Want to Make a Splash?

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HOT HOT HOT – That’s the summer forecast.

Does hot summer weather make you want a swimming pool in your backyard to lounge around, or just float in and keep cool?

Maybe it isn’t the summer heat that makes you long for a pool of water… maybe it’s the fun and relaxation you can get from having a Hot Tub.

Or, maybe you are the health conscious one who would love to have the Swim Spa/Lap Pool to exercise at home.

Each of these has its own appeal, and sometimes it’s hard to know which one is right for you. If you are considering adding one (or more) of these to your home, I have outlined some pros and cons below for each possibility, to help you get started on some summer planning.

Swimming Pools                                            images

Pros:

– Great exercise for both adults and children
– For some families, a pool is a cottage replacement – vacation in your backyard!
– For the right buyer, they add to the attraction to buy a home
– A maintenance company can keep your pool pristine all summer.

Cons:

– They can be a danger for families with young children, or for non-swimmers
– They can tie you to your home instead of seeking other family outings
– They will be an obstacle to some buyers should you choose to sell your home
– They can require a lot of maintenance if you are taking care of it yourself

Hot Tubs   images-2

Pros:

– Hot tub owners say these are a great stress reliever
– They can help reduce pain and inflammation of your joints
– They help with the recovery from injuries and muscles strains
– They provide a great winter experience

Cons:

– They can increase the risk of heat stress if the temperature is set too high
– If you have circulation issues, they can potentially cause health issues
– They can be costly to maintain
– Can lead to infections if not properly maintained
– They can be a hazard if you have young children

Swim Spa/Lap Pool   18-3-premium-swim-spa-with-deck-surround-day-time

Pros:

– Will fit in smaller backyards than pools (fit in limited space)
– Are more affordable than most backyard pools
– Provide a good workout (use swift current for lap swimming)

Cons:

– Not ideal if you want to host pool parties
– May not add value to your home should you choose to sell
– Can be a hazard if you have young children
– Require as much maintenance as a swimming pool

If thinking about putting one of these in your backyard is stressing you, but you really want one, call one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professional representatives to talk about selling your current home and buying one with your choice of water feature!

 

Living Large – Even on a Fixed Income

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I want to share some information with you, which was recently provided by the National Association of REALTORS® regarding enjoying your retirement.

Here it is… I hope you gain some ideas from their information…

The phrase “living large” isn’t restricted to being rich or spending loads of money. It’s about wringing every drop of joy possible out of every day and enjoying your life… moment by moment. It means different things to different people, but the one thing all living-large enthusiasts have in common is they don’t worry over making ends meet, financially.

When seniors find themselves with fewer responsibilities and more personal freedom, they’re often at an important crossroads, where the decisions they make can mean the difference between joy and stress. The two leading causes of stress, for seniors, are financial strain and loneliness. Making matters worse, people experiencing stress often retreat from their social support systems at the time they need them the most.

The first step is to address financial issues. The second is to be more socially interactive.

Here are some tips to help find more joy, by pursuing your own brand of bliss – instead of worrying about making ends meet. Some of the ideas are common sense ways to save money painlessly, while others are a little more creative. But they all have one goal: To improve the quality of an individual’s life regardless of their budget and to discover fun affordable ways to collect experiences, are memories and LIVE LARGE!

6 Superb Ways to Curb Costs

Many bills are the result of long-term habits. After years of raising children and working full time, it’s easy for old patterns to continue unchallenged. That’s why a comprehensive bill review is the first step for revealing expenses that are no longer necessary – as well a discovering more attractive and affordable options, including:

  1.  Two Cars? When both spouses were working full time and getting children to different events, two cars may have been a requirement. Does this need still exist?
  2. Cut the Cable. Which the improvement of online streaming options many people have decided they prefer selecting why they want to view (often avoiding commercials) over enduring whatever is available on cable.
  3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind? For years, many people have dutifully paid monthly storage unit fees. Sort through and toss what’s no needed, re-home what’s going to the kids, and donate things that are no longer useful to you.
  4. Prescription Savings. Often, prescription drugs are both necessary and expensive. Comparison shop – fees charged may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.
  5. Savvy Shopping. Major sales aren’t limited to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Every year, various big-ticket items are often discounted seasonally, including:                Cars – current inventory goes on sale when new models arrive, usually in the fall
    Computers – Late March/April and August/September
    Large Appliances – September/October when new models are rolled out
    Televisions – Late November and January
    Outdoor – Lawnmowers in April and after Labour Day
    Grills, patio furniture, in October and November
    Mattresses – end of May
  6. Other Opportunities to Save – Amazon is a popular place to buy, but did you know that their are sites that track Amazon prices? Use CamelCamelCamel.com or keepa.com to view price history. Even with deals, remember to keep the focus on Living-Large. In other words, buy only what you need at the best possible prices.

Reigning in unnecessary expenses is only the first step in learning how to live large on a fixed income. The real fun is shifting the focus to discovering a world of budget-friendly opportunities to learn new things, enjoy new experiences, and establish new friendships.
Here is a list to consider:
1.  Healthier Eating Choices – It’s hard to enjoy anything when health issues arise which means prevention should always to a top priority
2. Music Magic – The health benefits ofmuxid are scientifically documented an dramatic – especially for older people an those suffering from heart circulatory, stroke, memory and sleep issues.
3.  Keep Learning, Keep Moving.
4.  See More Places, Do more Things. Travel is one of the best ways to have new experiences.
5.  Closer to Home. Seeing new sights and enjoying new experiences shouldn’t be reserved for out-or-town trips. Consider local entertainment such as art galleries and museums, zoos, theatre productions and more.
6.  Finally, don’t forget to schedule some “me time” to be alone and enjoy your own company, which can do as much for your outlook as travel and socializing. Consider meditation, journaling, reading, yoga, or even curling up with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie solo.
I hope you found some new ideas in this article.

Green Acres is the Place to Be!

farmhouse-exteriorAre you a closet Eddie Albert? Is the country calling your name?

While there are more urban than rural homes sold in any month in the local market, a large physical area of the Hamilton/Burlington market is rural. With properties ranging from about 1/2 acre up, country living offers many things that urban living cannot.

You do not need to travel large distances to be in a rural setting, and the amenities offered differ greatly from city living. There are pros and cons to rural living, and you need to consider it carefully before deciding to make a change.

Here are some of the pros that come to my mind.
– The quiet of being away from the bustle of the city
– Farm markets at the doorstep, or maybe even the backyard
– The ability to have nature at your doorstep
– If you are so inclined, raising livestock – chickens, goats, little donkeys…
– The darkness at night – no street lights to hide the stars
– Fresh air – maybe with a tinge of livestock thrown in
– Fire pits, where friends and family can gather

But, one must also consider the cons…
– In a rural setting you will not have municipal water or sewers. You will need to become   familiar with wells, cisterns and septic systems
– You need to consider having a generator for power outages to keep the above systems running
– Natural gas may not be at your doorstep, or anywhere nearby
– You are not next door to schools, transportation and shopping (could be on the pro list too)
– The properties are larger and require more time and effort to maintain
– In winter a storm may have you captive at home, until roads are cleared (and you clear your longer driveway too)

These are just a few pros and cons that come to my mind. You may think of many more on either side of the question. If you would like to see what the local rural market has to offer, call one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals. They will help you consider all your options.

Thinking of Buying a Home? 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Answer First

house 4 sale

If you are thinking about buying a home, you are likely getting lots of advice from friends and family. They no doubt have your best interests at heart, but there are three questions you should ask yourself to decide if NOW is the right time.

 

 

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This is the most important question you should ask yourself, as if will determine if you should be buying, and if so, what is most important to you in your home buying process. Financing doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you really need.
Many studies have been conducted, and 4 major reasons consistently turn up. These reasons are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does it mean to you to own a home? What benefits will moving provide you with?

Once you have answered this question…

2. Where are home values headed?
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s outlook for 2016 indicates that the Hamilton-Burlington area will experience a moderate price increase this year. This area is an exception to the general expectation that prices will cool across Canada. For an in-depth review of the local market, be sure to speak to your REALTOR®

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?
A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates. If you have been watching the news lately, you will notice that a couple of the large banks have already increased their mortgage rates. While the increases are small, and likely will have a small impact on affordability, you should ensure that your financing plans consider the possibility that rates may increase over the next few years, as that could affect the affordability of your mortgage payment when your current mortgage comes up for renewal.

Bottom Line
Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Be sure to speak with one of our real estate Professionals. They will advise you on the current market conditions, and help you make an informed decision.

Should you wait until after the Holidays to list your home?

christmas-christmas-decoration-christmas-tree-cute-house-lights-Favim.com-83660At this time of year, many homeowners think they should wait until after the holidays to put their home on the market. Also, some homeowners who have had their home on the market decide to take it off the market until after the holidays.

If you are in this dilemma, here are six things to consider:

  1.  Buyers who are looking during the holidays for a home are serious buyers, and are ready to buy.
  2. You are in control of the showings on your home.  You can decide when your home can be shown or not.
  3. Homes often show better when decorated for the holidays.
  4. There is less competition from other sellers at this time of year, as many do decide to hold off selling until after the holidays.
  5. Buyers who are being relocated by their employer are always out there.  They will be looking to get into a home quickly to get their families settled.
  6. The supply of listings generally increases after the holidays.

These six items all suggest that there is a benefit to the seller who decides to move forward with selling their home during the holidays.

As always, you need to consider your particular circumstances and needs. One of our professionals at Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate will be happy to help you determine what course of action would be best for you.  Why not call one today?

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

kcm copyThis is an interesting post on the  KCM blog just this week…

 

 

If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home. There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:
1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
A place where you and your family feel safe
More space for you and your family
Control of the space
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.
2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.
3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.
Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Back to School Survival Tips

The “back to school” days are right around the corner.

Adjusting to “back to school” mode is simple if you prepare in advance and set up a regular routine. Here are a few tips that’ll help make the transition a little easier:

Back to Bedtimes – Your little night owls will benefit from having bedtimes rolled back a couple of weeks before school starts.

Get Organized – Designate a central “information station” where schedules are housed and school notes can be processed.

Adjust Chores – Responsibilities may need to be adjusted depending on the type of chore and change in morning routine.

Plan Ahead – Get in the habit of doing as much as you can the night before. The morning routine will be smoother if you lay out clothes and make lunches in advance.

Stay Positive – Returning to school is an emotional adjustment for children so help them stay positive and ensure you’re available as much as possible.

Back to school doesn’t have to be about forgotten lunches, unlabelled belongings and lost permission slips! With a little organization and planning, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of the summer knowing that September will be smooth sailing.

 

Some more good advice from realestateword.com… check them out!