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Tuesday, November 06, 2018   /   by Gary Semeniuk

Give me Land, Lot's of Land

Land can be a good investment, whether you intend to build a house or business on a particular lot or simply want a place where you can stretch your legs and breathe a bit more deeply. After all, they’re not making any more of it (ok, technically this isn’t true, but you’d need to be volcano adjacent to get dibs on brand new land).
Buying land can be tricky, though, even after you secure a mortgage for it. There are several important real estate concepts you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.
Lessons in Land Buying
Unlike purchasing a house in an established neighborhood, where everything is pretty obvious and cut and dry, land can throw a lot of weird wrenches into the works. Let’s take a look at the most important aspects to keep in mind before and during your land acquisition.
1.Title Restrictions
Before you even set foot on a piece of property you’re interested in purchasing, ask about title restrictions. These are condition ...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018   /   by Gary Semeniuk

Is that smoke I smell

Every morning, it’s the same thing. You get out of bed, take a shower, burn the toast and then curse the smoke detector. Although its singing the song of its people can be incredibly loud and awful to hear, the truth is that smoke detectors save lives. So, while your smoke detector may sing way off tune, it’s trying very hard to protect you and your family from smoke- and fire-related hazards, like your morning toast.
It’s time to check your smoke detector batteries yet again — and to learn more about those white pucks that hang out on the ceiling.
Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Smoke Detector
Every single day, your smoke alarms hang around next to the ceiling, just waiting for something to go wrong. They don’t ask for much, which is why most people tend to forget they even exist. But the job they do is vital to the safety and security of not only you and your family, but the families that neighbor you.
You’ve heard it a hundred times: check you ...

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Sunday, October 28, 2018   /   by Gary Semeniuk

How smart is your home Thermostat.

In the Internet Age, it seems like almost anything is possible. There are cars that can drive themselves, microwaves that you can talk to and, of course, smart thermostats. For the average homeowner, that last one might not sound all that special, but there’s really a lot of “neat” coming out of that weird little thing that hangs on your wall and controls the complicated HVAC system in your home.


But have smart thermostats lived up to the hype? Or are they really just vanity gadgets that you can use to one-up your buddies when they come over to visit?


What Can a Smart Thermostat Really Do?


There are two things every thermostat has to be exceptionally good at or it’s just not worth the effort: first, it must be able to tell what the temperature is where it’s located. Secondly, it needs to be able to turn the HVAC system on and off. Considering these two basic functions, nearly any thermostat is a pretty good one by some standards.


Your b ...

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Saturday, October 20, 2018   /   by Gary Semeniuk

Sticking to your New Home furniture budget.

You’ve finally done it! You bought the house of your dreams and closing is just around the corner. Then it occurs to you. Your aged and creaking futon, cement block and raw lumber bookshelves and that one lone chair in your kitchen might not be anywhere near enough furniture for the new space.
What’s a new homeowner to do?
Step One: Don’t Do ANYTHING Until After Closing
Before going into detail on how to keep your budget under control when buying new furniture, it’s important that you actually close your loan. It’s a common pitfall for new home buyers (and really, even home buyers who have bought before). Of course you’re excited, you got a clear to close — but you’re not closing for another week because there’s just not another day that works for everyone.
THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BUY FURNITURE.
If you buy furniture, especially if you buy it on credit, you can literally have your loan approval revoked. You were approved based o ...

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Friday, October 12, 2018   /   by Gary Semeniuk

When your Home Staging is a Pinterest Fail

There you sit, watching “The Vanilla Ice Project” on the DIY Network when a thought bubble forms over your head. If Vanilla Ice can remodel houses on television, you could probably save yourself the expense of a pro home stager and take the job into your own hands. Your Realtor will be so impressed that she’ll probably put it on her Instagram account right away.
This is a critical decision point. Do you put down the remote control and get to work making your home presentable for buyers or do you keep watching in hopes that Vanilla Ice breaks out into random song? It’s a hard decision.
As you lean forward to turn the television off, your spouse calls to see if you picked up milk on the way home from work. Of course you did. It’s just that important.
You may not realize it now, but one day you’ll see how close you came to total annihilation. That might be a bit dramatic, but you definitely came close to something…
What’s the Big Deal w ...

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