How to avoid moving day hassles

How to Avoid Moving Day Hassles

If you’re lucky enough to convince half a dozen strong, able-bodied friends to dedicate their Saturday helping you with your move, kudos to you! If not, and you’ve decided to hire a moving company, there are a few things you can do in advance to ensure that things go smoothly on the big day.

You’ve done a lot of work to get to this point, between preparing your home for sale, sealing the deal and packing up all of your worldly belongings. The last thing you need is unnecessary stress on your closing date/moving day.

First, ask around for a moving company recommendation. Check with friends, colleagues, neighbours and family for referrals. If you’re not able to get a good referral from a trusted source, check online websites like Kijiji, but proceed with caution! Ask the company to provide at least three recent references and follow-up with them. Request a meeting ahead of time to get a feel for the individual. Are they professional, prepared and courteous? Did they show up on time?

Once you’ve chosen a mover, get everything in writing. It’s the law. According to Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA), all moving contracts worth more than $50 must be in writing. Under the CPA, your contract must include:

1. The mover’s name, address and contact information

2. A description of the service(s) and their prices

3. The total cost that you will have to pay, additional charges that may apply and taxes

4. Start and end dates for the service

5. The terms of payment (cash or cheque)

Other items that should be included in the contract are size and value of items, who is responsible for loss or damage, the number of staff and vehicles that will be provided and the name of the person who holds their insurance policy.

Hopefully with a little research ahead of time, you can help ensure a stress-free moving day!

Portrait Of Happy Senior Couple Sitting Outside House With For Sale Sign

What happens after you receive an offer?

Selling your house is an exciting, albeit stressful, process. Between choosing a realtor, deciding on a price, figuring out how to best prepare your home for the market and enduring countless showings and open houses, you may feel pretty tapped out by the time the offers start rolling in. Unfortunately, there are still a few major decisions to be made, but rest assured – the end is in sight.

When a prospective buyer decides they want to purchase your home, they will submit an Offer to Purchase (sometimes called an Agreement of Sale and Purchase). This is a legal document and should come to your real estate agent through the buyer’s realtor.

The Offer to Purchase will include the price the buyers are willing to pay, any items in the home they want included in the purchase price (window coverings, appliances etc.), the desired closing date, the amount of their deposit, the date the offer expires and any other conditions. Obtaining financing and a satisfactory home inspection are common conditions included in most offers. You may also be asked to provide a current land survey.

Your realtor will meet with you to discuss the offer. At this time, you will decide if you want to accept the offer or make a counter-offer. If you accept the offer as is, the deal is done and the buyer is locked into the agreement (assuming the conditions of the offer are met in the required time frame.) If you counter-offer (asking for a higher price or different terms), the buyer then has the opportunity to accept your counter-offer, make another counter-offer or walk away from the deal completely.

If a home inspection is listed as one of the conditions of sale, it is the buyer’s responsibility to arrange the inspection and set up a mutually agreeable date and time for the inspection to take place. The buyer’s realtor and the prospective buyers will likely be present for the inspection. It is their responsibility to ensure that the home inspection and financing are completed and arranged before the Offer to Purchase expires.
Once the deal is finalized, feel free to start packing!

Spruce up your patio

Spruce Up Your Patio

May has arrived and it won’t be long before we’re taking advantage of our backyard space! At this early stage in the season, trees and shrubs are still budding, but you might be craving a little colour! Luckily, there are so many ways that you can add some serious style to your patio and backyard.

For some instant green foliage, bring your indoor plants outside. May is usually a safe time to start acclimating plants to the outdoors for the summer season but be sure to bring them inside at night if it’s still cool, and don’t place them in direct sunlight for more than a few hours. Strategically place plants around the seating area, just as you would indoors.

A hot trend for 2020 is mixing materials. Mixing materials is a way to find good quality patio furniture while being able to show your unique style. Some common examples you’ll see are wicker furniture with a cast aluminium frame. Search clearance bins for colourful throw pillows you won’t mind tossing after the summer season and find a couple outdoor rugs to really bring the space together.

The party doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down! The addition of some cute string lights for your patio is a great way to add some character when having friends or family over for a party. You can also get floor lamps with LED lightbulbs, some of which can be controlled by your phone. Being able to change the colour and intensity of LED’s around your patio means that you’ll be able to plan for any occasion!

There are lots of ways to show your personality throughout your home. Show your backyard and patio some love this season, and make the best out of the season!

Your spring exterior home maintenance checklist

Your spring exterior home maintenance checklist

Spring is a great time to inspect your home’s exterior to check for any damage that may have occurred over the harsh winter months. Staying on top of maintenance is the best way to keep your home in the best shape and prevent costly repairs. Use this checklist to help you discover any problems you may have and get them fixed!

Clean out the gutters and downspouts

Clogged gutters can cause water damage and prevent water from being directed away from your home, which of course with the spring thaw is very important. Remove all leaves and debris and patch any holes. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house.

Check the roof

Inspect the roof for any damaged or missing shingles or leaks that might become a problem for the whole home. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.

Inspect the foundation

Clean out foundation vents by hand or a shop vacuum and check screens for damage. Walk around and check the foundation walls, concrete, siding and bricks for damage, cracking and deterioration. Also, be sure there are no areas with standing water.

Deck and porches

Check over your decks, patios and porches for any loose or damaged parts and deterioration.

Exterior windows and doors

Inspect the seals on all windows and doors and fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace where needed. Replace any broken or damaged screens.

Driveway and walkways

Look over these areas to check for issues like cracks in the asphalt or concrete to have them repaired if necessary.

Spring home interior maintenance checklist

Spring Home Interior Maintenance Checklist

There are many outdoor chores to do around the house in the spring, but there are several things to do indoors as well to keep up good maintenance on your entire home. Here are five suggestions for things to do that are often neglected in your home. These will help you to keep on top of things and can also save you money in the end: 

A good place to start is with safety in the home. Test and dust all alarms and detectors. Then install new batteries. Also, check the fire extinguishers to make sure the pressure valve is working, which should be done at least once a month.

As you prepare for the warmer weather it’s time to get the air conditioning system ready. Check the air conditioner drain lines to make sure water can move freely through the line. Cleaning the drain screen usually does the trick. Then replace the air conditioner filter, which should be done every one to three months to make sure the unit is running as efficiently as possible. 

 Clean all the vents in the house and make sure they are open and nothing is blocking them. Remove dust from the covers to help them run more efficiently. 

 Protect your home from leaks. Start in the attic and look for any signs where the roof may be leaking after the harsh winter weather. Then examine all interior plumbing to check for leaks. 

 Look for gaps around the windows and door frames and reseal with caulking. It is also a good time to inspect bathrooms and the kitchen as well and recaulk as needed.

House-protect

10 tips for protecting your home while on vacation

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll be packing your bags soon and heading south for some much needed fun in the sun. Vacations should be stress-free so be sure to take a few measures before you leave to ensure your home is just as you left it when you return.

1. Don’t share the details of your trip with friends on Facebook or other social media sites. No sense in letting the world know your home is sitting empty.

2. Use timers to turn on lights inside and out.

3. Ensure that all windows and doors are locked and don’t leave a spare key hidden outside.

4. Remove treasured valuables (family heirlooms, expensive collectibles or pricey jewelry) from the home if possible or lock up in safe.

5. Arrange to have your mail and newspaper picked up by a close neighbour. Suspend service if you’re planning a lengthy getaway.

6. Disconnect your automatic garage door opener.

7. Arrange to have a neighbour or friend shovel your driveway and sidewalk in the event of a snowstorm.

8. Be sure to unplug any and all appliances, including the coffee maker, television and computer.

9. Reduce the thermostat to no less than 15 degrees Celsius, depending on the age and condition of your home. You will save money on energy costs while avoiding frozen pipes.

10. If you’re a frequent traveler, consider investing in an automatic generator to protect your home’s plumbing from freezing. If the power goes out during a nasty winter ice storm, your heat may go out and your pipes could freeze. A generator will not only keep your heat running but also your alarm system.