How to Increase Property Value

How can you increase property value? It’s the eternal question being asked by homeowners, real estate investors and renovators. While the answer may seem simple enough, the wrong upgrades can actually decrease the value of your home.

 According to television host, celebrity contractor and real estate investor Scott McGillivray, “It’s doing the right renovations that provide value to the people.”

Whether you’re buying a fixer-upper home, are renovating an existing house to suit your needs, or you’re planning to sell and want to get the biggest return on your investment, here are some tips to increase property value.

Scott McGillivray’s Top 5 Renos

increase property value with flooring

Don’t discount the value (or rather, the potential value!) of your flooring. Pull up your dingy carpets, and particularly in older homes, you’re quite likely to find a treasure buried beneath! Oftentimes, hardwood floors will have been covered up for years, and could be in great condition. Refinishing those floors could be all it takes to update the look – and boost the value – of your home.

increase property value with hardware

For a quick, easy and inexpensive home update, swap out the fixtures throughout your home. Every room has them, which means every room has… well, room for improvement! Replace damaged, worn-out or mis-matched door knobs, cabinet pulls, faucets and fixtures, to give your home a more modern edge.

increase property value with paint

Scott says paint is a simple and quick value-add to your home. “Use colour to enhance spaces and make changes. Change the way a space feels,” he says. For example, if you have a small, dark kitchen, consider repainting the walls and re-finishing cabinet in lighter, fresher hues to create the illusion of a larger space. Lighter, cooler colours make walls recede, so this is a great trick for any small room.

increase property value with bathroom

Believe it or not, adding a bathroom in an unconventional space is a growing trend that Scott is no stranger to himself. “What we’ve done a lot of times is under a staircase, we’ll add a powder room or a two-piece bathroom. You will add a lot of value.” If you’re short on space (or budget!) and adding a bathroom isn’t in the plan, renovate an existing bathroom. What’s trending? According to Scott, frameless walk-in showers make a big splash (pun intended!).

increase property value with a kitchen

Number one on Scott’s list of ways to increase property value is (drum roll please…) renovate the kitchen. There are many areas to consider, and they all come at a cost. Scott says to tackle the task, start at the top and work your way down.

  • Lighting Will you have pot lights, perhaps pendants or a chandelier?
  • Seating “Most families today are spending time eating in the kitchen.”
  • Flooring “We do a lot of hardwood in our kitchens,” says Scott. “Engineered hardwood performs best in these spaces.”
  • Appliances “Most people are preparing spaces for 36 inch refrigerators.”
  • Countertops “The most popular in demand is quartz.”

And the most popular layout when it comes to the kitchens is…open concept.

Take a good look at your home and see what you can do to improve property value. Once you do, you may never want to leave!

Source: blog.remax.ca

How To Lose a House in 10 Days

Home buying is arguably one of the most stressful purchasing experiences in adult life. Why is the process so draining? Unfortunately, there are myriad of issues that can make a deal fall through – especially if you aren’t working with a professional agent. RE/MAX has 10 ways you might lose out on your dream home and how working with me can help you avoid them:

1. You don’t have enough saved up for the down payment
Surprise! Homes are expensive. In addition to closing costs, there can also be unexpected fees around every corner. Make sure that you have significant cushion savings in addition to whatever you plan on putting down for your house-you never know how these things will play out.

2. You don’t have your ducks in a row
Staying organized is essential when you’re house hunting. Are you serious about the bid you’re putting down? Make sure that you’re fully aware of all deadlines, contingencies and paperwork involved in moving forward with your home purchase.

3. You’re shopping way out of your budget
As Andie Anderson puts it in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, “You can’t lose something you never had.” Looking for houses that are priced outside of your budget is the first way to “lose a house” – you’ll lose out on a home that you never had a chance of buying. Pre-plan for the strong possibility of putting in an offer above the asking price. This may mean looking at homes listed a few thousand below your budget to create padding in your budget to make a higher offer.

4. You lose a bidding war
Quick, decisive, assertive-these are all necessary traits to win a bidding war. Working with an experienced RE/MAX agent who can negotiate on your behalf is a great way to ensure you play your cards right. Remember, all is fair in love and [a bidding] war.

5. You come down with a bad case of buyer’s remorse
What’s the most obvious symptom of buyer’s remorse? Cold feet. Sales contracts fall through all the time because buyers back out at the last second, succumbing to the fear of such a life-altering decision. Keep your wits about you and trust your gut.

6. You close too slowly
Sellers are trying to get sales contracts through as swiftly as possible. In this climate of high demand and limited inventory, residential real estate is a hot market. There will almost always be someone behind you, vying for your potential future home – if you really want it, work hard to satisfy the seller and make things official as soon as possible.

7. Your inspections aren’t timely
Speaking of closing quickly-inspections are sure to take some time. If you’re lucky, all you’ll need is one inspection. If an inspector discovers any problems, you’ll have to start making appointments with specialists to look further into the house’s issues. This is a race against the clock, limited by the timeframe set out in the sales contract. Don’t waste any time getting the inspections going or you might find yourself without a house to inspect.

8. Your seller isn’t happy with their appraisal
An appraisal that comes in lower than anticipated is always taken by the seller as a personal blow. This proves to be an issue for the buyer, too. Either the seller will become difficult or, even worse, you’ll have to pay the difference between the appraisal and the sales price out of pocket. Make sure to keep communication with the seller open and diplomatic when frustrations are running high.

9. You can’t secure a mortgage
You’re so close to the finish line-and then your mortgage application is declined. Apply for pre-approval so the seller knows that you’ll be able to buy their home. If you are proactive throughout the buying process the odds of you losing the home are significantly slimmed.

10. You don’t have an agent on your side
None of the above issues are simple. Having someone on your side that knows the ropes of the home buying process is the most valuable tool in your home-buying box. Don’t go it alone-let a professional help you with the most important purchase of your life.

Going agentless can leave you more vulnerable to losing a house you have your eye on. Without an agent you’ll find yourself drowning in the details. Don’t make a bet or pick someone random-hire me today!

Source: remax.com

Extreme Cold Temperatures

Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. Here are some tips to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.

How to prevent and deal with Frozen Pipes

    • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
    • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
    • Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
    • Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
    • Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
    • Close garage doors.
    • Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
    • Open cabinet doors under sinks.
    • Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
    • Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room
    • Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
    • Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst.
    •  Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
    •  After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.

How to Keep Warm in Your Home

 

    • Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
    • Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
    • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
    • Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
    • Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
    • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers.
    • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
    • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
    • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
    • Put draft snakes on window sills, between window frames, and against doors.
    • If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
    • If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.

How to Protect the Outside of Your Home

    • Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
    • Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
    • Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
    • Drain birdbaths and fountains
    • Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
    • Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
    • Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.

How to Stay Safe in an Ice or Snow Storm

    • Stockpile nonperishable food and water.
    • Refill prescription medications in advance of storm.
    • Charge cell phones.
    • Have flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, and a manual can opener on hand.
    • A portable generator can come in handy when the lights go out, but take precautions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning when using.
    • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and the batteries powering them are fresh.
    • Have a working fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
    • A chain saw can come in handy for removing broken limbs after an ice storm.

Source: todayshomeowner.com

Buying or Selling?

If you plan on Buying or Selling in the next 6 to 12 months give me a call.  I can provide you with a free market assessment of your home and go over what’s been selling in your neighbourhood.  Or I can go over your wish list and let you know what you can expect to pay in todays market.  Whatever your real estate needs, we’ve got them covered and are here to work for you.

Is Home Ownership in Your Future Plans?

Step one to successful home ownership is being informed. And as they say, knowledge is power. However, according to a recent RE/MAX survey, half of 18- to 24-year-olds in B.C. and Ontario agree that they have limited knowledge of the housing market.

A home is likely the biggest purchase most of us will ever make, so whether you’re planning to purchase this year or this decade, now’s a good time to get up to speed. Here are three things you’ll want to pay close attention to if you’re considering home ownership.

Home ownership can be complicated. There are many factors to think about, and a lot of prep work before you sign on the dotted line. Luckily for Gen Z, you’ve got time on your side. Use it wisely.

Source: blog.remax.ca

Child Poverty Action Network

Child Poverty Action Network’s Operation Snowsuit just got a healthy donation from RE/MAX Pembroke Realty Ltd. agents and staff. $940 cash donation along with bags of snowsuits, hats, mitts & boots.  But they are still in need and accepting clothing and monetary donations.  Visit their website at http://renfrewcountycpan.ca/operation-snowsuit/ or give them a call at 613-735-9579 to get more information.

4 Ways to Get Your Fireplace Ready for Fall

Is there anything cozier than snuggling up beside the fireplace in fall? With the whisper of cool fall air coming, staying inside and watching the crackle of the fire in your favorite comfy spot is the only sensical move this season. The thought of fresh pumpkin spice everything, warm apple pies and a fuzzy blanket to curl up in is enough to get the firewood ready right now!

Before you start sipping on the cider, get your fireplace ready for fall with these four unique ideas from RE/MAX.

  1. Add fire to your fireplace
    Get creative! You can go as simple as a candle sitting on the mantel – to different sized candles in glass containers at different heights. The sparkle and the yummy scents will bring dimension, style and great smells to the room and help your fireplace feel like the epicenter of all things fall.
  2. Signs are in!
    You can’t go into a store today without seeing a customizable sign. Take a simple frame with slots for letters and spell out your favorite quote. Or, go a little deeper and get a chalk style board, adding your personal touch with handwriting and design. Add a family saying, your favorite verse from the song you can’t stop singing, or just a word of encouragement will lighten up the mantel and bring smiles all around.
  3. Fall Flowers
    Dress up your mantel with festive fall flowers. From the dollar store to a ritzy florist, you can find the orange, yellow and rustic brown hues you desire. Grab an old mason jar as a vase and start putting together the fall coloured flower arrangement that is sure to grab any guest’s attention. Pro tip: string together some fake leaves and wrap them around the edge of the mantel to pull together the entire look!
  4. Pumpkins, everywhere!
    No fall mantel would be complete without a traditional pumpkin or 12 sitting strategically across the top. With fake fruit or real, the traditional look of a few beautiful orange pumpkins on the mantel captures the epitome of fall. Aside from pumpkins, is the idea of switching out the ordinary for a different, yet equally seasonal move. Change out the pumpkins for apples! A subtle switch can give your mantel the envy of neighbours.

Source: remax.com/blog

Armistice / Remembrance Day

 

Armistice Day was inaugurated in 1919 throughout much of the British Empire, but on the second Monday in November. In 1921, the Canadian Parliament passed an Armistice Day bill to observe ceremonies on the first Monday in the week of 11 November, but this combined the event with the Thanksgiving Day holiday. For much of the 1920s, Canadians observed the date with little public demonstration. Veterans and their families gathered in churches and around local memorials, but observances involved few other Canadians.

In 1928, some prominent citizens, many of them veterans, pushed for greater recognition and to separate the remembrance of wartime sacrifice from the Thanksgiving holiday. In 1931, the federal government decreed that the newly named Remembrance Day would be observed on 11 November and moved Thanksgiving Day to a different date. Remembrance Day would emphasize the memory of fallen soldiers instead of the political and military events leading to victory in the First World War.

11 November

Remembrance Day rejuvenated interest in recalling the war and military sacrifice, attracting thousands to ceremonies in cities large and small across the country. It remained a day to honour the fallen, but traditional services also witnessed occasional calls to remember the horror of war and to embrace peace. Remembrance Day ceremonies were usually held at community cenotaphs and war memorials, or sometimes at schools or in other public places. Two minutes of silence, the playing of the Last Post, the recitation of In Flanders Fields, and the wearing of poppies quickly became associated with the ceremony.

Remembrance Day has since gone through periods of intense observation and periodic decline. The 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 1995 marked a noticeable upsurge of public interest, which has not ebbed in recent years. It is now a national holiday for federal and many provincial government workers, and the largest ceremonies are attended in major cities by tens of thousands. The ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa is nationally televised, while most media outlets – including newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, and internet sources – run special features, interviews, or investigative reports on military history or remembrance-related themes.

To find out more about Canada’s military history and remember Canadians’ service, sacrifice and loss, visit the Canadian War Museum website at www.warmuseum.ca or in person at     1 Vimy Place, Ottawa ON  K1A 0M8.

Photos: indestri.com / www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca