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Should You Own a Fire Extinguisher?

July 21st, 2016 by queencityhomes

You’ve seen fire extinguishers in commercial environments, such as schools, stores and workplaces. Does it make sense to have one in your home?

According to the experts, yes. In fact, a fire extinguisher can quickly put out a blaze that would otherwise quickly grow out of control.

There are several types of fire extinguishers that are made especially for residential use. That means they put out the most common fires that occur in the home (Class A, B & K fires), and they are easy to handle and use.

Since most residential fires happen in the kitchen, that’s the best place to keep your extinguisher. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and how to use it.

Keep in mind that a home fire extinguisher is meant for small fires that are easy to put out, such as a pan of vegetable oil igniting on the stove. If you find you can’t control the blaze within a few seconds with the extinguisher, get everyone out of the home and call the fire department.

Also, never attempt to fight a major fire yourself. Leave that to the professionals.

Finding the List Price “Tipping Points”

July 7th, 2016 by queencityhomes

Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers. How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? After all, no two homes are exactly alike.

Yet, setting the right price is crucial. You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.

The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?”

But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing a second look. When your price is that high, you’ll get few enquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property.

Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall actually end up selling for much less than they would have if they had priced their properties correctly in the first place.

So what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere in-between those two tipping points.

Call today for help determining the right price for your property.

Not-So-Obvious Reasons to Meet with a REALTOR®

June 23rd, 2016 by queencityhomes

When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me? Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course!

However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me. Here are just a few:

• You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.

• You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.

• You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.

• You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done.

• You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.

• You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.

As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call today.

Can New Kitchen Appliances Increase the Value of Your Home?

June 10th, 2016 by queencityhomes

Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most expensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.

The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the kitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also be the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and looks out-of-place.

Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features. Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention.

Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are interested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included. So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-saving features, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power.

Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!

Low-Cost Storage Hacks for Creating More Space

May 27th, 2016 by queencityhomes

Comedian George Carlin’s most memorable routine was, “A place for my stuff.” In it, he talked about dealing with the increasing quantity of items we accumulate throughout life.

George was funny. The problem is not. Here are some low-cost ideas for quickly creating storage space for your stuff.

• Attach a cloth pouch or thin plastic basket to the inside of cupboard doors. This is a great way to store Tupperware lids, cosmetics, etc.

• Install hooks inside the foyer closet for loose items such as hats and scarfs.

• Use egg cartons to make effective storage inserts in drawers.

• Fashion stores often put purchases in stiff, high-quality boxes. Placed on their sides, these make effective storage compartments. (Especially shoeboxes.)

• Consider using suitcases for out-of-season clothing. In addition to storage, they also provide protection.

• Never throw out an old wine rack. There are numerous ways these can be used for storage. (Example: for tools.)

By thinking creatively, you can probably come up with many other simple ideas for creating more storage. The reward is a home that looks neater and more spacious.

Making “Neighbourhood Targeting” Work for You

May 11th, 2016 by queencityhomes

Imagine if you dreamed of owning a special limited edition vehicle. What would you do to ensure that your dream vehicle would someday be parked in your driveway — with your name on the ownership papers?

You would probably start by doing some research. You’d find out how much that vehicle would cost, what features are available, and so forth. You would likely visit a local dealership and take a test drive if a model is available on site. You would keep an eye on the market for any that come up and let the dealer know you’re looking for just that car.

If you did, then, some day, you’d probably be the proud owner of the limited edition car of your dreams.

What does this have to do with real estate?

Well, you can take the same approach when there’s a neighbourhood you’d love to live in someday. You can target it, learn what homes typically cost in that area, and keep your eye on that market in case a property becomes available that meets your criteria.

By focusing on a specific neighbourhood, you increase your chances of someday living there, simply because you’re focusing on it.

Of course, neighbourhood targeting isn’t as simple as aiming to own a specific car someday. That’s why you need a great REALTOR® who can keep an eye on that neighbourhood on your behalf and alert you to opportunities that become available.

Then, when there is a listing that’s a good fit, you can decide whether or not to make a move.

Is there a dream neighbourhood you’d like to live in some day? Call today to start making it happen.

Imagine if you dreamed of owning a special limited edition vehicle. What would you do to ensure that your dream vehicle would someday be parked in your driveway — with your name on the ownership papers?

You would probably start by doing some research. You’d find out how much that vehicle would cost, what features are available, and so forth. You would likely visit a local dealership and take a test drive if a model is available on site. You would keep an eye on the market for any that come up and let the dealer know you’re looking for just that car.

If you did, then, some day, you’d probably be the proud owner of the limited edition car of your dreams.

What does this have to do with real estate?

Well, you can take the same approach when there’s a neighbourhood you’d love to live in someday. You can target it, learn what homes typically cost in that area, and keep your eye on that market in case a property becomes available that meets your criteria.

By focusing on a specific neighbourhood, you increase your chances of someday living there, simply because you’re focusing on it.

Of course, neighbourhood targeting isn’t as simple as aiming to own a specific car someday. That’s why you need a great REALTOR® who can keep an eye on that neighbourhood on your behalf and alert you to opportunities that become available.

Then, when there is a listing that’s a good fit, you can decide whether or not to make a move.

Is there a dream neighbourhood you’d like to live in some day? Call today to start making it happen.

How to Reduce the Chance of a Burglary by 90%

May 4th, 2016 by queencityhomes

No one wants to deal with a burglary. How do you reduce the chances of one happening?

Fortunately, burglaries are a well-studied phenomenon — especially by law enforcement. These studies have identified specific things you can do to cut the risk dramatically. Here are some ideas:

• 34% of home break-ins occur through the front door. Experts recommend investing in a door with a top-quality locking mechanism. (The best are those that lock at three points of contact.)

• 50% of burglars will be deterred if your home has some sort of video monitoring system. A thief doesn’t want his face on YouTube!

• Unfortunately, signs and window stickers warning of an alarm system do not deter thieves. However, 62% of burglars will immediately run away when an alarm goes off. Always turn on your alarm system when you’re not home!

• 22% of burglaries occur through a sliding glass door or patio door. Make sure it’s locked and also use a solid metal jammer.

• Some thieves use frequency scanners to gain access to garages. Police recommend changing your remote entry code regularly and putting blinds or curtains on garage windows so thieves can’t see (and be tempted by) any valuables inside.

As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your chances of a burglary dramatically. The effort is worth it.

Should You Move or Renovate? Three Things to Consider

April 26th, 2016 by queencityhomes

Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!

So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider.

1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?

If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that happen.

Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.

2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home?

It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help.

Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.

3. Beware of compromising versus settling.

Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.

For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home designed to include the space you need?

Yes, it’s a tough decision. If you’re in the midst of making it, call today, to get the facts you need to make the best choice for you.

5 Unusual (but effective) Home Staging Ideas

December 18th, 2014 by queencityhomes

“Staging” your home is all about making the space in your home as appealing as possible to buyers. You may already know the basics, such as eliminating clutter. Here are some other tips that are less well known yet very effective:

  • Chandeliers. Surprisingly, these are one of the simplest ways to make a foyer, dining room or living room dramatically more eye-catching. You can buy a good-looking chandelier for a few hundred dollars.

 

  • New linen. This is something many home sellers don’t consider, but should. Replace any worn linen – sheets, coverings, towels, and even oven mitts with new ones. Believe it or not, new linen makes a big impression on buyers.

 

  • Pedestal sinks. It may not be practical for you to replace a bathroom sink. However, if you are doing a renovation, keep in mind that pedestal sinks – especially in small washrooms – are a big hit with buyers.

 

  • New appliances. A brand new fridge, stove and dishwasher are motivating selling features to buyers. That’s because new appliances make the whole kitchen look brand new.

 

  • Avoid multi-use rooms. Have a spare bedroom that doubles as a home office? That’s a turnoff to buyers. Whenever possible, stage each room so that it has a singular purpose. A guest bedroom, for example, should be only that.

Want more tips on how to stage your home so that it attracts buyers? Call today.

When to call a REALTOR®

March 10th, 2014 by queencityhomes

If you’re like most people, you go to see a doctor when you’re not feeling well or have a health concern. However, you may also visit your doctor for a check-up, or to ask questions about healthy living.

In fact, consulting your doctor for anything health-related is a smart idea.

The same holds true when it comes to real estate.

Many people only call a REALTOR® when they’re planning on selling their property or buying a new home, or both. While that’s an important reason to speak to a REALTOR®, it’s not the only reason.

Indeed, there are many good reasons for you to give a good REALTOR® a call. For example:

  • If you have a question about the state of the local real estate market. (Remember that it may be very different from what you hear on the news about the national market.)
  • If you want to get a sense of what homes are currently selling for in the area.
  • If you want to determine the current market value of your property.
  • If you want to find out how much homes cost in neighbourhoods you’d like to consider.
  • If you’re thinking about the possibility of making a move, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time.

In other words, don’t be afraid to contact a good REALTOR® when you have a question or need some advice about the real estate market.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.
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