Friday, September 25, 2020

How to Avoid Phone Scams

If you get a phone call that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Often, it’s scammers calling. Scammers can use the internet to make calls from all over the world. They don’t care if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry. That’s why your best defense against unwanted calls is call blocking. Here’s what you need to know about unwanted calls and how to stop them.

SIGNS A SCAMMER IS CALLING YOU


HOW DO I BLOCK THE SCAMMERS FROM CALLING ME???


With the way the world is today and all its technology - being scammed, unfortunately, happens more often than we think. Especially to the older generation. Be aware and help those who aren't up with the tech world be cautious of scammers. I hope this bit of information was helpful. Feel free to share it. 

Until next time...Keep it Real!







 


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Covid-19 Check-In

Hello Everyone
I hope everyone is safe and healthy in this pandemic we are facing. I just wanted to reach out and let you all know that I am here to help you in any way that I can and to give you an update on the Real Estate Market during this isolation period.

Real Estate is still considered an essential service due to the fact that there are still people who need to buy and sell even in a pandemic! We are taking all the necessary precautions to make sure that everyone is protected during the viewings of homes by wearing masks, gloves and using hand sanitizer. All sellers are asked to have wipes, hand sanitizer and gloves available before and after viewings so not to put anyone in jeopardy of contacting the virus.

If you are considering selling or purchasing a home during this pandemic, I would be happy to answer any of your questions you may have. In the meantime, if you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to me as I am out and about almost every day helping clients.


It is difficult not to see family and friends, your children and grandchildren. With technology today, there's many ways to be creative to see everyone. I hope you're all doing well, staying safe and washing your hands. This too shall pass and when this storm is over, it will be one for the books. What are you doing to stay safe and to see your family?


Stay safe! Stay Healthy!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

How to Get the Home You Want

Before I give you some tips on how to get the home you want, I'd first like to take a moment to say thank
you to all my clients, friends and family! This accomplishment comes from all of your support and continuous referrals and love for what I do each and every day! I couldn't do what I do without you. I love helping people buy or sell their biggest purchase in life. The feeling you get when you know you have truly helped someone and made a difference in their buying or selling process is super rewarding!!! I am looking forward to helping many more families in 2020!!! Thank you all!♥️🤗



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Now...are you wondering how to get the home YOU want? Well, some people can't afford to hold two mortgages so if you must sell your current home to afford a new one, consider putting it on the market before starting your search. You can often negotiate a better deal on a purchase if your property is under contract or you already have the cash in hand.


Here are three simple but effective tips to find the home of your dreams.

1. Get Ready
  • Talk to your mortgage professional about your financial situation and credit history to determine your loan options. It's important to know how much house you can afford based on your down payment and income. A strong letter of pre-approval can really add to your bargaining power.
  • Have a meeting with your real estate agent. Discuss your needs and preferences and establish the best method for your agent to send listings and communicate with you about available properties. Tap into his or her knowledge of the local market. When it comes time to act, your agent will represent your interests in negotiations and work to ensure a smooth transaction.
2. Shop Smart
  • Expect to pay more for a showplace; if you consider a fixer-upper, judge structural deficiencies more harshly than cosmetic flaws. It can be costly to replace major components or to change the layout, but redecorating with flooring, fixtures or paint is relatively easy and sometimes offers instant equity potential.
  • Location is Key. Even if the site seems perfect for you at the present time, think about whether it will appeal to a large pool of buyers if you should decide to sell in the future.
3. Go For It!
  • To write a winning offer without overpaying, look at the prices for comparable sales. Consider whether the property is in a high-demand area or if there is plenty of competition. Ask your agent to find out why it is for sale and if the seller seems motivated. If you accommodate the seller's preferred closing dates or other terms, he or she may be more flexible with the price.

Do Your Due Diligence
Schedule a home inspection after coming to terms. Many sellers expect to address issues related to safety or building codes, and additional repairs (or a credit) may be negotiated. Make sure all of your questions or concerns regarding the home's condition are answered through the inspection process.

If you need information regarding your mortgage, please read our past blog with our own Mortgage Specialist, Rhonda Lorimer here. https://youaremytoppriority.blogspot.com/2019/06/mortgages-with-rhonda-lorimer.html

That's it for now. Thanks again for your continued support and for taking the time to read. Until next time - Keep It "REAL"


Essential Tips for Selling Your Home

It is a SELLERS market out there folks. If you want to get top dollar for your home, now is the time to put it on the market. So, if you are you thinking of selling your home? Here are some essential tips to help prepare you and guide you through the process.

Smart Strategies for Sellers - Putting a home up for sale can be stressful, and some owners have a hard time making objective decisions when it matters most. Did you know, 68% of homeowners believe the value of their home has increased over the past two years.

Price It Right - To ensure we list your home with the best price, I will create a current market analysis. This means I will look closely at the sales of similar homes that have closed in the past few months and take the number of available listings into account when we talk about an asking price.



Keep In Mind
  • I may recommend you do some repairs to fix up some visible flaws - or even suggest staging your home so it feels more spacious. This is so potential buyers can picture themselves living there. 
  • Homes that have failed to attract a buyer in a reasonable time period may be overpriced.
  • Foreclosures or short sales in your area can impact your home's market value.
  • It doesn't pay to set the price too high; most buyers will need financing and the bank will generally use an appraisal based on recent sales to justify the loan amount.
Take Advantage of Your Market Debut - Pricing your home competitively from the beginning increases the odds of a quick sale.
  • Many buyers look online for properties when they begin their home searches. Nearly 52% intend to stay within their budgets and aren't willing to compromise on price. If your home is priced too high when it hits the market, you run the risk that active, qualified buyers will scroll right past it.
  • New listings are called "hot" for a reason - buyers get excited about them. Showings are likely to noticeably slow down after the first 30 days on the market.
  • When weighing an offer, make sure to consider the potential costs of holding on to your property longer than you want or need to (including the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.)
AND...if you want to "Sweeten the Deal"...
Sellers who agree to pay the buyer's closing costs can make it easier for first time home buyers to obtain financing, while offering to throw in appliances, upgrade allowances or other perks that could swing a buyer's decision in your direction. Just something to think about.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for taking the time to read, feel free to share and I appreciate your continued support.

Until next time - Keep It "REAL"







For tips on staging - read my past blog posts here -->
https://youaremytoppriority.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-importance-of-staging-part-1_19.html
https://youaremytoppriority.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-importance-of-staging-part-ii.html



Source: Buffini & Company

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Tax Time 2020 - What's New?

It's almost that time of year again and I have the inside scoop updates for the 2019 tax year, including information on small business taxes, retirement contributions and other hot topics. In this blog post, I will also help you avoid scammers pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency with some safety tips. So, let's get started.

Check out some significant changes that may affect your tax returns for 2019 and 2020.

1. Planning to Retire? 
  • Maximum pensionable earnings increased for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in 2020: $58,700 up from $57,400 in 2019
2. New CPP Contribution Rates
  • Employer and Employee: 5.25%          Self-Employed: 10.5%
3. Maximum Yearly CPP Contributions in 2020 (NOTE: This money is still taxed as income!)
  • Employer and Employee: $2,898          Self-Employed $5,796 
4. Retirement Account Contributions Can Roll Over
  • If you didn't max out your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) contributions in 2019, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) lets you add the difference onto next years contribution.
5. Do You Own a Small Business?
  • The tax rate dropped to 9% on the first $500K of income compared to 10% in 2018.
6. Does Your Business Generate Passive Income?
  • If you make more than $50K, the 9% tax rate may not apply.
7. Common Small Business Deductions:
  • Home Office Expenses (can include interest on your mortgage)
  • Vehicle Expenses
  • Accounting and Legal Fees
  • Reserves or "Sinking Fund" (for reasonable amounts)
  • Office Rent
If you need a professional to help you get started on your taxes, call me for a great referral!


Now that we covered the tax time information, let's move on to the CRA scams and how to identify them.
In 2018, more than 4,000 victims lost out on over $15.2 million as a result of tax scammers pretending to be with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

COMMUNICATION SCAMS TO WATCH FOR
  • Phone Call
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Door-to-Door
  • Mail
RED FLAGS
  • Demanding personal information - social insurance, credit card or bank account numbers.
  • Referencing debt...you don't have
  • Threatening or coercive language
  • Demanding immediate payment, especially in the form of bitcoin or gift cards
  • You are prompted to visit a website outside of the canada.ca official domain
  • Saying they're sending the police
BEFORE YOU RESPOND, Ask Yourself...
  • Is this link legit? Hover over it to see where it leads before you click.
  • Am I sure this caller or sender is a CRA employee? The CRA will never pressure or threaten you to take immediate action.
  • Do I owe money to the CRA? If you know you don't, it's probably a scam.
  • Have I received an official statement of account recently? Government programs like Canada student loans or employment insurance will send you official statements - not a threatening phone call out of the blue.
There you have it. I hope this information is helpful to you and for anyone with older family members and friends, take the time to educate those about these scams. Those are the ones being taken advantage of. 

Until next time - Keep It "REAL"





SOURCES: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Buffini & Company





Friday, January 17, 2020

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year to all my clients, friends and family! I hope you had a wonderful and memorable holiday season. It's a new year and a new decade! Now that it's begun and we've been having some wintry weather, there is no better time to give you some real estate tips for those winter showings.

CLEAR SNOW & ICE
  • It's a good idea to keep your entrance way, walkways, and driveway clear during the winter months. Be sure to shovel and/or plow the driveway and add some salt or sand. We do want people to fall in love with your home, but not literally.
ADD MOTION SENSORS
  • While it is known to leave all lights on in the house for a showing, it is also a good idea to add a motion sensor to the doors where potential buyers may enter the home. A little extra lighting walking up the walkway on an icy path is great for those night time showings.
KEEP IT CLEAN
  • It is winter, however, you still need to keep the windows clean, baseboards fresh, furniture dusted and the garbage emptied. Also don't forget to re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks and make those faucets sparkle. With winter comes wet entrance ways with some added salt and sand so be sure to vacuum and wash the floors more often.
LIGHT YOUR HOME
  • During the winter months, the natural daylight is limited. Be sure to open drapes and blinds during the day and turn on all lamps and lights in the evening. Also have the lights on in the closets, under the cabinets and on your appliances. This will make the home feel welcoming and cozy.
COZY TEMPERATURE
  • One of the worse things you can do when having your home on the market is to have your house too cold. Entering a freezing cold home may deter potential buyers so it is a good idea to set the temperature a little warmer than you would normally have it. If you have an HVAC system, be sure it is cleaned and up to date on the service calls.
NO SCENTS IS GOOD SENSE
  • While it is a good idea to have a clean home for potential buyers, it is also a good idea not to use overpowering smells that will linger. Some people have allergies and may also be sensitive to perfume, candles, febreeze (or other air deoderizers) and plug-ins. It is also probably a good idea to do your baking after the potential buyers have gone through as well so avoid all those overpowering scents and smells.
There you have it. Helpful wintry home tips. Thanks for taking the time to read and until next time - Keep it "REAL".






Take some time to read my past blog posts and if there is anything you'd like to know, let me know and I will do a blog post for it. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

I Am Grateful For...

Some of you may have heard me on Seaside FM last Thursday. I spoke about real estate and the market, clients and why I love to do what I do. So in this blog, I just want to take a few moments to thank you all for your support because I really couldn't do what I do...without you.

In saying that, I think it is only fitting to share with you something I received not too long ago which is the Science of Gratitude (Buffini Company)

Did you know a grateful disposition reduces the desire for wealth and material things, the risk of burnout and symptoms of depression, which in turn makes you happier? Well, I am here to tell you, studies have shown that to be true. If you would like to share your gratitude with others, here are three small acts you can do that have big impacts to help you practice gratitude every day.


1. HANDWRITTEN NOTES
Get Started:
  • Pick up a pen and a pack of blank cards
  • Send at least one note a week
  • Keep it positive, including at least one reason why you're grateful for that particular connection.
Studies show people who write notes are more satisfied with life and show fewer symptoms of depression.

2. SMALL ACTS OF KINDNESS
Get Started:
  • Buy coffee for a coworker or doughnuts for the office
  • Be a genuine listener - look for opportunities to fill a need
  • Get lunch with a friend who is new to the area
Studies show more kindness means more happiness! When participants in one study performed acts of kindness for friends, family members and colleagues for seven days, they all reported higher levels of happiness and well-being.

3. DAILY GRATITUDE CHECK-INS
Get Started:
  • Write three things you're grateful for on a sticky note, and glance at it regularly
  • Take a daily walk, and reflect on what you're grateful for
  • Keep a gratitude journal, updating at the beginning or end of your day 
Studies show counting our blessings increases well-being. Writing down what you're grateful for each week creates more life satisfaction and optimism for the week ahead.

There you have it. Let me start this chain of gratitude...I am grateful for YOU, and happy to help keep you accountable on your own gratitude journey! Finally, to quote Ellen DeGeneres "Be Kind to One Another". It's just that simple!

Until next time, Keep it "REAL"