Britishguyhomes, Kingston Ontario Real Estate, Information and Topics

Created By Ken Calcutt, AKA "The British Guy"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Understanding Your Storage Options When Moving

The third in the series posts from 

David Shapiro 

Understanding Your Storage Options When Moving

If you’re moving to a new home, but are downsizing or leaving your current home before the new one is available, you may need to store some or all of your belongings for a time. It’s always a good idea to examine all of your options before making a decision. Here are the main storage options available to you, whether you are in need of short-term or long-term storage:

·         Self-storage. This is probably the most well-known kind of storage, in which a customer rents out a storage unit and pays a monthly fee for access to this limited space that usually resembles a small garage. Self-storage units can be inside or outside, air conditioned/heated or not. You deliver and unpack your belongings on your own – of course, if you need help, a moving company will assist you for a fee. This storage option is usually best for short-term storage or for items you need to access more frequently.

·         Moving pods. Several companies offer moving pods, which are transportable units that can sit outside your home (usually in your driveway) and be loaded at your convenience. The company often delivers and picks up the pods, but some have the option of letting you transport the pods for a reduced cost. If you are not moving into your new home right away, you can have your pod stored for as short or long a time as necessary. This storage option is nice for such a transitional period, so you won’t have to unpack and unload your belongings into a storage unit only to repack and reload it later for transport to your new home.

·         Moving company storage. One of the lesser known storage options is to have your belongings stored at your moving company’s storage facilities. When the moving company comes to pack and load your belongings, it can take your stuff to a storage-in-transit facility for a short time – usually up to three months. If you still need storage after that, most companies have permanent storage facilities. These facilities are often the most secure storage option, with 24-hour security and special crates to keep your belongings safe. However, the customer often has limited or no access to items while in storage.

When considering your storage options, think about your situation and what particular needs you have – and which option will best suit your circumstances. Then, be sure to do your research in order to find a reputable company with affordable rates. Good luck and happy storing!


David Shapiro is a marketing specialist for moving companies such as Allied Van Lines. He enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing basketball.

Thank You David


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Friday, August 8, 2014

Downsizing: Tips for Moving from a House to Apartment

Another interesting post from 

David Shapiro 

         When you’re leaving a house and moving into an apartment, it can be both an exciting and stressful time. There’s a certain freedom in living with less – but getting rid of your stuff can be painful and difficult as well. Sometimes, the most difficult part is figuring out exactly what to toss and what to bring with you to your new home. Here are some tips to help with downsizing:

·         Determine whether you really need something. There’s stuff that’s “nice to have” and stuff that’s essential to have. Figure out the difference. A good indicator is whether you have used the item in the last year – or worn it, in the case of shoes or clothing. If you haven’t, sell it or give it to charity if it’s in good enough condition.

·         Ask friends for help. It’s nice to have assistance in packing up your stuff. And, since good friends have no sentimental attachments to your things, they  can give you an objective opinion about whether to keep something or toss it.

·         Begin the process several months in advance. Packing up a home is time-consuming enough, but when you’re trying to decide what to keep, it can be emotional as well. Give yourself plenty of time – two or three months at least. The last thing you want is to feel rushed and make a poor decision because you were stressed out by a quickly approaching move date.

·         Think ahead. Many apartment complexes have the dimensions of each apartment style available. Use those dimensions to consider how your current furniture will – or won’t – fit once you move. This may help you choose which furniture to keep.

·         Get extra storage. If your downsizing is only temporary, consider renting a storage facility for everything that won’t fit in your apartment. If it’s not, then think about ways to use the space you will have well. For example, use hollow ottomans and benches for extra storage, and put up shelves on the wall as a place for books.

·         Hold a moving sale. It can be a pain to get rid of items you’ve grown to care about, but selling them is better than tossing them. A moving sale is the perfect way to make a little cash on those items you’ll no longer need and can’t take with you.


David Shapiro is a marketing specialist for moving companies such as Allied Van Lines. He enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing baseball.

Thank You David, very informative. 


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Friday, July 11, 2014

Do’s and Don’ts for Moving into a Rental

The following is a guest post from marketing specialist 

David Shapiro

Do’s and Don’ts for Moving into a Rental

It’s no secret that moving to a new home can be a challenge. There’s so much to consider – from finding the right place to packing, hiring a moving company, and so much more. Even though many might think renting is “easier” than buying, it comes with its own special considerations. Here is a list of a few do’s and don’ts when looking for and moving into a rental – whether it be an apartment, condo, or house.

·         DO check whether pets are allowed before signing a lease. A lot of places charge a pet security deposit and an extra monthly fee, so be aware of those things beforehand. After all, pets are family and you have to take them with you!

·         DO ask for a walk-through inspection before you move in. This is your opportunity to note any damage you see so you can’t be blamed and charged for it upon leaving.

·         DO check your credit before beginning to look for rental properties. This way you know how good you’ll appear on paper – and be able to sort out any wrong information before potential landlords see it.

·         DO drive by the property and check the safety ratings of the area with local police before making an appointment to view.

·         DON’T paint or wallpaper unless you’re willing – and able – to put things back the way you found them. Otherwise, be prepared to forfeit your security deposit. Anytime you want to make improvements or changes to the property, get written permission from the landlord ahead of time.

·         DON’T sign a lease for longer than you know you’ll be in town. Of course, things can always happen – you could unexpectedly get a job out of state, for example – so be aware of what the landlord’s lease-breaking policies are, just in case. There’s often a fee for breaking your lease early. Some landlords will allow you to sublet your property, and some won’t. Find out ahead of time so you aren’t surprised.

·         DON’T rent an apartment or house online unless you use extreme caution. Even then, it’s risky. There are a lot of scammers out there looking to take advantage of those who want a great price, so be sure any rental agreements you sign are legitimate.


David Shapiro is a marketing specialist for moving companies such as Allied Van Lines. He enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing baseball.

Please Note:  Anonymous comments will not be published, please provide your name on all comments 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

No Mortgage Rate Change

Coutesy off Canada Realty News 

As expected, the Bank of Canada announced yesterday that it is not changing the benchmark rate. The announcement noted that with “inflation expected to be well below target for some time, the downside risks to inflation remain important.”
This is great news if you’ve got a variable-rate mortgage; the prime rate stays at 3% and it’s unlikely we’ll see any increases in the near future.
The next rate-setting day is April 16. Eight times a year, the Bank of Canada sets the rate that governs each lender’s prime rate. Variable-rate mortgages and lines of credit move in conjunction with the prime lending rate. Fixed rates on the other hand are based on the bond market.
Statistics wise, the Canadian real estate resale market remains stable in February.
Ontario - Resale market remains stable in February

Toronto, March 5, 2014 -- Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Dianne Usher announced that February 2014 home sales reported by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® were up by 2.1% compared to the same period last year. Total February sales amounted to 5,731 compared to 5,613 last year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How to Make Money Investing in Real Estate
Small PicGiven the volatilities and uncertainties of the equities market, many Canadians wonder if they can fit real estate into their overall strategy.
Many financial advertisers recommend having a portion of your portfolio in housing as hard assets. A good piece of real estate is like a blue chip stock. It won’t make you rich overnight, but it will perform well in the long run.
Experts say the secret to successful real estate investing in Canada is research. Get good advice and look for clues in sources such as the new Canadian census data. The pay-off is two-fold: ongoing cash flow and capital appreciation.
Here are a few tips you need to consider when searching for investment property in Canada.
1. Don’t be tempted to over stretch yourself, financially speaking. Think carefully about whether any potential perceived benefits from investing in property in general outweigh the risks associated with buying an expensive, slow to liquidate investment asset. And only if you are sure they do should you begin to research the Canadian property market for a profitable entry point.
2. Determine whether you are looking to work your investment quickly and turn it into a capital gain by buying low and selling high or whether you’re interested in realizing a regular income from the rental of a property for the long term. Your investment approach should guide your buying decisions. Simply identify what you really want from the property. Do you want to make a quick $30,000 in a very short period of time or would you be happy with earning $800 to $1,000 a month for the rest of your life?
3. Determine a geographic location to invest in Canadian property based on what you want to buy. Use a nationally-based Realtor in Canada with experience in your specific area. Ignore national statistics, and focus on the numbers and trends that directly affect your market. Check if population growth, average income and job creation are faster than the provincial average. Never base your long term investment decisions on something as risky as the fact that a town is currently popular because a new company has recently opened there or a significant change has come about to positively affect the economy of the location.
4. Is the area's affordability index in the hot zone? You don't want the property to be too expensive or too cheap because if it is too cheap, renters will become buyers and if it is too expensive, the property values may stall.
5. Is the location forward looking? Is it up and coming or is it dying? Is money being invested into things such as transport links, communication, and general infrastructure or is the population dwindling? Look carefully at the location and see if you think it has long term and sustainable appeal.
6. Make the trip. Travel across Canada is easy. It is a good idea to look at what you are buying.
7. Obtain professional advice both at home and in Canada. Engage the services of a tax lawyer on both sides of the border as well as an accountant. For instance, as a non-resident you must pay tax on rental income and pay tax when the property is sold.
8. Start small. For a first-time investor, try a townhouse. These are not only affordable, but there's always a good supply and demand for them and they can give you an affordable income. This holds true in bigger cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, where immigrant populations are high. Remember, new immigrants prefer to rent for their first few years in the country and they tend to choose locations close to transportation systems, malls and grocery stores.
9. Finally, ensure you investigate specific real estate property rules in the individual Canadian province where you invest. Rules are different from province to province in the areas of land registry, taxes, reporting and other important areas.
If you use a common sense approach to researching your real estate investment options in Canada, you will be far more successful in your hunt for a profitable investment property. Don't forget to research, research, and research to let the money flow in. Good luck!

Courtesy of

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Canuck snowbirds may still win longer U.S. stays

Canuck snowbirds may still win longer U.S. stays

Written by  Vernon Clement Jones

“Will the snowbird visa come around? I think so," Roy Berg, director for U.S. tax law at Moodys Gartner, told the Globe and Mail this week. "Why? Because they keep proposing it.
“It will be resurrected next year just like it was last year."
The latest incarnation was a bi-partisan effort to change the VISIT-USA Act by providing renewable three-year visas to foreign nationals investing $500,000 or more in residential real estate. But it ultimately failed to make it through Congress last year.
It would have allowed eligible Canadian Snowbirds to extend their annual migration south to 240 days  from the current 183 days.