Real Advice with Rita: Hot Spring Markets, Buying Without Conditions and Paint Choices

Friday May 07th, 2021






Hi Rita,
Why do people sign purchase agreements without financing conditions? It’s risky. What happens if financing falls through or it doesn’t come in time?
-Curious buyer

You’re right. This can be risky. Without financing conditions you could face financial or legal implications. You could lose your deposit or potentially be sued by the sellers, for example.

Getting pre-approved or pre-qualified is an important first step during your home buying journey. It doesn’t guarantee you will be approved, but it’s a good indicator of what you price range you should aim for. 

You may also want to look for homes under the amount you’re pre-approved for in case there are any discrepancies between pre-approval and approval. A REALTOR�� can help you understand the process and connect you with other professionals such as a mortgage broker or lawyer.

Applying for your first mortgage can be intimidating. Use this handy list of things you’ll need to bring when you meet your lender to help you plan. 

And remember, you should also carefully consider any offer you make during your home buying journey and discuss any risks with a REALTOR® and lawyer.

bright yellow front door of someone's home

Hey Rita,
How do I choose a colour for my front door?
-Puzzled painter

Your front door is typically your primary entrance to your home, especially for guests. Its style and colour can help set the tone for the rest of your design esthetic. 

There are two ways you can go when selecting a colour for your front door: neutral or bold. I think this ultimately comes down to personal preference. Let’s quickly talk about both. 

Neutral colours like white, taupe, and grey are always safe, and they typically work well with various brick or siding colours. Personally, I love Sand Dollar, it was selected Living Room’s colour of 2020. It’s timeless, warm and a bit darker than some other beige tones. 

If you dare to go bold, pick a colour you love, not one that’s trendy. Having a colourful front door is fun and can make a statement, but you want to make sure you’re not going to hate it in a week.

Bright reds, crisp blues and vibrant yellows are popular door colours for those feeling a little adventurous. 

If you’re looking for inspiration on something a bit different, take a peek at this pink floral door from Instagram user @thebirdspapaya.

Don’t forget, you should use some sandpaper and primer on your door before you go in with a bold colour. Be sure to let it dry fully before you re-hang it. You don’t want any fingerprint smudges on your beautiful new door. 

A kitchen with blue painted cabinets

Dear Rita,
How do I paint my kitchen cabinets without making them look cheap?
-DIY newbie

This is a project that can be intimidating to someone who is new to DIY or perhaps doesn’t consider themselves to be very handy. Ultimately it comes down to patience and attention to detail.

I’ll assume the cabinets you want to paint are either stained wood or painted already.

Start off by removing all your cabinets hardware. It might be helpful to keep the hardware in bags or containers that you can label. It’s also a good idea to label your doors so you know where they go later.

Wipe down your cabinets to get rid of any grease or dirt. Thoroughly sand the surface to allow the paint to adhere properly. Make sure you wipe off any excess dust before you move on to painting.

In most cases, you’ll want to start with a primer. Use a stain-blocking primer if your cabinets are wood, then move on to the paint. 

You can use a roller to paint larger panels and a brush to paint the frame and any detail work. Make sure you’re painting in the same direction as the wood grain. When painting the doors, it’s best to paint them from the inside and move out toward the edges. I would also suggest propping your doors up on some painter’s pyramids or bricks so you can easily paint edges

Depending on your paint or colour, you’ll want to apply a second coat. Allow the paint to dry completely before you reassemble. 

a family outdoors carrying boxes into their new home

I’ve always been told spring is the time to buy real estate, but looking at the market, now I’m not so sure. Should I buy this spring or wait until things settle down
-Hesitant homeowner

It depends what you mean when you say, “settle down.”

Yes, national home sales rose 5.2% on a month-over-month basis in March 2021, but we also saw the addition of some much-needed supply. New listings jumped 7.5% from February to March. That’s good news for buyers, such as yourself.

It’ll take more than one month to settle the unbalanced market conditions, but this is a step in the right direction. Coupled together with February’s data, new supply was up 25% in two months. 

I can only assume your hesitation comes from what we are seeing on the price side of things. 

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price showed a 31.6% year-over-year gain in March. It’s important to remember that we’re comparing to March 2020, the month the COVID-19 pandemic pressed pause on most of our lives.

The best way to understand the market conditions in the area you’re interested in buying is to speak to a local REALTOR®. 

Do you have a décor, real estate, or general home question you need answered? Send it to 

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