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Top 5 Benefits of Owning a Home
Posted on Fri, 30 Nov 2018, 02:30:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  My services
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Owning a home is everyone’s dream, there are many noticeable benefits of owning a home. If you are planning to purchase a home the first step you should take is to determine whether having a house is the right fit for you and your family. It is essential when making your decisions to strongly consider both the advantages and disadvantages of what you are deciding on.Top 5 Benefits of Owning a Home


Here are some of the benefits of having a place to call your home. Knowing some of the benefits of owning a home can help you make informed decisions and save some of your money in the long run.


Freedom to Own

The most obvious plus benefit of having your own home is being in the position to customize it to fit your lifestyle. The dream home you always think about will become a reality with the newly found freedom to design, renovate, decorate and add anything that your heart desires.


If you have your own home, you can add permanent fixtures or paint your walls with any color you wish without worrying about breaking or leasing restrictions or regulations.


Opportunity to Build Equity

When you hear individuals talking about homeownership and real estate, one of the most obvious words you will likely hear is equity. Equity in real estate or homeownership is the probable market value of a property without or minus the liens against it such as a mortgage. One of the excellent benefits of having a home is an opportunity to create or build equity.


The longer you own your home, the more you will have to pay towards the balance of any liens. As the principal balance of any liens gets lower and lower and hopefully the value of the home increases, the larger the equity.


Enhances Your Savings

Purchasing a home is a reliable and stable way of investing your cash. To make it even simpler, property or homeownership is a forced way of saving your money. For most individuals, paying for your monthly mortgage is not a cost; it is a payment to yourself, which allows for higher credit, overall profit and equity down the road. You should view your mortgage payments as maintaining an excellent financial discipline where you are investing in something that is bound to improve and grow over time.


You Enjoy Significant Tax Deductions

Homeownership can minimize the amount of money you pay in income tax every year. Your property tax and mortgage interest payments can be deduced from the federal taxes and other state taxes.


Certain closing expenses and mortgage discount points may also be tax deductible. During the early years of your loan, when the interests represent the bulk of your mortgage payment, the respective tax deductions can help you save a significant amount of money.


Build Your Credit

There are many factors that affect your credit score, and one of the most important is the length of your credit history. The best tip of boosting your credit score is to improve the average length of your credit accounts, and homeownership can help you accomplish this.


Since the current length of a mortgage is approximately 15 to 30 years, having a mortgage on your respective credit history is an excellent way to expand or lengthen the average of your current credit accounts.


You should understand that each month that you pay a mortgage on time; it indicates that you are a responsible borrower which not only improves your credit score but also increases the chances of approval of your future credit accounts.

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Don't Forget About These Things When You Budget for Your First Home!
Posted on Wed, 31 Oct 2018, 11:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services
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If you are getting ready to purchase your first home, there are many things that may not make it into your budget. While you may be focused on the excitement of the home itself, certain items added to your budget may make your overall experience after you move in more comfortable.


FurnitureDont Forget About These Things When You Budget for Your First Home

Although the furniture isn't a requirement when purchasing a home, many homeowners wish they had the funds to furnish the living spaces with new items right away. Saving for this makes homeownership much sweeter in the end. If you don't wish to save for the whole home, the living spaces should get some attention or even a new sofa!



Appliances, paint, fixtures, and lighting can make a new home purchase feel like it is indeed your ideal home. It is a little bit of work up front to get something that feels like you live there. These items have an upfront cost but the payoff is great. These are great things to think about when negotiating a price as well. If the home needs some updates, don't be afraid to give an offer that is below the asking price.


Home Maintenance

There may be things in the home that need to be fixed when you move in, or they may break right after you move in. Being prepared with savings for home maintenance or emergencies is a good way to keep your new home in steady working condition. Repairs can be very high if something is missed during the inspection of a home. If you plan on doing home maintenance yourself, there should still be a bit of emergency money set away for those things that you may not be able to do alone!


Final Costs

Make sure you ask about all of the costs of the home purchasing process. Your REALTOR® should be able to discuss this with you and let you know exactly what you will be responsible for when purchasing the home you decide on. This will help you stick to a more accurate budget.


Your Perfect Space

If you can't make your whole home perfectly the way you want it, an agreed upon space can be decorated and furnished to be a sanctuary for you. Feeling like you are at home can come from one space that reflects how you love to entertain, relax, enjoy your family, or work. A room that reflects your personality will show your guests just how well much the home compliments your style.


When purchasing a home it can be an emotional journey. Considering how you will feel once you've lived in the home will help you budget for the little things that will make the end of your home buying journey peaceful. Money is never the only consideration in homebuying but if you want your home to reflect your style it is an investment that is easier done with savings prior to the purchase of the home.

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How To Say “Goodbye” To Your Beloved First Home
Posted on Sun, 30 Apr 2017, 01:40:00 PM  in Home selling tips

If you are moving away from the first Canadian home that you have ever purchased, you may be having some feelings of intense sadness. That is understandable considering the feelings you had when you were first buying this Canadian home you will now be leaving behind. You chanced it all to get this home in particular and now you’re leaving it for the next chapter in your life. Good luck.

Here are a few tasteful ways to savor that last little bit of time you have left with your beloved first Canadian home before officially signing it away with your sales representative.How To Say “Goodbye” To Your Beloved First Home


Plant Something In the Yard

When you step back and look at all that you have accomplished in the amount of time that you have spent in your house, you may be realizing that virtually everything in the house and in the yard have been touched by you at some point. It can be a jarring or saddening thing to think about all of that hard work, blood, sweat, and tears disappearing with the new set of family members to live there. Take this time to come up with something that you can plant in the yard. Think of this item as something that will likely be a permanent fixture that can never be removed. If you live on a wooded lot or have a lot of trees in the backyard, consider planting a tree. It will not be singled out to be cut down and will likely not even be special to the family that moves in, but it will give you the closure you need. That baby tree will make you feel like a part of you will always be with that house and that property. If you can’t plant a tree or flower, then plant an item that meant something to you in the yard. Simply dig a small hole and plant an old piece of trim or a shard of glass from the first window that you ever broke in the house. Even though you won’t be able to watch this bloom for years to come, you can be confident that the item will remain there for many years to come.


Fill The Home With Your Favorite Scents

When you think of being at home what is the first thing that often comes to mind? The smells that remind you of home when you’re not there, right? Think of baking your grandmother’s famous cookies from a recipe that is strictly secret between the two of you. Make your favorite dinner and let the smells fill up your home. Maybe these smells come from the scents that you have always used in your baths after a long day of hard work. Whatever smells make you think of home when you are not there are the perfect smells that you should be filling your home with in your last days. Make your memories something special.


Create Something

There is nothing more inspirational than the items, people, and environments that mean the most to you. Take these last few days to write poems, stories, or journal entries of all of your fondest memories in the home. If you are not much of a write, then consider making some sort of piece of artwork that you can take with you to remember your first home with. This may be a painting or pastel piece that you have created. Maybe it is a piece of jewelry created using something from the home. Whatever you choose to create should have special meaning to you.

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First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid
Posted on Sun, 15 Jan 2017, 09:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Probably you have been planning to acquire your dream house for long. You have scrimped and saved enough to cover the down payment, and you have even come across these lovely apartments for sale. It is your first time in the real estate market; so, you aren’t sure how to go about a successful purchase. If you don’t want to be caught up in a financial mess, here are the mistakes to avoid:First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid


  1. Not Considering What You Can Afford

Consider what you afford so that you look at homes within your price range. Looking at homes outside your price range will make you lust for relatively expensive homes thus stretching your means financially. Experts suggest that you prepare a list of all your monthly expenditure including student loan payments, groceries, vehicle costs, credit card payments, health insurance and so on. Also, remember significant expenses that occur only once a year, such as annual vacations or insurance premiums. This will help you realize how much you can spend on your new home every month.


  1. Skipping Mortgage Qualification

What the bank is prepared to lend you and what you can afford may not match up, particularly if you have unstable income or poor credit. So, before placing an offer on a home, ensure you get pre-approved for a loan. This will help you save the seller, the seller’s agent and your agent’s time if you sign the contract and then realize later that your bank is willing to lend you a mortgage you find unacceptable.


  1. Neglecting To Inspect

Let’s face it—owning a home is a dream that many would wish to accomplish however tough it may be. Sometimes we come across an offer that we find hard to resist: a house that looks like it is in a perfect condition, and the price is affordable. You quickly rush to sign the papers ignoring the inspection while not knowing what is awaiting you— this is a money pit of expensive repairs.


  1. Not Getting Professional Help - Hire an Agent

Avoid walking into an open house alone. Always hire a real estate agent. A real estate professional will help you a great deal to avoid some of the simple mistakes you could otherwise make.


  1. Being Too Particular

It is good to put everything you wish for in your new home wish list. However, avoid being too inflexible because you may end up continuing to live in a rented home for a significantly longer period than you anticipated. Usually, first-time homebuyers have to compromise on some items because of limited funds. You may be forced to live on a busy street, make some repairs in the home, accept the outdated decor, or live without that extra bedroom. Though you can choose to continue living in rented space until you can afford everything on your wish list, you will have to make a decision whether it is important to become a homeowner now or a few years later.


  1. Lacking Vision

Even if you can’t afford major renovations in the home, it is worth to cope with the ugliness for a while and in turn get a house that you can afford without strain. If the home fits your needs regarding the unchangeable things such as the size and location, don’t allow the physical imperfections cloud your judgment and turn you away. Furthermore, upgrading the home by yourself is far much cheaper than paying the seller who has already upgraded it for you.

Buying your first home may seem stressful and devastating, and it isn’t without its fair share of potential pitfalls. Being fully informed of the issues ahead helps you protect yourself from these costly mistakes thereby giving you confidence while shopping.

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New Features to Look for in a Tiny House
Posted on Fri, 15 Jul 2016, 02:00:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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Tiny houses represent a way of life for some people. They live downsizing and moving into a smaller property that doesn't cost as much to heat, cool or even power as a traditional home does. Whether you live on your own or with a spouse or partner, you might look at tiny houses for sale and wonder if one of these homes is really right for you. As long as you can handle the lack of space, you might enjoy living in a tiny house. Some of the new features found on these homes can make living in one more convenient too.


While some manufacturers design tiny homes with permanence in mind, others create tiny homes that you can actually take with you. These homes feature bars and hooks that let you hook one up to the back of your truck and pull it to a new location. This is a great option for those who want to travel across the country or those who want to try out a few different towns before finally settling down. Only the smallest of tiny homes come with this feature though.

small-houseOpen Layout

The problem with tiny homes is a lack of space. Most feature a lofted bed that sits high above the living space and a living room that does double duty as a kitchen. After spending a few weeks living in one of these homes, you may begin feeling a little claustrophobic. Designers now make tiny homes that have more space because these homes feature an open layout that puts part of the kitchen outside. Large windows fold down from one wall to create a bar that lets you see in to and out of the home while entertaining.

Rooftop Access

If you like the look of tiny houses but wish you could find one with more space, look for one that offers rooftop access. Though these homes have a standard look from the ground, you'll notice a small set of stairs or a built-in ladder on one wall that lets you reach the roof of the house. The roofs often feature a railing or fence that surrounds each wall, but you may find other features too, including a barbecue grill or built-in benches that let you relax and enjoy the views around your home.

Hidden Features

When looking at tiny homes for sale, look for those that have hidden features. You might find a house that has a trundle bed that pulls out from underneath the kitchen floor or a bed that folds down from the wall. This provides you with a comfortable space to sleep but lets you tuck that bed out of the way to have more space when entertaining guests or working from home. Other tiny houses have hidden closets tucked behind the stairs that lead to the loft or closet space hidden underneath that loft. You may even find a bathroom tucked under the loft.

Pop-Out Design

Many campers feature a pop-out design that lets you increase your living space. You use cranks inside the camper to push the walls out and increase the interior size. Some tiny house builders now use this same feature to make those smaller homes a little bigger. You can use that crank to push the walls out and double the size of your living room. Some tiny houses even have walls that slide or push out to reveal a hidden bed. As you shop for a tiny house, keep your eyes peeled for some of the new features available on these homes.

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Preparing to Buy Your First Home
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 10:45:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Owning a home is a dream of many people, but the prospects of actually owning a home can be a little frightening. Purchasing a new home can be an overnight decision, but the preparation that goes into buying that first home will take some time. 

One of the most important aspects of owning a home is applying for a mortgage. Lenders have a set of criteria each applicant must fit before being approved for a mortgage. Income, debt and savings are taken into consideration when applying for a mortgage. It is important to be employed and have a positive employment track record when applying for a mortgage. 

It is also important to not have a large amount of debt. Crunch the numbers first and find out how much of your salary goes to paying down debt such as a car loan or credit cards. It is essential to have a positive debt and bill repayment plan in place. Lenders will use that as an indication of how well you will keep up with mortgage payments. 

A lender will also look at the money you have for a down payment and typically look at least 20% of the purchase price. If you have less than 20% for a down soldpayment a lender may require you to have mortgage insurance. Keep in mind the more you have for a down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be and the lower interest rate you will pay on that mortgage. 

Lenders will also look at your credit score and may require a certain credit score to qualify for a loan. This is where timely payments for loans, rent, utility bills and other debt come into play. It is important to know your credit score and it is wise to get a copy of that through one of the available credit report services. If your report shows late payments, make sure the credit report is correct and then put yourself on a bill paying plan that includes timely payments.

In addition to mortgage payments, you will be responsible for utilities, maintenance and repairs. Check out the cost of energy to heat a home and get an idea of what a monthly cost might be. Family and friends will be able to help you with that. When thinking about maintenance and repairs, keep in mind there will be yearly maintenance, as well as long term maintenance and repairs. Determine what you can do yourself and what tasks will require hiring a professional. 

When searching for a home, a local real estate agent could be your best friend. Ask friends and family if they have ever dealt with a real estate agent recently and ask if they would recommend them. A good real estate agent will listen to your needs, wants and wishes and help you find a home that meets your criteria, as well as your budget. Drive around the area where you might like to live and look for homes with for sale signs and contact the listed agent. If that home does not fit your needs, the agent will know other homes in the area that will. 

Looking at available homes may include several visits and making an offer. The seller will have a price in mind that they want to get for their home and you will have a price that you will offer. It may take some negotiating so be prepared for the process taking a little bit of time. Always make sure acceptance is contingent on a home and property inspection and you getting a mortgage. If the seller accepts your price and the home and property inspection is positive, you will negotiate a closing date and when you move in.


How May I Contact You?

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Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire.
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ZOI OUZAS Sales Representative
RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc., Brokerage
64 Main Street West, Grimsby ON L3M 1R6
Office: (905)-945-0660 Office: (905)-563-8527


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