What are the Most Important Factors to Consider to Increase the Value of your Home?

by The Paul Rushforth Team 5. October 2009 03:04

The age old question that will forever consume the real estate mind is; what upgrades should we put into our home to increase the value and add to the return on investment? Real estate upgrades should be looked at in 2 ways - are you doing the upgrades for your enjoyment or are you adding the upgrades to increase the value of your home to sell? If it’s for your enjoyment then you should do the upgrades that are important to you and your family. If however you are looking to add upgrades for the purpose of investment or return on investment, you must consider a few factors.  The most important factors to consider with regards to upgrades are location and square footage. 

Did you know that it is possible to over upgrade your home based on a poor location or a square footage that is too small?  A larger home in poor shape will always be a better return on investment than a smaller home with lots of upgrades. In fact one of the key decisions on a solid investment should always be based on square footage. Location as well will also be a huge factor in deciding how extensively to upgrade your home.

So remember, the next time you decide to renovate your home for the maximum return on investment, consider these 2 most important factors - Is my home in a desirable location where I will be able to maximize my return for the money I put into upgrades, and is my square footage big enough that I will be able to maximize my return on investment?  Whether for personal enjoyment or investment never look past location or square footage, because your home is the single largest investment you will own.



Buy And Flip or Buy And Hold?

by The Paul Rushforth Team 2. October 2009 07:53

How do you determine what strategy to use when looking to buy investment properties and what sort of investment property should you be looking for? The first step is to assess your financial picture and determine your level of risk. Can you stomach risk for a bigger reward or are you looking to play it safe and find a blue chip investment? Do you own your own home, and if so, how much equity do you have in your home? Do you have an available line of credit, or money socked away in a savings account for the purpose of investing in real estate? Having a clear picture of how much money you have at your disposal will go a long way in determining which strategy to use.

When we delve into more advanced investing I will show you ways to invest in properties without taking a dime out of your pocket by investing in homes based on the equity in your home. For the new or intermediate investor, the pros and cons of either method will always be debated. As a buy and flip - it is a riskier investment, requires more capital and puts you at the mercy of contractors and trades people. On the flip side, there is a bigger reward for the risk, doesn’t tie your capital up for a long period of time and gives you the satisfaction of a large return in a short period of time. If buy and hold is your strength, the pros and cons are as such; you don’t require a lot of capital up front, you own an appreciating asset which is paid off by a tenant, and you will create cash flow from the investment. The cons of this method are you need to be comfortable as a landlord, your capital is tied up for a long period of time and it is tough to see the benefits right away.

The only way to diversify your portfolio is to own a piece of both and minimize your risk. If you are looking to invest in real estate, have a plan, know your budget and know the type of risk you are willing to take. In the end the only risky thing about investing in real estate is not investing at all.



Just Be Real

by The Paul Rushforth Team 29. September 2009 18:39

I had the opportunity this week to attend the Eastern Ontario Economic Outlook Conference featuring Terry Matthews, W.Brett Wilson and Donald Trump.  This was a very exciting opportunity for me and one that I will forever cherish and refer to in my life path.

I walked into the conference very excited to hear Donald Trump speak.  As most others, he was whom I was most drawn to the conference to listen to.  However all that changed in a heartbeat.
A very humble, very quiet, very engaging man walked on the stage. He looked down when people clapped, he smiled & told jokes and was quite mellow. The truth of the matter is, he was real. W. Brett Wilson spoke for about a half an hour and in that half an hour made me question everything I knew about business and myself.  He challenged us as a crowd to be real, to cherish our lives, and to live them! I had to sit back and think about it and want you to think about it too. He said something along the lines of when he was young, he was very happy and he envied success, and as he grew up, he was successful and he envied happiness. Sit back and think about it… Are we all like this? Do we all put aside the things that really mean the most in our lives in the pursuit of success? What is success? How do you measure it? Is it in your child’s smile, your spouse's hug or in your bank account?  Or is it on your computer screen and really escaping your fingertips as you watch real success walk out the door every day for work or school.  How do you measure success?

That’s what the Eastern Economic Conference taught me. Was it financial? No. Was it economic? No. It was real. It was the watching a man who had achieved such great success in his life break it down to real tears and a real A-Z story.  It was REAL.  And that’s all we ask for.

So how does this relate to business? What are our clients looking for? My opinion is they are looking for REAL. They are looking for someone who is a real person, who really cares, who really listens and who really wants what is best for them. I don’t think that’s asking for too much. I believe that being successful is being REAL and I will work every day to be as real as I can in both my personal and my professional life and that is how I will always be successful.  



Are All Home Upgrades The Same?

by The Paul Rushforth Team 28. September 2009 07:26

When you’re ready to invest in upgrading your home, will all upgrades generate the same sort of return on your investment? Will hardwood floors be as good an investment as a new furnace? Will a new kitchen generate the same return as, say, a new roof ? And is a finished basement more valuable than having that extra bedroom ?  When upgrading your home you must decide what are the tangible upgrades and what are the necessary upgrades. Confusing the two will cost you thousands of dollars and many sleepless nights.

An example of a necessary upgrade is a furnace, or new windows or a new roof – things that are necessary to maintain the integrity of the home but won’t necessarily generate any return for the money spent. An old furnace or a leaky roof or leaky windows will compromise the integrity of the home leading to other issues in the home making them necessary upgrades but not tangible upgrades. Tangible upgrades are the easiest way to increase the value of your home.  Hardwood floors, new modern kitchens, new bathrooms, professionally finished basement, professionally painted in designer tones, new light fixtures, new hardware on doors, custom baseboards - those are all examples of the best returns on investment in tangible upgrades. Tangible upgrades will have a much bigger bang for the buck and increase the return on investment exponentially.

Always remember before you go spend thousands on upgrades, contact your real estate advisor to make sure you are creating a return on your investment. We will be able to assess the location and square footage and let you know which upgrades to do and which ones not to do. It is possible to upgrade too much and lose your high return on investment. Some locations and square footage can command and return a bigger return than others, so it’s important to have a plan and concise end goal in mind before starting.



What Real Estate has Taught Me About People

by The Paul Rushforth Team 23. September 2009 18:25

I was asked today what Real Estate has taught me about dealing with people.  When I started thinking about that, I had to go back to the definition of a Real Estate Salesperson in order to define myself within the question.  Well, that makes for a bit of an unpleasant thought, since salespeople have a bit of a tough reputation, often trusted even less than politicians and lawyers.  But are we really salespeople, pushing our clients to purchase something that they really don't want or need?  Do we fulfill the old analogy, that a good salesperson can sell an icecube to an Eskimo, or in our industry, an igloo?  By that notion, a good salesperson is not about the product at all, rather it should be all about delivering the "pitch", in order to effectively trick the unsuspecting client into buying a home.  So, are we an industry of smarmy salespeople, bamboozling innocent people into buying products they have no need for?

The simple answer is no.  Hell no, actually.   Working in Real Estate is not one job, it's a whole bunch of jobs, all at the same time.  One part marriage counsellor, one part stats geek. one part lawyer, one part public relations executive, one part keen negotiator, one part marketing guru.  And the critical part of my job; the part that determines whether or not I will be effective in my role as Real Estate Salesperson has absolutely nothing to do with "the pitch".  In fact, the most important part of what I do on a daily basis is kind of the "anti-pitch".  It's about shutting up and listening; really listening to what my clients have to say.  Finding out what their goals and aspirations are.  Hearing about their lifestyle and the things that are important to them, like school districts and commuting time, and weekend activities, and how often mother-in-law comes to visit.  And once I have effectively done my first job of NOT talking, then I can use my other skills, my knowledge in the marketplace, my experience in negotiating contracts, my expertise in dealing with people, all for the benefit of my client.  But my ability to be effective is completely dependant on accurately understanding their real estate needs, in the exact way that they understand it.  Once we are all on the same page and moving in the same direction towards a common goal, everybody wins.  And that is an important lesson that transfers to everything in life.  Communication is the key to success, in business relationships, in personal relationships, everywhere.  And if that's considered a "pitch", then I guess I'm sold.


The Amazing Adventures of our Amazing Team

by The Paul Rushforth Team 22. September 2009 17:37
"Would you trust them with your eyes closed?"  That was our first clue, and we were off. The Paul Rushforth Team Amazing Race had begun and it was going to be a fierce competition! We were comprised of teams of 4 with vastly different costumes and team names all geared towards real estate. Saying it was funny would not even do it justice.
We relied on our local businesses to deliver both our challenges and clues, including Cardel Homes, Lapointes, Avalon Hair Center, Innes Road Golf Land, Minto Homes, Parisien Pre-Cast, Innescents Floral, Booster Juice, Yalla-Yalla and The Portrait Studio at the Superstore. Each played a different role in making our day outstanding. At each stop,around every corner, we were met with a new team challenge ranging from mini putting blindfolded, to making incredible floral arrangements, to eating Cuttle Fish!
Our teams travelled around Orleans in our Paul Rushforth Trucks filled with laughter almost to the point of tears. We built relationships and memories that will stay with our team forever. How that benefits us as a team is a unbelievable bond that will transpire into our work environment which in turn will benefit our customers.  After all, a strong team is a successful team. Would we trust each other with our eyes closed? Absolutely!



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