Rosemary Papp

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If you are considering a home renovation project, it might not be realistic to take on your entire home, but even just a few upgrades can lead to a much higher selling price for your property. In a competitive market, standing out from the other homes in your neighbourhood is paramount. Below are three important projects to focus on before selling your home that are guaranteed to add that added dose of special sauce buyers are looking for.

Kitchen

To many, the kitchen is the most important part of the home – this idea is echoed in an old saying: people talk business in the living room, but friends hang out in the kitchen. The kitchen is where families spend time together preparing meals and talking about the day. It is where friends laugh over a glass of wine and platters of cheese and crackers. It is the nucleus of every house, and it is what a majority of buyers admit is one of their make or break items when comparing multiple listings.

Buyers like to see clean and new appliances. If your budget allows, consider getting stainless steel appliances, ideally in a fingerprint-free finish. If there is no money freed up for this kind of an upgrade, a good, thorough washing can do wonders, and don’t forget to tidy the magnets and photos on your refrigerator while you’re at it.  

Next, consider replacing worn or outdated countertops. Granite or butcher block are always in demand, but any high-quality, durable countertop in a neutral tone would be a great addition to your kitchen.

Be sure to take into consideration what is appropriate for your property’s listing price when starting to update your kitchen or any area of your home, for that matter. For example, putting marble floors and granite counter tops in a lower priced property would be a bad investment as the chances of recouping that money in equity down the road might not be as great as you had envisioned.

It's wise to consult with your REALTOR® before diving into home improvement projects so you can get a comparative market analysis. This will give you an idea of what your home will sell for, allowing you to budget appropriately for your renovation projects.

Many homebuyers are intimidated about taking on large renovation projects, preferring instead to get into a home that is “move in ready.” This is especially true of first time homebuyers, as they may not have the initial budget to put up a down payment and then dive headfirst into upgrading or renovating their new home. By presenting potential buyers with a kitchen that is updated and clean, you make it that much easier for them to fall in love with your house and sign on the dotted line.

Tip: Burn a softly scented candle in the kitchen to diffuse any lingering cooking odours if your REALTOR® calls with a last minute showing.

Paint

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is an easy and cost effective project that will give buyers a great first impression. Many people choose to do this project themselves to save money - even hiring professionals to do the job for you can be a great value if they can get the work done quickly and with great quality.

Colour selection is key to a successful paint job; your kids might love the neon green paint in their rooms, but strong colours can definitely turn buyers off. Paint the doors and moldings a slightly lighter colour then the walls. "It's a subtle shift in colour but it really brings your eye to the detail." Says Sheri Thompson, director of colour marketing and design for Sherwin-Williams.  

Years of wear and tear can leave your walls with scratches and scuff marks. So even if painting isn’t in the cards for you, taking the time to wash your walls will brighten up your existing paint in no time.

Tip: Pay special attention to the interior lighting of your home. Darkly painted rooms can feel depressing and uncomfortable, but a carefully placed lamp can make all the difference.

Lighting

Adding proper lighting is a simple and effective way to make your home feel more warm and inviting. Interior designer Melanie Freundlich offers up some excellent tips for using interior lighting in your home:

  • A beautifully lit living room is accomplished through variety: variety in height, locations, and even bulb colour.
  • Use light to feature something you love, like a favourite painting, a statue, or a wall with a decorative finish.
  • The cheapest, quickest solution for upgrading your home lighting: swapping out your switch plates to a fun metal finish or even a bold colour to compliment your wall paint.

Landscaping

Doing all of these fantastic interior home improvement projects is wasted time if potential buyers never make it past your front door. When potential buyers drive up to your property they should see a clean and neat exterior at the very least, and – if possible – it is wise to invest in landscape features even if that just means a beautiful birdbath or window boxes filled with freshly planted flowers. It should also go without saying that your lawn should be mowed and any fallen leaves are removed. Also be sure to pick up trash or debris that can easily collect near fence lines or under trees. As an added touch, add a bright exterior light so that potential buyers can see clearly if they drive by your home after dark.

Tony Rigby, a well-known financial planner puts it this way: “Buyers are often sold on a home before they take a step inside, so it pays to make your property appealing from the outside.”

Tip: Have your home professionally pressure washed or rent your own machine if you are feeling ambitious.

These three simple home projects will definitely make your property stand out without costing you an arm and a leg in the process.

 

 

*This article is syndicated and licensed from Realtor.GetWrittn.com.

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The living room is the main space in your home where people gather. It's a high traffic room and it has a lot of jobs. Creating a space that meets the needs of your family, but is also beautiful and desirable to be in, is no easy task. You might find yourself wondering where to even start, but with a few simple tricks, you'll be headed in the right direction. 

Here are three significant ways you can create more functional space in your living room right now: 

Aim to Simplify 

These days, with life spinning so fast in so many different directions, it's easy for our home to become a drop zone for so many things. We accumulate sports equipment, hobby related accessories, kid’s toys, pet supplies, and the list goes on. Somehow, in the midst of all these bits and pieces, the parts we really love about our home can get lost. The number one thing you can do to create a more functional living room is to start by de-cluttering. Start by grabbing four boxes labeled: 

  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Recycle
  • Trash

Go through your living room and do your best to purge those excess items. Think creatively and remember that by letting some things go, you are making way to really highlight the things in your home that really do matter to you. Consider pairing down on things you have in excess, for instance, limit your throw pillows, don't pack your bookshelves to the max, and try not to overwhelm your mantle with knickknacks. Colleen Madsen of 365 Less Things suggests, “There is no need to make things difficult by trying to organize the hardest things first. Most likely, it will simply deter you from the task altogether. Instead, start with the easy stuff and then as you strengthen your will to reduce, the harder decisions will become easier.” De-cluttering might seem like a daunting task, but it is worth it in the long run. Having less clutter is actually healthier for you and it helps promote a more peaceful environment. Who doesn't want a living room that ushers in peace? 

Once you have simplified the extra stuff around your home, you can then really focus on the statement pieces that you want to showcase. Turn your attention to pieces that open up and add light to your living room. Mirrors offer a great way to add dimension to an otherwise boring space. Focus your energy on finding pieces that inspire you, draw out simplicity, and take up minimal space.

Designate Space Wisely

Creating functionality in your living room is so much more than arranging furniture, it's about developing an environment that works and flows with your family’s lifestyle. Instead of just placing your furniture where it fits or the best angle toward the TV, really consider the design and formation of your living room. Try to designate areas with certain jobs in mind. Here are a few ideas to help you get started: 

  • a distinct sitting area
  • a reading nook
  • a play area
  • a home office corner
  • an entertainment space 

Elaine Song from styleathome.com advises, “Divide your living space by designating areas for certain activities. It will allow for better organization of furniture and necessities. Whether it's a games area with a table and proper storage for board games and toys or a TV area with seating and media storage for music and movies, your space will feel less cluttered.” If you find yourself debating over what to do with your sofa, consider what Designer Laura Casey has to say, “People often ask me my opinion on using sectional sofas. Under the right conditions they can be functional and look great. I think their best use is in rooms with high ceilings or lots of windows, and upholstered in a lighter color. Getting room and upholstery proportions correct can be a challenge. If you've got a smaller sized room with low ceilings you are better off choosing a mix of a sofa and chairs to help break up the space.” The living room is the place that family gathers, with specific designated areas, giving everyone a corner of their own. 

Use Furniture Creatively 

One of the main reasons to use furniture creatively is that it is a great way to incorporate sentimental family pieces into your everyday life. Jan Porter of Isle Designs, brings over 35 years of Design experience to the table, she shared some helpful advice about how she uses pieces creatively within her own home, and “I tend to use pieces that have a multi functional purpose. One of my family heirlooms, an antique cedar chest from the 1800's not only doubles as storage, but it is used as my coffee table as well.” Another wonderful reason to use furniture creatively is that it can offer double-duty. Some benches have wonderful storage capabilities and they also make a great window seat. 

Many new sectional sofas come with ample storage inside, and the chaise lounge portion can double as a daybed. If your living room is on the smaller side, consider using a bookshelf as an entertainment storage center/room divider. You can place TV remotes and controllers in lined baskets, store games in decorative boxes, and reserve one shelf for your favorite go to books. By using double-duty furniture, you not only create more space, but you develop a room that everyone in your family feels some sense of ownership to.

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I have listed a new property at 131 9080 198 ST in Langley.
Maxi house, mini price! Act quickly on this 2 BR 2 bath ranch style home situated on parklike, cul de sac ravine setting! This Fraser plan offers bright, open kitchen/meal nook with sliders to large covered deck (perfect for year round living), cross hall living/dining room with vault ceilings & gas fireplace; king size Master features 3 piece ensuite, Jack & Jill closets, 2nd BR perfect for guests or home office/hobbies. Recent updates include roof, furnace, h/w tank, central air, flooring, baseboards & door trim, light fixtures and more. Also, enclosed storage at rear of carport and 5' crawl space. This community lifestyle is for those 55+, 1 small pet ok! Call soon or this good buy will soon be good bye!
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I have listed a new property at 36 2315 198 ST in Langley.
A floorplan to floor you! Awesome layout makes life easier with nice flow created through living, dining, kitchen and family rooms. Bright and spacious, living and dining rooms feature vaulted ceilings, floor length windows, offset gas fireplace. Family room offers slider door access to large covered deck; kitchen features skylight, eating area and pantry. Master bedroom suite will accomodate king size furniture, ensuite spa features jetted tub and separate shower. Other features include roomy 2nd bedroom, laundry room with storage, attached hobby/workshop with power. This adult community at Deer Creek Estates offers clubhouse and rec centre, 1 small pet ok. Call soon or this good buy will soon be good bye!
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Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

SURREY, BC – Sales on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) remained strong in July – however, for the first time this year, monthly sales did not break a historical record for our region.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,962 sales of all property types on its MLS® in July, a decrease of 10.2 per cent compared to the 2,184 sales in July 2015, and a 31.5 per cent drop compared to the 2,864 transactions processed in June 2016.

“A slowing down in activity is expected during the summer. While it may seem drastic or alarming when compared to months prior, this easing off is welcome as we get further into the year – the pace of the market slows, and inventory has a chance to catch up,” said Board President Charles Wiebe.

The Board received 3,226 new listings in July, an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to July of last year, and a 12.9 per cent decrease from June 2016. The total active inventory for July was 6,012, down 21.7 per cent from last year’s 7,681 active listings at this time.

“This is a good thing for our market, and buyers especially. Additional inventory will help drive us towards a more balanced environment for consumers and remove some of the upward pressure on prices we’ve been seeing.”

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in July 2016 was 18 days, compared to 33 days in July 2015.

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in July was $881,400, an increase of 41.9 per cent compared to July 2015 when it was $621,100.

In July, the benchmark price of townhouses was $408,200, an increase of 33.9 per cent compared to $304,900 in July 2015.  The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 24.9 per cent, going from $192,700 in July 2015 to $240,600 in July 2016.

 

Find the July Statistics Package here.


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