The Most Common Pitfalls When Buying a House

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Buying a house is one of the most important life decisions.  This is where you will grow roots and see your children grow and leave the nest (if applicable).  It is so important because whatever decision you make, you will have to stick to it for the rest of the time you decide to keep the house.

It is in your best interest to get surgical when it comes to deciding the home you want to live in.  Unfortunately, many times, decisions are made due to pressure, good marketing, or deceiving looks.  If you are planning on getting a new home, don’t be a newbie and check out some of the common mistakes when buying a new house.

Not Doing Extensive and Proper Research

If you go with the first two houses you saw because your heart got too attached to it, you are in for a virtual disaster.  You must make a thorough research, first of all, the available homes, and then of the condition, neighborhood, antiquity, and everything you can find out about each house.

Also make research on how close will you be from school, the supermarket, downtown, transport, and some upcoming zoning issues.

Not Sticking to Your Budget

“We will do better financially in the future.” “I’m sure I will be in a better position in five years”.  These are the some of the things that we tell ourselves when we see a house that is beyond our budget.  We have all been through that.

Although the thoughts might sound optimistic, the truth is that buying a house that is above your budget will cause your finances to derail in the near future.  It is within human nature to want just a little more than what we can afford and there will always be a real estate agent to convince us.

If your bank has limited the loan is because they know that this is what you can afford to pay.  If you get a house that you can afford but very sensibly, you will wind up having financial issues, including an increase in interest rates.

Letting your Heart Guide You

If you have fallen in love with a home, try to move those emotions to your head.  To a cold head.  Now, if you are visiting homes with a real estate agent, do not let hem know you fell in love with it.

Agents are good at reading your emotions and they will tap into those to convince you that the house of your dreams is what you need and you can afford.

Being a wise buyer means that you know that there are more houses out there, the right one with the right price, waiting for you.

Looking for a Home by Yourself

You probably are smart and have made extensive research.  But what you probably do not have is perspective.  Sellers have agents protecting them and looking after their interests.  If you go by yourself,  your emotions can cloud some of your decisions.

Not Organizing a Professional House Inspection

Of course, you walk in the home and you see some cracks here, a door squeaking, or a leak in the sink.  But do you know how to tell if you have aluminum or copper wiring in your house?  Exactly, you need a professional inspector to check not only for flaws but for potential issues.

Now, don’t freak out when they come with a large scroll of things that are not right.  Remember it is their job to go in specifically to find those faults.  Don’t let some minor faults trouble you too much.  There is no such thing as a perfect home, and the moment people use a house, it begins to deteriorate.  It is a law of Physics.


Why our company got trademarked

The mere thought of the losses caused by somebody using our name was reason enough to set ourselves into getting a trademark.   We knew we were growing as a business and that our name was earning a reputation.  We were not willing to afford to risk that over a lack of copyright.

What does a copyright do?

A trademark assigns the legal property of the symbols and words of your company.  This means that nobody else can use them but you.  If they do, they have to request a permission from you.

Once we saw all the rights involved in trademark, we were sure we needed to do that.  With a legal trademark, what we were aiming for was:

  • To be the only ones with the right to reproduce our original work, in this case, our company.
  • To be able to prepare any derivatives works.
  • Display the work publicly.
  • Distribute copies.

We thought, what are the chances of some other company copying our name and using it for profit?  Truth being said, we never really had any of those issues but we thought that legally trademarking our company was the only way to go.

Reasons why we trademarked our company

So here is our rationale on why we made the trademark move.  If you own a company, we believe this is a step in consolidating as a solid company.   Trademarks influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.  It is important for a company to understand the connection between this trademark and reputation.

  • The trademark makes it easier for customers to find us.  The marketplace is full of so many choices.  A trademark helps your clients easily identify you and relate to a positive (or negative) reputation.  So we thought we could use a trademark as a powerful tool to attract customer´s attention.
  • We can effectively use social media.  The media is all about image and everything going fast. If you are getting more visitors to your social media channels, this will generate more traffic to your page, making it available to more people.
  • It also increases the hiring rate.  When job-seekers can see the effectiveness of a company, they want to work there.  If employees have a positive feeling about a company they are much more likely to stay.
  • As long as we are within our country’s commerce, our trademark will never expire.  So there is no errands and no fuzz.

The work of a trademark can sometimes get a little fuzzy.  A group of lawyers Vancouver can be your solution if you are serious about legally trademarking your business.


How technology is helping home inspectors work more efficiently

As you know, home inspection is an important process when it comes to getting a new home.  It is important for the inspector to make sure that the house is in optimal conditions for living.  Technology is now an all-pervasive and home inspection is not one to fall behind.

Thanks to technological advance, home inspection today is very different to what it was years ago.  Let’s take a look at some ways in which technology is helping home inspectors work more efficiently.

A more thorough inspection

While back in the days home inspection depended on the inspector’s good eye, today, very accurate measurements can be made.  Home inspectors can even use drones now to have a much better inspection of the roof without the need to actually climb to it.  Modern home inspectors now carry many technological devices including the following:

  • Moisture meter
  • digital manometer
  • digital hygrometer
  • combustible gas detector
  • borescope
  • laser thermometer
  • ultrasonic plumbing leak detector (yep, it gets that accurate)
  • electrical circuit analysis tester

So now, inspectors have a very close almost perfect accuracy when they file their reports.  If this were to have a downfall, it would be that the accuracy of the tests might show that there is no perfect home, making the house search more difficult.

An inspection business will grow faster

With a nice website, home inspectors can definitively see their business growing.  On a website, home inspectors get to produce a contact form.  This is huge as, in the non-virtual world, getting new clients is relatively hard.  But if you create a nice space of trust and joy, you will be getting there.

If you miss a potential client, you are missing on a contract.  This is why with technology you provide a simple platform for leads to connect with you.

More efficient communication

Back in they days, a home inspector would carry a cell phone and the best way to reach him was not always that.  Today, thanks to technology, a home inspector can make himself available not only through the phone, but he can be reached through social media and a crispy mobile application.

Meet client expectations

Clients expect fast communication.  Why should they wait for a hard copy of a report if they can get an updated report every minute?

As stated before, you can communicate with them through social media.  You can use your mobile phone to take pictures and quickly email them while you are on the go.

Huge benefits of a mobile app

Using a mobile application enables all types of efficient services besides communication.  A nice application can include a mobile-friendly version of your website.  If you want to have a highly intuitive application for your home inspection business, AY Tech is your best option.  They will deliver you the best app with all your needs and wishes in place.


Why hiring a business coach for our business was worth every penny

Usually, when startups and new businesses are starting to have their plane take off, they play it safe.  This is understandable since many times it is hard to predict if business trends will be favorable or not.  New businesses sometimes struggle with keeping the boat afloat.  This seems to limit the amount that can be put to investment.

In our particular case, we knew that we had to face such struggles, besides competition and the need to market our business.  We did prove that marketing goes a long way and that it is really translated to revenues.  We decided to start strong so we had to make some adjustments.

Fortunately for us, people in North America are very faithful to their brands.  We are still working on marketing strategies to develop a stronger loyalty.  After several months, we felt like we had fallen down a spiral and our business was not blooming as expected.

Why we decided to hire a business coach

We detected some signs that we needed to hire a business coach.  Obviously, our first concern was how much was it going to be worth it.

  • The first sign was that we were not getting the results we wanted.  We later learned that our problem was mainly that we were looking at things from the inside.  It took us a while to realize that we needed a lot from the outside, a more objective one.
  • We realized that we were wasting more money than what we were generating.  We decided to venture into hiring someone that will help us do the exact opposite.   At the end, it was a money and time saver.
  • I felt overwhelmed.  My business partner felt overwhelmed.  We ended up having that feeling of having so much to do that you cannot complete any task right.  It came to a point in which we did not even know how much were making every month.
  • Being on the center stage of a business means that you do not need to share your feelings.  Your employees see you as a figure of excellence and as such, you must show yourself strong.  It is good for your business to show vulnerability and place some burden on someone else.  It was time to hire a coach!

Why was it worth every penny

When we mean that it was worth every penny, we mean it.  With increased revenues came higher demand and more production of labor force.  We were able to increase our sales even more than what we had envisioned.

If you are in need of a business coach, Carol Greenway is definitively your best choice.  Her vast experience will add so much value to your entrepreneurship.

Warning signs to look out for in real estate photos

People sometimes set on a journey to do whatever it takes to get their property sold.  This includes hiring professional photography to give the listings a more professional look.  Unfortunately, others will use photoshop, not to enhance the sunlight or remove some shadows.  Some agents would request some “enhancements” to a photo in order for it to appear different from what the property really is.

So what should you look for from a professional photo of a property is precisely that: It has been taken professionally.  This means that it probably has some editing done to it.  Chances are that the property looks different in real life than what it does in the photo you are looking at.  Now, this is no reason to demean or judge.  This is a real estate listing and the client has to be impressed.

Nevertheless, we believe it is dishonest to abuse photoshop to make a property look different from what it is, let alone illegal for false advertising.  Anyhow, the following are some warning signs to look out for when checking out real estate listings.

The fake sunset

Sometimes when the photo is taken, the sky is not putting up his best face.  I´m ok with putting replacing a gray sky with a beautiful blue dome.  Now, when you place the sunset with a beautiful red-orange sky right where you can see it from the balcony of the house, it is misleading.  Every time you see a photo with a beautiful sun setting between mountains, ask yourself if the sun really sets there. (The sun sets on the west, by the way.)  Most of the time when the sun is photoshopped, it is placed in the wrong direction just to make it look as if you will get that imagery every day from your balcony.

Not too many interior pictures

Many times, when you see few pictures of the interior of a property, it can mean that it actually is a pigpen and owners and real estate agents do not want you to see it.  There are better chances of convincing you to take the home once you are inside.

Lots of lighting

Professional photographers know that the most important thing about a photo is lighting.  Many times, when light is poor and there seems to be no way to enhance it naturally, photoshop will come its way.  Just be skeptical when you see great lighting and a few windows.

Always tune it down

Keep in mind that the realtor has to give you a great good impression of the property. So, whenever you see a great photo, try to tune it down in your head.

If you want to have the best pictures without any faked out enhancement, you should hire the best real estate photography service.  Make sure your property looks nice and not fake.



Why dirty rugs are a sign of Mould

A clean rug not only looks clean, but it also feels clean. Even the color of it seems lighter and it really adds to the healthy nature of a space.  On the other hand, a dirty rug can easily be spotted.  If you ever encounter such situation, then there are some things that you need to think about.  The first one is to consider the possibility that your rug might be catching mould.

The nature of Mould

Let us begin by describing the nature of mould, what it is and what are the conditions it requires to grow.  Mould is a fungus that forms filaments known as hyphae.  These filaments group up into the visible black-ish coat that you see on your carpet.  There are several species of fungi that form hyphae and form mould.

The conditions that favor the growth of mould are dirt and humidity.  So, if a rug is dirty and has accumulated humidity,  mould will be a very evident sign of such filth.  As a preliminary advice, if there is excess water going on your carpet, seek to dry it immediately.  You will naturally not be able to keep dirt of your carpet.  What you can do is remove dirt that is already present.

When it comes to washing your carpet, we suggest not using water to do so, especially with very large carpets.  There are other carpet cleaning techniques that are as effective.

How to get rid of mould

If your carpet has already caught mould,  you will notice the unpleasant build and the foul smell. You have a dirty carpet with the presence of fungi.  If this is the case in your house, there are several steps you can take.  The first thing you do is remove the carpet from the floor and take it outside.   To help loosen up the fungi use a dry broom.  Next, use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the affected area.   Use a mixture of dish soap and water to clean the affected area with a sponge.  Allow the carpet to dry out under the sun.  Make sure it is completely dry before bringing it back inside.

Professional help is needed

If your carpet is located at your office or is too large to remove from the floor, using soapy water can be counterproductive.  Using water on a rug and not drying it properly will bring even more mould.  This is when hiring a professional is necessary.  To get the best results, we recommend Hunter Douglas Cleaning Toronto.  Their work is highly professional and they guarantee the best results.

What to Expect When You're Getting Inspected

What to Expect When You’re Getting Inspected

One of the more daunting parts of buying your first home is the home inspection. In a very real sense the sale hinges on the results of that inspection, so it’s understandable if you find yourself held in suspense. However, if you know ahead of time how the inspection works it will help you better prepare (both mentally and on a practical level) and hopefully put your mind at ease.

Meeting your inspector

A good inspector is going to be professional and courteous. Upon arriving at your home he should introduce himself to both you and the buyer, briefly explain the process, and open the floor to any questions. Don’t be shy here! Inspectors know and understand what a stressful process this can be, and they should be more than happy to answer any questions you throw at them. Don’t be afraid of asking “stupid questions” and don’t be afraid to speak up if something in particular concerns you.

During the inspection

Which parts of your home the inspector specifically chooses to scrutinize will vary somewhat depending on several factors. However, in general they’re going to focus mainly on the the aspects of your home’s construction that could possibly effect safety or habitability. Don’t be surprised if he checks out things like your home’s foundation, roofing, electrical system, plumbing, and other major components of your home’s design. This isn’t the best time for questions – inspectors are typically very intent on their work and require concentration.  Here is a video of what’s included in a home inspection

After the inspection

It’s important to realize that once the inspection is complete, the prospective buyers are the ones who are entitled to the results, and they are typically the ones who get to decide if they’ll divulge the final report to you or not. Don’t be surprised if they take the report to their real estate agent and come back to you later about what was found.

It’s entirely possible (I would even say likely) that they’ll ask you to address specific items found on the report, whether that be repairing, replacing, or what have you. Technically, you don’t have to honor those requests if you don’t want – it is, after all, still your house. However do keep in mind that if the problems are especially troubling the buyers may decide to back out of the deal.

In short – view the inspector’s report as just another negotiating instrument – work with the prospective buyers and their real estate agent to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. Ultimately, a home inspection is just one more discussion on the road to selling your home.

Get a Home Inspection Before You Buy or Sell Property

Buying a new home is sometimes extremely nerve-wracking, especially if you have never been through the process before. My spouse and I only recently bought our condo, and we had no idea what we were doing!

Sure, there are dozens of books out there on the subject, but when you are actively living your life and trying to buy a home in between everything else, who has time to read a 500-page book on the subject?

If you’re in a similar position, you should make sure to get a home inspection as part of your due diligence requirements. Of course, you will have the sellers’ disclosures within a few days of acceptance of your offer, but there are some things in a home that the sellers might not even know about!

The disclosures only cover certain categories of the home’s overall condition, but the inspection gets much more accurate. If you choose a wise and caring inspector who takes his (or her) job very seriously, he or she will give you a very detailed explanation or things in terms that you understand.
This will be a good thing for you on two accounts:

But on the other hand, you will find out about both positive and negative things that you didn’t even think to check. For instance, when we had our home inspected before the final paperwork was signed, we found out that our electrical wires were made of copper instead of nickel. This is a good thing!

Read: How to tell if you have aluminum or copper wiring in your house

We also found out that the wax seals upon which the toilets were set were done incorrectly, and that they had to be fixed, which cost us five dollars each, nothing too crucial, but something we needed to know about, which we wouldn’t have thought to check ourselves.

The home appraisal is not the same process as the inspection. The appraisal is only a general assessment of the home’s worth, as is. A home inspection goes through and itemizes all of the defects of the home. You should be present for at least part of this inspection so that the inspector can carefully go through each one of these items with you.

Even if you are jumping on a great deal (like a foreclosure) or buying from a seller or agent you trust, you should still get a home inspection. If you like, think of it as an “FYI,” so that you know what to start fixing up once you get into your new home!