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Splitting Up Your Studio Apartment
Posted on Sat, 30 Apr 2016, 12:00:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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A studio apartment is the perfect spot for anyone who does not need a lot of space. You have the necessary rooms such as a kitchen and bathroom, but the living room and bedroom are usually in the same area. You do not have to have to sacrifice the privacy of a bedroom just because you are moving into a studio apartment. You can easily divide your space into different zones by keeping the following tips in mind.

Area Rugs: Area rugs may not create the privacy of a screen or wall, but the rugs still work with creating different zones. The key is to purchase rugs in different styles and designating them to a specific zone. Start by placing a large floral print rug in the bedroom area and a blue or beige rug in the living room. A medium sized brown rug would look good in the dining area, and you can create a pathway in the kitchen with a narrow striped rug.

Chinese Screen: A regular Chinese screen can be used as a portable wall in your apartment. Open the screen to divide your space into different rooms, and close the screen when you want to expand your space. You even move the screens around to re-arrange your zones.

Chinese Wedding Bed Screen: A Chinese wedding bed screen actually looks like a small bedroom, and it even includes a space to hang curtains.arearug You can turn the bed itself into a bedroom by investing in a headboard with shelves and keeping the curtains closed.

Curtains: Use self-adhesive hooks, rods and large curtains split the apartment into different zones. One idea is to hang a curtain over entrance to the kitchen and living room. You can close the curtains to keep the zones separate and private, or you can open the curtains to create an inviting atmosphere.

Entertainment Center with Storage: You can also separate the living room and bedroom by investing in an entertainment center with storage space. The entertainment center should have a solid back with cabinets or shelves. The shelves and cabinets become an additional storage solution for DVDs, video games, electronics and decorative pieces.

Headboard Divider: A bed with a large headboard can be used to separate your bedroom and living room. The headboard creates a visual aid of where the living room ends and the bedroom begins. If your bed does not have a large headboard, you can purchase a new headboard or replace it with a bookcase. All you have to do is place the back of the bookcase against the bed to create the headboard and divider.

Wardrobes: Invest in several large wardrobes and line them up side by side to create a divider between your bedroom and living room. You can even place them up around your bedroom area to create a small room, but remember to leave enough space for the entrance. A fun idea is to alternate the back and front of the wardrobes to create a storage solution for each zone.

Tall Bookcases: You can divide your space and even create an entryway by investing in tall bookcases. Use bookcases with solid backs to create more privacy in certain zones such as the bedroom or dining area. You can create more visual space by using bookcases with open backs.

The Chinese wedding screen bed, wardrobes and tall bookcases are ideal for a permanent arrangement. If you find yourself re-arranging your zones often, then you may want to stick with the area rugs, curtains and regular Chinese screens.

Dividing your space into zones is just one way to make your studio apartment feel like home. All you need are a few accessories or pieces of furniture, and you have a creative way to split up your studio apartment.


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Buying a home for a young family
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 10:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services, etc.
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Moving out of a rented house to your house is one of the greatest achievements in life. In Canada, there are several young families owning their first home. Most of these have one or two kids less than eighteen years. 

If this describes you and you are buying a family home, it is important to consider convenience and safety in your buying process. Most serious accidents happen at home when fixture, features, and fittings are not safe for kids. Here are a few tips to ensure safety. 

Look for a kid-friendly floor plan If you have small kids, it is good to keep an eye on them all the time. Avoid buying homes with a main-floor master plan. An open floor plan house would be the best. Moreover, look at the steepness of the stairs from your garage to the main house especially if you have to carry your kids from the garage. Lastly, consider the indoor play area. There should be enough space for kids to play with toys especially in cold weather. Size up the youngfamilyyard Your kids need to play outside and enjoy the sunshine. Do not overlook this need. Look for a home with a safe yard that is large enough for your kids to play on it. You may find a home with a large deck that can be used as a play area. However, if you have very small children, the deck may be too dangerous for them. On the flip-side, a yard will cost you much more to maintain. However, you could use a nearby playground if your children are big enough to play there. Where are the bedrooms located? 

There are different house designs with some having bedrooms on one floor, others on different floors and yet others with some bedrooms in the basements. If the master bedroom is on the top floor and the other bedrooms on the ground floor, be contended with frequent climbing and down the stairs at night to check the children. This setup may be good for a family with teenage children as it is advisable to separate the bedrooms. Interior safety, Find ways to keep areas such as the pool from children. Moreover, look at low hanging lights, piping and similar fixtures. In the same breath, check on the safety of the stairs, and the bathroom. Try to buy a house that is safe or one that you can modify to enhance its safety. How is your neighborhood? 

You may make a few renovations to your house, but you cannot change the neighborhood. Thus, choose the location carefully. Pay a visit to the prospective home with your family and ask them to give their views about the place. Moreover, look at the cleanliness, security, the condition of access roads and availability of utilities such as water and electricity. Look for the safety of your kids and the overall comfort of the whole area. See if the roads nearby are too dangerous to cross if your kid decided to head to the stores. Is there any place that you can jog or ride a bike should you decide to keep healthy? Find out if there are very noisy nightclubs within your vicinity. It is also good to find out if there are other families in the area. How far are public amenities from the home? Look for groceries, stores, schools hospitals and the like. The nearer they are to the home the better. You may also look at the location of parks and other places of interest where you can spend time with your family.


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Upgrades to Make When Selling Your Home
Posted on Wed, 30 Mar 2016, 12:10:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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For homeowners who want to sell their property quickly and attract buyers, it's important to allow the house to shine once it's on the market. The appeal of the property will determine how quickly you receive an offer and how much of a profit you can potentially make. When getting ready to list your home, there are a few important upgrades to make to get it ready to sell.

Perform a Minor Bathroom Remodel
The bathroom is one of the most important rooms of the home due to how much it's used each day. Buyers want to purchase homes that have upgraded and attractive bathrooms instead of outdated fixtures. By investing in a bathroom remodel, the average return at resale is 102 percent, making it a smart step to take. Perform upgrades that include installing new hardware, staining the cabinets, installing new tiles, and adding a new tub. You can also remove an outdated shower our tub and replace it with a walk-in feature that has multiple shower heads and doesn't have any doors for a setting that resembles a spa. Walls in the patiobathroom that are damaged can also be repaired with spray-on texture.

Increase the Curb Appeal
The curb appeal of the property is the first impression that you make on your buyers and will ultimately determine how many people visit the home after seeing it advertised. Fertilize the lawn, install a water feature, and extra shrubs, and consider painting the door with a pop of color for a exterior space that stands out in the neighborhood. You can even add an archway to add a feature that works as a focal point in the yard. Remove clutter in the yard and keep it manicured, which will increase the property value of the home.

Convert the Attic into a Room
Although attics were originally used for storage, more people are transforming it into a setting that serves multiple purposes. Consider converting the attic into an additional bedroom, a gym, or an entertainment center. Many people also choose to use the space as a home office for telecommuting. This can allow you to have an average return of 93 percent at resale. You can also add insulation to the attic to reduce the cost of energy on the property and allow the room to become more functional.

Remodel the Kitchen
Remodeling the kitchen is one of the most important steps that homeowners can make with their property when selling it to attract more buyers. The average return at resale is 91 percent, but this can allow the home to sell quicker instead of sitting on the market for several months. Install backsplashes, add a kitchen island, and upgrade the countertops with concrete material for a modern design that peaks buyers' interest. You can also consider installing brushed nickel hardware on the cabinets and adding white subway tiles on the walls for a decorative backsplash. You can even add French doors, which will allow plenty of light in and will make the room to feel more spacious.

Add a Deck or Patio
Make it easy to entertain and enjoy the backyard setting by installing a deck or patio where future homeowners can entertain. Consider adding potted plants and furniture for an environment that can be used to enjoy a bonfire or sit out and read. Enhancing the appeal and functionality of the backyard will attract more buyers for extra space that can be enjoyed on the property.

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Lawrence Park Real Estate
Posted on Sat, 12 Mar 2016, 08:30:00 PM  in Real Estate Market


Lawrence Park South – Where Homes Move!

Rodica Iliescu, Broker, Remax All Stars Realty Inc


One of the trendiest sayings in real estate these days is “location, location, location!” Clearly, when buying a home you want accessibility to many amenities, but still retain a quality of life in a friendly, clean neighbourhood.


Lawrence Park South is a prime example of this. Ranked as the wealthiest neighbourhood in all of Canada in 2011, as well as highest overall on characteristics such as healthcare, education, walkability, and parks, it’s little wonder that when houses come up for sale, they get snatched up quickly.


In 2015, 145 homes sold in our area. That’s a decrease of 4% compared to the previous year, but with house prices increasing in 2015, as well as properties spending less time on the market, this minor variance in activity can be negated.


On average, houses in Lawrence Park South were listed for seven days before selling. The shortest time on the market was just one day – a matter of hours between listing and sale!


The average sale price in 2015 was just over $2,000,000, and the highest “above the asking” price was 130% above the list.


Clearly, this is a neighbourhood where people want to live!


As we all know, it’s been a seller’s market for several years, and because we live in a highly desired area that has a shortage of available homes, we can expect these positive selling trends to continue.


The demand for houses in Lawrence Park South isn’t just confined to one or two small pockets either. Houses sold in 2015 were spread evenly over the area, including Mt. Pleasant Road, Wanless Crescent, Buckingham Avenue, Cheltenham Avenue, Rochester Avenue, St. Leonard’s Avenue,

Weybourne Crescent, Dinnick Crescent, Lawrence Crescent, Dawlish Avenue, Glengowan Road, Strathgowan Avenue, and Glengrove Avenue East.


With its beautiful homes, village atmosphere, and host of shopping, dining, and parks to enjoy, Lawrence Park South is definitely a high-value neighbourhood where real estate will always be in demand.


For more information please contact Rodica at 647-204-4663 or via email at






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Easy ideas for spare rooms
Posted on Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 12:10:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  My services, etc.
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Spare rooms are opportunities to expand living space and add function to any home. They can be the place where the desire to mix metallic blue and deep sea gray come together. It can be a place to express nostalgia for art deco designed furniture, and to display collectibles or object d' árt gathered from travels around the country. Spare rooms can be places to express what one does not in the rest of the home, it is a room that fulfills a need to create. 


Always Ready for Guests
A daybed in some brilliant tones, a few side pieces, and a mirror can make a spare room a waiting mini-suite for guests. There is something about having a place for company that makes it so easy to issue weekend invites. But in the unoccupied days, the spare room need not sit idle. The small book collection that one intended to read over the years can find a productive home, and the daybed can be a favorite place to relax with a book. A small music system, such as one that permits private listening, can complete a very nice reading area. Habits can be reinforcing, whether positive or otherwise. A reading area can help break that cycle if buying books that later serve to gather lots of dust and small amounts of guilt. 

Multi-Purpose Areas
A room can serve a number of purposes and for more than one person. Space can double as a work area for an adult and a play area for a child. Such ideascombinations can be beneficial such as letting an adult share time and space with a child while also pursuing a hobby or interest. It can be as easy as putting some play mats and a large toy box in the same room as the sewing center, scrapbooking area, or fishing tackle table.

Preserving Open Space
Feng shui styles have the advantage of the spare use of furnishings and allowing open space to shape the contours of a living space. This is just one way of using open space in a spare room and simple effects that bring out themes. One excellent way of using a room and keeping open space is to use plants and table fountains. One can use these and other things that can fill a room with a relaxing presence and pleasant sound. One can enjoy a room while moving through it, sensing aromas from leaves, and enjoying the unique feeling of unfettered space. 

Self Improvement
Spare rooms make great places to do things that one has wanted but never achieved. For some people it is the magic of yoga and meditation that helps the brain reset and improves the outlook. It is probably true that one does not need a specially dedicated space to do Yoga or to meditate, but for many people setting a space is an important step in getting something done. Meditation requires focus, and quiet place is a helpful environment. The spare room can be the place where one's personal energy gets a rebirth, and the overall direction of life can change for the better.

Dramatic Effect
A spare room can be a place for things we simply love to do to indulge ourselves. It can be a spa with a hot tub or a cedar paneled Swedish sauna. It can be a room filled with art, photos, and favorite movie posters or souvenirs from live stage shows. Sometimes the best way to celebrate the past is with the souvenirs and relics we keep.


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Key Areas To Update For Re-sale Value
Posted on Tue, 16 Feb 2016, 11:40:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Worried about your home's re-sale value? You should be. It is important that every homeowner think about how home improvements may affect the value of their home. There are even some projects that will immediately translate to a higher projected re-sale value.

When planning home improvements to increase the value of your home, there are some things that you should keep in mind. There are a number of factors that will affect the total return on your home improvement investments. The value of your home, homes in your neighborhood, homes within your larger community's housing market, how soon you sell your home, and the project's quality will all affect the return that you are able to get on your initial investment. With this in mind, some improvements are not worth the money that you put into them. For example, installing a $10,000 fridge into a $150,000 house is a waste of money. Additionally, spending $15,000 on a kitchen renovation in a house that only has one bathroom also does not make sense. Luckily, we have complied a list of need-to-know information about the key areas to update for your home to fetch the highest possible re-sale value.

Invest In Your Home's Landscaping

Landscaping your home can pay off big years down the line. This is one of the first investments you should be making in your new home. You will need to allow for several years of growth to make the most of you home's landscape as a selling point and to help increase your property's re-sale value.

Compared to either a bathroom renovation or a kitchen remodel, a beautifully landscaped yard is a great way to increase your home's value. According to a bathrecent U.S. Gallop survey, home landscaping can add between a 7 and 15 percent increase to your home's value. In addition to increasing your home's overall re-sale value, properly completed landscaping can significantly improve the chances of your home's re-sale. According to a recent Real Estate Agent Community Trends survey a whopping 82 percent of surveyed agents have experienced potential buyers declining to even look at the interior of a home because of the home's exterior.

Remodel Your Kitchen And Bathroom

Home's located in red-hot markets are able to spend money on a kitchen or bath remodel and will often will get a return of more than 100 percent of the initial cost. For instance, in Baltimore a home with a nearly $10,000 bathroom remodel was able to recoup more than 182 percent of its cost at the home's re-sale. Hot markets like Atlanta, D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, and San Francisco also offer homeowners a triple-digit return on a bathroom remodels. Additionally, minor kitchen remodels, with an average cost of $15,000, provide returns of more than 100 percent in some cities including Miami, Providence, New Orleans, and San Diego. However, understanding your individual market and your home's value is very important when deciding whether or not you will remodel your kitchen and bathroom for re-sale.

Create A New Bathroom

If your home only has one bathroom, adding a bathroom is a better use of your money than remodeling the existing one. Not only can adding a bathroom improve your home's resale value, but it can also make your home an easier to sell. A recent National Association of Realtors study found that adding a new bathroom increases the selling price of a home by an average of 8.7 percent, that is more than twice the average rate obtained by adding a bedroom.

Give Your Home Additional Space

Adding additional rooms to your home can be a good investment, particularly if you live in one of the more dynamic housing markets. According to data provided by the National Association of Realtors, homeowners who are considering adding new rooms to their home can reasonably assert that every 1,000 square feet of additional space will boost the re-sale value of their home by more than 30 percent.

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Budgeting Strategies For The New Homeowner
Posted on Thu, 21 Jan 2016, 02:20:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  My services, etc.
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Moving into your first, new home can be a very exciting experience. In order to successfully preserve your investment throughout the years, however, you'll have to remain diligent in your budgeting and overall financial planning. Adjusting to ownership costs can be challenging but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Following are several tips that you can use to ensure overall well-being as you take on a host of new responsibilities.

Limit Your Maintenance Costs With A Home Warranty
As a new homeowner, ongoing maintenance is among one of the most considerable overhead expenses that you'll likely take on. Not only will you be responsible for preserving the aesthetic appeal of the property exterior, but you'll also have to address the various signs of wear and tear that are likely to rear their heads as your property settles and endures consistent use. Fortunately, you can minimise the costs of unexpected repairs and events by investing in a comprehensive home warranty. Warranty agreements can be structured to cover any repairs that your home insurance plan will not, including issues with major home appliances. Although you'll pay an upfront fee to bind one of these agreements, warranties can significantly lower your out-of-pocket spending over time.check

Take Advantage Of Your Builder's Warranty
Much like any other product that you invest in, your home will come with a built-in guarantee of its own that's issued by your builder. If it is suitably comprehensive, this can take the place of a third-party warrant or effectively supplement it. Take some time to read up on your builder's warranty agreement in order to get a clear understanding of the features that are covered and the length of time that this coverage will last. Builders may be willing to deal with the minor chips and cracks that are caused by settlement issues. They can also cover any early signs of wear and tear on your new paint, flooring and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Major features such as the foundation and roof will likely be warranted a bit longer. Thus, before you pick up your phone and schedule repairs or pay for outside, extended protections, find out whether or not you can have your builder handle your repair issues instead.

Control Your Utility Costs
If you've spent a considerable amount of time as a renter, adjusting to the full costs of home utilities will take time. You will have more space to heat up and cool down and far greater electrical needs. Explain this change to the entire family and get everyone on board with a strategic, energy-savings plan. This can be as simple as turning lights off in rooms that aren't being used and keeping thermostats set at moderate levels year-round. It is far cheaper to don a sweater or take one off than it is to constantly adjust the thermostat in order to create the ideal climate indoors.

Don't Rush To Furnish Your New Home
People often make the mistake of rushing to buy new furnishings, even before their mortgage loans have been approved. During the final stages of the purchasing process, try to limit your shopping to window shopping alone. Dramatic changes in you debt-to-income ratio could make your lender rethink the loan amount that's been approved. Remember, nothing is absolutely set in stone until your application is actually being processed by the underwriter. Rather than financing new sofas, bedroom sets and dining tables, start looking around for quality items that you can gradually collect over time. Even after your purchase has been finalised, you'll want to give yourself a few months to adapt to your new living costs before taking additional expenses on.


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What You Need To Know About Selling Your Home
Posted on Fri, 01 Jan 2016, 11:30:00 AM  in Home selling tips

So you have decided to sell your home in Canada? Well here are a few things you should know about the process and a few statistics to help you feel secure in your decision!

The Process of Selling a Home Does Not Have to Be Hard

Selling your home may seem like a difficult task, but it certainly does not have to be. There are many people in Canada looking to buy your home, and many people in Canada looking to help you sell your home. Those two factors alone should make this process infinitely easier on you as you try to sell your home. 

If you do not like the idea of having to employ a realtor, you do not have to! There are many very successful independent homeowners who would rather cut out the middle man when selling their home. There are quite a few documents, forums, and blogs out there that are dedicated to helping you do this process on your own. You may find that you are less anxious about the sale when you are in charge of all of the steps in the process. You do what feels the best to you!

You Can Meet Potential Buyers

You may decide that you want to know the potential buyers of your home. This is a personal decision that you can make regardless of whether or not you are selling your home independently or through a realtor. Many individuals find comfort in knowing what kind of person will be taking over the home- some even find that they make life-long friends with these buyers. You are entitled to do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable when selling your home. You should know that you have every right to be a part of this process.

sellingLook at the Other Homes for Sale in the Area

When you are trying to sell your home, you should be competitive with the other homes on the market. You want to sell your home after all! You may find that your home is worth more than you expected when compared to the homes around you. You may also find that your home is the type of home that is in high demand. Do your research and you are sure to get the most from your home!

Selling Statistics!

Did you know that nearly every realtor on the market selling a home in Canada did well in 2015 and the numbers are expected to look even better in 2016! The number of homes sold in Canada from November 2014 to November 2015 through was the highest in Canada’s history! The numbers have not yet come down so if you are looking to sell a home you should do so now! 

The Canadian market is balanced. This may seem insignificant, but it shows both buyers and sellers that the market in Canada is stable. When the market is stable you know what to expect and when to expect it. There are very few dramatic drops in prices, shortages, or devastating crashes of any type. Canada prides itself on this stability. Having a balanced market makes Canada the ideal place to be in if you want to buy or sell a home!

You may find yourself excited to know that the average selling price of a home is currently up by about ten percent. This is excellent news for you, the seller! This means that while people are still buying homes, you can expect to get just a little bit extra money out of your home than you would have in the past. These numbers look promising for the next few months!

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Bridle Path Real Estate
Posted on Sun, 15 Nov 2015, 01:15:00 PM  in Real Estate Market,  Neighbourhood Info, etc.

                                               Bridle Path


                                                                                    Bridle Path

Bridle Path is the most affluent neighborhood in Canada, with stunning mansions throughout the area it is an easily distinguished neighborhood. Often referred to as “Millionaires Row”, the multi-million dollar properties are located on lot sizes that are 2 to 4 acres large, 8,000 to 16,000 m˛. The average household income of $657,613 and the average house price exceeds well over one million dollars.

Bordering streets of the area include The Bridle Path on the north, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on the south, Bayview Avenue on the west and Wilket Creek on the east. Surrounding the area is the Don River Valley with lush parks and conservation. The name “Bridle Path” is in fact the name of a road in the area; however this name is generally applied to the area as a whole.

Very few roads pass through the area, which contributes to the area’s exclusive nature. The Bridle Path has been home to prominent Toronto business people, famous celebrities and established doctors. Just to name a few home owners that have owned properties here, Moses Znaimer, Celine Dion, Robert Herjavec, Conrad Black, Prince and Stanley Ho. Property value goes up in this area, as a house purchased back in year 1987 for $5.5 million is currently worth in year 2015 $27 million.

Most homes in are situation on one to six-acre lot sizes. Most residential development took place in the years of the 1930’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. The most popular styles of houses are Georgian, Greek, Italianate, Neo Gothic, Modernist, Tudor Revival and French Chateau style. These houses include luxurious features such as outdoor and indoor pools, tennis courts, greenhouses and fountains, personal gyms and home theatres. Elaborate high security systems are also common inside the house properties as well as along the streets.




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Home Buying In A Nutshell - How To Prepare For The Purchase
Posted on Tue, 31 Mar 2015, 11:47:23 AM  in Home buying tips

Buying a home is indeed embarking upon a journey, one that is a milestone in your life, marking your biggest investment and your own land and dwelling. There is a certain instinctive appeal, and it doesn't matter if it's the first time or the tenth time. Your home is your home.

Home buying requires many different steps, hence the journey, and while many of the steps are mirrored from buyer to buyer, personal circumstances and choices can alter the process here and there. It's always good to be as prepared as possible for this type of investment, and the following tips and tricks can focus you forward toward owning a home.

#1 Types Of Mortgages

It's not good enough to know there are conventional mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages. It's not good enough to know that there are different mortgage lengths and interest rates. You need to know the details, laws, options and the structure of a mortgage.

Becoming more familiar with the process helps ensure you end up establishing a relationship with the right lender, and of course you secure the ideal mortgage terms. This also helps you communicate to lenders your needs.

#2 Credit Report

It's not just your credit score that you need to see. You need to take an in-depth look at your credit report. That's what the mortgage lenders are going to do, so don't you think it should be your move, too? There are so many different things you can do to improve your credit score if you have less than stellar credit.

Furthermore, you want to know what is on there to make sure that it's all correct. Familiarizing yourself with what the mortgage lenders are going to look for can help you decide if your credit report is in good shape. You don't want to be reaching out to all the mortgage lenders without an aim.

#3 Pre-Approval

Remember, you have to have your aim. After looking through your credit report, and after searching through the mortgage companies with prior knowledge about the mortgage process under your belt, you're ready to get pre-approved!

This process helps you take a look at your financial picture and the amount you can afford when purchasing a home. This way you go into searching for a home with a realistic outlook and can really find the best home for your family.

#4 The Search

It's time for "the search." You're pre-approved for a certain amount of money, and you're ready to find the perfect home. Whether or not you get in touch with a real estate agent at this time is your choice. There are indeed many sites out there where you can search through many property listings without ever having to talk to anyone.

However, at least once you've gathered several homes together and want to schedule visits, it's time for an agent. The agent can lead you through the rest of the home buying process, especially since you've already taken care of the banking side of things. All you have left to do now is negotiate your offer on a property you choose and get ready for the closing process!

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