Tag Archives: buying a house

What Women Want… In Their Homes

Three women on a U-Haul moving truck(Source)

In today’s competitive real estate market, home builders and seller are doing everything they can to lure potential buyers. Selling a house based on three bedrooms, two baths and a big back-yard is no longer adequate. Buyers are looking for something extra. This is particularly true among women.

Females are one of the fastest growing home-buying demographic. There are more single women buying homes on their own than ever before.  Also, married women are often making the final decisions in the purchase of a family home.

What Women Want In Their Homes

Most woman and men are looking for similar things in their homes: open layouts, adequate storage, solid counter-tops, etc.  However, there are a few design details that can win the hearts of women that men may overlook. When attracting female home-buyers, keep in mind these 4 S’s:


Safety is a top issue for women home-buyers. A security system that integrate fire and flood alarms is a definite selling feature.  Other security features include good street and entryway lighting, and security cameras.


In todays busy world, many of us retreat to our homes for solace from the daily hub-hub of the city.  A serene home can be a huge selling features.  Think of details like: whispering appliances, including quiet dishwashers, garbage disposal and central vacuums. Other silent selling features include sound-muting building materials—particularly in the master suite and laundry. ‘Soft close’ toilet seats are also popular.


While saving money and the planet crosses gender lines, women are particularly attuned to green features in a home.  Big ticket items such as solar panels are a definite draw. But smaller details like sustainable bamboo flooring, low VOC paints and a compost drawer can help to seal the deal.


Good design may cross gender lines, but a few sleek storage ideas cater especially to female buyers. In the bathroom these include features like hidden storage in the bathroom for reading materials and feminine products, as well as hairdryer-ready drawers with outlets.  In the rest of the house, built-in storage and organizers such as wall-mounted gift-wrapping stations—will catch many women’s eyes.

Buying a home is a complex and multifaceted decison. There are many factors that lead buyers to one house over another. But these four 4 S’s are near the top of the list for many women home-buyers.  They may just be the factor that turn a prospective buyer into a proud home-owner.

Why Buying Before March 15th Can Save You $$$

Canadian Mortgage Changes

Guest post by BMO Mortgage Specialist, Kelly Sullivan.

In January 2011, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the following amendments to the minimum standards for the mortgage insurance guarantee framework:

  • Fixing the maximum amortization period for new government-backed insured mortgages to 30 years.
  • Lower the maximum refinancing amount to 85 per cent of the loan-to-value ratio.

In plain English, what this means is that the maximum mortgage period is to be reduced from 35 to 30 years and, when refinancing, the maximum amount you can borrow is to reduce from 90 to 85% of your property’s value.

There is, however, a time-limited exception to these rules. If you have an agreement that’s approved by your bank prior to March 15, 2011, you can still obtain a 35 year mortgage or borrow up to 90% of your property’s value.

Whether or not it’s a good idea to borrow the maximum amount or to refinance over the maximum period will depend on your circumstances.