Pre-Packing for your New Home

When selling your home, you can do yourself a favour and pack up the items you know you won’t need over the next few months. This time frame will allow you to accommodate a compatible closing date on your current home, and give you time to buy your new home without affecting your daily life. Figurines, books, extra blankets, or out of season clothing can be packed and piled neatly in a corner or basement. You should also add labels to ensure you know the contents, as well as what room the boxes should be placed in when you arrive at your new home. Pre-packing will also encourage you to donate or throw away some items as you sort through your belongings, and will help to present your home in the best light as your closets and rooms are pared down, allowing buyers to really see your home shine.

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Part of selling your home is creating a welcoming presentation, and the amount of storage and appearance is a factor in this appeal. Your closets and rooms will become more spacious, and buyers will notice the pleasant feeling of smart organization and an attractive lifestyle!

Smart moving tips:

1. Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box.

2. The heavier the items, the smaller the box.

3. Don’t forget to label your boxes. Even better? Colour code them!

Happy moving!

Helping Buyers Feel Less Like Intruders

When potential buyers visit your home, they often feel like intruders. After all, in most cases, they don’t know you personally. Yet, there they are, walking through your hallways, looking in your bedroom closets, and even checking out the cabinet space in your washrooms.

Obviously, you want buyers to feel comfortable when they are viewing your house. But how do you make sure they do?

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Here are a couple of good ideas:

First, pack up family photos and other personal items you have dispersed throughout the home. Why is this important? When a buyer sees a diploma hanging on the wall, they get that uneasy “someone lives here” feeling.

Second, don’t be in your home during viewings. Instead, visit a coffee shop, go shopping, or take the kids to the park. Buyers feel really uncomfortable viewing a home when the owners are there. As a result, they may leave without giving your property serious consideration.

If you absolutely must be home during a viewing, try to remain out of the way. Don’t volunteer information or attempt to give buyers “the tour”. Instead, be available to answer questions, if asked.

Buying a Home? 5 Ways to make it a smooth adventure

Buying a home is an exciting experience. Whether it’s your first of your fifth time, it’s best to be prepared and to stack the deck in your favour. Here are 5 ways to do so in the year leading up to your purchase.

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1. See a mortgage broker or agent. In fact, see at least two mortgage agents and become familiar with your current options for terms, rates and other benefits such as pre-payment options.

2. If you’re not familiar with your credit score, order a free report from Equifax or Transunion. Don’t like what you see? Make a commitment to pay down your debt, and put any extra cash in savings. Another advantage of checking your score is to make sure that your record is valid and correct and that you have not been a victim of identity fraud.

3. If it’s your first time buying a home, take advantage of investing in your RRSPs. Put up to $25,000 in your RRSPs and then “borrow” this money as part of your down payment. Ask your financial advisor for more details and benefits.

4. Contact a real estate agent you feel you can trust, discuss your plans with them, and get on the same page. As your REALTORS® we act in your interest in finding you a home, negotiating and, and working with you through the buying process. If you also plan to sell your existing home, we can also help to prepare you in that respect.

5. Before your feet hit the home buying strip, ask us how we can connect you with homes that fit your minimum criteria. This includes matching your budget (which you have greater confidence in after contacting a mortgage agent), the minimum number of bedrooms, and whether you want a freehold or condominium property. This way, you can see what the market has to offer in your price range, and get a feel for what options are available to you at different price points. We can send an updated list of properties (some that are not yet listed publicly) to your inbox daily, weekly or even immediately, depending your buying timeline. Ask us how.

Highlights on Skylights

Skylights are often overlooked when we are renovating or building a new home. It is typical to maximize our use of windows, but if we consider the many benefits of a skylight, you may find that having one installed is in your next renovation or new-build plans.

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Here are 5 benefits of skylights:

1. The overhead natural light provides a calm ambience that can’t be replicated, connecting you to the outdoors. This means you can see birds flying above you, rain beating down in a storm or the stars at night.

2. You will find yourself turning on the lights less often, reducing the use of artificial lighting.

3. Skylights conveniently provide light without sacrificing privacy, such as in a bathroom.

4. They can be used strategically in a dark stairwell or other room not surrounded by an exterior wall, to keep your whole home balanced and well-lit.

5. Skylights provides a comfortable warmth, increasing the natural average temperature of your home.

If you do move forward with a skylight, have it installed by a reputable company who can advise you on the best location both in respect to your home and in a room, which will affect how much light you would get and how long it is sustained. When used strategically, skylights can truly enhance a homes interior and value.

Get Green!

A dark, plain or dreary room can be livened up immediately with the right plant. Big or small, plants create a pleasing addition any room and there is one out there for you. In addition, certain plants can remove up to 89 percent of harmful volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde found in building materials and furnishings, as well as xylem found in permanent markers. Particularly in the winter, when we have our doors and windows shut for the most part, air filtering plants will help brighten your spirits and revive you. From orchids to palms, check out this list of 7 indoor plants that will effectively filter your air.

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For those of you who know yourself well, and have had many a plant die in a dark corner, these 15 indoor plants may surprise you— perhaps even making it to your next birthday. Hey, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Check out these hardy home dwellers.