Know Your REALTOR®: Lisa Mueller

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Lisa Mueller is an award-winning Saskatoon REALTOR® with CENTURY 21 Fusion, with 12 years of experience in the real estate industry. She has worked with the brokerage as both a real estate agent and a broker manager, offering a wide array of experience in the way she works with home buyers, sellers, and other industry professionals. Even with her busy schedule, she was happy to spare a moment to talk about her experience as a local REALTOR® and why she would be the best fit for finding you and your family the dream home you’ve been searching for!


I chose to become a REALTOR® because I wanted to help families, and I had quite a bit of personal experience buying and selling homes! I had moved many times myself. At one time, I had moved 6 times in 8 years, packing up houses and kids, and my husband said to me, “You know, you should really get into real estate. You already know a lot of the processes and I think you could add a lot of value to clients in knowing what it really is like to get a house ready for sale, and to move a family!” So I really felt I had a lot to offer clients when they were going to list and sell. 

I think a REALTOR® that has their own experience is vital because they really know what you’re feeling when you’re listing that home. Some of these REALTORS® that we had experienced weren't great communicators, and it kind of felt like they plopped the sign on the lawn and didn't follow through with the things they were saying. So that's what I wanted to focus on when I became a REALTOR®: good customer service and making sure I was communicating properly with the clients and so that they felt that the value they were getting was worth what they were paying. 

What's your favourite part about being a REALTOR®?

My favourite part about being a REALTOR® is the clients and, obviously, is the possession days. That’s the end game. The goal is that you’re going to get that house sold for your listing clientele or you’re going to bring that buyer to the new house, open the door for them, and know they’re going to create memories that last a lifetime. It’s just the best feeling ever!

What is something that you think every buyer should know before getting into real estate?

Buyers really need to make sure that their down payment is ready and that they get a good mortgage broker. Don’t just go to anyone. You need to find a mortgage broker that is going to explain to you how the whole process works with them and that they ensure that you are preapproved for a property so that you can actually go out shopping, write an offer, and not have to be concerned or not ready to do so. They should educate you on the costs involved in having a mortgage payment, taxes, and those different various things that a mortgage broker can do.

Once a mortgage broker has educated them, then I can help them from there in choosing the appropriate house. Some buyers need a lot of help with buying a house that’s got some renos and they’re not sure how much they are going to cost. And maybe they’re up for that challenge! But most brand new buyers should likely be buying a house that doesn’t have a lot of things that could come up. Educating them on the expenses is really important for new buyers so that they know what they’re up against.

I try and educate my buyers as much as I can during a showing. I don't just sit on my phone and text people while it’s going on. I'm walking through with them, pointing out things, and showing them where there might be an issue later on or something that we need a home inspector to look through if it comes to a home inspection. I just think it’s so important to educate buyers on the process, on what is a good home and what isn't a good home, so that they can feel really confident that I am representing them and that they're buying the best property they can for themselves. 

What do you think is the most important change coming for real estate?

I’ve been in real estate for over 14 years, and it’s definitely technology. Social media is especially playing a huge role in what buyers can buy and what sellers are selling for, and how educated the buyers and sellers are. And as a REALTOR®, you really need to be up to date with it all—where interest rates are headed, how to market a home, how to get the best home for your client. All those nuances are really, really important.

Tell us a little more about yourself.

Well, I am a mother of three. I am super proud of my daughters—they are growing up to be very independent and hard-working. They just motivate, impress, and amaze me every day. I’ve been playing volleyball for over 30 years—I love it. I also have 2 small dogs, and I am a cat-lover, but my daughter is allergic to cats haha!

Other than that, I have an education degree and I did teach for a tiny little bit, and then I raised my kids for a little while. We moved a lot during that time and that’s when I decided to go into real estate and now I’ve been a REALTOR® for over 14 years. For 5 of those years, I ran a brokerage of 97 agents and 7 staff. I helped those agents by training them and onboarding them, educating them, and overseeing their deals.


I pretty much know anything that can go wrong in a deal and how to mitigate that or try to prevent it from happening. I always make sure that I let my clients know that we have to get proper conditions and terms in place on an offer. And, when it comes to listing a property, it must be properly listed—the house has to be measured and the different things that need to be done must be done properly. It’s what I taught agents for 5 years and I carry it with me today.

I also helped the staff with servicing the agents so that they could do their job and be successful at it.

Why do you love Saskatoon?

I love Saskatoon because it’s a beautiful city. The river, the bridges, the people are just second to none. I feel like it’s small enough, but not too small because we have many, many services and things to do here. Still, you can drive here anywhere in 20-25 minutes, unless there's an accident and then it might be another 5 minutes.

And there’s lots of opportunities to move up at different companies, if you’re so inclined. It’s just a gorgeous city that, you know, we don’t really appreciate when we live here, I think. But when I get to show out of province buyers, then I realize even more how beautiful Saskatoon is and how much we need to appreciate it.

What inspires you?

On a day-to-day basis, it’s my girls. I want to lead by example. And so I go out into the world every day, doing my best, and getting things accomplished, working with people that I like to work with. And I think that when clients see me, and watch how I work, they see that I care and that I want to see them happy in their new homes. Or in selling their homes, I think they see that I really want to have them feel very satisfied—more than satisfied with the job I did!


If you could give any seller one piece of advice, what would it be?

For sellers, the biggest piece of advice I have is that they really need to make sure they’re getting their home prepped for sale. It has to be clean, bright, and look like it is maintenance-free, if that’s at all possible. Don’t put it up for sale until, you know, the little things are done. You know, we don’t necessarily need to redo a kitchen, but we do need to touch up paint, clean up spaces, and have the house sparkling clean. 

The other thing I would advise sellers to do is study the market, learn the market, and you do that through a REALTOR®. They should not be coming to you and just saying, “This is what we need to list your house for.” What they should be doing is showing all the different listings that 

are on the market and those that have recently sold—that is what a buyer is willing to pay, really. And then, from there, you decide with the REALTOR® what that pricing should be. Then you’re going to have way more success.

Is there anything else you think people should know about you when considering whether or not to work with you?

One of the most important things that I add is that I did oversee over 10,000 deals when I was the broker manager of CENTURY 21 Fusion. I saw many REALTORS® come into my office. I was teaching them how to be with clients, how to protect their clients, how to represent them properly. And so I’ve put that back into action now that I’ve gone back into listing and selling properties.

I am very knowledgeable, and I've got a lot of experience. My experience is partly maybe from my age, but more from moving around the province. I've lived in about 12 different houses all around Saskatchewan, and I’ve owned several investment properties throughout the years, so I have a lot of experience with those, as well. We also ran a farm for 25 years, so I even know all about farming communities, small communities, and we had 3 different cabins, so I know about lake properties, as well. No matter what type of property you’re interested in buying, there’s a good chance that I’ve had experience with it and can draw from that to help you make the most informed decision possible for you.


CENTURY 21 is an international brand and so I chose it partially because there is so much access to tools and technology that we have. We have great websites, and I can refer anywhere across the country—or, really, across the globe. I think we’re professionals and we don’t just get into real estate because we don’t know what else to do with ourselves. CENTURY 21 agents go above and beyond. They want to ensure that their clients have a great experience! 

Lastly, if you could choose 3 words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Kind. Caring. Fun-Loving.

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9 Reasons to Move to Saskatoon

Known as the Paris on the Prairies, Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan. With the South Saskatchewan River flowing through its centre, as well 6 traffic bridges and 2 train bridges, it has also been called the City of Bridges by many, too! No matter what nickname you choose to use, though, there is a lot to love about the city of Saskatoon; and more and more people are choosing it as a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family! Why? Well, here are just 10 reasons why:

Meewasin River Valley

Saskatoon lies on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River and has wide, tree-lined streets amid vast parks and green spaces. Listed by Reader’s Digest as one of the top 10 greatest hikes in Canada, the Meewasin Valley Trail extends for 60 kilometres along the east and west banks of the South Saskatchewan River. The trail is also great for cycling, running, and walking your furry friends, and is well-maintained year-round.

City of Festivals

From the Wintershines Festival to the Saskatoon Blues Festival, the Fringe Festival to the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Saskatoon is home to many festivals throughout the year. No matter what your interests, there is a season for you, and plenty of fun for the whole family at the city’s annual Exhibition Fair!

One of the Sunniest Cities in Canada

As the city’s slogan states, ‘Saskatoon Shines’! No matter the time of year—whether the ground is cloaked in snowy white or graced with green grass—the sky overhead is likely to be filled with sunshine. Residents of Saskatoon enjoy an average 2,381 hours of sunshine every year (a fact which undoubtedly contributes to their sunny dispositions). If you are looking for a place to soak up the sun, visit one of the city’s 198 parks or take a drive out to one of the many nearby beaches found at Pike Lake or Blackstrap Lake Provincial Parks.


City of Bridges

What do Paris and Saskatoon have in common? Bridges! Six traffic bridges and two train bridges span the city, all of which cross the South Saskatchewan River, and make travel through the city quick and convenient, no matter where you are coming from.

Persephone Theatre

For those who love live performances on the stage, the Persephone Theatre is made for you! Sigh, laugh, cry, and immerse yourself in the world of creative theatrical performances hosted at the Persephone throughout the year, including comedies, classics, tragedies, and even contemporary pieces. The theatre offers something for everyone, so discover the beautiful world of the human imagination and experience it all for yourself.

The Remai Modern Art Gallery

The Remai Modern Art Gallery sits on the banks of the Saskatchewan River, and offers 11 gallery spaces and spectacular views of the twisting waterway over the city plains. It hosts an assortment of art designs and tastes from the 21st century, and is regularly updated, so you can visit over and over again for a new experience each and every time!


Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a monument to the history of the Northern Plains indigenous people of Canada. It features a beautifully renovated heritage site—home to exhibits, a gift shop, and gorgeous conference and event spaces—as well as over 6 kilometres of walking trails amongst the stunning landscape. The park is designed to help visitors connect and understand the culture of bygone societies and their bond with the land.

Low Cost of Living

Saskatoon enjoys one of the lowest costs of living among major cities in Canada. This means that you will pay less for housing, utilities, food, and taxes in Saskatoon than in other similar-sized or larger cities. Paying less for these essential things means that you will have more money available for saving or spending on less essential items!

Affordable Housing

The Saskatoon real estate market is known to be quite generous, giving you much more bang for your buck than other major Canadian cities, such as Toronto or Vancouver. The average price of residential properties in the first quarter of 2021 was just $333,826. The mature Nutana area, the family-friendly Sutherland neighbourhood, vibrant City Park, and the peaceful Avalon district are some of the most popular places to settle down in.

Of course, these are just some of the reasons you’ll love living in Saskatoon, should you decide to buy a home here. If you’re ready to move to Saskatoon please reach out to me. We can discuss your neighborhood, and lifestyle wish list and find a home that will suit your needs!

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Home Buying Incentives

The Saskatoon real estate market is hot right now. Buyers are searching for homes for sale quicker than they are coming on the market, and homes in certain price ranges are seeing an increase in value. This is making it even tougher to get onto the property ladder as a first time home buyer. These programs from the Government of Canada may be helpful to you if you are ready to start your house hunt:

The First Time Home Buyer Incentive

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is just like it sounds—an incentive for first time home buyers to buy their first house.

If you have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage, you can apply to finance a portion of your home through a shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada. For a purchase price of $500,000 or less, the minimum down payment is 5%. When the purchase price is above $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% for the remaining portion.

A shared equity mortgage is where you take a smaller mortgage, in exchange for your lender owning some equity in the home. You’ll essentially become a co-owner of the property alongside your bank lender. You’ll get to live in the house, but only borrow a fraction of the purchase price. When you sell the house, you’ll share the profits and losses from the sale with the lender, in line with your equity share.

The Home Buyer’s Amount

The Home Buyer’s Amount is a non-refundable credit for first-time home buyers and buyers with disabilities. It offers a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired during the year. For an eligible buyer, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.

The Home Buyer’s Plan

The Home Buyers’ Plan is a program through the Canada Revenue Agency that allows eligible first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $35,000 in a calendar year from their RRSP to buy or build a qualifying home. The program states the funds withdrawn must be paid back within 15 years.

GST/HST New Housing Rebate


The GST/HST New Housing Rebate allows an individual to recover some of the GST or the federal part of the HST paid for a new or substantially renovated home that will be used as a primary residence.

To begin buying a house, start by assembling a team of real estate professionals to guide you through the process. Your lender can help you understand exactly what you can afford, and the steps you can take to afford the home you want. They can also give you solid advice on whether the first-time homebuyer incentive is something you should participate in. Your lender can then provide you with a pre-approval which will help your REALTOR® assist you in not only finding a home, but also in making an offer and negotiating the real estate agreement on your behalf!

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Your Guide to Conditions & Clauses on a Residential Real Estate Agreement

When you buy a home with a REALTOR®, you gain peace of mind knowing they’re trained professionals who work with property purchase contracts on a daily basis. Having said that, you are still the principal on this contract and you should never sign anything that you do not fully understand. Let’s dig a bit deeper into a typical real estate purchase agreement, specifically looking at conditions and clauses.

Real Estate Agreement 101

An Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a written contract between a seller and a buyer for the purchase and sale of a property. In the agreement, the buyer agrees to purchase the property for a certain price, provided that a number of terms and conditions are satisfied. 

The process begins when the purchaser makes an offer, which is irrevocable for a certain time period. If there are no counteroffers and the agreement is signed by the seller within the time period the offer was left open, then the agreement becomes legally binding. At this point the agreement cannot be cancelled unless both parties agree. If the offer is not signed before the offer expires, it will become void.

Fixtures are improvements made to a property that are attached or cannot easily be removed without causing damage to the property. Examples include: hot water heaters, built-in cabinets, light fixtures, etc. These items are assumed to be included in the sale of the home, unless they are specifically excluded in the agreement.

Chattels are moveable items of personal property, and must specifically be listed in the Agreement if they are to be part of the sale of the home. Examples include: appliances, lawn and garden equipment, blinds or drapes, etc. 

The requisition date is the time within which the homebuyer has to examine the title, and complete all other searches. It is within the buyer’s best interest to do a number of searches to ensure that there are no problems with the property. These include things such as searching the registered ownership of the property with the land registry, checking that the property complies with zoning regulations, and searching for any outstanding municipal work orders.  Usually the buyer’s agent and lawyer will handle this.  

The removal date is the date on which conditions must be fulfilled, waived, or removed for the agreement to be binding and for the transaction to proceed to closing. 

Closing arrangements are when all relevant documents are exchanged by the lawyers on both sides of the agreement and the sale is finalized.  

The completion date or possession date is the date that the seller must give vacant possession of the property to the buyer.

What is a Conditional Offer

The rest of the renovations that you may be considering will need to be decided on individually. This is where your REALTOR® will be a big help deciding whether or not these renovations will pay off, depending on the overall standard for the rest of the neighborhood and for homes in a similar price range, as well as how seriously out of date your home may be currently.

Common Conditions on an Offer to Purchase

There are numerous types of conditions that might be included in the Offer to Purchase, including:

Financing Condition - This offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining approval of a mortgage on the property in the amount set forth in the agreement on or before a given date.


This condition is typically included to protect the buyer in the case that they are unable to secure the required financing, causing them to lose their deposit and potentially being sued by the seller for non-completion of the transaction. 

Subject to Home Inspection - This means that the offer is conditional upon the inspection of the subject property by a professional home inspector, and the obtaining of a report satisfactory to the buyer in their sole discretion on or before a given date.

The home inspection clause is standard and appears in almost every residential real estate transaction. This condition gives the buyer the right to have the home professionally inspected by a certified home inspector to evaluate the house that is being sold. This condition is the buyer’s way of being protected from the unknown deficiencies in the home. The house must pass the inspection for the purchase to proceed or the buyer and seller may further negotiate their agreement to account for the findings in the home inspection.

Subject to Encroachment Check - This means that the offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining and approving a satisfactory encroachment check on or before a given date.

An encroachment check will help the buyer determine if the building(s) on the land comply with zoning bylaws or if there are any encroachments by building(s) onto adjacent lands. The survey will also determine whether any building(s) from neighbouring lands encroach upon the subject’s property. A recent survey can disclose the location of fences to the property boundary and if there have been recent additions to the property. Lastly, the survey helps to determine whether anyone else may have a claim against the subject property or if any rights of way or easements exist.


Subject to Gas Line Encroachment - This means that the offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining and approving a satisfactory gas line encroachment check on or before a given date. 

This condition is usually standard, and is simply a request submitted to SaskEnergy to facilitate an inspection of the natural gas facilities at the property. Encroachments are classified in the following ways:

  1. A pipeline encroachment is any building or structure located over, or in some cases near, the natural gas pipeline or facility, including facilities that are not situated in an easement. A natural gas facility may include, but is not limited to, the pipeline itself, regulators, shut-off valves, meters or gas mains.
  2. An easement encroachment generally consists of any tree, shrub, pit, well, foundation, pavement, building, or structure located on a pipeline easement. Urban pipeline easements are identified on the property title.

Subject to Property Information Disclosure - This means the offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining and approving a satisfactory property information disclosure report on or before a given date.

A property information disclosure statement is provided by the City of Saskatoon or the necessary municipality at the request of the buyer. The information provided reflects the results of a search of existing building records, including building code, plumbing code, and deficiencies of the property at the time of the last inspection.

The report will also outline all building permits that have been issued for the property and whether there were any deficiencies at inspection. This report will help the buyer determine whether there has been any unpermitted work done on the property and if any deficiencies may exist.  

Subject to Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) - This means that the offer is conditional upon the buyer viewing and approving the PCDS on or before a given date.  

A Property Condition Disclosure Statement is a document completed by the homeowner at the time of listing the home for sale. In this report, the seller is required to disclose defects that they are personally aware of. The seller is responsible for the accuracy of the answers in the Disclosure and can be held accountable by law for any inaccuracies they knowingly provide.

Common Conditions on an Offer to Purchase

Of course, you can also add any additional conditions that you feel are important for the seller to consider your offer. These include the sale of your own property, removal of garbage from the back yard, leaving window treatments, appliances, special lighting, etc. While the conditions are meant to protect you and you should take advantage of them, beware of including too many in the offer because you may lose the deal if the seller should reject your offer. Your experienced local REALTOR® will be able to help you best define which conditions to include in your offer, and guide you through the process!

Completing an Agreement of Purchase and Sale can be complicated and technical. Before the Agreement becomes final, it may get modified as the result of negotiations between the buyer and the seller, and counteroffers presented to the buyer by the seller. Be certain that you understand all the terms of the Agreement and review them with a real estate professional before finalizing the agreement.

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Home Inspection FAQs

Most homes sold in Saskatchewan have a home inspection condition in the contract of purchase because it is highly recommended that all buyers request one before they close on a property. Since there are often a lot of questions surrounding a home inspection, let’s take the time to review some of the more common ones:

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a professional consulting service that determines the present condition of the home’s major systems, based on a visual inspection of accessible features. 

A Home Inspection is:

  • An in-field evaluation and professional opinion of the performance of the readily accessible installed systems in a home.
  • Primarily a visual inspection.
  • Intended to identify components that are significantly deficient, unsafe or near the end of their life.
  • Documented in a written report.

A Home Inspection is NOT:

  • An insurance policy, guarantee or warranty on the home.
  • Invasive or destructive.
  • Intended to identify concealed defects.
  • A code or design review.
  • Intended to predict future performance or life expectancy.
  • An environmental review or energy audit.

Is a Home Inspection Necessary?

Every house needs a home inspection. Buying a house that reflects your lifestyle and meets your individual needs may be the largest and most rewarding investment of your life, but can also be very stressful. To ensure your hard-earned dollars are soundly invested, it is recommended that you have a Canadian Home Inspection performed. Plus, it will also provide you with a general maintenance report that can save you money in the future!


What Does a Home Inspection Include?

A home inspection will usually include an examination of the foundation, basement, roof, attic, heating and water systems, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as the general condition of the structure itself. For a condo, it will include electrical, plumbing, heating, deck, and other interior components of the unit, plus garage and roof, if access is allowed. 

An inspector will look for poor construction practices and make note of any repairs that might be required or any general maintenance issues. Importantly, a home inspector will also make note of any fire and safety issues that need to be addressed.

What is the Difference Between a Home Inspection & Home Appraisal?

A home inspection is requested by either the home owner or the home buyer and is an unbiased and non-invasive visual examination of the physical condition of the property. An appraisal is a process required for almost all mortgage loans that’s used to determine the estimated market value of a home. To determine the value, a third-party appraiser factors in the home’s location, its condition, and the value of similar recently sold houses in the area, also known as comparables.

The appraisal process includes walking through the home, researching comparables, and creating a final appraisal report. This report will provide the final determination of the home’s market value and will be used in the lender’s final decision to approve the loan amount. The lender typically cannot lend more than 97% of the appraised value of the home.



While they have different processes and serve a different purpose, appraisals and inspections do have a few things in common. For one, they both benefit the homeowner and the lender because they ensure the home is worth what you’re paying for it and that it’s safe to live in. Both also help to uncover any issues that may affect the sale, as well as make you feel more secure in your decision to either purchase the home or walk away from the deal. Furthermore, since these services are completed by a third-party professional who has nothing to gain or lose from the results, you can feel confident in their findings.

Does a New Home Need to be Inspected?

Definitely. Just because a home is new does not mean you should assume that everything is perfect. Inspections, however, can greatly reduce your risk. Inspecting a new home helps to identify deficiencies during the warranty period. Plus, the construction can be evaluated to ensure it conforms to building standards.

Who Should Attend a Home Inspection?

Although it is not required for a buyer to be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. This is a great chance to learn more about your new home and ask questions to the professional about the condition of the home and how to maintain it. Also, having your real estate agent present will help prevent any miscommunication or any misinterpretation of information or questions on house deficiencies.

There are some situations where a home inspection isn’t necessary; for example, if the buyer intends to demolish the building. For the most part, though, a home inspection is necessary for the buyers to identify any concerns that may need to be addressed or that may even prevent the sale from finalizing.

As your REALTOR®, I have the experience of being involved in many home inspections and I can help you determine whether the inspection findings require further investigation or whether they affect the overall value of the home. It is my job to assist you through the entire home purchase process, from the initial hunt through to possession, and I will help guide you the entire way through!

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To Renovate or Not To Renovate Before Selling Your Home?

Are you thinking of selling your home in the near future but when you look around you see so many things that may overshadow your homes shine? You know that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, and home buyers usually want to see these items completed before they move in, unless they are buying a house for a great price expecting to need to renovate it. And the trick to deciding whether or not to renovate is to figure out which category your home will fall under.

Renovations That Always Pay When Selling a House

There are renovations that pay, those that will add some value, and those to avoid. The key lies in the difference between what buyers like and what they’ll actually pay for. Here is a list of renovations that always pay:

General Repairs

Leaving your home in disrepair will not look good when a potential buyer comes to view it. Buyers will think that if you can’t be bothered to repair a broken hinge, what else could you be leaving undone, giving them the overall feeling of a neglected home. Fix anything that is broken no matter how minor it may seem.

Fresh Paint in Neutral Colors

Most buyers want to walk through and imagine their furniture in your home. A bold color on the walls could make it difficult for them to see past it and imagine themselves living there.  

Decluttering & Professional Cleaning

This is not technically a renovation, but it is a very important first step in selling your home and should not be underestimated. This will help your property feel fresh and as new as possible, and will help buyers imagine themselves living in it.  


Other Renovations To Consider When Selling a House

The rest of the renovations that you may be considering will need to be decided on individually. This is where your REALTOR® will be a big help deciding whether or not these renovations will pay off, depending on the overall standard for the rest of the neighborhood and for homes in a similar price range, as well as how seriously out of date your home may be currently.

Kitchen Overhauls

Almost everyone wants a great kitchen and would prefer not to have to either live through a kitchen renovation or wait to move in while the renovation is taking place. Be very careful, though, if you do decide to take on this renovation as styles are always changing and people's tastes are different. If you do decide that a kitchen renovation is in order, it’s better to keep it minimal. You may be able to recoup the costs of a new faucet and updated backsplash, but you won’t necessarily see the return for a complete rebuild with new counters and cabinets.


Bathroom Renovations

Bathroom renovations face the same challenges as the kitchen remodel—you will never really see the money you put into them, unless it’s absolutely in dire need of it. You’re better off doing a deep clean of what you have, adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls, and calling it a day.


Do not put a lot of time, effort and money into any landscaping project if you are planning on selling in the near future. For the most part, people are interested in a good, safe outdoor space. They may like to look at a beautifully landscaped year with flower beds and shrubs, but most people do not have the time, gardening skills, or desire to maintain it.  Having a low-maintenance and easy-to-care-for space will be far more desirable than one that looks great but will require a lot of upkeep.

Home Fundamentals

A home's fundamentals are important—roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling. Buyers want not only functioning equipment but also will appreciate knowing these items won’t have to be replaced in the near future. If they need to be fixed, you should definitely replace them but don’t expect to recoup the cost. 

When it comes to any renovation questions you may have, the best advice I can give you is to talk to a REALTOR®. Since there are so many variables regarding whether or not a specific renovation will be worth it, there really is no way of knowing other than to have a good understanding of the market and what current buyers are looking for. We know which renovations will increase the value of your home and will be happy to provide some insight into your local real estate market that could influence your decision—whether or not you get your investment back, when you are selling, etc. Ask me for a free comparative market analysis and let’s about your renovation to-do list today!

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10 Tips for Buying a House

Too often, people rush into buying a house when they’re not ready. Just because you’re sick of renting does not mean you should automatically buy a home thinking it’s the only alternative. Being sick of renting is most definitely a better alternative to buying and ending up with your finances in a mess or with a home that doesn’t fit your needs.

Owning a home is a big commitment, it’s not a guaranteed investment, and it’s a truckload of work. It can be a smart long-term move, but you want to know what you’re getting into. The following tips for buying a home are here to help you get started:

1) Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the biggest factors in what your loan terms will be. Know your score before you ever try to get a loan, and take the time to repair it if it's too low.

2) Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage pre-approval means you should be able to get the loan, so long as nothing changes about your financial situation or your credit score. A pre-approval letter also helps when you want to compete with another buyer for a home you love. One of the first things most sellers will ask their agent when receiving offers is how qualified the home buyers are to purchase.

3) Research the Costs of Buying a House

There are a lot of fees that come with a home purchase, above and beyond the mortgage. Insurance, repairs, association fees, property taxes—you should have the income and the budget to handle all of these things if they are relevant to your purchase.

4) Work With an Experienced REALTOR®

Real estate agents are licensed professionals who work on your behalf and advocate for your interests. In most cases, sellers have a real estate agent working for them, so you’ll want someone on your side—a buyer’s agent—who also has your back in negotiations and can help you understand how to make an offer on a home. But that’s not all! Your agent will also help you find homes that match your budget and needs, provide facts on a neighborhood, negotiate an offer, navigate the home inspection, decipher paperwork, and request and review seller disclosures.


5) Understand the Value of the Property You are Offering On

Working with a real estate agent that understands market values in your local area is critical if you want to avoid overpaying for your house.

6) Verify All Information on the Listing

Another crucial thing to do before buying a house is to make sure the house listing is accurate. It would be best if you verified that all the information given about the home is right. Sometimes real estate agents put things in the listing that they may not have verified or may just not be aware of the facts.


7) Use an Experienced Home Inspector

The home inspection is one of the most vital aspects of buying a home. You will want to have someone performing it who is thorough and complete.

8) Check Previous Permits

If a renovation was done without a permit, it might not have been done right. No permit means that the work was not reviewed by an inspector, something you do not want in your new home.

9) Don’t Sacrifice on Location

Remember: you can change the flooring and even the layout of a home, but you can never change its location.

10) Don’t Do Anything to Affect Your Financial Situation

Your mortgage pre-approval is based on the information given at the time of your application. Any changes, like getting a different job or taking out a car loan, can result in denial of the loan request when purchasing a house.

Then the last piece is making sure that the house is in great shape when it gets on the market. I have all sorts of connections for that—painters and stagers and people that can help with decluttering or anything that needs to be done. And I can give my piece of advice, too, as we walk through the home and help that seller decide what needs to be done before we get that on the market.

These tips should help put you on the path to filling in your home-buying knowledge. Remember: that the more you educate yourself about the process beforehand, the less stressful it will be, and the more likely you will be to get the house you want for a price you can afford. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone! With my help and guidance, you can always feel sure that you are informed and guided along the way!

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