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Deciding on the Discretionary Move

Sometimes we don’t have much choice about selling our home and buying another. Circumstances, such as a job relocation, may have made that choice for us.

However, most often the decision to move is discretionary. Sometimes people move simply because they think it’s a good idea. They feel that “now” is the right time to find their next dream home.

So how do you make that kind of decision?

There are, of course, many reasons to make a discretionary move. Usually, those reasons fall into one of two categories: need and want.

You may need to find a new home, for example, because you’ve outgrown your current property. Perhaps you have a growing family and require more space. Maybe you’re doing more entertaining and need a larger backyard with a more spacious deck. It could be that the commute to work is arduous and you need to move to a place that’s closer.

Those “needs” may motivate you to move, but sometimes a “want” plays an important role, too.

For example, you may want to live in a quieter neighbourhood or in a newly built home that requires less maintenance. Maybe you simply want a change.

If you’re thinking of making a move, take a moment to write down a list of your needs and wants. Seeing them on paper will help make the decision easier.

Looking for expert help? Call today.

Types of Lighting for the Home

You probably don’t think buying a lighting fixture for a room is all that complicated. It isn’t. However, it does require you to consider which types of lighting you may need. According to the Lighting Association, there are three types:

General lighting. By far the most common, this is the type o flighting that is designed to create a functional brightness that spreads throughout a room. A good example is a main ceiling light.

Task lighting. As the name implies, this type provides extra light needed for a specific task, such as working at a desk or chopping onions on a kitchen countertop. A bedside lamp used for reading is another example of task lighting.

Accent lighting. This type is designed to setoff a particular feature of a room, such as a painting. It creates some practical light, but its main purpose is to add to the overall decor.

When choosing lighting for a room, it’s important to consider these three types. First, decide how best to light the space generally. Then think about any special lighting you might need for specific functions, such as reading. Finally, consider how accent lighting might add to the overall look.

How Much Real Estate can you Afford

If you’re thinking of shopping for a new home, one of the first considerations is price range. You want to know what you can reasonably afford.

How do you figure that out?

First of all, you need to determine the initial out-of-pocket costs you will need to cover. There are often more costs associated with purchasing a home than its actual price. You need to take into account such additional expenses as moving costs, legal fees, and a home inspection, not to mention the costs of prepping your current property for sale.

Experts say you should budget 5-10% above the purchase price for these items. So if you can afford to spend $470K on a new home, you should be shopping in the $425-445K range.

Another factor to consider are the potential proceeds from the sale of your current home. Your REALTOR® can help you determine how much your property will likely sell for in today’s market. Any existing mortgage will need to be subtracted from that amount to determine how much cash will be left.

Of course, you should speak to a mortgage broker or lender who can compute how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Remember, qualifying for a big mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you should have one. You also need to consider your personal finances and desired lifestyle – and whether or not having a large mortgage is a good idea for you.

Once you have gathered all of your information, you can add any potential sale proceeds to the amount of mortgage you qualify for, add other sources of cash available for this purpose and subtract 5-10% for initial expenses, and you’ll have an idea of the price range you should be considering.

Finally, it’s important to take the time to decide what kind of home you want. Do you want a large backyard with trees? A quiet, family-oriented neighbourhood? Four bedrooms and a finished basement? Once you decide what you want most in a new home, it becomes much easier to find one that’s in your price range.

Avoiding moisture problems in the new home

There are many hidden sources of moisture in your home that can lead to serious problems, such as mould. To keep moisture levels in check, consider these tips:

  • Bathrooms are an obvious source of moisture build-up. Contractor and TV personality Mike Holmes recommends keeping the fan going for at least a half hour after a shower.
  • Check regularly for water infiltration around window and door sills, as well as other intakes into the home, such as dryer vents and cable wiring.
  • Determine the humidity level in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it should be 30-60%. (Keep in mind that humidity may vary greatly from room to room.)
  • Regularly inspect caulking around sinks, tubs and showers. Even a tiny break can cause water to leak gradually into the wall or floor, causing damage you may not notice for months.
  • Clean up wet spills as soon as possible. On hardwood floors especially, water can seep through and become trapped.
  • Repair leaking faucets, toilets and pipes immediately. A drip can quickly become a shower.

Being mindful of moisture today can help you avoid potentially high repair bills later on.

Upgrades That Hold Value

Do you have a renovation project in mind – and wonder how much value it will add to your home? Remodelling Magazine recently did a study of renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are some of the results:

Replacing a main entry door has a return on investment of over 95%. After all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer notices.

Adding a new deck also adds a lot of value. Depending on the materials used, you can expect to get back three-quarters of the money invested.

Another high-payback project is the garage door. This once again demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.”

If you’re tackling a big project, such as a basement renovation, you’ll be glad to know that, according to the study, a project like this adds a lot of value.

Finally, minor improvements to bathrooms and kitchens – such as adding new countertops or cupboards, can also be good investments that mostly pay back when you sell your home.

Of course, these figures are averages and can vary widely depending on location, type of property, and other factors.

Need help determining how a particular home improvement might impact the selling price? Call today.