Rosemary Lunau is back on the Real Estate scene here in Windsor and is very excited to reconnect with her past clients and new ones. She recently joined the Royal LePage Binder Real Estate Firm and is working out of the Tecumseh office servicing Windsor and Essex County.
It was a big move for her to relocate back to Windsor after being away for the past 6 years in her home town of Brantford. She has decided to jump in feet first and has hit the Windsor ground running!
Rosemary and I attended real estate school together in the early 90s. She and I have decided to help each other out and provide the best service possible to those looking to sell or buy real estate here in Windsor, Essex County and its surrounding areas. If you are in need of a market analysis do not hesitate to call or click. We are here to help!
Servicing Windsor Essex and Surrounding Areas - For those looking for home evaluations in Riverside, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, East Riverside, Emeryville, Belle River, Central Windsor, Walkerville, South Windsor, South Cameron, Heritage Estates, Lasalle.
5 Home Staging Dos and Don’ts – for those getting ready to sell in Windsor, Ont.
When you're selling a house, you have about six seconds to make a positive impression on potential buyers. According to Professional Builders magazine, that's all the time it takes for people to decide whether they'd like to purchase your home. That means you can't rely on a stunning interior to make up for a poorly manicured lawn, or a prim bed of begonias to distract attention from peeling paint. Instead, prepping a home for sale requires attending to all maintenance and dècor details to create an attractive, cohesive presentation.
This process of converting a lived-in home into a show-worthy house is called home staging. Not to be confused with redecorating, home staging transforms the highly personalized elements of a house into an appealing blank canvas. A properly staged home should feel warm and inviting, but not worn in. As a result, a listing has a better chance of selling faster for a higher price. Home staging isn't a one-size-fits-all process -- some places will require more of a face-lift than others. But the following five do's and don'ts apply to any staging project
5: Do Clean Your Windsor, Ontario home, town home or condo "Like Crazy" The first major step involved in home staging is clearing the clutter out of the house. If you've lived at one address for a long time, you've probably amassed a collection of junk, whether it's stacks of old magazines, worn-out furniture or useless knickknacks. Home staging is the prime time to start tossing the trash; after all, you won't want to take clutter with you to your next destination. An extra set of eyes can help you cull through the mess and prod you to lighten your load. A staged home must also be sparkling clean. This is time to get out the toothbrush and scrub every nook and cranny. Baseboards, window frames, appliances, grout — all surfaces must gleam. To tackle larger jobs, such as cleaning carpets and window treatments, consider calling in the professionals.
4: Don't Forget About Curb Appeal The lawn and Windsor landscape deserve as much care as the inside of the house; after all, they're the first thing people notice. When staging, you have to think like a prospective buyer. Would you seriously consider a house with a brown, parched lawn? Probably not. Get the lawn in shape and use mulch and bedding when necessary to fill in trouble spots. Trim hedges and trees, making sure that they aren't blocking the house's visibility. Flowers and bright-leafed plants add welcome splashes of color, especially around entrances. Possibly add outdoor seating or a grill to the patio and deck area — that added touch allows buyers to imagine relaxing and enjoying those features. Also assess the outside of the house. Cracking paint, broken shutters and sagging gutters should be fixed. Put some extra thought into the appearance of the doorways; buyers and realtors will have an up-close view of them, and you'll want them looking pristine and welcoming. To cap things off, pressure wash the exterior of the house
3: Do Stick With Neutrals As mentioned earlier, home staging isn't another term for design overhaul. But if your Windsor dwelling needs a more dramatic makeover to transition it from family crash pad to model home, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Better yet, painting can have as much as a 150 percent return on investment. But if you're playing with color, stick with neutrals. Creams, beiges and soft browns can brighten a room without overpowering it. Remember that the goal of successful staging is an attractive living area that people can envision themselves in. Choosing a bold palette may alienate prospective buyers, and too much color contrast can distract. To spice up a space, rely on tasteful furniture and accessories to do the heavy lifting. Professional home stagers may recommend renting upscale furnishing to create the polished effect. This may seem like a gratuitous expense, but if your high-class dècor fetches a higher offer for the home, you'll save money in the end.
2: Do Update When Necessary Although home staging shouldn't involve much in the way of major renovation, spot updates can bring a house built years ago into today's market. Look around for features that date your house, including wood paneling, shaggy carpet and old appliances. These are immediate buyer turnoffs. Take stock of furniture as well. Is that loveseat a little too loved? Or maybe the bed in the master suite is lacking. In that case, a professional home stager may advise putting your old furniture in storage and bringing in rented replacements. Home-staging experts also recommend focusing first on the kitchen, since it's the primary room that prospective buyers are interested in. Adding at least one stainless-steel element, for instance, can give it a fresh look for marginal cost. Even changing out the hardware on cabinets and drawers can make a surprising difference.
1: Don't Leave Behind a Personal Touch For home owners, one of the hardest parts of staging can be removing personal signs of ownership. It may seem endearing to leave up candid photos, report cards and crayon drawings on the refrigerator, but they may be a costly diversion. Take down the family portraits, kitschy collectibles and even monogrammed towels. In order for prospective buyers to imagine living in a house, they can't see constant reminders of your presence. Just like selecting neutral wall colors, the dècor should also be somewhat muted for broad appeal. Removing the individual touch may also include rearranging furniture to open up spaces.
Bedrooms and bathrooms ought to showcase minimal personal items as well. Perhaps most importantly, a well-staged home gives no indication of any residing pets. Someone who isn't a dog lover may be instantly deterred at the sight of Fido's food bowl by the door or a leash daggling from a coat rack. When it's time to groom your house for the real estate market, just keep in mind that people want to buy a place of their own — not one that has your signature all over it.
As always, I am here for any real estate help. Servicing Windsor Essex and Surrounding Areas - Riverside, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, East Riverside, Emeryville, Belle River, Central Windsor, Walkerville, South Windsor, South Cameron, Heritage Estates, Lasalle, investing in rental properties in Windsor.
Staging the Front Entry or Foyer of your Windsor-Essex Home
First impressions are EVERYTHING! Especially when it comes to making major purchases, home buying is no different. It is critical to impose the proper first strong impression on a Buyer whether they are purchasing a car, a new couch or a new house. That is why in the Windsor Essex home selling business curb appeal is so important. Buyers will first view the exterior of your house of course; but, the second space they come in contact with is entry area or foyer. It is important to spend some time on this area as this space is often forgotten about because we use them every day and don’t necessarily see their imperfections.
The entry should give the Buyers a sense of what the rest of your house looks like but, leaving them wanting to see more! The style and colors of this space should be warm and welcoming as well as a preview to what Buyers can expect to see throughout the rest of the house. Buyers will often spend the time touring your home confirming their initial expectations. If they like what they see in the beginning, they will be aware of all the positives they see in other rooms. If their opinion is not so good, they will probably be able to pick out every little thing they can find that is wrong with your home or that they just don't like. Oftentimes, this isn't even a conscious process.
What can you do to make your entry or foyer stand out to our Windsor Essex Buyers?
Make sure all personal items are stored out of site. This includes coats, shoes, umbrellas and purses. If it is the off season store winter coats elsewhere.
Give the walls a fresh coat of paint if need be. Since this is where Buyers first enter, they often see the walls and trim up close while taking the time to remove shoes etc. Foyers take a lot of wear and tear so take a good look to see if yours needs attention.
Make sure all of the front door accessories are in good condition. This includes the front door, door hardware, any shades or blinds and rugs or mats. Sometimes the front door will require just a good washing down inside and out. Make sure any door mats are plush looking and clean not drab and dreary.
If you have a coat closet at the front entry… it is a good idea to empty half of the items out. This will display the true size of the closet and make it look more organized.
Make sure traffic flow is smooth…ensure there are no large items blocking walking paths or sight lines into other rooms.
Add a table for interest and function. A table with doors or shelves is a great place to store keys and other everyday items. Maybe you can repurpose a piece of furniture you have in another room or rummage a garage sale for the perfect item. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get the right effect.
Add a mirror, as it can give the illusion of a larger space and it works great to reflect light. It is also useful to check your look prior to leaving.
A small bench or chair are practical and can beautify the space if there is enough room. Buyers like to see that they have a spot to put on or take off shoes and boots or drop a purse or bag. Benches with storage are wonderful!
If you do not have the space hang a wall organizer. This is useful for storing keys and such.
Take a step back and scan your house from the front door. Take it all in. This will show you what Buyers will see when they do the same thing!
Overall, you want the space to feel warm, bright, and welcoming. Make sure there is enough lighting. Keep any window treatments open. Most entries do have an overhead fixture. If yours doesn't, add a lamp or two and add high wattage light bulbs to fixtures. This is not the time to save on your electricity bill as light sells!
If you don't have a hallway closet, see if there's any way you can add some type of storage for coats and shoes. Buyers make a point to look for this.
Make sure the flooring is in great condition and that it is updated. Repair any cracked tiles if necessary. Entries tend to be small, so if you need to add new tiles or flooring it will not be an expensive fix for the return back.
Think about what your home looks like on the outside. Try to incorporate some materials, colors, or textures to create a smooth transition between inside and out.
It is vital to have a Buyer entry your home through the front door, not a back door or garage. I always say that you can have a better feel of the house and its flow by using the front door.
Most importantly, you want to make sure you are grabbing the Buyers attention and making them excited to see the rest of the house. These feelings will not happen if coming in from the garage or back door.
As always, I am here for any real estate help. Servicing Windsor Essex and Surrounding Areas - Riverside, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, East Riverside, Emeryville, Belle River, Central Windsor, Walkerville, South Windsor, South Cameron, Heritage Estates, Lasalle, assisting those preparing to sell and getting the job done!
For homeowners in the Windsor area who are aiming to sell their home and buy another, it's the classic real estate, which came first, the chicken or the egg, question -- buy or sell first?
If you sell first, you may find yourself under a tight deadline to find another house, or be forced in temporary quarters. If you buy first, you may be saddled with two mortgage payments for at least a couple months. You may need the money from the sale of your original home in order to pre-qualify for a loan for your new home. You may be facing a job relocation and need to sell quickly.
There are many variables involved; there is no universal correct answer. It basically comes down to your specific circumstances.
Dan Gregor, a Realtor in Pickerington, Ohio, says there is generally less pressure when you sell first.
"It really comes down to risk," Gregor said. "It's whether you want the risk of owning two houses, or possibly none at all." Gregor says that if you have the money to make two mortgage payments, the pressure is off. But if you need to sell your house in order to qualify for a loan, then you have no choice -- you'll have to sell first. "You can write contingent contracts, but if you really want the home, you'll pay a premium -- that's if the seller will even entertain a contingent offer," he says.
And if you go ahead with a contingent offer, then you may end up settling for less for the house you're selling in an effort to get it sold quickly. Gregor says for most people, the stress level is lower when you sell first. "You have time to get pre-approved for your mortgage and see all the housing options in the price range you'd like to buy," he said.
When your selling house is in contract, he suggests you pick the three best homes of those you've viewed and prepare to make an offer on the one that best meets your needs. "The absolute worst that can happen is the right home isn't available," Gregor said. "You end up in a short-term rental with the cash in your pocket and pre-approved financing for the balance you need. So you look like a cash buyer when you make an offer on the home you finally decide on." But brisk selling conditions in some parts of the country require more aggressive tactics.
Brett Furman, a broker in suburban Philadelphia, says the strong market dictates that homebuyers focus on buying first, and selling later.
"The housing market in the suburban Philadelphia market is moving very quickly," said Furman. "Normally we advise our buyers to sell their home first and buy second ... However with the faster moving market, we are advising many of our buyer clients to obtain a mortgage commitment that is not contingent upon selling their existing house."
In their book, House Selling for Dummies (Hungry Minds Inc., 1999), Eric Tyson and Ray Brown "strongly recommend" that you sell first.
"Even in good real estate markets, sales frequently drag on much longer than you expect," the authors say. "Selling in a weak market usually compounds the problem. Homeowners tend to overestimate their house's resale value and underestimate the length of the selling process -- a fiscally deadly one-two punch."
The Dummies book says selling first eliminates financial risk -- no double mortgages and double payments for property taxes and insurance payments. And no worrying about how you'll come up with a down payment.
But selling first isn't the perfect solution. Some of the issues that may come up include:
Being forced out of your house before you have a new place available. Where will you live? Where will your kids go to school?
Having to move twice. Do you want to go through the hassle? Where will you store your extra furniture while you live with family and friends or rent an apartment?
Not being able to find a house you like. How long are you willing to live in temporary quarters until you find a suitable house?
Whichever way you go, it always seems to work out in the end, at least in Gregor's experience.
"I've been in the business for 30 years," he said. "We've never had anyone out on the street and the vast majority of our clients that make double moves are those building new homes that had to have their property sold first."
Many thanks to Michele Dawson of Realtor.com for sharing this article.
When selling a home in Windsor, a staging professional or real estate representative are your main sources on how to showcase your home. By staging your house, you will add to the appeal for potential buyers. Staging is the term used to describe the act of preparing your home for sale. One area that may be forgotten or neglected during this process is the basement area.
The basement provides an additional space in the home that can be used for many purposes. It may serve as a utility room, where the washer and dryer is kept and used. It may be used as storage for unused items or for seasonal items. It may have a finished room that is used as a craft room or entertainment room.
Whether your basement is unfinished or finished, potential buyers in Windsor, Ontario will most likely be interested in seeing the available space. With a little planning and organization, you can show your basement area in the best possible light.
Light is an important aspect of the basement area. Basements usually have very few and small windows to allow in natural light, unless the basement is a walk out type. A walk out type of basement will have doors that may allow in more light. Make sure that there is sufficient lighting so that the basement does not appear dark or dingy.
Unfinished basements are typically used for storage and may accumulate many items over the years. Maximize this space by organizing any clutter evident in the area. Shelves are a great organizational tool and also utilize the available vertical space. There are other options such as large baskets and containers if adding shelves is not an option. Adding a fresh coat of paint to the unfinished concrete floor may also spruce it up and give it a fresh look for little expense.
For finished basements, there is usually a clear purpose or function of the room. If it is being used as a craft room, then a craft table, table light and chair may be appropriate. Just make sure that the decor reflects the function of the room, but don't fill up too much of the space so that it looks overcrowded with furniture.
One safety item to check is to make sure that the stairs has a secure handrail and is in good condition. The stairs will be the first thing people see when they walk down to the basement area. A fresh coat of paint and non skid surfaces on the stair treads will add to the visible appeal and safety. If basement steps are abnormally steep, you will also want to make sure the real estate professional warns people before they tour the house. You definitely do not want any potential buyer to trip or slip on the stairs before he or she even sees the basement.
For more specific and customized advice regarding home staging for your individual home, consult a staging professional or your real estate representative for ideas and information. After all, they are the experts and have staged many homes. Their knowledge and experience will help you show your basement to its best advantage and increase the sale value for your home.
As always we are here to help you with your Windsor real estate needs. Servicing those in Windsor, Essex County and Surrounding areas -Riverside, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Central Windsor, East Windsor, South Cameron, Lasalle, South Windsor, Old Walkerville, Waterfront Properties, Estate Sales, Buy Homes in Windsor or Sell Homes in Windsor.Working with Seniors in today’s changing Windsor Real Estate Market.
We always recommend that homes purchased in Windsor and Essex County be thoroughly inspected by a certified Home Inspector.
Inspections are an important tool to verify that any potential Windsor home is a sound investment and not a bottomless money pit! Inspections are normally built into every agreement of purchase and sale. They are a condition of the purchase which enable buyers the option to renegotiate or walk away should the Windsor home not fair well during the inspection.
A home inspector will typically inspect:
Roof, some inspectors will get up on any roof, some will tackle low slopes, and others use binoculars to check for wornness or curling of shingles. Here in Windsor during the winter months a visual roof inspection may not be possible because of snow.
Plumbing, most inspectors will flush toilets to check for leaks and run all faucets to assess water pressure and the immediacy and volume of available hot water.
Heating and Cooling, depending on the time of year the furnace should be tested by turning up the thermostat and checking the response.
Home Interior, an inspection generally includes a visual scan of floors, walls and ceilings for signs of water intrusion, or sagging.
Basement should be checked for indications of previous water intrusion in addition to signs of structural problems. You can find out a lot of information in the basement!
Smoke Detector adequacy
Attic, to verify that there is proper insulation in the home
Electrical, most inspectors remove the face of the electrical box if it is safe to do so and check for over current protections, grounding, and the presence of any aluminum wiring (which can be a dangerous fire hazard)
It is important to note that Windsor Home Inspectors can only check out what is visible to the eye. They do not tear out dry wall like Mike Holmes! A home inspection is necessary part to the Windsor home buying process. It will give home buyers a piece of mind and make them aware of potential problem areas as well.
For those getting ready to put their home up for sale in Windsor it can be useful to have a "pre-inspection". This will allow for Sellers to make an necessary repairs prior to a potential Buyer making an offer.
As always if you require any real estate assistance do not hesitate to call upon us. Servicing the Windsor Essex areas -Riverside, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Central Windsor, East Windsor, South Cameron, Lasalle, South Windsor, Olde Walkerville, Waterfront Properties, Kingsville, Foreclosures and Bank Repossessed Properties
The Bank of Canada is holding off on raising interest rates for awhile longer — perhaps a lot longer — citing worsening global conditions and an uneven Canadian recovery that is not quite strong as advertised.
The decision to keep the bank’s trendsetting overnight rate at one per cent for the 14th consecutive policy announcement was widely expected.
Also not surprisingly, the Bank of Canada has quickly acknowledged that the hopeful monetary policy review delivered by Gov. Mark Carney in April may have been premature.
In a more pessimistic take, Carney and his policy setting council conceded in Tuesday’s announcement that the outlook for global growth has weakened in the past few weeks, and that Europe has gone from a risky environment to one in which the risks are now reality.
“This is leading to a sharp deterioration in global financial conditions,” the bank said in a statement accompanying its rate announcement.
As if on cue, Spain sent out a distress signal prior to Tuesday’s emergency G7 finance ministers’ conference call, which included Canada’s Jim Flaherty, saying it was having difficulty accessing credit at affordable rates.
Scotiabank economist Derek Holt said given the developments, Carney had no choice but soften his previous position that the time to raise rates was approaching. The bank governor did not completely reverse course, but that may be forthcoming in the next statement in July, Holt said.
“In a perfect world the bank would be raising rates right now,” he said. “But the geopolitical turn of events and as well as the domestic softens in sectors outside of housing won’t allow them to do so.”
Holt said he expected an even more dovish outlook from the bank in July, when it releases its next comprehensive assessment of the world and Canadian economies.
“In our opinion, the bank went as far as it could to reduce the hawkish content of its statement, without interfering with its credibility, but clearly the urge to hike is less intense than in April,” agreed Jimmy Jean of Desjardins Securities.
“This sets the stage for the assessment of a wider output gap than previously expected, in (July), thus crystallizing what we feel will be a repetition of the 2011 episode, where the bank was forced to the sidelines by overriding global developments.”
The bank’s statement made clear that its council of governors believes the problems extend beyond Europe.
“While the U.S. economy continues to expand at a modest pace, economic activity in emerging-market economies is slowing a bit faster and a bit more broadly than had been expected,” the bank said.
In Canada, it conceded that the 1.9 per cent growth in gross domestic product registered in the first quarter was disappointing — the bank indicated in April it was looking for 2.5 per cent growth. But it said overall the economy is holding up because of a strong housing sector, still-positive business and consumer confidence, and the low interest rate environment.
Still, it noted that difficult foreign markets along with the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar mean exports will remain weak. Although credit has boosted growth, the bank took note that “households continue to add to their debt burden in an environment of modest income growth.”
Carney has long expressed concern that Canadians were borrowing too much it times of low interest rates, and will be trapped with high payment obligations once rates start normalizing. It is believed to be one of the main reasons the central banker wants to start raising rates as quickly as conditions allow.
Holt said he believes the governor is worried about following in the path of the U.S. in response to the 2001 slump, when the Federal Reserve kept interest rates very low for years, triggering irresponsible lending and a housing bubble.
But he adds the Canadian situation is different. Growth in household debt is already slowing, he said, and the federal financial watchdog is clamping down on the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and other financial institutions.
The bank and markets will get a better reading of how the Canadian economy is holding up against the stiffening headwinds from abroad on Friday when Statistics Canada reports on job growth — or contraction — for the month of May.
The past two months have seen employment expand by an eye-popping 140,000 jobs, but many economists are not convinced and expect to see some payback Friday and in subsequent months.
In the one-page statement, Carney makes the point he would still like to return to a more normal policy setting if conditions would allow him.
“To the extent that the economic expansion continues and the current excess supply in the economy is gradually absorbed, some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary stimulus may become appropriate,” he writes.
That’s a little less hawkish that what Carney said in April, but the intent remains the same.
The good news is that the bank has no pressure from inflation. With the economy operating with excess capacity and gasoline prices dropping, it expects the consumer price index to drop below two per cent in the next little while.
If you live in Windsor and require any mortgage assistance do not hesitate to call or click. Servicing the Windsor Essex areas -Riverside, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Central Windsor, East Windsor, South Cameron, Lasalle, South Windsor, Old Walkerville, Waterfront Properties, Foreclosures and Bank Repossessed Properties.