Real Estate Blog

In the business world, a phrase that's often used is ROI or Return On Investment. It refers to the regular gain (or loss) you're getting from a particular asset relative to its cost. 

When it comes to your home, the gain may be more than financial. It may include the benefit of the lifestyle it gives you. For example, a spacious backyard deck pays off in countless pleasant Saturdays with friends and family. A home's location near convenient commuting routes means less stress getting to and from work. 

Lifestyle factors are important, not only when considering where you're living now, but also when considering where you think you'd like to live in the future.

That's why it's a good idea to do a Lifestyle Assessment regularly. The exercise is

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When you're selling your home, you want it to look its best. You want buyers who view it to say, "Wow, I love this place!" However, what if you have a stubborn stain in the carpet, or a cracked floor tile? An unsightly issue like that can be distracting in your otherwise beautiful property. 

You have a few options.

First, try to get the issue fixed. There are specialty cleaners on the market designed to lift even the most stubborn carpet stains. 

The same goes for hardwood and tile. A flooring contractor might be able to find a matching piece and then replace the damaged section. Contractors also know other tricks-of-the-trade to repair damaged flooring or, at least, minimize the damage. For example, there are fillers and stains available

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How do you find the home of your dreams within a price range you can afford?

Most buyers start by making a "wish list". But it's easy to get frustrated when you have a long wish list and expect you'll be able to find a home with every one of those features. You might, for example, have "mature backyard tree" as number 23 on your list, and become disappointed when an otherwise ideal property doesn't have one.

But when you really think about it, your ideal home probably comes down to just three or four core characteristics. For example:

  1. Nice, safe, family-oriented neighbourhood.
  2. Good-sized backyard.
  3. Four bedrooms and two baths.

Sure, there might be other features you were hoping for, such as "move in ready", or that big tree, but

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If you want to reduce your home energy costs, the easiest way is to turn the thermostat up or down. In fact, you probably won't notice a difference of 2 degrees either way - and the savings can be substantial.

However, if you want to lower your bill even further each month, here are some additional tips that are relatively easy to implement.

  • Plug or fix the drafts. Even in newer homes, air filtration can occur at windows and doors. So, check around your home for drafts. Windy or cold days are the best days to check. Then, get any draft you find repaired or, at least, temporarily plugged.
  • Check the attic. Heat rises and can escape through the attic. So, once a year, check the attic insulation for thin or bare spots. The insulation should be
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There are many reasons why you might suddenly need to sell your home. It could be an unexpected work relocation, a change in family circumstances, or simply a desire to move. 

Whatever the reason, selling quickly requires some fast action on your part. But that doesn't mean you need to get into panic mode. You can list and sell your property quickly, while still enjoying the process!

The first thing you need to do is figure out how to make your home show its best. In addition to cleaning and decluttering, consider getting any needed repairs done, and spruce up the place by painting and perhaps even doing some minor improvements. 

How much you need to "stage" your property depends on many factors, including what conditions are like in the local

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As you may know, curb appeal refers to how your property looks from the street, where potential buyers first see it. Your home's curb appeal can have a big impact on the sale of your property. In fact, it's not uncommon for a buyer to drive by a listing, rather than stop, because they don't like what they see. 

So, how can you improve your home's curb appeal quickly?  One way is to do some outside cleaning. 

Start with the main entryway. Wash down the front door and sweep (or power wash) the front steps. It only takes a few minutes but you'd be surprised by the impact it can have. Sweep or power wash your walkway too and you'll improve the overall look of your home - sometimes dramatically. 

Clean your front windows to brighten the look of your

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Let's face it. Planning events, even exciting ones like an overseas vacation, can be stressful. So, it's not surprising that some homeowners - even those thrilled about moving - can slip into "worry mode" when putting their property up for sale. 

Unfortunately, this anxiety can make the process of selling an unpleasant experience. Who wants that? So here are some things you can do to reduce selling stress and enjoy the adventure. 

  • Understand the selling process. The more you know about the steps involved in selling your home, the less mysterious - and therefore less stressful - it will be. 
  • Give yourself the time you need. Feeling rushed and stressed comes from trying to do too much in too little time. Even if you're selling quickly, it's
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Imagine you're looking for a new home. You have a list of all the features you want, just like you would have a grocery shopping list. However, when you explore the homes currently on the market, none meets all your criteria.

What do you do? You have a few good options. 

First, you can take a second look at your list. Does your new home need every single feature on it? Are there one or two features you can do without? For example, can you settle for a smaller kitchen assuming the property has everything else you want?

Often, buying a home that's close to perfect is perfect enough.

Second, consider what features you might be able to add to a home later, by way of a renovation or other improvement. If a property doesn't have a finished basement,

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Two of the biggest stressors for DIYers are projects that cost too much or take too long. Unfortunately, there's no sure way to guarantee that one or the other (or both) won't happen. But there is a lot you can do to minimize the probability. 

When budgeting, a big mistake DIYers make is not considering the little things. For example, you might budget for drywall panels but neglect to include the cost of nails, tape and plaster. It's easy to overlook these small items thinking they won't add up to much of an expense. But often they do. In fact, for many renovation projects, the little things account for up to 20% of the cost.

Another expense that is often overlooked is taxes. When you find a bathtub you like for $399, be sure to budget for what

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As you can probably guess, when you're preparing to move, you'll need boxes and tape - and perhaps some bubble-wrap or old newspapers to use as protective wrapping for delicate items. 

But that may not be all you need. Take a look at this list and see if you'll want any of these on hand while you're packing or on moving day. 

  • Colour markers for labelling boxes (Tip: Colour coding boxes by room will make unpacking much easier)
  • Stretch wrap to protect larger items that can't fit into a box.
  • Small plastic bags to store dis-assembled parts, such as sofa legs, cabinet hardware, etc. (You don't want to lose them!)
  • Moving blankets to protect floors. 
  • A dolly or hand truck to move heavy items. (You can rent these)
  • Mattress moving bag. This
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