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Do Your Own Mortgage To Pay For Your Home Reno


Do Your Own Mortgage To Pay For Your Home Reno

Jumping into the real estate market can be, well, scary! More of us are looking at fixer-uppers in neighbourhoods we like, as opposed to the dream home with a commute.  Most first-time buyers are putting all their available funds into maxing out their down payment to at least get as close as possible to their end goal. Traditional mortgages can be limiting to these buyers and don’t always mean any funds will be free for the renovations.  

This is where Do Your Own Mortgage comes in. DYOM is a mortgage broker, like others, that shop your mortgage around to a selection of traditional and non-traditional lenders to best fit your needs. But here’s where they’re different, they’ve streamlined the process with a dead-simple online application process and team of diversified brokers, which allows you to fill in the initial blanks.  START YOUR APPLICATION>

These efficiencies mean they can divert some of the standard broker fees to, you! You get paid to do your own mortgage. Paid, cash! Or credit card, or cheque, up to you, it’s your money. 
So what does this mean, exactly? On the average $500,000.00 mortgage that means about $3,000.00 goes to you as payment. There is no catch. You’re getting paid a broker fee on your OWN mortgage.

I’m no stranger to stretching a tight renovation budget. I’ve been a designer for 18 years, but I also designed over 100 episodes of HGTV’s Income Property.  From scouting the properties, to the option layouts and every single finish and selection in between, I had to take the teeny-weeny budgets and make them count. 

Here’s the fun part – I’m going to tell you how we can spend that cash to take your so-so house a little closer to the dream home.

How to Spend Your Fee

With $500 – The best bang for the buck is paint! This will cover the supplies and it’s time to call in some family for free sweat equity.  Hiring pro painters will run you 3k minimum on labour so this is one area I suggest rolling up your sleeves and getting a bit speckled.

With $1,000 - You can update all the light fixtures in the home. Not imported Italian chandeliers, but on-point stylish options available at most retailers.  I buy most at Royal Lighting. Light fixtures often date a home, so updating them makes a big difference in its overall look.  It’s also quite easy to install them yourself if you’re keen. With YouTube as a teacher, I’ve installed all my own lights at home!

With $2000 – You can do a cosmetic washroom update. Change the hardware, mirror, lighting, faucet, toilet and vanity. If the tile is neutral enough, updating the fixtures, and adding a fresh white shower curtain can work magic and will carry you through the next few years, conservatively saving for a larger overhaul. Don’t get pulled into the pressures of taking on too much too soon. Baby steps are enough to add equity and make you enjoy the morning shower.

With $3,000  - You could update the kitchen! Change the hardware, update the counters, install a new sink and faucet, and even paint the cabinetry if you were up to the challenge. I promise even the darkest, most outdated cabinets will look like new with a clean white facelift. Consider laminate counters to keep on budget. Did you know on Income Property of the 100 episodes only 5 were stone or solid surface? The investment has to make sense for the home value and spending all your kitchen budget on stone counters simply does not yield the look or build equity the way an overall conservative refresh does.

Other potential spends

  1. Replace doors within the home (price of an average interior door with installation starts at $150)
  2. Replace old windows (price of an average window with installation starts at $500)
  3. Replace outdoor doors (price of an average door with installation starts at $1000)
  4. Replace an old furnace (if you really look, it’s possible to find a furnace for $2,000 to $2,500; it will save you hundreds per month and pay for itself in the end)
  5. With $4,000 - you could update your flooring. You could remove dated carpeting and install hardwood flooring on one floor for this amount (hardwood flooring starts at about $4.50/sq. ft. with labour at about $2/sq. ft.) or you could replace the floors throughout the house if you opted for laminate (both flooring and labour for laminate run at about $2/sq. ft.).
  6. With $5000 -  if you really shop around for the labour, you could update an entire bathroom, including a full cosmetic update, including redoing the tile, installing low flow toilets, faucets and light fixtures. 



Office Mate Profile: Wood Man

Screen shot 2011-09-02 at 11.55.00 PM
Screen shot 2011-09-02 at 11.55.00 PM

We've taken on a chunk of space in this great old warehouse building.  The idea being, we both need space to think and do creative "stuff" outside the house.    He's moved over his photography gear and set up a proper area to shoot.  I've set up a big desk with space to sketch and mess around with materials.  Apparently it's working since he's already shot for Nike and I've decided to merge firms with another designer.  Our creative juices are flowing! The space is fabulous with great old windows facing the city, clean white walls and a general want to be empty and pure.  Perhaps the best thing about the space, is the wood man from whom we rent.  We share the space with a Woodworker name Jeremy. He makes his wood stuff in a shop, he just uses this space for thinkin' about wood stuff and doing office type stuff related to selling wood stuff.  Anywho, we love him and his ability to make a tree stump look lovely.  I've worked with a lot of cabinet makers, carpenters and wood men and I can wholeheartedly say these guys are the best.  Impeccable, ingenious and inspired.

Do check out their website.  Carroll Street Woodworkers



TREND HUNTER Magazine - kissing, heat sensitive, toilets + mud

I subscribe to Trend Hunter Magazine.  It's an online interactive trend reporting site.  The viewers can provide and select what the trends are.  I like to see their trends from all categories but I'll keep focused for you and share some home decor and design trends.  A hodge podge really - Canadian Photographer, wacky wall coverings and some washroom trends that you will likely not find on  Enjoy!

Architectural Romance Photography - 'Kissing the Ceiling' by Fred Muram (GALLERY)(TREND HUNTER) Canadian photographer Fred Muram’s recent work includes the 'Kissing the Ceiling' photo collection featuring different subjects placed in different rooms and kissing the ceiling. Other works includes the… [More]


Fiber Optic Wallpaper - Luminescent Home Decor by Camilla Diedrich (GALLERY)(TREND HUNTER) Camilla Diedrich’s fiber optic ‘Nature Ray Charles’ wallpaper is a beautiful set of luminescent wall coverings that seeks to replace electric light fixtures.

  The ‘Nature Ray Charles’ wallpaper comes in… [More]

32 Modern Wallpapers - From Heat-Sensitive to Glow-in-the-Dark Decor (CLUSTER)(TREND HUNTER) Wallpaper has come a long way from the dated island vistas and city skylines that were once ubiquitous. The modern wall coverings in this cluster range from elegant to unique, eye-catching and downright… [More]

18 Ways to Pimp Your Bathroom(TREND HUNTER) It doesn't require a toilet covered with Swarovski crystals or even some super-duper swirly vortex that can remove body parts if you don't stand up before you flush. No, what it requires is panache: Little… [More]


Mud-Powered Lighting - The Soil Lamp (GALLERY)(TREND HUNTER) This might just be the best off-grid lighting that you will ever need. Mud and a splash of water here and there are all this lamp requires--two things that you can find almost anywhere. The only thing… [More]



What the Pros are Telling us Pros This Week

I'm a member of a relatively new online resource out of New York.  It was started by two young guys, I call them young  - because I think they're my age.  It's called Designer Pages. They started a networking and product sourcing site for people in the industry.  Suppliers set up profiles that are facebook style.  They post their offerings and there are really interactive links and tools to contact them with questions or with an order.  You can also add products to a folder for future reference.  It's basically making us lazy designers that much happier because now we only need to go to one place for our sources.

It was started a year and change ago I believe and because it's based in New York it does not serve me in Toronto as well as I would like but in time I'm sure it will.

Every week I get an emailer with new and exciting products.  In the spirit of sharing the knowledge I will copy and post it for you weekly.  Let me know if there is something you love and I'll see about getting it on the site or in the least finding out who does sell it and pass you along to them.  Enjoy!


20 A+D Products You'll Love

November 12th, 2008 A Product Newsletter for A+D

Of all the product trend newsletters we've sent out, this might be my very favorite. From products that unite a country to those that redefine the restaurant experience, here are the absolute best A+D products from last week.

Featured Products from 3rings

HANSACANYON Unites Red and Blue States HANSACANYON Unites Red and Blue States

Unless you live under a rock, you are aware that election day just passed. Red states, blue states - there wasn't much common ground between the two factions. Leave it to 3rings to offer a reconciliatory product: the HansaCanyon. This faucet emits colored water that changes from blue to purple to red depending on temperature... more

Barca Barca

One of the great joys - and one of the more formidable challenges - of product reviewing here at 3rings involves student work. Though it's always a thrill to see an intriguing new design by a burgeoning artist, it's also unusual for said product to present with any useful information. Most often, breakout work by students that has been featured at a particular exhibit or oth... more

Green Cuisine Kitchen by Philips Green Cuisine Kitchen by Philips

Evolutionary, minimalistic, high-tech and eco-efficient - the new wave of kitchen concepts does not believe in just serving the obvious epicurean interests. Whether it's the Spherical Kitchen or the Philips Green Cuisine Kitchen, all seem to blur the line between reality and fantasy and indefatigably provoke the two basic fundamental senses; sight and smell... more

Linear Flame Scape by Spark Modern Fires Linear Flame Scape by Spark Modern Fires

Fresh off the heels of our week-long focus on lighting, today I'd like to look at an altogether different type of appliance, albeit, one that's still capable of throwing enticing shadows on the wall. Because I believe that - even in this age of atmospheric overload and due caution about what we introduce into our environment — there's still a place for a flickering flame. I... more

Kojak Kojak

So before we'd narrowed our focus into the world of lighting, chairs were popping up everywhere, flaunting their Missoni Fabric-laden midriffs (Gossip Girl Here, Meet the Eames Lounger), and their slim-profiled and finely-sheened oaken torsos (Schema by Isu). So why not continue where we left off? So here's Kojak by Jonathan Woolley for Allermuir, a svelte and lithe little n... more



Just like his style


So I don't know this guy but he added me as a facebook friend and given the mutual trustworthy pals I accepted and proceeded to have a boo around his profile.

Nothing earth shattering just like his style.  The site aesthetic fits with its content and I like them both.  He's a writer and clearly has some design sensibilities too!

have a look if you feel so inclined....

I actually arrived at the above link from his personal site, if you're really really interested check it out too.