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Megan Scott, CPCA and Randy Scott, CPA CMA
Real Estate Sales Representatives

Keller Williams Realty Solutions, Brokerage

office:647-232-7743
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HOMEBUYING: TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT NEIGHBORHOOD
Friday, 12 July 2019, 12:05:00 PM

Have you checked out the neighborhood?

 

You wouldn’t pick out shoes before choosing an outfit, right? Or buy car accessories without first deciding if you want a truck or a sedan?

Well, house hunting should be treated the same way. Dont Get Blindsided by Closing Costs

You shouldn’t search for a dream home without vetting neighborhoods or experiencing the new area for yourself. 

If the area doesn’t meet your needs, the property may not provide a dream scenario. So how do you make sure you’ve found the right neighborhood? Keep these details in mind:

Cost of Living

Are the property taxes and HOA fees trending upward? Are there mostly trendy boutiques and high-end businesses in the area, or does it have a good mix of local and national retailers?

Planned commercial development could affect the long-term affordability of the area. However, having more access to retailers and entertainment could enhance your lifestyle.

Commutes and Social Life

How close do you want to be to the friends and family you visit the most? How far are you willing to drive to get to the restaurants, theaters or stores that you frequent?

It’s understandable to prioritize your work commute, but keep in mind the other places you visit on a daily or weekly basis.

Long-Term Goals

How does the community fit into your future goals? Are there good schools, parks or sports leagues for your family?

A thriving community adds to your quality of life. And it’s a good sign for future home values.

Want to try before you buy? Where possible, consider renting a unit in the area for a few days through a short-term rental site. Experiencing the neighborhood like a resident can help you to decide if it fits your current and future needs.

Are you looking for a new home? Get in touch if you’d like to see a neighborhood report.

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Signs a Bigger Home Might Be Better
Posted on Tue, 09 Jul 2019, 10:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Four Signs a Bigger Home Might Be BetterFour Signs a Bigger Home Might Be Better

Your home may have seemed just the right size when you moved in, but now are you feeling a little cramped?

Here are a few signs it's time for an upgrade:

  1. Your goals are bigger than your house.
    Whether you're having more kids or inviting relatives to move in, you may find yourself needing more bedrooms and bathrooms than you currently have.
  2. You want more resale value.
    Homes with flexible space are trending because buyers want to be sure they have enough guest bedrooms for older family members (or boomerang kids!) who might visit or live with them.
  3. You need more space for entertaining – and your stuff.
    If you're tripping over furniture left and right and still have no place to host gatherings of family and friends, it might be time for a larger home – one that comes complete with larger living and dining spaces and more storage.
  4. You can afford it.
    It may have been some time since you last bought, so don't forget that lenders will evaluate your credit, debt, assets, income, and the equity you have in your current home before approving you for a bigger mortgage.

When you're looking to buy, sell or invest in eal estate, you need an agent who will be by your side every step of the way.

Call us at 674-232-7741 today for a personalized consultation.

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Flexible Dumpsters for Home Renos
Tuesday, 02 July 2019, 12:25:00 PM

ToolsNew synthetic fabric dumpsters offer a flexible method of holding and disposing of renovation waste - without the need to order a large and unsightly metal bin that sits on your front lawn or driveway for weeks on end.


The industry calls them FIBC’s, or Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers, but they’re more commonly known as big bags, bulk bags, bagsters and super sacks.

These durable trash containers can be purchased and taken home (or delivered) for indefinite use, then picked up for a preset fee when full.

When the bag is picked up, another bag is dropped off. Available through specialty suppliers or through some home renovation stores, these “soft bins” are easy to move when empty, and they take up much less space than large metal dumpsters. They also take much less time to fill up, so you’ll have a tidier renovation site and less of an eyesore on your property.

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Interested to know what your home worth today?
Posted on Thu, 27 Jun 2019, 10:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.

What's Your Home's Current Value?

Home ValueYour home is likely the most significant investment that you've made. It's important to stay in the know on its value and on our local market at large, whether you're planning on selling soon or staying put a few more years. Don't you want to know how your asset has appreciated – and how it stacks up to other comparable homes?

If you're curious about your home's current value, let me know, and I can provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA). As a real estate professional, I have access to a vast database of information, including similar properties that were sold during the past 90 days.

These comparable properties – and particularly homes located right in your area and of similar size – can offer a good idea of what your home is worth in the current market. It's also worth checking out what prices other homes with similar features to yours are currently listed for.

When you're looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate, you need an agent who will be by your side every step of the way.

Call Megan and Randy today for a personalized consultation. 647-232-7743

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6 Kitchen Design Trends Inspired by Restaurant Kitchens
Posted on Mon, 24 Jun 2019, 01:10:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Not all kitchen design trends stand the test of time, but a restaurant kitchen is meant to be as functional as possible for as long as possible. Taking a few cues from restaurant kitchens can help you create a residential kitchen that you'll be sure to love for years to come! 

Restaurant Kitchen

1. Forget the Island
A kitchen island allows for lots of prep space and storage but can also make even a large space seem cramped and crowded. A work table in place of the kitchen island still provides plenty of room to work, offers shelving underneath for storage, and can be moved easily when not in use. 

2. Consider a Stainless Steel Backsplash
Stainless steel is durable, doesn't absorb microbes, and is fire-resistant, which is why it's long been a popular material for commercial kitchen backsplashes. It's also easy to clean and coordinates with most kitchen styles. 

3. Hang Utensil Rods
Rarely do restaurant kitchens keep utensils in drawers, as this is a surefire way to create a cluttered, jumbled mess. A utensil rod or two will keep all your kitchen tools organized, in plain sight, and close at hand. 

4. Install a Magnetic Knife Strip
Much like utensil rods, many commercial kitchens include magnetic strips along walls to hold chefs' knives. Storing knives on a magnetic wall strip reduces the risk of cutting yourself while rooting around in a drawer and also allows you to easily see each knife blade type and size. A magnetic knife strip also eliminates the need for a bulky knife block on the countertop. 

5. Use Wire Shelving in Your Pantry
Wire shelving allows for air circulation around your stored foodstuffs, reducing damage from heat and humidity. Wire shelves also don't need cleaning as often as standard wood shelves. 

6. Install an Open Shelf Over the Stovetop
Many commercial kitchens feature an open shelf or two over the stovetop, for holding pots and pans, spices, timers, and even a recipe or prep instructions. Consider asking your kitchen contractor about an open shelf over your new stovetop, for added convenience and to break up the look of a bare wall behind the stove.

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Don't Get Blindsided by Closing Costs
Posted on Fri, 21 Jun 2019, 11:45:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Dont Get Blindsided by Closing CostsHave you ever decided to buy something, only to find out about additional costs at the end? The last thing you want is to be surprised by unexpected fees – especially at your closing.

You’ve made your financial calculations. Extra charges at the eleventh hour could make all your plans go bust.

But you can't just skip the closing – that's when the legal ownership is transferred.

Want to avoid being blindsided at your closing? Here's how to plan ahead for closing fees:

What’s the deal with closing costs?
Closing costs typically run about 2% to 5% of the purchase price and are paid to lenders, attorneys and other third parties. Buyers often have more closing costs than sellers because most fees are related to the new mortgage loan.

Common closing costs for buyers:

  • Loan processing fees
  • Home appraisal and inspection fees
  • Property taxes


Common closing costs for sellers:

  • Mortgage payoff fees
  • Title transfer fees
  • Attorney fees for handling the closing

How can you lower the costs?
After applying for a mortgage, you’ll receive a Loan Estimate from the lender. It summarizes the loan terms, such as the loan amount, interest rate and all closing costs. Comparing Loan Estimates from different lenders is important.

Page 2 of the Loan Estimate also details the services you can shop around for, such as surveys, appraisals and title searches.

Are closing costs ever negotiable?
Yes. A seller or buyer sometimes agrees to pay part or all of the other party’s closing costs. This is something we can negotiate into the purchase agreement.

As for paying the closing costs? Some lenders will allow you to roll the cost into your mortgage. However, you’ll pay interest on it for the life of the loan. Paying cash upfront is a smarter option if you have the funds available.

Have more questions about closing on a home? Or are you ready to get your home search started? Reach out today.

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Cottages in Rice Lake
Posted on Mon, 17 Jun 2019, 02:20:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Cottages in Rice Lake  

Cottages in Rice Lake

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Buying a Home (CMHC)
Posted on Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 02:20:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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By contacting the Scottage Group, you will have the opportunity to discuss any details about your plans to move that you would like to discuss. The information on this page is here to help you start thinking about all the different aspects of moving. The buying process can be a confusing process; from knowing if you can afford to move, to financial assistance that you may be eligible for, and whether or not buying a home is right for you at this time. You can rest assured that the Scottage Group is there for you every step of the way during the whole buying process.


Email Megan Scott - click here

To request further information, the Scottage Group is ready to help you anytime, just send her a quick email and she will reply to you as soon as possible. 

  


CMHC or Canada's Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides Canadians with necessary Mortgage Loan information and allows the buyer to purchase a home with as little as only 5% downpayment.

CMHC also provides buyers with a lot of information to help with the buying process.

Megan Scott - Home buying CMHC picture


Need help deciding if Homeownership is right for you?

Purchasing your new home is always considered to be one of the most stressful and exciting events in your life.  With the right support, it does not have to be as hard as you expect it to be.  The most important thing to remember is the choices are always yours.  Ask lots of questions, do some research, and then ask more questions.  The more you know, the less chance of unpleasant surprises confronting you.

Once you have made your decision to move, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you understand your financial situation and can you manage you finances?

Is your financial situation a stable one?

Are you ready to spend your money and are you willing to openly accept that there are certain extra expenses in home ownership.  Can you afford to pay for repairs and maintenance on top of your regular mortgage payments?

Do you have the time and willingness to spend on home maintenance and repairs?

Are you sharing your home with others, and are you ready to support each other financially as well as emotionally?

Do you have a Real Estate Sales Representative whom you understand and trust.


 

Home hunting comparison worksheet

Click here to download your comparison worksheet

 


FOR FURTHER RESEARCH AND INFORMATION, THESE WEBSITES MAY BE HELPFUL TO YOU

CMHC  Is Homeownership Right for You?

CMHC  Are You Financially Ready?

CMHC  Which Home is Right for You?

CMHC  The Buying Process

CMHC  Now That You're a Homeowner

CMHC  Words to Know When Buying a Home

 


 

 

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Applying for a Mortgage
Posted on Wed, 12 Jun 2019, 02:15:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Important tips to help you successfully secure a Mortgage.

Making a checklist of why and what you are applying for will help you be prepared with the required information upon meeting with your chosen Financial Institution.

 

Information you will need to complete your application efficiently:

If you are applying with a co-borrower, that person will need to be present when completing the application.

  • Social Insurance Number(s)
  • Your current address
  • Previous address if your current address is less than 3 years
  • Your employment information: address & telephone numbers
  • Previous employment information if your current employment is less than 3 years
  • Sources of income that can be verified: pay stub, bank statement confirming direct deposits, employment letter, investment statements
  • The value of your assets, properties, automobiles, investments & savings
  • Your most recent mortgage and loan statements
  • Your most recent credit card statements
  • The estimated value of your home
  • All your housing expenses: property tax, annual condo fees, heating costs
  • The financial information of your co-borrower (if applicable)

Your Financial Institution may also require the following information:

  • Are you a Canadian resident
  • Your proof of age
  • Your province of residence
  • Whether or not you have declared bankruptcy in the past seven years
  • Will this be a joint application (both applicant and co-applicant must submit to a Credit Search)

Once You Find Your Dream Home, Here's a List That Your Lender Will Require In Order To Process Your New Mortgage:

  • Mortgage amount needed - (minimums may apply)
  • Reason for the Mortgage: Home Purchase / Refinancing / Transfer
  • What your Purchase price is
  • How much will you have for a downpayment
  • What Type of Property will the Mortgage be for - condo/house etc
  • What the dwelling style will be
  • Are you purchasing from a builder?
  • The address of the property.
  • What the estimated value of the property is.
  • What the Annual Property Taxes are
  • Will there be any Condo Fees?
  • What the Annual Heating costs are.
  • Other information as requested by Mortgage Institution.

 

 


 

  "click" button for PDF Worksheet

Printable "Can You Afford To Move"

Seller and Buyer Analysis

Worksheet

Scottage Group

 

 


For more Mortgage information:

Contact Scottage Group for information about Qualified Mortgage Specialist's


  


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Are you in the Empty Nester's Club? 7 things you should know about your next move.
Posted on Tue, 31 Jul 2018, 11:25:00 AM  in Home selling tips
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Are you part of the "empty nesters" club? There are people whose children have matured, left the home, and established homes of their own. You may have disposable income, homes with large amounts of equity, and a desire to change living arrangements either by downsizing, by moving to a different area, or by the addition of a second home such as a cottage or an investment property.

Your children may have left for college, job relocation, or a family of their own. The entire house now is quieter and definitely cleaner than before. Empty Nest Syndrome is real for everyone and its complexity is different for everyone. Downsizing isn’t just about moving to a smaller home. It also means cutting bills, preparing you for the future, and even make you feel happier and less cluttered overall.

Here are things to remember when it comes to navigating this new chapter of your life.

  • Take the time you need to move, but don’t wait too long to start downsizing your home. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes in the long run. You may have some long-awaited vacations planned. Maybe you just want to hold onto your home a little longer because you are not sure of your next steps and this is where the Megan Scott Team will be able to help you with those answers. It’s okay to take some time after the kids have gone to settle into a new routine.
  • Moving to a different home can be emotional for many people, but don’t let that discourage you. You raised your family in that house, and there are so many memories. By downsizing, you’re doing the best thing for you and your partner. By selling your home, a new family will have the chance to make their own memories filled with love.
  • Ask for help or advice. You need someone who can bring a fresh pair of eyes to the situation and assist with making sense of the fine print.
  • Keeping a larger home has costs that you incur. Even if it’s paid off, there are still taxes, insurance, and city services that all cost much more with a larger home. By moving to a smaller space, you can cut these expenses significantly (maybe even in half), in turn saving more money in your pocket for your retirement and doing the things you dream of doing.
  • Don’t just reduce your living space, but the things in it, too. The truth is, we all hold on to belongings that we don’t need. This is the perfect time to sort through all your items and all of the tasks you said you’d eventually get to. Choose the items you want to give your children as inheritance - everything should have a function. The rest can be donated or sold.
  • Envision your future lifestyle when choosing your next home. Are the rooms easily accessible? Are there a lot of stairs? You may not need assistance now, but it’s always a good idea to look at the next phase of your life and plan accordingly. By planning ahead, you may not need to make many changes later. Moving to a smaller house usually isn’t for everyone, but for some, it’s the right move.
  • The one thing you have to remember is that this is just the next chapter in your life. It’s normal to feel scared and excited, and it’s just like the feeling you had when you moved away from home for the first time. But like then, you only need to take that first step before you realize that this was a great decision.


Searching for a home? Let the Megan Scott Team help you find the home the fits your new lifestyle. Check out our homes for sale here or contact us at 647 232 7743 to learn more. 

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