Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |


Next to your home and car, home furnishings represent the most expensive product purchases homeowners make. A mid-quality livingroom set, with sofa and two side chairs, can cost thousands of dollars. That’s why most furniture retailers offer “interest free” and “pay much later” deals to soften the blow.


These are basically financing options.


Say, for example, you want to purchase furniture for the rec room. The cost is $7,200. The furniture retailer may offer you a deal where you “don’t pay a cent” for six months. As long as you pay the balance within that time, no interest is charged.


That sounds like a sweet deal. And it is.


But, personal finance experts will advise you to tread carefully. If you pay off the balance within the “no interest” timeframe, you’ll benefit from the sweet deal, by having deferred the payment. However, if you fall behind on payments, you’ll be hit with a high interest charge. It’s often 20% or more. That can add hundreds of dollars to what you would have originally paid for the purchase.


And, even if you paid down most of the balance within the no interest period, you can still get hit hard. Some “no interest” deals charge interest on the original financed amount — not just the remaining balance.


The best advice, according to personal finance experts, is to read the fine print carefully and pay off the balance as promptly as you can.

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 Watch any TV cooking show, and you’ll notice that a chef’s kitchen looks quite a bit different than what you’d find in most homes. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one just like it in your home! With a little remodeling, and splurging on some new items, you too can have a kitchen worthy of Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, or Rachel Ray.

 

Chefs love counter space. So, when remodeling, plan to create as much as possible. If you have an existing island, for example, you can replace the countertop with a larger one. Just adding eight inches in both directions will make a big difference.


Most chefs have more than one oven. If that’s impractical for you, consider buying a double-oven stove. Also, chefs prefer gas burners for quicker heatup times and exacting control of cooking temperature.


One thing you’ll notice about chefs is they love stainless steel. That’s because it’s easy-to-clean, hygienic and durable (assuming you take care of it).


Finally, because chefs spend so much time in the kitchen, they want the space to be attractive and comfortable. So, when remodeling, keep decor in mind.


Even if you’re just an amateur chef, creating a chef-worthy kitchen will make the foodie in you smile.

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Have you ever considered renting out a room to a student or renovating your basement into a self-contained rental apartment?


It’s a big decision. There are many pros and cons to consider.


On the pro side, renting can provide you with additional income. An extra few hundred dollars a month can go a long way towards paying down your mortgage or splurging on an exotic summer vacation.


Creating rentable living space in your home — for example, an “in-law suite” featuring a kitchenette and bathroom — may also increase your property’s market value.


On the con side, you’ll have more costs and responsibilities as a landlord. For example, you might need to purchase extra insurance because basic home insurance policies typically do not cover rental units, even if you’re just renting out a room. You’ll also be responsible for dealing with repairs sometimes in the middle of the night.


Also, if you’re not careful about the renter you choose, you might end up with a “problem tenant”. For example, you could have a tenant who is consistently late on rent payments or simply stops paying. That can be stressful.


If you’re deciding whether or not to rent, be sure to check local laws and regulations. Many jurisdictions have very strict rules regarding renting out space in a residential property, and those rules change frequently. Make sure you get the latest information.

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You might naturally assume that it is most important to talk to a Realtor when you’re selling or buying a home. But there are many other circumstances in which it makes sense to give me a call. Here are a few examples.

 

 

 1. When you’re at the “thinking about it” stage

If you’re just thinking about selling your home, and haven’t made a firm decision yet, you might feel uncomfortable calling a Realtor. Don’t be. In fact, I welcome your call. We can discuss what your current property will likely sell for on today’s market, and determine the type of home you qualify to buy. That way, you’ll have some clarity and be able to make a more informed decision.

2. If you’re nervous about the selling process

 If you haven’t sold a home before, you might be concerned about what’s involved in the process. You might even worry that putting your home on the market is going to be a lot of work and create a lot of turbulence for you and your family.


Fortunately, selling your home doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, a big part of my job as a Realtor is to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible.


So if you have concerns about selling your home, you should give me a call.

3. If you have questions

You likely have questions about the local real estate scene from time to time. You might have questions like: “How much did that home around the corner sell for?”; “Is now a good time to make a move, or should I wait until the market changes?”; and, “How much is my current home worth?”


When you have questions like those, you don’t need to dig for answers on your own. You can give me a call. As an expert in the local market, I can give you the answers you need.

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When you purchase a home, you’re hoping it will continually go up in value — just like a good investment.

 

However, there’s something else that you want to see go up in value as well: the neighbourhood. In fact, the neighbourhood plays a key role in what the home will be worth in years to come. If the neighbourhood goes down in terms of desirability, so will the market value of the home.

 

That’s why, when shopping for a new home, it’s important to get a feel for the value of the neighbourhood, and whether or not it’s on the upswing.

 

How do you do that? One way is to simply take a walk. Look at the properties. Are they well maintained? Is the landscaping groomed and attractive? Those are signs of “pride of ownership” — a clear indication that owners value their homes and the neighbourhood.

 

Another way is to do some research. Has crime gone up in the neighbourhood? Are there improvements planned, such as new parks? Is the neighbourhood attracting the kind of people you want as neighbours? How does the neighbourhood school rank?

 

Some of this information may be difficult to get on your own. A good REALTOR® can help you. Call today.

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