Tagged : First time home buyers

Found 9 blog entries tagged as "First time home buyers".


Want to take on a hardscaping project in your own backyard?  Follow these eight easy steps to create a simple stone patio.

1.  Mark out your patio area with pegs and rope.

2.  Dig a 6" patio base and make sure you have a slight slope (approximately 1/4" per square foot) to prevent flooding.

3.  Once you're satisfied with your base, tamp down the soil until it's flat.

4.  Lay down landscaping fabric, which will help with drainage and prevent weeds from growing between the stones.

5.  Fill in the base with 2" of gravel and tamp it down.  Repeat with another 2" of gravel and tamp down again.

6.  Top the compacted gravel with a 2" layer of sand as screed.  Level the sand

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While people have virtually always landscaped their yards, hardscaping has started to gain popularity as we've begun to put more focus on extending our living spaces to the outdoors.  Here's what you need to know first.


Hardscaping includes all the non-organic design elements on your property - that means retaining walls, paved walkways, decks, fences, pergolas and sculptures.


Simple cosmetic projects like stone patios and fire-pits can be handled on your own if you're feeling handy, but defer to professionals when it comes to big projects that could affect slope or drainage.  Contractors who specialize in hardscaping will help you achieve your vision for the space and do the work

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If they're doing their job properly, you shouldn't notice the windows in your house.  But if you're in the market for an upgrade, there are tons of options that can add value to your home and make a stylish statement.


When buying windows, look for:  

HIGH R-Value - determines how well the window prevents heat loss.  

LOW Emissivity - reflects the heat to the warm side of the glass.


You have two choices for installation: retrofitting (inserting new windows into the existing casing) or brick-to-brick (stripping out the windows and frames and starting fresh).  Retrofitting is less expensive, but brick-to-brick is the more energy efficient option.  And remember, if

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If you live in a condo or an older house, you know that closet space is at a premium.  Adding a closet or expanding an existing one will help to increase the functionality and value of your home.  Or, if it's a low cost, flexible solution you're after, stand alone wardrobes are always an option.

You'd be surprised where you can squeeze in closet space.  Consider, for instance, the often overlooked area underneath your staircase.  With a little ingenuity, you can really gain some valuable extra storage.  If it's your bedroom closet that's lacking, you may be able to get away with widening or deepening it or even building a new one by expanding into an adjacent room.  Just be sure that other space is large enough to give up that square footage

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Looking to expand your real-estate portfolio? Perhaps you have a primary residence on which you’re slowly but surely paying down the mortgage, and suddenly, you’ve found yourself with more savings than you anticipated. Purchasing a multi-unit dwelling to stuff with tenants could theoretically pad your pockets on a monthly basis for as long as you decide to hold onto it. Right now, interest rates are relatively low and rents are high, so investors are acquiring  income properties like never before. The process is not as easy as finding an okay house and cramming it with naïve university students, though. Here are a few (very important) financial and administrative points to consider:


The down payment: First and foremost, you must

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BCREA – Need to Know:

BC Budget - PTT exemption threshold for First-time Buyers 

Increases on February 19th, 2014

The BC Government released Budget 2014/2015 today. The most direct and immediate announcement for REALTORS® is:

Property Transfer Tax Effective for registrations on and after February 19, 2014 — tomorrow — the Property Transfer Tax exemption threshold under the First Time Home Buyers’ Program is increased to $475,000 from $425,000, with the partial exemption/phase out applying between $475,000 and $500,000. 

Government information online has already been updated:


The government estimates that approximately

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Ask yourself these 10 questions 

to help narrow your search:


1.  Do you want a single family detached house, a duplex, a townhouse, a row house or a condo?



2.  Do you enjoy yard work?



3.  Do you travel a lot?



4.  Do you often entertain or have house guests?



5.  Do you need a lot of natural light?



6.  Are you handy with repairs?



7.  Could you live through a renovation)



8.  Are you comfortable with the notion of a condo board making decisions that will affect you?



9.  Do you want easy access to public transit?



10.  How close do you want to live to your neighbors?

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3 Inexpensive Items To Help Keep You Protected When Mother Nature Strikes.

Backup Sump Pump ~$175
If your home loses power due to flooding, a battery powered backup sump pump will help keep the water out of your basement.  This is ideal if it's finished.

Gas Powered Generator ~$200
This is a great backup source to have on hand in case of a blackout.  A generator is especially useful for long power outages in the winter.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors ~$50+
Sever storms can result in secondary emergencies like fires and gas leaks, so outfitting your home with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor will help ensure maximum safety.

Kelowna New Construction Homes For Sale

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No one wants to find themselves in an emergency situation, so it's important to prepare your home as much as possible.  Since there's nothing you can do to stop Mother Nature, here are a few small, proactive measures you can take to help keep damages at bay.


Overflowing gutters are one of the major causes of water finding its way into homes.  If your downspouts are leaky, in disrepair of non-existent, heavy snow and rain will go right into your foundation.  Cleaning your gutters and repairing your downspouts should be on your annual maintenance list, and consider investing in gutter covers or screens to keep leaves out.


Proper fire separation between floors will help contain

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