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Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life...

by Claire Franceschetti

I love the message here. I hold this issue close to my heart for many important reasons. I will continue to support this cause until there is no need...

Trouble with Home Appraisals

by Claire Franceschetti

In recent months, the major banks in our market have begun to tighten their lending rules. It follows too that with the market coming into balance, banks are now seeing a greater level of risk in granting mortgages because the values of homes may not continue to appreciate at the record braking rates of yesterday.

With a balanced or declining market, banks can be left holding mortgages for homes that were appraised too highly. As a result, they are trending towards "In Person" appraisals over the standard, quick automated appraisal of yester years.

Here's the bank's perspective on their changing method of home appraisals. 

If you are refinancing expect a home visit by an appraiser. It's the reality of today's uncertain market.

Thanks for Supporting the Duffield Devils!

by Claire Franceschetti

As some of you know, the Franceschetti's are a hockey family through and through. Along with our family history, we have 3 kids in rep and house league hockey. My husband, Claudio, coaches for the Duffield Devils, and our daughter is a goalie for the Atom North York Storm girl's league.

I continue to sponsor our teams, but it's an expensive sport, and the teams run fundraisers throughout the year to defray some of the costs. Most recently, the 2005 Duffield Devils ran a draw for 15 sets of Maple Leaf tickets. The draw happened last night, and it was exciting for the kids who gathered in the change room before practice.

Here is the draw video tape, so that everyone knows that it was "official"! How cute to see Sergio, one of our biggest fans, draw the winning ticket! Thanks to those who purchased a raffle ticket. Your support is most appreciated!

How Buying Your First Home Is Like Your First Day of University

by Claire Franceschetti

First-time homebuyers often experience total excitement, frustrating setbacks and overwhelming anxiety much like they may have encountered on their first day of university.   These two experiences are remarkably similar.  Buyers are often searching for the perfect home.  They have high expectations of finding an affordable house with great schools, a big yard and character.  Beginning university students are also motivated to use their money wisely, tackle all of the challenges that higher education presents and earn high scores – all while working.  Along with wild expectations, there are five more blaring similarities between the two experiences. (Above, is a picture of my UofT Experience: Woodsworth College.)
 

1. Lifetime Milestone
 
Remember the excitement of the first day of University?  Finally, students move away from home and explore a whole new city away from their family and friends.  These 18 year olds get to take on more responsibility and fully enjoy their new freedoms.  Going to University is a rite of passage for many youth in Canada; it’s a huge transition.
 
For buyers, owning a home is a momentous transition into adulthood.  Homeownership is a major commitment of money and time.  When buyers purchase a home they are planting roots in a community for at least a few years.  They can finally unpack all of their boxes, settle-in and call one place home.  Buyers accept the responsibility of home maintenance and payments.
 
Both of these experiences are milestones at different stages of life.  They indicate a major transition and an increased level of responsibility.  Going to college and buying a home are both accomplishments representing maturity.
 
2. Underestimating the Lengthiness of the Process?
 
Getting into the right University can take months (if not years!).  Teenagers study for tests to qualify for acceptance, go through the application process and then wait.  Upon acceptance, students have paperwork and orientations to go through.  Finally, on the first day of class, students have to travel all around a foreign campus to get from class to class.  Even the most prepared student may underestimate how long it takes to walk or bus from class A to class B.  Getting in and adjusting to this level of school can be a stressful process that tests patience and confidence.


 


The home-buying process also takes an enormous amount of patience.  Buyers should be pre-qualified for a loan before their house hunt begins.  Finding the right home requires persistence to attend open houses, search online and stay in contact with realtors.  Buyers can be out-bid or turned down.  Once a home is selected and an offer is accepted, the process continues.  There is an inspection, tons of repeat paperwork and rapid exchanges between the buyer and lender.  After the papers are signed, the money must be issued to the seller and the deed recorded before the purchase is final.  Buyers may feel at times like they will never see the keys!
 
Lots of front-end work must be completed before finalizing acceptance into a college or the purchase of a home.  When one stressful step is completed, another begins.  The question of getting into a college or a home can be emotionally discouraging.  Both processes can be ongoing and require persistence.
 
3. Learning Curve
 
Think back on that first day of University.  Remember how every reference to a class, a department, a building or a book was expressed as an acronym?  No matter how many times new students reference their orientation manuals, those acronyms just don’t seem to stick.  Eventually, students become comfortable explaining that they live in B.T. eat lunch in the V.U. study their G.U.R.s and plan to complete a B.A. in G.S.  Even if students have all of their books on the first day and show up with every supply imaginable, these acronyms can make them feel confused or behind.
 
Similarly, first-time home buyers may feel like they know all about loan options and mortgage rates before meeting with their lender.  When all of the numbers are in front of them and all of the answers are provided in real estate jargon, it can be mind-boggling.  The choice of loan program can determine the next 30 years of a buyer’s monthly costs.  It can be distressing to make such long-lasting decisions without clarity.
 
It’s important to ask questions and do research.  Whether it’s the first day of University or the beginning of the home buying process, questioning the experts is the best way to get pointed in the right direction.  Studying the processes and topics that present challenges is another good way to get back on track.  Lacking confidence can make a student or buyer feel unprepared to move forward.  However, in time, these topics will become familiar and second nature.
 
4. Studying To Catch Up

Some professors use the first class of a semester to hand out syllabi and discuss how the course will progress over the next few months.  Other professors jump right into lecture.  Such rapid adjustment to topics can overwhelm new students.  They are often left wondering if they already missed an assignment and hoping the professor doesn’t call on them.  Alternatively, that fast approach can motivate students to read their books to get up to speed so they do not find themselves unprepared again.
 
When a buyer’s offer is accepted, he can hire an inspector to evaluate the condition of the home.  Inspections can last several hours, and the buyers are recommended to be present.  The inspector references building codes or points out structural inaccuracies.  After the findings are compiled, the buyer can decide whether he wants to proceed with the purchase or negotiate deductions.   For first-time home buyers, this step can be well above their knowledge base.  New homeowners rarely know how much it would cost to correct an electrical panel, fix some water damage or replace the roof.  Buyers may find themselves studying that night to find out if the fixes are worth the trouble.
 
A student’s first day of an intense college class or a buyer’s first home inspection can be overwhelming.  Both student and buyer should research the material to be better prepared and educated in the future.  However, even when topics are above an individual’s knowledge base, diving right in can motivate him to catch-up and become better informed.
 
5. Buyer’s Remorse
 
After students have experienced the first day of class, they may feel like they have taken on more than they can manage.  The course load could be too intense or the balancing of a job may be unachievable.  Once the tuition check goes through, it’s difficult to go back on the commitment.  The feelings of hopelessness or fear can sometimes be explained as buyer’s remorse.  All of that money is gone and applied to something that seems unattainable.
 
First-time home buyers may also experience such remorse.  Buyers go through such a long process of completing one step after another that their focus may not be on the final purchase until it’s complete.  The size of the mortgage payment can be shocking and saving money for each payment can be stressful.
 
A University education is invaluable, regardless of the career path graduates choose.  Education sets an individual up for a successful future.  A degree opens the door for more professional opportunities and higher standards of pay.  Buying a home doesn’t make perfect sense for everyone.  For most, it’s a financially sound decision for their future wealth.  Whether the home is purchased in downtown Toronto, Vaughan, Brampton or Richmond Hill, it’s a long-term investment that appreciates in value.  Although the purchases of education and a home are some of the most expensive in an individual’s lifetime, they are generally quality investments with high returns.
 
In conclusion, try to soak up the pride associated with these comparable milestones.  Stay persistent through the long processes and adapt as each presents challenges.  Begin as prepared as possible and study if the steps seem confusing.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions of experts, family, friends or the web.  When it’s finally complete, appreciate the degree and home that were worked for so diligently.  Not everyone is steadfast enough or financially sound enough to complete University or purchase a home.  Be responsible for the commitments made and relish in the accomplishments.

Re/Max Supports Sick Kids:Video

by Claire Franceschetti

I have been touched personally by the amazing work done by the men and women of the Sick Kids Hospital Network. I am forever grateful to Sick Kids for helping my son through a terrible sickness when he was only 3 weeks old. It was a miracle that he made it.

When I joined Re/Max, I was thrilled about the opportunity to support Sick Kids: I have supported this organization on every home sale since I began at Re/Max, and I continue to contribute a portion of every home commission.

Together, Re/Max has just reached the $10 Million mark. I'll continue to support this Sick Kids charity for as long as I'm selling homes!

Painting Canada: Free Open House to Kleinburg Residents

by Claire Franceschetti

It doesn't get any better than this: Free Open House to see Painting Canada at the McMichael Gallery on Tuesday Dec 4, 2012 from 7-9:30 pm.  Painting Canada is a world famous show featuring the works of the Group of Seven. Many of the pieces in this collection have never been on public display, and once the show ends, they will go back into private collections:  

http://mcmichael.com/exhibitions/#paintingcanada

This opportunity has never happened in the Gallery's history! It's time to come and see what's happening at the McMichael. I'll be there, and I hope you will come out too!

Winter is coming to Vaughan. Is your home ready?

by Claire Franceschetti

One of the great joys of living in Canada is the change of seasons. Autumn's colors and crispness will soon give way to winter's first snowfall. While people react differently to seasonal changes, all homes react much the same way: climate change is hard on homes and the freeze/thaw cycles can cause damage.
 
I believe prevention is the key to a safe and comfortable season. Here are the top areas of focus and suggestions to get you through the winter months:


 
Roof - Just like your car, an annual roof tune-ups is really important. Fall is the perfect time for your roofer to address any small issues before they become big ones. The roof suffers the brunt of winter weather abuse. Correcting damaged shingles, loose flashings and torn valleys can prevent water damage from leaks and avoid expensive repairs. Tree limbs overhanging and touching the roof should be cut back, and missing mortar or loose bricks on chimneys should be repaired.

One of my favorite roofers is Boston Roofing: http://www.bostonroofing.ca/

 

 
 

Eavestroughs - Free-flowing, leak-free gutters and downspouts help to get roof water away from the house and keep it out of the basement. If eavestroughs can't control the rain or melting snow, or if downspouts don't carry water at least six feet away from the home, the ground next to your home will get soaked. Saturated ground usually means a leaky basement.
 

 

 

Catch Basins - I had water in my basement about a year ago because of this very issue. The catch basin at the bottom of my basement walk out was clogged, and we had a heavy rain that couldn't drain away. Since that "swimming pool in the basement issue" I make sure that the catch basin is clear. If you have them, keep the catch basins clear on your driveway, garage and yard. If you want to go the extra mile, it's also a great idea to clear any storm grates in the street in front of your house so all that rain and melting snow can get into the storm sewers.

Windows, Doors and Walls - Check your windows and doors for any wood in need of paint, and any joints that need re-caulking. The corners of sills are a common weak point. Check the caulking at pipes, vents and other wall penetrations as part of regular maintenance.
 
Furnace- One of the most over-looked and taken for granted systems in our homes is the furnace. But just one episode of a furnace break-down in winter will emphasize the importance of taking care of your furnace, especially in the winter. I would suggest an annual  If you haven't yet, schedule a heating system maintenance call, even if your system is relatively new.

Kleinburg Home Invasion is a Shock to Community

by Claire Franceschetti

I can't tell you how many emails and calls I got on Monday about the early morning home invasion on Kleinburg's sleepy Treelawn Blvd. As police released information, it became clear that one of our own community members was violently attacked in his home. While the details remain confidential, this crime as shaken the the neighborhood's feeling of security. A Kleinburg family has lost a sense of safety in their own home.

As I do most Monday mornings, I was enjoying my coffee with some of my local girlfriends, when two York Regional Police Officers strolled into Starbucks. Call it a quiet community, but the cops don't frequent our local coffee shop very often. While they picked up their coffee, they told us that they were helping out in the investigation. 

 

Here are a few things that they mentioned we can do to help keep our community a safe place to live and raise a family:

  • Observe the unusual. If it looks out of place, take notice. Jot down license plates of out of place vehicles and note their comings and goings.
  • If someone looks like they are lingering in a car for an usual length of time, call and report it. The police will often drop by and ask what the "lingerer" is doing around our neighborhood.
  • Get to know your neighbors so that we can keep each other safe.
  • Consider a home alarm system that incorporates video footage.

 

The police have asked for us to review our home camera systems for any exterior footage that might have captured images of the assailants. I hope, more than anything, that they are able to find our neighbors attackers and bring them to justice.

Emily Carr SS in Vaughan is Home to Rezonance! Check 'Em Out!!!

by Claire Franceschetti

 

If you haven't already seen my other post about Rezonance, you have to check it out! This local acapella group at Emily Carr Secondary School in Woodbridge is amazing! Here's another one of their clips that makes me think they have huge potential! They will be performing it live in the near future...Stay tuned!

Enjoy!

 

Sleep Tips for the Time Change This weekend!

by Claire Franceschetti

My friends at Prep n Sell shared this info with me, so I wanted to pass it along...A few good ideas here (although I like the odd night cap, so personally, I'm skipping Fix #4....Your thoughts?)

 

Tips  to Get a Good Night's Sleep
 
Sleep Fix #1
 
Establish a regular routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. People who frequently switch their sleep times experience something akin to jet lag. "Sunday night insomnia," is where weekend warriors stay up late on Friday and Saturday and then have trouble falling asleep on Sunday.  Just that 24-48 hours can shift your circadian rhythm and cause poor sleep.
 
 
 
Sleep Fix #2

 
Put away your gadgets. It's tempting to watch TV or surf the web from bed, but those activities usually make it harder to wind down. The latest research suggests that artificial light coming from laptop screens, TVs, etc. suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. So give yourself a technology curfew and turn off those screens at least an hour before bedtime.
 
 
 
Sleep Fix #3
 
Give your bedroom a makeover. Make your sleeping area conducive to rest by keeping it dark and quiet. If you live in a city, consider using a white-noise machine to block out loud noises. Keep in mind that your body temperature drops at night, so you want to keep your room environment at a cool, comfortable level.
 
 
 

 

Sleep Fix #4

 
Avoid alcohol before bed. Contrary to popular opinion, drinking alcohol before bedtime is not a good idea since it disrupts sleep and causes nighttime awakenings. "Chronic use of alcohol also takes away slow-wave sleep," says Basner. "It wears off quickly, and then you're left with nightmares and sleep fragmentation." Caffeine before bedtime is also a no-no.

 

 

 

Sleep Fix #5

 
Get up instead of tossing and turning. If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, don't lie in bed just staring into space. Get out of bed, do something that is relaxing, and come back to bed when you feel drowsy. "Keep the bedroom associated with sleeping rather than being awake," says Collop. If you're a worrywart, try to make a list of things you need to do the next day an hour before bed. That way you can get your worrying done before you get into bed, she says.

 

Here's wishing you a great night sleep!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 23

Contact Information

Photo of Claire Franceschetti Real Estate
Claire Franceschetti
Right At Home Realty Inc.
190 Marycroft Ave.
Vaughan ON L4L5Y2
Direct: 416-918-6325
Office: 416-391-3232
Fax: Fax: 416-987-8001