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What Do Interior Designers Do?

September 14th, 2017 by queencityhomes

If you want to transform a room into something that’s functional, beautiful and perfectly matched to your taste, then you might want to hire an interior designer.
It’s an interior designer’s job to come up with imaginative ideas that will wow you.
It’s a myth that interior designers just deal with paint colours, décor and furnishings. In fact, according to the Interior Designers Institute, these professionals have the training needed to handle all aspects of a renovation or remodeling project, including selecting and managing contractors. They can direct a project from beginning to end.
If you want to renovate your basement into a stunning home theatre and gathering place, an interior designer can:
• Draw out several concepts for you to choose from,
• Purchase the best building materials,
• Hire the contractors, and
• Manage the project.
He or she can even pick out classic movie pictures for the walls!
There are many professional associations that have “Find an Interior Designer” links on their websites. In Canada, it’s the Interior Designers of Canada (www.idcanada.org).
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This Simple Question Can Save You a Lot of Money

August 29th, 2017 by queencityhomes

Imagine this scenario…

You purchase a new home and move in. A few weeks later, you hear a strange rumbling sound. It’s the furnace. It’s only a year old, yet it’s sputtering like it’s twenty. You realize you’ll have to call in an HVAC contractor to get it fixed.

You’re thinking, “Ouch! This is going to be expensive.”

Well, maybe not. You see, since that furnace is relatively new, it might be covered by its original warranty — even for you, the new owner.

But a warranty is useless if you don’t know it exists.

Recent studies suggest that upwards of 50% of people pay to get items fixed that were actually covered by a warranty. So, when purchasing a new home, be sure to ask this simple question: “What warranties do you have for items, materials or workmanship in this house?”

Warranties are common on new stoves, fridges, washers, dryers and other big ticket appliances. Some such warranties are transferrable, which means they are still in force when the items pass from one owner to another.

Even less expensive items, such as electronic thermostats and automatic garage door openers, may be covered by a transferrable manufacturer’s warranty.

If the home you’re purchasing is relatively new (say, less than 10 years old), the builder’s warranty may also still be in force. That can be handy if a structural problem arises.

Even recent renovations, may have come with a labour and/or installation warranty of some kind.

As you can see, warranties are everywhere! The more you’re aware of them, the more you’ll save when something needs repair or replacement.

This Simple Question Can Save You a Lot of Money

August 15th, 2017 by queencityhomes

Imagine this scenario…

You purchase a new home and move in. A few weeks later, you hear a strange rumbling sound. It’s the furnace. It’s only a year old, yet it’s sputtering like it’s twenty. You realize you’ll have to call in an HVAC contractor to get it fixed.

You’re thinking, “Ouch! This is going to be expensive.”

Well, maybe not. You see, since that furnace is relatively new, it might be covered by its original warranty — even for you, the new owner.

But a warranty is useless if you don’t know it exists.

Recent studies suggest that upwards of 50% of people pay to get items fixed that were actually covered by a warranty. So, when purchasing a new home, be sure to ask this simple question: “What warranties do you have for items, materials or workmanship in this house?”

Warranties are common on new stoves, fridges, washers, dryers and other big ticket appliances. Some such warranties are transferrable, which means they are still in force when the items pass from one owner to another.

Even less expensive items, such as electronic thermostats and automatic garage door openers, may be covered by a transferrable manufacturer’s warranty.

If the home you’re purchasing is relatively new (say, less than 10 years old), the builder’s warranty may also still be in force. That can be handy if a structural problem arises.

Even recent renovations, may have come with a labour and/or installation warranty of some kind.

As you can see, warranties are everywhere! The more you’re aware of them, the more you’ll save when something needs repair or replacement.

Painting Techniques that Bring a Hallway to Life

August 2nd, 2017 by queencityhomes

Some people don’t give hallways much thought when painting and decorating. Instead, they focus on rooms.

The fact is, a great looking hallway can have the same, if not more, impact than the most eye-catching family room or bedroom, especially when you need to go through the hallway to get there!

Here are some painting tips that can bring a dull hallway to life:

• Paint the hallway the reverse of the rooms around it. If the rooms are dark, use light colours in the hall. If the rooms feature simple colours, consider being more dramatic in your choice of hallway paint.

• In a longer hallway, using two shades of the same colour on perpendicular walls can make the space seem less tunnel-like. (The darker shade goes on the shorter walls.)

• Darker colours can work well if the space is well-lit and there are few, if any, shadows cast.

• If you decide to paint the halls white, select an off-white or eggshell white. Avoid stark white as it will reflect light in a way that’s unpleasant.

One more tip: Pictures can go a long way in making a hallway look inviting, regardless of the wall colour.

Good luck with the painting!

No Homes for Sale in the Area You Like? Here’s What to Do…

July 18th, 2017 by queencityhomes

Imagine there’s a neighbourhood you’d love to live in someday, but, every time you drive through, you rarely, if ever, see a For Sale sign. It’s as if homes get gobbled up by buyers the moment they get listed.

It’s true, properties do tend to sell quickly in desirable, in-demand neighbourhoods. Does that mean you’re destined to either hope for a lucky break or miss out on ever living there?

Fortunately, no. There are practical things you can do to increase your chances of getting into that neighbourhood.

Your first step is to find out the kind of new home you can afford. You want to get your financial ducks in a row so when a listing does come up in the area, you’re able to respond quickly. Find out the average price range of homes in the neighbourhood. Then, if necessary, talk to your lender or mortgage broker.

The second step is to get your current property ready for sale. You don’t necessary need to list it now, but you want to be in a position to do so quickly, if necessary. You may need to clean up and declutter, get repairs done, and spruce up your home in other ways.

The third step is to talk to me.

You see, listings in popular neighbourhoods often move fast. By the time you see them advertised on the internet, they may be gone. I can closely monitor listings in that area for you, so the moment one comes up that meets your criteria, you can be alerted. This greatly increases your chances of getting that home.

So if there is a dream neighbourhood you’d love to get into, give me a call.

Handling a New Home Problem on Moving Day

July 6th, 2017 by queencityhomes

Imagine buying a product from a store, taking it home, and then discovering there’s a problem with it. Disappointing, yes, but not a catastrophe. You can simply take it back for repair or exchange.

But, what if it’s moving day, and you discover there’s a problem with your new home? Whoa. A house isn’t so easily returned!

What are the most common problems encountered on moving day?

• A delay in getting the keys.

• The seller not having completely moved out.

• An item expected to be included with the property is missing. (For example, the window blinds.)

• Something needs repair that was not disclosed by the seller, nor did it come up during inspection. (For example, the dishwasher not working.)

• Damage to the property caused by the seller. (For example, a heavy item dropped during the move and cracking a floor tile.)

Fortunately, these are rare events. In most cases, you can expect no serious issues when you move into your new home.

But, if something is wrong, you have options. So, call me immediately. In all likelihood, I will be able to quickly resolve the issue.

If it’s a serious matter, such as missing items, I may get your real estate lawyer involved to arrange for the return of the item(s) or compensation.

So don’t worry. Let the professionals handle it. You can just enjoy your new home!

Getting Friends to Spread the Word about Your Listing

June 20th, 2017 by queencityhomes

When you list your home for sale, you want as many buyers as possible to find out about it. So consider how many friends, neighbours and work colleagues you have. Then think about how many people they know.

The number is likely in the hundreds. One of those people could be looking for a property just like yours.

That’s why getting your friends to spread the word about your listing is so effective. How do you do that?

One strategy is to have a moving party. This gives you an opportunity to ask your friends, as a group, to tell others about your listing.

You can also encourage your friends to bring a guest who is currently in the market for a new home.

Another good idea is to put a profile of your listing on Facebook. This is the fastest and most convenient way for your Facebook friends to point others to your listing.

Do you have friends who work at larger organizations like banks and factories? They probably have access to an employee lunch room with a bulletin board. You can spread the word by asking them to put up an information sheet on your listing.

Try one or more of these ideas. Combined with my marketing plan for you, they can help get more qualified buyers to your doorstep.

Want more tips on promoting your listing? Call today.

Going “Green” in Your Garden or Flower Bed

June 6th, 2017 by queencityhomes

There has been a lot of emphasis lately on the importance of “going green”. That simply means being environmentally-responsible. You likely already recycle, use energy-efficient lights, and turn down your thermostat when no one is home.

Yet, most of us don’t think about the garden or flower bed when we “think green”.

We should. Here are a few practical things you can do to tend to outdoor plants — without negatively impacting the environment.

• Pull weeds instead of using a weed killer.

• Avoid strong pesticides. (Products that target only one or two types of insects tend to be less harsh.)

• Don’t use flower bed ornaments (i.e. gnomes) that might bleed colour dye into the soil. (Ask your garden centre before you buy.)

• Be careful not to leave hand spades, trowels, and other garden tools lying around, especially over winter. They can rust, which contaminates the soil.

These tips may seem minor, but if you want to be environmentally-conscious, every little bit helps!

Does Your Home Insurance Cover Everything?

May 23rd, 2017 by queencityhomes

When you suffer damage to, (or the loss of), your home or its contents, you expect your insurance company to help you out. And, most do a good job of doing just that.

Still, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your insurance advisor and find out what’s covered and what isn’t. You don’t want to discover that your policy will not cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by a flood in your laundry room.

Pay particular attention to coverage in the case of water damage. Some insurance policies don’t cover floods and sewer backup unless an additional rider is purchased.

Also, check liability limits. Ask your advisor to recommend an appropriate level. Finally, make sure you know exactly how much your home is insured for. Are you covered for the full replacement cost? Are you comfortable with that coverage or the actual cash value?

Having the right insurance gives you peace-of-mind and is an important part of enjoying your home.

Keep in mind that experts advise you to review your insurance with your advisor. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you understand your coverage fully.

By the way, if you’re looking for an insurance advisor, I’m well-connected in the local “home” industry. I may be able to give you a couple of names of good, reputable professionals. Give me a call.

Buying Your Dream Home in a Hot Market

May 9th, 2017 by queencityhomes

Imagine finding the perfect home, only to discover there is serious interest from at least a dozen other buyers. It’s like scrambling for the last piece of cake at a buffet!

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help get the home you want, even in a highly competitive market. Here are just a few ideas:

• Only view a few ideal properties at a time. If you see too many, and thus spread yourself too thin, you risk homes slipping through your fingers.

• Be realistic about price. Focus on finding a great home that you can afford, rather than trying to find a bargain.

• Consider homes that need some work. They get less interest than perfectly staged properties, yet can turn out to be a dream home.

• Be prepared to make an offer with as few conditions as possible. An offer conditional on passing inspection is usually fine, but in a competitive situation, offers with other conditions will likely be turned down flat.

• Make your decisions quickly. If there are likely to be other interested buyers, you want to get your offer in early.

• Make the right offer. To win the deal, you want your offer to be as enticing as possible to the seller — especially when it comes to price.

Yes, it can be tough finding an ideal home in a hot market, but I can help. Give me a call and I’ll show you how.

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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