Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Why Do Lenders Sell Loans?

Gone are the days when a mortgage company or a bank would pull money out of its vault in order to finance the purchase of a new home. Instead, lenders operate from a line of credit. When a new mortgage is approved and ready to fund, lenders tap into that line of credit. After the loan has funded, it can then sell the loan to a third party. Selling the loan replenishes the line of credit so the lender can continue making more home loans. But who does the lender sell to?

Most loans today end up being owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. When a lender approves a loan using standards issued by Fannie or Freddie, the loan conforms to these established guidelines and is eligible for sale. But what might strike some is that monthly payments arent made to Fannie or Freddie. Instead, its made out to another mortgage company, or more appropriately, a mortgage servicer.

A mortgage servicer is typically a division within a mortgage company or bank that gets paid a fee for handling the monthly payments on a loan. Each month, when a borrower writes a check to the mortgage company, the funds first go to the servicer and later transferred to Fannie or Freddie.

Fannie and Freddie play a crucial role in the mortgage industry when buying home loans. Without the ability to sell a loan, mortgage lending would falter. It would mean rates and fees would be higher. Down payment requirements more stringent and overall mortgages would be much more difficult to qualify for. By approving a conforming loan, it lets the lender know the loan is eligible for sale, sells the loan and continues making still more home loans.nbsp;

Loans can be sold individually or in bulk. An individual sale is less common but still a practice. Instead, lenders commit to selling a certain amount of loans to Fannie or Freddie in advance. A lender might commit 50 million in home loans during a specific period of time to Fannie Mae, proceed to process, approve and fund those loans, later transferring the 50 million in funded mortgages to Fannie. At that point, the process starts again.

The buying and selling of mortgages in this secondary mortgage market provide needed liquidity in the mortgage industry. Without being able to offload mortgages, for a profit, the mortgage industry and real estate in general would suffer greatly. A goodbye letter is a sign of a healthy mortgage market.


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2020Hindsight or Foresight?

January 2020 is the official forward-thinking month since it starts the calendar year and, this year, a new decade.

Januarys annual barrage of forward-looking media, business, and social media pundit prognoses generates a wide range of business and online reflections on opportunity and risk in 2020.

If you dont consider January the start of your business cycle or youre on vacation this month, these forward-focused ideas may receive little or no consideration by you.

Where and when do you get your inspiration for the annual fresh start that keeps us on our toes against competition and in tune with target prospects and clients?

  • How effective are you at forecasting and goal setting?
    How much do you >
  • Are you repeating an annual habit or do you have proof that this is the best you can do year over year?
    Do you use the same business forecasting methods each year or search out new analytical approaches and data resources to refresh your methods? How effective is your decision making? For instance, do you react more quickly to avoid loss than you do to gain advantage? Do you research ways to maintain status quo or are you continually on the lookout for ways to improve various aspects of your prospecting and client service? What did you learn in 2019 that you intend to put into action in 2020?
  • Will you uncover significant opportunities and >
    Looking back over your real estate career, which driving forces have moved you forward and helped you overcome risk? Foresights anticipation of achievable opportunity can be exhilarating and translates into action and results. If only Id realizations in hindsight are frustrating acknowledgments of loss that can undermine confidence in the future. Stay alert in 2020. This year is shaping up to be full of distractions which can mask opportunity and risk. Will you anticipate opportunity or bemoan losses in hindsight?

Learning from the mistakes of others rather than making expensive or time-wasting mistakes yourself can make a lot of sense. Consider the context, process, and content similarities and differences between your situation and thoseincluding winnerswho you want to learn from:

  • Context: Economic Sustainability

  • Use hindsightwhich is after-the-fact clear visionto explore the financial failings of others and what made them vulnerable: what they ignored, what they underestimated, what they overlooked. A false sense of security or the too big to fail confidence that is common with continued success often leads to poor judgement.

    The occurrence of previously-impossible big financial failures and the economic roller coaster of the last decade should have taught us that the impossible does happen in this globally-interconnected world. Yet, it is surprising how often the obvious is overlooked. Ignoring increasing financial vulnerability is a common error. What are you overlooking? What could sneak up on you or your target market?

    Have you crunched the numbers so you know exactly where you stand if the market or interest rates turn against you or your target prospects and clients? Hoping nothing bad happens is not a strategy. Wait until something negative occurs and there may not be enough time for corrective solutions to kick in. Searching out ways to cut costs, expand into new niches or services, and earn additional income before a problem arises are strategies.

  • Process: Get Everyone On-side

  • Digital transformation has changed the way we do many things. A number of businesses and industries have been dramatically transformed while others have faded from view. How has the sales process you base sustainability of your practice or brokerage on weathered the shift to online commerce?

    Change is escalating. What do you believe is next for real estate and your sales process? Online shopping will continue to redefine the buying experience for purchasers and the selling experience for sellers.

    Buyers and sellers are often quoted saying that they feel their interests are at cross purposes with commission-intent real estate professionals. Strengthen common purpose to ensure prospects and clients connect their success with your services. That is, they understand that without you they cannot accomplish as much and certainly not all they want to. Start by explaining exactly how you contribute to success in the process of home buying and selling instead of me>

  • Content: Keep the Facts Straight

  • Perceptions distract us from reality. Real estate buyers and sellers are encouraged to concentrate on glorified keeping up with the Jones perceptions of economic value and modern interior design instead of learning the realities of financial return, continuous-upgrade maintenance, and design functionality.

    To acquire, preserve, and build home equity, buyers and sellers benefit from learning to analyze all that goes on around them. The increase in internet searches demonstrates that buyers search for content to make themselves smarter and sellers search for content to ensure theyre smarter sellers. Unfortunately, finding accurate, >

    My personal wish for you in 2020 is that you continue to move Onward amp; Upwardthose are the directions that really matter


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    Another Reason to Be Careful of Zillow

    But, theres another reason real estate agents, buyers, and sellers are aggravated with Zillow. Agents are checking their personal listings on Zillows site and finding their names grouped with several other agents namesnone of whom have a connection to the home. In some cases, these agents may not know they appear on that particular listing, and they might not even be familiar with the home, which means they wont have the ability to speak to its details or selling points.

    Welcome to what some call the pay-to-play world of Zillow, which charges agents a premium to be named on listings that are not their own, said thenbsp;Miami Herald. "Zillow calls it the premier broker program, by which agents pay a fee to secure leads from people inquiring about houses in certain ZIP codes. According to the company website, when a shopper makes an inquiry through Zillow or the Zillow-owned site Trulia, the company confirms that the prospect is ready to speak with an agent. If so, it hands the would-be client off to the premier agentas opposed to the listing agent.

    Having first crack at this buyer mean the Zillow Premier agent can show the home, even though its not their listing, and also redirect the buyer to other listingsprobably his or her own listings first. Now, the listing agent has lost a potential sale, as well as a potential new client."

    Zillow calls this an incredible lead generator for agentsand, not surprisingly given the companys excitement about this program, it generates a huge amount of revenue for them. The company reportedly refused to discontinue the practice despite the prodding of numerous Realtors.nbsp;

    So what can buyers and sellers do as a workaround?

    What buyers can do to protect themselves

    Pay close attention to the listing. When buyers click on a listing, they have no idea they are not going to get the listing agent, Kat Palmiotti of Grand Lux Realty in Monroe, New York, told the Herald. Sometimes they get contacted by 10 different agents. It can be frustrating to a buyer.

    If the listing agent is identified and youre planning to reach out, contact him or her as opposed to the other agents listed. That way you can assure youre working with the individual who not only secured the listing fair and square, but who also knows all about the home.nbsp;

    There may be important details about the homes construction, floorplan, or features that an unaffiliated agent cant provide. In some cases, premier agents may not even be located in the areas where the home is locatedanother reason to make sure youre working with the listing agent.nbsp;

    What sellers can do to protect themselvesnbsp;

    Talk to your agent about Homesnap. Homesnap started out as anbsp;consumer-facing appnbsp;for displaying information about local homes by taking a photo three years ago, saidnbsp;TechCrunch, and has grown into a mega portal used by real estate firms and multiple listing services across the country.

    Among other things, Homesnaps technology allows you to take a photo with your mobile device of any house and instantly be shown all its pertinent details: size, number of bedrooms and baths, property taxes, school district, asking price if its for sale and even its estimated value if its not, said the Herald. The idea is to give buyers and sellers a better online search experience than the one provided by companies such as Zillow, where agents spend beaucoup bucks promoting their listings.

    Homesnap also sorts listings according to the users search data instead of clouding them with featured or paid listing.


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    An Effective Home Listing Can Get Your Place Sold

    You may not have thought much about your real estate listing, but its a critical piece of the home-selling pie. Getting it wrong may not necessarily cost you a sale if your home is well-priced, located in a hot area, and you have great listing photos. But it could help you attract the right buyers if done well.

    If youre working with a good, experienced real estate agent, they are probably already following these tips and, if not, it might be time for another agent. Which brings us to our first tip:

    Listen to your real estate agent

    There are numerous applications for this, but, the most important oneand one that has the biggest potential to attract or repel potential buyersis your listing price. Its common practice for sellers to disagree on the price of their home. No one want to sell for less than they think their home is worth or what they think they can get.nbsp;

    Trusting in your agents pricing strategy is important. Dont be surprised if the recommended price comes back with a 9 in it. There is a psychology to this.nbsp;

    When cruising the aisles at the grocery store, ever notice how many prices end in 99s? Thats no accident. This strategy is callednbsp;charm pricingnbsp;and >

    nbsp;The other reason is more practical. If your buyer has to stay under 450,000 for their home purchase, your place will show up in their search.

    Watch your words

    Cozy means small. Assume your buyeror your buyers agenthas looked at the square footage. You dont need to remind them your house is the size of a shoebox. Charming could means lots of thingsin need of updates, probably not done to the buyers taste, or, the kiss of death, interesting. A term like great potential will likely make the buyer think a deal can be had because the home is in need of a serious makeover.

    Carefully choose which features to mention

    Some could be more valuable than others. Mentioning certain home featuresnbsp;like professional appliances, wine cellar, steam shower and waterfall countertop can boost sales prices from 24 to 34, saidnbsp;SFGate.

    Think about the area

    It may turn out that your buyer is hyperlocal, but many experts advise that sellers focus on out-of-area prospects. Even a buyer from 10 minutes away many not be aware that there are 12 community parks, 20 miles of trails, and four museums in the area.nbsp;

    Be creative

    Especially if youre in a market with a lot of listings in your price range, its important for your listing to stand out. Look at typical real estate ads and you will notice they tend to be similar and boring, said SFGate. How would you react if you read an ad among 24 others that is in capital letters and says, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? 12 Acres of Wooded Land for HOW MUCH? If you were looking for raw land, would you click on it?nbsp;

    Write an effective headline

    Your house has to make a great first impression to attract buyers, and so does your listing. This isnt a time to be boring.

    Check for errors

    Every couple weeks or so we see a listing with a glaring error in the price of a home for sale such as one that makes a 300,000 home look like its listed for 3,000 or even 3,000,000. And thats not the only easy mistake to make.nbsp;

    For example, if your house is listed on Polar Lane when it is actually on Poplar, your place may never be found, even if it is turnkey and well priced, said thenbsp;Los Angeles Times. The same holds true if the school district is incorrect, the ZIP Code is wrong, the number of bedrooms is misstated or the map coordinates are inaccurate.nbsp;


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    3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home in Winter

    However, you need to take several key factors into consideration when home shopping during the holiday season or after. Here are three tips that will help you pick the right house and avoid serious problems in the future.nbsp;

    1. Find Issues Beneath the Snow and Ice with a Home Inspectionnbsp;


    Image Source: Pixabaynbsp;

    A blanket of snow or ice on a home can hide serious problems, which is why its vital that you schedule a professional home inspection before you make any solid commitments. You might not be a home expert, so checking the place out with a naked eye wont work.nbsp;

    A professional home inspector will provide you with the opportunity to address any problems before closing on the house - or steer you away from a bad house enti>

    • Nearly 20 percent of home inspectors found problems with the roofnbsp;
    • 18.7 percent found at least one issue with the electrical systemnbsp;
    • 18.4 percent found problems with the windows
    • 13.6 percent discovered issues with the plumbing systemnbsp;
    • 12.2 percent found issues with the water heater

    Whether you use the inspection as a contingency in your contract or as a sign that the home isnt for you, its certainly worth having that information as you make your big decision.nbsp;

    2. Note Signs That Could Indicate Heating/Insulation Problemsnbsp;


    Image Source: Unsplash

    One good thing about home shopping during the winter months is that you can easily determine how well a home is retaining its heat - or how poorly.nbsp;

    For example, if you note long icicles hanging from the edge of a roof, it could be a sign that the roof isnt properly insulated. Your roof is losing heat, which melts the snow and ice above, causing icicles to form. Similarly, if you feel cold air streaming in through closed windows or cracks in shut doors, you know that youre looking at a home that needs some work.nbsp;

    Even if the home does seem to have proper installation, take note of its warmth and how updated its heating system is. You dont want to move in only to find out you need an enti>

    The good news is you dont have to be an expert when examining a homes heating system. However, youll definitely want to check out a comprehensive furnace guide with information on inspections and replacements.nbsp;

    3. Look for Signs of Household Pests


    Image Source: Pixabay

    Pests problems can be especially bad in the winter. As the weather gets colder, critters like mice, bats, racoons, snakes, and insects can sneak indoors to stay warm. In fact, rodents alone invade an estimated 21 million American homes every winter according to the National Pest Management Association.

    This is why its vital that you take a good look at the basement and attic of the home.nbsp;

    Droppings, small holes in the walls, and smells can be surface level indicators of pest problems. However, you need to get a pest control service in the house to look for more discreet signs of infestations.nbsp;

    Pest control can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the infestation. Even if there are no immediate signs of problems, an expert will be able to tell you if the home has any vulnerabilities that could open the door for unwanted pests in the future.nbsp;

    Like we said, winter can be a good time to buy a home. Theres less competition with other buyers and sellers can be more motivated to strike a bargain.nbsp;

    However, dont let those opportunities steer you away from doing due diligence on your inspections of the house. Everything from the heating and plumbing systems should be thoroughly examined for signs of weakness - or expensive repairs.nbsp;

    As long as you check everything out before signing any contracts, you should be in good shape to purchase a great home during the winter months, even with snow and ice plaguing the marketnbsp;


    Amy McConaghy is >
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    6 Things That Happen When You Become a Homeowner

    You learn what pride of ownership means

    You may take pride in your car and your clothes and other minor possessions, but nothing compares to the feeling of being a homeowner. Buying your first place is an accomplishment, and you get to come home to that accomplishment every day.nbsp;

    Youll have more peace of mind

    Once you have moved into your new home, unpacked, and taken a breath, youll have that momentthat moment where you realize, This is mine. Thankfully, that moment is repeated regularly. Youll have it when you look at your countertops and realize you can redo them any way you want. And when you decide to get a dog and dont have to ask permission. And when you want to paint your wallsany color you choose.

    Youll obsess over paint colors

    Speaking of paint colors, get ready to spend hour after hour at Home Depot gathering dozens and dozens of paint chips. Even if you just want a fresh coat of white on the walls, its easier said than done. There are hundreds and hundreds of white paints available, and most of them are considered white, saidnbsp;The Spruce. This makes choosing a plain white paint color nearly impossible.nbsp;

    You learn skills youd never imagine

    Soon you may be able to snake a toilet, tile a backsplash, and refinish your floors. Yes, there are people you can hire for these tasks, and all the others youll want and need to do in your home over the years, but it can be so much more satisfyingand cost-effectivewhen you do it yourself.

    If youre on a strict budget after buying your first home, youll likely also have to learn how to care for your lawn. Get those edging skills down

    You start prioritizing differently

    Oooh, that skirt is so cute. But if you buy it, youll want the shirt and the jacket and the boots, and the jewelry, and, before you know it, youve spent half the money it would take to update your fireplace.

    You start investing in yourself

    When you put money and sweat equity into your home, youre impacting its value. Thats an investment in your home, but its also an investment in you and your future.nbsp;


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    Why The Seating Arrangement At HOA Meetings Is So Important

    There are lessons to be learned from this age-old experience that can be applied to homeowner associations. HOAs have both Board and Homeowner Meetings and both formats demand very different seating considerations.

    Board meetings are designed to transact regular business for the care and welfare of often millions of dollars of community assets. As such, they should be held at places and times conducive to business. Meetings held in someones home prove challenging.

    At Home Board Meetings. Always remember that owners are entitled to attend Board meetings as an audience, not participants in the discussion or voting. There should be adequate seating for a reasonable number of them. If meetings are held in tiny quarters with room only for the Board, guests are effectively shut out and the impression is that they arent welcome. Seek the most spacious home available to accommodate both Board and guests.

    Avoid using living rooms except for guest seating. Its very difficult to juggle papers or take notes while sitting in a Lazy Boy. Meetings should be held at a table large enough to spread out agendas, reports and other papers without having to continually shuffle the stack. If using a kitchen table, remove everything except meeting items. Turn off home and cell phones during the meeting since the ringing always disrupts the discussion and pulls someone away from the business at hand.

    If there is a table head, the board president should sit there and direct the meeting. The head of the table is the historical place of authority and there is no reason to buck tradition. The secretary taking minutes should sit at the opposite end of the table so all directors can be more easily seen and heard. Guests should not sit at the meeting table since this is an invitation to actively participate in the business.

    Avoid the temptation to have the Board face the guests as a "panel". This seating format also invites participation from the guests and makes it difficult for the Board to talk amongst itself.

    Formal Board Meetings. Ideally, the Board should meet at a location that is designed for meetings. Basics include a large conference table, good lighting, bathrooms, temperature control and room for guests. If none exists in your association, seek out meeting rooms in area community centers, libraries and churches. They may be closer and cheaper than you think. There are a number of advantages to moving "out of the kitchen" into a formal meeting place. The distraction potential is enormously reduced: no phones, food, TV, kids, dogs and neighbors. The business meeting takes on a true "business" nature. Folks are less likely to linger in this environment or get into protracted discussions. As with home meetings, seating should be adequate for both Board and guests.

    Annual HOA Meetings. These meetings should be carefully choreographed. Always hold them in a formal meeting facility large enough to accommodate all owners. Owners normally sit gallery >

    Meeting seating is critical when it comes to getting things accomplished efficiently. Set your sites for successful meetings and, dont forget to check your swords at the door.

    For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, subscribe to www.Regenesis.net


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    5 Landscaping Tasks That Increase the Value of Your Home

    You dont have to rip out everything and start over. Its easy enough to make some simple enhancements. A general rule of thumb is to spend 5 to 10 of the value of your home on landscaping improvements. You can reduce these costs by doing some of the work yourself.

    Here are five landscaping trends sure to increase the value of your home.

    1. Clean It Up

    Over the years, our yards get overgrown. Like us, they need regular haircuts. The first task? Remove any dead or wilted trees and bushes and replace them with drought-resistant, native plants, or create a mulch bed in their place. Be sure to prune overgrown trees and shrubs, and cut away low branches. Remove old rusted metal edging and install new metal or plastic edging around areas where the grass meets rocks or mulch. Be sure to use rounded edging to keep pet paws safe.

    2. Keep It Low Maintenance

    You want a yard that works for you, not one youll have to spend hours working on. A few simple tips can make your yard easy to maintain.

    Plant perennial flowers that will return every year.
    Install a sprinkler system or automated soaker hoses.
    Cover more areas with pavers or hardscape to cut down on mowing time.
    Avoid messy trees that drop leaves, needles, and berries. Consider arborvitae trees that can grow up to 50 feet tall, need little pruning, and stay green year-round.

    3. Grow a Privacy Fence

    Watching your neighbors parade around their backyard in their pajamas on a Saturday morning is less than ideal. Create some privacy by planting trees or shrubs that keep your views inside your yard. Choose native plants within your plant hardiness zone that are easier to maintain and need less water. Buy bigger plants rather than waiting for the smaller ones to mature enough to create a privacy fence. This way youll need fewer plants and save time digging in the yard. Pro tip: Vary the types of plants to avoid losing them all to the same type of disease or pest. Stagger different kinds of plantings, such as deciduous shrubs, evergreens, and perennial grasses, in small groupings to create a natural privacy fence. For the prospective buyer, variety offers attractive sightlines and a greater variety of heights and colors.

    4. Bring Your Indoors Outside

    Once youve established some privacy, youre ready to create an outdoor oasis. If your budget allows, install an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, refrigerator, and a TV to help keep the party going into the backyard. Add comfortable seating with fluffy cushions for cozying up to a good book on a warm, sunny day. Close in your outdoor space in a gazebo or pergola, which serves to frame the open-air room while offering shade. Adding outdoor-rated carpet and throw pillows will create an inviting indoor feeling outside, perfect for entertaining on a Saturday evening or for sipping coffee on a Sunday morning.

    5. Create a Focal Point

    Your yard is like any room inside your home. Consider a focal point that immediately draws the eye. A koi pond, Zen garden, fountain, or an outdoor fireplace are also great gathering places for guests.nbsp;

    Fashioning your backyard and lawn into an appealing and well-kept retreat expands the "liveable" space in your home. Think of it as an investment. Youre adding an extra room to your home, without adding additional walls. Creating a greener, more trendy landscape will pay off when its time to sell, by putting more green in your pocket.


    Rose Stanford is a former real estate agent who enjoys fixing up and staging older homes. Her specialty is renovating backyards and patios.


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    6 Best Reasons to Invest in Pre-Construction Condos

    In regards to condo occupancy rates, there are nearly 2 million people in Canada who made a condo their new home in 2016. Due to the newfound demand for pre-construction condos in Canada, the number of construction projects in the country has also risen accordingly. Here, our focus will be on new condos for sale in North York, and why you should consider investing in pre-construction condos in Canada.

    What is a condo?

    A condo is a dwelling or building that has been divided or subdivided into multiple housing units. Each unit within the building is then sold off on an individual basis to individual investors or owners. Every owner within the condominium complex has a share of land ownership upon which the condo was erected.

    Reasons to Invest in a Pre-Construction Condo

    One of the chief benefits of investing in a pre-construction condo is that you will have an opportunity to invest less money initially, while also getting more for your money in the future. In other words, if you decide to invest in a condominium during the pre-construction phase, then you will be able to maximize your return on investment.

    The purchase price for a pre-construction condo will be lower than the current price of a condo that has already been fully built. Once the pre-construction condo is finalized, you will be able to reap the benefits of your investment and patience rather quickly.nbsp;

    While there is some risk involved in investing in a project that has yet to be finished, more often than not, the benefits mitigate any risks that are involved. Another advantage of investing in a pre-construction condo is that there is very little maintenance involved.

    Of course, poor craftsmanship, which may involve cutting corners to cut costs, may force you to make repairs quickly, which is why it is important to perform the necessary due diligence to ensure that you are getting quality for your investment.

    Instant equity is yet another benefit of investing in a pre-construction condo, as you will get the opportunity to enjoy instant equity as soon as you invest. That means that even before construction takes place once you have the required paperwork, the condo is as good as yours.

    Furthermore, you can also enjoy some unique tax benefits by investing in a pre-construction condo. For example, did you know that only 50 of all capital gains are taxable in this country? You will be able to deduct quite a bit of your costs from your taxes, including but not limited to, unit depreciation, property taxes, and even mortgage interest.

    You will also be able to enjoy an extended deposit structure by investing your hard-earned cash into a new pre-construction condo project. In other words, the deposit, which may range from 15 to 20, will usually be spread out. Also, it should be noted that you can own a pre-construction condo and not have to worry about it being shown on your credit bureau as well.nbsp;

    Thanks in part to the extended deposit structure that is involved in pre-construction condo projects, you will have ample time to save your money. The time it will take to complete the project, which may take several years in some cases, will also allow you to save enough money to purchase without any financial issues on your end.

    In addition, if you are worried that all of your money will be tied up into the initial purchase cost, then you can rest assured that you wont have to worry about investing in any renovations for quite some time. Given the fact that the condo is brand new, you likely wont have to worry about having to renovate the unit for at least a decade.

    This is in stark contrast to many older condo units, some of which have been occupied for several decades. In the unlikely event that you do notice something wrong with the new unit, you can call the builders to notify them that something is structurally wrong. More often than not, your builders will be more than happy to rectify any structural issues free of charge.

    Investing in a Pre-Construction Condo

    As can be seen, there are many benefits to investing your money in a pre-construction condo in Canada. Given the fact that even a common townhouse can cost upwards of one million dollars in many parts of Ontario, more and more people have opted for the far more affordable solution, which is investing in a condo project instead.


    nbsp;

    Monica Benoit is a blogger in Toronto.nbsp;She is currently working as a community manager fornbsp;Your Condos. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.


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    Tips for Designing a Great Home Office

    Lighting

    Natural lighting is preferable in most cases, making a working area near a window ideal. In many instances, daylight hours are limited, so consider investing in a task light. Should it be impossible to set up a workspace near a window, there are light sources available that replicate natural light. When arranging lighting, remember that placing an overhead light directly above a computer screen or setting the screen opposite to a light source increases the glare and should be avoided. The office space should have ample lighting, while taking care to include the ability for the worker to control the lights intensity.

    Equipment and Ergonomics

    When picking out your office equipment, it is imperative that you focus on its function. For instance, you could choose a working table with nothing more than a lap drawer for supplies if you do not need more storage, or you might opt for a larger desk complete with drawers and space for storing files. It is recommended that you choose an office chair that supports the lower back, and keeps your elbows and knees at a 90-degree angle. Screens should be at eye level and arms length. There are plenty of desk organizers on which unattended tasks can be stored to prevent disorganized piles which impede a persons productivity.

    You should choose office equipment that does not compromise on your overall safety and health. Serious long-term health problems can be avoided if you make your office space and equipment as ergonomic as possible right from the onset. Keeping in mind that you will be spending a lot of your time working, personalize your office space to what you would prefer and make it as friendly to your body as possible.

    Minimize Distractions

    Whether youre trying to study for the MCAT, taking an online course, or just working from home, privacy cannot be overemphasized. Its crucial that you are able retreat to a private area, preferably with a door, to minimize distractions and interruptions. Though headphones can be a temporary solution, continual use of headphones tends to have diminishing returns as time goes on. You can also achieve a sense of privacy by the erecting divider walls. To further cut down on distractions, consider installing low-noise fans and air filters, which are less noisy than most.

    The Layout

    One thing people often overlook is equipment cables. Consider talking to your office designer about integrating a way to hide cables that are not only an eyesore but also increase the likelihood of accidents. Adequate electrical outlets should also be included and the equipment layout left open for any alterations in the future. Ease of access to anything you will need as you work is essential. Should you be space-challenged, you could invest in all-in-one equipment to provide required functionality while occupying less space.

    If youre running a business from home or using your home office for school and studying, make sure you make the space large enough to accommodate meetings with at least one other person.

    When designing a home workspace, remember to work within your budget and purchase equipment that perfectly suits the size of your work space. Design the office area to reflect your >


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