Real Estate & the market is forever changing. Stay up to date and learn some great tips on buying and selling!

Feb. 9, 2022

The Latest Options in Outdoor Lighting

 

The Latest Options in Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there's an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.

Here are just a few ideas:

Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.

Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they're designed to sit on top of a standard 4x4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.

Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to old-fashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They're eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.

Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.

LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.

Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through. 

Programmable holiday lights. These are strings of LED lights that can be installed professionally to the exterior of your home and can be programmed remotely to change colours and lighting patterns.

Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start. 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 9, 2022

Staging Your Home In a Hurry

 

Staging Your Home In a Hurry

Ideally you should have a week or two available before you list your property in order to stage your home and make it look its best for buyers. But, what if you listed quickly and within hours of the For Sale sign going up a buyer wants to view your property?

In that scenario, you need to do some quick "staging" to get your home ready. Let's assume your property is already clean and tidy. Here are some other things you can do.

Open the curtains, even at night. This will make each room seem brighter, more appealing and more spacious.

Pull out some boxes or storage bins. Put away personal knick-knacks (like that bowling trophy) and other personal items to reduce clutter on shelves and countertops.

Clear countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Put the tooth brushes and old toaster oven out-of-sight.

Make sure lighting throughout the house is bright and comfortable. Replace burnt-out lightbulbs. In darker areas, plug in a lamp.

Clear away as much as you can in the foyer. Make that space look open, uncluttered and welcoming.

Move cars out of the driveway. Give the buyer a convenient place to park!

Make the beds. Fluff pillows on sofas.

Clear away as many items as possible from the closet floors (such as shoes.)

Open a window and air out the kitchen, especially if you just finished cooking.

Make sure your pet is in a crate or, if possible, out for a walk. Not everyone loves pets.

These staging tips take only a few minutes each, but can make a big difference in the impression your home makes on a buyer.

Want more home selling advise? Call today. 

Posted in Home
Feb. 9, 2022

Relocating to a Different Town or City

Relocating to a Different Town or City

 

 

Moving around the corner or even across town is relatively simple because you are likely familiar with the various neighbourhoods and you can access them anytime. If there's a listed home you want to view, you can simply go see it.

 

Relocating to a different town or city, however, is much more challenging. It may not be possible for you to make multiple visits to see homes for sale. You may also be unfamiliar with the various neighbourhoods.

 

So what do you do if you want to move out-of-town or need to relocate due to work?

 

Your first step is to get the information you need. You'll want up-to-date data on the neighbourhoods so you can pinpoint the ones that are the best fit for your needs and lifestyle. You'll also want to get a sense of the types of homes for sale in those neighbourhoods - style, size, features, listing price etc.

 

Your next step is to schedule a day to view homes. This visit must be carefully planned so you only see those properties that are likely to be of interest. You don't want to travel all that way only to end up seeing properties you wouldn't likely buy. What a waster of time!

 

So, if you're relocating, you'll need help. Give me a call. I can help make the relocation go smoothly for you.

 

 

Posted in Home
Feb. 9, 2022

4 Steps to a Stress-Free Sale

4 Steps to a Stress-Free Sale

Ideally, when you sell your home, you want the process to go smoothly and relatively stress-free. While things may happen that are outside your control, there is a lot you can do to ensure that the selling experience is a good one.

Consider these four steps to reduce worry and stress when listing your home.

Step 1: Learn the selling process.

Find out what to expect when the FOR SALE sign goes up. How will viewings be scheduled? Will an Open House be needed? What happens when there is an offer? The more you know, the less mysterious - and, therefore, less stressful - the experience will be.

Step 2: Schedule wisely.

Use a calendar to block out times for viewings and other selling-related activities. Be sure to schedule plenty of time to clean and declutter your home before a viewing or Open House. Try not to have a tight schedule during the sales period.

Step 3: Anticipate issues.

The more problems you can foresee, the better you'll be prepared to deal with them as they arise. For example, if you know you're going to have a busy week at work, start making plans now to deal with viewings and related matters during those days.

Step 4: Make decisions.

Things can move quickly in the real estate market. There might be a few days when there are no enquiries at all, and then suddenly two offers will come in.

Be prepared to make some quick decisions. Fortunately, with sound advice from me as your real estate agent, making those decisions will be a lot easier.

So, follow these simple steps. They'll help make your sale less worrisome and even enjoyable!

Posted in Selling
Feb. 9, 2022

DIY-Friendly Bathroom Makeovers

 

DIY-Friendly Bathroom Makeovers

Want to make your bathroom look fantastic without having to do a major renovation? There are a lot of projects you can do yourself. In fact, there are some improvements you can get done in less than a day that will transform the look and feel of your bathroom. Check out these ideas:

 

-        Update the sink. If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a project you should be able to do on your own. A new sink can make the entire vanity look like new.

 

-        Buy new decor. New shower curtain, towels, window coverings, mats, etc. can transform the look of a bathroom.

 

-        Install new hardware. Replacing cabinet hardware may not seem like much of a change. However, it can have a surprisingly big impact. Shiny new hardware is like jewelry. It stands out.

 

-        Replace the vanity mirror. Even if there are no scratches, an older mirror is like an old pair of glasses. It can become foggy. No amount of cleaning will make it any clearer. When ordering a replacement mirror, be sure that your measurements are exact.

 

-        Paint. There's no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint makes any room look better.

These bathroom improvement projects can make a huge impact on the look of your bathroom. And, they can all be done affordably and in just a day or two. 

Posted in Home
Feb. 9, 2022

When a Home Inspector Finds an Issue

 

When a Home Inspector Finds an Issue

Imagine you've found the perfect home. You love it. You've made an offer that's been accepted. So far so good! The only catch? You've wisely made the offer conditional on passing a professional home inspection.

What happens if that home inspection reveals a major issue?

First, you should know that, depending on the age of the property, a home inspection will typically turn up at least a few areas of concern. The inspector might find loose insulation in the attic that is thinning out or roofing shingles that will need replacing in two or three years.

Issues like those are not usually deal-breakers.

However, if the home inspector finds a major issue - such as old wiring that's worn and presents a safety concern - then you're facing a potentially high cost of repair should the deal go through.

In a situation like that, as your real estate agent, I will address the issue with the seller, usually through the seller's agent. Since neither of you will want to lose the deal, the seller often agrees to get the repair done at his/her own expense or, have some or all of the estimated repair cost deducted from the sale price.

Will the deal be in jeopardy? Usually not in most cases, if you have a real estate agent like me working in your best interests, it all works out. 

Posted in Home
Feb. 9, 2022

What to Fix Up in your Home before You Sell

What to Fix Up in your Home before You Sell

If you have a home that is overdue for a renovation, you might be worried that it will be difficult to sell as a "fixer-upper". In fact, you might delay listing your property for that reason.

The good news is, you don't need to fix up everything in your home to prepare it for sale. You can be selective and choose only those projects that are most likely to help your home show well and sell quickly.

Here are some projects to consider:

Repairs. Few things stand out more during a viewing than something in obvious need of repair. That includes minor issues, like a dripping bathroom faucet, as well as major concerns, such as the central air conditioning unit not working. Get these repairs done.

Painting. Painting is one of the easiest and most affordable DIY projects you can do. Yet the impact it can have on your home is stunning. Some rooms are completely transformed by a fresh coat of paint.

Kitchens and Bathrooms. Buyers love to see great looking kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, there are even magazines devoted just to those rooms! You don't necessarily need to do a major renovation of these spaces, but a makeover can be a good idea. Consider replacing sinks, countertops, and/or cabinet hardware.

Floors. If the floors in any of your rooms have become worn and unsightly, look at options for refreshing them. Consider replacing carpeting, refinishing hardwood, and/or getting tiles professionally cleaned and polished.

Outdoors. Sometimes you can compensate (a little) for a less-than-ideal interior by sprucing up the outdoor space. Explore ways to improve your deck or patio, walkways, and landscaping.

Even if your home is older, you can make it more attractive to buyers with any one of these projects.

Want more ideas for finding eager buyers for your home? Call today. 

Posted in Home
Feb. 9, 2022

Buying Extra Storage for your Electronic Records

 

Buying Extra Storage for your Electronic Records

There are many storage options for your household items. For example, receipts and other paper records can be stored in a file box. Seasonal items, such as winter clothing, can be put in the basement. You can even rent a local storage unit to help with decluttering.

But what about stuff that exists electronically? These days, many important records, - vacation pictures, tax receipts, home videos, school documents, etc. - are in the form of PDFs, JPEGs, and other electronic formats. Having those reside entirely on your computer is risky. What if your computer crashes? Someone smart once said, "A computer file isn't a file until it's in two places." So, the solution is to store your important electronic documents in a second place. Here are the most common options:

Portable storage. These are data storage devices that fit in the palm of your hand. For most homes, 1 T (terabyte) of memory is plenty.

Cloud storage. Box, Dropbox, and iCloud are the biggest players here. The advantage of storing your documents "in the cloud" is that unlike portable storage, you can't damage or lose it.

Large backup units. These larger units continuously backup your files so you don't even have to think about it.

Whatever option you choose, the important thing is to have a duplicate or backup of your important files, so you never have to worry about losing them.

Posted in Buying
Feb. 9, 2022

6 Affordable Ways to Boost your Home's Curb Appeal

6 Affordable Ways to Boost your Home's Curb Appeal

When buyers come to see your home, the first thing they notice is how your property looks from the curb. That first impression is powerful and lingering. If buyers don't like what they see, it can influence how they judge the rest of your property, regardless of how it looks on the inside.

You definitely want to do whatever you can to boost curb appeal. Here are six affordable ideas to consider:

Driveway sealing. This makes the pavement look darker and less faded. It also helps cover up some of the cracks. Sealing won't give you the "brand new" look of repaving, but it's close - and significantly less expensive.

Exterior window washing. Washing the front windows make them look clean and bright. In fact, the effect can be stunning. There are window washing products that connect to your hose to make this job easier. Check your home improvement retailer.

Maintaining shrubs, hedges and flower beds. Trimming the hedges, shrubs and other evergreens can make a big difference in how your property looks from the street. It's like giving them all a haircut!

Front door painting. From the curb, a buyer's eye is naturally drawn to your front door. If your entry system looks old and worn, consider a fresh coat of paint. It can make the entrance look almost new.

Garage door painting. This is a bigger project that can take a day or two, but the effort might be worth it. For many homes, the garage door is the biggest item in the curb appeal panorama. Making it look better will have a big impact.

Removing unsightly items. Look at your home from the street. Are there items in your field of vision that take away from the curb appeal? For example, are there garbage cans and other items stowed along the side of the property and visible from the road? If so, move them.

If you're selling your home, making the best first impression is crucial. You don't want buyers to drive by simply because they don't like what they see from the outside. Use these tips to boost your home's curb appeal. 

Posted in Home
Feb. 9, 2022

Beyond Boxes: Packing Materials You May need for your Move

Beyond Boxes: Packing Materials You May need for your Move

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

Moving blankets to protect floors.

A dolly or hand truck to move heavy items. (You can rent these)

Mattress moving bag. This helps prevent stains and tears during your move. You can also buy specialty bags for sofas and tables.

Reusable foam furniture sliders, to protect floors when furniture needs to be pushed into place.

Foam corner protectors. This prevents furniture with sharp corners from banging and damaging other items during a move.

Planning ahead and having the right packing materials on hand will make your move less stressful and hopefully, damage-free!

Posted in Home