Easy-to Miss Home Security Tips for Your Vacation
If you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach, or enjoying a bus tour through historic Paris, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. Most people know the basics of keeping a home secure while away. Here are some additional tips that are easy to miss:
Tell your kids not to boast about your fabulous vacation plans, especially on social media. The fewer who know that the house will be empty, the better.
Ask a neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers dropped at your doorstep. But don’t rely on that alone. Also call the newspaper and post office to temporarily halt delivery.
You can buy timers to automatically turn lights on and off. However, most will stop working if the power goes out and restart with the incorrect time when the power comes back on. That’s why you should keep at least a couple of lights turned on continuously, and not connected to timers.
If you’re leaving in the evening, or before dawn, don’t forget to open the blinds. Closed blinds during the day are a dead giveaway that the owners are away.
Finally, experts recommend creating a home security checklist, so you don’t forget anything. That will give you peace-of-mind.
If you have any questions on buying or selling your home please do not hesitate to call!
The importance of reading and understanding an offer.
When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it's important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.
An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are "conditional upon arranging financing" and "conditional upon passing a professional home inspection." However, there may be other conditions as well.
You should be aware of – and fully understand – all of them.
In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.
A good agent will always ask you to initial changes. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you're signing.
A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgement against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.
You don't want that to happen to you.
Take the time to carefully review and understand an offer.
Want to make sure everything goes smoothly with your next move? Call
Bathroom upgrades using overlays
If you're considering a bathroom update, you're probably familiar with the typical approaches, such as replacing a countertop or toilet, or removing all the fixtures and finishes to complete a floor-to-ceiling renovation. However, there is another, far less expensive way to make an older bathroom look brand new: using overlays.
An overlay is simply a new surface applied over an existing one. For example, instead of replacing an old and worn bathtub – which is costly – you can purchase an overlay system (called a tub liner) that fits on top of the existing bathtub. It's a little like giving your tub a facelift! You can do the same thing with your bathroom countertops and floors.
Overlays come in a wide variety of styles and finishes – some of which can make your bathroom look significantly more upscale. Compared to a major renovation, the installation of overlays is relatively straightforward. A tub liner installation, for example, can be done in a day.
You can learn more about overlays at your local home improvement centre and at specialty bathroom showrooms.
Some places to check out in YEG are
and many other independant contractors.
Are you wondering what to do to your home to get it ready to sell? Call us anytime and we can help.
When to call a REALTOR®
If you're like most people, you go to see a doctor when you're not feeling well or have a health concern. However, you may also visit your doctor for a check-up, or to ask questions about healthy living.
In fact, consulting your doctor for anything health-related is a smart idea.
The same holds true when it comes to real estate.
Many people only call a REALTOR® when they're planning on selling their property or buying a new home, or both. While that's an important reason to speak to a REALTOR®, it's not the only reason.
Indeed, there are many good reasons for you to give a good REALTOR® a call.
• If you have a question about the state of the local real estate market. (Remember that it may be very different from what you hear on the news about the national market.)
• If you want to get a sense of what homes are currently selling for in the area.
• If you want to determine the current market value of your property.
• If you want to find out how much homes cost in neighbourhoods you'd like to consider.
• If you're thinking about the possibility of making a move, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time.
In other words, don't be afraid to contact a good REALTOR® when you have a question or need some advice about the real estate market.
So give us a call with any real estate concerns!
Making sense of a crazy market
Unless you're a real estate expert, you probably look at the market and think things are pretty confusing. Even a bit crazy! You hear news about
“higher or lower home sales in a particular month”,
“new home starts”
It’s a lot of news and a lot of jargon.
If you're thinking of selling your home within the next year or two, you will want to understand what's happening in the market so you can make the right decisions and get a clear sense of what to expect. So, how do you
make sense of it all?
That's where a good REALTOR® can help.
Even if you don't have any definite plans to move in the near future, a REALTOR® who is an expert in the local marketplace can help you understand what homes in a particular neighbourhood are selling for, and what you can expect to get should you decide to list your property.
Getting to know a REALTOR® also means you’ll have a trusted expert to talk to from time to time, when you have real estate-related questions.
You’ll have someone you can think of as "Your REALTOR®".
Plus, when the time comes to sell your property, you won't have to deal with a stranger. Instead, you'll be able to work with a REALTOR® that you know well -- and who knows YOU. Overall, that will make the buying and selling
process go more smoothly and more successfully.
Looking for a good REALTOR® who wants to get to know you? Call today!
The 2014 housing forecast was unveiled yesterday. It was an interesting seminar - listening to the various forecast for both the greater Edmonton area as well as the counties surrounding Edmonton.
Overall the forecast looks good - showing consistent growth on most sectors. If you want to take a look at the information the link is below.
If you have any questions please give us a call. We love chatting about the market!
All the best in 2014!
How to Choose the Right Size HDTV
How to Choose the Right Size HDTV If you don't own one already, you may be tempted to purchase a widescreen digital television to enjoy your favourite movies, shows and sports programs. However, it can be difficult to select the right screen size, especially if you've been accustomed to viewing a TV with a traditional 4:3 screen.
When it comes to size, there are many factors that come into play, such as screen resolution and personal preference. However, the last thing you want is to purchase an HDTV that is too small for the room, or so big that it dominates the space.
Here's a tip: The rule of thumb is to take the distance you'll be sitting from the television and multiple by five to get the screen size you need. So if you'll be sitting eight feet away, you'll want to look at HDTVs with screens that are in the 35- 45 inch range.
A good electronics dealer can help you make the best choice.
Making Your Kitchen More Attractive to Buyers
What's one of the most important rooms in your home? When it comes to selling your property quickly, and for the best price, the answer is clearly the kitchen. In fact, one of the most common explanations a particular buyer gives for not making an offer is, "I liked the house, but I wasn't too keen on the kitchen." That doesn't mean you must do a major renovation. However, you should do what you can to make the kitchen as attractive as possible to buyers.
Here are some ideas:
First, clear the countertops. Put away the toaster and other items. You want to make the entire countertop area seem as spacious as possible. If the cabinetry is old, you can spruce it up by installing new knobs, handles and other hardware. A fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling can also make the kitchen look like it has had a major renovation – and it will only cost you a few hundred dollars. According to an article on the website HDTV.com,
"The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware."
Replacing the countertops is a more expensive renovation, but it may be worth it if the current counters are old and worn. Finally, when preparing your kitchen for a viewing, make sure it's clean and tidy. The garbage and recycling bins should be empty. Buyers will open cabinets so make sure items on shelves are neatlyorganized with the front labels facing forward.
There are many other ways to make the most important room in your home look great to potential buyers.
Call today for more ideas.