It may come as a surprise that many lenders will not lend on a property that is land value only or simply a vacant building lot. 


There are also far fewer lenders currently who are providing construction financing.  Shopping between the lenders that do offer it, is critical for pricing.


These are general guidelines for construction financing: 

  • a floating rate of prime + 1% - 2 % during construction  
  • mortgage amount will be based on completed value - so plans and budget must be in place at time of application  
  • min 1% fee to the lender
  • 3 draws: 1st at land purchase, 2nd at lock-up and 3rd at occupancy permit
  • each draw will require an inspection and a title search
  • the lender will always hold back enough funds to complete the project
  • clients will always have to pay for costs first and then get reimbursed by the lender  

When clients are looking for more flexible options, then private financing may be a great alternative to consider.  It can be customized to your clients' needs.  



If you're considering a bathroom update, you're probably familiar with the typical approaches, such as replacing a countertop or toilet, or removing all the fixtures and finishes to complete a floor-to-ceiling renovation.


However, there is another, far less expensive way to make an older bathroom look brand new: using overlays.


An overlay is simply a new surface applied over an existing one. For example, instead of replacing an old and worn bathtub – which is costly – you can purchase an overlay system (called a tub liner) that fits on top of the existing bathtub. It's a little like giving your tub a facelift!


You can do the same thing with your bathroom countertops and floors.


Overlays come in a wide variety of styles and finishes – some of which can make your bathroom look significantly more upscale. Compared to a major renovation, the installation of overlays is relatively straightforward. A tub liner installation, for example, can be done in a day.


You can learn more about overlays at your local home improvement centre and at specialty bathroom showrooms.


Have you ever attended an "Open House" advertised in your area or in a community you like? Most people have. Even if you're not serious about moving, viewing a few properties in a neighbourhood you like is a great way to get a sense of the market.


Who knows? You might stumble upon your next dream home!


To get the most out of an open house, follow these guidelines:


  • Most open houses will have a handout available containing the list price and other property information. Be sure to keep a copy.


  • Don't just view the rooms. Explore the entire property, including the backyard.


  • Don't be shy about asking the listing agent (or whoever is hosting the open house) questions about the property.


  • Ask about the area. Are there schools nearby? Where is the nearest park or playground located?


  • Ask about potential required repairs and renovations. For example, if the furnace is more than 15 years old, it may need to be replaced soon.


  • Walk around the neighbourhood. Try to get a sense of what it's like to live there. If possible, chat with a neighbour.


Finally, if you become interested in the home, be sure to advise the listing agent that your own REALTOR® will be following up. Otherwise, the listing agent might assume that he or she will be representing you.


Looking for a good REALTOR® to have by your side? Call today.

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