Real Estate Blog

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Before you walk out that door for the final time, check these common "hiding places" for items you'll miss if you arrive at your new home without them:

Crawl spaces: Both under the house and in the attic. New occupants sometimes find things like holiday decorations, canning jars, and seasonal toys stashed in these little-used spaces. 

Under the sinks - where you may have stashed last-minute cleaning supplies.

The top shelf in closets and cabinets - where something may have been pushed to the back.

Your dishwasher - where you may have run a light load at the last minute. 

The oven, where you may have stashed pots and pans you were using during the move, and the drawer under the oven, where you might find pots and pans you seldom use. 

The refrigerator,

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A holiday home is beautiful, but it can also be hazardous. Stay safer and keep the holidays happy by heeding these tips:

  • If you have a tree, make sure it is well secured. If necessary, use cord to tie it back to a wall. This is especially important if you have pets or small children.
  • If yours is a live tree, keep it watered continuously.
  • Before adding lights - indoors or out - check them for frays or broken wires. 
  • Don't overload your extension cords!
  • Be sure that all electrical cords are tucked out of the way where they can't become a tripping hazard.
  • Remember that many of your favorite holiday treats can be deadly for cats and dogs - avoid leaving them where a cat or dog can reach them. Chocolate Santas don't belong under the
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Even if you aren't planning to purchase a home in the near future, it's wise to check your credit report regularly. 

If you ARE planning to buy a house, or even a car, it's doubly important. Your credit scores will influence the interest rate you're offered when you make that purchase. Naturally, you want the highest scores possible in order to get the lowest interest rate possible. 

Paying every bill on time throughout your entire life won't guarantee that your scores are as high as they could be. For example:

  • If you use your credit cards, you could be losing points because too much of your revolving balance is on just one card. 
  • If you don't have any credit cards, you are probably losing points for not having enough credit to demonstrate
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The pandemic of 2020 caused more than illness. The changes brought about because of lock-downs and cautionary measures caused an upheaval in most of our lives. 

For some it meant unemployment. For others it meant working remotely from home. And for those with school-age children, it meant home schooling. For almost everyone it meant an end to dining out, going to concerts or movies, and enjoying sports and social gatherings. 

If you have become unemployed, you may have gotten forbearance. If you have a government-backed loan, you'll be able to repay the missed payments at the end of the loan term, or when you sell the house. If not, you may be expected to make up those missed payments when forbearance ends. 

Meanwhile, unless you're back at work,

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Like many homeowners, you may have eyed a home improvement project in the past only to come up short on time or inspiration.

Don’t feel bad. Nearly half (43%) of all homeowners say their biggest challenge around home improvement decisions is finding DIY time, which also may explain why the same percentage of people say they have unfinished home improvement projects — typically two.

Since many of us are spending much or all of our time at home, now might be a good time to channel some of that cabin fever into a project that could add value to your home or infuse it with new energy.

Here’s a sampling of projects you can tackle alone — or with a pint-sized assistant in need of a play date.

Beginner projects

New faucets

Attention to detail

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To ensure your jack-o'-lantern is primed for Halloween, follow these tips.

While Halloween may look a little different this year, there’s no reason you can’t still have an amazing outdoor display. If you’re not interested in shelling out big bucks for a 12 foot animatronic skeleton, or if your style is more autumn chic than gothic gore, you have plenty of options when it comes to the traditional jack-o’-lantern. Before you cut into your sacrificial squash, check out these top tips for making a carv-tastic display.

Pumpkin selection

There are no rules for what size or shape makes for a great jack-o’-lantern. Any pumpkin can rise to ghoulish greatness. Do look for a pumpkin that isn’t bruised and has no mold around the stem. Who wants to cut into a

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You've probably been advised to "neutralize" your house before putting it on the market. But what does that mean?

It means two things:

First, re-painting or re-carpeting, if necessary, to present a color palate that others can see as a backdrop for their own furnishings. That means using neutral colors and adding your highlights via removable objects, such as throw pillows, kitchen canisters, or towels, bedspreads, etc. 

There is a beautiful, correctly priced home in a southeastern resort town that has gone unsold for the last few seasons, simply because the master bedroom has maroon walls. Of course  buyer could repaint, but instead they pass it by. 

Wallpaper, especially if it is dramatic, can also put buyers off. Most know that they would need to

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Whether you've decided to sell your house or will soon be moving to a house you've purchased, now is a good time to hold a yard sale. 

But what about COVID-19? Isn't a yard sale risky?

It's no more risky than going to the grocery store - and probably less risky if you hold it outdoors. Space your tables far apart so buyers can maintain social distance; wear your mask; and have plenty of hand sanitizer on hand so people can feel free to handle the merchandise.

If you've decided to sell, you know you need to de-clutter to make your home feel as spacious as possible. Moving things out via a yard sale will mean you only have to handle things once. 

Moving will be less of a chore when you have several hundred pounds less to pack and carry. And... moving into

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Does  your building have proper insurance?Did you check with the strata company that manages your building.You have to make sure you are covered in today's insurance policy rules that have  taken real estate world by surprise in the first quarter of this year.

Many strata owners are facing significant increases in insurance rates and deductibles this year. There are also multiple older buildings across the province struggling to find an insurer to renew their policy.You might be asking why is this happening ,why now.

Several factors have led to high strata insurance costs, including a building’s size and construction materials used, claims history, where a building is located, the number of unoccupied units or tenants, the high value of real estate,

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When you make the decision to sell your Vancouver home, the impulse is to get it on the market right away. But that can be a costly mistake.   Instead, carefully choose a listing agent and come to an agreement on the listing price. When you choose an agent who is familiar with the market in your neighborhood, he or she will be able to show you the recent sold prices of homes nearby and will be able to tell you how they compare with yours.   Remember, it doesn't matter what the house next door sold for last year. All that counts is what has sold in the past several weeks.   Then, before the first buyer or buyer's agent pulls up outside, do what the old folks used to call "Spring Cleaning."   Make everything from the ceilings to the…
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