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?

Stunning Moderns Designed by Leading Architects

Altius2740_entrySierra Gate Homes is proud to be Eastern Ontario’s independent distributor for Lindal Cedar Homes, the first and largest manufacturer of cedar custom homes in the world.  The Lindal Architects Collaborative is an initiative that brings together some of North America’s most renowned architects, including Toronto’s Altius Architecture, Inc.  Together, they are creating a varied and extensive selection of modern green designs.  Visit our Lindal Architects Collaborative gallery to view some of these stunning creations!

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.

How to Choose a Custom Home Builder

Kijiji Kitchen FinalChoosing to build your own home involves of lot of planning and thought.  You can’t just jump in and get started!  One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whom you should hire to build your home.  It is smart to do your research!
Of course, referrals are your best route.  You want to hire a custom home builder with whom friends or family members have had a good experience.  So talk to people, and find out about their success stories and horror stories.  Of course, people also share their experiences online so internet research is critical.

Once you have chosen a couple of builders, the next step is to set up a face-to-face meeting with them.  In essence, you’re interviewing potential candidates for this very important job.  It is vital that you trust and feel comfortable with your builder.  After all, this is your future home!  So ask whatever questions you need to ask.  The following three are key:

  1. Have you built homes similar to home we would like to build?
  2. Could we tour a home that you are currently building?
  3. Do you have pictures of homes that you have recently built?  Could we take a look at these homes?

The process of finding a custom home builder takes time.  Doing your research and asking lots of questions can save you a tremendous amount of money, time and heartache.

Sierra Gate Homes is a custom home builder offering both design-build and construction project management options.  Call or e-mail us anytime to find out how we can help you make your dream home a reality!  Contact us now!

To Build or Not to Build

turkel2Should we buy an existing home?  Or should we build our own new home?  Many struggle with the pros and cons of these two options.  Building a new home has its advantages.  The following are seven key advantages to consider:

  1. Custom Design.  Building a new home allows you to design a house that suits your needs and lifestyle.  You can choose everything from colours and finishings to room styles.  You’re only limited by your budget and imagination.
  2. Location.  It’s often difficult to find the right home in the right community.  When you build, you can choose your land in the area in which you want to live, and then build the home of your dreams.
  3. Energy Efficiency.  Older homes may not be as energy efficient as a new home. Today’s homes have a more comfortable living environment thanks to advances in windows and insulation, and state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning systems.
  4. Environmentally Responsible Products.  Manufacturers are continually working to make their products and systems more appealing to today’s environmentally conscious customer.
  5. Safety.  New homes boast many products and features that ensure your family has a safe environment.
  6. Less Maintenance.  While it is true that any house requires routine maintenance, older homes are likely to need more work than new houses. With a new home, you are protected by the builder’s warranty.  New appliances also have warranty periods.
  7. Tarion Warranty Program.  In Ontario, builders must be registered with Tarion. Tarion is a private corporation that protects the rights of new home buyers and regulates new home builders.

Are You a Lot Owner? Looking to Build a New Home?

turkel5 (1)Sierra Gate Homes is a project management firm with over twenty years of experience. As your builder, we manage the construction process on your behalf. Construction project management is a totally transparent form of construction that allows you to build at cost. Unlike working with a general contractor, the building costs do not attract a margin. We use our expertise to make your custom home building project a worry-free experience. Please visit www.sierragatehomes.ca to see what we can do for you!

Stone Accents in Your Home

Kijiji Veneer StoneVeneer stone can enhance the visual appeal of virtually any space in your home.  The ideas are endless: smooth rounded riverbed stones from floor to ceiling around your fireplace; ledge rock for your kitchen backsplash; a stone accent wall in your foyer, stairwell or living room.  At Sierra Gate Homes, we specialise in the installation of veneer stone.  Please visit us at sierragatehomes.ca and contact us to learn more about beautifying your home with stone!

Hiring a Contractor: 7 Common Mistakes

Those home repairs aren’t going to take care of themselves.  You need to hire someone!  But the process of finding the right contractor for the job can seem daunting.  At the link below, you will learn about 7 common mistakes that homeowners make.  Avoid these mistakes and you will remove some major headaches from your renovation project!

Read more: http://welcome.homeadvisor.com/wise-hiring-decisions?m=cnn&entry_point_id=28954484