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How to Organize Your Thoughts, Your Family, and Your Things When Buying Your Next Canadian Home
Posted on Thu, 20 Jul 2017, 10:20:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Moving can be a stressful event in anyone’s life, but it can be complicated if you are the head organizer of your thoughts, your family, and your personal items during the process. If you’re looking for just a bit of guidance, keep reading.


Map Out Your Budgetorganize your thoughts

The most important thing you can do before you even start looking for your next house is to map out your budget. Your budget constantly changes as you change jobs, add your children’s medical needs, and start to factor in the luxuries and services that your family has grown to love. Unless the house that you move into has exactly the same taxes and costs stay exactly the same, you are going to have to map out how your budget is going to change. This will also keep you honest if you feel like an impulsive person that “can spend just a little bit more for the right house”.


Make Three or Four Lists for the House

There are three lists that you need to make if you want to organize your thoughts about the new house you are searching for to purchase. You need to have a list of the items that you need to have in the new home that are not negotiable, a list of items that you cannot live with if they were found in the home, and a list of things that you would like but are willing to go without for the right house. The last list can include items in the house that you are willing to remove as well as items in the house that you are willing to repair should they be in need of repair.


Have a Family Meeting

You need to have a family meeting if you want everyone to be on the same page throughout the process of moving from your current house into your next house. This is you and your family’s opportunity to talk through fears, the process of moving, the timeline of the moving process, and any information that you feel that you need to share with everyone involved. This helps to make everyone feel as though they have given their thoughts and to clear any confusion that may have otherwise come about.


Communicate With All of the Right People

You are going to want to communicate with a sales representative as often as possible during the process of buying a new home and selling the home that you are currently living in. If you fail to communicate with this individual, then you may find yourself homeless for a period of time that is longer than you are comfortable with. This is also your opportunity to talk with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors as they can often provide a great deal of useful information and free labor.


Assemble a Team of Movers

You can be the strongest person you know, but you are still going to need help moving everything that you and your family own into a moving truck for the journey to the new home. If you have small children, your spouse may wish to take them as you do the powerlifting of boxes into the truck. In any case, remember that “many hands make light work”.


Enjoy Your New Home

After all is said and done, you have every right to sit back and relax in your new home.

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How to Prepare to Buy Your First Home
Posted on Sat, 10 Jun 2017, 10:45:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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One of the most exciting steps to take as an adult is to purchase your first home. Home ownership is considered to be a wise investment that can pay off in future years. When you want to prepare to buy your first home, you'll need to follow a few tips.


Save for the Down Payment

You'll need a down payment to purchase a home to secure the purchase. The amount of money that you save will influence how much you pay on your mortgage each month, making it necessary to set aside as much as possible. The type of loan that you choose will also influence the minimum amount of money that you'll need for the down payment. Most people save five to 20 percent of the selling price of the home.


Secure Your Employmenthow to prepare for your first home

You'll need to have a record of steady employment before you apply for a home loan. Lenders will want to trust that you'll be capable of making the payments each month and that you won't get behind with the amount of money that you owe. You'll need to have at least one year of work from the same employer to be taken seriously with your loan application. Avoid changing jobs after submitting the application and don't become self-employed, which can cause you to be turned down for a home loan.


It's also necessary to calculate your debt-income ratio, which will affect how much you can afford. Pay off as much debt as possible before you submit the loan to ensure that you can borrow more money.


Determine Your Budget

Knowing your budget is essential to finding the right home to purchase before you begin to shop around. You'll need to add up all of your income for your household, which can include side jobs that you work. Multiply the amount by two or three or calculate 30 percent of your gross income to get an idea of what you can afford. You'll also need to take other costs of home ownership into consideration, which includes property taxes, repairs, and association fees. The interest rate that you lock in will also affect the overall price of the house, along with the term that you select. You may want to wait to purchase the home during certain times of the year when interest rates may drop.


It's also important to set aside extra money for the cost of new furniture, window treatments, and appliances that you'll need to purchase after moving into the property.


Increase Your Credit Score

Lenders will take a close look at your credit score to determine if you have a good history with repaying your debt and managing your money. Your credit score will increase if you make your payments on time on your loans or credit cards. Paying off the balances and utilizing 20 percent of the available balance will also boost the score. You can lock in a lower interest rate if you increase your credit score, which can save hundreds to thousands of dollars each year on your mortgage payment.


You'll also want to remove errors that are present on your credit history. Credit bureaus are prone to making mistakes or confusing your name with another individual that has a credit history.


When you're ready to purchase your first home, you can have a smooth and successful process with the right steps taken. By planning and preparing ahead of time, you can have peace of mind knowing that you'll find the perfect starter home to call your own.

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True Buyer's Market
Posted on Fri, 10 Feb 2017, 09:45:00 AM  in Marketing strategies
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When is perhaps one of the worst times to try and sell a home in Canada, or in any other place, for that matter? I will tell you. Around the holiday season, my friend, is perhaps the worst time. People have been proven statistically to not really be in any search for a home during this time. This usually comes a bit after the holidays, sometime around early spring and especially in the summer.True Buyers Market

Did you know that the state of the current market can affect the condition of your search to either buy or sell a home? It is true, and there is nothing with quite the same effect and influence on your decision making process as a whole. There's nothing quite like both researching and knowing well the state of the current markets, its conditions and its up down volatility, as locals call it. Whether you are trying to do business here in the Quebec or Ontario area, or even further down south, you need to study and do current research on the housing trends of the area. If you do so first, then you may decide whether buying or listing a home for sale in that area is the right decision for you at this particular given moment in time; timing is everything as well, and it may make or break a deal, as they say.

"The amount of active buyers will be somewhat dictated by the condition of the local market – for instance, a seller's market will typically see more buyer foot traffic at any point during the year when compared to a buyer or balanced market. With that said, many people simply stop looking for homes...." (http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/expert-advice/how-to-sell-a-home-leading-up-to-the-holidays-199224.aspx, pg. 1, para. 4)

In terms of practicality when choosing to sell your home, for example, there are a few practical chops of advice that can be given to either any first-time rookie or even a more seasoned home seller in general. Such portions of advice are wise to consume and must be taken with a respective grain of salt. As such, let us continue. First of all, a truly experienced realtorŪ is always a major plus in any book, and choosing to work with someone of quality and proven expertise may just be what you need in order to get that home sold within a matter of mere days. It is really that simple, and there is no added rocket science to the process.

Having a professional realtorŪ will not only bring experience to the forefront of your very battle, but it will also help to increase your sale profit off of the home significantly and connect you with other people and resources in the business. After all, you never know who you may meet in this industry that ends up becoming a life-long connection and invaluable resource to you for years to come. Is that not what it is all about in the end, connecting with people and helping others to likewise achieve their own unique goals and dreams in the process? I argue that it is, and real estate done properly is but another way to accomplish this very important personal task.

Selling one's home without an agent or a REALTORŪ can be a pain in the neck, and no one should have the burden of carrying that weight all alone. A few other practical pointers include knowing when potential buyers may come by and see the home. You need to always be ready for this, and stay in the nearby area just in case they may have questions about certain aspects of any room.

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Selling a Real Estate Property in Canada
Posted on Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 09:35:00 AM  in Home selling tips

There is no doubt to the fact that real estate investing is one of the most lucrative businesses that are there. This is because as time goes by, the cost of property seems to be appreciating. Also, the demand for housing has never been met by the supply, something that makes the market for housing always need more. If you are a homeowner in the country, and are thinking about selling, there are some tips that have been proven to help some people make a fast sale. Below are the ones you can try and follow.Selling a Real Estate Property in Canada

Get the property valued beforehand

Before you put a price tag on the property, it is recommended that you try and find out if it is the right time to sell. Generally, selling property is recommended during the time when the market is bullish. This is when you are likely to get great buyers and make a sensible profit margin. Of course this is a rule that will only apply if you aren’t in any hurry to sell. If there are other factors that are pushing you to market the house, such as the need to move to a new place, an imminent foreclosure and other issues, you will still need an estimate of the market value of the house to help you understand where you can put your expectations.

The asking price

The other error that property sellers make and one that keeps the house in the market for longer than they could have expected, is making the asking price too high above what is recommended. It would be great to have a buyer that will not know exactly how much they should pay for a property giving a little more than they should, but in most cases, overpricing the property works against you. Work with your valuer and real estate agent to come up with the figure that will encourage the prospective buyers to make offers.

The advertisements

The other important consideration to make is where you will put up the advertisements for the property. The best options include the local dailies, social media pages that are linked to the locality you are targeting and also the yellow pages. This is what will create visibility for the property. It is important to remember that word of mouth still is the most effective tool in advertising so make good use of it.

The staging

After the advertisements, people will start coming in to see your property. You will need to present it in a manner that makes it as appealing to them as possible. Some tips that could help here include:

  • Make sure that the house has been cleaned, repainted and refurbished from the curb to the backyard.
  • Remove all personal items such as framed photos and other personal belongings from the open spaces. People will have a hard time picturing themselves in your home if it is full of your personal items.
  • Create a homely and welcoming atmosphere by doing some baking or other activity that creates a good aroma in the house.
  • Open all natural light sources and make sure all the clutter has been removed. Houses that look too cozy tend to drive buyers away.

These are just a few tips that will assist you in making your sale. Above all, learn the importance of patience. When one buyer makes an offer, wait and see if other people will show an interest in buying the house at a better price. On the other hand, do not wait till the buyer starts feeling like they are being ignored or finds out that you are having a hard time getting other people interested a this could ruin your sale.

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Canada's Housing Market Remains In Tip Top Shape
Posted on Sun, 20 Nov 2016, 04:55:00 PM  in Marketing strategies
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The housing market in Canada has recently experienced a major boom. Real estate development in the Northern nation has increased to levels that exceeded even the least conservative industry expectations. As a result, some cautious pundits and home buyers have been waiting to see if the "other shoe" will suddenly drop and spoil this amazing real estate bonanza. However, despite the most morbid predictions made by some "insiders", the Canadian real estate market remains healthy and strong, while giving no indication of any future crash.

 Canadas Housing Market Remains In Tip Top Shape

All Indications Are In Place For A Steady Growth In Home Values

While certain areas of the country will naturally command higher prices than others, the overall outlook for the real estate industry is a positive one. While the recent spike in home values has caused concern for some industry observers, the fact remains that this spike has been a rather modest one. There has been no massive increase in rents or mortgages, and no sign of an imminent "bubble burst." In fact, the above mentioned increase in home values has been quite gradual and steady, taking place over the course of several years, rather than manifesting itself overnight.


A Slow And Steady Increase In Home Value Is Expected

A recent report published by Moody Analytics has given a major thumbs up to Canadian home buyers. The report indicates that the rise in home values across the nation will continue, albeit at a somewhat slower rate than in the past few years. This should not be taken as evidence of an imminent decline. Rather, the data released with the report reveals that the market will remain a strong and encouraging one for first time home buyers. In short, there has never been a better time to become a home owner in Canada.


Backed By Solid Evidence, This New Report Is Guaranteed To Please

The new report is backed by solid evidence gleaned from the housing price index data that is annually published by Brookfield. What the report basically consists of is info that confirms the real estate industry's central contention that house prices will remain slowly, but steadily, on the rise for quite some time to come. According to the data, detached single family homes all across the country will continue to experience a rise in value. This home value increase will be about nine percent for the year 2016, followed by a continuing rise of 2.9 percent per year for the next five years.


Slow Growth Does Not Mean No Growth For The Canadian Market

It should quickly be stressed for the benefit of the reader that slow growth is hardly the same as no growth. In fact, a strategic slowing in the rise of Canadian home values is a necessary measure to prevent such nasty possibilities as gross inflation and price gouging. In order to avoid an unpleasant housing bubble, it's best to plan for and carefully nurture a slow and steady growth rate. This way, home prices remain profitable for sellers, yet eminently affordable for buyers.


The Future For Real Estate In Canada Remains A Bright One

As can be seen, a strategic slowing of the real estate market is expected to take place over the next several years. While some traditional naysayers and nitpickers will continue to prophesy doom and gloom for the world, the truth is that there is simply no reason to heed their dire forecasts. On the contrary, there is every reason to trust solid, empirical data that suggest that the real estate market in Canada will remain a strong, healthy entity for many years to come.

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Market Your Home to Buyers with Families
Posted on Thu, 30 Jun 2016, 12:50:00 PM  in Home selling tips

One of the fastest growing groups of home buyers today is the group that includes couples with children. Depending on where you live, you may see buyers moving to the area because of the great school districts, the extracurricular activities for kids or even the local junior youth organizations and athletic teams. Long before you sign a contract to put your home on the market, figure out how you can make your home more appealing to those buyers. Buyers with families want to know that your home offers everything they want and everything their kids need too.

Add More Storage

marketFamilies with kids often need more storage than other buyers do, especially those who have kids who participate in sports and other activities. Clean out your closets before installing organizers and other products that increase the amount of storage in each closet. You might add a small dresser to a closet, hang hooks over the doors or use organizers designed for storing shoes. Boost the amount of storage in all other rooms too, including the garage and basement. Show buyers that your home has all the storage that their families need.

Create a Fun Backyard

While you can increase the curb appeal of your front yard and make it look welcoming, you should turn the backyard into a place that any child would love. Adding a new swing set or a play set lets parents know that their younger kids will have a lot of fun out there. If you need to create a fun space and have a limited budget, use some of the things your family or kids played with over the years. Something as simple as setting out a picnic table or a kids' table and chairs with some coloring books and crayons on top might appeal to those parents.

Highlight Youth Activities

Even if you have no kids or your little ones are now adults, you can still find ways to highlight some of the activities for kids in your area. Set out pamphlets and brochures from local groups that host activities and events for kids of different ages. If you can find posters of former events, you can even frame some of those posters and display each one around your home. Make sure you place at least one right near the front door, which will catch the eye of parents as soon as they walk through the door. You may even want to put out some kids' toys and books in your living room, family room or kitchen.

Change the Layout of Bedrooms

At least one of the bedrooms in your home should have a look that appeals to kids and their parents. This might require that you move your older child's things out of the room or that you transform your home office into a child's bedroom. Paint the walls a bright and friendly color like sky blue, lemon yellow, pale pink or forest green. Even if you keep the same shelving units and furniture, you can transform the room with the addition of some books and toys.

Families shopping for homes today generally want one that has at least two bedrooms. They also look for other features like a large and welcoming backyard and plenty of storage for their kids. When you live in an area that has a large number of families shopping for homes, you need to make your house appeal to all those shoppers. Target and market families with things like bedrooms that look like kids live there and accents that highlight the local activities for kids.

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4 Key Considerations When Purchasing a New Home
Posted on Tue, 10 May 2016, 09:40:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting times of your life. You get to step out of the rental game and into the game of being in charge of everything relating to your new home. You no longer have to rely on a landlord to approve repairs that need to be done. Home ownership is truly something that you have to experience for yourself to understand just how amazing it can be. If you are ready to take the leap and own your own home, there are a few things that you need to consider when purchasing a new home.

Room for Expansion
Just because there are only two of you right now, that doesn’t mean you won’t expand your family to four or six of you. The last thing you want to do is go out and purchase a one-bedroom home if you are planning on having children. You could end up struggling to sell your home quick enough to step into another one that gives you room to grow. Choose your new home based on how large you would like your family to be. Consider going with something that is at least one to two bedrooms larger than what you need right now.new owners This will save you a lot of hassle down the line.

Work Commute
Another thing to consider is how far the home is from your workplace. You don’t want to choose a home that is going to make you spend a couple hours commuting one way to work. You want to be within a reasonable distance. If you are planning on quitting your job and looking for employment elsewhere, consider the location where you want to be. Spending too long on your commute is only going to end up stressing you out down the road. You want to minimize commute time and maximize time spent with loved ones.

Many people don’t think about the layout of the home they are looking to purchase. They like the aesthetic appeal or location of the home. While these things are important too, you also need to make sure the layout is going to work for your needs. If you have younger children, you might want to go with a ranch style home where all of the bedrooms are on the same floor. With teenagers in the home, a two-story often works great. This gives you privacy and them privacy as well. 

Just about everyone has something that their new home has to have. Whether it be a large closet, over-sized kitchen or something else, you want to make sure that your new space has everything you need and more. The last thing you want to do is settle on a home that you aren’t going to be happy with in a few years. Your home should be a place where you can enjoy spending years of your life. Otherwise, you need to rethink whether it really is the right home for you or not. Someone with allergies shouldn’t go with a home that is completely carpeted, unless you want to go through and do a bunch of remodeling right off the bat. 

By taking the time to go through the things above, you can make sure you get everything you need in your new home. This will save you a lot of money and time when it comes to your new home. Only look for those things you need and stay away from the things that you don’t. in the end, you will come out with a stunning new home that you can enjoy for quite some time.


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Pet Friendly Apartment
Posted on Sat, 30 Apr 2016, 02:40:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Finding an apartment that is pet-friendly can be difficult, especially if it is your first time moving into a new area. You might not know where to turn to get started with the search, which can result in a lengthy wait on when you can actually enjoy your rental property. Fortunately, it does not need to be difficult. With a little bit of patience and research, it can be easy for anybody to plan ahead and find a property that allows pets.

Always begin by using the resources available to you. This means contacting your local humane society or general animal care and control group to find out if there are any local apartments that allow pets. When contacted locally, these organizations can help you stay on top of updates and other things that can make a massive change in the way you look over your options. In addition to pet-petcentric organizations, it is a good idea to consult with real estate agents and other experts in the industry to determine if there are any local communities that can assist you. Many real estate agents who own pets themselves can help you in your search. 

If you are not having luck finding an apartment community that can assist you, it never hurts to try to explain your situation to the property manager in the hopes that they could make an exception. While many communities do not always approve of every request, if you make a compelling case, chances are that you could be allowed to rent the property and keep your pet. Even if not all pets are allowed, you could take a look at the fine-print to determine whether or not your pet is allowed. Many places make exceptions for cats and small dogs if the owners are responsible.

One of the most important things for you to do when you are making a case is to prove that you are responsible. Bring as much documentation as you can to try and convince the property manager that you are capable of taking full responsibility for your pet. Ideally, you want to show them that pet damage is a non-issue, but if you can prove that you have experience taking care of pet damage, you can help put the manager's worries at ease. Some important things to bring with you include general reference letters from other property owners, as well as written certifications for training classes if your dog graduated from one. 

Be sure to explain to the manager that you share their concern for cleanliness. Emphasize that you have had positive experiences with other managers in the past and that you always take full responsibility for your apartment's state of affairs, including making sure that your pet has a place to us the bathroom. Be sure to promote yourself as well as you can. Explain that you are a responsible pet owner and that you would make an excellent resident because of your experience. Do not be afraid to promote your pet either, especially if it has completed classes and has the certification.

If all else fails, be sure to mention that you are willing to put down a deposit if the manager needs one. Many apartment managers ask for a pet deposit anyway, but some can be swayed if you show them that you are serious about moving in with your pet. If the apartment manager still tells you no, the most important thing for you to do is avoid lying. Do not try to sneak your pet in, as this could leave you vulnerable to a variety of liability issues.

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Creating Curb Appeal on a Budget
Posted on Mon, 11 Apr 2016, 10:10:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Whether you are trying to attract buyers or are moving into your dream home, you want your home’s appearance to create a good first impression. Giving your home a facelift does not have to cost thousands of dollars or require a team of contractors. The following are a few DIY curb appeal projects you can do in a weekend without breaking the bank.

Spruce Up the Front Door:
Your front door should create a focal point that attracts the eye of visitors or potential buyers. The easiest way to add pizzazz to your front entrance is to paint your door in a bright colour that contrasts with the rest of your house and shutters. For example, a red door will pop on a traditional white house with black shutters. Don’t forget to add shiny new hardware and house numbers to complete the updated look. You can personalize the effect by adding potted plants and a door wreath. 

Add Lighting:
Solar light fixtures are affordable and easy to install. You can use them along the drive to draw the eye toward the house or to doorhighlight landscape features. It is also a good idea to consider upgrading any outdated or builder-grade garage or front door lighting fixtures. Most exterior lights can be purchased for under $50 each. Don’t forget to also purchase a live-wire testing device for safety. 

Give Your Mailbox a Makeover:
Your mailbox should express your personality as well as complement your home’s exterior. If you have a curbside mailbox, you can coordinate the colour of the post to match the trim on your house or surround it with colourful plants. If you choose an attached hanging drop box, try to find one that matches the rest of your home’s exterior hardware.

Give Your House a Power Wash:
Removing built up dirt and grime will instantly make the front of your home, driveway, and sidewalk look fresh and new. The easiest way is to turn the nozzle on your garden hose on full blast, taking care not to get any water under your siding. You can rent a power washer for less than $100 a day, but they can be difficult to manage and can damage windows and siding.

Add Window Boxes:
Window boxes are relatively inexpensive and can be found a virtually any home improvement store. A wooden box in a colour that contrasts with your shutters will give your home a cottage feel. Choose an iron or copper box for a more traditional look. Choose plants and flowers that best complement your home’s colour scheme and are suitable for the climate and available light.

Add Seating:
A porch swing or rocker instantly makes a home look inviting and conjures up images of lazy summer afternoons spent relaxing over a glass of lemonade. If your porch is too small, consider adding a small bench in the corner of the yard surrounded by plenty of flowers to create a peaceful oasis. 

Finally, remember that symmetry creates the best curb appeal. It is the easiest pattern to arrange and is visually pleasing since the eye naturally looks for balance. For example, add identical light sconces to each side of the front door or have the same planters and box firs on each side of the front steps. 


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How to Check Your New Neighborhood Before You Buy
Posted on Wed, 30 Mar 2016, 11:50:00 AM  in Marketing strategies,  My services
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As much as you might love a home for sale you find online, you may not love the neighborhood nearly as much as you love the house. Many first time home buyers make the mistake of purchasing a home without giving any thought to the area around that house. You never know when your neighbors might throw loud parties on the weekends, what the area looks like after dark or even how safe you feel in your new home. Before you put in an offer, find out how you can check out your new neighborhood before you buy.

Take a Daytime Tour
After finding a house that you like, take a daytime tour of the neighborhood. Drive around the few blocks surrounding the home and go a few blocks further. Get a feel for what the community is really like and what there is to do in the area. You'll want to look at local parks, see how far away the grocery store is and how close you are to the fire department, police department and even hospital. 

Plan a Nighttime Visit
Even the best neighborhood can look a little different when the sun sets, which is why it's so important that you take the time to visit neighborsafter dark. While there is no need to visit in the middle of the night, you will want to visit after eight pm. See how safe and comfortable you feel in that neighborhood after dark. You may find that you don't like seeing the parties your neighbors throw or the people you see loitering on the street. You may even find that the lights lining the street don't work.

Talk with Your Potential Neighbors
One of the best ways to find out if the neighborhood is right for you is with a simple visit to your prospective new neighbors. Take the time to chat with those living right next to the home and others living on the same block. Ask them how long they lived in the neighborhood, how they feel about the community and if there are any things they don't like about living there. If you come across families who lived there for years, ask them about the house itself as well. You may get some information that the current owners didn't share with you.

Check with Google
Google offers its own map system online that lets you zoom in and see what the area looks like from the street. You can use Google in combination with your own visits to get a better look at the community. Put in the address, pan around the street and pay close attention to any potential problems you may find. Google may show you that some of your neighbors have large swimming pools without fences, that they raise different animals or even that they own multiple cars that will take up valuable space on the street.

Look at Nearby Homes
As you learn more about your new neighborhood, pay special attention to the way that surrounding homes look. Are the homes clean and in good condition? You might find that some of your new neighbors let their lawns grow wild, leave kids' toys scattered across the lawn or do a lot of car work in their driveways. You need to ask yourself if you can handle living next to homes that look that way and be around those neighbors. No matter how great a home looks or its price, you always want to look closely at the neighborhood around that house before you buy.

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The multiple listing information is provided by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS®, Inc. multiple listing service from a copyrighted compilation of listings at the request of Locations Real Estate. The compilation of listing are © 2017 Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS®, Inc. Each individual listing is © 2017 Locations Real Estate. All Rights Reserved.

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Greater Baton Rouge Assoc. of REALTORS® Last Updated: 8/20/2017 8:33:39 PM

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