Advice tips and ideas for home owners
Thursday, August 29, 2019
House and Home
Tidy up landscaping and paint any features that look worn. If it’s in your budget to buy some new items for an even bigger wow factor, consider new garage doors, house numbers, and new light fixtures. Remember to remove all cars from the driveway on the day of the open house.
Keep it clean. Hiring professional cleaners is money well spent, especially if cleaning isn’t your strong suit or you simply don’t have the time. This could include house cleaners, window washers and carpet cleaning services.
Declutter. Make all rooms in the home look as spacious as possible by removing some furniture and knickknacks (pack them away so they’re ready for your new home). A clean, uncluttered space gives buyers a better idea of the home’s features.
Stage the home. Paint in neutral colours and, if possible, replace cabinets and faucets with new hardware. Add in a few small touches such as crisp new towels in the bathrooms, and vases of fresh flowers throughout. No matter the weather on open house day, open up all blinds and curtains to let as much light in as possible. Also remember to hide toothbrushes and toiletries by stowing them under the sink. Remove anything personal. Items such as family photos, certificates and awards should be packed away. This allows homebuyers to visualize their own family in the home.
Keep pets at bay. If you’ve got a dog, it may be as easy as taking them out with you on the day of the open house. Other pets such as cats should be confined to less trafficked areas. Remember to put food bowls away until you return home.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be providing a more marketable home that’s ready to show any and all potential buyers.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
House and Home
Since the sun’s powerful rays are very effective at heating up a structure, the first step is to consider how you can effectively block some of those rays and deflect some heat away from your home. A strategically placed awning, pergola or a few trees will block the sun from hitting your windows and doors 12 hours a day.
One of the easiest ways to keep the heat out is by closing blinds, drapes and shutters during the hottest part of the day. For those looking for a more permanent solution, exterior rolling shutters might be a good option. They are effective at helping to maintain a comfortable interior temperature, will reduce noise levels and also add an extra layer of your security to your home. The only downfall is price – good quality rolling shutters are expensive. Solar screens, which look like standard window screens, will cut glare in addition to heat. “Double glazing” your windows can cut the intake of summer heat inside your home by as much as 30 per cent.
Another simple and inexpensive option for keeping cool is oscillating fans. Lightweight and portable, fans have come so far in the past 20 years, style-wise, and are still an extremely effective way of keeping a room cool. Place fans in a few rooms throughout the main level of your home to keep air circulating. During the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down. This evaporates perspiration, creates a cooling wind chill effect, and makes a room feel up to eight degrees cooler without changing the temperature in the room!
Still feeling the heat at home? Before you switch on the A/C, get rid of all the incandescent light bulbs in your home, barbecue as often as possible instead of turning on the oven, always use the bathroom fan to remove hot steam after showering and open the windows after the sun goes down to let in the cool evening breeze!
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
House and Home
You've done a lot of work to get to this point, between preparing your home for sale, sealing the deal and packing up all of your worldly belongings. The last thing you need is unnecessary stress on your closing date/moving day.
First, ask around for a moving company recommendation. Check with friends, colleagues, neighbours and family for referrals. If you're not able to get a good referral from a trusted source, check online websites like Kijiji, but proceed with caution! Ask the company to provide at least three recent references and follow-up with them. Request a meeting ahead of time to get a feel for the individual. Are they professional, prepared and courteous? Did they show up on time?
Once you've chosen a mover, get everything in writing. It's the law. According to Ontario's Consumer Protection Act (CPA), all moving contracts worth more than $50 must be in writing. Under the CPA, your contract must include:
1. The mover's name, address and contact information
2. A description of the service(s) and their prices
3. The total cost that you will have to pay, additional charges that may apply and taxes
4. Start and end dates for the service
5. The terms of payment (cash or cheque)
Other items that should be included in the contract are size and value of items, who is responsible for loss or damage, the number of staff and vehicles that will be provided and the name of the person who holds their insurance policy.
Hopefully with a little research ahead of time, you can help ensure a stress-free moving day!
Monday, March 4, 2019
House and Home
Before you make an offer, you should figure out a budget. Don’t just consider your monthly mortgage payment. As a homeowner, you have to think about property taxes, utilities, maintenance, furnishings and unforeseen expenses. Now, it’s time to do some hiring! You’ll want to hire a realtor (ask your friends and family for referrals), and also hire a real estate lawyer to assist with any legal questions that might come up.
After your offer is accepted, hire a home inspector – your realtor will likely be able to recommend one they have experience with. Make sure to complete any conditions included with your offer, like conditional financing or a home inspection. If there are any problems with the conditions (i.e. a roofing issue) you will need to discuss your options with your realtor. If all the conditions are satisfied, you will have to sign documents stating that each of the conditions are either waived or fulfilled. The offer will then become firm.
To start planning your move, there are some things you need to do. Make sure to obtain home insurance, set aside funds for closing costs, and notify your current utility companies and contact new ones if required. Lastly, you’ll want to start packing!
Although this might sound like a lot of information, there’s no need to be stressed! Making a list of things to do can help you organize yourself and make sure you don't miss anything. Your realtor will be there to help you along the way!
Thursday, November 22, 2018
House and Home Real Estate Market
There is a lot to remember when you’re packing up and moving. Here are some great tips to ensure an easy move for you and your family:
Get organized early
Create a packing schedule well in advance and follow it. Know when you need to starting packing and follow your schedule as closely as possible to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Whether you're collecting boxes or renting them, make sure they are organized and ready to go for when you start packing. If renting a truck, be sure to do this in advance to make sure you get the truck and service you need for your move.
Purge and donate
Getting rid of unwanted or unused items as you pack is a great way to go through everything you own and donate what you no longer need. If you don't love it or don't see a need for it, get rid of it. As you’re going through your stuff decide if it's being packed, donated or thrown out. Do this with a partner or a friend a quicker and more efficient process. As you pack your kitchen, donate non-perishables. Older jars of food you aren't eating will only add more weight and clutter as you pack. To make it even easier on yourself, call local non-profits to pick up bags of gently used clothing, house wares and furniture.
Packing the right way
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when packing. We often have a lot more stuff than we thought we did. Make sure to take the time to pack the right way to ensure your items are protected and to allow for an easy unpack as well. Organize your packing by room. Label boxes so you know exactly where they came from and where they need to go in your new place. Protect your memories and valuables. Wrap breakables such as dishware, frames, and cherished trinkets in paper or bubble wrap. The last room you’ll want to pack up is the kitchen as these items are the ones you will likely need the most leading up to the week you move.
Choose a reliable moving company
When hiring a moving company make sure to check their credentials. To protect yourself and your items you’ll want to make sure they are licensed and insured. Book well in advance to make sure you get the truck and service that you need. If asking friends and family for help, give them enough notice and let them know exactly what you need them for. It’s always nice to give thanks by offering cold drinks and snacks.
Moving with kids
If you’re moving with young kids, it’s a great idea to hire a sitter. As much as you love your children, they are likely to only get in the way and create distractions during the move. Pack a bag with all of their essentials so you aren’t looking deep into boxes for things they may need.