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INSIDER May 2014


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Be Careful What You Say When Advertising Your Property Real Estate: Downsizing So You Want to Paint Your Walls White? Home Sellers—Four Dirty Jobs You’ll Be Glad You Did Countertops 101: Today’s Ktichen Trends The Five Biggest Mortgage Mistakes You Can Make

Wayne Your Neighbourhood Real Estate Professional


Be Careful What You Say When Advertising Your Property Written By Mark Weisleder Sellers and real estate agents will advertise the top-selling features of a home so as to attract the biggest number of buyers. But there’s a fine line between marketing hype and false advertising, so be careful what you say. If it turns out wrong later, you may have to pay for it. Here’s why:In September 2009, Hussain Al-Saffar bought a detached home on Salem Ave. in Toronto’s west end for $439,000. He bought it “as is” from a family who had owned it since 1967. The basement was not finished. Al-Saffar planned to renovate it, so he got the necessary permits and made extensive changes, including refinishing of the basement. A year later, he sold it to Clare Mauro and her mother, Anne Mauro, for $658,000. The MLS listing form said: “This house was gutted to the bare bones and has literally been rebuilt from scratch. Except for the four exterior walls, almost everything else is new. New insulation, framing, walls, floors, roof, electrical, plumbing.”A brochure given to people viewing the house said: “Fully insulated from basement floor walls all the way to attic. Basement designed as a comfortable entertainment centre and/or spacious home office. Gutted to the bare bones.” The Mauros did an inspection. The report indicated concerns about

basement leaks. It said in part: “Cannot predict how often or badly crawl space or basement will leak” and that there were “efflorescence, stains dampness on the exposed foundation wall, and that these are typical conditions not out of the ordinary for a home that age.”

damages, stating that the seller deliberately concealed the problem. They claimed the seller must have known about it if he gutted the basement to the bare bones. The seller said he had not seen any leaks and did not notice the piece of wood because he did not strip the basement walls to the cinder blocks, but rather just insulated and dry walled the area in front of the existing plaster.

It turned out that 99 per cent of the foundation wall was not visible, as is usually the case when homes are inspected.The report said that since the inspector could not see behind the walls, the buyers were encouraged to consult a contractor or In a Toronto small claims court engineer. decision dated April 2, 2014, Deputy Judge Jack Prattas decided that even The buyers smelled must and though the seller did not know that the dampness almost immediately after problem existed with the basement closing. No investigation was done walls, he was still responsible to pay. behind the drywall as they did not This is because he had carelessly said wish to do any unnecessary damage the property was gutted to the bare to the finishes. There was then a bones and the buyers relied on this major flood one year after closing. when buying it. Most of the costs incurred to repair the damage were covered by Prattas found that the buyers were insurance.The cleanup crew misled into believing that they were discovered that the north foundation getting a basement which did not have wall leaked water into the basement. any hidden defect. However, the judge They also found cracks in the mortar also found that the buyers, as a result between the cinder blocks, including of the warnings by the home inspector, one crack that appeared to have should assume part of the risk, since been crudely plugged with a piece of they chose not to do any further wood to stop the flow of water. inspections. The buyers sued for the $8,659 cost He awarded the Mauros 50 per cent of to repair the leaky basement wall. the damages, or $4,329.50. No They also claimed $1,000 in punitive punitive damages were awarded.In my opinion, the buyers were fortunate: there was nothing in the contract itself that mentioned any warranty about how the home was constructed. The lesson for sellers is to make sure any statement about the home is true. The lesson for buyers is that when inspecting older homes, it is always a good idea to do further due diligence about water penetration issues, from the roof or the basement. In addition, if there is anything advertised about a home that is important to you, include it inside the real estate agreement before you sign it.

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WAYNE COCHRANE’S REAL ESTATE INSIDER Real Estate: Downsizing Written By Scott MacGillivray Most homeowners, at some point or another, will have to face the age-old question: to downsize or to stay in the family home? Whether you’re an empty nester or simply sick of a lot of upkeep, downsizing can be a great option for homeowners who want a change. Here are factors you need to consider before making the move.

can be a viable option, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be saving a lot of money. Prime real estate usually comes with a price tag, and people who aren’t used to condo living don’t always take maintenance fees and parking into consideration when making projections about their new housing costs.

The 3 W's Of Downsizing

3. Why are you downsizing?

1. Who is going to live in the new home?

Couples with grown children may be ready to leave their grand Victorian home for a more manageable bungalow. Families who want to travel more may opt for a smaller apartment in order to save money and decrease upkeep. Whatever your reasoning, having a clear vision of the purpose behind your move can help the other elements of your relocation fall seamlessly into place.

Before you jump at the tempting prospect of a cozy one bedroom, make sure you take guests into consideration. Do your kids come home from university frequently? Do you often host holiday get-togethers? Your family situation is not going to change, so plan accordingly. You might need a guest bedroom or a pullout sofa to make your new smaller space work for you. 2. Where are you going to move? This can play a huge role in the success of your downsizing. Remember, smaller isn’t always cheaper. Moving into a small condo

Give me a call... Wayne Cochrane EXIT Realty Metro (902) 830-4761 (902)

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Save Money, Make Money Lower utility costs and a smaller mortgage are two of the benefits of downsizing. What people don’t always consider is that this is also the perfect opportunity to make some extra money. Consider moving into a home with a rental suite. That way, not only can you downsize your own living

space, but you can also make cash on the part of your home that you’re not using. Let It Go Downsizing is an art, or rather how you prepare for it is. Pare down your belongings before you move by dividing them into categories like keep, sell, donate and toss. Have a yard sale or sell your big, bulky furniture online and then use the money to buy more compact, functional pieces that can work double-duty in your new place.

MAY ISSUE You Want to Paint the Walls White? Sounds Easy Until You See How Many Shades There Are—Truro Dailey News So you want to paint a room white. Sounds easy, until you go to the hardware store to buy paint and discover there are dozens of whites to choose from. Many have familiar yet poetic names that conjure up ever-so-slightly different hues: cream, pearl, vanilla, snow, chalk, ivory, jasmine, bone. But the closer you look, the more confusing the choices are. You want a plain, basic white, but the purest white on the colour chart looks a little harsh next to all those soft shades with just a hint of something else — beige, grey, peach, rose, yellow or the palest -ever blue or green. Often people default to white because they don't want strong colours in their home. But as it turns out, "it's harder to choose white than any other colour," said Sharon Grech, a colour design expert at Benjamin Moore Paints. She says Benjamin Moore alone offers more than 150 whites, and "when people are choosing white, I see more people unhappy or making a mistake or being shocked at the colour than when they choose other colours." And watch out if you go with a pure white untinted by any other hue. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, which maintains colour standards, says "the purity and cleanliness" of the purest whites "can also make them feel very sterile and cold. And you can literally get eyestrain from too much dazzling white. So you've got to be cautious. Most people don't want to live with hospital white." More so than with other colours, whites are also more influenced by colours around them, so Grech says it's crucial to try a sample to see how it looks in the room. Buy a pint and paint a 2-by-2-foot board that you can move around your home. "Sometimes

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the sun hits it one way or another at different times of day, or it looks different against the rug, or you realize it's got a lot of pink in it or green in it," she said. "It might look totally different in the morning than at night." The paint sheen makes a difference too, whether matte — a flat paint — or a shiny high-gloss. One recommended mix is a semi-gloss trim with matte on the walls.And don't forget the ceiling. "More people are thinking of the ceiling as a fifth wall," Grech said. "Think about it in terms of all the rooms that white is going to be flowing through on the ceiling." Most people want flat paint on the ceiling, but if you want to bring focus to the ceiling, a semi-gloss or high gloss can look "spectacular" in the right space, she said. James Martin is an architectural colour consultant whose company, the Color People, designs colours for buildings. He says "if you're going to have white, you want to use a warm white — yellow white, peachy white, rosy white. Anything you live with, you want it to be warm." It's especially important in an old house: "If you use a warm white, you'll see all the wonderful details in the surrounding woodwork much better," he said. He adds that "white kills art. When you put a piece of art against a white wall, it isolates the painting so it becomes like a postage stamp — a thing in a box. If you put the same painting against a colored wall, it eliminates those boundaries, pulls the colours out of the painting, and brings the painting to life." Martin doesn't like white walls, though he'll use off-white in a ceiling. He cautions that bright white trim and a bright white ceiling will make other colours look brighter than they would if you were using an off-white. What can work, he says, "if you really like

white," is to choose a warm white for walls in a flat sheen, then high-gloss trim the same colour. "It's a very sexy, subtle thing to do," he said. Don't pick colours online, advises Martin, because they can be distorted. But there is an art to studying the paper fan deck of paint colours in the store. Bring a white piece of paper with a square cut out so you can focus on the colour you're considering without being influenced by the hues around it. And if you're colour-challenged and unsure whether the white you're eyeing is more on the rosy side or the orange side, follow it in the fan deck from its palest iteration to its deepest, to see its true undertone. Warm tints include red, orange, yellow, and offshoots like peach and apricot, but if you want to cool a room off, go for colours like blue and purple. In between are the neutrals — taupe, grey, beige. And don't get overwrought about the choices. "I think most people have more judgment than they think they do," Eiseman said. "You look at something, you have a doubt about it because your eye is telling you something is off here. Or you look at it and it pleases you. In the end, it's your eye and your comfort level."

WAYNE COCHRANE’S REAL ESTATE INSIDER Home Sellers—Four Dirty Jobs You’ll Be Glad You Did Written by Blanche Evans Bad smells are one the biggest dealkillers in real estate. If your home smells like pets, mold, smoke or pheromones, you'll repulse buyers. If your home sells at all, it will go for less than it's worth.

pipes in a while, get busy with some industrial strength Drano. Recaulk tubs and sinks. Replace old discolored faucets and shower heads. If that doesn't help, hire a plumber to help you find the source.

It's time to do a dirty job -- identify sources of stinks and deep clean your home.

Smoke: Nothing will drive 80 percent of your buyers out of your house faster than stale cigarette smoke. Stop smoking in the house. Repaint every wall. Strip and rewax floors. Yes, smoke permeates everything. Everything. Steam-clean all carpets, draperies, curtains, and upholstered furniture. You may even want to move out and let your real estate agent stage your home with fresh showroom furnishings. It's extreme, but so is the reaction of non-smoking buyers.

Since you're living with it, you may be oblivious to your home's smells. Ask your real estate agent to walk with you through your home and not hold back. You need to hear the brutal truth. Does the carpet smell like a puddle-loving dog? Is there moldy smell in your bathroom? You'll be glad to know that every smell has a simple cure -- better maintenance. When your house is on the market, you can't let things slide as you normally do. You have to be vigilant for odors and keep your place super-clean every day. Pets: Pets leave fur, slobber, and loose dirt wherever they go. Some dog breeds, like retrievers, are stinkier than others. If Rover sleeps on his own bed, wash it or replace it with fresh bedding. Don't let your dog get ripe; bathe your dog more frequently than you normally would. Chairs and carpets should be steam-cleaned. If you can, remove pet beds, cat boxes and other signs of pet life during showings. Mold: It takes a combination of standing water, dark closed-in places and absorbent materials to create mold. If you smell a musty, underground kind of odor, you've probably got a water leak somewhere. If you haven't cleaned your

before your next showing. If you thought this article was on the raw side, it's only because we know how it is out there. Your real estate agent has seen it all, too, and can tell you that every word is true.

Pheromones: We humans stink. No deodorant and skipping showers may work for some people, but buyers don't want to smell you and your pheromones, especially if you're not home. Athletic gear, dirty clothes, unwashed sheets and towels, and old pillows and bedding are just a few things that can store body odor. The cure is easy -- bathe more often and don't let laundry build up. Change sheets often, no less than weekly. We shouldn't have to say this, but there are personal discards that should never be found by buyers, like your "love" towel. Believe it or not, buyers open trashcans. Your agent has probably seen it all - used condoms and feminine hygiene products, band-aids, balled-up Kleenexes, pregnancy tests, and so on. In other words, if it has bodily fluids on it, get it out of the house

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smiontpusa Look in my face and I am someone, Look in my back I am no one. What am I?

Go to - ‘Wayne’s Team’ and click on ‘Trivia Answers’ Page 5


Countertops 101: Today’s Kitchen Trends By Jaymi Niciri Granite Granite is still the big dog in kitchen countertops, and the No. 1 most requested material when it comes to kitchen remodels. Color options for granite range from super neutral (grays, whites, tans and golds) to super bold reds and blues. Prices range as well. "Expect granite countertop prices to range between $45 and $200 per square foot, including installation," said HGTV. Deals can be had (make sure to check with your local stores). Lowercost granites will typically include colors and patterns that may not be the most desirable or that are overstocks; be aware when pricing seems too good to be true that you are not getting an inferior product or a depth of granite that is insufficient. Trends in granite today are moving away from the typical polished stone look and toward alternative looks. "Specialty finishes like flamed, brushed, leathered and honed are giving even the most common granites a new life," said Houzz. Tile There was a time when tile countertops were popular‌however that time has passed. Unless the home is Spanish style and the countertop is intended as an homage to authentic Spanish villas with handpainted tile, it's probably best to stay away today. Is tile a penny-saver? Sure. But when you go to sell your home, it might also be a buyer-keeper -awayer. Concrete For its clean lines and modern aesthetic, concrete has gained in popularity inside the home, on floors and on kitchen countertops. Concrete counters can be stained stamped, or left stark depending on taste. Costs tends to be about "$65-$135 per square foot for a standard 1.5-inch thick concrete countertop," said Concrete Network. Want to do it

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yourself? Check out a tutorial here. Recycled Glass For something a little different, recycled glass countertops are a growing option. Companies like Vetrazzo use recycled glass and bottles to create countertops that are as cool to look at as they friendly to the environment. Expect to pay between $50–80 a square foot for materials alone. Quartz Quartz is the hottest material in countertops right now, gaining on granite thanks to the incredible array of colors and patterns and durability that surpasses granite. "People have been predicting granite's demise for years, despite the enduring love for the material said MSN. Added designer Neil Kelly: "Granite has been dethroned. While granite isn't going away and still has many diehard fans, the new king of countertops will be quartz composite - the closest thing to no maintenance, bullet-proof countertop materials available today. Because quartz has a manmade component, it comes in a dizzying array of options. Trends today include sleek white and gray counters and those with large gems and those that mimic the look of granite, like this radiant quartz. And check out porecelain, glass, acrylic, and Richlite, "a blend of wood pulp and polymers that's as resilient as it is sustainable," on Houzz.

Give me a call... Wayne Cochrane 406-SOLD

WAYNE COCHRANE’S REAL ESTATE INSIDER The Five Biggest Mortgage Mistakes You Can Make By Blanche Evans For most buyers, the mortgage is the largest monthly expense they will have. Yet most borrowers will do little to no preparation, negotiation, or shopping to get the best deal. And they end up paying much more for their loans than they need to. You? You're smarter than that, or you wouldn't be reading this article. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that can cost you real money. 1. Believing advertised rates are what you'll pay Unless you have perfect or near-perfect credit, most advertised rates are out of your league. To get boasting rights on a rate that good, you have to pay part of a point (one percent of the loan amount) a point, or more to get the best rates. Your lender will go over your credit with a fine-tooth comb to find anything to raise the rate. That includes qualifying you at the beginning of the transaction, and then running your credit again a day or two before you're supposed to close on the home and loan. If there's been any change in your debt-to-income ratio, goodbye low mortgage rate. 2. Not comparing lenders Just like everyone knows two or three real estate agents or more, everyone knows a loan officer or a mortgage broker. A loan officer works for a bank or savings and loan and can only offer you loan packages that the bank has put together. A mortgage broker prequalifies you just like a loan officer, and shops your deal around to various lenders. Whether you talk to a loan officer or a mortgage broker, you're going to have to share personal financial information in order to get a realistic rate. Reputable brokers will show you what certain banks and credit unions quoted and you can pick the loan you like best.If you'd rather do your own shopping, consider talking to a local bank, a national bank, a credit union, and a savings and loan,

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but remember, unless you give them personal information and permission to run your credit, it's just talk. 3. Not paying attention to terms Advertised rates even for those with perfect credit aren't what you will actually pay. The true cost of the loan is the APR or annual percentage rate, which includes fees from the lender. Understanding loan terms is harder than shopping for a new mattress. There are so many ways lenders can inch up the fees. A loan origination fee is also called a processing fee. It pays the loan officer or mortgage broker, so this fee can vary widely. You may pay one lender more for an appraisal than another might charge you. One lender may charge more for pulling your credit than another. It's all in your good faith estimate, which you don't get until you've applied for the loan.All terms are negotiable, so don't be afraid to ask what a particular fee is for and can it be reduced or eliminated. 4. Waiting for a better rate It's great to have bragging rights on a low rate, but you don't want to lose the home of your dreams over a quarter of a point in interest. There's a big picture here you could be missing. No matter what your interest rate is, you're going to pay thousands of dollars in interest up front before you make any serious gain in equity. If you go all the way to the end of your loan's term, you'll pay so much interest that you could have bought the same home two or three times. Instead of focusing on the percentage rate, work on how quickly you can build equity. Make one extra payment a year. Pay $25, $100, or $500 extra per month and you'll more than offset the rate you're paying.

Down the road, if rates drop through the floor, you can refinance, but even that's not an ideal solution. You'll pay loan origination fees, title search fees, appraisal fees and so on -enough to equal the closing costs you paid the first time around. And don't forget, you'll start the amortization schedule all over again - with most of your payments going to interest instead of principal. 5. Choosing the wrong type of loan Many families were hurt post-9/11 when lenders opened the spigots and gave a loan to almost anyone who could sign the paperwork. Suckers bought homes that were too expensive using balloon loans with low teaser rates.The type of loan you choose should depend on current market conditions and how long you plan to stay in your home, not how much home you want to buy. Current market conditions favor fixed rates, because rates are rising from all-time lows. Yes, they cost more than hybrid loans or adjustable rate loans, but the base amount is fixed and doesn't change. Only your taxes and hazard insurance will cost you more over the years.If you get an adjustable rate mortgage, you are at the mercy of market conditions. While there's a cap on how high your interest rate can go, it's still a risk. If you plan to stay in your home five years or more, get a fixed-rate mortgage. If you plan to sell your home sooner, you're taking a risk. It takes most borrowers five years just to earn back their original closing costs in equity.Once you've narrowed your choice of lenders, ask them on the same day to give you a quote. If you wait even one day, rates may have changed, so you're no longer comparing apples to apples.


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w w w. m o o v i n g . c a Kingswood North $

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5 Daisy Drive

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Middle Sackville

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464 Shore Drive

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212 Voyageur Way


9 24



44 Shankel Road

Wayne Cochrane Real Estate Professional 902-830-4761 unless noted otherwise

Note: This is not intended to solicit clients currently under contract. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

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Wayne Cochrane's Real Estate Insider - May 2014  

This newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a homeowner or currently renting....

Wayne Cochrane's Real Estate Insider - May 2014  

This newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a homeowner or currently renting....