Buying a Fixer-Upper: Are We Opening a Can of Worms?

turkel3On the face of it, buying a fixer-upper seems like a terrific idea!  Perhaps you’re first-time homebuyers.  You’ve found a rundown house in the perfect neighbourhood.  The price is right.  How can you possibly pass up on the opportunity?  While buying a fixer-upper can work to your advantage, it can also become your worst nightmare.  Here are some questions couples should ask themselves before signing on the dotted line:

  1. Is the house just in need of some cosmetic work or is there structural damage?
  2. Do we have the time to invest?  Are we prepared to devote our evenings and weekends to this project?
  3. Are we going to live in the house while it’s being renovated?  If not, do we have somewhere else to live?
  4. Will we have enough money to complete the renovation work that needs to be done?
  5. Will the stress of buying a new home, and then spending a lot of time and money on the renovations be too much for our relationship?
  6. Do we have realistic expectations about this project?  This may not turn out to be the quick and dramatic transformation that we’re used to seeing on reality television.

Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a fixer-upper at this link:

Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

Buying a Lot for Your Custom Build? Beware of These Pitfalls!

turkel4You’ve decided to build a custom home for your family. One of your first steps will be to find the perfect lot! This can be a tricky process and there are many factors to consider. Here are some key questions to bear in mind as you begin your search:

  1. Location. Do I like this location? What about its proximity to schools, shopping and other amenities? Do I want to be this close to or this far away from my nearest neighbour? Does this land flood in the spring?
  2. Costs. How much will this lot cost me (over and above the purchase price)? For example, do I need title insurance (see link below)? Does the lot need to be surveyed? What are the taxes associated with this lot?
  3. Zoning Restrictions. What are the zoning restrictions associated with this lot?
  4. Utility Access. Is this lot serviced with hydro, gas and water? If not, what are our options? How much will it cost to bring hydro to our new home, drill a well and install a septic system? Will we heat our home with hydro, natural gas (if available), propane, oil or wood? How much will each of these heating options cost?
  5. Road Access. In the case of rural lots, are the roads plowed in the winter? Do we mind that the roads are gravel rather than paved?

Renovating Affordable Housing in Ottawa

P1060747Sierra Gate Homes is proud to work with Daybreak Housing on some of its residential improvement projects.  Daybreak is a non-profit organisation run by a small professional team with the support of dedicated volunteers.  Since 1982, Daybreak has been a place to call home for men and women who not only have difficulty finding affordable housing, but also struggle with issues such as mental health, addiction, abusive situations and limited life skills.