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Tips for Successful and Stress Free Home Renovation Projects

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Tackling a renovation project can be both rewarding and challenging. Unlike building a home from scratch, you’re never starting with a clean slate. Renovations are often complicated, as you need to correct the mistakes of the previous owners, as well as to deal with unforeseen issues and costs. While being prepared is essential, before you take on your own renovation, make sure you’ve run through the rest of these tips.  

Plan everything carefully

When you’re about to spend some serious dollars, your better make a plan of what goes where before you hit the ground. Failing to do so can result in unnecessary post-reparations which cost even more. Don’t forget to establish a timescale of renovations, to make sure any changes to the structure and finish go before replacing fittings and fixtures, which in their turn go before painting, window upgrades, and lighting.

Document everything

You need a budget sheet that outlines every detail of furniture, finishes, and fittings. This is an essential part of any interior design project, as it includes details such as door hardware, paint, lights, locations, prices, the lead time, and other specific requirements. When you see how your costs are spreading throughout the project, it’ll be easier for you to foresee items that may lean heavily on the budget, and replace them with cost-effective alternatives without compromising the result.

Choose materials wisely

Even the most contemporary minimalistic spaces can be made much cosier with the right choice of materials. While striking a balance between functionality and aesthetic can be challenging, carpets in bedroom and natural stone in common rooms can make a nice combination. While a lot of homeowners avoid natural stone because they think it shows wear quickly, the latest sealants and protective coats can make a stone floor impervious to normal wear and tear, as well as resistant to spills and dirt.

Customise storage to your needs

While seeing storage options on a home improvement TV program is one thing, make the changes to match your style of living is another. Kid’s wardrobes, for example, can fit more shelves per unit, since their clothes are much smaller, while you should design the kitchen storage that matches your appliances and utensils. In both cases, built-in solutions offer the less cluttered look, with great backdrops. You can even hide your cables by wiring the appliances into custom-made cabinets.  

Have someone evaluate your budget

For most people, coming up with a budget is like making a shopping list and adding a proverbial 20% margin. However, if you enlist licensed quantity surveyors from the early start, they can get you more accurate estimates on every aspect of the job, even saving you some money in the process. Have a certified quantity surveyor inspect, assess, and record the value of items you’re planning to dispense with. Things like old window furnishes, floor coverings, and many other items have a residual value that can be written off and claimed as a tax deduction. Such scrapping costs can literally earn you some money, especially if the property isn’t too old.

Design a floorplan with future in mind

While the final floor layout is as much of a personal thing as anything else, keep in mind that every change might affect the ventilation scheme, traffic flow, and lighting fixtures. If you’ve decided to relocate doors or windows, make sure you have enough wall space, as well as floor space to accommodate all your furniture. Feng shui or not, it’s always better to have a clear path through your rooms. If you’re not sure what to do with the floorplan arrangement, take a walk through empty rooms and see what would be the most natural way of moving from one to the next.  

Give bathroom to the experts

While moving plumbing pipes and fixtures is generally not recommended unless absolutely necessary, if you decide to do it, bring along an interior designer to make sure your plumber has the correct inputs. Keep in mind that re-routing even a single fixture costs a lot, and once concrete slabs have been poured, plumbing and wires laid in, going back and undoing mistakes isn’t easy at all. A friendly renovator’s tip: make sure the toilet is away from view and make the centerpiece, which is usually the vanity, the first thing a visitor sees when stepping through the door.  

Small details, big impact

After you’ve gone through heavy-duty renovation phases, details like power points, switches, and fans might seem insignificant. However, in order to prevent them from appearing all of a sudden in the wrong spot, you need to work out their position, as well. Make sure your new home layout isn’t missing on power points, and try to keep as much of wiring hidden in the floors, walls, or ceiling as possible – which is especially tricky in open-plan spaces.

No two home renovations turn out the same, however, you should still follow certain guidelines to avoid unnecessary work and retracing your steps.

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Real Estate

Not even real estate is immune from the impact of the coronavirus

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The novel coronavirus may have started as a health scare in China, but now that it has spread to more than 100 countries, its economic impact is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

The contagion has sent global stock markets into panic mode, with a record plunge on Monday and soaring volatility ever since.

Housing markets in Canada and Australia, however, appear undeterred by the jitters. In fact, they have even taking encouragement from recent rate cuts implemented to combat the crisis.

At the same time, home-refinance applications in the U.S. have surged by 79 per cent, as per the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association’s refinance index.

But is real estate really immune from the impact of the coronavirus, which was officially deemed a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday?

Some real estate sectors are clearly more vulnerable than others. The surge in cancellations for tourist travel is not only affecting airlines but also hotels and others in the lodging industry.

The next week is usually one of the busiest travel seasons of the year as families travel during the March break. Already, cancellations are at an all-time high, something that is putting stress on the hotel industry, and one could see that part of the market come under pressure if conditions pressure.

Some investors, meanwhile, expect REITs to do well in times of uncertainty because, with long-term leases, landlords are likely to enjoy more stable cash flows than manufacturers and others who are more sensitive to short-term declines in the demand.

In addition to office and large retail real estate, where tenants usually have longer leases, investors are reportedly favouring purpose-built rental housing and self-storage real estate.

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Real Estate

Coronavirus is already taking its toll on Canada’s real estate market

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The real estate frenzy in Canada’s biggest markets is headed for a chill as anxiety rises over the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

A call for social distancing means far fewer people will be opening up their homes to potential buyers. 

RE/MAX wants its realtors in Ontario, the Atlantic provinces and Western Canada to cancel open houses until COVID-19 is under control.

“While almost all real estate brokerage firms have embraced digital tech and realtors are able to utilize signature platforms and other tools to conduct business, once showings, open houses and other in-person business is restricted, there will definitely be a drop off in transactions,” John Lusink, president and broker of record at Right at Home Realty, told Yahoo Finance Canada.

“We expect to see a drop in sales but this will take a month or two to filter through into the actual results.”

Buyers will also likely put their plans on hold.

“Obviously there has been an immediate pause in market activity as everyone tries to figure out what happens next,” Steve Saretsky, realtor and author of real estate blog Vancity Condo, told Yahoo Finance Canada.

“We are seeing buyers move to the sidelines and sellers put some of their listing plans on hold.” 

But that doesn’t mean the end result will be more affordable homes.

“The way I see it the housing market is basically frozen… no buyers and no sellers,” Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, told Yahoo Finance Canada.

“That in a way will limit or even eliminate any notable downward risk to prices. Simply the  number of sales will go down dramatically.”

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Real Estate

6 Ottawa Homes For Sale Along OC Transpo That Are Still Kinda Affordable

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Like many big cities, finding an affordable place to live in Ottawa can be challenging, especially for new home buyers. Though one benefit of living in the capital is having access to public transportation within minutes, which in the long run, might help offset any moving expenses. So if you’re a new buyer or just looking to relocate, cheap homes for sale near transit in Ottawa are perfect for those who are always on the go.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board reported back in February that the average cost to buy a home was 21% higher than the previous year. 

Despite these growing prices, it seems that Millenials are still flocking to the area to enjoy Ottawa’s culture.

There are so many beautiful places to explore and fun things to do that it’s not hard to love where you live no matter your budget. Being close to public transit is always a plus, especially if you don’t own a car but still want to enjoy the perks of the city. 

These spots are both affordable and travel-friendly, so you can save money and still explore the area without breaking the bank.

They are also OC Transpo accessible.

From charming bungalows to three-story units, there’s a place for everyone to call home.

If you want to feel more like a royal for the day, you can check out these luxurious Ottawa homes that are basically giant spa getaways.

Pull out your Presto Card and get ready to explore the city as soon as you step out the door!

According to the Ontario Real Estate Association, the Ontario government has currently prohibited open houses during the current state of emergency. 

The Real Estate Council of Ontario states homebuyers are still able to view listings online through virtual tours and 360 walk-throughs. 

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