Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.

The Caswell Team

The Caswell Team

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Picture This.....

(Published on - 7/15/2019 3:06:13 PM)

In today’s world of real estate, it is estimated that over 90% of buyers start looking for their new home online.  That is a huge number!  That’s why, when our team is listing a new home, we hire a professional photographer to take interior and exterior shots of the property to capture the positive attributes of the home and professionally portray the listing in all the online marketplaces.  This attracts buyers to want to view the property and helps position the listing immediately to look better than others out there. 

Photos are extremely important when listing a home and, as I have mentioned in past blogs, decluttering and staging makes those pictures look even better.  Although professional photos and pretty rooms make the listing very appealing and gets buyers through the door for all those sellers out there, this blog isn’t targeted to sell our listing capabilities to the sellers.  Where I’m going with this is actually for the buyers…..

It is important for all buyers to try not to get too wrapped up in just the pretty pictures that are posted.  To often we get calls from clients saying “why didn’t you send me this new listing?  It looks great!  Let’s go have a look asap!”  What they didn’t see in the important info was that it was a one-bedroom home that would probably be a little too “cozy” for their family of four, doesn’t have the garage they said was mandatory and it’s 30mins away from the neighbourhood they wanted to target.  But the kitchen looks really nice!

Buyers need to look deeper into the details of the property to make sure that the other aspects of the home are suitable.  Pictures are nice to look at but layout, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, size, age, yard, price and, as I discussed in my last blog, location are the important factors that should be taken into consideration when shopping for a home.  You must remember that all that pretty furniture, art, accessories etc., that the seller has used when they “decluttered and staged their home for those sexy pictures” belongs to them and will be going with the seller when they move.

This is where you can’t discard the homes that have not had professional pictures taken, that are not staged and are not showing well online.  Every buyer wants a “deal”, and these are where some good deals on great homes with “solid bones” can be had as other buyers are only looking at the pics and electing not to view from the comfort of their couch.  Due to the pictures and what looks to be “datedness”, these sellers are often positioned to take less for their home than they possibly could’ve been offered had they taken the time to properly prepare for listing.

Honestly, it happens all the time where we forward our clients a new listing and they have no desire to go and view it even though it is in their price range, preferred location, has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a finished rec room and has the garage they wanted!  But these houses have photos of an unmade beds, boxes everywhere, a ton of counter clutter, furniture from the 70s with a bold paint colour or funky wall paper.  Remember, beds can be made, and that bedspread pattern is leaving with the seller, boxes are leaving, clutter will be gone (until you replace it with your clutter!), furniture will be gone and replaced with your style and paint is a quick and inexpensive fix that makes a huge impact and helps you personalize to your taste.

The reason I’m writing about this now is we recently had clients that almost missed the perfect home cause of this.  We happened to be out touring and saw an ad in a window of another brokerage while we were going for dinner to discuss an offer on another home we had just viewed.  We called up the listing on MLS™ and the pics weren’t the best.  They were dark, the kitchen looked original from the 70’s and the rooms looked small.  We said, “it’s right around the corner, let’s go have a quick look after dinner just so we know you’re buying the right one”.  The clients admitted afterward that, if we had not been nearby at that moment, they wouldn’t have even gone to look at it based on the online pics.  To all our surprise, the house showed impeccably in-person, the kitchen was fully upgraded, and it was the perfect house for them.  They fell in love with it instantly and now take possession in September of a home they never would’ve considered looking at based on the listing pictures on MLS™……

Next time you’re surfing our website for all the MLS™ listings, or we send you a picture of a new listing, try and have an open mind and let’s go check it out.  Looking is free, sellers want you to come see their listing and it is never a waste of our time if the property details fit in closely with your search parameters.  You never know, it might just be the one!

Our team has tons of experience helping buyers look past those cosmetic issues to realize it’s the right home for them.  And we also have the right marketing plan for sellers to make sure those 90% of buyers who start online don’t skip right over your listing!  Never hesitate to reach to us at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com to see how we can help you out, be sure to check out all our other great blog topics on here and visit our website for all the MLS™ listings and great info about buying and selling in Greater Sudbury!

Contributed by:

Michelle Caswell

Cell - 705.507.1229

mcaswell@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


Love Thy Neighbour

(Published on - 7/7/2019 3:14:59 PM)

Recently, we were at a great event at our good friends’ place on the water.  Weather was perfect, their setup is awesome for hosting, the company was fantastic, and it was just an all-around incredible day. 

But, before I get too deep into this blog entry, it’s important that I warn the readers there is some strong language in this article.  For those that know me well, I am a passionate writer and sometimes I firmly believe that the appropriate word required to properly portray the situation goes outside the realm of “politically correct”. 

So, back to the party.  When we got down to the dock for the typical sauna/swim, I saw the neighbour’s “swan containment area” in the water.  I had never seen this before and was curious.  It was a square of pool noodles and painted red stakes well into the water with a fake swan tied up in the contained area.  Was it to fend off the geese?  Were they trying to trap bait fish?  Did they need a setting for their fake swan to feel comfortable?  Apparently, none of these are the case.

Turns out the neighbor is simply one of those “lovely” neighbours that we all hear about.  Ya, I’m probably getting a bias side of the story, but, when you see stuff like this, they’re proving the point all by themselves.  What the neighbour was doing was trying to protect “their property” by showing his neighbours where his lot line is so they couldn’t park their pontoon boat on that side of their own dock even though it wasn’t even close to the “lovely” neighbour’s dock.

Sure, some people may think, “there’s two sides to every story” and I’m showing favourtism - and it is possible - but we know our friends well and just can’t picture them being too tough to live next to.  And this wonderful person next door has caused them all kinds of problems when trying to improve their property by putting in complaints any chance they can.

Maybe someone should call in complaints on them as there’s a whole slew of problems with what they’re doing.  First off, they only own to the high-water mark for the last 100 years.  No waterfront property extends beyond this and no one can own “the water”.  Secondly, they can’t block a waterway with their pool noodles.  Anyone with a kayak, small boat, hip waders or a bathing suit has every right to swim, paddle or fish in this illegal containment area.  Third, I highly doubt the bright red paint that was used for the stakes before they were driven into the bottom of the lake is a real “eco-friendly” blend.  Guessing more of a Tremclad™ style.

Our friends don’t want to complain – they just ignore the neighbours as much as they can and deal with the nonsense on a case-by-case basis.  They are very patient and, I’m sure, plenty of us wouldn’t be this easy going about things.  But, by doing so, they’re also avoiding the “escalation” problem where these situations can sometimes lead to very stressful, serious and precarious circumstances.

We’ve all heard stories like this, and we’ve also heard stories that are the complete opposite.  We sell our clients a house and check in on how they’re doing a few months later to find out they’ve already created a great friendship with the neighbours.  “They’re so nice and they snowblow the driveway for me!” or “if my kids aren’t home, I know they’re next door with their kids” and then there’s the neighbour who always has the tool you need to finish the job and they’ll even come over with a six-pack and help you finish it. 

The way I look at it is we, and our neighbours, all fit into one of three categories:

1.)  The great neighbour that is super friendly and you would be devastated if they moved,

2.)  the good neighbour who you barely know but they always politely smile and say “hello” with a quick analysis of the “great weather we’re finally having” while minding their own business,

3.)  and, finally, the ASSHOLE

I capitalized and bolded the third entry because a mild case of “assholeness” is extremely rare.  Going from “good neighbour” to “asshole” requires a complete nosedive and to remain committed to forever making life miserable for the person next door.  It takes a certain type of passion to dedicate your spare time to trying to ruin someone else’s, so I will give the “assholes” out there some credit for their devotion.

One of my experiences with this was at a young age while I was playing road hockey in Winnipeg.  We lived on a great, family friendly street and the nets rarely left the roadway regardless whether it was winter or summer.  99% of the neighbours loved us being out there and would give us the “thumbs up” when we’d move the nets for the “CAR!” coming by.  Lots of dads would even join in on the games.

A single guy moved into the house directly across the street from ours whom no one ever really saw.  He was in the #2 category at first where he would politely wave at the adults as he made his way from his car to his front door and vice versa.  Then, he took that rapid nosedive into the #3 category.

It was a nice summer day and we had a full game going on the street.  This #3 category’s newest member decided he had had enough of us running onto his front lawn to fetch the ball that had wandered onto his property from an errant pass.  So, he decided he was going to park his car right in the middle of our game to teach us a lesson.

As bratty kids, we opted for an intermission due to the obstruction in our “rink area” and proceeded to all sit on his car.  Some on the bumpers, some on the hood and even a couple got onto the roof.  Well, this didn’t go over well with this guy at all.  Now, you might be saying “who would be happy about this?”, but you’re probably not the type of asshole that would do this to kids having fun either…..

This “#3” comes bursting out of his house and B-lines straight for my Dad who was up to his usual woodworking hobbies in the driveway.  My Dad saw how this all transpired, put down his tools and took off his safety goggles to handle the approaching hot head. 

This guy went off about how us kids were misbehaving while “massacring” his lawn and now damaging his car.  My Dad just kept nodding his head while this guy laid it all out.  When he was finally out of breath from his rant, my Dad put his hand on this guy’s shoulder and calmly said, “I completely understand where you’re coming from.  Where I grew up, we had an ASSHOLE just like you on our street”.  This guy was in utter shock as my Dad just stood with a smirk that was basically saying, “now, get off my property”.

Thinking my Dad was his only foe, he tried to go to our next door neighbour’s house.  That’s where my friend “Bobby” lived, and his parents were full Greek and could barely speak a word of English.  After the whole street heard the front door blasting of what I can only assume were the Greek versions of every swear word ever spoken, this “asshole” tucked his tail between his legs, pulled his car in the driveway and went into his house.  The next day, before noon, there was a For Sale sign in his yard…..

If you don’t like kids playing road hockey, don’t by a house on a family friendly cul-de-sac with a park at the end of the street.  If you hate the sound of jet skis or snowmobiles ripping around a lake, then find a quiet lake or don’t buy on the lake.  If you want your kids to have a place to play and be noisy, don’t buy a condo in a building geared towards the older lifestyles. 

They say your friends are the family you get to choose.  Neighbours are like family – you don’t get to pick them, but you still have to live with them.  But you can also choose to be friends with them and make both your lives better in the process. 

If you have a neighbour that is being difficult, try to “kill them with kindness”.  If that doesn’t work, simply ignore them as much as possible and be very composed whenever you have to deal with them.  And, most importantly, be a good neighbour yourself.  At all costs, avoid escalating the situation.  Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary – don’t help turn it into a place you cringe every time you come back to it.

In closing, as a moral to the story, there is one simple saying that is most important to remember for all of this:

If everyone around you is an asshole, chances are you’re the asshole.

Have you ever run into a #3?  After reading this, is there a chance you've been an asshole?  We'd love to hear from ya and maybe we can come over and see how any issues can be solved.  In the meantime, don’t forget to check out all our other great blog topics while you’re here, browse our website for great info on buying and selling in the Greater Sudbury area and never hesitate to reach out to us at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com or 705.586.3334 if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767

caz@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


Selling Your Home With "Tiny Humans"

(Published on - 6/30/2019 2:33:20 PM)

You’ve come to a point where you have to sell because you’ve outgrown your home since you and your partner have now added kids (or “tiny humans” as we refer to them in our house) into the mix.  With these “tiny humans” comes a ridiculous amount of baggage. Oh man, the baggage! (Insert eye rolling emoji here).  

So, what do you do to get your house show ready and make it look like your home isn’t a playhouse with primary colours taking over every square inch?  Here’s some advice coming from a working Realtor® mom of two “tiny humans” and a husband (sometimes, and often, referred to as child #3) 

Step 1

Involve your children as much as possible.  My kids LOVE helping with everything, so why not put them to work and make them think it’s a game.  You know how much I can get done when I tell them we’re playing a game?

“Alright let’s play a game. Who can hide the most toys?”  By “hide”, I mean pack away in boxes.  Packing as much as possible is probably the best thing you can do to get your home show ready.  Your plan is to move, so why not get that head start now?

Step 2

Hide all the boxes packed with toys.  I made the mistake of prepping recently for a neighbourhood yard sale and taking the old toys and sending them into the garage. No problem there, until we went to play outside, and I opened the garage door and the kids thought Santa had come!  

The easiest thing to do is remove them completely from the home so there’s no evidence.  I understand that may not always be the case but leaving a couple “essential to keeping the peace” toys is not a big problem either.  As Michelle mentioned in her staging blog where she explains "less is more", this speaks volumes when you have to sell your home with small children.  So, if you cannot remove it completely, then maybe keep it contained to the middle of a room in the basement, or away from “adult’ spaces, making sure you leave plenty of floorspace for potential buyers to see and walk around the entire room.  Packing the boxes into one corner may seem like a great idea but buyers automatically assume you are hiding something.

Step 3

Remove the gross parts about having these wonderful “tiny humans” around.  If you have a diaper pail in the nursery, it’s probably a really good idea to empty it well before viewings or hide it away somewhere.  Same goes for the potty.  Just like the “big humans” potty, it’s always good to make sure it’s clean and the seat is closed.  

All those bottles, sippy cups, plates - remove them from the kitchen counter.  I know that’s where they're all hanging out because it’s easier access for the independent “slightly less tiny human” who wants to do everything on their own, but we want the kitchen to show for adults.  For a short little while, just let them know it has to get put away so potential buyers don’t think about the same reason you’re moving – that they’ll outgrow your home as well…..

Moving can be a stressful time for you and it’s just the same for the little ones.  Depending on their age, this may be the only house they know and the thought of moving from their safe place could be scary.  Making this a fun and exciting time while encouraging them to “help” with all the preparation will ease them through the transition into the new home as well as help you keep your sanity through showings, selling and moving!

We have tons of experience helping families transition from their starter homes and into the next chapter of their lives.  We’re here to help right from the start, so don’t be shy to have us come over and provide our guidance to alleviate the stress during these life changing events!

In the meantime, never hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments and suggestions, including any topics you’d like to see us discuss on here.  You can reach us anytime through our team email account – caswellteam@realtyexecutives.comkeep checking back on our Caswell Team Blog for more great articles and check out our website for tons of info for buying and selling in Greater Sudbury.

Contributed by:

Amanda Gervais

Cell - 705.929.1930

agervais@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


So, My Wife Says To Me………

(Published on - 6/24/2019 3:43:47 PM)

“We should think about living on the lake” was the start of the conversation a few years ago.

Immediately, my thoughts went to “Lake” and “how far is this lake from the golf course?”  Greater Sudbury has over 330 lakes to choose from, so a bit of panic started to set in as I envisioned never getting to play golf again. Calmness prevailed as I considered the fact that if my wife, Kellie, wanted to live on the lake and that is a lifestyle that she has always enjoyed - growing up with trailers, camps and cottages during the summer months - so far be it for me to just not give it a serious consideration.  My response was “sure let’s take a look at what is out there, but I would like to stay within a 15-20 minute radius of town” (“town” aka “the golf course”!)

So, the search began to find our next home as we were currently the proud owners of a 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home in New Sudbury and had recently become empty nesters as both children were now off the payroll and onto other provinces to build their life.  We often found our current house too big as we used the kitchen, bedroom and TV room and the rest just awaited sparse visits from family and friends.

Now back to the search.  I did not fish, boat or swim in cold water, so I really did not have any preferences as to what lake.  I did know this, I really enjoyed having the sun in my backyard near the end of the day as that is when I would most likely be home to enjoy it.  Therefore, a South/South-Western exposure was the main criteria for me and being within 20 mins of “town center”.  

We looked at several properties until we found a bungalow with 2 bedrooms and a very nice Southern exposure lot with lots of privacy and only 8 Minutes from the Idywylde Golf Club (oops, I mean “town center”).  The deal was struck and, the fact that we sold our home in New Sudbury in one day, things began to move along very quickly.   

We took possession in mid-January and it was cold and snowy, but we weren’t long realizing a whole other aspect to living on the lake – winter fun!  We would take our dog Charlie onto the frozen lake for great walks where he could run free,  the neighbours were out building skating rinks, we saw cross country skiers and snow bikes glide by, the mini villages of ice fishing huts and, of course, the drop-ins of family and friends roaring in on their snowmobiles for a visit. It never even occurred to me that I would be interested or even able to do all this stuff, nor did I even see winter as an actual asset for lakefront living!

Then it was our first summer and the experience was even more fantastic.  We would come home from a day of work through the front door and immediately into a quick change to shorts and sandals and out the back door to “camp”.  Did I go fishing?  Sure did and I can tell you, after 3 years, I have still not caught a fish even though my neighbour two docks down pulls them out of the water every day.  Did I go swimming in that chilly water?  Absolutely, but only after a wood fired sauna.  Of course, you know what’s next, we had to buy a pontoon boat to really enjoy the entire lake and all the new and old friends who lived on the lake.  

I will say this - for a guy that had no interest in living on the lake, I am now usually the first guy out of the “town center” locker room after a round so I can get home as quickly as possible to enjoy a relaxing beverage with Kellie where I can thank her for giving me the nudge while soak in the sunset from our dock.

All the best till next time and be sure to get out and enjoy the lakes!

If you have every considered living on the lake or finding that perfect family camp to add to your lifestyle, give the Caswell Team a call as we have extensive knowledge with these properties and have all had the experience you may be looking for.  Contact us at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com, keep checking back on our Caswell Team Blog for more great articles and check out our website for tons of info for buying and selling in Greater Sudbury.

Contributed by:

Gary Doyle

Cell - 705.691.6166

gdoyle@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


Anywhere, Anywhere, Anywhere!

(Published on - 6/16/2019 12:24:08 PM)

We’ve all heard the saying “Location, Location, Location” when it comes to real estate.  So, although this is just a short blog, I thought it was important commentary to consider when buying a house.

Throughout my career, I have worked with some buyers that have told me that they are flexible on where they live.  They give me their list of needs and wants and, when I ask about location, they respond with “I don’t care”, “It doesn’t matter”, or “anywhere, as long as you find what I want”.  As a buyer, you should absolutely care about where you live and location should be at the top of your list!!!

When I first moved to Sudbury in 1990, I lived in New Sudbury.  When I moved out of my family home and into a home with Caz, it was in the South End.  Five years later, we moved to Minnow Lake.  In less than a year, we moved downtown.  Again, in less than a year, off to Wanup where we lived for eight years.  We are now back in the South End.  We’ve always said the best house we’ll ever own was the house on Horseshoe Lake Road, but it was in the wrong location for our needs.  So, speaking from experience, I can tell you that location is the most important thing when buying and should be at the top of your list.

Moving is expensive, time consuming and can be very stressful.  Do you really want to have to move again because you are realizing that the commute to work is just too long, that there is nothing in walking distance for the kids, or you need an egg and the closest store is a 15 minute drive? 

One of the most dangerous ones we see is “I want to live on such-and-such street because my friend/parents/siblings/etc. live there".  What if they were to move, would you still be happy there?  Buying a house based on the location of someone else's house can be devastating when you find out their lives have also changed and they're moving.

Location is also a huge factor on the resale of your home when it eventually comes time to sell, so it really should be a factor in your purchase.  Most buyers will target the “right areas” so, if you’re buying in one of the wrong locations, buyers are thinking of those things when it comes time to consider your listing.

Almost anything can be done to a house except move it.  So, if it is not ticking off all your needs and wants, try to have an open mind in knowing that you can make some adjustments inside the walls and on the property, but it's pretty expensive to pick it up and move it across town.  Not to mention, banks aren't too keen on houses with mortgages on them being moved to a new location.....

It is imperative to make sure that that location is suitable for you and your family or, trust me, you will find yourself moving again.  And this is advice coming from someone who makes a living off of you moving!  Want to move every year and use the Caswell Team?  That would be great for us but definitely not great for you and, at the end of the day, our clients ALWAYS come first!  So, please, when looking for a house, narrow down that search by knowing where you want to live, be sure that you are selecting that location for the right reasons and wait for the right one within those boundaries to show up instead of dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars “Anywhere”!  

We know the city, the areas and the neighbourhoods extremely well.  We’re here to assist you when deciding what location is best for your needs.  Never hesitate to contact us at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com to see how we can help and, in the meantime, continue to check back on this blog for more great articles and our website for more information about buying and selling in Greater Sudbury!

Contributed by:

Michelle Caswell

Cell - 705.507.1229

mcaswell@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


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