Category Archives: Home Decor

The Importance of a Smoke-Free Home

Next week is National Non-Smoking Week and in honour of this campaign we thought it would be a good idea to discuss the importance of a smoke-free home and the impact smoking can have on a home’s resale value.

A 2013 survey of Ontario real estate agents and brokers, sponsored by Pfizer Canada, found that smoking in the home could lower the value of your property by up to 29 per cent.

When it comes to selling your home, buyers first impressions are critical for a quick sale. Many potential buyers are put off by a home that has been smoked in – the smell is difficult to get out and the discoloration on the walls & ceiling can be difficult to remove.

An overwhelming majority of Ontario real estate agents and brokers agreed that it is more challenging to sell a home where owners have smoked.

Were you aware that smoking can cause substantial, irreparable damage to the inside of your home? How, exactly, does cigarette smoke effect the home? First, smoke can stay in a room long after someone smokes there.  It settles on surfaces and builds up over time on electrical outlets, walls, ceilings, floors and furniture.  It can get into every nook and cranny of a home and can be quite costly to repair. The effect it has on your air conditioning system and furnaces could be severe if you don’t change your air filters regularly. The buildup of dust caused by smoke will be circulating the air, clogging up the air filters.  This will cause the unit to overwork and eventually breakdown.

So how do you maintain a smoke-free home? Never smoke inside your home. Create a comfortable place to smoke outdoors, and let guests know that your home is a smoke-free environment and show them an area that is suitable to smoke outside. In the event that you have smoked in your home, or are interested in a property that smokers occupy, with our extensive experience we have proven solutions to help bring a home that has been smoked in back to a better environment.

As Accredited Staging Professionals (ASP) and owners of the powerful trademarked STAGED & SOLD brand, we can provide you with inexpensive tips to help rid your home of odours so that your home can be sold faster and often at a higher price. For a free, no obligation home evaluation, please contact us directly at 905-332-4102 or email us at info@roccasisters.ca.

According to some financial experts, expensive home renovations don’t necessarily yield high returns

In one of our recent posts, we talked about how getting your home ready to sell now is critical to ensuring you take advantage of the spring market.Reno-istock But getting your home ready is not just about clearing out the clutter; preparing your home for sale may also mean you need to do a few renovations. According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail by Deirdre Kelly, contrary to what the magazines and home decor TV shows would have you believe, expensive home renovations don’t necessarily yield high returns and are especially dangerous if it means you take on substantial debt to do so.

Here’s an excerpt from the article below:

The best ways to finance a home reno

In love with that shiny new marble countertop in your renovated kitchen? Be careful it doesn’t blind you into thinking it’s going to make you money.

Contrary to what the shelter magazines and home decor TV shows would have you believe, expensive home renovations don’t necessarily yield high returns, according to some real estate experts.

Those dazzling before-and-after images? They provide great entertainment.

For something with more substantial value, forgo the bells and whistles and stick to the basics, such as furnaces, windows and basement rental units, industry experts say.

“Home renos, in general, should not be looked upon as investments,” says Arpad Komjathy, certified financial planner and mortgage broker at arpadwealth.ca in Toronto. “They are only going to make you money if the reno elevates the buyer’s heart rate, as in, ‘Wow, that is an awesome kitchen,’ and you are selling the home within a year or two of the upgrade. Longer than that, wear and tear will take its toll: Styles may change, property values may decline and all the while your money that you invested in the reno is tied up while you may be paying interest charges on the money borrowed to finance the reno.”

Debt and renos

Taking on debt to finance a home renovation is not a smart move anyway, says Paul Rhodes, a partner in the audit and advisory practice at Crowe Soberman LLP, with clients in Canada’s construction and real-estate industries.

“We are currently in a low-interest environment that will not last forever. A homeowner taking on debt to finance a renovation should bear in mind that rates will turn at some point in the not too distant future,” Mr. Rhodes explains. “It may be desirable to keep some repayment flexibility if it is possible, that the debt can be repaid early, such as through an open mortgage or line of credit. Alternatively, if the term to repay the debt is expected to be longer, the homeowner should consider a fixed-rate mortgage, many of which still allow an annual prepayment.”

Mr. Komjathy advises homeowners to consider various financing options before using their own funds.

Financing options

One place to look is the homeowner’s existing mortgage. Two things can happen to a mortgage when the owner sells, Mr. Komjathy says: First, it is “ported” to a new property, which does not incur any extra costs, or secondly, it needs to be broken, which incurs penalties.

If owners can port the mortgage when they sell, it is a good option to finance a reno, Mr. Komjathy says. “In this case the reno should be financed through an increased mortgage to achieve the lowest possible financing cost, at around 2.4 per cent for a variable rate or 2.8 per cent for a five-year fixed rate.”

If the mortgage is one that needs to be broken, it becomes more risky, but can still be used to finance a reno, he adds. The key is whether the original and new mortgages are variable-rate ones. Variable-rate mortgages have just a three-month penalty, and, considering their low-interest cost, this outweighs the penalty amount. If the mortgage is a fixed-rate one, the increased mortgage amount will attract a larger penalty that is often impossible to quantify in advance.

The next best option is to request a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and that will cost currently 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent. This type of loan will attract no penalty at the time of payout, Mr. Komjathy says. “If there is insufficient equity in the home to increase the mortgage or add a HELOC, the next best option is an unsecured personal line of credit,” he says, though these come with higher rates. “Utilizing favourable promotional interest rates from credit card companies could be also an option, and that may lower the rate somewhat.”

But how do you know if renovating a home makes good financial sense? The answer often depends on the situation at hand.

A family may have outgrown its current space and is considering renovation instead of buying a more expensive home, for example.

But if the renovation is intended to add value to the home when selling, “beware the effect of increasing interest rates,” Mr. Rhodes warns.

The types of renovations that make for a good investment when selling include adding living space in underused areas, such as basements and garages. But it is still updated kitchens and bathrooms that remain the key renovations that help a home sell. On a smaller scale, hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances and ceramic sinks with multifunction faucets remain popular.

And if a renovation is not possible, even a quick refresh, including a coat of paint and decluttering, can add value to a sale.

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Whether you’re looking to sell now or in the future, strategic renovation planning is crucial before you start. As designated Accredited Staging Professionals and the trademarked owners of the powerful STAGED & SOLD brand, we know from experience and first-hand knowledge what renovations will create the greatest demand in your particular neighbourhood and that will yield the biggest return on investment when the time comes to sell.

The most critical move you can make to ensure a quick and easy sale is to request a free home evaluation from the Rocca Sisters & Associates. You will have two nationally ranked top-producing agents working for you to sell your home quickly and efficiently. We will advise you on what renovations you should – and shouldn’t – do to ensure you get top dollar for your most valuable asset. To request an evaluation or for more tips on how to prepare your home for sale, don’t hesitate to call the Rocca Sisters & Associates office at 905-335-4102 or email us at info@roccasisters.ca. Our personal approach and proven results will surpass your expectations.

 

The Real Story with the Rocca Sisters: Consult with us before you renovate

Rocca Sisters Consult with us before your renovateThe busy boom of the spring real estate market is fast approaching. If you find yourself waiting until April to list your home, you will find that the season is already half over – and so are many potential offers from buyers who may have already found their dream homes.

Getting your home ready to sell now is critical to ensuring you take advantage of the spring market. But getting your home ready is not just about clearing out the clutter; preparing your home for sale may also mean you need to do a few renovations. According to royallepage.ca, even in a hot housing market, homeowners must beware of renovations that can actually make it more difficult to sell their home and add little or nothing to the property value.

Whether you’re looking to sell now or in the future, strategic renovation planning is crucial before you start. As designated Accredited Staging Professionals and the trademarked owners of the powerful STAGED & SOLD brand, we know from experience and first-hand knowledge what renovations will create the greatest demand in your particular neighbourhood and that will yield the biggest return on investment when the time comes to sell.

Here are a few tips from royallepage.ca that you should consider before you renovate:

  1. After kitchens and bathrooms, let in the light – Homes with good natural lighting are always popular.  Sometimes, the simplest solution is a glass front door to allow light into your entryway.
  2. Be room conscious – The current trend is for more open concept living with fewer, bigger rooms.  But, if your neighbourhood is full of older, more traditional homes, a modern open-concept layout might not be as appealing to prospective buyers.  When in doubt, consult your agent.
  3. Be sure to replace the unsightly – Anything broken, chipped, stained or garishly coloured (like that hot pink porcelain toilet and sink combo) should be updated.
  4. Love it and List it – If you aren’t planning to sell immediately, you can still maximize the value of your renovation and reflect your personal tastes.  Stick with neutral finishes and let your personal style shine through accessories you love that can then move with you when you are ready to go.
  5. It’s my home – The hardest part about renovating your house to sell is the emotional attachment owners have to their homes.  A trusted agent can give you an objective and qualified perspective that can help take the emotion out of the challenging decision-making involved in home renovations.

The most critical move you can make to ensure a quick and easy sale is to request a free home evaluation from the Rocca Sisters & Associates. You will have two nationally ranked top-producing agents working for you to sell your home quickly and efficiently. We will advise you on what renovations you should – and shouldn’t – do to ensure you get top dollar for your most valuable asset. To request an evaluation or for more tips on how to prepare your home for sale, don’t hesitate to call the Rocca Sisters & Associates office at 905-335-4102 or email us at info@roccasisters.ca. Our personal approach and proven results will surpass your expectations.

Cathy & Tanya Rocca write a weekly column in the Burlington Post and Oakville Beaver Real Estate Sections delivered to homes in the Halton region every Friday. If you have a real estate question you’d like answered, just fill in the contact form below:

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