Jun. 25, 2010

Multiple Generations Living Together

Do you live with your children AND parents or grandparents? Even though the scenario of 3 or more generations living together may be more usually seen in older movies, the truth is that it is now becoming more common than few years ago. Of course, multiple generations home have many positive, but on the other hand, also many negative sides. I hope to show you some of them in this article and in case you are just now contemplating moving in with your parents or children, it may also help you a little.

-it may make more economic sense - but not necessarily, as sometimes the house is so huge that every generation has their own separate part and all of them only meet in the living room or kitchen
-the family is together and sometimes a really ideal family atmosphere and great relations could be created
-if the younger adults urgently need to go somewhere and don't know who could take care of the kids, in a multiple generation home, someone is always there to do so (hence no babysitter is needed) ; also, parents and grandparents can give great advice with regard to bringing up children
-members of the younger generation can take care of the house or go grocery shopping (the older are not always able to do this, maybe due to health issues).
-on the other side, the older generation could for instance cook while their kids are at work - mutual help is essential here
-any older people feel quite lonely, but living with their kids and grandchildren could help to overcome these feelings, as they will always have someone in close proximity that they can rely on

Why NO
-some might feel like they have no real private life at all, like they are never really alone -parents might interfere in the life of their children and grandchildren too much and vice versa -disagreements about bringing up the kids (the grandparents are spoiling them too much and so on)
-a very close relationship between children and their parents may not always be a good thing (women usually hate to be compared to the mother of their partner - e.g. "nobody can cook like my mom")
-having to adapt to and having to respect the needs and wishes of other generations (sometimes they may be surprisingly different)

It is very hard to give all the universal good and bad points with regard to multiple generations living under one roof- it all depends on the relationships between family members and setting clear rules right from the beginning. It is necessary not to lie to yourself and to your family. If you feel like you could not live in such a house, then don't. It is as simple as that. Even if your wife wants it, you are important too. Not taking your feelings and thoughts into consideration might end up in a catastrophe.

Jun. 17, 2010

Second Homes: What to Avoid

It is now very common to be an owner of a so called second home used mainly for vacationing. I am quite sure that, if it is not you, you know of someone who owns a home used just for holidays, weekends and relaxation. However, after purchasing the property, many people suddenly find it is useless (or not used as much as they expected) and realize it may cost them more than they predicted and so on. People may just not be happy about the buy after some time. This article aims to give you a couple of tips on what to do in order to really enjoy the second home.

Most importantly, you should realistically consider whether the house is really needed. If you think so, try to figure out why and for approximately how long. It is nice to think that you will spend a lot of time there until the end of your life, but usually it is not like that at all. As people are getting older, their preferences and needs are changing quite drastically. Even though it may seem to be just okay to look after a home when you are about 30, it will be completely different by the time you turn 60. Consider everything carefully. If the house is not going to be used for a longer time (you may just want it for a summer), it perhaps is better to just rent one. You do not necessarily have to buy it.

As always, finances are a big issue here. It is just a second home, that is true. But you should not forget that you have the very same responsibilities as for your original home. Payments, loans and problems are the same. However, as second homes are often located nearby the beach (and water) or mountains, they may be more endangered. Insurance can be very expensive and it is an almost essential part of a vacation home. Briefly put, responsibly consider whether you can actually afford a second home. If you know you do not have enough money yourself, it probably wouldn't be wise to borrow from your family or acquaintances. Seriously, owing money to someone is not pleasant, especially as second homes are not essential.

In spite of the fact that these vacation homes are popular, many are disappointed shortly after purchasing them. It is their fault that they do not think the buy through properly, though. Hopefully the tips offered in this article will help, in some way, prevent dissatisfaction with your weekend home. In case you have something to say about it, just leave a comment to share your thoughts. I would love to read it.

Jun. 12, 2010

Renting Your Property Out and Tenants

picture by gigiyesica

Leasing a home either as a landlord or a tenant, is something the majority of us do at least once in our lifetime. Only a couple of lucky ones have always been owners of their property and never had to experience living in someone's home. Some people however, do acquire properties to lease out. There rarely is a great landlord and tenant relationship, even the best ones can have the random disagreement or dispute. So whether you are a landlord or a tenant, here are some hints on making it run a little bit better:

Paying your rent on time is one of the first important rules of being a worthwhile tenant. Nothing is this life is free, so if an individual is providing you with a property then you should not make them wait for rent Also try not to be too wild and do not damage the house or the garden Even though it is not your house so you are not destroying your own property, try to take care of it just like it was your own. Typically only as many people as agreed upon should reside there – be honest and do not get roommates behind your landlord's back.

As a landlord you have a duty of care to your tenant, so make sure the home is in good condition. Check the home for broken windows and doors, make sure the facilities are safe and the property is clean. Try to pay for gas, water or electricity (if you pay for these) on time so that there will be no bad surprises for the tenants – it won’t be nice if suddenly there isn't running water. As per tenancy contracts you do not have the right to turn up and let yourself in unannounced, therefore do not keep an extra set of keys. Of course, the home is yours but remember, the people living there are paying you for that, therefore it is their private space.

As a Forest Hill Houses professional I believe the most important thing to do is put everything the tenant and the landlord agree on, on tenancy agreements. Some examples of what should be included are: who pays the gas and electric bill, the date the rent is due, the amount of notice that needs to be given by both sides and who is liable for property repairs. As a landlord are you going to accept dogs in the property? Clearly, agree on rules, write them down (trust me, it can prevent many possible disagreements and to be a good landlord and tenant, try to follow the rules.

Jun. 5, 2010

How to Avoid the Pitfalls when Marketing Your Property

Experts are there to help you sell your property, but if you prefer to do it without their help you could make numerous mistakes. The aim of this article is to point out some of the most frequent errors people make when selling their house, also how to avoid the pitfalls that will hamper your efforts to sell your property.
The possible sale of your property could depend on the exterior of your home, I have talked about it in other articles, this is the first thing a possible buyer is going to see. A very normal mistake is to think that the exterior is not really important, since people, generally come to look at the inside of the property. The garden, shed, patio and general state of the exterior of the property is imperative. You could leave the exterior in a tip, with overgrown grass and waste everywhere if you are really not bothered about marketing your property.

picture by thinkpanama
Whilst you may love your animals, a probable purchaser may not like them. There is nothing worse than a dog or cat jumping up at the potential buyer as they enter the property. In addition, some animals may smell really terrible. If you have, for instance, a really smelly cage with birds, clean it out just before the potential buyers comes to visit. Open windows to let out the smell of any animals and it also makes sure each room smells clean. Offensive smells can be pretty discouraging to possible buyers.

If you want to put purchasers off, then forget to clean your home. Smelly, dirty laundry, unwashed dishes, full bins and dirty work surfaces are just a few things that can be offensive to someone viewing your property. Understand me when I say, future buyers DO notice these problems. If you walked into a property and saw dirt everywhere and it smelled offensive, would you buy it? I would be out of that property quickly and would not look back!

Clutter, such as shoes, magazines, coats and other personal things need to be hidden away. Family pictures and the little one's painting masterpieces need to be kept to a minimum. Of course these possessions show this is a well loved family property but the people who are viewing your property need to imagine themselves living there. With all your individual things lying around, this isn't going to be easy for them. Your potential buyer could look in drawers, so avoid stuffing your personal possessions inside them, as doing this can be as detrimental to a possible sale as leaving them out.

What hints can you think of to help others have a favourable house sale? Have you viewed a property and disliked something so didn't purchase it? Let me know if there is something else that could be helpful to include in this report.

In case you have any question concerning selling a home, contact Elli Davis from Luxury Homes Toronto

More information from the GTA area.