Category Archives: Home Buying

Dealing with Mould in Your Home

Black Mould on a Wall

Black mould growing on a wall

We spend a lot of time in our homes, and the state of our homes can have a direct impact on our health. That is why the “mould issue” should never be overlooked. Nobody wants to buy a home and then find out it has a mould issue. It can be time consuming and costly to fix, not to mention negative on your health. That’s why ever responsible Realtor should always represent their client’s best interest and ensure that the home they’re interested in is tested by a certified professional, for mould and air quality before signing the final papers.

Almost all homes, especially the older ones have a certain degree of mould inside. Basements are notorious for mould. Over the years the insulation weakens and allows for moisture to get in, creating the perfect environment for mould growth. Other times pluming leaks, heavy rain, melting of snow in spring, wet location, poor air circulation and moisture flow are the causes of this dangerous health hazard.

What is mould?

  • Mould is any fungus that grows on food or damp materials.
  • It can be black, white or almost any colour.
  • It often looks like a stain or smudge and it may smell musty.
  • It needs moisture and a material it can live on.

Effects of mould

As the mould grows it releases tiny little “spores” into the air. As we breath them in they can negatively impact our health. Some of the effects are:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Coughing and phlegm build-up
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Symptoms of asthma
  • Allergic reactions

Detecting mould

  • Most common places for mould to grow indoors are on window sills, fabrics, carpets, and walls in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas.
  • Look for stains or discolourations on floors, walls, window panes, fabrics, carpets and other indoor surfaces.
  • Also use your nose to identify if there is a musty, “earthy” odour.

Getting rid of mould

  • Clean the mouldy surface with water and dish detergent. There’s no need to use bleach.
  • Fix the underlying cause, whether due to water damage or excessive humidity.
  • When removing mould, you should wear proper protective equipment, including rubber gloves, eye protection and a dust mask.
  • You might consider hiring a professional if there is a large amount of mould or if the mould keeps coming back after you clean it. A large amount of mould is often also the result of a larger problem, such as a leak in the foundation or a major flood, which may require professional help to fix.

Home buyers! Rememebr to always hire a certified and licensed mould inspector to test for indoor air quality and mould before you sign the final papers. You can’t afford to gamble with your family’s health. For more information on mould, how to clean it and prevent it, visit Health Canada website.

Canadian Homebuyers are More Experienced and Financially Prudent

“Emerging from the survey are some very real indications that Canadian homebuyers—and their attitudes—have changed,” says Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Purchasing patterns have evolved, with a more conservative, fiscally-responsible purchaser moving to the forefront. While tighter mortgage rules implemented last July played a role in the transition, the fallout south of the border and overseas drove the message home.”

  • Second-time and multi-time buyers represent 70 per cent of those serious about making a move—a trend that emerged in the latter half of 2012 and is expected to continue over the next two-year period. First-time buyers will continue to play a role in the market—at 30 per cent— but this cohort’s more experienced counterparts will lead the charge for housing over the next 24 months.
  • Spending patterns were conservative for the most part. Thirty-eight per cent of purchasers indicated they would spend under $250,000 on their home, while 42 per cent would spend between $250,000 and $500,000, 10 per cent would spend between $500,000 and $1 million and one per cent intended to spend over $1 million.
  • Overall, 48 per cent of those surveyed believed housing values in their area would rise in the next 12 months and 35 per cent believed housing values would remain the same. Ten per cent believed housing values would decline.
  • Of those purchasing in the next 24 months, 18 per cent are single, 43 per cent are couples, and families account for 33 per cent. Almost half of single purchasers (45 per cent) are female—confirming suspicions that women now represent a considerable force in the market.
  • The vast majority of purchasers continue to seek out single-detached homes (53 per cent), while condominiums ranked second at 17 per cent, followed by both semi-detached/duplex and townhouse/rowhouse each at 11 per cent.
Infographic - 2013-2014 Ontario Homebuying Trends

Who’s Buying Real Estate in Canada and Ontario (2013-2014)

For the complete report visit: http://www.bestagent.ca/uploadedFiles/BestAgent/Content/News/Press_Releases/2013/RPT_Demo_2013.pdf

If you’re looking to buy Burlington real estate property in the near future, get in touch with the best Realtor in Burlington and put their knowledge and experience to work for you!

Tips for Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Mortgage Pre-AppovalUnless you have a wad of cash just sitting around, chances are you’re going to need to borrow money from a lender to buy a house in Burlington. Getting a mortgage pre-approval is usually the first step and is very beneficial because it shines light on how much you can afford, ensuring that you’re not getting into a financial nightmare that you’re not prepared for. Mortgage is a huge and financial responsibility and you want to take out as much uncertainty as you can. Most real estate agents and sellers want you to have mortgage pre-approval letter before they start working with you. essential

With that being said, here is the essential list of things to know about the mortgage pre-approval.

1. Shop around for mortgage.
When starting the mortgage pre-approval process you want to talk to a few different mortgage lenders first. Even tough the deals might be relatively the same you can always fine tune. This allows you to know how much money you have to work with, helps a lot when looking for the house.

2. Get your financial state in order.
You can request and obtain a free credit report from TransUnion or Equifax credit agency which will show your credit standing and for a fee you can get a rating too. This is what lenders will see before you apply for mortgage pre-approval. You want to take care of your outstanding debts and loans and make sure you are looking good. Close down any unused debt and make sure the information is all in order and the best it can be. This will give you better rates and larger amount.

3. You don’t have to settle for one lender.
Just because you get your mortgage pre-approval done with one lender doesn’t mean that you should at the end go with them because the rate used when calculating the mortgage amount is not necessarily going to stay. At the actual time when you find the house and sign purchase contract that’s when the loan type and rate will be determined. If not satisfying look elsewhere.

4. Prepare your financial documents.
Your lender will tell you exactly what you need to bring with you when going for a mortgage pre-approval but to be prepared include: T4 slips for last 2 years, Tax returns for last 2 years, Bank statements for last few months, Recent pay stubs or other proof of income and Proof of investment income, if any.

5. Stay on top of it.
You usually have 90 days to house hunt after you get your mortgage pre-approval letter showing the amount. Sellers want to be sure the buyers financial situation is still in order and hasn’t changed drastically. If it did, notify your lender so your pre-approval is adjusted too.

When you’re ready to look for a house in Burlington, remember to call Lori VanDinther, Burlington realtor. Being a long time resident of Burlington and working in the real estate industry for over 20 year, Lori has all the necessary skills and experience to representing your best interests and help you make all the right moves!