So you think DIY remodeling is going to be fun? Here is one homeowner's list of what you may be getting yourself into

 
More than three years ago, my husband and I bought an 1890 Victorian disaster with the intention of restoring it ourselves. I fell in love with the house before we even got in the front door. I loved the wraparound porch. I loved the giant, ornate hinges. I even loved the crazy mess and decay. 

At the time, I thought I loved the house so much that I did not care that it was falling down. But now I understand that it wasn't that I didn't care. It was that I didn’t actually see the broken parts. I only saw what the house could be and I had no concept of the chasm between the two.
My enthusiasm for our new house was matched only by my failure to understand true DIY. Prior to the move, I had never experienced any kind of intense house project. I had no concept of the sheer avalanche of what we had signed up for. My husband did his best to prepare me; but as it turns out, if you have not lived it you understand nothing. Not even your own ignorance.

But after three years of gutting and ripping and hauling and patching and repairing and sanding and painting and dirt and mess and exhaustion, now I understand what DIY means. What construction means, what chaos means. And what it means to see no end in sight. 

If that sounds fun to you, here are eight things to consider before you and your partner commit your nights and weekends ad infinitum to a house that needs more than a little work.
1. Whatever your relationship is like now is exactly what your project will be like. Except you will both be on fire. 

If you communicate calmly and kindly while you are in flames, you’ll be fine. 

Not you? Then can you endure the extended stress of seeing about 12 times more of your partner’s least-lovable self?
2. Sometime in the first six months, you are going to regret your decision in one way or another. 

When the construction has eaten your house, and your life and your sanity, and when you've gotten used to climbing over a toilet in your foyer, you are going to look around in despair and wonder why you ever thought you wanted to do this.

That regret will be temporary, but it is nerve-racking to question uprooting your entire life after it's too late.
3. Your house project will not be a form of entertainment.

It’s a second job. A job you cannot leave or go home from. It’s more like a second life. 

Dreaming and planning are great. It’s one of the best parts — aside from being finished. But if at any point you or your partner says, "This will be fun!," You should stop right there. There are only 10 people on the planet who would define living in a construction site as fun. Chances are, you are not one of them.
4. You really cannot know what a house needs until you live in it. 

No matter how carefully you plan, there will be complications. (This is multiplied by infinity if you are buying an old house.) And the character trait you are most going to appreciate in your partner is the ability to adapt and move on. 

My husband likes to point out that if I had been on the Titanic, it would not have sunk. The ship would have been kept afloat by my sheer aversion to diverting from the plan.
5. One of you should really know what you're doing. 

But even if one of you is a pro, it can still be a challenging dynamic. The novice (me) initially had no concept of the reality of making an idea work, but I had every awareness that it would be awesome

I had so many ideas for this house. Had I been in charge, we’d still be on the third floor building the ballroom that I dreamed up in my mind. 

My husband was frustrated that I didn’t see we had "serious" work to do. I was frustrated that he didn’t see the value of my genius.
6. There will be one project that goes on for so long you actually forget there was a time in your life when you were not mired in an epic quest to find the perfect tile.

Our hallway bathroom remodel took at least three times longer than it should have. If there is a better way to make my husband insane, I do not know what it is. 

It made him insane that he could not force me to pick a tile, a sink, a toilet, anything. I was so fixated on every detail that I was utterly unable to conceive of a time when I might not view the choice between polished chrome and polished nickel as a matter of life and death.
7. Did it turn out beautifully? Yes. Was it worth spending every free minute researching fixtures? No. 

We’re gearing up for our total kitchen remodel, and this is the advice I am going to have tattooed on my forehead: Find something you like, buy it and move on. The end result does not hinge on every tiny detail.

The longer you spend on the Internet looking at inspiration, the more you forget a few key things. Like you have a budget. You do not have a 5,000-square-foot house. You would like this project to be done in your lifetime.
8. Stress and dirt magnify all your worst qualities. 

When you share the certainty that you are in it together, it also means that you can push each other that much harder. 

This house has seen us lying in 3 inches of plaster and lath and filth in an unheated house in December, laughing hysterically. 

But it’s also seen us reach a level of frustration with each other that I didn’t even know existed.
Living in a construction site and sharing the role of general contractor and work crew is going to give you a lot of extremes. The extremes of irritation. But also the extremes of appreciation for a part of your partner that you might not ever experience otherwise. 

Entering our fourth year, my favorite thing about this house is my husband. Who he is. His ability to figure things out. His ability to just keep going. And? Of course his ability to bring home every mirror I find on Craigslist.
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New young families and immigration should boost demand in future, report says

 


It’s a question that can create severe anxiety disorder among baby boomers: Who will buy their single-family homes when they decide to downsize into smaller units?

Pessimists feel baby boomers could soon flood the market with detached homes as health and financial issues force them to sell, creating an oversupply situation that forces prices down.

But a Conference Board of Canada report Monday said new young families and increased levels of international immigration should boost the demand for single-family homes in the future, at least partly offsetting any increase in the supply of baby boomers’ homes for sale.

Conference Board economist Julie Ades feels the relative supply of single-family homes will drop in the future as construction levels decline and some detached homes are converted into semi-detached units.

“The market will gradually adjust on the demand side and the supply side,” she said in an interview. “That will help balance the market and we will likely see a mitigation of the negative impact on the price of single-detached dwellings.”

The average Multiple Listing Service selling price for a single-family home in Greater Vancouver has skyrocketed in the past 30 years – from $130,000 in 1983 to $1.1 million last month.

Baby boomers hoping to cash in on increased home values by selling and downsizing shouldn’t be too concerned about a possible surge in the number of aging people chasing the same strategy at the same time, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president-elect Ray Harris.

“If a flood of homes did come on the market, I think the situation would correct itself very quickly,” he said. “Prices might drop but people who don’t have to sell would take their homes off the market, so it becomes a self-controlling mechanism.”

Harris said health issues are the biggest reason owners decide to sell their single-family homes.

“Going from a home with two levels to a home with just one level is very common because of mobility issues (among older people),” he said. “Some owners just can’t maintain a big home because maybe their partner has passed on or had to move into a long-term care home.”

Abbotsford resident Marlene Nunn said health and financial issues were the biggest factors in the decision by her and her husband, Herb, to sell their Maple Ridge house this year and buy an Abbotsford condo.

They sold their 1,700-square-foot rancher for $446,000 and bought a 1,200-square-foot condo for $261,000.

Herb Nunn developed a heart issue that made it hard to keep up with the maintenance work required on the house and cashing in the equity was “absolutely” another reason to make the move, Marlene Nunn said.

“It wasn’t an easy decision and it took a while for us to come to this conclusion but it was just the right thing for us to do,” she said.

Port Moody realtor Derek Love doesn’t expect to see a glut of baby boomer homes for sale any time soon.

“More than half the people in my neighbourhood are over 65 and most of them want to stay in their homes for as long as possible,” he said. “I’m still selling single-family homes in the $2-million range to people in their 50s whose kids have moved out.”

Love said many potential clients in their 60s have told him they would sell their suburban homes and move to a downtown Vancouver condo if those condo prices weren’t so high. But those dream condos are unaffordable, so they have decided to keep their homes.

Love feels condo prices could be under more pressure than single-family home prices in the future because so many new units are being built and many older buildings will need a lot of capital investment for maintenance purposes.

About 60 per cent of Canadians now live in single-family homes but the Conference Board report notes the prevalence of people living in detached homes declines after the age of 55.

According to 2011 census data, 67 per cent of Canadians aged 50 to 54 lived in a detached house but the proportion dropped to 59 per cent for those between the ages of 75 and 79.

The report also said smaller multi-family units will account for a growing share of future residential demand in Canada because of affordability issues and demographic trends.

The proportion of one-person Canadian households rose from 25.7 per cent in 2001 to 27.6 per cent in 2011, due to factors such as a rising divorce rate, fewer marriages and common-law relationships and the aging population.

 

bconstantineau@vancouversun.com

 

Single-family home values will survive baby boomer sell-off, economists say
 

A Conference Board of Canada report Monday said new young families and increased levels of international immigration should boost the demand for single-family homes in the future, at least partly offsetting any increase in the supply of baby boomers’ homes for sale.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG Files , Vancouver Sun



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Thursday, July 25, 2013

OTTAWA, July 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation is pleased to announce that it has raised over $200,000 for the Canadian Red Cross' Alberta Floods Fund, thanks to the generous donations of individual REALTORS®, brokerages, and 40 real estate Boards and Associations from across the country.

"We know from experience that when disaster strikes, REALTORS® are quick to ask how they can help," says Calvin Lindberg, Chair of the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation. "As soon as our fundraising appeal went out, donations started to pour in from Victoria to St. John's. We are very proud that we were able to come together to help our friends in Southern Albertarecover and rebuild after last month's devastating flooding."

About the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation:

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation is organized real estate's national charitable foundation, founded in 2007. The Foundation is dedicated to providing resources to inspire, support, and share REALTORS®' charitable achievements in their communities. To learn more about the Foundation and the good works of REALTORS® across the country, visitwww.REALTORSCare.ca.

SOURCE Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation

For further information:

 

Sarah Thirnbeck, REALTORS Care® and Community Manager
The Canadian Real Estate Association
613-237-7111 ext. 2331
sthirnbeck@crea.ca

 

cnw
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Wayne Bonnell, 67, is cleaning out house of Helen Hutchinson, 73, roof gutters at Littleton, Colo., on Thursday, June 7, 2012. A new nonprofit called Village to Village network has sprung up to help older adults age in place. There are two Village nonprofits in the Denver Metro -- one in Wash Park called Washington Park Cares, and one in Jeffco, the Columbine Community Village. Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostGetty ImagesOur gallery of home inspection nightmares (below) is good for a laugh, but a home inspection is serious business. It's the buyer's opportunity to make sure that the house they're about to purchase doesn't hold any expensive surprises.

typical home inspection includes a check of a house's structural and mechanical condition, from the roof to the foundation, as well as tests for the presence of radon gas and the detection of wood-destroying insects. Depending on the seriousness of what the inspection uncovers, the buyer can walk away from the deal (most contracts include an inspection contingency in the event of major flaws) or negotiate with the seller for the necessary repairs.

These are the red flags that should send a buyer back to the negotiating table, according to home improvement expert Tom Kraeutler of The Money Pit.

1. Termites and other live-in pests: The home you've fallen in love with may also be adored by the local termite population. The sooner termites are detected, the better. The same goes for other wood-devouring pests like powder-post beetles. Keep in mind that getting rid of the intruders is just the first step. Once the problem has been addressed, have a pest control expert advise you on what needs to be done in order to prevent their return.

2. Drainage issues: Poor drainage can lead to wood rot, wet basements, perennially wet crawlspaces and major mold growth. Problems are usually caused by missing or damaged gutters and downspouts, or improper grading at ground level. Correcting grading and replacing gutters is a lot less costly than undoing damage caused by the accumulation of moisture.

3. Pervasive mold: Where moisture collects, so grows mold, a threat to human health as well as to a home's structure. Improper ventilation can be the culprit in smaller, more contained spaces, such as bathrooms. But think twice about buying a property where mold is pervasive -- that's a sign of long-term moisture issues.

4. Faulty foundation: A cracked or crumbling foundation calls for attention and repair, with costs ranging from moderate to astronomically expensive. The topper of foundation expenses is the foundation that needs to be replaced altogether -- a possibility if you insist on shopping "historic" properties. Be aware that their beautiful details and old-fashioned charms may come with epic underlying expenses.

6. Worn-out roofing: Enter any sale agreement with an awareness of your own cost tolerance forroof repair versus replacement. The age and type of roofing material will figure into your home inspector's findings, as well as the price tag of repair or replacement. An older home still sheltered by asbestos roofing material, for example, requires costly disposal processes to prevent release of and exposure to its dangerous contents.

7. Toxic materials: Asbestos may be elsewhere in a home's finishes, calling for your consideration of containment and replacement costs. Other expensive finish issues include lead paint and, more recently, Chinese drywall, which found its way into homes built during the boom years of 2004 and 2005. This product's sulfur off-gassing leads to illness as well as damage to home systems, so you'll need to have it completely removed and replaced if it's found in the home that you're hoping to buy.

8. Outdated wiring: Home inspectors will typically open and inspect the main electrical panel, looking for overloaded circuits, proper grounding and the presence of any trouble spots likealuminum branch circuit wiring, a serious fire hazard.


http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2013/07/19/home-inspection-red-flags/

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Buyers do not want to enter a home only to feel as if they are intruding upon the lives of the occupants. When selling, it is best to depersonalize your property as much as possible by de-cluttering. Remove personal photos, personal collections and knick knacks. 
Some other helpful tips:

-paint brightly coloured walls a more neutral shade.
-Kitchen counters should be clear and clutter-free. Store small appliances in cupboards.
-Replace boring or dated cabinet handles with new ones. 
-Fresh linens: Make sure any visible linens (bath towels, tea towels, oven mitts, etc.) are new or at least look new.
-Fix up the bathroom. An old mirror can be replaced with a framed mirror for a minimal cost. Switch out the lighting for a nice some attractive new sconces.
-Fix up the master bedroom. Add multiple new pillows with shams or toss pillows, crisp white linens and a throw blanket at the end of the bed. Keep end tables uncluttered, with matching lamps and nothing else except, perhaps, a tiny vase or a few books.
-The exterior of your home should look as polished as the interior. This means neatly trimmed bushes, mulched flowerbeds and fresh seasonal flower arrangements.
- A great smell makes a house memorable. Baking cookies has become a cliche, but buy a room spray with a fragrance so you can spray the house sparingly before each showing.
- Consider a home stager. Home staging can be easy and inexpensive, especially if you focus on the small details. 

Potential homebuyers need to picture themselves in your rooms. These small steps can help you achieve that goal.

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By Cam Tucker  


The Vancouver Canucks have gone local again, signing centre Zach Hamill of Port Coquitlam in a deal that was announced Thursday morning.

Hamill played his minor hockey in Port Coquitlam, before eventually moving on to the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League.

Hamill is originally a draft pick of the Boston Bruins, selected eighth overall in the 2007 NHL Draft.

 

However, his professional career to this point has been spent largely in the minor leagues.

In 20 career NHL games, he has just four assists.

Last year, he spent the American Hockey League season with three different teams – Hershey Bears, San Antonio Rampage and Milwaukee Admirals – collecting a total of 44 points in 72 regular season games.

The Canucks also announced the signing of left winger Colin Stuart.

Stuart previously spent time in the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers and Buffalo Sabres, with eight goals and 13 points in 56 career games.

 

Chance for Zach Hamill to bust out of ‘bust’ label with Canucks
 

Zach Hamill, left, was the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft by the Boston Bruins. He hasn’t fufilled the potential he showed, but hopes a fresh start with Vancouver will reset his career.

Photograph by: Brian Babineau , NHLI via Getty Images

 

More:http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/748787/canucks-sign-port-coquitlam-product-zach-hamill/


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A new study reveals that Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada, not shocking news. However, it may surprise some that but it isn’t in the top 10 list for costliest cities for expats. 

According to Mercer’s 2013 Cost of Living Survey, Vancouver ranks as the world’s 64th most expensive city in the world. Toronto previously held the top Canadian spot at No. 61.

Ten Most expensive cities in the world 

top-10-costliest-cities-for-expatriates-2013

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  • By Patrick Pichette

    Did you know that REALTOR.ca receives up to 21 million visits a month from consumers looking to buy, sell or rent property?

    So, are you taking full advantage of this visibility available to you as a member of CREA? Is taking full advantage of REALTOR.ca one of your priority marketing activities? If not, here are four easy ways to get started on the road to success with your REALTOR.calistings, based on the results of research we’ve done into consumer preferences.

    # 1 – It’s all about dreams

    When uploading a listing to your Board or Association’s MLS® System, provide as much information as possible. Users of REALTOR.ca can narrow their searches beyond just price range and location. Someone dreaming of a waterfront property with a fireplace is able to include these amenities in their search criteria.  So don’t leave anything out – you want your listing to be found!

    A sceenshot from our new REALTOR.ca beta site.

    For cases where your MLS® System does not allow you to check off certain amenities, make sure to add them in the “description” field. Remember, it’s all about matching your listing info with the right person’s dreams. So if your listing includes a secret underground garage, don’t forget to mention it. There could be Bruce Wayne wannabes visiting REALTOR.ca as we speak.

    #2 – Pictures matter

    According to work done through our consumer panel (April 2013) that asked Canadian consumers about their ideal listings website, large hi-res images were, not surprisingly, the most popular feature.

    The new REALTOR.ca (which you can now try in beta) was designed with this consumer expectation in mind. Images have more prominence than ever throughout the site, notably on the listing page.

    Take this into consideration the next time you take pictures for a listing. Consider hiring a professional photographer – it will make an impact on the new REALTOR.ca. Also, keep your pictures fresh and in-season. If it’s summer, consider taking down those pictures with snowbanks!

    The ideal image size and resolution varies from one MLS® System to another. Contact your Board or Association to get the optimal image size/resolution specs.

    #3 – Consider adding video

    The same research had “video tours of homes” as the second most important feature for the ideal property listing site.

    So why not go the extra mile, and produce a video tour? An app like Videolicious makes it easy and cost effective to produce a professional looking video in minutes (all you need is your smartphone or tablet).  Then simply include the link to your video tour as part of your listing. Doing so will make a “Multimedia” button appear on yourREALTOR.ca listing page.

    According to experts on international real estate at Inman NYC 2013, video is an absolute must if you’re hoping to target international buyers (check out my previous post on this topic). They expect to see video of your property and the surrounding area.

    #4 – Don’t forget – you are also part of the listing!

    Like your listings, take advantage of your space on REALTOR.ca to show your professional side. Include a hi-res picture, contact info, link to your website. This information can all be pulled from your MLS® System and displayed on REALTOR.ca.

    If you have built a social media presence, don’t forget to include your links. It will make it easier for users of REALTOR.ca to learn more about you and your services.

    In the end…

    REALTOR.ca is there to help you be successful, and this starts with making it easy for you to make your listings to look amazing. So make the most of it!

     

     

    From http://www.creacafe.ca/four-simple-ways-to-make-your-listings-shine-on-realtor-ca/

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pic for mould webBy Matthew Brewer

The weather is a constant source of conversation in Canada and a bone of contention.  Every spring we see flooding occur across the country.  The Prairies encounter flooding frequently during the spring and every fall, Eastern Canada gets hammered with tropical storms and hurricanes.  After all of these events we have to deal with the after-effects: mould.

Mould is everywhere.  The small spores are floating in the air you’re breathing even as you read this.  It’s a ubiquitous part of nature.  These microscopic spores float through the air, landing on surfaces.  If the conditions are not favourable for growth, nothing happens.  But when they land on a surface with the right conditions – dampness and a suitable food source, such as wood or other organic material – a problem will soon occur.

When a spore lands on a suitable surface it begins to grow roots, stem and finally a head, which produces many spores in as little as 12 hours, given the right conditions.  These spores are caught by air currents and can then spread.

The spores are small – a typical mould spore is only around three to 40 microns in diameter.  To understand just how small this is, consider that human hairs measure between 30 and 120 microns in diameter.

Spores can travel very easily, seeking new places to grow.  Sometimes they travel throughout a building using the ventilation system or natural air movement and spread, settling on surfaces, waiting for the opportunity to grow.  Others don’t travel far, if the air movement isn’t favourable.  In these cases, you can have large colonies growing in a relatively confined area in a short period of time.  Each plant produces many spores, which create more growth, which creates more spores…and it goes on until either the food is gone or the conditions change.

Mould causes various issues, both for the building and for the occupants. It uses the building structure as food, which can cause staining or structural damage.  The odours of mould growth can become quite unpleasant – the smell is usually a good indicator of when there is a problem.  Simply put: if you see or smell mould, you have mould.

In recent years the term “black mould” has permeated the media and society.  When I did building assessments, I would often be asked if the mould that was present was black mould.  My reply has often been, “If it isn’t black mould, would you still want it?”  In building structures, no mould growth should be considered acceptable, no matter the colour.  While stachybotrys is black and one of the types with greater recognized risks, having any visible mould is a clear indication that a problem condition exists and should be fixed.

When our health is brought into the picture, things get even more challenging.  Some people have sensitivities to mould and can react from the toxins given off by some types – even mould that has died.  The spores of some types of mould can cause allergic responses in more sensitive people, including those with bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory conditions.  If viable (live) mould is airborne and inhaled by occupants with compromised immune systems, those people can be at increased risk from life-threatening infections.   In general, most of the population only notices the odours from mould growth and takes issue with the esthetic aspect.

How do we prevent it from growing?  The simplest method is to keep it from entering in the first place.  Barring that, the next step is to remove the moisture from the area.  When flooding or water infiltration occurs, it’s key to get the water removed as quickly as possible.  The longer the moisture sets, the further it can penetrate, making removal more difficult and giving mould a better chance to take hold and create more damage.

When significant growth or water infiltration is suspected, it is strongly recommended that a qualified consultant be brought in.  An experienced consultant can determine where the moisture may be coming into the building, as well as find both visible and hidden areas of growth.

If mould has been allowed to grow, how do you get it out?  After the moisture source has been found and removed, cleaning should be determined based on the size of the area.  If it is a small area, less than 1 m2 (10 square feet), it can often be scrubbed with household cleaners, if it is only a surface growth.  Simple cleaning products such as trisodium phosphate (TSP) can be purchased at many stores, or other mould-specific cleaning products can also be used.  While bleach is often used, it isn’t recommended due to the damage that the mould can do to the underlying material, as well as the potential for reacting with any toxins and respiratory risks to the users.

If it appears that the mould is thick, has exceeded one square meter or has compromised the material, it is strongly suggested that a professional mould remediation company do the work. It can quickly become a large project requiring specialized equipment and training.

The remediation crew brought in to clean should be expected to follow industry guidelines.  A valuable resource is the Canadian construction industry’s publication CCA-82, Mould guidelines for the Canadian construction industry.  It offers professionals with information that can be used to do professional cleaning.  Another resource is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

For many property maintenance or other professionals who may encounter mould, having an awareness course is always beneficial.  These courses are readily available across Canada, and also are available online.

Matthew Brewer is an occupational hygienist.  He offers online awareness training in hazardous building materials, such as mould, asbestos and lead through his company, Hazman Environmental Training Services. www.hazmantraining.com


http://www.remonline.com/mould-mould-everywhere/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mould%2C+mould+everywhere&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term=Read+more

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