Spring has Sprung

April has arrived! I find this is the month where the weather truly changes (it may only be a couple weeks of above 0 degree temperatures and rain, but then its like BOOM summer) and we all start cleaning to welcome the fresh new season. I am feeling the cleaning bug at the moment myself. I spent a couple hours last weekend clearing the garden, washing the windows and making the exterior of my property look spring ready. Has the cleaning bug bit you yet? If so, here is a very helpful MASTER LIST to help you organize and tackle your spring clean.

I also find that April musters up a real estate bug amongst consumers. In all honestly, anytime of the year is a great time to buy or sell property, but come spring everyone’s mind set does change, which brings with it a typically busy spring market in most areas. Here in Hamilton, it is no different. If you have been waiting to sell until now, here are some Valuable Pieces of Information straight from Coldwell Banker.

Now, within those 10 pieces of information, tips #6 grabs my attention: Providing your Realtor with details about outdoor features. The exterior of your property is just as important at the interior. Why not stage your exterior too? I think its a fantastic idea to speak with your Realtor about highlighting the outdoor features as much as the indoor features. It is spring! Who wouldn’t want to play in the sun now that you can finally toss their winter coat into storage? So, get a head start and do some homework on your own and review the 6 Staging Secrets for your property before sell.

Spring is a renewal! Nature comes back to life. The real estate market is kinda the same. So, if you are interested in buying or selling in the Greater Hamilton area, don’t hesitate to contact me: your real estate consultant for life!

Colorful_spring_garden

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Winter Home Maintenance

It is -30+ degrees in Hamilton and I am working from home, wrapped in a blanket considering how this weather not only affects me but my old home as well. Rough weather can challenge the investment you have in your home. When the cold weather subsides this coming weekend, it may be a good idea to get around the house and do some maintenance. This winter may continue to be a brutal one here in Southern Ontario. Let’s all try to get through it will little or no issues at all.

Clean the Gutters

The reason that you must clean your gutters by January is because the water from the melting snow and ice needs to be moved away from your home. If the fall leaves and debris is still in the gutters, then the runoff water will melt and refreeze repeatedly until your roof starts leaking.

(This task is clearly tough to do now being that everything is frozen. Again, milder temperatures will be around this coming weekend. Best to have a look at the gutters then.)

Insulate the Pipes

If you have any exposed water pipes in your home, then it is a good idea to wrap them in insulation to prepare for the winter. Pipes that freeze during January can crack and develop leaks.

(No one wants to deal with a leak any time of year,)

Check the Windows

Take a lighted candle and hold it in front of your windows. If the candle flickers, then that window needs to be insulated again. By running a new bead of caulk around the seal where your window meets the house, you can save yourself a lot of money in lower energy bills.

(I live in a 1921 build home. I will definitely take the time to complete this task.}

Find the Water Valve

Pipes can freeze in January, even after you have taken every precaution. In the event that your pipes do burst, you need to shut them off immediately to prevent any further damage. Before winter begins, locate the main water shut-off valve in your basement and make sure that each family member knows where the shut-off is as well.

(No brainier here 🙂

Hope these couple tips help you in the winter months. Stay warm out there!

 

Hot Market in Hamilton = Big Changes

This quote from the CBC online article says it all — In the last five years, “local attitudes — the way Hamiltonians think about the prospects for their city, especially the downtown — have changed,” he said. “There’s a lot of belief in the possibility of revival.”

The hype in Hamilton’s change is being felt not just in Hamilton, but in the surrounding areas and it is this reason, as well as low mortgage rates that we here in the Hamilton House market can feel the change. Its FANTASTIC!

I am born and raised in Hamilton’s west end. As a child, I loved the city. As I aged, I felt like there were a million other places I would rather be than in the Hammer. I have traveled the world, and now that I am back and happily settled in Hamilton, I am in love with my city once again. I have hope for this prospecting revival of my ‘Steel Town’. I believe others feel the same.

Have a read – SOLD! How a hot real estate market is changing Hamilton

This article is a couple days old now, but it is worth another read as we head into a couple outstanding festival weekends here in the city.

Locke Street Festival is tomorrow, Sept 7, in Hamilton’s most popular neighbourhood. Local vendors line the street while people eat, drink, shop, and listen to some of Hamilton’s local talents on stage. Next weekend Sept 13 & 14 is Supercrawl! This is the festival that truly displays the change in the city. James Street North shuts down and the galleries, shops, and eateries are swarmed with people from Hamilton and beyond. Last year’s attendance was incredible and I would suspect the same will occur this year, especially when you look at the line-up of artists playing the many stages down the street.

Have a read or come join the festival fun and see what Hamilton has to offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if more out-of-towners end up consider Hamilton for their next home purchase.

Home Improvements with NO INCREASE in Value

Location, Location, Location is the most important factor in home buying or selling, no matter what anyone says. There are other facts that contribute to the value of a house such as school district, size of the lot, etc. All these external factors cannot be changed. However, the improvements that are done by the homeowners are within the control of the homeowner and needs to be curbed, as the monetary value generally does not pay off as much as the emotional value involved in such home improvements.

Here are 4 home improvement that do not increase the value of your home:

#1. Swimming pool

A swimming pool may seem like the best luxury upgrade you can give your home, in reality it is one of the most hindering factors for selling it. This is because home buyers see it as mere expense, more maintenance and increased possibility of law suits as it is viewed and came definitely be a safety hazard for small children.

Swimming pools, as a rule of thumb do not add value.

#2. Exterior walls makeover

Good to remember that changes you make to the exterior of your homes should complement the other homes in the neighborhood. If other homes in the area have wooden wall, I wouldn’t recommend you change your exterior walls using brick. When a specific house looks out of place in the area, it becomes more difficult to sell. Sadly, you are not adding value. Keep your home in harmony with not only the other homes in your neighbourhood, but with the overall ambiance of your own home.

#3. Solar panels

Green homes are becoming very popular. They can add value in the long run. Note, these are all capital expenditures, which cannot be recouped in the current housing market.

A more cost effective way to add value to your home would be to upgrade windows to a double-pane energy efficient window and this less value improvement will appeal to a home buyer.

#4. Adding unnecessary areas

Extra space does not always equate extra value. This is perhaps one of the most important considerations to bear in mind. An extra bedroom or bathroom or even extensive landscaping does not necessarily bring value to your home. For example, when you add a new room and lay expensive marble or granite floors, install rich wooden cabinetry etc., the room will look completely different from the rest of your house, if the other rooms are not also renovated.

Costs will shoot up when you start renovating your home. Start with one room, then the next, add more expensive finishes etc. and you come up with more costs incurred than value to your home. This will cause your home alone to cost more when compared to other homes in your neighborhood, therefore, making it more difficult for you to sell your house. Additional space created and provided will not result in additional value.

If you are planning to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to contact me today!