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Understanding the Value of your Next Renovation Project
Posted on Fri, 12 Jun 2015, 11:01:57 AM  in Home selling tips

   It's almost inevitable that a homeowner will reach the point at which a major renovation becomes a strong consideration.  When you hit that point, start by identifying a realistic result and expectation for the project.  Then you can determine the project's priorities, and set a realistic and appropriate budget.  If a renovation is intended for lifestyle improvements, such as more efficient use of space or enhanced aesthetics (eg. sight-lines or natural lighting), then the outcome may not always be easily measurable in terms of cost versus return on investment.  That may impact the budget you are willing to allocate to this project.  On the other hand, if you intend on renovating to improve the resale value of your home, you will need to understand not only your own priorities for the space, but how those priorities will valued by potential purchasers.  To be on the safe side, consider a frank upfront conversation with your real estate agent about the potential value of the proposed renovations to your property.  A professional real estate agent can review your plans and determine how they might contribute to your home's value over time, so that you can be more comfortable with your decisions and establish an appropriate and realistic budget.

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Gentle Ways to Deal with Insects in the Home
Posted on Fri, 08 May 2015, 02:01:02 PM  in home tips

A growing number of homeowners are uncomfortable using traditional pesticides for a variety of reasons, including health and environmental concerns.  If you're among them, here are some natural ways to deal with insects in the home.

  •  A mixture of unsweetened lemon juice and water can deter spiders.  Spray the solution near doorways and window sills where these arachnoids can enter.
  • An equal mixture of vinegar and water is an effective deterrent for a variety of crawling insects, particularly ants.  Spray the solution on floors and counter-tops that are close to these creatures' food sources.
  • Believe it or not, a fake wasps nest (which you can purchase at your local home improvement store) can deter real wasps from building a nest in your property.
  • You can control slugs in the garden by placing plastic bottle caps of beer, buried so that the top is even with the ground. The slugs are attracted to the scent, so they crawl in and the alcohol kills them. 

Experts recommend that you test any surface spray you plan to use to make sure it doesn't stain or otherwise harm the surface.lemon

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Shabby Chic- An Enduring Decor Trend
Posted on Tue, 24 Mar 2015, 01:35:15 PM  in Home selling tips,  decorating, etc.

   Since its inception in the 80s, when stylish cottages and beach houses started getting furnished with flea-market castoffs, "shabby chic" has become a mainstream decor trend that uses mixed styles of furniture.  Central pieces are often old furniture with visible signs of stress (e.g. worn layers of paint), although the decor can also include artificially distressed furniture that isn't quite as old.  It's an eclectic style that holds up well in contemporary homes, as long as you maintain some unifying consistency, such as similar wood grains, slip covers with soft, faded colours, or common textures, shapes and patterns.  To create your own version of this transitional decor style, consider adding the effect of aging, by applying milk paint (commonly used before the era of manufactured paints) to provide a thin streaky coating, or chalk paint (a water-based blend from a powder-like substance that goes on furniture thickly to mask flaws) on some of your existing pieces.

shabby chic

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Today's Buyers May Have Different Priorities Than You
Posted on Mon, 16 Mar 2015, 11:04:57 AM  in Home selling tips

At some point, many established homeowners examine their changing lifestyle, and consider downsizing.  Before they list their current property for sale, it's important that those homeowners understand the needs and expectations of potential buyers.  These days, buyers could as easily be singles (possibly with grown children) as traditional newlywed couples or young families.  If they drive, their car could as easily be a small hybrid as an SUV or minivan.  As such, some prospective buyers may not see a home the way you might expect, and may be turned off by things you consider perfectly normal and acceptable.  The most obvious potential turn-offs are in kitchens and bathrooms: old appliances and dated fixtures; tired counter-tops, vanities and back-splashes; and, vinyl or carpet flooring.  To some, the lack of upgrades to these minor finishings could be interpreted as telltale signs of neglect in unseen areas, such as wiring and plumbing.  On the plus side energy-efficient appliances, utilities and fixtures, as well as state-of-the-art entertainment and security systems are big attractions for most home buyers

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