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Prepare Yourself Mentally

Let's face it: this is your home and you may have lived there many years, perhaps all your life. It is chock-full of memories and the feeling of being uprooted is unsettling. Fortunately there are many ways to cope:
 
Preserve the memory of your home by taking pictures or video taping your house, both inside and out. You won't be watching them however, because you'll be too busy whipping your house into shape and, once you've moved to your new house, you'll be too busy with life. The process, however, helps you to say goodbye to your beloved home.
 
Hold a home farewell party to announce that you're selling and moving soon. This accomplishes three things:

1. By breaking the news, you and your family are now committed and must get your 'butts in gear'.
2. It's the right audience to ask for help and support.
3. Your guests may know somebody who might be looking to buy a house. Why not start marketing your house right now?
 
Stay positive. Moving provides you the opportunity to leave old baggage behind and start afresh.
 
Think of what new and exciting possibilities life could bring.
 
If you're not mentally ready, you'll become sick and tired of this whole process very quickly and you'll quit. The danger is you'll end up dumping your house at a fire-sale price out of desperation. Start calling your home a house. It's now officially a commodity. You should use the term 'house' from now on.
 
 
 
Author: Tuan Vu
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De-Clutter

In real estate, buyers buy space. The more space you're able to show, whether it be living or storage space, the more you'll be able to sell for. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done. Most people are pack rats. Rooms have too much furniture and you'll find stuff overflowing in every nook and cranny. De-cluttering  is the process of reclaiming the space in your house from years of collecting and storing. Don't expect the buyers to ignore all this and imagine your house in its clutter-free state. Buyers sometimes see dozens of houses in one day and their brains are overtaxed. De-clutter so the buyers can see your house, not your mess.

 

Curb Appeal

If you have grass cut it, water it, keep it green.  Cut down trees growing too close to the house to allay fear of roots eating into the house foundation.

 

Air Quality/Pets

 All pets smell, period! (I know I have a dog)  When practical, look for a temporary home for your caged animals. As a minimum, clean their habitats and open the windows to air out the house. Pets that roam around the house represent a bigger challenge.

 

De-personalizing

This is very important. You want your buyers to visualize themselves living in your house, not you living in it. Personal artifacts distract so you have to put them away – photographs, souvenirs, trophies, medals, posters, and family heirlooms.

If you’re a collector, then pack away your collectibles and valuables. Don’t forget your refrigerator’s door as it is one of the most common place to hang cute magnets, memos, postcards and all sorts of personal stuff.

The other reason to de-personalize has to do with safety. Buyers rummaging through your house are strangers and it would be better if they don’t know who lives there, or have access to any other personal data.

 

If you do nothing else to improve the value of your house, at least de-clutter. It just takes time and elbow grease, yet a lot of sellers don't put enough effort into it! To re-iterate this important point: buyers buy space in real estate.

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Here is one way to come up with a down payment for a home purchase.

HBP is a program that allows you to withdraw funds from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability. You can withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year. TAX FREE!

How does it work?
As mentioned above, if you are a first time home buyer, you can withdraw up to $25,000 out of your RRSP tax free! If you are purchasing the home with a spouse, you can both withdraw $25k EACH from your accounts. In terms of repayment, you have up to 15 years to pay back your RRSP starting the second year after the year of withdrawal (from govt website). At this time 1/15 of your borrowed amount must be paid back / year.

What’s the catch?
In terms of penalties, if you don’t repay 1/15 of the borrowed amount / year, you’ll have to add the amount as income.

You MUST be a first time home buyer and a resident of Canada at the time of withdrawal.

You MUST purchase/build the home before Oct 1 after the year of withdrawal.

RRSP contributions of up to 90 days before the withdrawal date can be used towards the HBP.

For more info visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4135/rc4135-e.html

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When we bought our first house, we fortunately have saved a bit of cash for a down payment to buy a house but unfortunately, did not have enough for closing close. This is the time when we found about the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP). 

HBP is a program that allows you to withdraw funds from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability. You can withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year. TAX FREE!

How does it work?
As mentioned above, if you are a first time home buyer, you can withdraw up to $25,000 out of your RRSP tax free! If you are purchasing the home with a spouse, you can both withdraw $25k EACH from your accounts. In terms of repayment, you have up to 15 years to pay back your RRSP starting the second year after the year of withdrawal (from govt website). At this time 1/15 of your borrowed amount must be paid back / year.

What’s the catch?
In terms of penalties, if you don’t repay 1/15 of the borrowed amount / year, you’ll have to add the amount as income.

You MUST be a first time home buyer and a resident of Canada at the time of withdrawal.

You MUST purchase/build the home before Oct 1 after the year of withdrawal.

RRSP contributions of up to 90 days before the withdrawal date can be used towards the HBP.

For more info visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4135/rc4135-e.html

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