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Creating a Pantry, when You Don’t Have One!

September 21st, 2016 by queencityhomes

A pantry is the ideal nook for storing extra food and other items ordinarily crammed into the kitchen. It’s also a nice design feature, as it harkens back to the days of country kitchens with spacious pantries.

 

You might be thinking, “That’s nice, but our home doesn’t have a pantry.”

 

That’s okay. These days, there are many ways to create a pantry in your home – even if it doesn’t have one! Here are just a few suggestions:

 

  • Add shelves to the laundry room. If you have the space, this is the ideal place to create a mini-pantry.

 

  • Purchase a portable pantry. There are many available on the market. Some are even disguised as cabinets you’d expect to see in living and dining rooms.

 

  • Purchase a movable pantry. These units are on wheels and can slide in and out of the kitchen with ease. Some are short enough to slide conveniently under a kitchen table.

 

  • Make use of an unused closet. These are rare in most homes, but if you have a closet that isn’t being used, it can easily be converted into a pantry.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of options available. You don’t necessarily need to build an extra room!

 

 

 

When it Comes to Offers, it’s Not Always about Price

September 7th, 2016 by queencityhomes

When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.

However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.

For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the seller selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to list your home all over again.

In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.

There’s also financing to consider. Most sellers will attach a certificate from their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the seller to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.

The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.

As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I will guide you toward making the right decision.

How Much Time Should You Spend Viewing Homes?

August 31st, 2016 by queencityhomes

Figuring out how much time you should spend viewing properties for sale is a little like asking, “How long should I spend trying on shoes?”
The answer seems obvious: As long as it takes to make a decision!
Buying a home is significantly more complex than purchasing shoes – and the stakes are higher too! You need to make sure you have all the information necessary to confidently make the best decision.
There are basically three stages to viewing a property:
1. Macro
2. Micro
3. Professional
When you view a home on a macro basis, you’re looking at it from an overall perspective. For example, you may do a general walk-through to get a first impression and determine if the property has the basic features you need, such as the number of bedrooms and the size of the backyard.
Macro viewing is often the fastest stage in the viewing process and can sometimes take just a few minutes.
If you like what you see, then it’s onto the micro stage. At this stage you take a closer look at the details of the property. You might, for example, spend extra time in the master bedroom imagining how your furniture would look and fit.
The micro stage takes longer simply because the home is now on your shortlist. You’re interested and are considering making an offer.
Finally, the professional stage involves getting a qualified home inspector to go over the property with a fine tooth comb. That typically occurs after you’ve made an offer.
As your REALTOR®, I will guide you through a viewing so you’ll know what to look for and can make a smart, informed decision. Call today.

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.

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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