Real Estate Tips
Selling Your Property in the times of COVID-19
Live Stream your Listing Open House on REALTOR.ca
"REALTOR.ca now supports all major livestreaming platforms to link to your listings, such as Facebook, Zoom, YouTube and Instagram. As virtual showcases and livestreaming become the new normal replacing real-life open houses, I encourage you to take advantage of this new feature to increase the visibility of your property listing to engage with buyers."
Cutting Renovation Costs without Cutting Quality
As you probably know, it's easy to lower the costs of a renovation. Just hire an inexpensive, fly-by-night contractor — and hope for the best!
Chances are, you won't want to take that risk. So how do you ensure you get quality work while keeping your budget in check?
Here are some tips:
• Get estimates from at least three contractors. Often prices can vary widely, even amongst contractors with similar reputations and experience.
• Narrow the project focus. If you're getting a bathroom renovated, for example, decide whether you need the contractor to paint the new walls. Can you do that yourself?
• Shop around for the building materials. Yes, contractors often have access to wholesale prices. Still, you might be able to find a bathtub and vanity at a lower cost or at least avoid any markup the contractor may charge.
• Negotiate. Sometimes a contractor is willing to lower the price for concessions, such as quick payments or more time to complete the job.
• Schedule the renovation during a low-demand season. For example, deck contractors charge more in the spring than the fall. It's supply and demand. More people want their decks done in the spring.
Keep in mind that spending a little more for a skilled and reputable contractor can save you money in the long run. The renovation will have fewer, if any, "issues" (that may require an expensive fix) and will last longer.
Protecting your Home Gadgets from Hacking
Imagine your coffee maker switching on by itself, staying on for hours, overheating and becoming a fire hazard. That's not science fiction. As more and more appliances incorporate WIFI, the opportunities for hackers to play havoc with your home gadgets increase.
How do you prevent that from happening? Here are some safety tips:
- If your gadget uses a password to access the settings, change that password frequently. Ideally, change it once every 3 months.
- Some gadgets, such as alarm systems, come with their own connection to the internet. Learn how to turn that connection off if it becomes necessary to do so.
- Don't leave an internet-connected appliance or other gadget on constantly unless it’s necessary. For example, you don't need your home speaker system connected to your digital music providers all the time.
- Baby monitors with video are a common target for hackers. Use a password unique to that device and change it often. Never leave the monitor on when not in use.
- Never share passwords with anyone unless it is absolutely necessary. Most home WIFI systems have a "guest" feature with a separate password and limited access. Use it.
In this age of internet connectivity — from coffee makers to stereos and even washing machines — it's smart to play it safe. Know what's connected and protect yourself.