Category Archives: beachfront properties

WATCH: Why Being Near Water Could Be the Key to Happiness, According to Research

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Even daydreaming about traveling off to a faraway island, where the sand is warm, and the water is crystal-clear blue can give people a sense of calm. So, this should make it no surprise that actually sitting next to a pristine body of water actually does come with some pretty fantastic well-being benefits.

According to best-selling author and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, merely being close to a body of water, be it sea, river, lake, or ocean, promotes mental health and happiness. And he wrote all about it in his book, Blue Mind.

“The term ‘blue mind’ describes the mildly meditative state we fall into when near, in, on or under water,” Nichols told USA Today in 2017. “It’s the antidote to what we refer to as ‘red mind,’ which is the anxious, over-connected and over-stimulated state that defines the new normal of modern life.”

As Nichols noted, research proves his theory that being near water can help us all achieve “an elevated and sustained happiness.”

That elevated level of happiness happens because, according to Nichols, water helps in “lowering stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safe, better workouts. Aquatic therapists are increasingly looking to the water to help treat and manage PTSD, addiction, anxiety disorders, autism and more.”

Perhaps this is why we are all willing to pay more for a house along the water, or a room with an ocean view.

Moreover, being near water can increase our creativity, including our conversational abilities. But, being near water doesn’t only help us during our waking hours. It can help us in our sleep, too.

“There is some research that says people may sleep better when they are adjacent to nature,” W. Christopher Winter, M.D., author of The Sleep Solution, told Conde Nast Traveler. “No wonder sleep machines always feature the sounds of rain, the ocean, or a flowing river.”

And this gift of Mother Nature’s to soothe us all with a simple drop of water is precisely why Nichols believes it’s so important to protect this precious gift.

Source: SouthernLiving.com – By Stacey Leasca July 19, 2018

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Here’s what $1.8 million will get you in Charlottetown

This 1939 home on the Charlottetown Harbour is known as the George DeBlois House, named for its first owner, the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. It has 200 feet of waterfront, and magnificent views of Victoria Park and out along the protected waters of the harbour. This grand home sits on a little over half an acre, with a lovely semi-circular columned verandah on which to sit and watch the marine activities.

Key details:
• 5,431 sq. ft.
• 6 bedrooms, 4 baths
• $1,800,000
• MLS ID # 201621143
• Joe Lisi, Century 21 Colonial Realty, 902-393-4735
• See the Century 21 listing here

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The 20×18-foot formal dining room features built-in china cabinets and a niche for the sideboard, as well as a window bench. Notice the deep mouldings and trim throughout the house.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The living room, at 20×25-feet, is spacious enough for large parties, but seating areas can be arranged to make it feel more intimate, such as, say, just a tête-à-tête around the fireplace, with its hand-carved mantel.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

Just look at that window bench. This bedroom has wood floors in immaculate condition, and more closet space than was the norm in 1939.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

A second-floor sunroom leads off this large bedroom, which sports another of the home’s fireplaces.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

A boardwalk runs along the edge of the waterfront, while rocks protect the shoreline from erosion in winter.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The porch is a comfy spot for sitting in out of the sun and catching up on a good book. Little children (or dogs) can be corralled here for safety’s sake, while the rest of the terrace is open and features another seating area open to the sun.

Century 21 Colonial Realty

The house is a Charlottetown landmark, with its elegant façade and imposing demeanour. Its proximity to downtown means it’s just a few minutes’ walk to cafés, restaurants, shops and services.

Watch the video here…

Source: National Post Shari Kulha | October 13, 2016 | 

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Hurricane Matthew: Before it hits, take these insurance precautions

AP HURRICANE MATTHEW NORTH CAROLINA A WEA USA NC

America hasn’t seen a storm as strong as Hurricane Matthew in a decade, and the damages could be epic. The Consumer Federation of America predicts as many as 100,000 insurance claims for wind damage, and payouts for damages likely will exceed $7.4 billion.

As residents board up windows and stock up on bottled water, if they have time to safely do so, they should also consider preparing for the possibility that they soon could be facing an insurance claim.

Before the storm

The CFA offers these three tips:

  • Locate your homeowners or renters policy, and make sure it’s in a safe place where you can reach it after the storm.
  • Review your policy to find out how and where to report a claim.
  • If possible, document your belongings with photos or a video tour.

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America also recommends a thorough documentation. A home inventory can be vital to ensure you get the most out of your insurance policy, said Don Griffin, vice president of personal lines for PCIAA.

“You see your stuff every day, but if you don’t have a picture or a video of it, you won’t remember,” Griffin said.

PCIAA recommends using a smartphone to supplement an inventory with photos and videos inside the home. You should save your inventory in a disaster-proof form, such as email or cloud-based note-taking services.

The more detailed the list, the better, said Joshua Butts, owner of Cornerstone Insurance in Tampa. That means tallying the contents of drawers and the make and model of furniture, TVs and other big-ticket electronics. A detailed list gets an owner more money back in a loss, and they get it back more quickly, Butts said — instead of dickering over the exact nature of lost items, insurers have the lists, photos and videos right before them.

“What you document is what you get back,” Butts said.

In addition to documenting your possessions, keep track of any expenses you incur to mitigate damage, like boarding up windows, because they may covered.

After the storm

The CFA recommends that you:

  • Report your claim as soon as possible, because they’re usually handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Be sure to get a claim number and write it down. It’s the quickest and easiest way for insurance companies to locate your file.
  • Keep good records of anything you spend to make immediate repairs to secure your home. Also keep receipts for hotels or meals if you can’t return home right away after the storm.

After you file your claim

  • Immediately start a notebook with all contact information of the people you deal with from your insurance company, the CFA recommends. List the date, time and topic of conversations. Note any problems, as well. Documentation is key to resolving problems later.
  • Get a repair estimate from a local contractor you trust to use as a guide in talking with the insurance adjuster.

And, finally, if you’re considering skipping filing a claim because you’re worried about future premium hikes or policy cancellations, don’t.

“You’ve paid your premium and are entitled to coverage,” the CFA wrote in a release. “If you have a legitimate claim, do not hesitate to file it.”

Source: , USA TODAY8:13 a.m. EDT October 7, 2016

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Mike Holmes: How to control mould in your home, whether it’s visible or not

If mould in your home covers an area more than 10 sq. ft., or if there’s sewage involved, bring in a professional remediation company. Any surface with over 10 sq. ft. of mould should  be cleaned by licensed professionals.

Mould can present a serious health issue and it can also eat away at building materials, insulation and support structures. Unfortunately, homes and the materials inside them can provide the right food source and the right conditions for mould to grow. It’s important to know what to do if you detect mould in your home.

Mould needs an organic food source to grow, such as drywall, wood, paper, carpet, grout, wallpaper and fabrics — the kinds of materials you find in most homes. It also needs moisture and warmer temperatures.

Areas in the home where mould tends to grow include the basement, bathrooms, walls, ceiling corners, the attic, crawl spaces and on windowsills. If you live somewhere humid, the garage can also be place for mould to thrive. When you do your seasonal maintenance, make sure to check these areas for mould.

There are thousands of different types of mould. It can be green, black, yellow, white, even pink and, depending on the conditions, a single type of mould spore can be any number of colours.

It’s extremely difficult for homeowners to detect what type of mould is growing in their home and whether or not that type of mould poses a danger to their health.

A lot of people are sensitive to mould spores; they may trigger allergy and asthma symptoms when inhaled. Typically, the mould found in homes is not toxic, but it can still present a health risk. There’s no real standard for a mould level that is ‘OK’ or ‘safe’ — every individual reacts differently to mould.

According to a Mayo Clinic study conducted in 1999, 93 per cent of chronic sinusitis cases were attributed to mould. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may be more sensitive to the effects of mould exposure. If anyone in your home is experiencing headaches, sinus problems, sore throats or other respiratory symptoms, speak to your doctor. The cause could be mould.

If the mould in your home covers an area
more than 10 square feet, or if there’s sewage involved,
bring in a professional remediation company.

In most cases, you can tell if your house has mould by its musty smell and black stains. Other signs include water damage and black mould around baseboards, walls and ceilings. If there is a musty smell in your home but you can’t see any stains, mould could be behind your walls. In that case, I recommend having a certified professional home inspection done that includes thermal imaging, and possibly an indoor air quality assessment that includes mould testing.

If you find a small amount of mould that covers an area 10 square feet or less, you can typically remove it yourself. Use a solution of strong soap or detergent and water. I use a product that is non-toxic, anti-microbial, requires no scrubbing and kills mould at the root, not just the surface. Whatever you use, remember to wear the proper protective gear, such as goggles or safety eyewear, a mask and gloves, and keep the area well ventilated. And do not use bleach! Not only is bleach toxic, but the mould will come back anyway.

If the mould in your home covers an area more than 10 square feet, or if there’s sewage involved, bring in a professional remediation company.

If you bring in a professional, do your homework and ask the right questions. What are their credentials? What training have they gone through? What kind of professional accreditation do they have? Do they have references? Mould remediation is a fairly new industry, and like anything new, it’s the frontier. To make sure the job will be done right, find someone with Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

The best way to get rid of mould is to control the moisture in the house and remove the mould. It could be something you can remove yourself, or you might have to bring in a professional. If you’re not sure, hire a professional, because when it comes to your health, it’s not worth the risk.

Source:  Mike Holmes, Special to National Post | May 28, 2016 | Watch Mike Holmes in his series, Holmes Makes It Right, on HGTV. For more information, visit makeitright.ca.

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What to know about getting a U.S. mortgage

Obtaining financing for a U.S. purchase, such as these condos in North Miami, with a mortgage is more attractive now that the loonie has sunk value. (Janice Pinto/The Globe and Mail)

Although Canadians and Americans share the same continent, live across from one another on the world’s longest undefended border and speak, mainly, the same language, there is one undeniable geographical advantage that the United States possesses in abundance: year-round warm weather locales.

This has led many Canadians to think about buying a property in a U.S. hot spot.

The bad news for those buying now includes the precipitous dive in the loonie compared with the U.S. greenback and a rise in home prices in the United States since the market bottom of 2010-11.

With affordability tilting away from Canadian buyers of U.S. property, it has made the traditional all-cash purchase (the way four-fifths of Canadians have paid in the past) less attractive and made taking out a mortgage to finance a purchase a much more desirable option, says Alain Forget, director of sales and business development with RBC Bank, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada.

“It is not a great time for Canadians to pay cash for a U.S. home,” says Mr. Forget, who is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“In the past, many Canadians have used cash to buy their U.S. home. However that means using the equity in your Canadian home, cashing out investments or using your savings. With any of these options you’ll have to exchange your Canadian dollars for U.S. dollars, significantly reducing the cash you have to buy your U.S. home.”

Obtaining financing for a purchase with a mortgage means that buyers are not exchanging weak loonies for expensive greenbacks. Mortgages are also attractive given the low interest-rate environment and a Canadian dollar that will remain weak “at least through 2017.”

For Canadians seeking a mortgage in the United States, there are a number of key differences to consider.

– It takes longer. It can take just a few days to apply for and obtain a mortgage in Canada. In the United States, it might take 45 to 60 days to complete the process.

– More documents are required. Getting a U.S. mortgage requires different documentation than in Canada because of different regulatory requirements. For most U.S. mortgages, more than 10 documents are required compared to less than five in Canada, according to RBC.

– There are more fees. Buyers can expect to pay 3 to 5 per cent in fees because of third-party expenses such as property appraisal, titles and certain insurance requirements.

– Interest is calculated differently. U.S. fixed-rate mortgages are compounded monthly whereas in Canada they can be compounded semi-annually for a fixed-rate mortgage and monthly or at the payment frequency for a variable-rate mortgage.

– Down payments are bigger. A down payment of at least 20 per cent of the value of the home is now the U.S. standard. It can fluctuate, however, based on whether the home is a primary residence, second home or an investment property.

– Amortization is longer. Now extinct in Canada, the 30-year mortgage is alive and well in the United States, with the option of locking in rates over that span, a situation all but unheard of in Canada.

“U.S. mortgage products provide much longer rate terms including up to 30 years at very low rates,” says Miles Zimbaluk, director of business development with Canada to Arizona, an organization that helps Canadians who are visiting or living in the Southwest state.

“In Canada, you can obtain a 25-year term rate but rates are much higher, persuading people to nearly always choose one- to five-year term rates.”

He notes that the Canadian buyers are in the main getting younger, which means that more of them are likely to be seeking mortgages rather than putting down cash for purchases.

“We still see a lot of retiree snowbirds buying in Arizona but we are also seeing a lot of younger buyers,” says the mortgage broker, whose company assists Canadian buyers to get in touch with realtors, mortgage lenders and brokers.

“Many are buying vacation homes younger in life either as an investment to take advantage of the still lower priced U.S. real estate, or because they can use the property today and work remotely and enjoy more time abroad before retirement.”

Calgary-based executive Evelyn Studer, who owns three properties in Phoenix, paid cash in every case, although for her most recent purchase, she was turned down for a U.S. mortgage because it was a rental property. “But I could get a mortgage or home equity line of credit on the one house I will be using” as her residence in that state.

So she obtained a U.S. home equity line of credit, which she used to build a pool and make other improvements to her property.

“That was actually a very simple process and not much different than getting a home equity line of credit here in Canada. They just needed a letter of guarantee from my company regarding my present employment amount and title, my last two years tax returns and some financial information on my assets and liabilities.”

Source: Globe and Mail  PAUL BRENT Special to The Globe and Mail Published Friday, Mar. 18, 2016

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5 surreal wonders to explore near Toronto

Bruce Peninsula Grotto

Ontario is a province packed with natural wonders and surreal places to explore. Alas, for many of us, the drive way north to Thunder Bay and beyond is too daunting for a mere weekend trip. Fortunately, there are some out-of-this-world places within a reasonable drive of Toronto. From waterfalls to grottos, there’s plenty to astound within a short trip of the city.

Here are five surreal wonders to explore near Toronto.

The Grotto at Bruce Peninsula Park
It takes a bit of work to access the Grotto at Bruce Peninsula Park, but is it ever worth it. Carved out over Millenia by the waves of Georgian Bay, the cave is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Sunlight illuminates the interior water, which takes on an impossibly cerulean tone. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

natural wonders torontoCheltenham Badlands
Access to the Badlands themselves was restricted last spring as a plan is hatched to protect this natural wonder while also allowing the public to enjoy it as much as possible. Even though you can’t walk on them for the foreseeable future, the drive around the Badlands remains breathtaking. At less than an hour from Toronto, it still very much worth the trip.

Tews Falls

Tews Falls
The Hamilton area is blessed with numerous dramatic waterfalls, but my top choice is always Tews Falls. Not only is it just 10 metres shy of the height of Niagara Falls, the dome-like setting makes for a surreal setting that feels more Amazonian than it does Hamiltonian. You can also check out the nearby Webster Falls while in the area.

Bon Echo Park

Bon Echo Provincal Park
The Mazinaw Pictographs are located on a soaring 100 metre cliff at Bon Echo Provinicial park that’s stunning enough in its own right. Close exploration reveals over 260 pictographs spread across the rock face, which make it one of the largest collections of its kind in Ontario. There’s also a dedication to Walt Whitman carved into the rock almost a century ago.

Bonnechere cavesBonnechere Caves
Ontario isn’t exactly short on caves, but few match Bonnechere for pure aesthetics. This is a photographer’s playground, with layered rock walls shaped by millions of years of erosion. The cave system is quite extensive, which allows you to explore the fossilized passageways for hours.

Source: BlogTo.com Derek Flack / FEBRUARY 26, 2016

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How to Sell Your Property in Jamaica?

How to Sell Your Property in Jamaica?

Selling a property in Jamaica, can be a scary process, if you do not have the right Real Estate Professional by your side. Thank God, I am here to assist you!

When selling real estate, every owner wants the same thing – the best possible price with the least amount of hassle and aggravation. Doing business in today’s real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as: real estate marketing, financing, negotiation and closing – all of which I possess.

HOW DOES THE SALE PROCESS WORK?

  • All you need to do is pick up the phone and give me a call at 1-876-862-5848. I can also be contacted via whatsapp, text messaging, email atp.roper@century21jm.com My website at www.paulasellsjamaica My Facebook Business Page https://www.facebook.com/PaulaSellsRealEstate/ After which, I will schedule an appointment with you, at your earliest convenience, to view your property. After I have viewed your property, I will go back to my office and research your property and present you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA in the simplest of terms, is a valuation which a Professional Real Estate Agent does, which gives you a suggested price, at which to list your property for sale, by comparing your property with all the properties which have sold in recent time and which are currently on the market for sale in your area. After I present you with your CMA, I will also present you with my customized Marketing Plan for your property. This is my guideline on how, I will get your property sold, for the most amount of money, in the shortest possible time.
  • Your Marketing Plan may include, but is not limited to: newspaper advertising, magazine advertising, web-listing, social media advertising, signage, open houses, networking with other Sales Associates or real estate companies and other appropriate marketing strategies.
  • We will agree on a listing price, that will ensure that your property is competitive with others for sale in your surrounding area.
  • We will discuss the Listing Agreement and the length of the Agreement. Then we will sign to what we have agreed upon.
  • The house will need to be in “show” condition before being placed on the market, so we will also discuss what will need to be done, if anything, before your property goes up on the Multiple Listing System (MLS), where it will be syndicated to thousands of websites across the world. Our goal is to make your home as attractive as possible to prospective purchasers, which will shorten the time it will be on the market and increase the chances of us getting top dollar for your property.
  • After your house is placed on the market and we have done numerous showings to prospective purchasers and obtained an Offer to Purchase from an interested buyer. I will explain the Offers details to you and help you to negotiate the best possible price we will be able to get for your property.
  • After we have agreed on a Sales Price with the Purchasers, I will turn over all documentation to your Attorney, who will prepare a “Sales Agreement” for both you and the buyer to sign. The buyer will be required to pay a minimum deposit of 10% of the purchase price upon signing this agreement.
  • Both attorneys then begin the process of transferring the title, this includes the payment of stamp duties and transfer taxes
  • The balance of the purchasing price is due upon the closing of the sale

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SELL A PROPERTY?

  • If the buyer’s purchase is financed by a mortgage from a Jamaican financial institution, the average time to complete the sale is approximately 120 Days or 4 months from the signing of the Sales Agreement. However, please bear in mind, this is not always the case. This time frame may be extended because of situations beyond anyone’s control.
  • The period of closing for a cash purchase is determined by the buyer and the seller. However, this can be as quickly as 30-45 days depending.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SELLING A PROPERTY?

  • Government transfer taxes & registration fees (5% and 0.5% respectively of the selling price)
  • Government stamp duty (4% of the purchase price), which is shared equally between seller and buyer
  • Real Estate Sales Commission (approximately 5% to 7%)
  • Attorneys fees (approximately 3% of purchase price, or as negotiated)

I hope you found this information useful/helpful. If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached via the comments section below, LinkedIn direct message, email at p.roper@century21jm.com or whatsapp at 1-876-862-5848. Please feel free to send me a LinkedIn Invitation to connect & join my network.

Source: Paula Roper Bacchas is a Realtor Associate at Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties. Located at 31 Upper Waterloo Road, Suite 10, Kingston 10, Jamaica West Indies . You can contact me at 1-876-862-5848, Send me an Invitation to Connect on LinkedIn, Like my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PaulaSellsRealEstate/?ref=hl or visit my website at www.paulasellsjamaica.com or email at p.roper@century21jm.com

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