying to sell your home ‘FSBO’ – for sale by owner – is such a losing proposition.
Marketing Headaches – The way real estate is sold and marketed has changed a lot, especially over the last ten years or so, and it’s still changing all the time. A for sale sign in the yard – all that most FSBO sellers really depend on – just no longer cuts it. Most people now begin their home search online, looking for listings that are accurate, to the point and, possibly most importantly, have great photos (and increasingly videos too.) If you work with a good real estate pro they will help guide you through all of that – and do most of the work for you. If you are trying to go it alone attempting to market your home yourself is almost certainly going to be a costly and frustrating experience. Read More