Apr. 29, 2010

Purchasing a Home - Women

A Few years or decades ago the idea of a (single) female purchasing a property herself would have been absolutely unimaginable. Whilst it may have been unimaginable years ago, in todays society a lot of single women now have the financial security to be able to buy a property of their own. Therefore we are seeing many professional and single women doing just that and the trend seems to be growing.

The disparity over the last few years has moved women away from the pigeonholed, uneducated, stay at home wife and mother. Even though there still isn't full gender equality, young girls, just like boys, if they are brainy enough, go to universities and have a brilliant chance to become successful lawyers, doctors or anything they want to be.

Some recent polls give some modicum of truth to my words, so let's have a look at these polls. For example, the 3rd annual TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll, completed by the end of 2009, shows that 44 percent of women think the financial security as the most important thing about being a homeowner. That means a 21 percent rise from 2008. Not paying rent to live in a condo was the 2nd most popular answer to the question about benefits of property ownership. 38 percent of females voted for this choice. Again we are observing an increase since the poll in 2008, this choice had risen from 13%.

The general age of a first time property buyer is said to be 29, of which over 80% are single women, according to the IPSOS-Reid poll. Looking at the figures in more in depth detail, we also find that 80% of those women have no children and half have university degrees.

As a (female) Realtor from Toronto I understand that not every bit is as good as it seems. If you look at most professional jobs, there is still a gap in wage, with women being worse off than a man doing the same job. Statistics still show that women purchasing homes by themselves have more chance of running into problems, such as paying off a mortgage, than their male counterparts or if they were part of a married couple.

picture by Tizzie

Apr. 21, 2010

Does Your Home Need a Refurb?

Imagine you have bought a house. Your new home which you are very happy about. But it could be in better condition; it is not exactly new and has a number of faults that should certainly be dealt with. Shortly, a refurb is essential. The aim of my article is to offer you few tips you could use when buying a home that needs a refurb.

Look after exterior at first. Is there a big backyard, overgrown and messy grass and trees? That should be taken care of - exterior catches attention of people first. New trees, grass, flowers, a pool or something for children - you are allowed to do anything you wish. Most importantly, it is you, who should be satisfied with how your backyard looks.

After you are done with the exterior, you can go inside. The walls should be painted if necessary. Also, the floors, carpets, ceilings, windows or doors should be in a good state. In case something in your home seems like it is not going to last for a long period, throw it away - change it. In the end it may cost you a lot less than repeated repairs.

As for rooms - kitchens and bathrooms are usually those which need more attention than the rest of the rooms - in some of them, paint, carpets and furniture is basically everything that should be taken care about. If you are not planning to live in the house right away, but rather doing all the repairs while staying at a different location, it is probably better to start with these rooms. When you are done with those, the most difficult part of your work is over. Surely, in some houses these rooms might be in a better condition than the rest, so that they would not need extensive repair.

Be careful, if you are buying a home just because it is cheap, but in a horrible state, it may cost you a lot more than a nice, but more expensive, home that does not require so much work. Before purchasing a home for refurb, calculate the approximate cost of the big change, so there are no shocking surprises at the end when you see all the bills. I wish you the best of luck with possible future refurb of your home, and I want to ask you to share your experience if you have gone through home refurb before.