• 5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Durham

    Dan Plowman Team

    The market right now for buying a home in the Durham Region is hot, hot, hot. This can make it extremely scary for first time home buyers. The prices of homes are going up and what was once possible for the average household income in terms of what you can buy is starting to seem impossible. There is hope, though! You just must be extremely organized and realistic.

    Durham Region First Time Home Buyer

    Below are a few tips for you to get started!

    1. Be realistic about your wish list – Even before you start going online and searching the available properties in your desired Durham area, it is a very good idea to sit down and write out a realistic list of what you want in your first home. Writing out a list of wants and NEEDS (yes, they are different) will help you narrow down the search options and help you focus on exactly what you want.


    1. Save, Save, Save – this is a big obstacle for most first time homebuyers. Stop going out and frittering your money away on everyday items that will not help you obtain your goal. $3 for a coffee every morning, $10 for lunch, it all adds up and is making saving for your home harder. It is a great idea to have at least 20% of a down payment ready and in the bank for when it comes time to move on your Durham Region home.


    1. Don’t start shopping and dreaming until you get pre-approved for your mortgage – It happens far too often that hopeful first-time buyers will get too wrapped up in the dream of home ownership without making sure they will be able to find a proper lender for them. Without pre-approval for a mortgage in this hot market, you do not look like a serious buyer and sellers will be less likely to want to do business with you.


    1. Know how much you can afford – This seems like it should be a given but it’s not to most people. Use easy mortgage calculators online to determine how much you will be paying out of pocket every month for your home. It’s a great idea to figure this out long before you want to buy a home and start putting away the same amount of money every month so that when you do move into your home, this is not a shock to your pocket book.


    1. DO NOT FORGET CLOSING COSTS – This can range from 1.5-3.5% of the total cost of your home. It includes some or all of the following:
    • Legal fees
    • Property transfer tax
    • Home inspection fee
    • Appraisal fee
    • Land transfer tax
    • Title insurance
    • Property & Fire insurance


    While we can’t take away all of the stress of buying a home in this crazy hot market, we can help ease the process for you! Call us today (905-668-1511) to speak with one of our talented agents and start making your dream a reality!


  • Hmmmm… We’re Not Sure About Some Of These Designs

    Dan Plowman Team

    It’s important that you are happy in comfortable in your home. Sometimes that means making the most out of the space you are given, and sometimes you just want to push the envelope in terms of home decor and design. We are all for this, but some of these designs we are just not quite sure we’re on board with.

    The Bathsphere

    While bathrooms are not usually the most exciting room in a home, we understand the need to spruce them up a bit. I mean, we do have to spend time in there. This bathtub, while it looks amazing, we think might be a little much. Bathtubs historically have been affixed to floors, but a Russian designer by the name of Alexander Zhukovsky decided that this shouldn’t always be the case. This Bathsphere is suspended from the ceiling has setting controls such as lights, temperature, sounds and smells. Why? Because who doesn’t want to take a bath in a tub that looks like a bubble chair?



    How Often Do the Owners Fall Down These?

    Seriously though. We are all for unique stairways in homes and feel like they can really add character to a home. This might be a little much though. When we first saw this staircase we actually thought it was a book shelf extension to the built in desk. Can you image rushing up these bad boys to grab something you forgot in the morning? We can only hope there is a washroom on the upper floor as we can imagine getting up to use the washroom in the middle of the night would be interesting if you have to conquer these!



    This Ones for the Birds

    Literally, we think the birds are the only ones who will be getting any use out of this balcony. Juliet balconies are one thing, they look nice and provide a great way for a room to get fresh air. But this balcony, well, there just is not point to it. Someone messed up.

    balcony oops


    Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

    We’re not really sure you want the toilet paper in your bathroom to be out of sight. Even if this is your home and you know exactly where this inconvenient toilet paper roll is located, it seems like you’ll have to have long arms and be able to balance well in order to retrieve the bathroom tissue without getting up!

    toilet paper fail


    No, Just No.

    It’s 2017 and budgets are tight for people when they are renting or buying a home. But really, we don’t care how tight money is, you should never be using the facilities a foot away from where you cook and prepare your meals. We are all for multitasking, but this is taking it way too far.



    Safety… not first.

    We sincerely hope that this door is locked on the inside of the house… and bolted up. We hope there used to be a balcony or stairway here and it is not just a very bad design flaw.


    Stairway to Nowhere

    And then there’s this staircase. Just no rhyme or reason to where this staircase is headed.

    stairs to nowhere

    At the Dan Plowman Team Reality Inc,. we are all for trying out new modern designs in homes. But these are a little too far-fetched for our liking. We also always recommend to anyone who is redesigning/or redecorating their home is that they need to consider resale value. What you think is really cutting edge and cool, your potential home buyer might be turned off by your ideas. Make sure any improvements you do on your home is reversible or really does add value to your home!


  • Should You Sell Your Durham Region Home in the Winter?

    Dan Plowman Team


    Spring and summer are busy months for most Durham Region families and usually selling your home is the least of your concern as you are enjoying the fun in the sun. Then the fall hits, then winter, and you start to think you’ve missed another year to sell your house because you really should wait until the spring to list your home. Right?

    Don’t count out a winter sale so quickly in your head. There are some very important advantages to selling in the winter that you may not be considering.

    Less Competition

    Selling your home in the winter usually, means there is less competition for you. Eager buyers are looking in the winter months and you might benefit from the fact that a lot of people do wait until the warmer months to list their home. With fewer homes on the market, you may not have to work as hard to get your home ready for sale. Durham region homes for sale are a hot market right now and have been for the last few years. It is very likely you will get your asking price and then some if you list now before the grass starts to turn green again.

    Loans are Processed Quicker

    Real estate agents are not as busy in the winter months and usually the same goes for the banks and lenders. This means that a potential buyer will usually be able to get approval quicker and go under contract. Winter sales tend to close much quicker than summer sales.

    There are More Motivated Buyers

    There may be fewer people in the Durham Region looking to purchase a home in the winter months but the ones who are looking are more motivated. It takes more effort to get out there, bundle up and go out to view houses. This could mean that you will sell your home faster, with less viewing and for the price you want.

    Snow Can Be Pretty

    Yes, you read that right. Snow can cover up unsightly yard work that has been neglected and add a beautiful shine to a dull yard. It is a great idea to ensure the exterior of the home is as appealing as possible whenever you are selling and that still stands true in the winter. You will be able to get away will a little bit more in the winter as your yard is most likely covered with a blanket of beautiful snow.

    Selling your home in the winter months is not for everyone, but it could be for you. It is highly recommended that you speak with a real estate agent that is experienced in your market about the best options for you. The Dan Plowman Realty Team Inc. has several of the most experienced agents in the Durham Region who are ready to speak to your options today! Give us a call at 905-668-1511 or visit our contact us page!