Lorenda Simms
Personal Real Estate Corporation

Sutton Group - West Coast Realty

Office 250-479-3333

Cell 250-217-5787

Email: lorendasimms@gmail.com

Carpenter ants, wasps, fleas, roaches, bedbugs…insect infestations can be a nuisance and a real threat to your home. While you may expect the bugs when you’re on the patio, you’re likely not expecting them when you’re crawling into bed. We asked an entomologist to share tips so homeowners can learn how to spot the early warning signs bugs have found their way into your home, and ways to prevent them from getting inside in the first place!


Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants can cause major damage in your home, says entomologist Taz Stuart, who is the director of technical operations for Poulin’s Pest Control in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Most of the time, their primary nest is outside your house.


“The queen then finds old or water-damaged wood, and you’ll see sawdust being pushed out and the ants themselves,” explains Stuart. “Getting a positive identification on these ants will then allow a pest control professional to treat inside and outside the home, and find the source colony to get that removed.”



Bedbugs

Bedbugs are great hitchhikers, and they can get into almost everything. They’re also hard to get rid of. 


“I’ve seen them in bags, books, and boxes, so it’s very important to look at your items. Don’t assume just because something’s new that bedbugs can’t be on it,” says Stuart. “In an infestation in the home, look for the bugs themselves. Their skins molt, so that’s another piece of evidence to look for. You’ll also see little black spots on your bed frame, mattress, and even on your dressers, your drawers, lampshades, baseboards, or sofa.”



Cockroaches

Cockroaches thrive in unsanitary conditions, says Stuart. They love it when food or water is left out, and they’ll often arrive in your home by hitching a ride inside a cardboard box. 


“We’ve seen a big increase in the number of calls about roaches since last year. More people are staying home, leaving out their stuff or ordering in products that may have roaches in them,” he explains. 


Your home can quickly become infested, because females don’t need males to mate: Within 36 days, you’ll have between 30 to 48 new cockroaches from one bug, and they’re incredibly resilient. 


“They can live without water for seven to 14 days, and without food for more than 30 days. They’ll eat their own young if they have to, or their own waste,” says Stuart. 


Because roaches are nocturnal, you’ll see them scurrying across the floor when you turn on the lights during the evening. 



Wasps

Yellow jacket or paper wasps are common now, because the queens have started their nests, says Stuart. 


“During the summer, they’re docile because they have lots of alternative food sources, so they’re not really going to be bugging you until late August, September, and October when their natural food sources disappear,” he explains.  


Wasps can be a nuisance when they go after your sugary drink or hamburger out on your deck, but don’t swat them away, because they’ll become aggressive, adds Stuart. 


“They can sting you multiple times and release pheromones to make you more attractive to their wasp friends so they come sting you as well.” 


If you notice a wasp’s nest under the eaves of your roof or near a window, bring in a professional. It’s best to have wasps sprayed and the nest removed at night when the workers are inside it. 



Fleas

Have you ever seen a tiny black spot leap off your dog’s neck onto the floor? That means your pet has brought fleas into your home, and you can quickly become infested with them, says Stuart.


“Look for the evidence like fecal matter around the pet’s ears or in the hairline, or the fleas themselves,” he says. “It’s important to get the proper products to treat your pet, and to bring in professionals. Be sure to wash everything and dry it at high heat to kill all stages of fleas.” 



How to make your house unwelcoming to insects

When it comes to bug infestations, exclusion is the key: Insects sneak into your home wherever there are holes or cracks in your foundation, explains Stuart. 


“Seal those up, and install tightly fitting screens to make sure nothing gets in,” he suggests. “And get rid of any old or water-damaged wood on or near the house, because insects will start excavating that out to create a new colony, which can become a structural issue.”


Stuart also recommends keeping food stored away, and placing insect traps and monitors at strategic spots around the house, such as entry points and along baseboards inside. 


“Any bug can cross the trap and get stuck on there, so you’ll see what you have,” he says.


Noticing bug infestations when they’re in the early stages can make it easier for you to deal with them before they become a bigger issue. It’s always recommended you contact a professional before doing any work that could cause structural damage, or when it comes to using harsh chemicals to deal with infestations. 



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/5-creepy-crawlers-to-watch-for-in-your-home/21489/1363

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Buying a flipped home—a property that’s been purchased, renovated, and re-sold by an investor—is all the rage these days, and for good reason! It’s an enticing idea, especially since you get to move into an already-updated home without having to handle the renovations yourself.


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank of Canada saw evidence of “a lot more flipping” driving investor activity in some Canadian housing markets, as housing prices across the country rose 25% in February over the previous year.


It’s easy to jump headfirst into a flipped home because everything seems shiny and new. But it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to avoid a potential headache down the road. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking to purchase a flipped home.


1. What’s your budget?

Remember: Investors flip houses to make money. The average investor can make thousands in net profit on a property flip—that’s why they undertake the risk, effort, and financial investment to renovate a house they don’t intend to live in. As a result, you’ll probably end up paying a higher price as a sort of “convenience fee” for someone else taking care of all the renovations. You’re the one benefitting from buying a freshly renovated, move-in ready home, so it can be worth that extra cost. Just be sure the higher price tag for this convenience doesn’t strain your budget!


2. How long did the flip take?

Flipping a house takes time to do it properly, but the longer an investor holds onto the property, spending money on remodeling, the less profit they’re making. This may cause the investor to rush the flip and even cut corners on safety or quality of construction—not great for you, the potential buyer.


It might be a red flag if a house has been flipped in three months or less. However, different projects will take a different amount of time. A full flip will take longer than a kitchen or basement redo. Plus, timelines will vary depending on who’s completing it!


Work with your REALTOR® to find the full history of the house, specifically the date and price of the property’s last sale, to help verify when work began. Additionally, contact your local building department to check if the investor obtained the proper permits and the home is up to code. More on this in a bit…


3. Inspect everything carefully.

A common pitfall experienced by first-time buyers of a flipped house occurs when they don’t inspect closely enough, avoid doing due diligence on the flipping process, and are shy about asking a lot of questions. They’ve become the proud new owners of a home that looks beautiful on the outside but may hide shoddy work on the inside.


A critical step to take once you’ve submitted an offer and secured your financing is to hire a professional home inspector to “kick the tires” of your new home. Learn more about the home inspection process including how to find a professional inspector in your area by visiting the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors. Your REALTOR® can also connect you with a reputable home inspector who knows and serves your neighbourhood.


If you put in a conditional offer, your sale is not final until the inspection is complete. This means if the inspection uncovers any issues, you can go back to the seller to renegotiate the selling price or revoke the offer if the issues are too extreme. If you buy the home without conditions, you’re responsible for resolving any issues that arise during the home inspection, which could end up being pretty pricey if the flippers cut corners. A typical home inspection should take about three hours and can cost anywhere between $300 and $800 depending on the size of the house, but the peace of mind this will afford you is worth every penny.


4. Ask questions about every single thing.

Be sure to accompany the inspector (if possible) during the walk-around of your flipped house and come equipped with more questions than you thought you needed to ask. Some of these questions include:

  • Can you provide all the work permits?
  • Can you provide the proof of inspection for the electrical work?
  • What was structurally changed?
  • What was done to the foundation?
  • What was done to the wiring?
  • Are there signs of mould?
  • What was done to the plumbing?
  • How was the insulation upgraded?
  • Did you touch the roof?
  • How did you address insect, water, fire, or other major damage discovered during the project?

You don’t want to be blind-sided if something happens to your new home, so asking these questions is crucial to ensuring you feel comfortable if and when you move in.


A good flip has its benefits

If you do your research, talk to the right people, and are OK with someone else making all the renovation choices, then purchasing a flipped house isn’t a bad option. While it may be a bit more expensive and require diligent inspection, you’ll sit comfortably in your newly remodeled living room knowing you invested in a new home that will stand the test of time.


If you are looking to buy a flipped home, be sure to connect with a REALTOR®. They’ve likely been through this experience before and know what you should be on the lookout for! Their knowledge of homes, inspections, housing markets, and the neighbourhood will be extremely beneficial to helping you make an informed decision. 



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/flip-or-flop-4-things-to-consider-before-buying-a-flipped-property/21400/1362

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