Paula's Adventures In Real Estate

Let me help you make your next move!

Here We Grow-Op Again! January 22, 2010

So, did you happen to read last weekend’s Arnprior Chronicle-Guide? When I first saw the front page, I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Police find home crammed with pot plants” was the headline. I read on to find out more details and when I saw the address, I exclaimed “I know that house!” Turns out, it’s the same house that my brokerage had listed for sale just over a year ago.

I did a little more digging and discovered that the man who purchased the property is the very one who was mentioned in the paper as having been arrested for the crimes committed. The plot thickens…

Now I was not involved with the listing or the selling of this home but I know the agents who were and they were just as surprised as the rest of us. I’m sure the buyer did not make his true intentions known (well duh). “I’m looking for a brick bungalow with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, eat-in kitchen and a cozy gas fireplace in which I can completely gut and destroy as I’m planning on cultivating approximately 1,400 marijuana plants and making a cool 1.4 million in the process. Can you help me?”

Last August, a home on the Waba road was listed for “land value only” as it too, had been completely destroyed being a former grow-op. It ended up selling for approximately $200K less than what it would have been worth had it not been totally and utterly full of mold.

This is a great example of why real estate agents must now complete an Individual Identification Information Record for each of their clients before proceeding with any transactions. It is the law that we have to actually see a piece of our clients’ identification first hand (ex. driver’s licence or passport – photocopies not acceptable) and note the document number, expiration date, and issuing jurisdiction before proceeding with any transactions. It’s an initiative developed by FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada http://www.fintrac.gc.ca/) to help safeguard against possible terrorism, money laundering and other criminal activities.

So the next time you’re about to sign on that dotted line to buy or sell real estate and your agent asks to first see some ID, you’ll know why and will have nothing to worry about – unless of course you are up to no good, in which case you should probably just walk away…

‘Till next time,

Paula

 

Christmas is Done, Spring Market Here I Come. January 8, 2010

Welcome 2010! It’s been a couple of months since my last post. I’ve been busy like the rest of the world getting things together for the holidays. We had a wonderful Christmas – my kids, once again, were absolutely spoiled by friends and family.

Jasper our now 5 month old American Cocker Spaniel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06wfk3XPhfE), (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq4XTfoelG0)  was also spoiled. Among toys and treats he also got a fabulous custom collar and 6′ leash from Approved By Houston (www.approvedbyhouston.com). I found the prices really quite reasonable and the quality is excellent. The best part was that I got to pick out the style and colours myself. I wanted blue and brown stripes and Kendra was great to work with me to find it. He looks so handsome in it!!

 

Now that Christmas is over, the real estate market will start to heat right back up again. Families who are looking to move before the start of the next school year often begin their house hunting in the spring. It has been my experience that the months of February through to the end of June are the busiest and March, April and May are the best months to hold an open house. The weather is starting to thaw and people who were cooped up for much of the winter are anxious to get out and start looking at what’s out there. It’s spring fever baby!

The Realtors at my office have collectively decided to have an open house blitz one weekend every month commencing in February. I’m really looking forward to it.  I have this gut feeling that this spring, the real estate market in this area will be booming.  At least I hope so – I’ve still got Christmas to pay for afterall…

‘Till next time,

Paula

 

One More Reason To “Love Thy Neighbour” October 16, 2009

Buying a house can be a daunting endeavour. For most people, it is the biggest investment they’ll ever make in their lifetime. No one wants to buy a property with deficiencies but can you always count on the seller to be forthcoming with that type of information, especially if it’s serious enough to potentially kill the sale or warrant a significant reduction in price?

 

One tip I’ve recently picked up is to encourage buyers to talk to the neighbours. Knock on their door or get their phone number (your agent should be able to find out this information for you). A lot of the time, if there is somethingEye on you wrong with the house you’re considering purchasing, the neighbours will be aware of it. Sometimes, it’s because they too are having similar problems (as can be the case with water potability or flooding) or they’ve actually seen evidence of a potential problem (i.e. a well driller’s truck parked in the driveway of a home with a dug well could indicate a lack of adequate water supply). This will also give you the opportunity to break the ice with your prospective neighbours, to find out what kind of people they are and decide if you can picture living beside them in harmony.

 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still do your own due diligence by having a home inspection but it does provide one other avenue to gain valuable information about the property before you sign on the dotted line.

 

‘Till next time,

Paula