WHERE GETTING GOOD SERVICE IS THE ‘NORM‘

Norm Merz

Sales Representative

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CELL 905-541-4917

1-800-468-8896

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Viewing home checklist for homebuyers

Viewing home checklist for homebuyers

There is so much to remember and take in when searching for a home to purchase and going through multiple viewings. Do you know what you need to look for? Here is a checklist to help you remember all of the important things you’ll want to find out during house hunting:

Basic facts you’ll want to know about the home:

Year built
Asking price
Property taxes
Other condo fees etc.
Home type
Home finish (brick, wood, siding etc.)
Square footage
Lot size
Parking
# of bedrooms
# of bathrooms
Type of heating system
Type of water system

While you view the home, you’ll want to keep a record if each of these home features are in good condition or need work or replacing. Check the age and condition of:

Foundation
Roof
Driveway
Windows
Doors
Garage
Fencing
Floors
Walls and ceilings
Basement
Electric system

Finally, here are a few things to check if the community offers:

Public transportation
Schools
Shopping
Parks
Hospitals
Pet friendliness

You can also create a separate list of what your wants and needs are in your perfect home. This will help remind you and your realtor of your priorities. Keep both of these lists handy as you view homes to help you through the process to find the one that’s right for you.

Watch your business blossom in Haldimand County

Watch your business blossom in Haldimand County

Life on the water in the spring is vibrant. Flowers are blooming and seasonal business starts to blossom. Finding, outfitting and booking space is a big step for any business.  Haldimand is fortunate to have such great investment spaces for new and existing businesses. Local and international business is a part of every day life in Haldimand.  Investing today could secure your business access to all four major forms of transportation.    

If you’re a business owner looking for riverside or lake front property, Haldimand County is a great place to look. Haldimand is home to four different industrial parks, so finding space for your business is often easily achievable. Looking for manufacturing or clients around Lake Erie can be quite simple for Haldimand entrepreneurs!

Bordered alongside Norfolk County, Haldimand County’s Lake Erie Industrial Park in Nanticoke was developed and is currently owned by U.S. Steel Canada. A 4,500 acre space with heavy industrial lots are available from one to 2000 acres.

Caledonia is home to two industrial areas – Haldimand and Bothwright Industrial Park.  Bothwright is minutes from the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and the 400 and 403 highways. Have your products moving on land, sea and air when you make a move to Bothwright. Rail access is available at the privately-owned Haldimand Industrial Park. This just-over 50 acre lot is also only 30 minutes outside the US border, so you could have your products south of the border before the Caledonia sunset!

Finally, Frank A. Marshall Business Park is a nearly 12 acre investment-ready site in Dunnville. This diverse business area offers distinct cost savings and is worth a look if you’re in the market. Modern build with high visibility gateways give Frank A. Marshall a cleaner look then older or heavy industrial areas.

Negotiating – Why a Realtor is the Best Person for the Job

Negotiating – Why a Realtor is the Best Person for the Job

Buying or selling a home is a complex process that involves different issues, multiple parties, conflicting interests, and emotions. So having a real estate agent on your side to do your negotiating is your best bet!

Negotiations begin with a written offer, and the agents for the buyers and sellers go back and forth. It’s not just the price – everything is negotiable, including closing date, repairs, appliances, and inspection.

When choosing to work with a real estate agent, their negotiating skills are an important factor. They can help persuade and influence the other party to accept your terms and handle any conflicts that come up through the negotiation process.

Agents are trained and can use their skills to negotiate well because they can remove themselves from the emotional side of things. They bring a more professional approach to the negotiations and in the end they achieve better results with faster sales and a higher net profit.

Agents have confidence in their skills and have the experience behind them. They come to the negotiations prepared for whatever objections may come up through the process and they know how to handle them to get you the very best result. This is their expertise and they know the market well and all of the ins and outs.

So remember, when heading into this process, negotiation skills are fundamental to success. Choose a real estate agent to help you get the best results possible in the sale or purchase of your property.

Getting pre-approved

Getting pre-approved

With interest rates on the rise and many housing policy changes over the past year, it’s more important than ever for first-time home buyers to have their mortgage pre-approval in hand when beginning the search for a new home.

There are a few reasons why getting pre-approved is so important as you begin the journey towards home ownership. For one, it takes the guesswork out of house hunting! There’s no sense in viewing and falling in love with a home you can’t afford. You can streamline the process and keep only true contenders in the running when you are aware how much you can afford to spend on your new home. Another reason to get pre-approved is that it shows that you’re a serious buyer. Both real estate sales persons and sellers will recognize that you have done your homework and are truly ready to buy. In fact, having a pre-approval in hand may give you negotiating power over another buyer who has not been pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved will also help things move along quicker and smoother during a negotiation. It will allow you to act fast when placing an offer on a home. By getting pre-approved you have started the application process for the mortgage. They will provide you with a pre-approval letter, though it is important to remember that this is not a guarantee of financing. Most realtors will still recommend that you include a condition on financing in any offers you submit. What is a mortgage commitment letter? A little more in-depth than a mortgage pre-approval, a mortgage loan commitment letter means that a full mortgage application was taken, the loan has passed through underwriting and the borrower was approved. A commitment letter is a document that lets everyone in the real estate transaction (real estate sales persons, sellers, etc.) know that the lender is prepared to take on a loan that will cover the cost of a home.

The simple step of getting pre-approved will make your home buying experience run smoother.

Why you should work with a realtor when buying a home

Why you should work with a realtor when buying a home

As a consumer, you take your time when making a major purchase, researching products, asking for opinions and weighing the pros and cons of the many different options available. When it comes to making life’s biggest purchase – a new home – you’ve likely done the same. You’ve visited the neighbourhoods you’re interested in and have an idea of the average market price. You may have toured a few open houses and have your mind set on the ideal floor plan and style of home you prefer.

It’s true – there’s a lot to think about and even more to understand when buying a home and what you see when you walk from room to room is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s for this reason that finding a seasoned professional to guide you every step of the way is a smart decision for house hunters. Even if you’ve owned a home before and feel confident in your ability to find “the right house”, a real estate salesperson has the breadth of knowledge and a special skill set that comes only with experience – they are dealing with the sale and acquisition of homes on a daily basis.

Here are just a few of the things that a realtor will be looking for during your hunt for a new home:

Wiring – Homes built up until the 1940’s were likely outfitted with knob and tube wiring. In the 60’s, aluminum wire became a popular choice. Both are considered a fire hazard and today many insurance companies will refuse to insure a home with one of these types of electrical wiring or will charge a higher premium. Your realtor will be able to tell if a home has knob and tube or aluminum wiring. Replacing the electrical wiring in an entire house can cost anywhere from $7,000 – $15,000.

HVAC system – A salesperson will be able to tell you the exact age of the furnace and air conditioner and may be able to tell you if these systems have been properly maintained.

Plumbing – Sump pumps, septic tanks, wells and sewer systems….your realtor will be able to explain each of these features in detail.

Making your home more accessible for elderly family members

Making your home more accessible for elderly family members

It’s no secret that Canada’s population is getting older. Census data released earlier this year by Statistics Canada show that, for the first time ever, seniors make up a bigger share of our nation’s population than children. By 2031, the agency predicts that nearly one in four Canadians will be over 65.

Finding suitable and affordable housing for seniors is already proving to be an issue in some municipalities. And if decreasing mobility is a concern, the challenge is even greater. For some families, the only option is to invite aging parents or grandparents home to live with them. If you will soon be welcoming an elderly family member into your home, here are just a few of the ways that you can make adjustments to create a more accessible living space for the new arrivals.

Anyone suffering from arthritis knows that it gets more and more difficult to squeeze and turn door knobs, so a simple first step in making your home accessible is replacing knobs with levers, which push down easily.

Installing grab bars and handrails is another easy way to make your home safer without making a major change. Every staircase should have handrails on both sides and there should be grab bars near toilets and bathtubs. If you do have the option to renovate a bathroom to make it more accessible, leave out the tub and replace it with a shower. When tackling a major renovation, be sure to enlarge doorways to 32-36 inches in case wheelchair access is needed now or in the future. Swing-away hinges may work to widen a doorway slightly if a temporary solution is needed.

Area rugs look nice but they can actually be a hazard for the elderly, causing trips and falls. Avoid placing small area rugs or runners in hallways, bathrooms or bedrooms. 

Household falls also happen when an individual can’t see where they are going. Be sure to change light bulbs as soon as they burn out and add additional lighting to dark staircases, hallways or rooms.

In the kitchen, make sure your cabinet door hardware is easy to grab (D-shaped handles on cupboards and drawers tend to be the easiest), daily use items are within easy reach and clutter is kept off the floor.

With just a few small changes, you can make your home safer for elderly relatives!

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