Staged Home Ready for Selling

Information about local real estate market conditions

Breaking into the housing market: Go get that first home

 Tuesday, January 28, 2020     unknown     House and Home Real Estate Market

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Today’s sky-high real estate market can make buying a first home seem like a distant dream. Don’t be discouraged. It might take a bit more planning, but you can do it. Good financial strategy and some real estate research can help you get into your first home sooner than you’d think.

Your first priority is to get your financial basics in order. Reach out to your bank or a financial planner to help you make a plan. A financial expert will be able to find a strategy that best suits your goals. You will also need to plan for your down payment. Many first-time buyers find this intimidating, but good old-fashioned saving is a great start.

Make sure your monthly budget allows you to put some money into savings, and work with your financial planner to help your savings grow as quickly as possible. Government programs are also available to help first-time buyers. You may be able to use savings from an RRSP or other resources — check with your bank for the programs and requirements in your region.

Reaching out to family can also be a win-win, but approach these arrangements with caution. Ensure any loan terms are realistic and clearly set out, and treat these arrangements with the same respect you would give a business agreement.

Once you have your finances in order, look for locations that will get you the best bang for your buck. Skip the high-priced, trendy spots where you’ll pay a premium without necessarily getting a better home. The best deals are often hiding under tacky décor: if you can look past the cosmetic hang-ups and make sure the house is structurally in good shape, you may have a great opportunity in the making.

The main thing is just getting started. Find a realistic strategy that will get you into a home, and then work your way up to that dream home. Think of real estate as a process. You may need to start small or look outside your ideal neighbourhood at first. But once you own a home, you’ll be building equity and value, which sets you on the path to your forever home. (NC)

Tips and tricks for an easy move

 Thursday, November 22, 2018     Laurence Mongeau     House and Home Real Estate Market

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There is a lot to remember when you’re packing up and moving. Here are some great tips to ensure an easy move for you and your family:

Get organized early
Create a packing schedule well in advance and follow it. Know when you need to starting packing and follow your schedule as closely as possible to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Whether you're collecting boxes or renting them, make sure they are organized and ready to go for when you start packing. If renting a truck, be sure to do this in advance to make sure you get the truck and service you need for your move.

Purge and donate
Getting rid of unwanted or unused items as you pack is a great way to go through everything you own and donate what you no longer need. If you don't love it or don't see a need for it, get rid of it. As you’re going through your stuff decide if it's being packed, donated or thrown out. Do this with a partner or a friend a quicker and more efficient process. As you pack your kitchen, donate non-perishables. Older jars of food you aren't eating will only add more weight and clutter as you pack. To make it even easier on yourself, call local non-profits to pick up bags of gently used clothing, house wares and furniture.

Packing the right way
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when packing. We often have a lot more stuff than we thought we did. Make sure to take the time to pack the right way to ensure your items are protected and to allow for an easy unpack as well. Organize your packing by room. Label boxes so you know exactly where they came from and where they need to go in your new place. Protect your memories and valuables. Wrap breakables such as dishware, frames, and cherished trinkets in paper or bubble wrap. The last room you’ll want to pack up is the kitchen as these items are the ones you will likely need the most leading up to the week you move.

Choose a reliable moving company
When hiring a moving company make sure to check their credentials. To protect yourself and your items you’ll want to make sure they are licensed and insured. Book well in advance to make sure you get the truck and service that you need. If asking friends and family for help, give them enough notice and let them know exactly what you need them for. It’s always nice to give thanks by offering cold drinks and snacks.

Moving with kids
If you’re moving with young kids, it’s a great idea to hire a sitter. As much as you love your children, they are likely to only get in the way and create distractions during the move. Pack a bag with all of their essentials so you aren’t looking deep into boxes for things they may need.

Easy room makeovers for fall

 Wednesday, September 19, 2018     Laurence Mongeau     House and Home Real Estate Market

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Fall has us with thoughts sitting amongst comfy home décor, sweater weather and all things pumpkin. Changing your décor in the fall is easy with just a few simple touches.

The Family Fold
Swap your pillow covers with fall-themed designs in stripes or plaids. Add thick, plush blankets in wool, cotton, chenille or even luxurious cashmere for those cooler nights. Place one or two on the back of the sofa and arrange the rest in a large metal or wicker basket. Tree branch coasters also add an instant natural touch.

Kitchen & Dining Room
Update your tabletop decor with natural elements that can be displayed in many creative ways. Instead of a runner, put gourds, pinecones, acorns, and mini pumpkins along the middle of the table. Succulents and fresh cut flowers in bell jars are also great decor options.

Go for Fresh Flowers
Add a bouquet of fresh flowers to enjoy, in your favourite room. Farmers’ markets are still in full swing at this time of year so why not stop by and buy some fresh blooms along with your weekly hit of local goodies? Flower care tip: remove all the leaves below the water line and replace with fresh water every few days to get the most out of your bouquet.

Warmer Bedding
Everyone in the house will want to be extra comfy as it gets colder throughout the night. Change the lighter summer sheets and duvets for heavier ones in trendy fall themes and hues. If you have neutral colours, try adding hits of red, burgundy or gold.

Deck the Door & Class up Curb Appeal
A wreath is a “welcome” idea and they’re always available in many styles and colours. Head to your local garden centre to buy some bright mums and place them in your planters at the front entrance. Plant ornamental cabbages in the flowerbeds for hits of white, purple and fuchsia.

After you’ve made a few quick changes throughout the home, you’ll be ready to sip pumpkin spice lattes and admire your work.

Preparing your home’s exterior for fall

 Wednesday, September 19, 2018     Laurence Mongeau     House and Home Real Estate Market

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When autumn officially makes itself known with cooler conditions and rainy days, it’s an important time of year to maintain your home’s exterior. The following tips can serve as your guide to tidy things up, in order to prevent any damage that could occur during the fall and winter months.

Your backyard probably has a lot of twinkly lights and lanterns for the evenings you spent out there throughout the summer, but does your front yard have enough light sources? Daylight hours begin to lessen in the fall so it’s important to make sure walkways, the front entrance and above the garage have enough lighting for safety – and ambience.

It’s time to seed the lawn and take care of the rest of your landscaping. Trim any bushes and cover any tree trunks, shrubs, or flowers that need extra protection from the cold (or critters).

Turn off outdoor taps to prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting. Sprinkler systems should also be drained to prevent similar issues.

Check the seals on doors and windows. If any of the weather seals are broken or damaged, cold air can quickly seep into your home while warm air can escape. To avoid unnecessary high heating costs, fix or replace the weather stripping on drafty doors and windows.

Clean the eavestroughs and gutters to protect your home from serious and expensive water-related damages. Consider hiring a professional since they’ll also check all seams and leaks, flush downspouts to prevent clogging, and make sure everything drains properly.

Get those winter tools ready while the temperatures are still fairly pleasant, rather than scrambling when the first storm hits. Stow your lawnmower away after the grass gets cut for the last time (in the shed or back of the garage) and put the snowblower in a more convenient location as well as shovels, ice scrapers, and salt.

Choosing a Home Inspector

 Tuesday, July 3, 2018     Laurence Mongeau     House and Home Real Estate Market

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Before you make the big decision of buying a home, it’s a wise idea to get a professional home inspection. They can prevent a lot of issues for both buyers and sellers. It’s important to select the best inspector for the job. Here are some tips to consider when choosing a home inspector.

Word of mouth is key and it will help you select an inspector that has a good reputation and who is successful and honest. Ask for references and contact a few past clients before you hire them.

See a Sample Report
Ask to view an example of the inspector’s reports and make sure they’re clearly written, include photos and how they identify any problems, explain why it’s important or how it can impact the home and list what should be done to fix it. It should provide enough information for you to make an educated decision about hiring them or not.

Check and make sure the inspector has formal training and is certified to do the job. The inspector must be licensed and insured. You can ask to see the inspector’s proof of insurance, which can protect you if they’re negligent. Make a not if they’ve taken any specialized courses. Ask about their experience also: how long they have been in business, how many inspections have they done, and if this their full-time job.

Making sure all of these points are in place before choosing an inspector will help you get the best person for this important job.

What Clients Say…

Laurence is an absolute joy to work with; she is extremely knowledgeable, pleasant, full of energy, and dedicated to getting the job done. She managed to make everything to do with selling our home seemed almost effortless. I can't imagine selling our home without her! — Shelley M.
Laurence worked diligently at following up with each person who viewed the property... always available to let me know what kind of feedback she was receiving. — Stephanie B.
You always were there, available, and kept in contact with us when needed. You were self-motivated with an unbelievable amount of drive. — John & Rose-Anne P.
You are at the top of your class. I don't know of anyone that works as diligently at selling a property as you do! You have such an admirable work ethic and I have seen first hand how dedicated you are to your clients. — Dianna D.
The process of selling our house and purchasing another was made painless and exciting by you. Your tactful negotiation skills were invaluable in purchasing our dream home. — Maria & Jean-Michel B.
You were prompt, energetic, thorough and always had our best interest in mind. Selling our home for full asking price in just 19 days and finding a new one in less than a week is a true testament to your relentless commitment to excellence. — Angelo M.
I still think about it, it went so fast, I have a challenging work schedule, I needed a place fast and you came through and I trusted you. — Joseph D.
We are still amazed that it all happened so quickly and smoothly. You are an excellent listener, honest, reliable and caring. — Pina F & James A.
Just want to say thank you for your hard work and dedication in getting my home sold. You were very organized, professional and honest. It was a pleasure to work with you. — Gail A.
The best part of working with Laurence, besides her great skill of staging, was the fact that she made us feel like we were her only client even though we knew she was extremely busy. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. — Greg & Lindsey W.
The staging job that Laurence did was fantastic! We barely recognized the house when it was done. Laurence was bursting with energy and enthusiasm and remained positive, reassuring and confident throughout the whole process. We listed our home Tuesday morning and by Tuesday night it was sold!!! — Shelley M.
Laurence, did an amazing job of representing us and selling our home. She is a hard-working, dedicated, knowledgeable, highly professional, and passionate - Real Estate Agent! We highly recommend Laurence as an agent, home stager, and negotiator to anyone considering buying or selling a home. Jim & Judy N. — Jim N.
Laurence did a phenomenal job representing us both for the sale of our property and the purchase of our new home. She took the time to work closely with us to make sure she understood all of our needs and wants for both the sale and purchase. We were also very impressed with her detail-oriented focus, knowledge of the market, and the effort she put into making sure things went smoothly. Right from the start Laurence took the reins and we knew that we were in good hands. Thanks for everything Laurence! — Ron and Leslie Quinsay
We worked with Laurence when it was clearly a Sellers Market. Laurence was persistent and helped us find a home in an area unknown to us. Thanks to Laurence's expertise and proactive approach we were able to avoid a bidding war and we got a great home for our family. We enjoyed working with Laurence, every step of the way. — Andrea B & Stephen M
Nous avons fait affaire avec Laurence alors que le marché était nettement favorable aux vendeurs. Laurence a été persistante et nous a aidés à trouver un domicile à notre goût dans un secteur qui ne nous était pas familier. Grâce à l’expertise et l’approche proactive de Laurence, nous avons pu éviter une guerre d’enchères et devenir propriétaires d’une maison exceptionnelle pour notre famille. Ce fut un plaisir de faire affaire avec Laurence du début à la fin du processus. — Andrea B & Stephen M
When my wife and I bought our first home together, Laurence was instrumental in finding the right home of us. Laurence will take the time to listen to your needs, and understand your situation. She works tirelessly to comb though your desired area, finding gems that best suit YOU, your budget, needs, and wishes. She is very professional, organized, and well connected within the community, all of which is very much to the client's benefit. Above all, she is a really easy person to get along with and will make the often stressful and overwhelming process of home buying, painless and exciting! I highly recommend Laurence Mongeau for your real estate needs! — Alex & Teresa H
Nous recherchions un courtier immobilier afin d’acheter une maison en Ontario. Une amie nous a donc recommandé de contacter Laurence Mongeau. Très rapidement, il y a eu un premier contact par courriel et ensuite par Skype. Nous avons vite constaté que Laurence possédait les qualités professionnelles que nous recherchions. En effet, Laurence : - Offre un excellent service à la clientèle; - Apprend à connaître ses clients et repère vite leur besoin réel; - Est parfaitement bien organisée; - Met un point d’honneur à obtenir le meilleur rapport qualité/prix pour ses clients; - Assure une totale transparence et donc priorise la communication avec ses clients; - Maîtrise bien le français et la culture francophone; - Offre une très large disponibilité pour ses clients; - Possède un réseau de contacts professionnels (inspecteurs, collaborateurs courtiers, etc) très compétents dans leur domaine; - Est très à l’aise avec les nouvelles technologies. C’est donc pour toutes ces raisons qu’à notre tour, nous vous recommandons très chaudement d’utiliser les services de Laurence Mongeau. Nous sommes certains que vous bénéficierez d’un service de haute qualité! Merci beaucoup Laurence pour l’excellent service que nous avons reçu! — Hélène P & Sébastien T
Laurence Mongeau treated us like family, guiding us to make this, the biggest purchase of our lives, the smartest move we ever made. We happened to be buying our first home during this crazy real estate boom, where list prices were only starting points in major bidding wars, and the inventory of homes available within our budget was limited. But Laurence handled these challenges with grace and professionalism, and kept us feeling positive throughout our search. We always felt we had options, and whatever house, whenever we asked, she got us a private showing. She accompanied us through every visit, and went in ALL the basements (even the scary ones!). She asked the tough questions, and got us the answers we needed. She warned us about potential problems, sharing her experience and knowledge with us, while pointing out the positives of each property without pressure. She always made us feel important, and that our search for the perfect home was her top priority. In the end, it was a very happy outcome. We purchased the perfect home for us, and we owe it all to Laurence. She was the one who found us our dream first home and it was her experience and strategy that helped us "win" it! And we truly feel like we did win, because we had the best agent in the biz on our side. Thanks, Laurence, you're number 1! Karina and Andrew J — Karina
Laurence is a real estate professional who truly cares about her clients and will always put their interests first. She gets results! I wouldn't hesitate to refer Laurence to anyone looking to buy or sell their home. — Lisa Pellerin
Laurence is personable, professional, and super organized. Her advice and support was invaluable throughout all the steps involved in selling my dad’s home as he transitioned into a retirement residence. In addition to prepping, and selling his home, there was a lifetime of belongings to deal with. Laurence provided assistance with all of it. She was prompt to respond to all inquiries and made it seem as though we were her only clients, although I know that was not the case. The house needed freshening up and she quickly was in touch with trades people and vendors to get tasks completed in short order - this level of assistance made all the difference at this challenging and sometimes overwhelming time in our lives.
Updated and staged the house resulting in a quick sale for well over list price. I can’t imagine accomplishing all this without Laurence. — Ellen D
It has been my sincere pleasure working with Laurence to successfully purchase my new home. She is totally dedicated to her clients with customer service skills second to none. Her knowledge of the industry and market conditions were always spot on throughout the process. I would not hesitate in recommending Laurence for all of your real estate needs. She is Excellence personified. — Nick S
Dear Laurence, Marino and I cannot thank you enough for being our real estate agent as we sold our Family home of the past seven years. You were patient with us, and answered all of our questions. You took the time to explain in detail the process of selling and staging our home. You really went above and beyond our expectations of a real estate agent, and you were honest in your approach of presenting comparable pricing of homes in the area and what you thought was a realistic price to list our home. You are a kind and caring person, and whenever we indicated we needed assistance with downsizing or consignment, you were ready with suggestions and names to help us make the best decision possible. We would like to extend our extreme gratitude for helping us through this journey over the past twelve months. Our paths crossed professionally, however you were so genuine in our conversations we really felt like we were dealing with an old friend. We will miss you as we head north, but we are very thankful for having met you. With warmest thanks. — Linda, Marino and Natasha B
Working with Laurence was incredibly comforting because she handled every detail with precision and dedication. From comprehensive comparisons throughout the process, to staging, 'extensive' marketing campaigns and numerous open houses, Laurence is reliable, persistent, gentle, and honest as the day of old. I've never met a more capable realestate representative and highly recommend this professional lady. — Nina D
Laurence Mongeau is an absolute professional and has a keen eye for detail when it comes to Real Estate. She is very knowledgeable and was able to point out many potential improvements to our home for a quicker sale. Laurence is also very easy to get ahold of and always responded promptly to any questions or concerns that we had. We highly recommend Laurence Mongeau for all your Real Estate needs. Once you meet her and see her high standards in action, you won't want to list with anyone else!!! Marlene Armour — Marlene Armour
“Laurence was so instrumental in all aspects of the sale of my late uncle's house. I could not have seen this level of success without her knowledge, skills, and dedication. Laurence was totally 100% focused on what needed to be done and provided total commitment to get the task done. A team player in every sense, we were called “TEAM 49”, after the house number.” Laurence, my heartful thank you – Always Patti Hibbard” — Patti Hibbard

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