Category: landscape tips (10)

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! 

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.

A spacious home can be incredibly appealing to potential buyers. No one wants to live in a space that seems cramped and cluttered.   Even if your house is relatively small, there are ways you can maximize the space you do have.  We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out their top tips for making your home seem more spacious to potential buyers.

1. Stage Your Home

Clearing countertops, removing knickknacks and getting rid of oversized furniture are key first steps to make your space appear as spacious as possible.  Several Influencers mentioned “less is more” when it comes to furniture and accessories. Your best bet is to leave only a few subtle, decorative items. “Keep in mind that when showing your house, there could be four or five people wandering through at once. Make sure they can go from room to room without bumping into anything,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.  Hiring someone to stage your home will likely be a worthwhile investment. It may also be worth it to rent a storage space during the period when your house is being shown.

2. BRIGHTEN IT UP

Walls that have light colours and good lighting can go a long way toward making your home look more spacious. It’s also a good idea to have window coverings opened to allow as much natural light in as possible. Eliminate mats and certain area rugs to help focus on floor area; remove large photos to help the space on the walls stand out. “It’s simple: Clean, crisp colours, open spaces, open window coverings, brighter lightbulbs and less clutter will showcase the space within your house.”

3. SMALLER FURNITURE = LARGER ROOM

Bulky pieces of furniture are often the culprit for making spaces appear smaller than they are. Depending on the layout, a large sectional couch may be better in the basement than in a main floor living space.  Arranging furniture in groupings, away from walls, can have the desired effect of making your room seem bigger. Also, if your dining table has leafs, remove them to maximize the space. Add crown moulding to heighten the stature of the room.  “A great rule of thumb is: The more wall space and floor space that is visible, the better.”

Story by RE/MAX Canada

remax-blog-your-own

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!

remax-blog-own-it2

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)

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.

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.

Caldwell Blog - Jpeg - 4 Landscapting Mistakes

When a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, it’s your yard that greets them. Don’t get off track, then, in your outdoor efforts. Here are a few things not to do.

1. Ignore maintenance

Many people love the idea of a beautifully landscaped yard, but they aren’t willing to put in the work to maintain it. Make sure that any updates you make won’t require an intimidating amount of upkeep for buyers.

2. Forget that seasons change
When planning your landscape improvements, remember to include appealing elements for each season and not just a yard full of flowers that will wither in September. Evergreens add color through the winter, deciduous trees will flower in spring and turn color in autumn, and annual and perennial beds can bloom with color in the warmer months.

3. Neglect growth
Keep your trimmers sharp. Overgrown shrubs and trees can make your home look rundown. And a well-edged lawn suggests that the rest of the property is as well-maintained as the yard.

4. Let clutter sprout
Kids’ toys, athletic equipment and excessive lawn furniture can ruin the effect of even the most well thought-out landscaping. Keep it neat.

Ready to dig into other improvements you can make to your home to increase its appeal before listing it for sale? Talk to a Realtor to find out exactly what features buyers in your unique market are looking for. Find an agent here.

Story stared by RE/MAX.