When shopping for a new home, one of the most important considerations – yet one most people don’t pay enough attention to – is the lot type. Selecting the right one can significantly increase your enjoyment of the home. Picking the wrong one can have the opposite effect.
There are three special types of lots that homeowners tend to find most desirable. Yet, even though they are considered desirable, each has its pros and cons.
Here’s the rundown on each one:
Cul de sacs These are lots located on dead end streets that often feature homes positioned around a large circle of roadway. For obvious reasons, a cul de sac is a popular choice for buyers with children. There’s less traffic and often, the only cars on the street are those of neighbours. However, homes on these lots often come with a higher price tag than other comparable properties in the area. But, from a lifestyle standpoint, that extra price may be more than worth it.
Quiet streets Who doesn’t want a home on a quiet street? The benefits are obvious. However, don’t dismiss properties located on or near a busy street. They often sell for less and the noise from traffic may not be as bothersome as you might expect. In fact, some neighbourhoods in these areas feature special soundproof fencing. If the home is otherwise ideal, schedule a viewing to judge the noise level for yourself.
Corner lots These are often larger and therefore provide you with more space. Plus, with the look of two front lawns, there’s twice the potential for curb appeal, and therefore the opportunity to increase the property’s value. On the downside, kids may shortcut across your front lawn to get to the adjacent sidewalk.
Want more tips on what to look for when shopping for a new home? Call Marina 416-843-1515 today!
An effective technique to help you sell your property quickly and for the best price is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. Don’t just visualize this. Actually do it!
Drive to your property and imagine that you’re seeing it for the first time. What’s your impression? Is the landscaping attractive? Are the walkways clear? Is the front door welcoming?
Now walk up to the front door, open it, and step inside. Does the foyer seem neat and uncluttered? Is there anything unsightly from that vantage point?
Take a walk through your home, starting in rooms that a potential buyer would predictably view first: the kitchen, living room and bedrooms. Do you notice anything you could change or improve, that would make those areas more appealing?
Next, check out the washrooms, closets and basement. Are they clean and tidy?
Finally, think about the price you want for the home. As a buyer, would you be enticed to make an offer at that level? Are there any nagging doubts about the property that would hold you back?
Understanding the impression your home will make on potential buyers will help you sell it faster. Looking for a good REALTOR®?
When you put your home on the market, it’s important that you make the indoor living space as attractive as possible to potential buyers. The foyer should look spacious and inviting. The bedrooms, neat and uncluttered. The basement, clean and well lit.
All good advice.
But don’t forget the outdoor living space. That too has a significant impact on how quickly your home sells and for how much. You want to make the area around your property, from the front walkway to the backyard deck, as attractive as possible.
How do you do that? Here are some tips for sprucing up your outdoor living space that can be easily implemented.
- Trim the hedges. Like a haircut, it gives your landscaping a clean, styled look.
- Place flower pots in strategic locations, such as next to the front steps and on the deck or patio.
- Fix anything that’s loose or squeaking, such as fence gates, shutters and deck railings.
- Remove anything unsightly, like garbage bags and piles of garden cuttings.
- Sweep all walkways, especially the one leading to your front door.
- Wash the outsides of your windows. (No need for ladders, buckets and scrub brushes. Most home improvement stores now sell window washing kits that hook up to your garden hose.)
- Check to make sure everything works: water taps, electrical outlets, exterior lights, etc.
You can probably get most of this work done in a single weekend. It’s worth it. Making your outdoor living space look great will dramatically increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers.
Lighting is, perhaps, the most important element in decorating. The right lamp, chandelier or ceiling fixture can instantly make a room more attractive and inviting. The wrong lighting, unfortunately, can have the opposite effect.
Here are five secrets to making the right choice:
How much lighting is required in a room? To calculate, simply multiply the square footage by 1.5. Therefore, a 12′ x 16′ living room would require 288 watts of lighting (12 x 16 x 1.5 = 288).
How big a chandelier do you need? Simply add the dimensions of the room together. So a 12′ x 16′ area could accommodate a chandelier that is 28 inches in diameter (12 + 16 = 28).
How far apart should lighting fixtures be installed in a hallway? Experts say that ideally a light should be positioned every 8 to 10 feet.
How do I create ambience? In the dining area for example, select a light fixture that can accommodate a dimmer switch. The ambiance of the room improves if you can soften the lighting during meals or when entertaining.
Using floor lamps? The bottom of the lampshade should be around 42 inches from the floor.
Before shopping for a new home, people often create a “wish list” of the features they desire most. That's a good way to ensure you choose a home that best fits your needs and desires. For example, you might want an extra bedroom for guests, ample space for a home office, a local playground for the kids, and so forth.
However, many buyers don’t make their lists complete enough. You might find a home with the extra bedroom and nearby playground you want, only to realize, too late, that your commute to work becomes twice as long. You missed the importance of the commute because it wasn’t on your list. Ouch!
When you make your wish list, don’t be afraid to dream big. You might not be able to find a home that includes everything you desire, but you may be surprised by just how close you can get.
Here are some wish list items to consider:
- Distances to places you visit regularly – work, schools, running trails, recreation centres, restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping centres.
- Specific home features – a backyard tree, large closets, a fireplace, a two-car garage, a beautiful view.
- Neighbourhood characteristics –safety, sidewalks, nearby public transit, playgrounds, the neighbours.
A complete list helps you make a better decision about which homes to consider. It helps you balance the positives — “I love the large kitchen with the marble countertops” — with the negatives — “The bathroom off the master bedroom is small” — to ultimately make the best buying decision.
Also remember to take your list with you when shopping for a new home. Use it as a checklist or as a way to organize notes. Ultimately it will make it easier to shortlist homes, compare them, and determine when you’re ready to submit an offer.
Want to find out which homes on the market fit your wish list?
Let’s face it. When you visit a home during a scheduled viewing or open house, you’re usually seeing it at its best. The rooms are tidy. The sinks are clean. The closets are organized and uncluttered. Even the lighting is set to its brightest.
That’s just good old-fashioned marketing.
However, not every house you see will actually look this way. For any number of reasons, a house on the market may be less than tidy, poorly decorated, and even in need of minor repairs. You may open the front door in anticipation, only to be immediately turned off by stains on the carpets, faded paint on the walls, cluttered hallways, and more.
First impressions form quickly. It’s easy to make quick judgments and move on. But, you may be passing on what could be a dream home.
Don’t make that mistake. Make your purchase decision based on a carefully considered second impression, not just your first.
When viewing a house, imagine how it will look with a fresh coat of paint, some redecorating, the minor repairs completed, and your furniture adorning the rooms. You might just find that a home that doesn’t show well is really a diamond in the rough.
(One caveat: Be careful of houses that don’t look like they’ve been well maintained. There could be issues lurking that require expensive repairs or renovations. Always make a professional home inspection a condition of your offer.)
There are advantages to buying a home that doesn’t show well. They attract less interest and, therefore, less competition from other potential buyers. The listing price may be lower too.
Remember the last time you were in a furniture store or other major home retailer? Remember the fully decorated displays of furniture, appliances and other products? Some of those may have even been organized as model rooms.
What did most of those displays have in common?
Chances are, they were well lit.
In fact, in the retail industry, there are professionals who specialize exclusively in display lighting. It plays such an important role in showcasing and selling home products successfully that the stores are willing to absorb the expense.
And the same holds true for your house.
If you want to show your house well, and sell it quickly and for the best price, make sure every room is well lit.
There are probably some rooms in your house where the lighting is adequate, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, and perhaps the foyer. But there are other areas where the lighting may be mediocre. Take a close look at:
- Storage areas
- Laundry rooms
- The garage
If there are areas in your house that are dark or shadowy, the solution may be as simple as installing higher wattage bulbs, provided your fixture can accommodate them. Keep in mind that brightness can vary significantly from one type of bulb to another. For example, a 40-watt energy efficient bulb may not give off as much light as a comparable standard bulb. So do some experimenting. Your goal is to make the room feel bright yet comfortable on the eyes.
Also, don’t forget to open drapes and blinds. Often the best and most pleasant source of light for a room is the sun shining through a window.
It’s great when you have lots of time to prepare for something important. But life doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes you have to move quickly, and do the best you can with the time you have.
Say, for example, you had to get your house ready for sale, and you only had a week to do so. What could you do in those few days to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers? Here are some ideas:
- Clean the house from top to bottom. Make it look “guest ready”.
- Get rid of as much clutter as possible. If necessary, put some things in storage. Try to make every room look organized and spacious.
- Get all minor repairs done.
- Paint. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to dramatically improve the look of any room.
- Don’t forget the outdoors. Prune the hedges, sweep the walkways, and deal with any potential eyesores — such as a rusted old bike stowed in the side yard.
- Place some fresh flowers in the dining room and outside next to the front door.
- Depersonalize your house as much as possible. For example, stow away family pictures. You want buyers to imagine themselves living there, not you.
This is just a partial list of ideas. A good REALTOR® can help you with more tips on preparing your house so that it sells quickly and for the right price.
If you're considering selling your house, you might be tempted to sink some money into home improvements. After all, gleaming new hardwood floors or a stunning wrap-around deck will make your property sell a lot faster, and for more money. And you'll more than recover your investment with the higher selling price. Right?
Maybe not. While those types of upgrades will certainly make your house more attractive to potential buyers - and may nudge the selling price up a little – you may not recoup all of your costs.
That's why major home improvements should be done for your own personal enjoyment, not as a tactic for preparing your property for sale.
So what types of upgrades do make sense? The good news is that the home improvement projects that are most likely to help sell your house are also the cheapest to implement. If you're planning on selling your house, consider doing the following:
- Make repairs
- Remove stains
- Trim hedges
- Plant flowers
- Improve lighting
Looking for good REALTOR in Toronto, Mississauga or Oakville?
I am tall. Well, not super tall, just a bit taller then average. The problem is that I can also see higher then average. And I have quite a few buyer clients who are way taller then me and obviously they can see even higher. For some reason many home sellers expect their potential home buyers to be the size of a 5-year old. What makes me think so?
Well, of course, the way some home sellers clean and prepare their house for sale. Often enough the house is spotless and sparkly all the way up to about 6 feet. 6 feet and up is often the area of unpleasant discoveries.
Dear Home Sellers, cleaning the bottom of your rooms and forgetting the top just brings all your hard work next to nothing, simply because many people can see higher without even having to reach up!
And here are the most commonly offended spots (and by the way, after years in business, those are the spots I check out first - don't try to fool me with your shiny floors)
1. Top of the light fixtures, especially the ones in the kitchen - grease, dead insects and dust. I actually had a client who walked away from the house because the tops of the chandeliers looked disgusting. The comment was: "If they cant clean their lights, what else crucial for the house maintenance they didn't bother doing?"
2. Curtain rods, and top of the actual curtains - excellent accumulators of dust and spider webs
3. Top of the fridge - I will not even start a list of things that I happened to see over the years over there.
4. Top of the door and window frames
5. Picture and photograph frames
6. Top shelves of the book cases also books on the top shelves
7. Duct grills
8. Crown moldings
9. And finally - kitchen vent hoods!
Dear Home Sellers, please, have mercy for your tall buyers, take care of the tops not just the bottoms!