Home Appraisal? What's that all about?

Home Appraisal? What's that all about?

There are many reasons home owners require an appraisal, but the most common appraisal requests are for lending purposes. When a financial institution is considering granting a loan to purchase, improve or refinance a property, they need confirmation of the current market value of the property that will be securing their investment. An appraiser is called upon to provide an unbiased opinion of value based on market research and analysis and a review of the subject property.  Appraisals are also commonly sought for real estate transactions, estate planning, separation and divorce settlements and insurance purposes. 

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why you should understand & embrace hygge

why you should understand & embrace hygge

Hygge is a word that has been popping up a lot in discussions of home decorating, particularly for the fall and winter. Consider how embracing Hygge when staging your house for sale in the winter can have a positive impact on offers.

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Who gets it when your gone? Dealing with your home when you pass away.

Who gets it when your gone? Dealing with your home when you pass away.

While it may seem like a morbid topic of conversation, it is an important one to have. What happens to your home when you die? In Nova Scotia, typically, when the first spouse to passes away, the home simply stays with their surviving spouse. This happens because most spouses hold their homes as "joint tenants".  This is only applicable in situations where both spouses are on title to the home, and listed as joint tenants. This designation is listed on the parcel register for your property and you can have a lawyer find this information for you if you are unsure of your current situation.

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Your To-Do list as 'Closing Day approaches.

Your To-Do list as 'Closing Day approaches.

If you are like many lucky Nova Scotians buying or selling a home, you are working with a great team of professionals who will help you through the process. Your mortgage broker, real estate agent and lawyer will all help make the process as smooth as possible. There are a few things that you will need to do as well.

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Looks Matter: How Professional Staging and Photography can help you sell your home in Nova Scotia

Looks Matter: How Professional Staging and Photography can help you sell your home in Nova Scotia

Much of a home buyer's initial search happens online these days. This means that the pictures and videos of your home online are the things that will capture someone's attention and impress them enough to see the home in person. You want to make the most of this opportunity. Virtual tours have also become a great way to show off your home. Professional home staging and photography are a great way to accomplish this.

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Getting Ready to Move? Here are some dos and don'ts of having a Yard Sale.

Getting Ready to Move? Here are some dos and don'ts of having a Yard Sale.

A yard sale can be a great way to declutter and reduce the amount of stuff you have to move when you move out of your home. It is also a great way to make a little extra cash in the process. Here are some tips for making the most of your yard sale in Nova Scotia.

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What Does a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths Do?

What Does a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths Do?

Quite simply put, Notary Publics and Commissioner of Oaths are people who have been authorized by law to serve as an official witness to the signing of various legal documents. Notarizing a means that a Notary or Commissioner has taken the proper steps to verify your identity and then has witnessed your signing of a particular document. Afterwards they seal and sign the document to certify their witnessing of the signature. 

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How to Register a Builder’s Lien

How to Register a Builder’s Lien

Placing a Builder’s Lien in Nova Scotia is an option available to contractors like roofers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers and carpenters who have done work to improve a property and are concerned that they are not going to get paid. A Builders’ Lien is not available in all circumstances, but the definition is pretty broad. You do not even have to have completed the work you contracted to do to place a Lien.

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Are You Really Approved? The Difference Between Mortgage Pre-Approval and Approval.

Are You Really Approved? The Difference Between Mortgage Pre-Approval and Approval.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a great first step in your home shopping process. It will give you an idea of how much you qualify to borrow, which in turn gives you a budget to work with when you are looking. This is a number to work with before you decide on a certain property. It is important to note that there is a difference between pre-approval and final approval for your mortgage.

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Buying a New Build?: Don't get caught with unfinished business.

Buying a New Build?: Don't get caught with unfinished business.

It is always exciting to buy a brand new home. New builds are often customized to you in ways that buying a home that is already built would require extensive renovations to achieve. This advantage comes with it own set of potential issues. One of the big common ones is "deficiencies". These are the things that are not completed by the builder as of the closing date. Best case scenario there are none, or they are minor things that needing to be finished.

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Property Taxes in HRM: What you need to know

Property Taxes in HRM: What you need to know

There has been some recent discussion in the Halifax Council of the idea of removing the provincial assessment cap for annual property taxes. As a result I thought now would be the perfect time to review the cap, and some other details about property taxes in HRM that you should know, if you own, or are looking to buy a home in the area.

 

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Who Has to Pay Child Support?

Who Has to Pay Child Support?

Because each family and every situation is different, family law can be a unpredictable area of law. There are lots of grey areas and not very many things are carved stone. Child support proves to be the exception to this uncertainty because it tends to be clear cut by comparison.

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Thinking of buying a home? : First step - determine your budget.

Thinking of buying a home? : First step - determine your budget.

Buying a new home can be a very exciting prospect, however, there are also a lot of practical realities that go along with buying and owning a home. The first thing you should do before looking at any homes is determine your budget.

This means sitting down with a mortgage professional before you start your search in order to determine what you can afford. It can be a heartbreaking experience looking at homes outside of your budget, not to mention it wastes your, and your realtor's time and resources that could be better spent looking for the right house for you.

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What is Title Insurance, and why do you care?

What is Title Insurance, and why do you care?

What is Title Insurance?

First things first: the word "title" refers to your legal right to own, use, mortgage and sell real property. Title Insurance is there to protect your legal interest, and often that of your lender, in your property.

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What happens when your real estate deal falls through?

What happens when your real estate deal falls through?

Failing to close on a purchase or sale obviously isn’t anyone’s Plan A, but it does happen. What does Plan B look like?

Some of the reasons that a deal might fall through on closing day include, financing issues, a buyer purchasing a home on the condition that their previous home sold, major issue arises on inspection or pre-close walk through that cannot be resolved.

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Inspection and the Final Walk-through: Bring it up on or before closing day or forever hold your peace.

Inspection and the Final Walk-through: Bring it up on or before closing day or forever hold your peace.

One major piece of the picture when buying your home is inspecting the property to decide A) what issues there are and B) how they will be addressed OR if you are willing to live with them.

Professional Inspection

One of the first steps after you have signed an agreement of purchase and sale is a home inspection. It is always a good idea to use a professional home inspector come in and do an inspection of the home you are considering buying. Their job is to flag any issues that may change your mind about purchasing the property, or the price you are willing to pay for it.  The inspection is the opportunity to raise issues that will need to be addressed. As a result there may be further negotiations with the seller to either take care of the issue prior to closing, or sell at a lower price so you will have the money to fix it. You should look for an inspector that has both liability AND errors and omissions insurance. This protects you not only from any damage they might cause while on the property to do the inspection, but also provides you with possible recourse if they miss something important on the inspection.

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How to find the best mortgage broker for you.

How to find the best mortgage broker for you.

It can be hard to decide who is best to help you find the right mortgage.  What makes one broker a better fit for you than another? While the search can seem overwhelming, it is worth taking the time to find the right broker for you. A few tips to help you make this choice:

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