A Guide to Financing Home Improvements and How Mortgage Refinancing Can Help

If you’re planning to remodel or renovate your home in the near future – whether to provide a better living environment or as part of a house flip – you’ll need to find a way to pay for your home improvements. There are several different possible sources of renovation money, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. One option that is gaining popularity is mortgage refinancing.

How does mortgage refinancing work, and how does it compare to other renovation financing options? How can you use a mortgage refinance to get the most out of your renovation? Here’s what you need to know.

Home Improvement Investments: Which Renovations Generate The Best Returns?

If you’re considering a mortgage refinance in order to fund your home improvements, you’ll want to concentrate on doing renovations that increase your home’s value. Otherwise, you’ll be taking on more debt without gaining anything in return.

If you want to max out your return on investment, re-finishing your kitchen is your best strategy. Remodeling Magazine’s annual cost-to-value renovation analysis shows that new appliances, a new coat of paint, and new surface finishes in the kitchen generate the biggest returns. Meanwhile, swimming pools and home offices tend to generate the lowest returns because they appeal only to a select group of buyers.

Your Options For Financing Home Improvement Projects

Financing for a home improvement project is a critical consideration. Unless you can afford to pay $20,000 out of pocket for a remodeling project, you’ll need to secure financing of some sort.

Your options for home improvement financing include home equity lines of credit, renovation mortgages, and refinancing. A Home Equity Line of Credit may not be an ideal solution, as repayment requires discipline, while a renovation mortgage (or home renovation loan) is typically used only for foreclosures and other properties requiring major renovation work.

Mortgage Refinancing: A Smart Option For Savvy Borrowers

If you’re looking to simply make improvements to your existing home, a mortgage refinance is likely your best option. A straight refinance gives you a lump sum of cash that you can use to pay for renovations upfront.

There’s also a “refinance plus improvements” arrangement, which can provide you with extra capital as you need it. Under this model, you can get up to 80% of your home’s post-renovation appraisal value – however, you’ll only get the money as the renovations are completed and inspected. With a straight refinance, you’re not out of pocket for any length of time.

Making smart home improvements is a great way to boost your home’s value and improve your living conditions. An experienced mortgage professional can help you to find financing for those renovations without a hassle. Feel free to contact the J Team if you have any questions, we will answer what we can and can also point you in the right direction for an expert Mortgage advisor opinion.

3 ‘Must Know’ Pieces of Advice for First-time Home Buyers

When delving into the realities of home ownership, there can be many factors involved that make it difficult to determine what you need to know and what can wait until later. If you happen to be a first-time buyer who’s looking for the best tips for purchasing a home, the following three pointers can help to set you on the right path.

Get Familiar With Your Credit Score

If you haven’t looked at your credit report for a long time, it can be a daunting task to request this information. Fortunately, your credit report is free and you can do it online at sites such as Borrowell, Credit Karma Canada, Equifax Canada and Transunion Canada. Accessing these online programs will not affect your credit rating and it is important to know that when a bank or other lending agencies check your score, it will affect your credit rating. It can be a good way to prepare you for what lenders are going to see. By taking this important step, you will be able to determine any delinquent accounts or balances owing that have gone to collections, and hopefully have these cleaned up before they can become a problem for your mortgage.

Determine The Price You Can Pay

While you may have a price in mind for what you’re willing to pay for a home, it’s important to determine your Total Debt Service Ratio before putting in an offer. Your TDS ratio can be determined by calculating a formula that can be accessed at www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca Within this site there is very valuable information about buying a home and if you are in need of being qualified through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Organize Your Housing History

If you have a good history as a tenant, the next step will probably be the easiest of all, but it’s very important in order to prove you’re a responsible candidate for home ownership. Once you’ve acquired a Verification of Rent from any applicable landlord in the previous year, you’ll want to ensure that you have money in the bank. While RRSP’s can make a good impression, having a cash downpayment is extremely helpful to not only take your payment down a little but also determines whether you require assistance from an institution such as CMHC.

There are a lot of things to know when it comes to buying a home, but if you’re a first time buyer the most important thing is to ensure that your finances are organized and that you’re not diving into more house than you can afford. By taking the time to determine your Total Debt Service Ratio and looking into your credit, you can ensure a positive first-time buying experience. If you’re wondering about homes for sale in your area, please feel free to contact us. We would love to sit down and chat with you about your dream home.

Mythbusting: Is Winter a Bad Time to Buy a Home? No – and Here’s Why

 

The cooler months of winter often seem like the best time to hibernate and wait for spring to appear, but it can actually be a prime opportunity to start looking for a new home. If you’re not interested in waiting until next season, here are a few reasons you may want to get started on your home search a little earlier than expected.

Opportunity For A Lower Price

With prime moving time occurring during the months of fall and spring, there’s a good chance that a home purchase will end up costing you less in winter than it will during other times of the year. Most home sellers are not going to want to keep their house on the market for an extended period of time, so if it happens that their house is still for sale when the winter comes, they’ll likely be willing to consider a lower offer or include some perks.

More Attention From Your Agent

Since fewer people will be selling and buying in the winter months, it’s quite likely that your real estate agent will have a bit more free time on their hands and will be able to give you more of their attention. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the warmer weather to arrive, take the opportunity to redefine your needs to your agent so – no matter the season – you’ll have someone who’s truly prepared to tackle the market for you.

The Added Perks Of A Slower Season

Most home sellers will have been advised by their real estate agent that the winter market is a lot slower, so you may be able to get some added benefits along with your purchase that make for a better deal. Whether you can garner a better negotiation, a quicker closing date or provide an offer that includes updated home appliances, there will probably be a few opportunities which will make the cooler winter search worth the effort.

So you could choose to hibernate all winter, or you can be on the hunt for your forever home. With the typical slower selling season, you may be able to take advantage of lower prices and you may find that you will get a few more perks with your purchase.

If you’re planning on moving a little bit sooner than expected, you may want to contact your local real estate professionals to see if your new home on the market today!

If you do not have an agent please feel free to give us a call, we would be honoured to brave the chilly climate along side of you and join the hunt.

Thinking About Selling in the Spring? You Should Be Renovating Now. Here’s Why

The cooler months of winter might seem like the perfect time to hibernate into the house, but it’s actually a great time to consider ramping up your home for improvements. If you’re thinking of selling come the spring, here’s why winter is the perfect time to get started on home renovations.

Flexible Scheduling And Availability

Many people are not interested in renovating their home during the winter months, so it can actually be an ideal time of year to make plans with a contractor to do some work. Since many renovations that occur on the outside of the home are likely to take place during spring or summer, it can be easier to schedule renovations for your home’s interior when it’s colder.

Pre-Planning Your Project

Since contractors can have more free time in the winter months, it’s a good time to contact them to discuss, decide and plan exactly what needs to be done in your home. With the workload of many contractors ramping up in the springtime, there’s a good chance their meeting schedule may be congested and the planning and renovation implementation will take much longer.

Get Ahead of Higher Prices

With the winter season in full swing, there are many sales on common home items from appliances to windows and cabinets. Since manufacturers will be trying to get excess stock off the floor before year’s end, and in the early months of the new year, it can be a great time to purchase products for instant money savings. With the new stock filling the stores in spring, there will be a higher premium to pay for all of the newly marketed products.

A Good Time For The Market

Spring is one of the most popular times of year to put a home on the market. With so many people considering a home purchase among their yearly plans, the milder season is an ideal time to get out and go house shopping. In order to have your home ready to show for the spring, you’ll need to have the renovations complete so your house will be market ready when the potential buyers are out.

If you’re readying your house for the springtime real estate market, it’s a good idea to get started on renovations now so you can save money on materials and schedule ample time with your contractor. If you happen to be considering your options for spring sale, you may want to contact your local real estate agent for more information and guidance.df

Real Estate Investment: Three Telltale Signs You’re Not Cut Out to Be a Landlord

The idea of purchasing a property and having renters can be an exciting business venture that offers lucrative financial rewards. However, there’s a lot involved in being a successful landlord and it’s important to be aware of what’s required before making the commitment. Whether you’re investing in one rental property or five, here are some questions you should ask yourself before getting involved.

Can You Do-It-Yourself?

There’s a lot more to being a landlord than taking the rental check, and one of these things is being there for the tenant when push comes to shove. If there are issues with the heating or the fridge breaks down, you’re going to be the one who has to facilitate or complete the repair, so you’ll need to have the wherewithal to fix problems effectively. While there are many situations where a repairperson can help, having some DIY skills goes a long way towards turning a better profit.

Do You Have The Time?

Weeks and even months may go by where your tenant requires little to nothing from you, but if you own an older property or have several renters, even maintaining the place can get to be quite a bit of a chore. It can be a good expenditure to have a contractor take care of these issues, but you’ll still have to use your time to find the right person and oversee the budget. If you already have a pretty full schedule, being a landlord will add a lot more to the pile.

Can You Deal With The Risk?

It can be easy to turn a profit if you have a renter, but if you happen to own property in a vacation area or a community on a downturn, it may be more difficult to find renters consistently. There may be periods of time where tenants are scarce, and this means that you’ll have to be comfortable with financial instability in order to weather the storm. While the moneymaking months can make up for the off-season, if you doubt your ability to take on the financial risk, this may not be the right choice.
Being a landlord is a considerable responsibility that will require you to take on financial risk and serve your tenants effectively and efficiently. If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord and are looking for a rental property, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

3 Key Reasons Why Buying Your First Home Is Like Planning a Wedding

1. Budget

Whether you’re buying your first home or planning a wedding, you are likely facing one of the biggest financial obligations of your life.  That’s why, in both cases, it is essential that you pick a realistic budget and stay within it.
Sounds simple, but in either case it can be difficult!  Unexpected obstacles may force you to spend more than you planned, or you may find yourself wanting to overspend as you find things that would be “just perfect” additions even though they don’t fit your budget.  These temptations can be expected, but it’s important to remember the big picture.  When it comes to your budget, pick it and stick it.

2. Details

When it comes to a home purchase or a wedding, there are countless details to consider.  It’s not a simple, pre-packaged purchase, there will always be big decisions that you have to make and if you overlook something you may regret it later on.
Some decisions that you face will be similar in both experiences: Does the location work for you?  Does it work for your friends and family?  What is the parking situation?  Is it appropriate for the climate?  Will you be satisfied with your decision in the long-term?
Other details will be more unique to the situation: Do you need a cocktail hour?  Do you need a walk-in closet?  What style of photography would you like?  Is there too much traffic noise?
Either way you’ll have lots to think about, and you’ll become acutely aware of ‘the little things.’

3. You’ve Got Style

Both your wedding and your home say something about you — they’re a reflection of your personal style.  When being presented with so many choices that are particularly catered towards your personal taste, you’ll learn what you like and what you don’t.  However, you’ll also learn what it is that you absolutely need, and what you’re willing to budge on.
Whether you’re choosing a wedding dress that is both gorgeous and functional for your ceremony or deciding whether or not you need an extra bedroom in your home, you’ll learn what it is that you’d want in a perfect world, and what is absolutely necessary for your current situation.
If you’re ready to seriously start looking for your first home, make sure you do so with a trusted real estate professional on your team.  Contact us today.

4 Terrible Mistakes Made by First-time Home Sellers

PRICING YOUR HOME TOO HIGH.

It’s entirely likely that there’s an amount you have in mind when it comes to selling your home, but it’s important that your asking price is in line with the market conditions and what’s being offered. Instead of winging it, check the local neighbourhood listings and see what similar homes are selling for so yours won’t be left to linger on the market.

FORGETTING THE SMALL REPAIRS

After you’ve put your home up for sale and have arranged an open house, one of the first things people will notice is the small repairs – like paint chips or loose doorknobs – that haven’t yet been fixed. Instead of letting this negatively impact the offers you’ll receive, complete the little fix-ups before you schedule your open house so potential homebuyers are not turned off.

MISSING ON MARKETING.

There are so many avenues for selling a home these days that it can be hard to know which way to go. However, it’s best to consider all of your options and utilize social media to widen the audience you’ll attract. Keep in mind that if you’re investing in a website or brochures, it’s important to hire a good photographer to show your home in its best light.

SELLING IT ON YOUR OWN.

Hitting the market on your own can be rife with a lot of questions, so as a first-time seller you may want to consider the services of a real estate agent. It’s just important to ensure that the person you choose is qualified and has experience in your community so they can steer you in the right direction and offer up helpful advice when it’s required.
Selling a home for the first time can be a stressful thing to take on, but by utilizing the right agent and having reasonable expectations, it may be off the market before you know it. If you’re getting ready to put your home up for sale, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

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