Category: boost curb appeal (6)

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.

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So you’ve decided to sell your home. While you’re preparing for this next chapter in life, keep some of your attention and energy on the importance of preparing your home to outshine all others on the market. Selling your home in the shortest amount of time, receiving your asking price and having an all-around flawless sale can be achievable if you properly prepare this (very large) item you’re about to sell. Here are my tips to ensure that success.

1.
Emphasize the idea of move-in ready
A neutral palette (regardless of how boring you may think it is) will always be a timeless choice when it comes to paint, furniture and window coverings. And you don’t need to be a professional interior designer to arrange things within your home – visit some model homes in your area and take note of how they’re staged. Simple DIY projects go a long way.

2. De-clutter and depersonalize
Potential buyers want to see themselves in your home; need to envision how they can make it theirs. Simplify spaces (including entryways) by removing everyday items such as TV remotes, schoolwork, piles of laundry, to-do lists on the fridge, personal photos and excessive amounts of pet toys. Clean out closets and begin boxing up items. If you know you’re moving, why not get a head start on your packing anyway? Clean, well-organized and minimal closets showcase space potential, not your personal items. And adding fresh flowers, plug-in air fresheners, a foyer table, simple décor and a nice rug can give buyers that well-needed hug when they enter your home!

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3. Appeal to the senses
Walk your home and ask yourself (or others), “What do you see, smell, touch and hear?” Deep clean your home or hire a professional cleaning company to make it sparkle – it gives buyers the impression the home has been well cared for. Remember, sticky floors and filthy light switches appeal to no one. If you have pets, consider confining them to one area of the house while your home is on the market. Barking dogs (or chirping smoke detectors) can hurry a potential buyer along during a showing. Consider leaving on some instrumental music during showings to appeal to your buyers’ ears.

4. Remove the eyesores
Look around your home and ask yourself these questions: “Would I purchase this home today? Do I like the overall style? Is my home dated? Is my backyard a sanctuary for a family?” The answers to these questions will help you identify the eyesores. Look for items in your home that are dated, have harsh patterns or edgy colours, are too small to fill a wall or are too large on a small one. Styles that clash with one another, aged wallpaper, broken items you can’t repair, rusted car parts or clutter in your yard or patios all create eyesores. It’s better to have an empty wall, an empty room or nothing at all than something that doesn’t work for the space or is unappealing. Mirror your space after current styles and trends found in design magazines.

5. Consider using my checklist
Here is my checklist (VIDEO) when I am staging a home. This list has never failed me and keeps me accountable.

  • Exterior:
    – Grass is cut, edged and looks healthy
    – Weeds are pulled
    – Any dead bushes or trees have been removed
    – Simple flowers or wild grasses are added on patios and porches
    – House itself is cleaned and/or power washed.
    – Toys, yard hoses, dog leashes, dog waste, yard statues are all cleaned up and put away.
    – Back patio and yard are “lightly staged” with plants, cushions on chairs, and rugs under seating areas and patio table. Add outdoor lanterns and candles.
    – Patio or deck is cleaned 
    – DIY projects are completed. To include: freshly stained deck, repaired broken floorboards, loose banister railings, exterior lights, sheds or outbuildings organized and cleaned. Any landscaping projects are not left incomplete. Large cracks in driveways or sidewalks are repaired.
  • Interior:
    – Home smells clean, looks clean, is de-cluttered and appeals to the senses
    – Eyesores are removed.
    – Personal photos and items are put away 
    – Daily messes and countertop items (in both the kitchen and bathroom) are put away
    – Toiletries, perfumes and jewelry are not left on vanity counters 
    – Small appliances, dishes and kitchen needs are not cluttered on kitchen counters
    – Fresh flowers or artificial plants are placed throughout the home to add life to spaces
    – Color palettes and themes in each space are transformed to a more neutral palette. Bold patterns in décor or too many colors are minimized 
    – Themes and prominent styles in home are minimized as to not assume the home is exclusively Santa Fe style, Tuscan style, Western, etc
    – DIY projects are completed. To include: replacing dated textures, fixtures, wallpaper, window coverings, faucets, general household repairs, etc

Keep these items in mind when staging your home for resale and you’ll enter the selling process with the confidence your home deserves!
~ RE/MAX Story by Carriann Johnson, interior designer

Caldwell Agencies Featured Home: 400 Chapman Street, Kimberley BC ($269,000)

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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 - Building a Fence

A fenced in yard can help keep your pets in and strangers out. If you’re considering investing in a fence, start here.

1. Do your research
Your City/Community municipality or neighbourhood organization may have specific regulations about fence height, materials, colours and even the actual distance between fence slats. Make sure you know the rules before getting started. Also check with your local utility company to find out about where your gas lines are before you begin (dig).

2. Consult the professionals
Fencing your property may impact your home’s appeal differently depending on your neighborhood, your home and your property. Talk to a real estate agent or an appraiser who knows your local market to help choose materials and where best to place your fence.

3. Chat with your neighbours
Remember, they have to look at your fence too. Consider letting the neighbours whose property borders yours know that you’re thinking about building a fence. Also, avoid future disputes by making sure you’re all in agreement about property lines before putting in the first post.

4. Match your house
Choose a fence that goes with the architectural style of your house. For example, you probably don’t want to build a burly stockade fence around your quaint Victorian, or a rustic post and rail fence around your spiffy modern home.

5. Understand upkeep
If you’re considering a wooden fence, be aware of maintenance required for the type of wood you choose. Some types require more frequent sealing and staining to help keep them looking good longer.

6. Consider living fences
Strategically planted shrubs and trees, like fast-growing cypress and pine, can grow into beautiful fences that offer privacy and double as attractive landscaping. Another advantage? That added landscaping could possibly increase the value of your home.

Dreaming of a home with a white picket fence? Start your journey by talking to an experienced agent. You can find one here.

Remax - 8 Staging Tips for Small Outdoor Spaces

An attractive outdoor space, even if it’s just big enough to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or evening cocktail, can be a major selling point for potential buyers. Here are a few suggestions for maximizing your outdoor living space.

1. Floor it.
If you have a small outdoor area, it won’t break the bank to invest in higher quality tiles or stones. Snap-in deck tiles are another option for adding a touch of class.

2. Envision clarity.
When it comes to tables, go for glass-topped: It will help create the illusion of a larger space.

4. Watch your back.
Chairs and benches with more open backs don’t interrupt sight lines as much. They’ll keep your space feeling open, and looking larger.

5. Focus.
Creating a focal point in a small space adds visual interest. A simple piece of garden art, a small flowering tree or a tiny water feature in a corner can add style and distract buyers from focusing on square footage.

6. Scale down.
The world’s largest outdoor chaise lounge may be a napper’s dream, but it won’t do much to help your patio or deck. Choose outdoor furniture scaled to set off your space, not smother it. You can even find fire pits in smaller sizes.

7. Get vertical.
Wall gardens help add green without sacrificing space. Wall art made from succulent plants is another low-maintenance option for adding foliage, and drawing attention to the edges of your space, which helps visually enlarge it.

8. Don’t hide the grill.
A clean barbecue can help buyers imagine their own outdoor meals. Unless you have a grill or smoker large enough to hold the entire pig, or if your grill is in disrepair, keep it out.

Ready to show off your newly decorated deck or patio? Start by finding a RE/MAX Caldwell agent here!

Remax Blog - Flower Curb Appeal

 


Used strategically, flowers can be a powerful tool for increasing your home’s curb appeal. There’s a method to leveraging all those petals to help your property bloom. Follow these helpful tips.

1. Buy a colour wheel
Spend a few bucks at your local paint or art supply store on a colour wheel to help you understand how different colours relate to one another. Choose flowers with colours close to one another on the wheel for a more harmonious scheme, or colours on opposite sides of the wheel for a complementary colour theme. To really mix things up, choose three colours that are equidistant from each other on the wheel.

2. Use colour to “enlarge” your yard or garden bed
A monochromatic colour scheme can help create a feeling of spaciousness because the eye is not interrupted by other colours. To mix things up, add lighter and darker versions of the same colour flowers.

3. Highlight favourite features
Have a fabulous front door? Draw eyes to it by planting brightly coloured or white flowers around it. Flowers can be an effective way to accent the architectural features you – and prospective buyers – love.

4. Use white
White can be the most attention-grabbing colour in landscaping. White flowers and foliage serve as terrific focal points, make other colours look richer and create a sense of depth in a garden.

5. Don’t forget green
There are so many vivid shades of green to use when highlighting your home. Combining different shades and a variety of foliage textures can add depth and excitement.

6. Anticipate changing seasons
Remember to plan for how the colours of the plants you choose will change with the seasons. Add in some year-round perennials so your yard is still vibrant when flowers wilt in cooler seasons.

Tired of having your green thumb limited to container gardens on your patio? Find out what kind of yard you can afford by talking to a Realtor who knows your neighborhood. Find an agent!

Story by RE/MAX.