Great Photos sell your home!

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What attracts more showings, increases online views and helps homes sell faster and for more money? Good quality pictures of your home! Getting a professional exterior and interior photo shoot is a must when selling your home.

Most prospective home buyers these days search on the internet, and it’s the pictures they see that draw them in. Listings that include professional photos receive many more online views and get more showings. But not just any photos will do. Listings with poor quality photos, for example, those with low lighting, will work against you. Having no photos at all in a listing usually causes people to skip over it completely.

Hiring a professional for the job is the best choice. A good real estate photographer has the right equipment, such as wide angle lenses to get the right angles of the room and make it look as spacious as possible without distorting it. Professionals know that proper lighting is crucial when photographing a home. Everyone wants to see a bright home, not a dark and dingy looking space. Lighting the photos correctly brings out the best in your home.

You will want to stage your home and clean it well before the photo shoot. Remove all clutter from surfaces in each room. You don’t need photographs of every room in the home, but you’ll definitely want to include the kitchen, living room, master bedroom and master ensuite.

Taking the time to invest in good quality photos of your home will most certainly pay off!

2018’s New Pantone Colour

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Ultra Violet it is!  What do you think?  Love it?  Hate it?
Pantone announced shade 18-3838 Ultra Violet as its colour of the year for 2018. It’s a cool and moody shade of purple that is said to evoke creative expression. Ultra violet will add brightness and a mystical feel to the room, making this a great colour to incorporate into to your home decor!
You may however find this cosmic-inspired shade difficult to decorate with. If you’re not ready to take the full plunge, remember you can start simple – like accessorizing with it. The key to bringing in a bold colour is to take small steps. Start with a few throw cushions, a blanket or a rug. Find Ultra Violet in a piece of wall art to really tie it all together.
Another way to use the blue-based purple colour in a more subtle way is to pair it with other hues. You can soften it with other shades of purple, pink or blue. Working with these other shades such as lilac and mauve will tone down the boldness of Ultra Violet.
If you’re feeling more daring and willing to dive in, add an Ultra Violet accent wall or piece of furniture. It will add a moody and dark feel, and will go well with dark and rich fabrics and woodgrains. Adding Ultra Violet will certainly make a statement!
However you choose to incorporate it into your decor, Ultra Violet will be certain to add a beautiful elegance to your home.

3 Reason why you should use a Home Inspector

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With all of the expenses that come with purchasing a new home, you may feel tempted to skip having a home inspection done, but there are many good reasons why you shouldn’t. When you hire a good home inspector they can reveal crucial information about the condition of a home you are considering buying. Here are three of the most important reasons to hire a home inspector:

Safety

Safety is number one for your family. A home inspector will check for several safety issues that can be lurking in a home. Things such as mold, carbon monoxide and radon can be detected in the inspection, which are health hazards that you may not otherwise know are in the home. Issues such as water safety and improper electrical wiring are other concerns that may be uncovered in the inspection.

Saves you money

Hiring a home inspector may end up saving you thousands of dollars in the end. If your inspector discovers problems ahead of time, this can help you renegotiate the asking price. The inspection can also help you predict future expenses, giving you a more accurate idea of the home’s true worth. And with the inspection complete, you will have the opportunity to request repairs of the homeowner, saving you money.

Gives you an out

Once in a while after receiving the results of the inspection, the buyer no longer feels comfortable purchasing the home because of the findings. Having a home inspector gives you the opportunity to evaluate whether there are any deal-breakers. Having one last opportunity to back out of the offer if needed is an important reason to hire an inspector when purchasing a home.

Jennifer Birch – Realtor

Preparing to sell your home in 2018

20150955fc5b087d29c.pngIf you’re thinking of selling your home in 2018, it’s never too soon to start preparing. Now is the time to get your finances in order and begin working on those minor projects around the house that will help you realize top dollar when it comes time to list.

When trying to zero in on where your money will best be spent, consider what most buyers are looking for. Some improvements may cost a few thousand dollars but are almost guaranteed to increase the value of your home, thus providing a high return on your investment. These include projects like replacing old, worn-out carpet, updating a dingy bathroom or finishing your basement.

Repainting is one household update that will provide a 200% return on your investment. Nothing makes a home look updated, clean and ready for new owners like a fresh coat of paint! Stick to a neutral palette to appeal to the masses and be sure to repair walls first and paint high traffic areas like the front entry, kitchen and great room.

Since we all know that kitchens sell homes, it’s wise to do what you can to make yours more appealing to buyers, especially in an older home. You might be amazed at how easy it is to refinish or repaint cabinetry. There are some fantastic products on the market today that make this project a cinch – visit your local hardware store and ask an expert. Switching up your door hardware is another way to add dramatic impact without spending a fortune.

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Another area to focus on when it comes to wowing potential buyers this spring is your home’s curb appeal. Before the snow starts falling, take a good look at your home’s exterior, including siding, roof, windows, garage doors, outdoor lighting, porch, walkway, driveway and your fence and deck. If repair or maintenance is needed on some of these items it’s best to wait until the winter weather is over, but it’s a good idea to know where your attention may be needed so you can start saving and planning!

Jennifer Birch

Make a statement with your Master Bedroom Headboard

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Between magazines, TV shows and decorating websites, it certainly is easy to find inspiration for home décor. If your master bedroom is due for an update, you can add some serious wow factor with an eye-catching headboard. Sure, there are many gorgeous pieces out there ready for installation but if you’re feeling crafty and creative, check out these ideas for fashioning your very own work of art!

If you’re an antique lover, start by searching your local antique shops and flea markets. Keep an open mind as you peruse the aisles; look for accordion room dividers, old tin ceiling tiles, shutters, mantles or wrought iron gates – anything that can be cleaned up, painted and repurposed. If you or someone you love is handy with power tools, you will be amazed at what you can whip together with just a few supplies. Tight on space? Attach small lamps and build a little nightstand on each side to eliminate the need for extra furniture!

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If you are an artist at heart, unleash your creativity with a paintbrush! You can affix wood slats to the wall where your bed will be placed (Cut to the desired length. If using old barn board, clean it up and sand first. If using new wood, take some time to distress the wood before painting.) After you’ve attached the wood to the wall, paint a nature scene, a special quote, flowers or a geometric design – the options are endless!

If you love combining textures, fabric might be the perfect option for your new headboard. For a classic, clean look that can work with many décor styles, an upholstered headboard is a fairly easy DIY project. Choose a bright and cheerful patterned fabric, or keep it simple with a neutral coloured fabric and a diamond tuft pattern – it’s easier than you think! Check online for step-by-step tutorials. For an even easier fabric headboard option, hang a stylish curtain rod over your bed and use a set of beautiful drapes to create your headboard.

Get organized for the winter season

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While we were fortunate to enjoy some unseasonably warm days during October, November has arrived and it’s only a matter of time before the snow starts falling. With the arrival of frosty weather comes the need to switch over our wardrobes from summer to winter, presenting the perfect opportunity to organize closets and dressers!

The first step is purging. As you sort through clothing, be honest with yourself and look at which items did not get worn this summer. If an item doesn’t fit or is no longer fashionable, throw it away or set it aside for donation. The same goes for accessories. Take some time to sort through shoes, belts, scarves, and jewelry, tossing items that have seen better days or just aren’t your style anymore. If you have a smaller closet and extra storage space elsewhere, move off-season clothes to a separate location. There’s no need to take up space with bathing suits, cover-ups, beach hats and sandals so if it’s an option, store these items elsewhere until the spring.

oc-pink-drapesOnce you have pared down your wardrobe, decide if your closet would benefit from an organization system. When you have a proper place for everything and put everything back where it belongs, you will have success in keeping your closet clean and organized all winter long. When setting up your new system, keep the items you use the most accessible and put things used less frequently at the back or on a top shelf out of the way. Set up clothing by colour, type (work, casual, active wear etc.) or by category (pants, dresses, shirts, etc.) – choose what works for you. Whatever you decide, keep the system simple so it can be easily maintained on a daily basis.

Another storage space that will likely need some attention is your front hall closet. Pack away sandals and water shoes, light spring jackets and anything else that has gathered over the past six months. Go through your winter wear items and be sure that gloves and mittens have a match and items are in good shape before adding them back into the mix. Now is also a good time to replace hangers or your shoe rack if needed.

What buyers are looking for in homes

modern country kitchenIf you’re thinking of selling your home in the next six months, year or even two years, it’s never too soon to start thinking re-sale value. Improvements to your home will almost always add value so it’s in your best interest to choose upgrades that are of good quality and have universal appeal – converting a spare bedroom to a luxurious master suite will attract a select few potential buyers but actually be viewed negatively by the majority of homeowners. Here’s a look at some household features that many buyers are looking for in 2017.

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1. Smart Home Technology – More and more buyers are looking for a home that boasts smart home features and technology. Included are items in three general categories: features for practical and functional use (i.e. kitchen appliances with LED touchscreen displays, NEST thermostats and remote-controlled shades), features for lifestyle and entertainment (i.e. built-in sound systems and automated lighting systems) and items for safety and security (i.e. smart locks, Wi-Fi video doorbells and security cameras).

2. Hardwood Flooring – It’s estimated that 80% of buyers have hardwood floors included in their list of must-haves when house-hunting. Durable, long-lasting angreat-rustic-hardwood-flooring-17-best-ideas-about-rustic-hardwood-floors-on-pinterest-rusticaesthetically pleasing, hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring options available but also one of the best investments from a resale value standpoint.

3. Updated Kitchen and Bathrooms – We all know that kitchens and bathrooms sell a home, so if you have reno dollars to spend, it’s wise to shell out the cash to upgrade the heart of the home and bathrooms. Updated cabinets, quartz or granite countertops and newer appliances are all something that potential buyers will be looking for when house-hunting. When it comes to bathrooms, more and more buyers are seeking a little luxury. Freestanding tubs, high-tech toilets, unique tile shapes and heated floors will appeal to discerning buyers.

4. Outdoor Living Space – With such a short hot and sunny season here in Canada, many homeowners want to take advantage of the summer weather while it’s here, making fancy outdoor kitchens and living spaces a hot commodity.