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Light Bulb Moment: The Scoop on LED's

by Claire Franceschetti

How many people does it take to change a light bulb?...

By now, most of us have probably replaced most of our old fashioned incandescent light bulbs with new fashioned "eco" fluorescent bulbs. Not sure if you've noticed, but I have found that these newer, energy-efficient bulbs last much longer. Now, the newest light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is the latest trend on the scene. It started being used in commercial and industrial applications, but now, LED lighting is gaining ground at home - and I've been told that there are many good reasons for that.

Energy Savings:


LED bulbs work in a unique way. Instead of emitting light and heat in all directions--which is wasteful--an LED light moves electrons through a semiconductor material, creating light that shines in a specific direction. Thus, LED bulbs create bright light while generating very little heat. Although I hate the price tag compared to the older bulbs they replace, high power LED bulbs are more than twice as efficient and I've been told that they can last as long as 20 years. 

Good Looking:


LED bulbs are now available in warmer tones that are easier on the eyes (and more flattering). Like old fashioned bulbs, there are LEDs made to fit standard light fixtures, recessed lighting fixtures, candelabra bases, dimmable fixtures, and even some landscape lighting. LED floodlights and spotlights are becoming more popular, particularly because they need replacement so infrequently.

Earth Friendly: 

Other advantages of LEDs are that they contain no mercury or other toxic materials, are very unlikely to break if dropped, and reach full brightness as soon as they are switched on. Look for Energy Star rated LED bulbs, which have been tested to meet EPA standards of color quality and consistency, energy efficiency, and stable performance--Cheap versions can perform poorly. 

By replacing the bulbs in the most-used and hard-to-reach fixtures, you can start saving energy--and money--right now. So how many people does it take to change a light bulb? Well, if it's like the toilet roll at my house, it still takes ONE MOM to change a light bulb. 

Before you Buy a Couch, Check Out this Tool!

by Claire Franceschetti

Here's a room layout tool that I really enjoyed. It saved me from buying an oversized couch...Hope you find it helpful too!

Buying New Condos: Food for Thought...

by Claire Franceschetti

I recently read an article, in a Toronto news paper, that got me thinking about the experiences of home buyers purchasing newly built condominiums. The article detailed home buyers who had bought a newly constructed condominium, from floor plans, but, unfortunately, once the unit was built, they were disappointed when they realized that one window looked at a brick wall, the floor was laminate and the balcony was “more of a ledge.” This article is a good reminder that there is a lot to consider when deciding to buy a newly built condominium.

Condominiums are regulated by the provincial Condominium Act. In recent months, there has been some talk about the need to reform this law, in part to provide better consumer protection. There is no doubt that the Condominium Act does need reworking but “caveat emptor” or buyer beware can go a long way to help home buyers considering any property, including newly built condominiums.

When buying newly built housing, there are many things to consider. Firstly, when you walk into a new housing sales office, please realize that, often, everyone working there is working on behalf of the seller/builder. If that is the case, you may have discussions with them, but their fiduciary duty is to the builder, not you as the Buyer. With this in mind, you do have the option of working with a Realtor and entering into a Buyer Representation Agreement, to authorize them to work on your behalf in any Purchase.

At any time that you work with a licensed Realtor they must disclose, to all parties, on whose behalf they are working, in writing. For years, I have been hoping that the Government of Ontario would make disclosure part of all sales that happen in the Province. Currently only REALTORS®, who are licensed under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act 2002, must do so. Consumers would be better protected if other parties that are involved in real estate transactions, including lawyers, private sellers and new construction on-site salespeople, were also required to do so. It’s only fair: anyone acting on behalf of someone else should have to disclose their relationship with the Buyer or Seller.

Secondly, a very important thing to know is that all Buyers of newly built condominiums are entitled by law to a 10 day cooling-off period, during which time they can cancel their agreement. This is a good time to peruse all documentation and take it to a lawyer for review. When dealing with condominiums, it could help to use a lawyer who specializes in Condominium Law. The lawyer may have good advice on stipulations that you can add into the contract to better protect yourself.

Thirdly, understand what you are buying:


•Make sure that a condominium suits your lifestyle. Do you have a good sense of the reality of a 665 square foot property with two bedrooms and two bathrooms? If you have house-sized furniture are you ready to sell it all to make this type of new space "liveable".
•Be diligent in getting the details. If the plans show nine foot ceilings, is that in all of the rooms? Where will the heating, cooling, and water be located for the apartment below and above? Ask for the full building plans so you can see where the bulkheads are planned.
•Understand the status of the neighborhood. Is it a stable neighborhood with little re-development or is their significant development on-going, or coming, that could change the nature of the area, and affect things like the view from your unit. The municipality’s Official Plan and Planning Department staff can help you look into the future to get an idea of what may be coming.
•Be realistic in your expectations for the property’s value; use common sense. Getting caught up in hype and speculating that your unit will increase dramatically in value from the time you purchase until construction is complete could leave you disappointed.

Finally, be sure to consider all of your options. For many home buyers, newly built housing is the right choice; however, if you are the type of person who likes to “kick the tires” before buying, purchasing a re-sale property might be a better option for you.


Newly constructed housing is an important part of the real estate market. It fills an important niche and is the right choice for many people. However, as with any major purchase, it is important that you take steps to look out for your best interests. Go the extra step to make sure that you understand what you are buying, and consider working with a Realtor who can provide assistance and advice during the purchase of your new home.

3 quick ways to kill an offer

by Claire Franceschetti

 

Top mistakes sellers make that kill the chances of seeing offers:
 
1. Stay at home during the showings and escort the buyers and their agent around. This makes buyers terribly uncomfortable and unable to make comments to one another. Further, it makes it hard for the buyer to envision their life in the house with the old owners trailing behind (or in front of them). One study showed that buyers don't look at rooms that are occupied by the sellers, so it's better to clear out when showings are happening.


2. Limiting showing times.
 
When sellers won't allow showings at certain times, the buyers will skip seeing the property and move onto the next available home. Where absolutely possible, allow buyers in to see the home. If they can't get in on the first try, they often don't return and find another suitable option amongst your competition. Remember: If a home cannot be seen, it will not be sold.

3. Sellers chat about the neighborhood with the buyers

 


I recently showed a house to my buyer clients. They have lovely school aged children. One of their priorities was to find a home in a good school district. My client asked the sellers if their grown children had attended the local school. The seller cautioned that she wouldn't dream of sending her kids to the local public school and that she had sent them to private schools. It made my clients question the quality of the local school, and the overall neighborhood too!  It was an innocent inquiry, but the response from the sellers killed any future possibility for my buyer clients.

In my experience, it is best for sellers and buyers to have minimal contact. Innocent chit chat can tip a negotiation and even kill a deal before it has a chance to come together.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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