All posts by Jesse Ryan

The Cash Buyer – What You Need To Know

Cash is still king! All cash sales fall into many categories, the lower end of the market tends to have these types of sales. As such, it can be extremely challenging for the typical buyer to contend with the all cash offers, particularly if the market has a tight inventory. The question is who these cash buyers are and how can they be found? The answers to that and more are outlined below.

Why Now?

The reign of the cash buyer is strong due to a number of reasons. The standards of lending are extremely restrictive and in markets that have limited supply and high demand, the competition among buyers is pretty intensive. The thought is that if the payment is made in cash, it is a great advantage and it will attract the seller.

Where Is This Trend Customary?

This trend is occurring all across the nation. Though the ratio of cash sales is higher in many states (even the rural states that do not have housing problems), it tends to be more prevalent in the Midwest markets and in Florida. With approximately 65% of sales, a reduction from approximately 71% in 2012, Miami had the largest portion of buyers that paid cash. Tampa follows with 57.1% and Cleveland with 54.2%.

Who Are the All-Cash Buyers?

It can be said that they are not essentially institutional investors. Suffice it to say that they all made their purchases in the last twelve months and have left the market when the prices for homes increased. These all-cash buyers are the wealthy families that are purchasing vacation homes, the empty nesters, the baby boomers and the overseas buyers that are purchasing properties in areas like Las Vegas, New York and Miami.

How Does This Affect the Traditional Buyer?

As more cash buyers enter the market, it becomes more difficult for the traditional buyer to make offers on new listings Vancouver properties that get accepted particularly in the lower tier of the market where the inventory is limited.

A major real estate marketplace, Zillow did a study of the cash sales that were made in the top, middle and bottom third of home values. It was discovered that more than a third of the sales made on the lower priced homes in twenty seven of the thirty metros were all- cash. In fact in Miami, Detroit and Tampa, the top three in the top thirty metros, cash sales accounted for more than eighty percent of the lower tiered home sales.

The great news is that the number of homes that were bought with cash has decreased and this will help to even the playing field for lower income and first time home buyers especially in the South Granville real estate market.

How Does the Non-Cash Buyer Compete With the Cash Buyer?

To have the advantage in the Yaletown real estate market for instance, you have to be qualified to buy a home. It is best to have a job, have pre-approval, have a great credit rating and be able to make at least a twenty percent deposit. It is also best to make a very strong offer with no contingencies.

Last but not least, always try to sweeten the deal where possible on the new listings Vancouver. Find out what the sellers motivation is and use it to your advantage. Bear in mind that at the end of it all, a lot of sellers will be in no hurry to seal the deal and are simply looking for an honest, trouble free offer.

Technology – The Real Estate Market Behavior Changer

Technology has made it simpler for mothers to see their sons who are on a peacekeeping mission somewhere with the forces. It has allowed weather forecasts on TV to be more accurate. The best of all these satisfying improvements is on the real estate industry where technology has made the entire process of renting, buying and even selling property in Vancouver and other places simpler.

In the past few years, the housing industry was however in chaos. There was the economic recession, then the housing bubble. All these threatened the housing businesses and covered all areas and house types, form False Creek Condos to the exotic Olympic Village Real Estate market. Even though everyone was crying of how dissatisfying and underpaying their job was, real estate employees retained and have retained their cool. Add technology to this satisfaction and you are definitely in for big business.

With real estate agents ever on the move, anything that will help them keep connected while out in the field is highly welcome. With tablets and smartphone shipping in high numbers than personal computers, agents no longer have to spend hours behind a computer screen to remain viable. They can get the information they need while on the way to sealing a deal or in search of a home to sell or buy hence increasing on their turnover.

Since one of the biggest problems was finding new listings online, this bottleneck is no longer a bother since most of the real estate agents have new listings Vancouver literally on their fingertips. Since the property owner, prospecting buyer or tenant and the agent can all find each other and initiate a deal on the internet through their mobile devices, deals are becoming smoother and faster since no one has to waste time seated looking for the other party in the trade before making business happen. This is the overall trend on the impact of the technology infusion, which also have some notable effects like information overload that could lead to confusion or undecidedness.

Getting More out of Your Pantry – 5 Simple Organizational Tricks

If you ignore the appliances in your kitchen, the next most used thing would definitely be the pantry. It is the first stop for every meal or snack since it holds most of the ingredients. Regardless of its size, design or taste, the pantry contains all the important foods, oils, cleaning products and perhaps backup utensils you need to keep your kitchen alive.

Most pantries, whether small or big work best when well organized. Putting yours in order will give you the best out of the little or huge space it has on offer.

1. Make Use of All the Available Space

Using every inch of your pantry not only makes you fit more stuff in there but also gives the satisfying illusion that comes with a full pantry. By using every inch, I mean all the shelves, drawers, cabinets and most important all the vertical space. A perfect way to using the vertical spaces is using a pegboard to hang the pans or utensils.

Moreover, never forget the hanging pocket organizer trick. Get a sizable organize or loose bag and hang it behind your pantry door. You can use it to store small items like seasoning or small semi-used bags of cereals or spices.

2. Advocate for Smart Storage

When doing your Olympic Village real estate search for the first time, look for a pantry that will not only fit your current needs but also grow with you. Look for a pantry that is by nature flexible. A good example is going for a house with a pantry that features adjustable or removable shelves. Another clever would be looking for one with shelves or cube units that can be moved around the space.

Even though drawers could be expensive, their storing power is commendable. They will organize your pantry better by keeping all the small things in check and preventing them from strewing all over the pantry floor.

3. Get a Few Containers

Storing your dry goods, for instance sugar, flour and cereals in containers is always a good idea. The containers could be rounded or rectangular. The rectangular ones make better use of space hence are a good idea if your pantry is less endowed. To exploit the vertical space in your pantry, go for containers that can be stacked up. Since they are mostly cheap and colorful, they will bring functionality and color into your pantry at an acceptable cost. Moreover, recycling a few baskets and crates to store small items should attain similar ends.

4. Do Not Forget to Label Things

Since you might not be the only one using the pantry in your house, the possibility of things being mixed up is real. You would need a way to help you distinguish between the similar plastic containers or seasoning jars on your shelves. The best way to doing this is borrowing an idea from shopping mall shelves. Go crazy with the labels.

For a perfect touch and feel, the labels would be best on containers themselves or on shelves and drawers. Labeling your shelves and drawers will allow you to split the entire pantry into sections making it simpler to search through. After labeling, encourage everyone who uses the pantry to make use of the categories to maintain the order you just created.

5. Give it a Personal Touch

Even though the whole idea behind organizing your pantry is making it more functional and easy to use, going a step further and making it a lively and interesting place to be in will do no harm. For instance, other than just keeping it neat and clean, you can give the walls a brilliant touch of color or put on some interesting wallpaper. Remember you can create the illusion of size and space by using colors and patterns. Play the trick whenever you can.

In addition to this, purchase all your storage bins and baskets with the pantry décor in mind. A functional décor is good for you kitchen. A functional and beautiful pantry is good for both the kitchen and your life.

Love Your Lawn? Follow These Guidelines

You only need to look around Canadian homes to know that they have nothing to hide about the love they have for their lawns. The reality is that the simple act of mowing your lawn is not enough proof to show that you absolutely love it.

If you are only just starting out with the whole lawn issue you will have to go the extra mile and find information about the climate and the soil and then proceed in deciding between a seed, sod or lawn option. If you already have a lawn and are only working on making an existing lawn better, you will have to gather information on the right way to water, fertilize and rid it of weeds.

If you do consider yourself one of the lucky Canadians who have land that you can use for landscaping, here are some guidelines that you should follow so as to create a breathtaking and exquisite lawn that will last and last many years to come.

It is important to do your research on matters climate and how it will affect the kind of grass you want on your lawn. Don’t just settle for Bermuda, Kentucky bluegrass or rye just because you liked how it looked on a webpage or because you have heard so much about it from friends and relatives. You can easily find out what’s the best type of your grass for the climate in your area by looking at the USDA (The U.S Department of Agriculture) plant hardiness zone maping. Once you do this you can conduct a soil test to ascertain if you will need to make any changes before you plant your seed and then commence to follow the guidelines below:

– Till the soil on your land and get rid of the rocks, weeds and unwanted plants. You may have to think about layering the soil with fresh top soil that has been mixed with organic materials which will improve its water retention rate and a fertilizer to promote speedy germination of the seeds.

– Sow the seed using your hand if you are working within a small area. If you have a larger area you may have to use a seed spreader.

– Lay some straw on the seeded soil as this will protect the seeds and help them keep their moisture. Cordon off the area to stop any damage as a result of people walking all over the area.

– Water the area every day and never mow that grass until it has reached a height of 3 inches. You can water the grass at lesser frequency once the grass has matured.

Laying out the sod is a quick and effective way to get a lawn without the long wait. That said, it is a demanding task to undertake. Your best option is to lay out the sod when the weather is cool. That way the grass will take root without suffering the risks of burning out. In the North the best seasons are in fall or spring while in the South the best time is in the spring. Get to know how one should lay the sod before you can make that final decision if it’s the right option for your lawn.

The Alternatives To Lawn
There are lawn alternatives that will give just as much green scenery but not with that high degree of maintenance needed. Such options are much more easy to maintain, can have scent options and are hardier. The good news is that you have many different varieties that you can choose from. You can choose from either Corsican Mint or micro clover. Always check to make sure that you choose the option that is most suitable for your lawn and one that is in line with the climate of your area and one which you can be able to maintain with ease.

Typical lawns need approximately 1 inch of water every week. It’s a good idea to get your grass soaked in water after every three days than to water the grass with just a little bit of water every single day. Often you will see from your lawn that it needs watering. You just have to be on the lookout for the signs. When you walk over the grass, the footsteps you leave behind should disappear quickly. When this does not happen, it’s a sign that you need to water your lawn. Additionally, if you notice that the blades of grass are curling or if they are bluish-green in color, it’s definitely time to water your lawn.

When you do not water your lawn frequently, you encourage the roots to grow downward as if to look for water. This in turn increases the stability of your lawn.

In most cases, it is advisable to perform a deep and thorough watering session. You can be sure the lawn will be happier that way.

The best time to water your lawn is in the morning when evaporation is less. When you water your lawn at this time, the lawn has a better chance of drying out before the sun comes out.

Grass needs little amounts of different nutrients. Like sulfur, calcium, magnesium and that list is not complete. it also needs macro-nutrients like potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous in larger amounts. When your local extension office does a soil test they will inform you what nutrients your lawn will need in order to grow. Results of such a test will reveal a lot of important information such as the PH level of your soil.

Grasses that grow well in the cool season, e.g tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass will benefit from fertilizer if it is added during fall. At this time all the nutrients will go a long way in promoting the growth of roots.

On the other side, grasses that thrive well in the warm seasons, e.g Bermude and Zoysia, fertilization during the springtime is the better option because that’s the time the lawn is growing actively. That’s usually around 6 weeks after the last date of frost.

You can also prevent an overload of nutrients by using a slow release fertilizer.


When it comes to the issue of selecting the right lawn mower, think about the size of the lawn you will be mowing, the obstructions and inclines on it and how much comfort you want to have as you mow. Perhaps you prefer a riding mower. In addition think about the safety and maintenance issue. Always choose a mower that suits your specific landscape and one that is user friendly.

Take into consideration these things as you mow:
– Control of the weeds
– How to switch mowing directions so as to avoid soil compaction and turf wear
– Never attempt to cut your lawn more than a third of the blade. If you do more than that it will shock the plant
– Always cut the lawn higher than the rate recommended especially during the months of summer

Always be in the know regarding lawn care and the most common problems affecting lawns. Such issues include brown patches, ants and dandelions. Learn how to deal with such issues and you will have a healthy and plush lawn all year round.

The 10 Most Useful DIY Tools

If you are thinking about conducting home repairs and improvements on your own and have not prepared adequately, you are setting yourself up for a an impending disaster. More so if you still want to continue with the improvements in full knowledge that you to not have the correct tools needed to a particular task. Do-it-yourself enthusiasts know this one thing for a fact; that stopping a project one had begun midway will most likely mean it will remain unfinished or worse yet forgotten. Even the most seasoned re-modelers will often overlook certain tools like the heads of a special screwdriver or paint brushes that are angled. Overlooking such tools will lead to sub-standard results when the project is finally completed.

Avoid unnecessary stress by always having on hand the most important tools and a couple of the not so common ones the next time you undertake your own do it yourself project.

Some of the tools you will need to have at hand will include:

1. Screwdrivers

Even if you are not the kind of person that takes on home improvement jobs regularly, you always need to have multiple heads of screwdrivers in case you need them for any repair to be undertaken within the home. Choose the sets that have magnetic tips and screwdrivers that have rubber handles which will not hurt the skin when you are using them.

2. Pliers
They come in handy when you need to open tight caps or bending wires. Always choose a pair that has clamping or locking abilities since you have full control over such when you are using them. Pliers are often used to grip and turn tiny materials and to twist, bend or cut wires when you cannot perform the same task using your bare hands. For this reason, pliers should always be kept near small supply or crafting tables where they can be picked up easily and put to use immediately.

3. Top quality rollers and brushes
Most often than not, the process of improving one’s home will involve putting on a fresh coat of paint. For you to do this well you will need to use high quality brushes to apply smooth coats of paint. It therefore goes without saying that you would have to invest in a very high quality paint brush. There is no two ways about this issue. Do you research and find out which is the best brush to use for which kind of paint. This is the advice given by Lisa DeNardi from Recaptured Charm.Do not take shortcuts when it comes to the issue of selecting paint brushes. A poor paint job is often as a result of using a low quality paintbrush and it really does not make any sense to invest in a high quality paint and then have it put on using a low quality paint brush.

4. Tape measures
Seasoned do-it-your home enthusiasts can quickly tell the measurements they need just by looking at the project before them. It may work for some people but if you want accurate results you need to stop with the guesswork and use a tape measure. The ripple effect of using a tape measure is that you will minimize of wastage of materials and time. Some builders will opt for the wide tape measures which do not bend or fold a lot like the skinnier tape measures. They are ideal for people who are undertaking a project on their own and will not have an extra pair of hands to assist in measuring the different surfaces.

5. Levels
Your eyes may tell you that you are working on a straight line but the results will show otherwise. People who do not invest in using levels will often find that they drilled unnecessary holes into the wall in an attempt to re-drill a hook that was crooked to begin with. This is the reason why one needs to use a self-leveling laser kit. They are so effective because they let you use both your hands as you work and you will have a perfect job at the end of it all.

6. Cordless drills
They come highly recommeded by Lanet Hane and Janel Hutton both of Nellie Bellie. They are ideal for both big and small projects well!Cordless drills are the wonder tool for anyone undertaking a repair, remodeling or creative project. They can be used in every area. The two sisters say that they used it to construct a wood lath floor to making a toy toothbrush holder. This tool is a must have in any home no matter your do-it-yourself skill level. Re-modelers who take on big projects can consider using drills with a high voltage while people undertaking basic projects can use one that has a lower voltage.

7. A flashlight
Most people will find that they do not want to stop working on a project once they have started on it. For this reason, invest in a good quality LED flashlight which will be your source of light when you have to continue working late into the night. Apart from the LED flashlight, it’s also a good idea to invest in more than one portable lamp just in case there is a power surge or outage while you are working. They also come in handy when you have to attend to an emergency in the wee hours of the morning.

8. Glue guns
Adhesives will almost always have to be used when one is working on your DIY project. While glue sticks worked when you were still in kindergarten, they are not as effective when it comes to holding together craft or sewing undertakings. Your best bet is to use a glue gun. Especially if you are working on a really light project. It’s effective when you have to attach two light pieces like fabric, ribbon or light wood together. That said, it does not offer a lot of permanency but then again that is the beauty of using a glue gun.

9. Drop clothes
It is absolutely important that you guard your furnishings and your floors before you start on a large scale remodeling project. One Brooke Harnage who works with Designed by BH gives this advice – be frugal when it comes to matters of choosing cleaning materials. A drop cloth by the nature of what it’s used for should not be kept in 100% clean condition. For this reason, choose a drop cloth that is not expensive. a huge drop cloth should not be pricey. Chances that when the project commences it will be covered in sawdust, paint, glue, e.t.c. That’s exactly how it is supposed to be used.

10. Other creative substitutes
Most people who undertake DIY projects automatically think that once they have a screwdriver and a few paintbrushes they are good to go. While it may work sometimes, there are some tasks that will need one to think outside of the box. One Lauren Bowling says that she does not shy away from getting a bit resourceful when she is remodeling around her home. She uses her pizza slicer to serve her as a razor blade when scrapping off old dried paint or stuck stickers and labels and can open tubes of caulk using a simple hanger.

You need not feel overwhelmed about getting all the mentioned tools in one area before you begin on a project. In fact Amber Koogler advises that you adopt a learn as you go approach.

Most people will go shopping for a tool once they realize they need it. Just make sure that you choose the highest quality and you will have a smooth ride every time you start on a DIY project.

It doesn’t matter the scope of the project you wish to undertake. Always make sure that you gather or purchase the tools you think you will need before you start on it. Using the right tools and gadgets will not only make the process of improving your home easier, it will also make it fun and enjoyable and you will be guaranteed the best possible results.

Mistakes Real Estate Investors Make

Real estate investments have been on the rise, but so is the concern that investing in this field is not any easy. Looking forward to achieve a fair deal from real estate investment has turned out to be a struggle to many investors. Believing that you have been an investor for quite some time, and knowing that you may have possibly experienced the hard times and hurdles that come with investments, I share with you some lessons that you need to focus on should you consider to venture into real estate investment.

1. Failing to pre- write your real estate investment deal.
Around 80 percent of people who invest in real estate fall here. Quite a number of people fail to calculate the revenue they shall get from the investment, and offset it with the expenses they shall incur during the investment. Worse still, these people do not take their time to evaluate the profits they expect to make after taking out the expenses.

The common result of such is that you end up with more cash outflow than inflow, and your money runs down to losses instead of profits.

2. Failing to work with real figures
Some people may have the time to write out the pre- investment deal. The problem is that these people end up using exaggerated figures and in most cases, they over quote the income while under quoting the expenses (more so by ignoring vacancies). The result is low to negative returns from the investment.

3. Underrating the renovation costs
Although home inspectors or real estate agents would always give a figure for the renovation costs, many at times these figures are always far much lower than the actual costs. It therefore requires extra research on renovation costs to help you come up with a working budget.

4. Improper timing for renovation
Getting a good schedule of when to conduct renovations for your estate is crucial. In addition to the frequency of renovation, it is wise to note that doing these renovations often take some time, and may at times run beyond the estimated periods. It therefore requires the knowledge of those who have some experience in this field to get the best rehabilitation schedule.

5. Not being flexible with the budget
Having the thought that something will cost nothing but the pre- stated cost is falsity. In fact, you will always find out that things cost more than what you actually planned for them. So as you draw up you budgetary allocations for the construction, rehabilitation and other expenses, be generous enough to have allowances for these values.

6. Comparing bonds and stocks to real estate investment.
Living on the assumption that these three forms of investment can be compared to each other is another major mistake new investors in real estate make. What they fail to notice is that unlike bonds and stocks, real estate is an asset that requires regular input, and cannot just be waited upon to multiply by itself. Moreover, collecting rent and maintaining the property can be very stressful and time involving.

7. Assuming real estate is a sure thing
Many new investors in this field think that investing in real estate has a sure return. They fail to understand that the investment will need extra work to see it thrive to success.

8. Changing over properties.
Quite a number of real estate buyers today think that they can earn more by changing from one property to another. A sure thing is that many lose their money in doing this as they believe in what they watch on their televisions and live the unrealistic investment life.

9. Expecting low levels of risk
There has been a misconception that investing in real estate faces low risk. What is evident is that every investment is equally risky, and what matters is the measures the investor takes in mitigating these risks.

10. Believing other people’s success stories.
Thinking that you will succeed in the field of real estate just because your friend featured in the new listings in Vancouver is another common mistake new investors in real estate make. In the real sense, these people may have dug into other investments to rescue their real estate investments, but this is always kept behind the curtains. It is advisable to do an in-depth research on these success stories and make tangible conclusions from them.

So next time before you make up your mind to put your money into real estate, kindly do a well-informed study on this field to avoid plunging your hard earned monies into losses.