You've probably heard the term before. It's the attractiveness of the exterior of a property, as viewed from the street. Essentially, it is how appealing your home looks on its own and compared to the other houses on the street. Having curb appeal matters when selling your home: It can increase the market value and makes your home more competitive against other houses for sale. It is what potential buyers will see first, and the first impression is really important, you want to make the most out of it. The good new is that you don't have to spend a fortune to ensure that the outside of your home looks as nice as the inside. Here is how to boost the curb appeal of your home.
Pick-up: Remove all debris from the lawn, driveway and borders. Sweep your steps and porches. Dust your pergola to remove old spider webs. Clean your and downspout and gutters. Dog owners... you know what to do!
Wash: Use a pressure washer to clean first and debris off paths, driveway and the siding. Be careful not to damage any surface. If you don't own a pressure washer, you could probably borrow one from a friend or rent one at the store. Clean all windows, doors and light fixtures.
Touch-up: Patch or reseal minor cracks on the driveway. Repaint if you want an even better look! If you have wooden windows, remove any peeling paint and repaint them. Give your front door, shutters and garage door a little coat of paint if needed. Make sure there is no damage to the fence and if necessary, add a fresh coat of paint or stain on it. Same for your decks and porches.
Refresh: If you have gardens, remove weeds and fork soil around plants. If you are not a green thumb, add potted plants such as annuals. Give your lawn a little treatment to remove all yellow or mud spot.
Repair: Replace or fix any broken windows. If the siding is damaged, you can probably replace the damaged part to avoid water from going in. Make sure that all lights works.
The little extras
Because all the little details matters.
* Install a new doorknob, knocker and doorbell.
* Paint your front door.
* Add a doormat and seasonal decorations/potted plants.
* Add some flowerbeds in front and beside the house.
* Upgrade your mail box or add a front door mail box.
* Update your your light fixture and add landscape lighting.
* Install new house numbers.
* Paint your foundation and concrete stairways.
* Install DIY Shutters.
* Add a pathway to your front door or around flower beds.
No matter what, at the end of the day, a better looking house will get more interest than a house needing work. You want potential buyers to have a first and only impression of your home to be a positive one! OH! And if you are not planning on selling at all, you should definitely use those tips anyway. Yearly maintenance is the way to go to prevent costly overhauls down the road!
Here are few Before & After I found online to show the impact of little changes. Crazy hmm!?
So many colours, yet.. the choice always seems impossible. You want to paint but want to avoid making any mistake? There is no need to panic, here is a little guide on how to choose your home paint colours.
Before we start...
The rule of 60-30-10
It is a classic decor rule that helps create a colour palette.
60%: Dominant colour.
30%: Secondary colour.
10%: Accent colour.
Colour harmony is based on the concept of a colour wheel. That wheel forms a circle in which primary colours: Red, Blue and Yellow, are equally distanced. We are gonna play with that wheel to choose the perfect paint match.
Psychology of colours
Each color has its psychological effect on us. Here's some of them.
Red: Stimulates the mind and makes emotion intensify.
Pink: Tenderness and vulnerability. Reduces anger.
Orange: Helps with the body and mind relation. Friendly color.
Brown: Familiar color: Reliability, dependability and nurturing.
Yellow: Stimulates and energize. Optimist color.
Green: Helps insomnia and reduce nervosity and anger. Related to Peace, growth and health.
Turquoise: Calm and relax after intellectual work.
Blue: Peace and tranquility. Opens the mind.
Indigo: Stimulates the intuition.
Violet: Reduce stress, phobia, fear and violence.
Magenta: Harmonize emotions.
White: Associates with neutral, balance, purity and calm.
Black: Associates with elegance, power and formality.
Tints Vs. Shades Vs. Tones
To choose a colour palette can seem complicated, but is pretty simple if follow the rules. Take a look at the following pictures. These are all 6 Colour Harmony you can choose from. Start by picking one colour that you really like, then pick the Harmony you think would work best in the room or is your favourite. I highly recommend that you borrow a colour swatch book from the paint store for this step. Once this is done, all you need to do is add the rest of the colours by picking paint, furniture or accessories. Ohh, and don't forget to apply the 90-60-30 rule!
Choose the right finish
Once you have picked all the colours you need, all that is left is to choose the finish.
Gloss: Very shiny and very durable. Shows imperfections more than Matte/Flat. (Furniture for a lacquered look)
Semi Gloss: Shiny and durable. (Furniture, Doors, Trims & Molding, Cabinets, Woodwork)
Satin: Ideal for more active rooms (Kitchen, Laundry, Bathroom, Hallways)
Eggshell: Good for any rooms, a little more washable than Matte/Flat. (Bedroom, Living Room, Dinning Room
Matte/Flat: Camouflage imperfections and difficult to clean. (Ceilings)
When choosing your colour palette, always keep in mind the psychology of colours. Colours affects our mind and body more than you can imagine! If you are choosing a different colour than the ones mentioned below, you can always find more information online or ask a professional. Hope this helps and that next time you paint your home, you'll feel more excited about the first step of choosing your colours!
You are thinking of selling and already, the questions get tangled in your head. Well, you should know that having questions is totally normal. The good thing is that most of the questions you are asking yourself have probably been asked several times before and guess what? We kept track of them for you! While meeting with clients, some questions comes more often than others. Here is the Top 6 of frequently asked questions that sellers asked us.
1. Have you Sold my type of home or in this price range before?
We have many Buyers that sell their home to either buy bigger, more expensive one, or downsize and we have sold houses in many different areas. We believe that we have the knowledge and capacity to sell any type of home, in any price range. Plus, we love a challenge.
2. Who else is involved in the process?
Not only do we have a great working relationship with other REALTORS®, we bring to you our extensive list of contacts from Lawyers, Inspectors, Finance Specialists and the many Trades. While we are in the field, there is a whole team of people at our office taking calls, filtering leads and making sure every deal gets done to perfection.
3. How long will it take to sell my house?
We have to list a house for a minimum of 3 months. Depending on the price and location of your home, we will be able to show you an average number of Days On Market (DOM) by making a Comparative Market Analysis. There are also many ways to increase your chances of selling fast that are not related to decreasing the listing price. How you ask? Curb appeals. Curb appeals play a big role when it comes to putting your house on the market.
4. Can we negotiate commission?
The Commission pays for our Office, License, Education, MLS® fees, but mostly, it pays for the marketing of your home! The Commission you pay allows us to provide you with the best service, and to market and sell your home in the most efficient and effective way possible.This is the biggest transaction of your life, you want to take full advantage of it!
5. Should I buy with my Listing Agent?
Definitely. In Real Estate, time is of the essence. When it comes to buying and selling at the same time, you want to avoid any problems and get it done smoothly. While dealing with one REALTOR® for both transaction, you minimize your stress and save time — The domino effect is handled most efficiently. Cherry on top? It costs you nothing to buy with an Agent.
6. What happens if I bring a buyer?
Being the Seller, your due diligence includes advising your Listing Agent of all inquiries or offers from any sources whatsoever during the listing period. If you happen to find a Buyer while under contract, we can discuss about a Dual Agency situation and review the best options. As per the Real Estate Act section 37(2), ''Where Real Estate is sold, exchanged or leased after the expiry of a listing agreement as a result of services performed by the agent before the expiry, the agent is entitled to recover the agent's commission [...]''
You probably have specific questions that are not on that list and we are here to answer them! The best thing to do is to call your Real Estate professional and set up a meeting to go over everything and make sure you start your selling process without any doubts.
If you want to do pie, you better have a fool proof pie recipe! I have to confess that I was not born a baker at all, I guess that practice makes perfect (or at least edible). Pot pies and apple pies are my favorites, and god knows I made a lot of them. The only thing is that, every time I was preparing my crust, there was always something wrong: too hard, not sticking together, too sticky.
So I went to see my Memère Beaudin and told her (yeah I did not ask at all) ''you are teaching me to make your pie crust and we are baking pies, go go go!" The thing with grandma's recipes is that they never have measurements right... A pinch of salt, my special tea cup full of water, a blue package of margarine. Anyway, it gets hard to do the same thing home if you don't have a ''special tea cup'' either! All that to say that, we did the crust and we did a sh*t load of pies, BUT I also measured and wrote down all the quantities. Memère's recipes are no longer a mystery!
You want a big enough and clean surface to work on your dough. Your butter or margarine should be room temperature for a fluffy crust. To mix margarine and flour, use your thumb and fingertips and rub the margarine into the flour in a snapping motion. It should look lumpy. If you want to keep the mixture for later, put it in an air thigh bag in the fridge. It can stay there for more than 6 months if you like to have some ready on hand!
Once you've got your butter lumps, add in cup of lukewarm water. Start mixing with your hands to incorporate all water, without vigorous motions. Do not over mix. For a better dough also easier to roll, shape it in a disk and put in the fridge 30 minutes.
Dough is ready: you can begin rolling. Make sure your work surface always have enough flour on it so the dough does not stick. ALWAYS roll in one direction and rotate the dough to make a perfect circle. Do not flip your dough! Roll on the same face or it until desired circle size.
To put in your pie mould, fold in half for the bottom and lay, making sure that it is perfectly pressed. Memère uses another mold to make sure the dough sticks perfectly to the corners. Cut excess dough and put your filling in. If you want the full pie crust on top, fold your circle in half, then fold again. Cut a design with a knife to allow steam to go out. Brush water on the border of the bottom crust, not too much but just enough so it sticks. Gently lay your top crust on top of your filling, and unfold. Cut all excess dough and press firmly on the borders to make them stick together. Design the border as you want. VOILÀ, you have a perfect pie!
6 cups flour, leveled
1 lb butter or margarine
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/2 lukewarm water
1. Mix together flour, butter or margarine, baking powder and salt. Use your thumb and fingertips and rub the margarine into the flour in a snapping motion.
2. Add water to the mixture and mix with your hands. Do not over-mix.
3. Shape and cook.
The trend is that the market is booming in the Spring and you should wait for that exact time to sell your home. However, Winter is a good time to put your house up for sale and wait is not necessarily in your best interest! Here are 5 reasons why!
1. Serious buyers: Who puts on boots and mittens to visit houses? People who are serious about moving. They are no tire-kickers or nosy neighbours: They are taking the time to find a home that is right for their needs, they are motivated and ready to make the move!
2. Corporate transfers: January and February are the highest months of the year for employees transferring and relocating. These people need a house, AND QUICKLY! Motivation and readiness also means …… money money money!
3. Less competition: Fewer houses on the market makes your house more desirable! With around 30 new listings per day on MLS during the spring market, the competition is numerous and buyers want to see all their options! By listing in winter, your house is therefore more visible to potential buyers and will stand out more than in a saturated market.
4. Marketing: A less saturated market also means that your house will be more prominent when it comes to marketing. With fewer listings, this gives your agents far more time to increasing the marketing efforts! That means, more open house, ads, posts, etc. Oh.. and it is important to know that the online searches increase during the Winter - Shouldn't the potential buyers be able to see your house too?
5. Your house looks great in winter: Certainly, you may have a beautiful garden and a backyard perfect for Summer days, but Winter is the perfect time to showcase the curbs appeal of your home without having to take care of the lawn and landscaping every week! If you have a fireplace, turn that baby on and show people how good it feels to be at home! All you have to do is make sure that your drive way is accessible and shovel your entrance.
So if you're planning to sell, don't wait until Spring. Be ready now and take advantage of the chilly months. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of listing your home in the Winter, get in touch with your Realtor. It's never too early to start planning for your sale!