Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Here is CMHC's Homebuying Step by Step guide to make things easier for you by providing the information you need to make a wise homebuying decision. This section provides examples and worksheets that will guide you through the entire homebuying process, from the moment you make the decision to buy your own home to the moment the movers carry the first box through the front door. It couldn't be easier! - CLICK HERE
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Want to add more space to your home without building up or out? Look no further than your basement. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, renovating a basement can give you a 50-75% return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. Here’s how to get it done right:
Start with a plan
What type of space does your family require? Is it an extra living space for your teenager, a playroom for the little one, or perhaps an entertainment area for all to enjoy? Once you decide on how you want to utilize the space, you can layout your design. If budget allows, an architect or interior designer could assist you with the layout design and make valuable suggestions.
Do it yourself or hire a professional
Depending on your skill set, budget, and time, you may want to enlist the services of a contractor who has the expertise required to finish a basement. If you do it yourself and don't have the required time or skill to do the job correctly, you may find yourself looking at a repair bill far exceeding the amount you originally thought the project would cost. Make an informed decision. Be sure to carefully weigh all factors when deciding which option is right for you, while considering costs, material, labour, and equipment requirements.
Framing basement walls and ceilings is one of the most important aspects of any basement renovation. Two popular wall framing options are wood or steel studs. Wood is the classic choice. It is versatile, easy to work with, and cost-effective. Whereas steel, although more costly, adds a level of strength, rot resistance and won’t warp and crack like wood might over time. Two popular ceiling framing options are dropped ceiling tiles or drywall. Dropped ceiling tiles provide easy access to pipes and wires which can be a saviour if a tub or toilet on the main level floor springs a leak. Alternatively, dry wall ceilings offer a smooth finish and require less vertical space – a great option if your basement ceiling height is already low.
There are plenty of basement flooring choices to choose from including laminate, linoleum, vinyl, wood and ceramic tiles. Be sure to match your flooring choice with the intended use of the space and your geographic location. For example, a game room may require more durable flooring than an office. Do you live in an area with a tendency for flooding or is your location dry? Carpet with high density under pad will offer cushion and moisture protection from the typical condensation found in basements. Engineered hardwood made for below grade installation will flex and handle moisture better than traditional hardwood. Ceramic tile is great for bathrooms and laundry rooms and is easy to install on concrete.
Add a bathroom
Installing a bathroom in the basement is a great way to add value to your home. Determine if you require a full bathroom or if a powder room will suffice. Powder rooms are relatively simple to install, easy to keep clean, and won’t take up too much room. Full three or four piece bathrooms can provide a comfortable, private, and even luxurious, space for overnight visitors to enjoy. With either option, time and costs can be reduced if bathroom fixtures are located near existing plumbing and are arranged in a line on one wall. Be sure to check local codes for plumbing and electrical aspects of your project.
No matter what kind of plan you come up with for your basement, remember to factor in plenty of closet or storage space. This will enable you to de-clutter the rest of your home to keep it tidy and inviting. Further, if you ever decide to move, having this extra storage space should appeal to just about any prospective buyer.
A finished basement can not only increase your home enjoyment but it can also add valuable square footage. From everyday living to financial value, finished basements provide many benefits to you as a homeowner.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Prepare for another increase in prime next week while fixed rates continue to drop
The majority of economists are still predicting that we will still have increases to prime of .25% in at least one of the two next Bank of Canada reviews. The next is scheduled for next Wednesday, Sept. 8th. The fact that predictions are a little less aggressive than a couple of weeks ago acknowledges that that Canada is still tied to the world economy. And the recovery of the world economy has slowed a little in the past few months. Anyone who is on a "variable rate mortgage" and wonders if it is time to lock in should still wait for a while. Although prime may go up as much as another .50% in the next few months that will still leave most people in variable rate mortgages at around 2.50% (+/-). Five-year fixed rates are still as low as 3.64% to 3.89%.
While fixed rates continue to fall, variable rate mortgages still have the greatest savings. Now, I could fill the rest of the page with a lot of rhetoric that I pick from the pundits...however, it is Friday afternoon leading in to the Labor Day long weekend and I'm not sure many will read on. If you have any specific questions regarding your mortgage I would be glad to hear from you.
#2 - 1810 Third Avenue
Prince George, BC
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Dean Birks - REALTOR
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