15 Oct

Kitchen updates that make an impact


Posted by: Jessie Lavoie

Looking to do some renovations or remodelling of your home before you sell to get the highest sale price possible? Updating the kitchen is where you will get the most bang for your buck. It can get costly, but if you are smart about it, and make a lot more little changes then one big change, it can make the world of difference!

Here are some things you might want to consider updating:


Faucets can set the tone of your kitchen. They establish the style of the kitchen instantly. Consider a lever faucet for a more sleek and modern look.


Add light to your kitchen. It can be anything from pot lights, a new hanging fixture to give it that elegance or simply new efficient LED bulbs to ensure it is a bright space. Electrical work can always be costly, but it is one task that will add tremendous value.


Give your cabinet’s new jewelry. Instead of replacing the entire cabinet, look at simply adding a more sophisticated handle to them, even giving them a nice sanding and paint job can do the world of difference. Cabinets are one of those things, that you can seriously save some coin by taking on the task yourself and making it a fun DIY project. You will be happy you did!


Adding a tiled backsplash to your kitchen is the easiest to way to completely change the look of your kitchen. Whether it be a subtle textured tile, or a bright and impactful tile to make a statement, it is a sure way to spice up your kitchen.


This may seem like a no brainer, but a simple updated paint job can give it that clean sophisticated look.

Happy updating!!!


Jessie Lavoie
Dominion Lending Centres Valley Financial


7 Oct

Avoid common mistakes when purchasing a home


Posted by: Jessie Lavoie

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting times of your life, along with the most stressful time! Here are 5 common mistakes for you to avoid when buying a home.

1. Do not, go over budget

This may seem like a no brainer. However you would be surprised how many clients I work with that have a budget of X amount of dollars, and find something they absolutely love but just can’t afford, yet buy it anyways!! It’s like buying a new car, you never test drive a car you know you can’t afford.

10,000-20,000 extra in purchase price can make a huge difference. When you are purchasing a home you don’t tend to look at what life may throw at you. Always consider, that the reality is, life happens, and you need to be prepared for when it does. A good rule to follow is the 50/20/30 guideline. 50 % of your monthly take away income goes towards fixed costs, meaning bills that are the same and expected every month. (Phone bill, car insurance, gym membership, mortgage or rent payment, utilities etc.) 20% of your monthly take away income should be towards your financial goals. Now this is different for everyone, if you have debt you need to pay down. This should go towards that. If you have no debt, this should go directly into a savings account. And lastly, 30% of your monthly take away income goes towards flexible spending, this is spending that varies from month to month, such as groceries, gas, entertainment, meals out etc.


2. Factor in added costs when buying a home, forgetting this can be a huge mistake!

 The first 6 months tend to be the hardest when moving into a new home. The reason is, you are not simply replacing your rental payment for your mortgage payment. There are initial lawyer fees, property tax, start up cable costs etc. Factor in every single cost in order to make your budget, and not simply what the mortgage payment will be.


3. Do not skip the inspection!

 Yes it is an added cost, however…what could be worse, is finding out it’s a leaky condo 5 years down the road and getting a bill of 20K. Have the inspection for peace of mind and to ensure you are living in a safe and sturdy home. Keep in mind, if there are minor repairs that need to be done, you may be able to negotiate the purchase price in order to factor in repair costs.


4. Get everything in writing and read the fine print!

 Again, this one may seem like a no brainer but be sure that this step is not skipped. Although you have a mortgage broker, realtor and lawyer working on your behalf, you need to be aware of the entire process, the realtor may read something and think it is not problem, where as you read it and you are not happy with it….everyone’s perception is different. You are spending too much money to not have everything on paper and the fine print read.


5. Do not put down a nominal down payment

 Now this one is different for each person. Yes it is in your best interest to put the most money down you can in order to save on insurance premiums and have your best chance at getting the best mortgage product and interest rate. However, I know that is not the case for everyone. If you are not capable, that is no problem. But if you are, a big mistake is clients will have 50K saved in the bank and only put 15K down. The problem with that, is you are now paying possibly 10k or even more on insurance premiums, so you are better off using that 50K and putting it straight into your biggest investment….your home!!!