Category Archives: Bosley Real Estate

New Year’s Resolutions for Homebuyers

Put away the holiday decorations and get ready for 2020.  It is time to set those resolutions and usher in the New Year’s.  If you have been thinking about buying a new home, then set your resolutions to help you achieve this goal.  As your premier agent for all your NOTL real estate needs, I would like to share the following helpful New Year’s resolutions that will help you find your dream home in 2020.

Ready, Set, Save

Like any big purchase, it is essential to begin saving for a home.  These savings are your down payment and combined with your mortgage will be the total amount that will be used toward the purchase of your home.  The sooner you start saving, the better and the larger your down payment is, the more expensive of a home you can afford or the smaller the amount you will have to borrow.

Get Credit

Another important resolution that will go a long way when it comes time to purchase your home is to develop a strong credit rating.  A strong credit rating is essential when you are looking to get a pre-approved mortgage and it also shows the lender that you are serious and can be trusted.  The stronger your credit rating chances are the lower the interest rate attached to your mortgage.  A strong credit rating is attained by doing the following:

  • Paying off all your monthly bills on time.
  • Paying off the total amount of credit borrowed each month.
  • Never maxing out your credit limit.

Set a Budget

With a strong credit rating and a down payment, the next step is to approach a wide range of lenders and get a pre-approved mortgage.  This amount will depend upon a wide range of variables, but it will give you a better indication of what type of property you can afford.  Try to go with the lender who will give you the lowest interest rate as you will have to pay back the entire amount.

Start Searching

Your down payment and your pre-approved mortgage amount will give you a good indication of the price range of homes that you should be looking at.  When you are viewing homes, be sure to consider your immediate needs as well as your future needs and try to find a home that fits both.  Be sure to find a real estate agent to help you with finding that perfect home as they will be able to show you properties that you may have never considered.

These simple yet effective New Year’s resolutions will have you on the right homebuying track.  If you would like more information on any of these resolutions or are interested in viewing some of the new and exciting properties available in and around the NOTL area, please contact me today.  I would love to help you find your dream home this year.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Happy New Year’s from Niagara Homes

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Terms every Home Buyer should know

Buying a home should be an exciting event, not a stressful and confusing time.  With so many different factors attached to the purchase process, many home buyers seem overwhelmed and even unsure.  As your premier agent specializing in NOTL real estate, I would like to share the following key real estate terms that will help you better understand all the facets of the home buying process and give you ownership from start to finish.

Key Real Estate Terms

Appraisal – An assessment of the value of a property that is based on a variety of factors, including similar home prices in the neighbourhood.

Closing – A final meeting where ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.  Typically, the buyer, seller and both real estate agents attend the closing.

Closing Costs – A set of fees attached to the purchase of a property.  These are due before ownership is transferred.  Costs include all lawyers’ fees, title searches and home inspections. These fees are anywhere from 1% – 3% of the property’s original purchase price.

Days on Market – The number of days a specific property has been listed on the real estate market.

Escrow – A time period (30 days or more) after an offer has been accepted by the seller.  During the time in escrow, the property is inspected and appraised.

Foreclosure – A property that has been repossessed by the bank because the owner has defaulted on their mortgage payments.

Gentrification – Renewal and rehabilitation projects in an urban area that changes the demographics.  These areas typically see property values rise.

Home Inspection – An inspection of the various systems of a property (pipes, structure and electrical etc.).  This inspection takes place when the home is in escrow.

Homeowners’ Insurance – A policy that protects the owner’s contents, belongings and structure of the home.

Listing Price – The price of the property set by the seller.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – A database used by real estate agents that lists homes for sale.

Property Taxes – A tax that is based upon the value of the property. This tax is a municipal one that helps fund services such as sewer, water and garbage collection.

Walkthrough – The final inspection of a property done before the final closing date.

Key Purchasing Terms

Down Payment – A percentage of a homes’ purchase price that the buyer must pay.  A down payment is not part of the mortgage.

Equity – The percentage of the home’s overall value that the homeowner has paid off. The bank (lender) owns the rest.

Interest Rate – The cost attached to borrowing money (the mortgage).  The interest rate of a mortgage is set by the lender.

Mortgage – The type of loan that is used to secure payment of a home.  A mortgage is paid off over a specific period through set payments.

Mortgage Broker – A lender who works for the buyer to secure a loan (mortgage) either through a bank or another lending institution.

Pre-Approval – The total amount of money (mortgage) the buyer is approved for.  This amount is based upon the borrower’s credit score, their assets and the borrower’s income.

Principal – The outstanding balance of the loan (mortgage).  With each payment, the mortgage’s principal is reduced.

By understanding the language associated with purchasing a home, you will be able to be an active agent throughout the entire process. If you have any questions or would like clarification on any of these terms, please call or stop by.  I would love to help you find your perfect home and have a large inventory of exciting real estate options available in the NOTL region.  I look forward to working with you soon.

 

Is Summer a Good Time to Buy a Property in NOTL?

Summer is not only the best season in NOTL, it is also a great time to buy your dream home.  With so much to see and do, it is hard to believe that you can fit house shopping into your summer schedule – however, buying a home in the summer does have many advantages.  As your premier agent specializing in NOTL real estate, I would like to share the following tips to help you buy that perfect home this summer.

More Choice

Summertime means choices.  One of the key advantages of buying a home in the summer is the increased inventory.  This increased selection of homes can be attributed to the following factors:

  • Nicer weather and longer days mean more potential buyers are looking at homes.
  • A more flexible schedule with less events means more free time to view homes.
  • A mutual interest by both sellers and buyers to move their belongings during the warm dry weather.

The summer months are the perfect time to buy your home.  With all the extra inventory you should be able to find the home that meets and even exceeds everything that you are looking for.

Are you Ready?

Added inventory and warmer weather means more competition on the NOTL real estate market.  Before beginning your house hunting activities, make sure that you have been pre-approved for your mortgage.  Once you find that perfect home, you will want to move fast and put in an offer.  By moving quickly and having a pre-approved mortgage, you should be able to beat the competition and avoid the dreaded bidding war.

Count the Days

When putting in an offer on a home, it is a wise idea to look at how many days that specific property has been on the market.  If the home has been on the market for over 60 days, chances are the seller is going to be willing to negotiate.  By paying attention to this number, you may be able to land your dream house at a deep discount.

Go with the Right Agent

The right real estate agent can make all the difference in the world.  When choosing an agent, be sure that they have years of experience and are knowledgeable of not only the area and its neighbourhoods but with any quirks in the local market.  The right real estate agent should not only be able to help you find your dream home this summer, they should also be able to help you get you a fair deal as well.

These tips should help you buy your NOTL dream home.  If you would like other tips on buying a home this summer or would like to see some of the new and exciting properties that are available in NOTL please contact me today. I would love to help you find your perfect home this summer.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

a young, attractive, happy family of three; mother, father, and baby, sit with their dog outside a large cabin in the woods

Choosing the Right Size Home for Your Needs

During my career as a Niagara on the Lake realtor, I’ve found that the most important thing in shopping for a new home is size. If your new home is too large or too small, it can seriously decrease your enjoyment and make you wish you’d taken a little more time during the home shopping process. Fortunately, with the right tips and advice from an expert realtor such as myself, you can easily pick a home that fits you like a glove, in size and in budget.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right size home for your needs and hints for finding exciting Niagara on the Lake real estate.

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Niagara Home

With a red hot real estate market in the province, now may be the perfect time to realize the full value of your home.  This holds especially true in coveted areas such as Niagara on the Lake. The Niagara on the Lake real estate market is once again heating up just in time for summer and is as competitive as ever.  Here are five reasons why you need a Niagara on the Lake real estate agent to help you sell your Niagara home.
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Great Summer Activities on Niagara on the Lake

There is no doubt about it that Niagara on the Lake shines in the summer.  The sunshine and warm weather are great catalysts for many of the activities that make this area one of the most visited spots in all of Canada.  One visit to the region during the summer, and you will fall in love with not only the many different activities but the region itself—as well as the friendly and welcoming people that call Niagara on the Lake home.  Here is a brief list of many great summer activities that abound in the region, including how to get in touch about Niagara on the Lake real estate.

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Springtime in Niagara

There may be no better time to visit the Niagara region than in the springtime. The trees are in full bloom and the temperatures are very mild, but do you really need any more reasons to spend time in the area?  There are plenty of things to see and do in the Niagara region, so make sure to come on out and enjoy spring here!

The Home and Garden Show

This home and garden show is unique to the region as it showcases what are sure to be the must-haves for this summer’s balconies and outdoor living.  This is your chance to get some great ideas about how to finally landscape your backyard or how to properly install your own water features, as well as to talk directly to the experts who can answer your questions about any and all of your landscape concerns.

In addition to landscaping, there will be seminars on proper growing techniques for a variety of garden plants and flowers as well as a plant sale, which should allow you to get a head start on your garden this spring.

There will be activities for the whole family as well as a kid’s zone.  Be sure to check out all of the fun at the Niagara Home and Garden Show. For more information, please visit www.niagarahomeandgardenshow.ca.

After you have seen some of the unique ideas for both the inside and outside of your home, be sure to also look at some of the Niagara Homes real estate that boasts some of these great garden and home ideas, and see how these ideas have been applied to real-life settings.

Wineries

A visit to the Niagara region, home to some of the finest wines in Canada and perhaps even the world, would not be complete without visiting some of the wineries that surround the town. You will not want to miss your opportunity to see where these wines come from and how they are prepared.

Even though the physical distance from New Orleans is quite large, the spirit of Mardi Gras is alive and well in Niagara: come out for a Cajun-style celebration to help beat the winter blues at Reif Estate Winery.  For more information, contact the Niagara tourism branch or visit www.niagaraonthelake.com.

This winery is also hosting various wine tastings throughout the month which feature some of their rare and award winning wines.  Be sure to be part of this unique opportunity.

Once you have enjoyed some of the region’s finest wines, make sure to stroll through the picturesque town, view the spectacular Niagara homes, and perhaps enjoy some of the finest local culinary restaurants in all of Ontario.  Regardless of how you choose to spend your time in here, you cannot go wrong.  So come on out and enjoy spring Niagara-style!  We hope to see you soon!

Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s time to open up the windows and let in some of that sweet spring air.  Not only are the days longer and the temperatures warmer in the spring, but it’s also a great time to get all of those spring cleaning chores out of the way. Don’t worry though; you don’t have to necessarily figure out how to do it all on your own! Niagara Homes real estate agency would like to offer you the following spring cleaning tips to help you get your home into tiptop shape.

Clean Those Carpets!

Spring cleaning is more than just a tidy onceover; it should be treated as the opportunity to really get your home as clean as possible, and a great place to start is with your carpets.  Give them more than just a quick vacuuming (remember: no simple onceovers for spring cleaning)!  Instead, open up those windows and take full advantage of the warm spring air.

Hire a company or rent a steam cleaner, and really give your carpets a deep clean.  You really should try to steam clean your carpets twice a year, perhaps in the spring and late fall to keep them looking like new.  If you have rented your steam cleaner, take full advantage of it and clean your upholstery as well.

Mop Those Floors!

Once you have cleaned your carpets, take the spring cleaning into your kitchen and anywhere else where you may have linoleum or hardwood.  A proper mopping will not only prevent dirt from being tracked onto your newly cleaned carpets, but it will also provide a nice base to guard against all of the summer traffic.  Make sure to use some type of a scuff guard or buffing agent when you mop your floors to provide that extra layer of protection!

Scrub Those Windows!

How often do you clean your windows?  If you cannot answer that question, then now is definitely as good a time as any to clean them.  Take full advantage of the warm weather, and give your windows a good cleaning both inside and out.  They’ll be their cleanest when you use a non-streaking agent to make sure they are as spotless as possible.

Take Your Cleaning Outside!

Once you are satisfied with how the inside of your home looks, take your spring cleaning outside.  You’ll want to get your doormat as clean as possible, and remember, this mat is the first line of defense against the outdoors, so the cleaner it is means the less that dirt and other debris will be tracked into your home.

This is by no means an exhaustive spring cleaning list, but it does highlight some of the important areas that may have been neglected over the winter months.  Use these tips as a guideline to help get your home spic-and-span for summer.  Happy cleaning!

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Niagara Homes

Niagara Homes may be the most romantic place to celebrate Valentine’s Day in of all Canada.  The majestic winter scenery coupled with a spectacular backdrop and a quaint town feel make Niagara Homes a sure Valentine’s Day hit.  Here are a few of the many great activities to help make this Valentine’s Day your most romantic yet!

Get Outside

Any visit to the Niagara Homes region must include a stroll along the Niagara Parkway.  This is the perfect place to fall in love and share those romantic feelings as you walk in a virtual winter wonderland.  Make sure to bring a hot beverage and see why the Niagara Parkway is a must see in the Niagara region.

Wine, Wine, Wine

Regardless of the season, the wineries in the Niagara region are a must see.  There are many wineries in and around Niagara that will be catering specifically towards Valentine’s Day.  Pick your favourite and enjoy a nice local dinner paired with some of the finest wine in all of North America.  Make sure to visit the calendar page of the Niagara Homes website at www.niagaraonthelake.com for what individual wineries are offering.

Culinary Delights

You will not want to miss the Taste the Town Winters Tour held on February 14.  This is a walking tour that offers the opportunity to try some of the best local cuisine the region has to offer.  Not only will the tour offer great food, but it also provides a brief history of the town, and an opportunity to meet not only local business owners but also local chefs and other patrons who make the Niagara region a special place to call home.

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate, and Niagara Homes has paired wine and chocolate to offer you an unforgettable experience.  Make sure to join us for a Day of Wine and Chocolate on February 14. This event offers couples a unique opportunity to try up to 24 of the regions local wines.  Each of these wines has been perfectly paired with a chocolate infused dish to bring out the best flavours in each.  This is a unique, romantic experience and is exclusive to Niagara Homes!

Other Great Ideas

Besides great wineries and culinary festivals, Niagara Homes offers many other great Valentine’s Day experiences.  Try a couple’s spa day at one of the regions many great spas or enjoy a romantic candle lit dinner at one of the local restaurants.  While you are enjoying all that the town has to offer, make sure to take in the local neighbourhood feel, and come and see some of the beautiful Niagara homes in the region.  It is not only a fun place to visit, but it’s a beautiful place to call home.

Regardless of what is your idea of romance, Niagara Homes has you covered.  From great wineries to locally prepared cuisine, the Valentine’s Day in Niagara promises to be unforgettable.  We hope to see you here!

Sell Your House Like a Pro

When the time comes to move, your feelings may vary. Of course, house hunting is an exciting endeavor, but leaving your old home behind can be emotional. Not to mention, you have got to actually get it sold first. That can be very stressful, especially if this is your first time. Selling is very different than buying. When you buy a home, it seems as if you have the ball in your court. The decisions are yours to make, and in the end you walk away victorious with a property purchase. Selling Niagara homes might feel like you are the underdog, at the mercy of the market and shoppers who want a lot more than they are willing to give—but you are in much better shape that you might realize.

You can sell your house like a pro and be successful on the market by following a few simple steps. If you are getting ready to move in the near future, these tips will make that transition much easier.

  1. Follow the Trends

If you are able, spend some time keeping up with the local real estate trends so that you can place your home on the market during a spike. The spring months, March and April specifically, are widely considered the best time to place a home up for sale. This is the time when eager buyers are taking advantage of competitive prices and mild temperatures to get out there and find their perfect home. Of course, there is no wrong time to put a home on the market and other seasons also offer benefits to homeowners.

  1. Get a Local Agent

A local real estate agent can be your biggest asset. They will be able to assess the value of your home and help you to price it accordingly. Your agent will also have knowledge of the local market that you do not have, which will give you realistic expectations. Placing a home as “for sale by owner” can come with certain risks, such as financial or legal problems. During negotiations, your agent will be able to communicate your terms with potential buyers so that you sell your home for a fair price.

  1. Make Time for Staging

A well-staged home will sell quickly. Do your own research for tips that will help you to properly stage your house. This often includes removing your personal items from the site of potential buyers. decluttering spaces, repairing any damage or painting the walls a neutral color. If you do not have a new home, it might be a good idea to consider renting a storage unit so that you can remove items that damage the selling potential of the home.

Sell Your Home Successfully

Having a successful home selling experience will be much easier to achieve if you follow these simple steps. If you would like more information on the Niagara homes real estate market and how you can place your own property, visit our seller’s resources page and contact Kevin Stokes, a sales representative, today.