How to Buy a Home for a Great Price

How to Buy a Home for a Great Price

No one wants to pay more than necessary for a home, whether you’re on a tight budget or have millions of dollars to burn. To make sure you have the tools you need to purchase a home at a fair price, here are six tips to keep in mind.

Compare Other Listings

Whether you’re interested in these homes for sale or not, it’s a good idea to visit different open houses to get an idea of the size, amenities and overall condition you’re considering. You can also compare the prices to determine what seems fair and what’s greatly overpriced compared to market value.

Look at Unsold Comparables

You could find a house for sale you’re interested in, but it’s priced in a similar fashion to unsold homes recently taken off the market. If that’s the case, then the home you’re interested in is probably overpriced. Be sure to check for unsold properties in the areas you’re exploring to evaluate that housing market.

Get Your Realtor’s Opinion

If you’re working with a skilled real estate agent, they likely won’t even need to analyze the data to tell you whether or not a property is worth the asking price. Thanks to years of experience, your realtor will be able to tell you what is and isn’t a fair price for the specific property.

How Does the Price Feel?

A good rule to remember when buying a house is this: don’t buy something you’re not happy with. Purchasing a house is a huge investment, and is something you’ll be stuck with for decades. Don’t buy a house just because the price is great, you’ll soon regret your decision once move-in day arrives. As well, it’s also fine to pay more than the market value suggests if you absolutely love the house.

Test the Waters

If a property you’re interested in is priced at market value, that doesn’t mean you can’t submit an offer that’s lower than the asking price. If it’s still close to the asking price, the sellers might accept it or start negotiations. However, don’t offer something that’s too low, as you might insult the seller and they’ll reject your offer entirely, seizing your ability to purchase the house.

Have the Home Appraised

To protect the house’s financial interests, the lender with have a property appraisal done once you’re under contract. This is to ensure that, if you stop making mortgage payments, a reasonable amount of money can still be made upon foreclosure. If the appraisal is much lower than the offering price, then you’re likely not getting much of a deal.

At Norm Merz Remax Centre, we’re ready to match all commission rates from our competitors. With over 20 years of experience selling real estate and an unconditional 30-day listing guarantee, be sure to call us if you’re looking to sell your home. Interested in buying a home instead? We can help with that as well! For more information, visit our website today!



Tips for Investing in Real Estate

Tips for Investing in Real Estate

Investing in real estate is one of the smartest ways to build ongoing wealth. Even if you don’t live in the property yourself, you can rent it out to generate a passive income. However, it takes significant savings to be able to afford a home. Home buying expenses don’t end there. There are ongoing maintenance costs to look into, renovations in the long run and extra expenditure to pay off the mortgage when there are long gaps between tenants. Here are a few useful tips to invest in real estate without stress.

Plan Budget
The first thing you need is to take stock of your finances. Make a note of all the expenses real estate investment will involve. This way you will be prepared to budget your finances. Consider the down payment, utilities, maintenance costs and taxes. Property taxes differ from city to city. Make sure you are aware of the taxes in yours. Even if you are planning to rent, surplus money needs to be set aside for repairs and mortgage in the event of gaps between tenants. Pay off any debts and improve your credit score to qualify for better loans. A large down payment helps you bring down your monthly mortgage payments and insurance.

Before you invest, make sure you know the neighbourhood and geography of the area well. Is it prone to floods? Is construction planned in the coming months? Is there a mall, supermarket or convenience store in the neighbourhood? How good is the school in the vicinity? Is the area safe? Considering comparables helps weigh the pros and cons so there are no surprises or inconveniences later. It also helps you pay the right amount for the property. You don’t want to overpay or settle for an unsafe neighbourhood simply because it is cheaper. The value of your home will go down, then if you plan to resell later.

Small Investment
You may not get every single thing you want in the very first property. Be prepared to compromise. List your priorities to help you focus. Location is always the most important consideration. A good location will always make things convenient, cost-effective and enjoyable, as well as give you good returns when you plan to sell or rent. Would you rather pay more for a smaller home minutes away from your work or a larger suburban home that’s farther away? A small first home helps you pay off your mortgage faster. Starting small also helps you get familiar with the business of real estate investment. Once you treat it like a business, you will
learn to develop solid actionable plans with the intent of raking in bigger returns when property value appreciates.

Business Plan
Real estate investing works best if you prepare for it with a proper business plan. Never settle for the first property that tugs your heart. There is more to it. Plan it well with a clear mind and good understanding. It is important to have milestones to make your investment work best for you, and generate profits in the long run. The simplest way to gain a good understanding of real estate trends, plan your budget, mortgage, learn about your neighbourhood or identify your priorities and learn about ROI is by consulting a friendly, informative real estate professional.

Norm Merz is a Sales Representative with Canada’s #1 brokerage ReMax.
Check out the website to find listings that match what you are looking for. Feel free to call for any guidance.


Weeding Tips and Tricks

Weeding Tips and Tricks

Weeds can be aggressive and invasive to your beautiful lawn so it’s important to learn how to best get rid of them and keep them away. Even though it takes some work, it is worth it, in the end, in order to enjoy your lawn and gardens without pesky weeds.


First, the most important rule to remember when weeding is to not leave the roots behind. After you pull it out, if the roots are left the weeds will grow back. So be sure to grab it close to the ground and not leave any behind.

Tug of war

Another key trick to help make weeding easier is to do it when the grass is wet after the rain. This helps the weeds to pull out easier. If there is no rain in the forecast, you can water your garden and lawn yourself before you start pulling.

Clean fill wanted

When planting your garden remember to not leave bare spots for the weeds to move in. Space plants apart as recommended and fill in unused spaces with a liberal amount of mulch. Use mulch as much as possible as it retains the moisture and doesn’t let weeds grow.

Natural weed killer

To kill tough weeds you can make a solution with vinegar and water in a spray bottle, which works as a weed killer. Just be sure to only spray the weeds and not the plants.

Keep away

The last tip is after you pull the weeds out, do not throw them in a compost pile as any seeds that have already formed might spout. Keep on top of the weeding to make it a less tedious job and achieve that desirable weed-free yard you’ll love.

How to Price Your Home for Sale

How to Price Your Home for Sale

One of the most important – and trickiest – considerations when selling your home is listing it for the right price! An overpriced home is the number one reason it won’t sell. When it’s priced too high it can sit on the market for far too long and turn into a stale listing. Here are some ways to best find out how much your house is worth.

Nice price
Pricing is all about supply and demand and turning to someone with experience in the market will really make a difference. Real estate agents are professionals with in-depth knowledge and can guide you to set the price just right. Also getting a licensed appraisal done by an expert appraiser is a great way to get professional advice to make this important decision.

Neighbourhood sales
The best place to start determining what your home is worth is to check the sale prices of homes in your neighbourhood, known as ‘comparables’. Look at every home that’s been listed in your area in the last three months. Keep in mind you want to compare apples to apples, so find homes listed with similar age and square footage. You’ll have to adjust prices for lot size variances, configuration and upgrades. Also, compare the original list price to final sale price to see any price reductions.

Market watch
Another key factor is knowing where the market’s at. In a seller’s market, you might add 10 per cent more to the last comparable sale, because when there are little inventory and lots of buyers, you can ask for more. In a neutral market, you may want to set your price at the last comparable sale.

And remember to leave a bit of a cushion for negotiation. Buyers love to haggle, so don’t start out with the absolute lowest price your willing to go.

Taking Care of Your AC

Taking Care of Your AC

Hot, sticky summers can be more bearable by cooling off at home with air conditioning (AC). To keep it running efficiently and properly, it’s important to observe proper maintenance. This will help you save money and increase its lifespan. With some regular attention, you can increase the efficiency of your AC unit. Here are a few ways to make sure it runs at its best for you this summer.

Professional inspection
Keep on top of maintenance and inspection. Having a professional inspect the unit will help find any problems to keep it working in perfect condition. You can also check for common problems yourself, such as weak airflow and leakages which could indicate that there’s a blockage in the unit itself or the filter is clogged.

Clean & clear
Clean the unit and keep the area around it clear. To clean the unit turn off the power and then remove the fan cage to clean away the debris from the interior by hand or with a vacuum. Next, clean the fins by using a brush attachment or a Shop-Vac to remove dirt. Then rinse the outside with a hose. Clear the area around the condenser unit by removing any debris that could be obstructing airflow from the condenser fan. Rake back leaves and cut back branches at least two feet in all directions.

No filter
Check the filter every three months and either clean or replace as needed. A clogged air filter can make the unit work harder, waste energy and shorten the compressor’s life.

By doing these easy steps you’ll keep your AC running smoothly all season.

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