Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |

When you’re out-of-town, there are plenty of kennels and other facilities that will mind your dog or cat. In fact, the pet-care business is booming! However, the same options aren’t available for your houseplants. So what do you do?


First, keep in mind that plants can go for several days or even a couple of weeks without water. This frequently happens in their natural habitats. So if you’re gone for just a few days, your flora will probably be fine.


Flowering plants tend to need the most water. Give them an extra dose just before you leave. Also, make sure they are in indirect, rather than direct sunlight. That will help them conserve water.


If you’re going to be away for a week or more, consider one of the several products on the market that water plants automatically. Many of these allow you to adjust how much water each plant gets — and when.


You’ll find plenty of do-it-yourself instructions for making your own automatic waterer on the internet, from plastic cups with tiny holes in the bottom to upside-down bottles with wicks. These might work, but you’ll want to test
them first.

 

Of course, your best option might be to have a friend or trusted neighbour take care of the plants for you. Just be sure to give them clear instructions.


Your houseplants will thank you.

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Staging your home brings it up-to-date and increases the marketability of your property. These following 10 staging tips taken from a very trustworthy source are inexpensive and easy to do but will help you create a great first impression!


1. Paint
Dollar for dollar, a fresh coat of paint gives you more bang for your decorating buck than anything else. Even if your current palette is relatively new, any scuffs or wear marks will channel an unkempt vibe. And an unusual colour choice – even if the height of fashion – may limit your home’s appeal. So break out that roller and slap on a couple coats of crowd-pleasing warm white or sand paint.

 
2. Improve the lighting
Replace any out of date light fixtures. How can you tell if it has to go? If it’s over 15 years old and looks it – yet isn’t a vintage (50-75 years old) or antique piece (older) – it should probably go. “Retro” is not something most homebuyers are looking for – they tend to substitute the word “dated”. You don’t need to break the bank, just head to IKEA or Canadian Tire.

3. De-clutter
Take the collectibles off the mantel, put the mismatched armchair into storage (or better yet, donate it) and pare your closets down to what you’re actually wearing this season, packing away the rest. Ideally, all this extra stuff would head to charity (if in good, saleable condition), the garbage dump, or into storage. The more you store onsite, the more cluttered and small your home appears.

 

4. Give dated bathrooms a facelift
A nice bath helps sell a house but, don’t invest in a total renovation. Major renovations are costly, and you often won’t recoup your costs. Bring an out-of-date bath up to speed with gleaming white walls whether via a fresh coat of white bath and kitchen paint or ceramic tile and new lighting (Home Depot excels at affordable, stylish bathroom vanity lighting). Buy neutral new shower curtains, a simple new bath mat and vanity set, and have fresh flowers in the room during open houses.

 

5. Take down curtains
Dated window treatments need to come down, pronto (if it’s over 10 years old, get rid of it). If privacy isn’t an issue, just leave the windows bare to maximize natural light and make the room’s dimensions seem more generous. Otherwise, buy basic-issue cotton or linen drapes from Linens ‘N Things or another well-priced retailer. Always tie drapes back during viewings and open houses.

 

6. Put up mirrors
Make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter by adding an attractive wall mirror. A box like dining room will benefit from a leaning floor mirror (Home Sense often has great deals) and an entranceway more welcoming with a console mirror.

7. Update porch hardware

Increase your home’s curb appeal by updating the hardware on your front porch. Buy a doorknocker or bell, mailbox, kick plate, doorknob and lockset in a set or in complementary styles. Brushed nickel is a neutral finish that will never date, while oil-rubbed bronze is another favourite.

8. And the porch light
Update your porch light to coordinate with the new hardware, if needed. They don’t have to be an exact match or even come from the same period, but the finishes and styles should look pleasing together.

9. Spiff up the front yard
Refresh your front yard according to the season. In spring, summer and fall, trim back dead plants and foliage and plant attractive annuals or perennials in flowerbeds. In winter, keep the walkway shoveled and cut back any tree or shrub branches damaged by heavy snowfall. A pair of planters flanking the front door and filled with seasonal arrangements instantly conveys pride of ownership.

10. Tend the backyard

Simple fix-it will make the most of your existing yard layout. Replace any damaged boards on your deck or fence, and apply a fresh coat of paint, or stain and sealant if the finish needs it. Weed and groom your garden and add some perennials for colour when in-season. If kids’ toys are taking over the space, put some in storage. Think “tidy,” “update” and “refresh”: never do anything costly or major like adding a swimming pool or pond, which may put off potential buyers

 

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When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars. That being said, you might question whether you really need to invest the few hundred dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.”


However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement. But you won’t pick up all the issues a home inspector can.


A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mould. He or she will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code.


That’s not all.


Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components — and then report the findings to you.

 

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended — even for recently built homes.

 

A good REALTOR® can recommend a trusted home inspector for you.

 

Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a home? Call today.

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January 4, 2016 Victoria BC – 2015 Victoria Real Estate Board President Guy Crozier confirms that the year’s real estate market ended with a bang. “We wrapped up 2015 with numbers we haven’t seen since 2007. This past year we saw 8,295 transactions on the Multiple Listing Service®, an increase of 23.8 per cent from last year.”


A total of 465 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, an increase of 19.5 per cent compared to the 389 properties sold in the same month last year. There were 2,517 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December, 21.6 per cent fewer than the 3,210 active listings at the end of December 2014.


Crozier notes that the Victoria Real Estate Board serves more than 1,200 REALTOR® Members. “The great news for our Board’s membership is that in 2015 more than sixteen thousand buyers and sellers hired a local agent to sell or purchase a property. Our profession couldn't be happier about that kind of consumer confidence. With a market that's ever-changing, and with a transaction process that gets more complicated each year, now more than ever buyers and sellers need the expertise of a Realtor. Whether it's pricing a home in this evolving environment, finding a home before others do, or navigating a multiple offer situation through to success, our members are up for the task.”


What’s Crozier looking forward to in 2016? “It's hard to imagine 2016 won't bring more of the strong demand we saw throughout 2015. The inventory available for sale lags behind historical levels and if sales continue to be strong, it will be hard for inventory to bounce back. Sales show no sign of slowing this spring and Victoria remains one of the most popular destinations to live in the country. All of this points to a continued strong market.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December, 2014 was $560,900. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2015 has increased by 9.4 per cent to $613,600.

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