Vital Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Condo

A lot of people love the condo lifestyle. It’s not surprising really considering all the amenities you can enjoy. But before you start looking for condos for sale in Toronto, here’s a list of questions you need to ask to help you find the right property:

  1. Who is the condo developer?

Choosing a reputable condo developer can help you avoid headaches later on. Make sure the developer is known to use high quality materials for the construction of the building and its facilities. Also, make sure the company has a track record of completing projects in a timely manner. An incomplete condo isn’t worth much.

  1. What are the biggest issues concerning the condo?

What kind of issues are the occupants griping about? Is the association quick to provide resolutions or are the problems not getting fixed at all?

  1. Who manages the condo?

It’s best if you can schedule an interview with the condo manager so you can get to know this person and determine if he/she is competent and helpful. You should also talk to your potential neighbors about what they think of the building’s management.

  1. Do they provide additional storage space?

Some condos may provide residents with a personal storage space so find out if you’ll be provided a place where you can store bikes, winter skis, and other items you don’t use frequently.

  1. What’s covered in the association’s insurance policy?

Get a copy of the policy and determine what things are covered and check if the rebuild estimates are accurate. Also try to find out if the policy covers the occupants’ personal belongings in the event of fire or leaks.

  1. What’s included in the monthly dues?

The condo’s association fees are computed based on the number of units in the building, the cost to maintain the property, and who runs the community.

Get a breakdown of the fees so you’ll know where your money is going and if there’s money being set aside to pay for major repairs.

  1. What are the condo rules and regulations?

If you have a pet, you need to check with the management if they allow pets. If you plan to rent out your unit, then ask if there are rules regarding rental properties. Make sure it does not have any guidelines that you can’t live with.

  1. Is there any active or pending litigation?

It happens in many condo communities. Owners may sue the management or developer. Owners may sue other owners. It’s important to check if the community has any active or pending lawsuit as this may signal that it’s not being managed properly.

A condo is a considerable investment. Whether you plan to buy a condo so you can move into a new home or you want to rent it out, it’s important that you look into every detail and leave nothing out during your research and assessment. By doing due diligence, you’ll have a much better chance of finding the best condo for you.

 

What are the main features that make this type of kitchen so successful?

In recent times modern kitchen design is the most chosen, mainly by young couples, who furnish for the first time their home.

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First of all the great popularity of modern kitchen design depends on the particularity of the colors of all the furniture that compose it: from pure white with shiny finish, which makes the room brighter, to the total black one for people from the rock soul, but also total red, orange, yellow or violet kitchen to be always in good humor.

Others unmissable elements in modern kitchen design are the so-called “islands” and “peninsulas”: they are an excellent solution, particularly in open space rooms, because with their extended shapes create a sort of separation between the kitchenette and the zone where meals are eaten. Besides “islands” and “peninsulas” can be used themselves as a table where to eat, sitting on special stools expressly combined to them. In some cases the “peninsula” can be equipped with sink and cookers, serving as a stovetop.

Even the light plays a very important role in modern kitchen design: depending on the tastes, it is possible to find spotlights which propagate a soft light in the room, for warm and romantic atmosphere, or great chandeliers in the same color of the furniture and this to give to the room an elegant and palatial aspect.

Indisputable protagonists of a modern kitchen design are the great domestic appliances: the oven with chrome trims is almost always cashed in the forniture while the fridge is large size and it can be cashed or single. Besides on the shelves are exposed others electrical appliances as: mixer, kitchen robot or coffee machine: all these domestic appliances are energy saving.

As it regards instead the materials in which are built modern kitchen design, it is necessary to specify that the most used are stainless steel, glass but also granite and this because besides giving a great aspect to the furniture, they make them easy to clean.

Also the choice of the floors is very important to obtain modern kitchen design: the most chosen are those with ceramic tiles or with wooden strips joined together to form a wonderful parquet. It is possible to decide to pave the floor with uniform color for the entire surface or to opt for two different colors to divide the environments in open space kitchen without building a partition wall.

The sofa is an important furnishing element because it is the right place to relax or to sit down with family to watch the tv.

In particular modern sofas are very fashionable so much that they are the models the most purchased at the time. In fact they have a lot of excellent qualities combined together: first of all this kind of sofas are comfortable and functional but also full of style.

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Modern sofas are characterized by a simple and linear design that give them a sober and refined appearance at the same time. Besides, since it is always necessary to adapt the sofas to the environment in which should be entered, it is possible to choose between the different solutions available on the market the most appropriate one. In fact, in specialized stores, modern sofas are available in several variations: sofas of compact size to be inserted in little rooms; sofas with “peninsula” that in addition to giving a touch of modernity, are very useful to relax or to use as a kind of table where children can play because it is without an espalier; there are sofas out of size with three seater and a half and a practical headrest which ensures a comfortable position of the head; but also modular compositions, which can be built with angular shapes or by connecting to the main sofa some coordinated armchairs or poufs. Other modern sofa are equipped with reclining seat, which can be both manual or electric,and this allows a total relax, thanks to the opportunity to adjust the position of head and of legs. Then, dedicated to people who have limited space at home or to those who love to accommodate friends, there are modern sofas that in a few steps and with simple gestures can be transformed into spacious and comfortable beds.

As it regards instead the structures of modern sofas, it is necessary to specify that they are built with solid wooden layers placed on the legs with particular suspension to ensure a secure and comfortable attitude.

Another important aspect is represented by the coatings: the majority of modern sofas are made in leather, but there are also models coated with tissues in different colors, that are very practical because these have removable covers which can be washed easily, also in the washing machine, and then put back them in place all the times you want.

Home Inspection Tips To Take Into Account

Homebuyers should always think about maintenance and as a homebuyer, it is vital that you always think about hiring a home inspector to be sure you know the exact condition of the property before you think about buying it. This is important because the property can be properly evaluated and all the things the owners do not want to tell you about will be revealed. If you want to be sure the home inspection goes properly, always think about the following.

Be Present At The Home Inspection

Real estate agents can usually handle home inspections but as a buyer you will need to be sure you are present when this happens. That will make it easy to receive all the relevant information from an inspector and you can see the issues that are found while actually being there. Regular home inspections just take some hours so you can easily attend. The difference between making costly mistakes and making great choices can be really small.

The Follow-Up Service

When issues are identified, there are also repair recommendations that are done. Estimates are necessary to see the associated costs. At the same time, we have inspectors that will make follow-up suggestions for other services that would analyse different specific issues. Do be sure that you take this recommendation into account.

The Possibility To Have Another Inspection Done

Contrary to popular belief, there is no reason why you should not have another professional to check the property. That is especially the case with some of the difficult things to analyse, like the HVAC unit. Professionals in a specific field will always offer better suggestions that you can take into account. The best example is termite inspection. Regular home inspection services will identify the presence of termites but only a termite specialist can tell you exactly what extent is present.

Perform Home Inspections Even With New Homes

A really common mistake that appears is not having a home inspection done in the event the home is new. You should still check since you never know if the contractor decided to cut some corners or not.

Additional Tests For Older Homes

Unfortunately, the older the property, the higher the possibility that additional tests will be necessary! In the event the home is older than 30 years, additional problems may be present, problems that the visual inspection cannot identify. An additional test will be necessary. For instance, a camera may be put through drain lines to check drain leaks.

The problems that you find during the home inspection can so easily vary from a property to the next. However, in most cases the common problems we see are drainage problems, plumbing issues, bad wirings, environmental hazards and foundation defects. Always be sure you are going to call the very best possible home inspector you can locate. It is worth paying a little bit more since you would be able to identify all the problems that appear in the property. You always want to know everything about what is wrong with the home you want to buy.

Reasons for the Popularity of Sheer Window Shades

 

Sheer window shades have long been a popular choice among homeowners, and now there are a lot of shops that sell sheer shades online. This type of window treatment is versatile, which is one of the many reasons that it remains popular to this day.

The very first sheer window shades were invented by a man named of Hunter Douglas in the early 1990s, and back then they were called “silhouettes.”

The best of both worlds

Sheer windows shadings are a combination of sheer drapery and blinds. This means that you can choose to either raise the drapes up to the head rail or leave them down and still be able to retain your view of the outside. You can also control the way the vanes tilt so that you can have some privacy by closing it all the way, or just have enough opening to take a peek outside.

Versatility

The vanes also come in a variety of fabrics. The amount of coverage your window shades will offer you depends on the material used. The coverage ranges from something a bit more sheer to something more opaque. You can even layer sheers wit heavier curtains or drapes to create more variations.

UV protection

Sheer window shades also offer great protection from the harmful UV rays from the sun. You can expect complete and total sun protection when the vanes are closed. And even if you choose to tilt the vanes to open them up, you will still be somewhat protected from the sun by up to 88%. This does not just protect you, it protects your furniture from fading as well.

Beautiful home decor

Sheers can act as a “softener” in a room full of dynamic patterns. They also provides a chic feel and hotel room-like appeal. It adds to the “airy” vibe of the room. If you do not find the flowing look of sheers appealing, you can choose sheer window shades with a more architectural design, but with the same light-control and cover of sheer curtains.

They are more affordable than blinds

It may be a surprise to you, but sheer window shades are actually more affordable than blinds. They are also almost priced the same as black-out curtains. The more practical option though would be sheers, as you can leave them the way they are on their own or you can choose from a variety of accessories to dress them up and choose the level of coverage you want from them. You can also modify them to better match your personal aesthetic and budget.

Widely available

Sheer window shades are widely available, even on the internet. You can browse and shop for sheer shades online and choose from a wide range of designs and functions, as opposed to having limited options at physical stores.

Top Reasons Homeowners Use Rental Storage Units

Many people find it very convenient to just use a rental storage unit to store some of their belongings. These facilities can be very affordable, with some storage units in Montreal costing approximately $60 a month.

Listed here are some of the benefits you get when you rent a storage unit:

  1. You’re not forced to fit everything in your home. It’ll just make you look like a crazy hoarder if you do. Those hoarders in TV shows aren’t crazy for acquiring so many items. Most of us just like to collect things. What’s crazy is keeping certain things in your home when you clearly don’t have enough space. With a storage unit, you can store the items that you don’t have the space for.
  2. You can pick and choose which items to put in your home. Let’s say you’re moving to a new place. It can pressure you into choosing which items to keep and which ones to let go. But this time, you can get everything in a single location (or several units) and then you can take the time to decide which of the items you want to give away.
  3. You can store away all your seasonal items. When summer comes, you can store away everything that you would use for the cold winter months. You can store your Christmas lights and decorations, as well as you winter coats too. Then when the cold season approaches, you can get back these items and store away the things you only use during the summer. You can put your kayak in your storage unit if you only use it during summer break.
  4. You can also store valuable items in secure storage facilities. These safe places come in handy when you have poor security in your apartment building. Here you can put in furniture, old computers, and even old CDs and books. These tend to use up lots of space. But just make sure the security in the facility is reliable.
  5. They’re great for your small business. It can function as a storage space for your inventory, without cramping your apartment with the things you want to sell online. With a storage unit, you can keep track of your inventory more effectively. What’s more, you’re not trapped in using a rental storage unit for a year when you only need to use one for a few months.
  6. You can use the place to keep your old clothes. The funny thing about fashion is that sometimes old styles can be cool Look around and you’ll probably notice that there’s always an appreciation for vintage clothing. As long the place has shelves and clothing racks, it shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Top 7 Reasons to Hire a Pro to Clean Your Attic

Cleaning the attic can be an unpleasant experience. Sometimes the mere thought of it can overwhelm you, especially if it’s a real mess up there. But in some cases it’s absolutely necessary, especially after a rodent infestation. However, with a professional Montreal decontamination service, homeowners can rest easy knowing that an expert is getting the job done right.

Here are some reasons why it’s a great idea to have your attic decontaminated by a pro:

  1. It’s probably not safe for you to do a DIY cleaning of your attic, especially when you have a rodent infestation. Sure you can wear gloves. But you may brush up against various surfaces where mice and rats have left microscopic traces of their droppings and urine which contain dangerous germs that can lead to very serious ailments.
  2. It can also take you more than a day to do it yourself. In fact, it can take weeks. But with a professional service, an entire team can come to your home and finish the job in the fastest time possible. They already have a set routine in place, and they probably have years of experience to streamline the process.
  3. You don’t get hurt or injured when you have others doing the job. You won’t have to do heavy lifting that can lead to back pain, and some of the things in your attic may be too heavy for you to lift. You can injure yourself easily, and there’s also the risk of tripping all over yourself.
  4. You can prevent damaging your possessions. Experts have ways of lifting the items in your attics so they’re not dropped and damaged accidentally. It can be very difficult to move and carry things properly in the attic, especially if there’s not much space for you to move around.
  5. The experts can also find holes and entryways that the rodents used to get inside the attic. These pros have the expertise to fix and seal these entryways so rodents don’t come back to make your home their home, making a mess again.
  6. Any damaged parts or areas in the attic can be repaired by experts. These damages can include torn ducts and wires that have been chewed through. Real professionals know how to deal with these problems easily and effectively, since they have the knowledge and experience. They can also strengthen various weak spots in the attic where mice and other rodents can chew through in the future to get in.
  7. They can decontaminate the area thoroughly. If you do this yourself, you may miss spots that need to be decontaminated. But pros know which areas need special attention, and they’ll be able to clean your attic much thoroughly than you can.

So why endure all that hassle? When your attic needs decontamination and cleaning, you may as well rely on the experts. At least you can be sure the job will be done quickly, safely, and properly.

 

Getting The Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Nothing says outdoors like BBQ. Some people will simply pull out the BBQ grill and set up a picnic table for their guests. However, there are a lot of people that will go the extra mile and have their own kitchen setup outside. If you are not exactly sure what you need or how you want it to look, you can always browse around for the best outdoor kitchen design that you like the most. There are endless possibilities when it comes to a design; you simply want to pick one that will suit you and your needs the best.

Get Your Design On

When you are thinking about what design you want to have, you need to think about questions like how it will perform as well as how it will look. No matter what style you are looking for you are sure to find the perfect design to fit your needs. One of the first things you need to think about is the items that you want to have. You should make a list of things such as:

  • Grill – What type of grill you want such as gas or charcoal and wood?
  • A Sink – Do you want to have a place that you can wash dishes and fruits and vegetables as needed?
  • Island – Do you want an island with enough space to do your prep work on?
  • Pizza oven – Do you want to be able to bake a great pizza while spending time outside?
  • Dining space and Bar – Will you want to set up a small bar for drinks as well as having a space that you and your family or friends can gather to eat together

These are all things that you will need to think of when keeping your design in mind, but you will also want to be thinking about your budget and just how much you have to spend while doing this. The next step will be implementing your design and setting everything up. Will you spend some of the budget on hiring a contractor to do all of the work, or will you buy prefab kits that allow you to easily do the work yourself?

If you are going to have walls or ceilings around the outdoor kitchen, you want to be sure that you leave enough space for ventilation as there is bound to be smoke from the grill. Electric work is something else that you will need to keep in mind when it comes to placement of certain items. You want to be sure that you are able to reach any outlets in your outdoor kitchen without having to run extra cords.

What Furniture to Use

Now that you have the cooking stations set up, you want to start thinking about the type of furniture that you want to have in your dining area. If you went through the trouble of setting up an amazing outdoor kitchen the chances are that you are not going to want to simply set up picnic tables.

When it comes to picking furniture, one of the best types would be Rattan garden furniture. You can easily find furniture in a wide range of styles that will easily fit with whatever style you are looking for in your outdoor kitchen area.

Avoiding the Kitchen of Your Nightmares

Human beings are fallible – that is just a fact of life. There are two things we can do to minimize mistakes. First, plan ahead and think things through. Second, learn from the mistakes others have made. Someone, somewhere has already made whatever mistake that might lie in your future, why repeat unnecessary pain? While that is a great overall life lesson, here let’s apply that to renovating or updating a house and learn what not to do.

Out of the Gate

When tackling a home repair or remodel job, it’s important to sit back before doing anything and count the cost. Not just the dollars and cents, but the time, the effort, the disruption to your life and the aggravation factor. Don’t just shrug off that last bit. Large project or small, something will go wrong. Not might, but will.

Next, get some professional help. No, not that kind of professional help. Although at some point you might feel the need for that kind of professional help (reference “aggravation factor”). Places like Lowe’s or Home Depot have lots of people on hand to help point you in the right direction for what materials you might need or even helping you with a color palette for your final decorating.

While a do-it-yourselfer can use those sources to find out how to install a water faucet or how to correctly hang wallpaper for bigger jobs, I strongly urge you to consult with a certified contractor before moving forward. In fact, I suggest hiring the contractor and let them handle the big stuff.

Nobody knows the Troubles I’ve Seen

As a licensed real estate agent and appraiser, I have had the opportunity to view literally thousands of properties. I have seen the very highest quality results of home improvement and remodeling projects and I’ve seen some jobs that remind me that some people have no business using a hammer and saw.

Since the areas that provide the best return on home remodeling investment are the kitchen and bathrooms, let’s look at kitchen remodeling mistakes to avoid.

Don’t Overdo It

Sometimes after watching one of the home makeover shows on TV, a person can get delusions of grandeur about what to do with their pink tiled and chrome accented kitchen which last saw a renovation in about 1957. The can envision their new kitchens with solid maple cabinets, granite or even quartz counters, solid brass fixtures and a cooking area that would make Gordon Ramsey or Bobby Flay jealous. That could be considered an over-improvement in appraiser-speak. In short, it’s going to cost more to do than you can ever recoup if the house is sold (perhaps significantly so). If you understand that and want to build it solely for your personal enjoyment, I say build away!

Don’t Under Budget

After making the decisions on what materials you want to use in your kitchen, i.e. wood vs. stone flooring, oak vs. maple cabinets and so forth, you need to consider labor costs, permits, etc. I can’t stress enough the number of projects I’ve seen unfinished because people have tried to make estimating costs into an exact science. When trying to force the estimate to meet the exact budget is when problems rear their ugly heads. Some examples of what can happen:

~  Out of stock…a work stoppage along the production route or a major natural disaster wreaking havoc along the supply chain. Either way, the cabinets you wanted aren’t going to make it. So, in order to get something comparable, the price goes up.

~  Unforeseen problems…while pulling up the current floor coverings the worker finds that the subfloor or floor joists are damaged in some way. Now you have a problem that must be fixed. At additional costs.

~  Rising raw material costs…for whatever reason, sometimes a rapid rise in the cost of the wood for the cabinets or the granite for the counters can happen. Now, the choice must be made to either lower the quality of the materials used or pay the higher cost.

~  Design changes…now that the cabinets and floor in that “perfect” lighting scheme don’t seem quite so perfect. Now instead of recessed lighting, you realize you want something visible throughout the room.

The Final Product

Odds are, if you plan ahead, get professional insight and allow for the unexpected, you will be thrilled with the outcome. Whatever that may end up being.

Protecting Your Backat Home

Do you suffer from back pain and discomfort from time to time? Have you ever considered that it could be directly related to some of the furniture at your home?

Are you a “weekend warrior”? Taking the time and effort to protect your back while playing a round of golf or tackling the honey do list?

Your home is a hotbed of activity that can lead to back problems. From the desk you sit at to the bed you sleep in, if not addressed properly these can lead to a bevy of pain and discomfort.

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Let’s start with your desk at the house. Many of us spend a lot of time browsing the web, organizing bills, and helping our kids with their homework at a desk.

According to NASA, standing periodically throughout the day is healthier than walking or daily exercise, so the benefits that come with an adjustable height desk typically exceed expectations of the consumer.

Those benefits include reduced back pain and discomfort, an increase in overall happiness, and improved efficiency and effectiveness.

When we lay down in our beds at night we automatically assume that we are due a good night’s rest. Rarely do we consider how our bed may relate to our overall health, including any back pain and discomfort.

If you find yourself waking up feeling worse than you did when you laid down, it is time to make some changes. Perhaps your mattress is not suited properly for your body, and there are some simple steps that can be taken to find out if this is the case.

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If you suspect your mattress is too hard or soft, simple suggestions are available to determine this before you begin to shop for a new mattress.

If you suspect that the mattress is too firm, place a foam sheet approximately 5cm thick on top of it. Sleep on this for a week and see what the results dictate.

If the mattress appears to be too soft, try placing it directly on the floor and sleeping on it for a week. Again, the results should be self-evident.

If you are not able to purchase a new mattress once you determine that this may be the cause of your discomfort, you might try to support your lower back in various ways.

Now that we have covered two essential areas of the home that can cause your back to have a bad day, let’s tackle the more obvious, for our “weekend warriors”.

Weekend softball leagues and those rounds of golf can lead to a wide array of back trouble. Typically, us “weekend warriors” let our ego take over and we think we are pro athletes when we are far from it.

That is where the trouble lies, thinking we can do what our bodies are not trained to accomplish. Keep this in mind as you take to the field or the course.

Lifting is another key area to protecting our backs. Bending at your knees, keeping your back straight, and keeping the item close to your body is a good beginning to protecting your back.

Many other helpful suggestions are available, as anyone who has twisted the wrong way or lifted an object improperly can attest, the pain and discomfort that follows is unforgettable.

Your home should not be a place that causes any undue stress on your body. Take the time now to look at these key areas to ensure your back stays in top shape for decades to come.