Buying November 25, 2022

7 Signs It’s Time to Upsize

 

 

Have you ever thought about upsizing your home and being unsure when to go for it? 

Upsizing your home can be intimidating, but there are a few telltale signs it’s time to do so.

 

Your Family is Growing

 

Your family is growing quickly, and your current home is overflowing with stuff! That two-bedroom home may work for children who are okay sharing rooms, but they may want their own space once they grow up. Not only do children (and pets) take up space in our homes, the garage and backyard can quickly become full of stuff too. 

 

Even if you aren’t busting out the seams of your house, but you plan for kids or many pets, it could be time to upscale before you run out of room.

 

Being Able to Afford It 

 

One day you will be in a better financial position, and buying a house might be a significant next step. After all, as they say, a home is an investment. Perhaps you finally got a better-paying job or that promotion you have been working towards—if you have weighed the pros and cons, and feel you can afford a new home, now is the time to go for it!

 

Needing More Space

 

Even if your family doesn’t grow with kids or pets, there is still that basic human instinct of accumulating stuff—whether you have started a new hobby or just existing daily, things seem to pile up continually. Upsizing would allow you to spread out more throughout your home and possibly have better storage solutions.

 

More space in your home can also provide more room to get that trampoline you have always wanted or a hot tub—inside, perhaps you want more luxuries, such as furniture or appliances.

 

Bigger and Better Furniture and Appliances

 

Lifestyles changing is one thing, but what about just wanting everyday luxuries, like a larger couch or dishwasher? I would love a dishwasher in my kitchen. A finished basement is also on my list to entertain guests easier in a separate space with a wet bar and projector screen.

 

Making Room for Pets

 

If there is a reason to up-size one’s house, it is to allow for additional pets or provide a great space to take care of them—whether that be room to have their bed and food in or even an indoor pet bath and foyer. 

 

Entertaining Guests

 

One of the reasons I want to have a larger house is to entertain guests easily and have bigger groups come over. The responsibility of gatherings usually falls on a few people in the group—but being able to host from time to time sounds excellent too.

 

Having a bigger home will finally allow you to comfortably invite over all those people you couldn’t have over before in your smaller accommodations.

 

Relocating

 

Relocating to a new area or another town will allow you to get more bang for your buck. We all have relocated at least once, which can open up an excellent opportunity to upsize your home.

 

Some homeowners might want to stay in the same home because of the memories made there, but sometimes running out of space might be a more significant reason to change houses. If you notice these signs, it might be time to upscale your home. Make sure all your finances are in place, and make a list of needs and wants before searching for the perfect house.

 

Your Local Realtor® can help you discover the best-upsized home for you!

 

Lifestyle November 11, 2022

Surviving Winter Blues

 

Here in Saskatchewan, winter is a drag, the snow, the ice, and the overall coldness. It is hard to leave your house, and being cozy is the ultimate goal. However, here is a helpful list of fighting off winter blues that can boost your mood and improve your mental health.

 

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

 

Often referred to as seasonal depression, it’s a type of depression related to the change of seasons—mainly in the colder, darker months, like winter. Some symptoms include:

 

  • Depression
  • Low Energy Levels
  • Mood Changes and Social Problems
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns
  • Changes in Appetite or Weight

 

If you already experience depression year-round, these symptoms tend to worsen in winter.

 

What can you do?

 

There are a few key things you can do to help curb seasonal depression and improve your mental health during the long winter months. Even if seasonal depression doesn’t affect you, the suggestions below will boost anyone’s mood.

 

Get a Light Therapy Lamp

 

Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, can be a great way to stave off winter blues. If you are working at a desk or need a few minutes of stress relief, try buying a bright light lamp that imitates natural sunlight. 

 

There is a proper combination of light therapy based on timing, light intensity, and duration. Consult a doctor or the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you don’t hurt your eyes and have the best results. It is most effective early in the morning for at least 30 minutes—keep a light schedule to have the most impact.

 

Exercise

 

Exercise releases endorphins and is an excellent way to boost energy. Even moving your body 20-30 minutes daily can have tremendous benefits.

 

Taking up a winter hobby might be nice to get outdoors and get a little fresh air. This season I bought a complete winter gear kit to do winter walks and try snowboarding. If you want to try snowboarding, I recommend Optimist Hill, right in Saskatoon! Walking down the Meewasin trail amongst all the birds and trees is a surefire way to enjoy the outdoors. Having a friend to do these activities with is also a great way to get a chat in and boost your mood. 

 

Pick one winter activity that you love or at least can tolerate, and try to do it a few times or more this winter season! If you feel like -20C is too cold, prioritize activities on good weather days. Sometimes it can be hard to take advantage of these if you work full-time, but if they fall on a weekend, there’s no better time to get outside!

 

Prioritize Social Activities

 

Staying inside all winter sounds like the best course of action but remember to prioritize socialization. The roads might be bad sometimes, but plan fun activities with friends and family when it’s safe. Having a close social group and having connections with various people will enrich your life in ways you can’t imagine. My favourite winter activities with friends are going to a cozy cafe, going to the art gallery, walking outside, and skating at a rink near my house.

 

Remember to Get Enough Vitamin D

 

We have already touched on the Light Therapy lamp. Still, real vitamin D is also required to regulate the amount of calcium, Magnesium and phosphate in your body, which is vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. The research on vitamin D and your health is limited, but it can’t hurt to try to get more in regularly.

 

Low sunshine throughout the winter months means less vitamin D from the sun, and luckily there are supplemental vitamins. Food can also be a great source of vitamin D, such as juices, milk alternatives, oily fish, red meat and eggs.

 

If you can, taking a vacation to a warm climate can be a nice break from winter blues and an excellent way to gain more vitamin D!

 

Be sure not to let winter halt your life entirely, and try something new this year to keep yourself active and healthy. These tips will hopefully get you out of that slump and encourage you to get out there.

 

Contact your local REALTOR® to find a wonderful home for those shopping endorphins this winter!

 

BuyingSelling October 14, 2022

5 Ways to Write a Winning Offer

The real estate market currently has more sellers than buyers, however, homes are still receiving multiple offers.

 

Here is a quick guide to help you write a winning offer.

 

Demonstrate Solid Financing

 

Seller’s favour offers that have a higher odds of closing. The truth is, no one gets paid if the home sale falls through.

 

The most solid financial offer is an all-cash offer, but the chance for this kind of offer is realistically low. 

 

The second most ideal offer is to have the financing in place and get pre-approved for a mortgage before the house-hunting process begins. A pre-approval letter shows the sellers that you are able to and are committed to purchasing a home.

 

Another thing to consider is the reputation of your lender, whether it be a private lender or a financial institution. Sellers won’t consider your lender’s reputation, but realtors often do. In general, some lenders are a lot more efficient than others. If you are finding it difficult to choose a lender, your Realtor can help you choose the best one for ease of business.

 

Put Down a Sizeable Deposit

 

A sizable deposit can also increase your chances of standing out as a serious buyer. A deposit is different from a down payment, so make sure you don’t get the two confused.

 

The brokerage or lawyer holds a deposit in trust until the purchase goes through. Once the purchase goes through, the deposit will is applied to the down payment and closing costs. Putting down a larger deposit is risky because you can partially or fully lose the deposit if the sale falls through. Check your contract terms.

 

Deposits can vary in amount, but offering an above-average deposit can show sellers you are serious about the property.

 

Ask for Few or No Conditions

 

Conditions are set in place by the buyer, a series of clauses that the buyer and seller must complete, or they can back out. These conditions appear in the purchase agreement and are legally binding once agreed upon by both seller and buyer.

 

Two of the most common conditions are:

Financing: A financial condition is a financing window of time the buyer has to gather funding for the home purchase. If they can’t meet the financing requirements, they can withdraw their offer, and the seller can move on to other buyers.

Inspection: An inspection condition requires a home inspection to be completed before purchasing the home. Usually, they are meant to discover pre-existing issues with the home, such as structural, electrical, plumbing, etc. Sellers can choose to fix the problems before the buyers move in, or sometimes re-negotiation of the final purchase price can occur, depending on the financial cost and work to be completed. If an agreement is not met, the buyer can choose to withdraw from the contract.

 

The more conditions that need to be met for the contract to go through, the offer becomes less desirable and weaker. In a competitive market, oftentimes, buyers are encouraged to voluntarily waive certain conditions to have the request go through easier.

 

Fewer conditions mean that there is less “red tape” to go through to complete the transaction, but missing things like a home inspection comes with a risk. Perhaps the home has many hidden repairs that will come out of the new buyer’s pocket, as they were not caught beforehand. 

 

Offer a Flexible Closing Date

 

When an owner is selling their home, money isn’t everything. Sometimes having a flexible closing/moving date is appealing because it can create the lead time needed to move into their next home. 

 

A flexible timeline can provide an excellent advantage for first-time buyers. If you are currently renting and can extend your month-to-month lease, this would be ideal for offering more flexibility on the closing date.

 

Doing so might edge out the competition or have no impact at all. Confer with your Realtor to see if this is an impactful move.

 

Work With a Skilled REALTOR®

 

In this competitive real estate market, the most significant advantage you have is to hire a knowledgeable realtor. They will have the skills and know-how to guide you through home buying/selling.

 

Realtors write up offers daily and will know what works well and what doesn’t. 

 

Once your offer is accepted, the Realtor will also be the liaison between you and the seller/buyer. They can write up the paperwork and lead fair negotiations. They should have your best interests in mind and the knowledge to make your home-buying journey lovely.

 

A competitive offer in today’s market doesn’t necessarily mean the highest bid or the one with no conditions. These tips should help you sweeten the deal and hopefully get you in the house you want.

Now that you have all the information to write a winning offer, try it yourself or with the help of a trusted local REALTOR.

 

HomeownershipLifestyle September 23, 2022

Basements, More Than Storage!

 

Basements are a waste of space to some people, but they don’t have to be. They can serve many different purposes than just a storage facility. If your basement is finished or you’re thinking about finishing it, consider some fabulous ideas below!

 

Home Theatre 

Take that extra living room and turn it into a home theatre. It is a perfect option for those cold winter days. There is nothing like cozying up with loved ones and watching a movie or binging a tv show. A basement is the perfect open space to have a projector on the wall and a comfy sizeable sectional couch. If you want to splash out, install some home theatre chairs with cup holders to make the viewing experience truly unique.

Personal Gym

A basement gym would allow you to pump the tunes and drop weights without disturbing the neighbours or other floors. A one-time single investment in gym equipment is all you need to get started. The convenience of having a home gym would put money back in your pocket and help you lead a healthier lifestyle. The excuse of travelling to a gym would be a thing of the past, and the whole family could get into a fitness routine.

Playroom

A playroom is another excellent option for all that extra space. Kids toys can quickly take over the whole house, and creating a dedicated playroom would keep the clutter downstairs. Brighten up this semi-hidden home area with a bold colour paint choice and install wall decals for an added flare.

Library 

We all have books scattered around the house—imagine if they were all in one place in a library-like space. Some ideas would be to install custom built-in shelving (or a wall of bookshelves), oversized rugs, cozy chairs, pillows and lots of soft lighting. Create a special place to read, enjoy, and relax after a long day.

Home Office

A designated workspace might be your ticket to being more productive overall. The basement is separate from the rest of your home, making it the ideal location for a quiet home office. Since the basement is a wide open space, there is a lot of room to get a large desk and chair then you normally would have. Plus, your body will thank you for going up and down the stairs during the day for added movement.  

 

Basements are blank canvases and can be used in many different ways. Try maximizing the extra living space and make a perfect escape for you and your family.

Contact your local REALTOR® today to find the perfect space!

HomeownershipSelling September 9, 2022

Creative Home Staging Tips

 

 

It’s essential to showcase your home in the best way possible to potential home buyers. The more staging the home has, the more people will be interested in viewing the house and then buying it. Here are a few staging tips to consider before taking photos of your home and also opening your home for viewings.

 

Areas of Influence

 

Curb appeal is the first place to start when staging your home, and the first impression people have—think of a nice green lawn, flowers and trimmed trees. Inside the best areas to stage are the most high-traffic rooms, such as the kitchen, living room, main bathroom and primary bedroom. 

 

New Perspective

 

Try rearranging your furniture or removing pieces of furniture to open up the space. We see our homes the same way daily and grow accustomed to the layouts. But what will potential buyers see? Move furniture around to create a nice flow through the house so that viewers can see the space’s potential. If you are unsure how to accomplish this, call in the professionals.

 

Keep it Simple

 

Staging doesn’t have to be expensive. One affordable staging option is to remove personal items and clutter. Simplifying the objects in your house and decorating them with key pieces will appeal to more buyers.

 

Curb Appeal

 

A buyer first sees the front yard and entrance to your home. Ensure your lawn is mowed, trees are trimmed, and walks are swept. No need to re-landscape your whole yard, but having a tidy yard will pay off in dividends. Some other great suggestions include power washing all the siding, eaves, decks and driveways. Paint the front door a bright colour that compliments your home. Replace or paint any diminishing features of the house, and spread out an inviting welcome mat while you’re at it!

 

Kitchens

 

Kitchens are the feature that attracts most home buyers. Create an inviting space by deep cleaning your kitchen, including inside cabinets and behind appliances. Make the handles and appliances sparkle. Remove countertop appliances that aren’t used or kitchen clutter, like paper towel dispensers, to show off the counter space. Stage the kitchen with vibrant fruit bowls or well-appointed objects. Organize and destash your cupboards, so everything looks in order and has the appearance of lots of space. 

 

Furniture Placement

 

Furniture placement can make or break your buyer’s experience. Your space will look cluttered and small if there is too much furniture. Create a mood in each room with the furniture, typical furniture along the walls is dull, adding a bit of life to the house by changing the placement. Clean furniture and crisp bed coverings are a great way to make a home feel inviting. Show off the best features of your house by strategically placing furniture around fireplaces or great architectural details. Lines of sight to the windows will make all the rooms feel bright and more open.

 

Bedroom Makeovers

 

A tremendous primary bedroom adds a lot of value to a home and will bring a sense of comfort to potential buyers. Everyone wants to sleep in an oasis, and it can be effortless to transform your bedroom into one. The bed is the main focal point of any bedroom, so make sure the bedding is tucked in and clean—make it feel like a hotel room. Another nice add-on would be creating symmetry with matching nightstands and lamps.

 

Set the Mood with Light

 

Lighting is so important when selling a home. Before showing the home ensure all the curtains are open to flood the space with light and warmth. Replace all light fixture bulbs with warm ones, so every room has consistent lighting. If possible, have a few types of lighting, ranging from ambient, task and accent lights—having a variety of lights set the perfect mood for night or day showings.

 

Keep Things Fresh

 

You may want to add some greenery to your home to add a bit of coziness and life, however, steer away from plastic plants and flowers. Opting for natural plants and flowers is great for staging and creating life in your home.

 

Finishing Touches

 

The finishing touch on staging your home is removing all your personalized items so that homebuyers can have a blank slate to envision their stuff in it. Replace family photos with generic artwork. If you have decluttered everything, try adding back in some texture pillows and throws. Simple objects staged together in groups of three can showcase features of your home, like the fireplace mantle or built-in bookshelves. Play with scale, colours, shapes and textures of items to engage people’s interest.

 

Taking the time and effort to stage your home will be worth it when you sell it quickly. Following these staging tips will help you show off your home’s best features, and with any luck, you will be able to sell your home for top dollar. The more presentable your home is, the more it will stand out from the competition and elevate the perception of its value.

 

If you are interested in buying or selling your home, contact your local REALTOR® today!

 

HomeownershipLifestyle September 2, 2022

9 Simple Autumn Home Maintenance Tasks

 

 

Autumn is a time for coziness, pumpkin spice and candles; however, it should also be a time of home maintenance preparation before winter. Here are a few essential items to perform around the house before it gets cold.

 

1. Clean, or possibly replace your gutters

Cleaning your home’s gutters is a key task to do around fall’s end. Removing all the leaves and debris will prevent flooding from melting snow or rain in spring. If you are nervous about attempting this yourself, there are always professionals that can help. Allowing water to flow freely and moving it away from your house will prevent your exterior from getting damaged or flooding. If your eaves are damaged, consider getting them replaced as soon as possible.

2. Check for drafts

Drafts near windows and doors are very common, mostly in older homes. To prevent heat loss (or cooling from a/c), install weather stripping in those areas, caulking to seal up holes, or spray foam for larger areas. Over 20% of heat loss occurs through drafts around windows.

Tip: Slide a piece of paper between the door frames and windows. If it slides easily, you need to update the weather stripping.

3. Drain the outdoor faucets and underground sprinklers

Drain all the hoses, hose attachments and most importantly, the water faucets. Turn off all the outdoor faucets and the main valves inside your home. This will prevent freezing and your pipes from exploding— disconnect your hose attachments from the hoses to mitigate rust forming and permanently fusing them together. Blowing out your underground sprinklers is also crucial. If you are unsure how to do this yourself, hire a professional to do this task.

4. Bring your outdoor furniture and barbeque in.

Outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements for many months, with winter having the most extreme weather conditions—so it’s a good idea to store your set away to add to the longevity of its life. While you’re at it, put away your barbeque if you have the space to prevent rusting and damage. Outdoor living can become expensive if you purchase a new furniture set yearly. If you lack the storage space for your outdoor items, buy good quality covers and tack them down.

5. Fix cracks in your driveway and foundation

Cracks in your driveway and foundation can become big problems if not correctly cared about. Regarding your foundation, mice and other critters can quickly burrow into small holes and cracks. Driveway cracks can be unsightly, with weeds growing out of them or, even worse, split into potholes. It seems tedious to fill these small cracks, but you will thank yourself in the long run.

6. Change filters

Filters are often forgotten, but they should be changed frequently if the heat and air conditioning are on all day—especially in the peak summer and frigid winter. It is an inexpensive way to maintain these units and have them run efficiently.

7. Fertilize the lawn

Fertilizing the lawn in the fall is a great way to protect your grass from those cold winter days. The roots of your lawn are still growing even as it gets colder out. To keep your grass looking great in spring and summer, fertilizer is key. Doing this task will also help your lawn turn green faster in spring. 

8. Test winter equipment

Autumn might seem too early to think about winter, but here in Canada, we can get snow as early as September. To ensure a great winter season, check your snowblower and shovel’s condition before it gets frigid—not only will it be more pleasant to check these things out when it’s warmer outside, but you won’t have to worry about a broken snowblower when the snow falls.

9. Change batteries

A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices yearly. Since you are already completing a list of other tasks, checkmark this off your list while you are at it.

 

Here are a few recommended tasks to accomplish before it cools off at the end of the year. I recommend performing many of these maintenance items while it’s warmer out and save yourself the headache of trying to do them when it’s freezing outside. 

If you are interested in purchasing a home in the fall, contact your local REALTOR® today!

BuyingHomeownershipSelling August 5, 2022

Moving and Selling with Pets

 

 

Buying or selling a home with pets can seem daunting for everyone involved. Here are a few great tips to make moving with a pet easier.

 

Buying a Home as a Pet Owner

 

Pet owners buying a new home should consider their furry friends’ current and future needs. This can restrict the number of house choices available and create additional expenses to make modifications. Some pet-owner questions to ponder are:

 

Condo Life and Pets – What Should I Think About?

 

Before falling in love with a condo or townhouse, start by investigating the pet restrictions. Whether you have pets or plan to in the future, check the condo board rules. In general, condo townhouses have fewer restrictions than condo apartments. You should be able to inquire about pet rules and regulations through your REALTOR®, the condo property manager or by checking the by-laws (on the unit’s status certificate).

Some common restrictions are as follows:

  • How many pets can you have?
  • Is there a specific weight limit?
  • What type of pets can you have (some condos only allow cats, for example)?
  • Limits on pet noise?
  • Rules about where pets can relieve themselves?
  • Rules about pet access?
  • Do you have to register the pet with the building?
  • Are there extra fees to have pets?

 

I Have Pets and am Selling my Home – What to do?

 

When selling your home, you want it to appeal to the masses—both the buyers who love pets and the buyers who do not. Firstly, to attract the attention of pet owners, mention things about the property, like a fully fenced yard, near parks, and let buyers know about the pet restrictions (if there are any). The second crowd you need to appeal to is the pet-free crowd. Many buyers have pet allergies and get nervous about the “dirt” that animals leave behind. If possible, deep clean the whole house before each showing, and remove any signs of a pet and your actual pet. 

The key takeaway is that you remove the pet(s) before showing a home to eliminate distractions. On the other hand, animals can also get stressed with strangers in their house, and the last thing you want is to have your cat, dog, or rabbit run out through an open door. Ask your REALTOR® about giving you a heads up to remove your pets before they bring clients.

 

If you have some furry friends and want to buy or sell comfortably, let me help you find the perfect house!

Lifestyle July 22, 2022

5 Dog-Friendly Patios in Saskatoon

Saskatoon has a variety of restaurants, but have you ever wanted to bring your four-legged friend along for a meal? 

Never leave your dog at home again with these delightful restaurants with pet-friendly patios.

 

Prairie Sun Brewery

Prairie Sun is located just after the bridge on Broadway. It is easily walkable with your furry friend from downtown and surrounding neighbourhoods. Sit down, drink a beer and eat some delicious food on their sunny patio, which is open for dogs and people alike. Prairie Sun started as just a local craft beer brewery and has expanded into the restaurant hot spot it is today.

 

Leopold’s Tavern (Rosewood)

The Rosewood location of Leopold’s Tavern has a great dog-friendly patio, enclosed with a backyard vibe. The patio features an exclusive pet and person-side entrance. The staff graciously greets you with a treat for your dog. Enjoy elevated pub food and a great selection of drinks at the Tavern.

 

Stumbletown Distilling

Stumbletown is a new establishment on Quebec Avenue, off Idylwyld—an easy walk from Mayfair or Caswell Hill. The quaint patio is a great place to bring your dog, have a few drinks, munch on some snacks and unwind. The distillery makes various flavours of gin and gin cocktails. On your way out, grab a bottle of gin to take home!

 

Cohen’s Beer Republic

Cohen’s is located in Riversdale on the corner of Idylwyld and 20th Street. You can’t miss the curved dark blue building! There is a small, yet mighty, patio for you and your dog to enjoy, which is very walkable from downtown, Riversdale, or other surrounding neighbourhoods. They have lovely drinks and an eclectic menu sure to please anyone. 

 

City Perks

City Perks is an adorable local cafe in the heart of City Park. A semi-enclosed deck is an excellent place for your pup, and it’s well shaded with mature trees and table umbrellas—a quick walk from the river pathways and parks along Spadina. The cafe’s food, drink and dessert menus are incredible. Bring your dog and stay for the cheesecake.

 

Make any outing more enjoyable by bringing your dog with you to these yummy Saskatoon restaurants. All of these eateries have a nice patio space to share food, drinks, and a water bowl with your four-legged friend!

Homeownership July 15, 2022

Inexpensive Tricks to Bring Luxury into Your Home

Want to jazz up your space to be luxurious but don’t have a lot of extra income? There are numerous things you can do on a budget to give your room a touch of class.

Keep reading for great tips and tricks to get those luxury vibes without burning a hole in your pocketbook.

 

Impactful Lighting Fixtures

If your light fixtures look dated or no longer fit the vibe of your home, think about updating them with statement light fixtures. A statement light fixture is an excellent investment, it creates an elevated look and focal point in your space.

Some excellent affordable options would be buying a cylinder shade or drum for your existing lights. Vintage shops or discount home stores might be another great place to look.

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

Mirrors reflect a sense of space and openness. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to find, to hang and instantly change the look of any room. Mirrors visually add square footage and bounce light to create a brighter space.

Try adding mirror closet doors to make any bedroom look bigger or create a statement wall of different mirrors, ornate frames or otherwise. Mirrors are great for mixing and matching sizes and styles.

 

Accent Tables for Practicality and Style

An accent table is a practical solution to add a touch of elegance to any room. Go for a mixed material table to add flare. Placing a table between two chairs or a sofa can elevate any space.

 

Fresh Painting or Wallpaper

Painting is probably the most common way to change a room, and it boasts a lot of impact for not a lot of money. Once popular paint colours like whites, greys and blues are fading away, clients opt for natural, cozy tones like creams, taupes, and beige. For an eclectic vibe, seek purples, chocolates and even hunter greens.

Wallpaper is a little more complex to install and pricy, but a great one can be a showstopper. It is also great for hiding existing wall imperfections or covering an unpaintable older wall. Try wallpaper in a hallway, accent wall in a bedroom or make a mundane small bathroom pop.

 

Switch out Furniture Hardware 

It is easy to forget how much furniture impacts a room. If your furniture feels dated or isn’t fitting within your space anymore, try changing out the hardware. Updating the knobs and handles of a piece can bring a more modern or vintage look, depending on what style you like. In the kitchen, it’s nice to update the handles frequently to keep it chic.

 

Transform Chairs with Fabric or Paint to Luxury Seating

For the past few years, painting and reupholstering old furniture has been all the rage, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. 

Having a set of chairs that coordinate with the rest of the room brings in a luxe custom feel. Pick a paint colour that is part of your existing room colour palette. Paint your chairs and then look for fabric to upholster them.

Choose a fabric that encompasses the colours of the existing room’s decor and the new paint colour. The textile can be as tame or wild as you want. Try a solid or bold pattern.

You only need a little bit of fabric for this transformation project, so go ahead and invest in a luxe, high-end or designer one.

 

Dramatic Floor-to-Ceiling Curtains

Layers, whether in clothing or a home, always make everything look put together. Instead of adding just a basic curtain, try hanging curtains from the top of the ceiling for a dramatic effect.

Curtains hung from the ceiling help to visually create more height and space by drawing the eye upwards. Pick a light, airy fabric to let the natural light seep in.

Buy curtains that are longer than needed and trim them from the bottom, rather than getting custom-made curtainsan excellent cost-effective option.

 

Make an Impact with Small, Bold Accessories

Accessorize your space with objects that don’t blend in; pick unique ones that will stand out. Choose a bold colour palette or mixed material pieces, like an ornate or gold mirror over a fireplace.

Lamps, decorative boxes, fresh flowers, antiques or coffee table books are also impactful in any space.

 

Update Hardware and Re-paint Old, Outdated Cabinets

Refresh and renew kitchen and bathroom cupboards with a fresh coat of paint. 

Adding a new set of hardware, like drawer pulls and knobs, can also help complement the new paint colour.

The average cost of this makeover is under $500, compared to installing all-new cabinets, which would likely set you back a few thousand dollars.

 

These tips and tricks will help you spruce up your home in no time! Whether you are staging your home to sell or want to enjoy your decorating efforts, these inexpensive tips are sure to please. 

If you want to sell your home, contact your local REALTOR® today!

Homeownership June 30, 2022

Home Toolbox Must Haves

Even if you aren’t handy, that is okay, and it is still nice to have all these tools on hand for any break or project that might happen. The right tool in your toolbox could mean the difference between a big problem and fixing it temporarily and reducing it to a small one. Of course, feel free to call the professionals if the job is too big.

Owning these must have tools and being prepared to use them will save you time and money.

 

1. Hammer

A hammer is the number one pick to have in your tool kit.

However, with the variety of hammers on the marketplace, make sure you are looking for the best multi-purpose hammer. 

Choose one with a “claw” back for pulling out misplaced nails and a flat head for a smooth finish. A comfort handle is also lovely to prevent hand pain or vibrations. The best hammer weight is 16 ounces.

After purchasing the hammer, don’t forget to buy finishing and general utility nails!

 

2. Tape measure

A tape measure should be your second toolbox purchase. Measuring is essential for many jobs, including hanging picture frames, planning furniture, flooring purchases, etc.

Any tape measure will do, but remember that the broader (¾ inch) tape measures won’t collapse on themselves and will withstand long-term use.

 

3. Level

A level is fundamental when moving to a new place to hang all those shelves, artwork and picture frames. These can be of value when building furniture to ensure they are straight and level. 

A level is also great for ensuring your fridge and oven are straight, preventing things from rolling off. A two-foot-long level would be the best multi-purpose choice.

 

4. Flashlight

A flashlight is great for multiple reasons, whether the power has gone out or your cat has lost its favourite toy under the sofa. A flashlight is excellent, but even more helpful is a headlight. They are nice to have for small spaces and target light.

I also recommend keeping some spare batteries with the flashlight just in case or for other electronics.

5. Allen key set

The easily assembled furniture by Ikea popularized allen keys. They are also just great to have around. They are “key” for assembling or disassembling household devices, structures and furniture, which are often held together with hexagonal screws. 

Think about purchasing a complete set of allen keys for the variety of sizes you may encounter. Trust me, they are instrumental to have around—you never know when you will need one in a pinch.

 

6. Screwdriver set or multi-bit screwdriver

Screwdrivers and screws come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. 

A multi-bit screwdriver is excellent for space-saving, but they can be flimsy during specific projects. A set of screwdrivers will take up more space but are sturdier for many tough jobs.

Overall, they are fantastic for whatever handy jobs are thrown at you.

 

7. Utility knife

A good quality knife is an excellent addition to any home, especially for first-time homebuyers. It is perfect for opening and breaking down all those moving boxes. They are not only great for opening packages but also for cleaning up caulking and trimming carpets. 

Make sure to grab a sturdy full-size utility knife for product longevity. 

8. Duct tape

If you are from Canada, you will know that the Red Green Show swears by this stuff. Duct tape is excellent for adhering to almost any material and is incredible for fast fixes! It is perfect for fixing holey tarps, organizing or fastening power cords, patching hoses and even fixing a leaking tub. I have temporarily stopped a pesky pipe leak with a piece of gum and duct tape before. 

9. Pliers set

A plier set would be ideal, but if you are looking for space-saving, I recommend needle nose pliers and linesman pliers. 

Needle nose pliers are great for manipulating small objects or reaching that piece of paper that fell between the fridge and wall. 

Linesman pliers are ideal for stripping electrical wires or tightening bolts in a pinch. 

Invest in a good set or pairs of pliers for overall strengthcheap ones easily break.

 

10. Handsaw or hacksaw

A handsaw is excellent for smaller projects where only minimal sawing is necessary. A saw can help quickly cut pvc pipe or doweling. However, a power saw or jigsaw might be a better option if you are looking at sawing things more frequently.

 

11. Adjustable wrench / wrench set

Wrenches are a great set of tools to have. In my experience, they are great for plumbing, putting furniture together and mechanical work. 

It would be beneficial to have a wrench set with long handles that are good for leverage, and short handles are great for tight spots.

An adjustable wrench is a friendly do-it-all tool, but there are limitations to what it can do. A wrench set would be the better choice.

Look into open crescent wrenches and closed ratchet wrenches for various needs.

12. Power Drill/Driver

Power tools might be intimidating, but owning a power drill makes life a little easier. Instead of turning a screw 100 times and stripping it with a regular driver, a power drill gets the job done in seconds. I have used my power drill more times than I can count, and it has been an excellent addition to my tool kit. A cordless option is best to avoid the limitations of cords.

 

While you don’t need to buy every single tool at once, I recommend purchasing these tools as problems arise, but it doesn’t hurt to go out and buy them all at once. As time goes on, you will find better tools for the job, but these are essential tools to cover various issues that will arise.

If you need a home to use all these tools on, contact your local REALTOR® today!