You’re done buying your new home and, at last, the moving truck’s been unloaded. Now it’s time to unpack and make the new place your own – a labour-intensive process that will go a lot easier when you follow these five quick tips.

1. Divvy Up the Work

Give everyone in the family a list of jobs to do, with the big items – like furniture placement – to be done first. Focus on making the living room comfortable so the entire family can take a much-needed break at the end of the day. Crossing tasks off the list together will make everyone feel accomplished and more at home.

2. Ensure Safety First

Being in a new home can feel strange for a while. Taking time early on to address any safety concerns can help. Check all entrances and windows to ensure that they lock properly. Make sure you have enough keys for all the family members. Do the locks need changing? Schedule a locksmith and someone to help with any coded entries, such as a garage-door opener or security systems. Also, know where the circuit breaker is and how to operate it.

3. Do the Paperwork

It’s tempting, but do not put off the paperwork. Transfer all utilities, complete a change of address form for the post office, and update your address with your credit card companies, bank and insurance providers. Remember to make the time to change the address on your driver’s license, too. It’s not necessary to complete all these projects in one sitting, but the sooner they’re done, the better you will feel.

4. Make It Personal

Think about painting some walls and rooms with colours that are uniquely you. Or put up a treasured photograph or decorative item, and encourage your family members to do the same. This simple act will make you feel at home and can make the rest of the unpacking a much more pleasant experience.

5. Don’t Forget To Breathe

Remember, everything doesn’t have to be done at once. Schedule time out for a family dinner, movie or neighborhood outing. Or just relax, step outside to meet the neighbors and take time to enjoy your new surroundings.

Are you thinking of moving? Wondering how to sell your home? Contact a local RE/MAX Agent for guidance and maybe a moving tip or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After waiting weeks for the keys to your new home, you probably want to treat yourself to something nice.

Here are some quick home improvements you’ll likely be happy with:

1. Practical problems first.
Prioritize easy repairs and upgrades that affect your day-to-day living, such as leaky faucets, dirty or worn fixtures, poor paint choices, holes that need patching or flooring that needs updating.

2. Head-to-toe detail.
Detailing isn’t just for your vehicle. Your new home deserves deep cleaning, too. Take advantage of it being completely empty, and hire someone to clean every inch.

3. Consider the view.
The right window treatments improve a home’s ambiance, comfort and privacy. They can even save you money in the long run. Drapes, curtains, blinds and shutters block unwanted light, let in the right amount of sunshine and keep your home warm or cool when drawn or shut.

4. Bright ideas.
Proper lighting also affects your comfort. After you arrange furniture, pay close attention for a few weeks and note which areas are too dark and which get too much light. From there, you can decide whether new overhead lightning, lamps or bulbs will do the trick.

5. The right appliances.
Major appliances – refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers and stoves – impact your daily life, your home’s appearance and your utility bills. Purchasing the right appliances now can set you up for savings and efficiency for years to come.

Just starting the home buying process? Contact a local RE/MAX agent who can help you find the right place!


1. LESS COMPETITION

On average, nearly half of all home sales occur from May to August. Although most people wait until the hustle and bustle of the spring selling season, you’ll likely to encounter less competition during fall and winter. That means less stress and a reduced chance you’ll be involved in a bidding war. 

2. eager sellers

Sellers become more motivated the longer their home is on the market, especially now that summer rush is over. If a home has been listed for a while, it may allow buyers more room for negotiation and potentially a better deal. 

3. cheaper moving prices

You’re probably planning to hire a moving company in some capacity, whether you’re moving across town or another province.  In fall and winter, moving companies tend to be less busy, which means you might enjoy more flexible schedules and lower prices.

4. quicker transactions

Motivated sellers paired with less-busy title companies may mean a faster closing in fall and winter. Do you want a new home in time for the holiday or new year? It’s entirely possible when you house hunt now.

5. easier to outfit you home

Need a new couch, cutlery or curtains for your new home? Year-end sales are perfect for scoring a deal on these otherwise expensive items. 

Find an experienced agent with RE/MAX Caldwell Agencies, if you plan to purchase a home this fall or winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If only life were like HGTV. Rooms would be transformed in 30 minutes. Debris would magically disappear. And all the work would be done by model-quality contractors. Reality can be much different – especially when it comes to installing hardwood floor.

If you’re ready to update your flooring, here are some considerations to help you decide if DIY or hiring a pro is the way to go.

What type of floor do you want?

Laminate flooring, like Pergo, can be fairly easy to install on your own. These boards arrive pre-finished and install without nails or glue. Real wood is not only more expensive, but much more difficult to install. Your decision to hire a contractor might depend on how much you can afford to spend fixing mistakes (after the cost of materials).

Are you comfortable with power tools, or is your electric toothbrush a challenge?

True wood flooring that needs to be finished on-site requires more technical skill. If you decide to forgo a contractor, make sure you have enough knowledge of power tools to be safe during installation.

What is your time frame?

Life happens. A day job, unexpected visits from the in-laws or running out of materials can all add delays to a project. Are you okay living with an unfinished floor in the meantime? A good contractor can complete the job within a set timeline, so you can get to enjoying your updated home sooner.

When in doubt, call a pro, at least for an opinion and a quote. Your agent can also help you decide which home improvements are worth the investment and find reputable professionals to work with if you decide to go pro. One thing you can easily do yourself? Find a RE/MAX agent!

As you tour homes, do you stop in the backyard and visualize your friends and family fighting over the first burgers off the grill while the dogs play in the yard? If outdoor entertaining is a priority in your new home, here are four things to look for.

1. Space.

You may be dreaming of an extensive outdoor kitchen, complete with weatherproof appliances and a table with a built-in cooler. Or, your budget may limit you to a Hibachi and camp chairs. Regardless, make sure there’s enough space to host the backyard soiree of your dreams.

2. Shade.

Western facing backyards will provide the perfect sunset backdrop for your barbecues. Yards on the eastern side of a property may leave you overexposed to the sun.

3. Flooring.

If you’re looking to lounge around barefoot, take note of the patio or deck’s condition. Make sure it’s been refinished so you can avoid splinters.

4. Fire pit.

A fire pit can help stretch the seasonal use of your outdoor space by providing a cozy place to gather around after dark. But don’t let it be a deal breaker – fire pits can be added at any time (and may be on sale if you wait to purchase one toward the end of summer).

Looking for an agent who can help you prioritize your home-shopping list?  Find one here! 

Trying to save money? Home maintenance is so much more affordable than emergency repairs. Here are five routine maintenance projects that can help prevent unexpected costs and save you money year round.

1. Clear out gutters

Water from clogged gutters can overflow and leak into your home. Heavy, ice-packed gutters can tear away from your house in the winter. Grab a ladder, gloves and hose and clear them out while the weather is still warm.

2. Re-caulk windows

Drafty windows and doors can suck money right out of your budget from high energy bills. Check the caulk and weatherproofing strips around doors and windows to make sure they’re not dried and crumbling. If they are, they’re easy (and cheap) to replace.

3. Clean the fireplaces

Have your chimney professionally inspected and potentially cleaned annually to prevent creosote, a flammable byproduct of wood burning, from building up. It can create a fire hazard and elevate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Before each use, make sure your damper closes tightly and clear remaining ashes from the bottom of your fireplace.

4. Check your filters

Clogged furnace and air conditioning filters not only make your HVAC system less efficient, they also can spread unhealthy pollutants and allergies in your home. Dark and mucky filters should be replaced. You don’t even need tools.

5. Flush the water heater

Neglected water heaters have a way of getting back at you when you least expect it (and that way is usually soggy and expensive.) Clear out sediment particles that collect over time by regularly flushing out water through the drain valve.

Looking for your own home you can maintain with tender-loving care? Contact one of our team members today (to view our featured properties).

With warmer weather and longer days on the horizon, now is the perfect time to get your yard in shape for summer. Keep this year’s top four landscaping trends in mind as you get started.

1. Going green (the coloUr)

Combine different textures and shades of green for a more dramatic lawn. Think of mixing leaves of different size and shape as well as plants with a variety of verdant hues.

2. Going green (the earth-friendly strategy)

More sustainable landscape designs have been becoming more popular over the past few years. Why? They’re better for the planet and can reduce maintenance costs. For example, more homeowners are planting “smart” lawns – varieties of grass bred to stay green with less water.

3. Giving bees a chance

With bee populations in trouble, people are actually starting to welcome the stingers in their yard by planting native plants that provide the nectar they feast on. The efforts to save vital pollinators is another sign of consumers seeking more green, sustainable practices for their yards.

4. Going Danish

The Danish concept of ‘hygge’ is about creating an atmosphere of coziness by embracing life’s simple pleasures. How do you implement hygge in your yard? Add features that promote mindfulness, such as water fountains or aromatic flowers, and arrange seating in a way that encourages conversation. And don’t forget to include spaces that inspire play – for kids and adults. The experts at GardenDesign note an uptick in requests for things like bocce pits, fireplaces and hammocks, features to help home owners relax and play outdoors.

Looking for a new home with space for a bocce pit? Talk to a RE/MAX agent.

Using books as décor is an inexpensive and elegant way to decorate. If you love to read, you most likely have quite a few books lying around. Or if you’re a fan of the rustic or vintage design style, you may also be interested in incorporating older books in your decor. Here are a few project ideas.

1. Stack the books to create a side table

Find some big, sturdy books that match the vibe of your space, stack them on top of one another (use hot glue to keep them together) and use them as an end table for a plant or small trinkets. A small stack of two or three also works well on a windowsill or coffee table.

2. Find a creative bookshelf

A bookshelf in a fun shape or design will showcase your books (and personal style) nicely.

3. Take the word “book shelf” literally

Pillage for books at a local yard sale, antique shop or book shop and build floating shelves.

4. Make a book “vase”

This idea may require a bit of extra work, but is well worth it!

a) Gather a rectangular planter and book you would like to use for the project. (Hint: it is best to use a plant that is in a pot that is the same height as your book.
b) Trace the area of the planter onto the book with a pencil.
c) Take a box cutter or sharp tool and precisely cut at the lines that you have made on the pages.
d) When the chunk of the book is completely cut out, place the pot with the plant back into the space you have created for it. Voila!

Looking for the perfect home where you can display your creations? Contact an experienced RE/MAX Caldwell agent, today.

~ Shared RE/MAX story

Planning to remodel?

While the total cost of your project will depend on its scope, materials and the fees of any professionals you hire, here are some suggestions for beginning to craft a renovation budget.

1. Determine where the money will come from

Will you use savings? Or will you take out a home equity loan? Once you determine your source of funding, determine how much you want to spend on the project – and stick to that limit.

2. Set your priorities

Before you pull out a calculator, clarify your reasons for renovating. Divide those reasons into wants and needs. For example, reconfiguring your bathroom so that your currently questionable electrical and plumbing will pass an inspection is a ‘need’. His-and-her water closets, a whirlpool tub and built-in towel heaters are ‘wants’. Setting priorities will help you make decisions as you move through the renovation process.

3. Step away from the computer

Visit show rooms, model homes and design stores in addition to checking out pictures online. Before investing in materials and appliances, be sure to see and feel them, or samples of them, in person.

4. DIY or contractor?

The biggest question to answer when creating your budget is deciding whether to do the work yourself or to hire a contractor. Doing the work yourself is usually less expensive – unless, of course, something (costly) goes wrong. Using a contractor, however, can mean your project is completed to professional standards and usually in a shorter time frame. Be sure to calculate the value of your time (and your back and knees) and the inconvenience of having a bathroom or kitchen out of use during the project when deciding whether to opt for DIY or a pro.

5. Expect the unexpected

Whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire a contractor, add on an extra 15 to 20 percent of your total budget for unforeseen expenses. Added costs inevitably arise, especially if you’re dealing with an older home.

Want to know which home renovations could improve your resale value? Talk to a RE/MAX Caldwell Agent today!

It might seem that everyone is hibernating for the winter, but home shoppers are still out there in the colder months. Here are “few tips” for making your listing stand out!

1. Stay warm

This is not the time to save a few bucks on your heating bill. You want to create a feeling of welcoming warmth and you can’t do that with a chilly house. If the home is vacant, keep the heater on a timer so the property is warm during showing times.

2. Lighten up

It’s even more important to make sure each room is well-lit during the darker winter months. Table and standing lamps are quick fixes for a dim room.

3. Highlight seasonal features

Build a fire. Arrange some plush throws and fluffy cushions on the sofas in your finished basement. If your home has features that make it a cozy place to spend the winter, be sure to highlight them.

4. Show off your landscaping in photos

To help prospective buyers look beyond winter’s snowy lawn and envision the property in warmer months, display photos of the house taken when things were green and blooming. Make a few flyers or a photo album and leave them out (and open) where buyers are sure to see them.

5. Clear the way to a sale

Make sure the driveway, walkways and porch are safe and free from snow and ice. Be sure to shovel your deck and patio so buyers can walk out and imagine enjoying them in warmer times.

Thinking of selling your home? There’s no need to wait until spring. A RE/MAX Caldwell Agencies agent can talk to you about how the seasons affect sales in your particular market. Find an agent today!

Whether 2017 is the year you decide to list your home and move, or plant roots and renovate, there’s no better way to kick-start the year than with a reno. A renovation can help you customize your home to your heart’s desire, or prep it with all the latest must-haves to ensure it’s up to market standards. Either way, we’ve got the top 10 decor trends fro the home, to inspire a 2017 renovation. 

1. NATURAL WOOD

in 2017, expect to see a major departure from modern, polished spaces, in favour of a look that’s a little more lived in, with a lot more warmth. Natural wood cabinets, shiplap statement walls or butcher block counter tops will help achieve this look, but a classic, well-worn harvest table, or a beautiful vintage wood headboard is an easier and more affordable way to create it, too.

2. OPEN SHELVING

You may not be a pro chef, but there’s no reason your kitchen can’t look like a professional’s. Open shelving is great for busy kitchens because it leaves pots, pans and plates easily accessible. In your kitchen, it’s an opportunity to show off your teapots, teacups and other collectibles.

2. black factory doors & windows

Living in a loft isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (who wants to sleep next to a dishwasher?) but home owners are handpicking design elements to create spaces that capture the industrial, vintage feel of a loft. Just think of the natural light a set of factory windows can offer!

4. WALLPAPER IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

2016 was a huge year for wallpaper (we were treated to so many incredible prints, and now at more affordable prices). For the year ahead, let your mind wander and use wallpaper in all sorts of unexpected places, like closets, behind open shelving, and even backsplashes! Placed behind glass, this decorative alternative to tile is easy to clean and seriously stunning.

5. VELVET

Velvet was the material of 2016 in the fashion world, and the realm of home has become wise to the cause, with luxurious velvet pillows, couches and curtains adding warmth and depth to homes. This material suits winter particularly well, but plan to rotate velvet accessories with the seasons to lighten up rooms for spring and summer.

6. BLACK FIXTURES

A little bit of black can go a long way to ground an all-white room. Try black pulls on white cabinets, or a structural black faucet in a white bathroom. This trend is an easy fix for an outdated white space.

7. INTRICATE TILE

To contrast against bare white walls and rich dark wood, intricate displays of tile are becoming a popular way to share a homeowner’s personality and style.

8. TILE TO WOOD TRANSITIONS

And speaking of boundaries…expect to see unique integrations between tiled floors and hardwood. Whether bridging the border between rooms or designating spaces in an open concept home, ornate tile designs are pushing the boundaries for homes in 2017.

9. CORK WALLS

Cork is a gorgeous material that’s picking up steam in the design world, but the coolest use of cork is in the home office, where a floor-to-ceiling cork wall can act as a family’s motherboard, with permission slips, artwork and every essential scrap tacked on for safe keeping.

10. teched out

2017 will be the year of the Smart Home. The most discerning buyers will be looking for homes with fully integrated technology, from App controlled heating and cooling, to fridges that can email you their contents when you’re hemming and hawing in the middle of the grocery store, these houses fill the gaps where your partner falls short! 

To ensure that your renovations are up to market standard, please consult with one of our Caldwell Team Members, today.

 

I’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, but first impressions usually impact our decision-making, whether we care to admit it or not.  Therefore, a well-staged home typically has a better chance of selling at a higher price than one that hasn’t been staged.  We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to discover why sellers shouldn’t have “stage fright” when it comes to selling their home.

1. FASTER SALES, HIGHER PRICE

Our Influencers agreed that effective staging will help sellers get the deal done quicker, for a higher price.  “I guarantee sellers that, while I don’t know the exact amount they will receive as a result of staging, I know they will get more than their money back and they will sell their home in a shorter period of time than they would without staging,” said one RE/MAX Influencer.  A buyer can tap into his/her imagination when a home is shown in its best light. When potential buyers can see themselves living in your home, they will be motivated to make a reasonable offer.

2. THE “WOW” FACTOR

Simply put: Homes look their best when they are staged.  Staged homes are also depersonalized, which is important because buyers don’t want to feel like they’re purchasing somebody else’s home. They want it to feel as though it’s theirs.  Stagers understand how to professionally present homes to appeal to the emotions of the broader spectrum of prospective purchasers. Photographs of a staged home are also more likely to garner increased interest online.

3. visualization

When potential buyers walk into a home, they’re thinking beyond what their eyes are showing them. They’re visualizing themselves living in the space. Is the home an ideal place for their children to grow up? Does the house have what they need to enjoy retirement?  Personal clutter can often hinder these visions, which is not ideal for the seller. A professional stager will take an objective look at the property and make sure prospective purchasers will be able to see themselves in the space.

4. a positive first impression

First impressions are incredibly important. On many occasions, buyers will form their opinions by the time they’ve taken a few steps into your home. A bad smell, a crooked frame or a bit of dirt on the floor can be the difference between whether or not you get an offer.  Great books deserve stunning covers; great homes deserve to be staged.

Your Realtor can clue you in to market trends and tips for improvements that may add to your home’s value. Find an experienced agent with RE/MAX Caldwell Agencies!