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When buying a home in Ontario, there are several things that can help ensure you make the most of your investment. Choosing the right area is step one, then choosing the right house is step two. There are many up and coming neighbourhoods where home prices are still reasonable, and don’t require you to be driving a Ferrari just to even think about entering the market. I’m looking at you Toronto, with your million-dollar entry fee and overpriced market. IT is best to look for a city outside of this “crazy” zone, somewhere like Brantford or Hamilton, maybe even Clarington or Bowmanville. These cities are not only great, pleasant places to live – but they’re going up in value – FAST! Of course, determining the best place is one thing, and finding the right home is another. Not all houses are created equal, and if you’re not careful you could end up with a real junker that will empty your pockets faster than a trip to the casino ever could. First, you’ll need to choose the right real estate agent, which as an example, in Brantford you could look to someone like The Munir Group, or in Toronto go with someone from Remax. Your agent should be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) and have a perfect understanding of the market they operate in. This will allow them to feel you out and find the perfect home for you. Once you’ve found some potential homes, get a home inspector to help you make sure the houses are as good as they seem. Pick your inspector wisely as they hold the power to help you make a solid purchase. If you aim to expand your home, choosing a builder before you even buy a property can also be a good way to ensure you make the right choice and save money along the way. Check if any new builds come with a warranty, especially if the home is at risk of workmanship issues, water penetration or structural defects. Buying a home is not an easy task, and with the amount of investment required – you better make sure it’s a good one. This is easier said than done, but with some due diligence and the right people on your team – a beautiful and profitable home is not a white unicorn anymore.
BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogIf you are purchasing a new home, there are several eco-friendly features that you should consider investigating. Transforming your home into something that is both environmentally friendly and comfortable can be easy if you consider incorporating these features. Consider eco-conscious landscaping Landscaping is one part of a home that is almost always possible to change. However, when looking for a new home, it’s good to look for eco-friendly landscaping that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious. Instead of traditional flowers, there might be drought resistant plants, or native plants, that do not require a large amount of water. It’s also becoming more common to see landscaping choices like rocks and woodchips that take the place of some or all of the grass in a yard and cut down on water usage. These are both great starts on eco-conscious landscaping, but the most valuable thing to look for in your next home’s landscape is an updated irrigation system. Good irrigation systems use less water, cover only what needs to be watered, and are often programmable. Install Solar Panels Many new homes have incorporated solar paneling on top of the house. Solar panels allow the house to receive a certain percentage of its energy from the sun. There are many companies that can install solar paneling which can not only enhance the resale value of your home but also help to cut down on energy costs. Buying a house already equipped with solar panels is one way to go, but you can also look for a home that has a strong electrical system that could accommodate the electrical needs of a solar panel system. In addition to checking out the house, you may want to check out what kinds of benefits you may get from the city for having solar power for your home. Eco-Friendly Windows and Natural Lighting One of the best things homeowners will upgrade in their home is the windows. Windows are a great investment because they add value to the home and pay for themselves by saving money on heating and air conditioning. These particular windows are also great for the interior of the home because they block UV rays from fading or damaging upholstery and carpet. Eco-friendly windows will also help to regulate temperatures in your home during both hot and cold weather. In addition to eco-friendly windows, you may want to consider a design that incorporates more natural light throughout the house. Windows and skylights are a great way to fill a home with light without spending any money on electricity. Any of these things are a great thing to look for when buying a new home because they can help you save money in the long-term. While you may be able to find homes with great eco-friendly features, sometimes you’ll have to make those upgrades yourself. Either way, it’s a good idea to consult a real estate agent like those at Mark Fox Company to get details on any of the homes you’re interested in. Research all of your options and you will find that creating an eco-conscious house can be easier than you think.