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Last year I could not face opening all the big plastic bins full of Christmas things, so I went out and bought the picked overs at a Christmas store. This year, I decided to start early and set a target of reducing the number of boxes by throwing or giving things away and keeping only the things I love. Sadly (hahaha) these two candle holders are in a box leaving for a new good home. I will have this photo to remember them but not have to pack and unpack them every year. Say bye-bye Bon homme. (31 comments)
Are your kitchen cupboards jam packed? I was in a kitchen design shop yesterday (Laurysen Kitchens) and was shown a really cool set of kitchen cupboards for the wall in the kitchen that does not have a counter top. They were only 6' high. There were no cupboards extending to the ceiling. The designer said that very few people wanted this design because they preferred more cupboards tp open space. In fact, she said, people with 10 ' ceilings still want storage to the ceiling. She said you would need a ladder to get to those cupboards. What on earth are (16 comments)
A condition that a Buyer may put in an Offer to Purchase is that the purchase of the Seller's home is conditional upon the sale of the Buyer's home. In a slow market or with a cautious Buyer, this condition protects the Buyer from owning two homes at the same time. An astute Seller / Agent will ensure that this condition is countered. The seller adds a clause to modify the conditional sale. It allows the Seller to continue to offer the home for sale and accept new offers. However, before accepting an offer from a third party, The Seller gives the first Buyer the (80 comments)
If you walk around your neighbourhood, you will notice that many doors have wreaths. If you are selling your house, even if the house is empty, hang a wreath at the door. It welcomes visitors and Buyers. It says: "My owners took care of this house. Welcome." There are wreaths for all seasons of the year but the Christmas season is the most popular time. Most Christmas wreaths are made from a base of evergreens. They are very hardy and last months in the cold weather. Now that we have so many artificial Christmas trees in homes, it may be worth the (37 comments)
In a hot market, houses sell quickly. Buyers will line up to place an offer on a house. As the evening progresses, the listing agent may come back and ask if you, the Buyer, want to improve your offer. Others are being asked the same question. Now it feels like a contest and someone will succeed. This is called a bidding war. If you are a first time buyer with a budget, try to stay away from bidding wars as you are likely to get emotionally caught up in ‘winning'. You may lose sight of what the true value of the home is (19 comments)
Selling a house with children is not easy to do. Not that children are lined up to be viewed and included as chattels but that all the paraphernalia that is synonymous with children is open for viewing. Okay, there are days when I am sure the Sellers would gladly throw in the children as part of the deal but, I think, that is illegal. A while ago, my Buyers and I were looking at a home that was immaculate in every nook and cranny. Based on the two children's bedrooms, it was apparent that there was a toddler and a baby (44 comments)
I slid turkey into this post - 11/25/10 08:04 AM
Of course we all know that granite countertops are popular. Granite is so popular that it is now popular to be against granite countertops. Solid granite, no matter the thickness, is expensive to install. Some people think that installing granite tiles is just as good and most people will equate it with a sheet of granite. Sadly, not so, buckoo. It might be granite but there are grout lines.
I personally dislike tile countertops - ceramic being the most popular - because of the grout issue. The tiles look wonderful but all I see is raw poultry liquids being absorbed into the grout and (51 comments)
I have lived in a city my whole life. The concept of wood fire for winter heating is just foreign to me. Still, my railroader father had a number of expressions that would make you thing we lived on a farm and that all kinds of bad things would happen. He used to say things like - "Take you out to the back 40" (meaning something like take you out to an undeveloped area where things could happen and no one would know - like shooting the dog (which we did not own and did not have a gun). Going to (8 comments)
Have you got some old, oddly coloured carpeting installed in your home? Have you spent time trying to decorate around the carpet, finding furniture that will go with putrid green, orange shag, purple morning mist, etc.? If you can't stand the carpet, why do you think Buyers will like it? My advice is to get the carpet removed and, depending upon the value of your house and your budget, either install hardwood or, if the market will not defend hardwood, then new linoleum or wall to wall carpet. If there is carpeting in the bathroom, please, (86 comments)
If you have wallpaper borders, now is the time to get rid of them. There are many rooms across North America with wallpaper borders. These were very popular in the 70s and 80s but have lost their charm over the decades. The one exception may be in a baby's room when you know that the border is only temporary. Buyers see borders and think that there will be many many hours of intensive labour needed to remove the border, patch the damage and repaint the room(s). If you are wanting to decrease the time it will take to sell your house, remove the border(s), (30 comments)
I have to tell you that this is one of my favourite rants. You, the Buyer, are looking at a home to buy and there is a wonderful tub in the bathroom. You see yourself with candles, soft music and bubbles. Now you need to know if you fit in the tub. Are you kidding? Do you try out the toilet to see if you a-- fits? At the very least, DO NOT try out the tub with your shoes on. Would you do this at your home? What are you thinking? You could leave behind scratches, marks and ruin the acrylic. Get out (27 comments)
The type of clutter you have may indicate something about you. This list is drawn up, for the most part, from things that we have or have had as clutter collections in my house. •• Food. Perhaps you are afraid of not being fed. Food means security. You buy and stock a lot of food in case of a crisis. Maybe you save all the little bits of leftovers and your fridge is stuffed with food that you will never eat. You may have a tape running through your head playing a message in your mother's voice saying that you have (16 comments)
Black Friday is a very dangerous day for gift buying. You may be decluttering because you are about to put your house on the market, decluttering because the house sold or you are just tired of living with too much stuff. You need to keep the amount of stuff you have at bay. Black Friday (synonymous with any gift buying and getting day) is a huge clutter temptation. Here are some of my rules for gift giving and receiving. Rule 1 Gifts are not for the giver but the receiver. Your joy as the giver is to be able to give. There (16 comments)
Do your children produce a mammoth amount of "art work" and hope that you will keep it all? How about all the paintings that you have done in your watercolour classes and field trips? Ever wonder how to keep your quilt squares neatly stored? The three issues for these collections are: where to put it how to keep it safe, and how to manage the quantity. If you are moving in the future or are overwhelmed with your collections right now, then getting a handle on the quantity is a good thing to do. Go to your favourite pizza place (19 comments)
Whether you are an acclaimed chef or a single person specializing in peanut butter sandwiches, the kitchen in your home must meet some basic requirements for Buyers to be interested. Buyers evaluate kitchens using three essential ingredients cleanliness, storage space capacity, and adequacy of the work space. You can have a counter full of fancy gadgets but most Buyers know that these do not stay with the house. They want to know if the place is clean, can they store their dishes, food and small appliances and finally, is there enough preparation space available to mince, chop and stir. You know (23 comments)
The title makes this sounds like some kind of skin care or hair care product. Instead, it is a photo of a weed and a bee that I took this summer. I love this photo and started to play with it on Picnik. Of all the possible frames, this mirror frame seemed to make sense to me. I was thrilled with the zoom lens that I got for my Nikon. I have a stronger one now that will also do macro photography so next year, at the same weed spot, I will try to get the pattern on the bee's wings (31 comments)
Continuing for an earlier post about painting your front door, I now would like to add three more things for you to consider doing to the front door before listing. These will help you to make a significant change to the appearance of your doorway. Remember, buyers will step into your home through the front door and this and your front yard are where you are making the first impression. You have 120 seconds and time is ticking. These little improvements will cost less than $50.00 but will make an impact of $100s. I like this picture. You can see the house numbers, the mailbox is (80 comments)
Only if both you and your selling competition have decided to leave storage pods in the yards. Consider renting a pod to fill with your clutter and stuff before putting your house on the market. This is a good idea. You will have a place for your things that you simply cannot purge. Your home will look bigger without your bits and bobs and the furniture the stager told you to remove. You will not have to drive back and forth to the storage facility with many carloads of stuff. The pod gets delivered and taken away by someone else. The pod can (22 comments)
While this house is in San Francisco, it has cousins residing in most cities throughout North America. These houses all have doorways that lead nowhere. It would be very dangerous to step out of this door as it would be stepping to the outside with nothing to step onto. Whoops! Is that a Buyer injury waiting to happen? I was showing a home that had a doorway built on the second floor south wall. There was the door, framed, hinged and with a door knob. Apparently it was the home builder's intention to one day put a deck / patio outside on top of the car port. However, as (22 comments)
The Inside of the Fridge. As you get closer to putting your house on the market, take some time to declutter the inside of the fridge. We all seem to keep condiments that have expired sometimes 2 - 3 years ago. There may be onions that are sprouting in the crisper and leaking sauce bottles at the back of the top shelf. In most cases, the fridge is left in the house. Buyers will want to know the condition of the fridge and will open the door to inspect the contents/capacity/condition of the appliance. Start by taking everything out of the (12 comments)
What should you have in your "last in - first out of the van" box? There are the things that you are going to want first and there are some things that are just necessary in an empty house (before the boxes are unpacked). If you are not moving locally, you will want a box that will be the first thing you open at your new house so that you can have a drink of water and use the washroom. Here are some items I consider important for your LIFO box: Coffee, tea and sugar Kettle A few mugs, plastic (12 comments)
If you are moving in or out of an apartment or apartment condo, make sure that you have checked with the landlord or the condo board about booking the elevators. Most buildings will not allow you to use the elevator(s) for moving without prior notice. Padding is often hung along the walls so that you do not damage the inside of the elevator or your possessions. In seniors' apartment buildings that include a dining room, there is a stampede to the elevators at lunch and supper time. People depend on being able to use the elevators to get in and out of the building. You will (50 comments)
Everyone knows that the Buyer is not buying the furniture and decorations. Sellers will often argue that there is no payback in "staging" their home. The hope and feeling is that Buyers can look beyond the owners' decorations and personal items. In fact, there is a payback. Look at the picture above of how a hotel bed is made. What does a bed that looks like that, with crisp linens and fluffy pillows, say? To a buyer, who is spending time imaging themselves living in your home, a bed like this will have the Buyer saying: I can see myself (37 comments)
IN FLANDERS FIELDS - FOR REMEMBRANCE DAY - 11/11/10 07:28 AM
In Flanders Fields In Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. By: (13 comments)
Take time on November 11 to remember - 11/10/10 10:31 AM
For those who have gone before and those yet to come, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. A couple of minutes of silence each year on the same date and time as the Armistice Agreement was signed, ending World War I is a very small price to pay. This tune, while Canadian in some content applies wherever men and women have gone to war to protect our freedoms. (8 comments)
Nothing says "Grandma lives here" more than the needlepoint pictures of Blue Boy and Pinky. You may have inherited these pictures. You may have sussed them out at an antique store and spent a lot of money to obtain them. They are dear to your heart. To a Buyer, they just say - old, tired and past their prime. You, the Seller, do not want anything in your home giving Buyers that impression. Any old crafty pictures, needlepoint or paintings done by number, that were completed 50 - 75 years ago need to stored before your house is on the market. Get your camera (21 comments)
Selling your home will cost you money. One thing you should be prepared to do is leave your home at a comfortable temperature every day that it is on the market. Lots of people turn off the air conditioning while they are at work and in winter they turn down the temperature below the comfort range. Buyers, going into a home that is uncomfortably hot or cold, will not stay. If the house is very cold, the Buyers will not remove their shoes so now you, the Seller, will have to contend with the dirt. If you are selling a vacant home, (19 comments)
Do you use dish rags in your kitchen? Some dish rags have a pong that is so bad you can smell it when you enter the room. If your house is for sale, this is the last thing you need. I have read that the smell comes from the dyes used in the manufacturing of inexpensive dish rags or emanates because of the bacteria build-up in the rag over time. Having just replaced a bunch of clothes with ones from an upscale kitchen boutique (as part of my smelly experiment) I have found that cheap or expensive clothes can all (48 comments)
Are you planning to take a plant in a green plastic container as a gift to a friend's new home? What plant? Some people look for something still alive at the grocery store on the way to the visit. This is one of those grab and go gifts. Assuming that you have have more than 5 minutes to pop into a place and get a plant, here are some things to consider: Is it summer? Why not bring a little shrub in a pot? Don't get a hedge shrub or the new owner will wonder when the rest of the hedge plants will be (10 comments)
An in-fill duplex was built near in my home. The neighbourhood is 60-90 years old and this duplex was built about 4 years ago. I think the builder did an interesting thing with the 2 doors - different etched glass was installed in each door, so while the units are mirror images, the doors are different. It looks like the owner of "22" has put a curtain behind the door. I think the clear glass part of the door just did not give enough privacy. Speaking of this, I used a program in picnik to change the house numbers. (12 comments)
The 8 Pitfalls of Pricing Your Home Over Market Value - 11/06/10 08:23 AM
Many many sellers want to set a high price for their home and then promise themselves and their real estate agent that they will consider reducing the price at a later date - if the house does not sell. Here are some reasons why listing your house above market value is not a good strategy: 1. A high price will keep buyers away. Your wonderful home is just what a buyer wants but not at the price. The buyer will not put in an offer in case it insults you so they will continue to look elsewhere. Most REALTOR® will tell you that trying to (19 comments)
Do you have a little secret space tucked away under the stairs or, lucky you, behind the swinging bookcase? Priests' holes were created to hide RC priests in England in the 1500s. Today, you might want to hide your wine collection or set it up as a secret play spot for your children. If you have a good hiding spot in your home, make sure that Buyers are aware of it. More and more homes are being built with the very old fashioned root cellar. You may have seen one at your granny's house or when looking at homes in (51 comments)
Are you keeping your wedding dress for your daughter? (Do you have a daughter?) Take a look at how much space the dress is taking up in your closet. Buyers want to see closets with space for their things. Take out the dress and any really personal clothing items such as your costumes for the Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Remove these items. Your wedding dress is best preserved when it is cleaned and boxed in a museum quality box (buffered acid-free board). Once the costumes and wedding dress are gone, reorganize your closet for a sale. (28 comments)
This is a photograph taken by my niece, Jackie Zinger. She has been a park ranger in British Columbia and now works for Parks Canada in the Northwest Territories. She is passionate about the environment and photography. I encourage you to visit her site. I believe you will be as amazed at how she has captured the beauty of nature. I am so proud of her. Photo credit: With permission from J.J. Zinger (29 comments)
You may have friends moving because the baby needs to have a room and some toy space. Buying a gift for the baby as a housewarming gift is difficult. Have you ever seen how many things parents receive as gifts for their child? How about their own personal temptation to buy out the toy department? Giving them a gift is going to be a bit more challenging. 1. A babysitting and restaurant gift certificate for an evening out without the baby. You can swoop in, take care of the baby for 2 hours (hopefully between feedings and diaper changes) and give the stressed parents120 (14 comments)
Last Sunday, my next door neighbour, new to Canada from Florida, asked me what I was wearing on my jacket. It was the Remembrance Day poppy. I thought everyone wore poppies before Remembrance Day. I said the Canadian Remembrance Day is similar to Veterans' Day in the US. Now I know that November 11th , (Armistice Day that was the last day of World War I), is not celebrated the same way around the world. For the two weeks before November 11, Canadians across the country buy and wear a poppy on the left side (close to the heart) (17 comments)
First time homeowners need everything. If you want to give them something that lasts buy them books, binders and boxes. Give a book or two on house maintenance. I have both of Mike Holmes' books. They are good. There is also the Reader's Digest book and, if you are at a bookstore, you will see a whole section of books on home repair and maintenance. If you have favourite websites for home repairs, add the list to the inside of the book. For new home owners, the building inspector likely left them with a binder full of home maintenance information and, if there (61 comments)
What is the right price for a house? The right price for a home is one that an informed Buyer is willing to offer and a Seller is willing to accept. How do Buyers and Sellers get to that price? There are several principles of value that consciously or sub-consciously play in arriving at the price. I have talked about the Principle of Supply and Demand, the Principle of Change, the Principle of Subsitiution and the Prinicples of Progression and Regression. Now let's talk about how the price of a home will be influenced by having too much of a good thing. The Principle (10 comments)
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