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5 Reasons to Replace Your Windows

With the warmer weather here, now is the ideal time to replace your windows, so here are five great reasons why you should:

1. Boost the “Wow” Factor - Brand-new windows have a huge impact on the overall look of a home, inside and out— an important element when you sell a home.

2. Save on Energy Costs - Modern windows are packed with technologies that lower heating and cooling bills. From Low-E Argon, to special spacer bars, to high-insulating construction, these technologies can provide savings and comfort you'll notice (bye-bye drafts), especially if you're replacing very old windows.

3. Cut the Noise – New windows will reduce noise pollution, allowing a more peaceful and restful living environment. Studies have shown noise pollution to be linked with poor health (i.e., stress-related illness, high blood pressure, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost productivity).

4. Dust Defenders – If you replace your windows with ones that have the between-the-glass blinds you won’t have to worry about your window coverings becoming dust collectors.

5. A More Secure Home – New windows have enhanced security features, such as advanced locking mechanisms and security sensors.

Will new windows boost the resale value of your home? They might, at least a little. But there's one thing for certain: upgraded windows definitely make your home look more appealing to buyers.

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3 Not-So-Obvious Reasons It’s Time to Sell

There are many good reasons to put your property on the market. Some examples include a relocation, the kids leaving the nest, the need to downsize or upsize, and the list goes on. Beyond the obvious reasons, there may be more subtle signs that the time to sell is near, such as:

1. Your Property Is No Longer a Good “Fit”

Your home may have been perfect for you when you bought it. But things change. Families grow. Needs evolve. For any number of reasons, your property may no longer be a good fit for you. If that's the case, it makes sense to at least see what's available on the market. Who knows? Your next "perfect" home may be for sale right now — and within your price range!

2. The Neighbourhood Is Changing

You may have been in love with the neighbourhood when you first moved in. But, over time, the characteristics of any area can change. Those changes don’t necessarily mean the neighbourhood is getting worse. It may be changing in a positive way - perhaps becoming more urban. But “more urban” may not be what you want. So, look at the direction your neighbourhood is heading. Ask yourself, "Do I still want to be living here in 2 years?"

3. You're Ready for Your Dream Home

Remember when you purchased your current property? Did it have every feature you wanted? Was it really your dream home? Or did you have to compromise on a few things, such as the size of the kitchen? If you had to make some tough choices back then, it might be time for you to finally get the home of your dreams.

Of course, there are many other reasons it may be time to make a move. If you think now might be that time, call me today.

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Should You Buy a Resale or a New Build?

If you're thinking about moving, you may be weighing purchasing a new build versus a resale. For a rundown of the pros and cons of each, read on. If you're thinking about moving, you may be weighing purchasing a new build versus a resale. For a rundown of the pros and cons of each, read on.

New Build Pros 

✔️ Brand-new condition 

✔️ Can customize features 

✔️ Most are covered under warranty for the first few years

✔️ Often built with the latest energy-efficient features, saving you money on utility bills 

✔️ Typically pay less in maintenance fees

New Build Cons

X Lot, floorplan, and views can change during construction 

X Construction delays are common, leaving you at the mercy of whatever the interest rates are when construction is complete and your move-in date in limbo 

X The amenities, school, and sense of community can be unknown for some time after construction is complete since housing takes priority in new neighbourhoods 

Resale Pros 

✔️ What you see is what you get (you can get a sense of the neighbourhood, the amenities, and schools before you buy) 

✔️ Closing date is fixed 

✔️  You know your mortgage rate before you buy 

✔️  You can research how the property has appreciated over time, giving a better sense of how your investment will do

Resale Cons

X Not brand-new

X Have to renovate if you want specific features

X Not usually covered under warranty, unless it’s a newer resale home with existing coverage

X Usually less energy-efficient

X Typically higher maintenance costs

Ultimately, the decision between buying a new build or resale home will come down to your needs and wants, your risk tolerance, and of course your budget.

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Stay or Move? 5 Questions to Help You Decide

It can be tough to make the decision to sell. In fact, for many homeowners, it’s overwhelming. If you’re considering making a move and struggling with the decision, here are five helpful questions to ask yourself:

1. “What is your practical reason for selling?” This question refers to what you’ll get by moving to a new home. The reasons could include a bigger backyard, a shorter commute to work, an extra bedroom, a more desirable neighbourhood, etc.

2. “What are your emotional reasons for selling?” This question refers to how you’ll feel about living in a new home. For example, you might feel safer, less cramped, less worried (because the local schools are better), or happier (because the shorter commute means more time with your family).

3. “What type of new home can you afford?” This question involves finding out how much you’ll likely get when you sell your existing home and how much of a mortgage you qualify to receive. With that information, you’ll have a price range within which you can comfortably shop, plus a clear idea of what your mortgage payments will be.

4. “In what ways will your lifestyle be better in a new home?” This ties in closely with emotional reasons for selling. It relates to what your life will be like in a new home. Try to paint a picture in your mind. For example, you might want to be able to spend Saturday afternoons relaxing in your bigger backyard or Sunday nights entertaining friends and family in your larger living room.

5. “What else do you need to know before you decide to sell and move?” Sometimes people are hesitant about selling simply because they have unanswered questions. So, if there’s any part of the selling and buying process that’s not clear, be sure to ask me.

Does thinking about these questions help make the decision easier? If you need more help or want to talk about your decision, call today!

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Maximizing a Small Garden’s Charm for Buyers

If you have even a tiny backyard garden, you can count on some buyers taking an interest in it – especially those who love to garden! So, it pays to make it look as enchanting as possible. Here are tips for doing just that:

• Create a focal point. Every garden needs a star. A small water feature, a striking plant, or an elegant statue can draw eyes and underscore your garden’s potential

. • Go vertical. Height tricks the eye into seeing more space. Use trellises or wall-mounted planters to grow upwards. This not only saves ground space but also adds an intriguing visual layer that can make even the tiniest of gardens feel lush.

• Pops of colour. Bright flowers or striking foliage can make your garden memorable. However, don't overcrowd; choose a few vibrant plants to sprinkle through the garden, offering a spectrum of hues.

• Furnish smartly. A small bench or chair invites potential buyers to envision relaxing moments. But remember, proportion is paramount — avoid bulky items that can make the space feel cluttered.

• Keep it tidy. Weeds and overgrown plants make a small garden look neglected. Create an impression of a well-cared-for backyard space.

The goal is to ensure a small garden adds yet another desirable feature to your home.

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Window Woes: Transforming a Less-Than-Perfect View

Windows frame the world beyond. So, when you’re selling your home, what do you do if the view is less picturesque and more problematic? Fear not. There are clever ways to ensure potential buyers don’t fixate on a less-than-perfect view.

Start with window treatments. They are your first line of defence. Sheer curtains allow natural light to come through while softly obscuring the view. For a bolder approach, choose statement curtains that draw the eye inward and become a focal point.

Another option is to install a window box filled with vibrant flowers or lush greenery. Not only does this provide a living picture frame, but it also adds a dash of nature to the view. This makes the window itself more attractive, so the view becomes less of an issue.

Proper interior lighting is another way to redirect attention. Wall sconces, pendant lights, or even a well-placed mirror can illuminate the room and draw focus away from the windows.

A practical option for privacy and style is frosted glass or adhesive window films. They come in various patterns and can mimic everything from etched glass to a stained-glass masterpiece.

Hanging artwork or photographs around windows can also alter a viewer's gaze. Well-positioned pieces can make windows seem like part of a gallery wall, rather than portals to the outside. High shelves near the window staged with decorative items or books can reclaim the line of sight, making the actual view a background consideration.

As you can see, there are many ways to turn a window with a less-than-ideal view into an attractive feature that supports the sale of your home. Remember, the goal is to enhance, not deceive, ensuring buyers appreciate the entire space.

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How to Select the Right Long-Distance Mover

You don’t want to have issues with the moving company you’ve chosen — especially when relocating to a distant area. That’s why taking the steps necessary to ensure you’re making the best decision is crucial.

Here’s just a sampling of what to look for:

Recommendations

Ask for recommendations from trusted friends, family, or real estate professionals. Once you've compiled a shortlist, delve into online reviews to get a broader sense of customer satisfaction. Credentials For moves in the U.S., interstate movers must possess a valid U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation) number. If you’re moving within Canada, look for affiliations with the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM). These credentials are a mark of quality and professionalism in the industry.

Attention to Detail

A hallmark of a reputable mover is their meticulous approach. They'll ask detailed questions about your household items and do an exhaustive walkthrough. If they don’t, that’s a red flag.

Fees and Insurance

Inquire about any additional fees. Some movers might add charges for moving larger items (i.e. a piano), accessing stairs, or overnight storage. On the insurance front, while basic coverage is standard, it’s likely minimal. If you're transporting valuable items, consider opting for enhanced protection.

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Spruce Up the Bathrooms Before You Sell: Affordable DIY Tips

When potential buyers tour a home, bathrooms can have a big impact on them. An outdated or neglected bathroom can quickly sour their impression of your property overall. The good news is, you can spruce it up without breaking the bank. Here's how:

• Modern Hardware: Switching out old cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, or faucets can instantly modernize the room. Sleek metallic finishes such as brushed nickel or matte black are current favourites and easy to install.

• Grout and Caulking Touch-ups: Over time, grout can discolour and caulking can peel. Cleaning the grout and re-caulking areas around the tub and sink can make the bathroom look well-maintained and fresh.

• Revive Lighting: Good lighting is paramount in a bathroom. Swap outdated fixtures for contemporary ones. If you're not up for rewiring, even just updating the bulbs to bright, energy-efficient options can create a warm, welcoming ambiance.

• Shower Curtain and Mats: Replace old or worn-out shower curtains and bathmats. Opt for light-coloured or clear shower curtains to make the room feel more expansive. Fresh mats in neutral tones can tie the space together.

• Accessorize Thoughtfully: Consider a new soap dish, toothbrush holder, or a stylish tray for toiletries. Fresh, white towels displayed neatly or a couple of decorative items like potted plants can elevate the look without overwhelming the space.

• Mirrors: If your mirror is plain or showing signs of wear, consider framing it. A simple wooden frame, which you can stain or paint, adds character and finishes the look.

Small tweaks can lead to significant returns when selling your home. By investing a bit of time and creativity, your bathroom can be transformed into a space that potential buyers will notice.

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Should You Buy a Property that May Need Expensive Repairs or Upgrades?

Imagine you’re shopping for a new home and come across a listing that seems ideal. It’s in a great neighbourhood. It has all the characteristics on your “must have” list. You can see yourself living there.

However, there are a couple of serious maintenance issues that are likely to need attention within the next year or two. For example, the roof shingles need replacing or the wiring needs to be updated.

Those fixes are going to be expensive. Does that mean you should take a pass on making an offer?

Not necessarily. While it’s nice to buy a home that is move-in ready (or close to it), it can be advantageous to purchase a property that needs some repairs and upgrades.

Depending on market conditions, a home with such issues may be priced lower than comparable properties. So the money you save can be put towards the work. In addition, other buyers are seeing the same issues and, as a result, may not make an offer. That means fewer buyers and less competition.

On the other hand, you need to weigh those advantages with the estimated cost of the required repairs and upgrades. Will you have room in your budget to get the work done when the time comes? How much will that work likely cost?

(Chances are, you can get a rough estimate of the cost of the repairs and upgrades required before you make an offer.)

The bottom line is, you need to get all the information you can and then make a strategic decision. Often, it is worth purchasing the property.

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