Category: News (49)

remax-blog-9-tips-for-guest-room

The holidays are coming – is your home ready for overnight guests? Follow these suggestions to create the perfect guest room for friends and family.

1. Offer reading material

A pile of recent magazines or a shelf of assorted books offers guests a way to wind down before bed.

2. Add flowers

A simple flower arrangement adds class and colour to any room.

3. Provide seating

Make sure there’s somewhere cozy for guests to sit if they need some alone time during holiday chaos.

4. Make wi-fi connection easy

Leave a piece of paper with your internet server’s name and password on the dresser so guests can easily access your wireless connection.

5. Did they forget something?

Fill a basket with sample-sized containers of essentials, like toothpaste, mouthwash and shampoo.

6. Add a luggage stand

Put out a folding luggage stand where guests can prop their suitcases to avoid having to squat all the way down to the floor every time they need something.

7. Make the closet functional

Be sure to stock the closet with empty hangers for guest’s clothes.

8. Add charm with decorations

Create a welcoming, calm space for guests. Err on the side of generic. Remember, not everyone wants to sleep surrounded by Star Wars-themed decorations or your horror movie poster collection.

9. A picture perfect welcome

Place a framed photo of you and your guest on the nightstand.

Is your “guest room” your living room sofa? Maybe it’s time to look for a larger space. Start by finding a RE/MAX Caldwell Agent.

~ Story by RE/MAX

remax-blog-sold-sign2

There’s no online calculator for setting the perfect listing price for your home. It takes experience, market savvy, and even a bit of psychology. A strong listing agent can help you set the right, most competitive price for your home. Here are a few things they might look at:

1. The competition
Your agent will look at the prices of similar homes in your area that either are currently listed or sold during the past few months. They’ll take into account how many days the properties were on the market and how the listing prices for those homes differed from the final sale prices.

2. Market trends
What’s affecting the market in your neighbourhood, and your region? Your agent will consider national factors that shape the real estate market, such as possible rising interest rates, as well as local factors, like whether the average home price in your neighbourhood has been rising or falling. They’ll also think about things such as plans for improving local amenities, like parks and recreational activities. All can increase the value of your home to a buyer.

3. Your neighbours
Although a home the same size and age recently sold for a high price, your own place might not fetch the exact same fortune if, say, junky cars continue to proliferate in your neighbour’s driveway. On the flipside, if the grass is in fact greener on the other side of the fence, your home’s value may be higher due to your neighbours’ curb appeal.

4. The Goldilocks price
Listing your home at a price that’s “just right” from the start is critical to selling it quickly, for the best price. Overpricing your home, and then dropping the price a few times while it sits on the market, could lead to a lower final sales price than if the home was priced appropriately from the beginning. And, of course, setting a price that’s too low leaves money on the table.

Wondering how much your home might be worth in today’s market? Find a local RE/MAX agent who can explain how these and other considerations could factor into a pricing strategy for your home.

~ Blog by RE/MAX

 

remax-blog-redocorating-ideas-for-your-empty-next

Sure, you could leave that cluttered room as a shrine to your university student, but wouldn’t you love to use that space? Break the news to your kid gently, don’t throw anything out without consulting them and keep some closet space open for when they come back to visit. Then consider one of these redecorating ideas for your empty nest.

1. Guest room

A fresh coat of paint, new linens and the relocation of the trophy collection to the basement is sometimes all you need to repurpose a child’s room into a guest-friendly bedroom.

2. Man cave

Haul in the big screen and a mini fridge, swap the bed for a comfy couch and lounge chairs and you’re ready for the big game. A pool or ping pong table could be a great addition to larger spaces.

3. Hobby room

Finally, a practice room for your bluegrass band! Or a scrapbooking oasis where you can leave supplies out all the time. Bring in bright lights and a work table and you’ve got hobby heaven.

4. Gym

You’ll be amazed how much space is in that bedroom once you get rid of the bed, dresser and desk. Install some full-length mirrors so you can check your form, buy rubber floor mats, set up the speakers and a TV. Then get ready to sweat.

5. Office

Replace your kid’s furniture with an expansive desk, good lighting and some file cabinets and you’re on your way to productivity.

If you’ve tried the ideas above and still have space to spare, it might be time to think about downsizing. When you’re ready, find an experienced agent to work with here.

Story by RE/MAX.

remax-blog-haunted-house

Now that we are well into October, the countdown continues as people wait in anticipation for the creepiest night of the year: Halloween. Want to give people the chills as they wander past your house on All Hallow’s Eve? Here are a few décor tips.

Outdoors

Tombstones: Give guests the creeps with a small graveyard in front of your house with tombstones. For a spookier effect, add some fake bones sticking out of the ground.

Smoke: A fog machine may be pricey, but it can really up the level of haunt your house will have. Think the graveyard scene from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Carved Pumpkins: A Halloween classic for a reason. The soft light fits right in with your spooky vibe…and will light the way for guests.

Sound effects: Scratching on windows, blood-curdling screams, witches cackling. Say no more! Play some sound effects to get guests pumped for their journey inside of the house.

Indoor Décor:

Set the tone: The most important part of a haunted house is the feeling people get when they enter. Play some eerie music as guests walk through. Dim the lights or light some candles for a haunting atmosphere.

Cobwebs galore: Decorative cobwebs always add that old, chilling element to a haunted house. Dry some flowers and put them on your mantle or table with the cobwebs. Or string the cobwebs in corners and over mirrors or lights with some fake spiders.

Bones and more: Adding a few skulls or skeletons around the house will really add to the effect. Extra props for putting a big one in a rocking chair.

Paintings/pictures: Make people question, “Are those eyes following me?” Check out your local thrift store or yard sales for some old portraits that induce chills.

Crystal Ball: Scavenge for a crystal ball and give this Haunted Mansion inspired prop a try.

Ghosts: Have an extra sheet lying around? Throw it over a light and put it in the distance to add an element of mystery to your décor.

Child’s Play: There’s something chilling about a porcelain doll’s stare. Put them out to give adults a flashback to The Twilight Zone.

Looking to buy or sell a home? A RE/MAX agent can help – find a frightfully good one!

remax-blog-halloween-2016

As you prepare to welcome little vampires, witches —and no shortage of Pokemon Go — to your doorstep, here are a few reminders for a great night of trick-or-treating!

1. Turn on the porch light
It’s the traditional sign that your home is passing out goodies. If you choose not to partake in trick-or-treating, leaving your light off signals to families to move to the next house.

2. Stock up
Trick-or-treat traffic can vary between neighbourhoods. If you have recently moved into a neighbourhood, talk to your neighbours to unsure how many children you can expect. And purchase candy accordingly.

3. Check the time
The fun occurs most commonly between 5:00 and 7:30 pm, in the Kimberley/Cranbrook communities. 

4. Join the fun!
Create a spooky-fun atmosphere for the kids by decking out your porch with spider webs, purple twinkle lights or decorative ghosts swaying in your trees. Of course, a unique Jack O’Lantern is always a crowd pleaser.  
Be safe too!

Looking to buy or sell a home? A RE/MAX Caldwell Agent can help – find a frightfully good one here

Story shared by RE/MAX.

remax-blog-7-fireplace-safety-tips

Curling up in front of the fireplace with a book can be the quintessence of coziness on a cold fall or winter’s day, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t maintain your fireplace and use it correctly. And to coincide with Kimberley’s Fire Prevention Week (October 9 – 15, 2016) — here are a few fireplace safety tips when using your fireplace this winter.

1. Go with a pro
We suggest you hire a certified chimney cleaner to inspect your fireplace and chimney at least once a year. They probably won’t sing catchy songs in a Cockney accent like in “Mary Poppins,” but they will remove dangerous clogs and buildup.

2. Put a lid on it
Ever chase a squirrel around your house with a broom? Exciting, but not fun. Prevent critters, birds and debris from coming down your chimney by installing a proper and certified mesh cap on top of your chimney.

3. Play defense
Spark guards, the mesh screens that can be placed in front of your fire, prevent flying embers from launching into your living room and starting trouble. When you leave the room (or fall asleep) it’s especially important to use one.

4. Be wood wise
Burn seasoned hardwood that has been dried for at least six months. Green, unseasoned or soft woods emit more creosote — that’s the flammable stuff that can build up in your chimney.

5. Check your equipment
Test your smoke detectors every month, change your batteries every year and replace devices every 10 years.

6. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand
Have one. And be sure you know how to use it.

7. Seal it up
When not using your fireplace, close the damper to prevent warm air and the money you spend to heat your house, from being lost straight up your chimney.

Is a fireplace one of the top features on your “must-have” list for a new home? The right agent can help you find neighbourhoods that allow wood burning fires and a home with just the right hearth. Find one here!

**And don’t forget about Kimberley’s Fire Department Open House this Thursday (Oct 13, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Fire Station #1; 340 Spokane Street).  

Blog post by RE/MAX

remax-blog-thanksgiving

In recent years it’s become a trend for friends who stay in town to gather together for Thanksgiving, where in the past it has been a traditionally a family affair. If you can’t make it home for Turkey Day, consider gathering your crew for a “Friendsgiving” meal.  Here are a few tips:

1. Invite early
Send an invitation (electronic or stamped) to your friends before the feast to be sure they can join you. However, always make room for last-minute guests – it’s Thanksgiving so the more the merrier! 

2. Delegate
As host, etiquette dictates that you provide the turkey and gravy (and in some homes, a special cocktail for the occasion). Your guests can provide everything else potluck style. An online list can help your friends divide up dishes to avoid any repeats.

3. Empty your fridge
It’s a good excuse to start feasting before the festivities. You’ll need room in your fridge and freezer on the day of the party and afterwards, for all those leftovers.

4. Make a schedule
Breaking down the event into small tasks you can schedule (some even before the big day, like setting the table the night before) reduces the stress of hosting duties. Follow your steps, stick to the timeline and have fun.

5. Don’t forget the gratitude
Set out a bowl and index cards during appetizers and have guests list things they’re grateful for – sincere or silly. Between dinner and dessert, take turns reading the cards out loud.  And remember to make this task – easy and fun! For example, three of the staff from RE/MAX Caldwell Agencies wanted to pass along why they are “thankful”:
   “I’m thankful for time with my grandkids” – Joanne Kitt
   “I’m thankful for family and friends” – Rea Jarrett
   “I’m thankful for Katie being home for the weekend” – Lauriss Caldwell

Looking for a new home in a friendly neighborhood? Find a local RE/MAX agent who can help you find the perfect place.

Story by RE/MAX.

remax-blog-kids-stuff-place

While it won’t guarantee them a place at top Canadian University, having a room or designated space in your home for studying can help kids focus on their homework. Here are a few suggestions for putting together an A+ study space.

1. Brighter room, brighter mind
Lighting is one of the most critical features of a productive study space, especially as night comes early during much of the school year. Add a desk or floor lamp if the room’s main light isn’t bright enough.

2. A door – that closes
Shut out distractions – such as the sound of dinner being made or younger siblings watching TV – with a solid door that minimizes outside sound. If a door is not possible, foam earplugs, white noise machines or soft background music can help fight encroaching buzz.

3. Banish distractions
Make the room a cell phone-free zone and if there’s a TV, take the remote during study time to reduce temptation.

4. Consider colour
The colour of the room can affect kids’ ability to concentrate. Elementary school-aged kids do best when surrounded by warmer colors, like yellow and peach, while older students focus best with cooler hues, like blues and greens, according to psychological colour studies.

5. Clear clutter
Towers of magazines, piles of mail and even baskets of laundry can distract kids from homework. Help them focus by keeping the space, especially the desk, as clutter-free as possible.

6. Talk to an expert – your kid
Perhaps the most important factor in creating a great study space is finding out your child’s unique preferences. You might love the expensive ergonomically correct chair, but your kid might find it easier to read for long periods from a giant beanbag on the floor.

Thinking of buying or selling your home? Make sure to work with a professional who has done their homework. Find an honour roll agent here.

remax-blog-6-tricks-to-sell-in-autumn

It’s easy to boost buyers’ impression of your home in new, inexpensive ways with each season. Here are a few things you can do in the fall to make it inviting. 

1. Light it up.
Shorter days and longer shadows mean you need to be particularly careful to maximize natural light with open drapes and blinds, and add more light where needed with floor and tabletop lamps. Replace any burned-out bulbs in outdoor lights. And schedule showings earlier in the day, when the light is stronger. Adequate lighting makes a bigger difference than you might think.

2. Rake in the leaves (and the buyers).
Keep up with your yard work to help hike curb appeal. Clean up the leaves and trim back any overgrown or dead plants. Cut back trees and hedges that hide or overshadow windows and porches.

3. De-clutter your yard.
Store all those bikes and bocce sets. A less-cluttered yard appears larger. Leave the grill, though. One that’s shiny and clean can help buyers see the possibilities of living out their hamburger-and-steak fantasies. If you have nice patio furniture, arranging it around a fire pit – even just a portable or tabletop one – creates a warm, social atmosphere.

4. Pumpkins.
They’re cheap. Pumpkins can add a bright, seasonal touch, but be careful not to overdo it. You’re decorating a home, not a department store.

5. Burn, baby, burn.
If your home has a fireplace, now’s the time to let it shine. Of course, you probably don’t want to light a blaze for showings, just in case the fire’s unattended between appointments. But you can make sure it’s clean. Tasteful fall décor, like a simple vase of pinecones can add a nice seasonal touch to the mantle or hearth. If your agent will be hosting an open house, a crackling fire with lots of comfy seating can be a great touch.

6. Two words: pumpkin spice.
Don’t worry, there’s no need to actually bake a pie. Before showings, simply burn scented candles with seasonal aromas, like apple, cinnamon and ginger, to add to your home’s coziness.

If you’re looking for more personalized recommendations for selling your home, find a local RE/MAX agent who can help you show your home at its best!

~ Story by RE/MAX

remax-blog-6-tips-for-keeping-your-home-tidy

Keeping your home looking like a furniture showroom for long stretches isn’t easy. Here are a few tips to keep your house ready for showings while you’re still living in it.

1. Attack the clutter
As you prepare your home for showing, start with a major decluttering. Throw out, recycle or give away things you don’t use. Getting rid of junk will make your home more appealing to prospective buyers and free up space for you to neatly store things when it’s time to tidy up for a showing.

2. Rent storage space
Keeping things neat is easier when you have less things. An off-site storage unit can help (and you can keep it as messy as you like).

3. Start packing
Packing most of your dishes and large baking and cooking items frees up cabinet space that you can use to stash items you use on a regular basis. It also gives you a head start on packing for your move.

4. Rope off a room – or two
If you can, temporarily rope off rooms or areas from the kids, pets or spouses to contain your mess in a smaller space while your house is listed. But remember to make those rooms look nice, too, before the showing!

5. Buy hiding spots
The home sections of discount stores are filled with attractive fabric boxes and fashionable bins that can simultaneously hide junk and match your décor.

6. If all else fails, stash it under the bed
Invest in a couple of under-the-bed bins that you can use to store everything from socks to kids’ toys in when faced with a last-minute showing.

When showing your home, it pays to work with a professional. Find a great agent here!

Remax Blog - Container Garden

So what if your backyard is only a 40-inch planter? For renters or homeowners with little (or no) yard space, container gardens offer a way to grow fresh food and spend some time outside. Here are a few tips on getting started.

1. Find a container
While you can simply head to your local box store and buy plastic or wooden containers made for gardening, you can also get creative with things you have around the house. As long as there are holes on the bottom for drainage, anything from kiddie pools and old tires to buckets and dresser drawers can hold a mini-farm.

2. Locate the sun
Try to place your container in a spot that gets at least six hours of sun daily. Leafy greens can usually grow (slowly) with just four hours of sun every day, but the more sunlight the better. Sliding a plastic platform with rolling casters under your container enables you to relocate it to a sunnier spot throughout the season.

3. Learn how hardy you are
When purchasing your preferred seeds, ask your local gardening store which plants thrive in the Kimberley/Cranbrook areas.

4. Decide what you’re hungry for
Plant what you love to eat. Wild about fresh salsa? Go for peppers and cilantro. Crazy for cocktails? Plant mint and lemon balm. Eat tons of salad? Greens and lettuce grow well in shallow containers, making them ideal for window boxes. Plus, because the leaves grow back after you pick them, you can “harvest” throughout the season.

5. Kick up your flavour
Herbs can be expensive to buy, and sometimes you don’t need the entire package. But if you grow a bucket of basil or a pot of rosemary you can simply snip a few sprigs whenever you need them.

6. Mind your moisture
Over-watering can kill plants just as easily as under-watering. Learn how much water each kind of plant requires and monitor closely to keep the soil ideal for growing.

Looking for a townhouse with a patio perfect for containers? Or a condo with a balcony in need of hanging baskets? Start by finding an experienced agent.

Remax Blog - Misquito Free

Summer is here and the sunshine is calling. Don’t let mosquitos ruin your outdoor fun. Here are a few tips for keeping the bugs out of your backyard.

1. Look out for standing water
Standing water of any depth – whether it’s the half-inch at the bottom of a planter or the six inches stagnating in your wheelbarrow – is an invitation for mosquitos (they need water to breed). Be careful not to overwater your lawn and to refresh water containers, like dog bowls, often.

2. That includes your gutters
Make sure your gutters are clean and water drains freely. Otherwise, you’re the proprietor of a very long singles bar for mosquitos.

3. Switch your bulbs
In some areas of the country, depending on the breed of mosquitos, swapping out the bulbs you use in your outdoor lights for yellow bug bulbs can mean fewer insects swarming the lights.

4. Trim away
Mosquitos like to hang out in the shade and feast on plant nectar. Keep your lawn short and hack down heavy vegetation near your patio and house to make your property less appealing.

5. Blast the buggers
Mosquitos aren’t powerful fliers. Strategically placed fans around your deck can blow them away and a ceiling fan above your covered porch can help too.

6. Hang a net
When done correctly, mosquito netting can drape your patio or outdoor eating area in elegance while keeping the bugs at bay.

7. Light candles
Citronella candles, lamps and coils can help repel mosquitos.

8. Bring in the big guns
Work with a professional pest control company who can install misters to work all season or spray your yard once for a special occasion.

Are mosquitos just the beginning of your yard’s problems? A move to greener grass may be in your future. Start by finding an experienced agent.