Unique Homes Have Special Problems

Blog Posts David Cooke 6 Apr

Recently one of the former members of the boy band New Kids on the Block expressed an interest in buying this lighthouse off the coast of Virginia in the U.S. Unique homes can be a lot of fun to own and to live in. However, there are some things you should be aware of before you make an offer on a unique property. He probably paid cash for this property because unique properties can be difficult to find financing for.

While we don’t have lighthouses in Western Canada, another type of property does come onto the market from time to time; church conversions.
I had a client last year who owned a church conversion in a small town in Saskatchewan. The building was great. It had lots of room, and it was on a large lot.

The problem was trying to find a lender who would lend on a church conversion. I found out that the big banks would lend but only in larger cities and towns. They would lend on homes in small towns in Saskatchewan and Alberta but not both. The only solution was to go to a local credit union that knew the property and the town.

Why won’t big banks do unique homes like this in smaller centres? Marketability – if the borrower doesn’t keep up their payments it would take months to find a buyer who wanted something like this and it would cost the bank a lot to keep the property until a buyer could be found.
Another lesson to be learned – before you make an offer on a unique property always check with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professoinal to see if you can get financing on your special home.

4 Smart Features that will boost the value of your property

Blog Posts David Cooke 4 Apr

People have a lot of different ideas on how they want their home to look. Some want a modern look while others like traditional cottages. But one thing that more and more people want is smart technology in their homes. This adds value and desirability to your home making it easier to sell for the asking price.

In a recent survey, 35% of first time home buyers put smart technology as a priority in their home purchase.
What is a smart home? A smart home is a residence that uses internet-connected devices to enable the remote monitoring and management of appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating.

Smart thermostat – Is a thermostat that can be controlled remotely by your smart phone and will eventually learn your heating and cooling patterns. You can turn up the A/C in the summer from your office and the house will be cool by the time you get home. These features are convenient but they also help you save money on home heating and cooling costs.

Connected Lights – allow you to turn on or dim lights at different times of the day. Combined with a Smart thermostat they can help you to save half your average energy costs.

Smart Locks – these are really cool ! You can program your front door to unlock when guests arrive using Bluetooth or WiFi or some smart phones.

Wireless Security – We have all seen photos of burglars stealing packages from the front door of a home , or perhaps you have seen the TV ad of the lady at the spa who can see 2 unsavory looking guys at her front door and speaking to them and scaring them off. You may have seen the YouTube video of a house that caught fire in Ft. MacMurray and the firefighters extinguishing the blaze. The home owners were able to watch this from a hotel room in Edmonton. Check with your insurance company, you may qualify for a large discount in your rates by having this home security.

Finally, not only is your home more desirable and comfortable, but this is achievable in both new and existing homes. Speak to your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker about having these additions to your home added to your mortgage either with a Purchase/Refinance Plus Improvements or a HELOC. They can advise you on the best options for your particular needs.