Jimmy The Renovator: Why to Use a Big Box Contractor

Jimmy The Renovator: Why to Use a Big Box Contractor

Anybody that knows me personally knows that I’ve had some struggles with a kitchen cabinet maker this past year. Its actually sort of ironic because, I should’ve taken my own advice before hiring them. I write articles regarding hiring a contractor but i didn’t follow my own rules. I will never make that mistake again. 

Anyway, the kitchen is tiny, I mean condo tiny. We’re taking 7-8 cabinets. I wanted more room, I got  less room, I wanted granite, they screwed that up and cut wrong. I wanted new cabinets, I got cracked Chinese faces. It was supposed to be a one day job, they came back at least ten times, and still didn’t finish the job, and I’m left with two cracked cabinet doors, and its still uneven. I’ve given up trying to call these people.
The reason I used these people is that a client of mine, used them for a house I sold and they supposedly did a really good job. Apparently I found out later that there like here, had to come back many times to fix the errors they did.
Anyway. Let me tell you about my experience with LOWES. I then needed to get closet doors. There were many problems with the area because the doors they have did not go in properly so they had to custom make them and basically came once to inspect, the manager came again to make sure the second door went in, and then they came and installed it.
I was so happy with the service, I even asked the guy if he would give me his number for future referrals. He said, their company only deal with Lowes and that they are too busy with them. So he then proceeded to say how their company always makes sure that they do a good job and the people are happy or Lowes will not call them.
It occurred to me a few things why this is a great service.
1. They want to make sure you are 100% happy. I got numerous calls from the manager, contractor manager, asking how I was satisfied.
2. The prices were fair. I looked for the same doors and I was looking at double the price.
3. You can pay after, you can get a credit card from them and pay in 6 months to a year. You can also put it in instalments.
4. You never have to worry about insurance. Lowes will make sure.
5. They circumvent the contractors to make sure they are reputable. If you are not happy they will correct the problem, if you are not happy you didn’t pay yet. You just pay a deposit, on the credit card too. I still haven’t paid in full for my doors its been 5 months.
Jimmy The Renovator: Why to Use a Big Box Contractor

The Bubble is Not Bursting.. Here’s Why!

bursting a bubble


Everybody I speak to, says a few things to me since I’m a Real Estate Agent. People always ask “How’s the Market”? Its always good! They ask about bidding wars. They ask about crazy prices. I’ll then tell them an anecdote about my recent travels in Real Estate and then I always get the bomb from them. “I’m waiting for the bubble to burst so I can get a deal.” 

So far since 2008, nothing has fallen. In fact if I told you the prices of ten property prices today and went back in time to 2008, you would buy all ten and tell your brother, mother and sister to buy ten as well, In Toronto & GTA strictly speaking.
While the 30-40 year trends do go up and down, and they will go down a bit, and maybe yes one day crash, its not here today. Don’t hold your breath.
The next thing that people say to me is, I’m not sure I want to invest in a condo, there are too many. So yes there are a lot of condos now in Toronto and GTA, but heres the thing, like anything, houses, apartments, cars, dogs, girlfriends, wives, stores, agents, lawyers, there are a lot of, there are a lot of good ones, and a lot of bad ones. The bad ones will die and go bad, and the good ones will be hot spots and everybody will want to live there.
The condo market, like the housing market in General in Toronto is not going to burst for a few reasons. The main thing is immigration. There are two places that people go when they come to Canada. Vancouver and Toronto. Yes some like the wilderness and will travel to Quebec and places like that, but the majority will come to Toronto. When they come to Toronto, what are they going to live in? A house? The average for a house in Toronto is a million dollars.
When my parents came here, they came to Toronto and bought a detached, and they bought it with their siblings. Really those days are over, many people coming here come for independence, and condos are the step in to the housing market here.
Here are some stats from Stats Canada:
“The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is projected to be the fastest growing region of the province, with its population increasing by 2.5 million, or 39.1 per cent, to reach over 8.9 million by 2036. The GTA’s share of provincial population is projected to rise from 47.6 per cent in 2012 to 51.5 per cent in 2036.” If you want more stats click here.
That stat is crazy, 2.5 million is double of what it is right now, plus all the people having sex and making babies. The last time I checked people are not going to stop having sex.
Jimmy The Renovator: Why to Use a Big Box Contractor

Jimmy The Renovator: Starting From The Bottom


Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. Luckily there are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch.

Foundation settlement and movement requiring foundation repair can be caused by building on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or improper maintenance around foundations. Older homes are typically more susceptible to foundation problems. Whatever the cause, settlement can destroy the value of structures and even render them unsafe. If you see signs of foundation distress, don’t delay in getting the problem solved. The longer you wait, the more your foundation will sink and cause further costly damage.
There are two common methods for lifting a sunken concrete foundation: piering and slabjacking. Piering fixes concrete foundations by placing supports underground that lift and support the concrete. While, slabjacking fills the space under the slab with a grout mixture that floats the foundation back to its original position. A professional will be able to asses which repair method is best suited for your foundation issues.

Whether your home has sunk just a few inches or nearly a foot, a concrete floor and foundation repair contactor can provide some form of underpinning as one of their services to repair your failed foundation. If you think that there is a problem with your foundation, call a professional foundation repair contractor for an assessment of your property. They will be able to assess any damage that has occurred and determine the best plan for your situation.

Taken & Modified From concrete foundation.com
Jimmy The Renovator: Why to Use a Big Box Contractor

Sheridan College Will Open A Second Campus in 2016


This is not new news but, I thought I would mention it for all of the people thinking of buying a condo near Square One Soon. 

The new building is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016 and ready for students that September. The expansion will enable Sheridan to accommodate up to an additional 3,200 full-time students The expansion of the campus will further support the City’s Downtown21 plan to create a vibrant downtown, attract and retain youth, create great public spaces and develop talent.
For an investor this is great news. More students, more rental demand. There are a few projects underway and two more phases of the mirage buildings which will have phase 2 complete by then, and a phase 3 will be underway. If you are interested let me know, I can send you information on this project.
Jimmy The Renovator: Why to Use a Big Box Contractor

The Outside Of Your House Reflects the Inside


When I take buyers out to look at houses, I can’t even count anymore how many times, we will get to the front of the house and they look at me like I’m crazy. At this point I’m already psychic and I know what’s coming. “Can we just keep driving?” I then proceed to go in by myself and drop off a card and do the embarrassing walk of shame. If the owners are there, say that the buyers are not interested, in some sort of lame excuse way. 

I don’t ever recall going to a house that the inside and outside do not match, I will take The Downtown core of Toronto as an exception, but, even with 100 year old homes, if the structure looks old and rotted somewhat, it is still clean and will have some decoration or something to make it appealing.
The reason I write this article is that last night I went by a house of mind that closed. Just to see if the sellers had moved out yet, because I knew that my buyers where about to arrive. As usual a neighbour puts their house on the market, after seeing what the house next to them sold for. Of course my clients are concerned because these people under priced their house. I knew right away that the house was a disaster compared to theirs and was in no way ready to be listed. But they wanted to capitalize on the sold house next to them so they list it. Sure enough I look at the pictures today and the house is a mess. Based on just looking outside, its like I was psychic again.
The old saying of first impression is everything comes to mind, especially when you are selling your house. Start with renovations on the outside and work your way inside.

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