Category Archives: The Mash Team

Aging in (Your) Place

With an estimated 11,000 North Americans turning 65 every day, it’s safe to assume that more and more conversations are turning to housing considerations that will accommodate the aging population.

As baby boomers approach and then reach their magical retirement age, a number that fluctuates dramatically depending on individual health and financial status, they’re starting to view their living arrangements through a different lense.

Is it time to downsize from a bigger house to one with fewer stairs, or perhaps into a condo? Or from a condo in a family building to another condo in a different area, with amenities more suited to your changing needs and interests? Should you sell your existing home and move into a retirement home? Or should you stay in your existing home and renovate it to allow you to age in place?

Aging in place refers to staying in the home of your choice, for as long as you are able to. This involves looking at your home with a critical eye, starting with the practicality of simply getting in and out of your front door easily and safely. Consider if the existing structure can be modified, and if so, if the cost and upheaval resulting from the renovations would even be worthwhile.

Here are some projects to consider, whether it makes sense to implement them in your existing home, look for them in a new home, or apply them in a new, downsized property:

  • Move the master bedroom to the first floor.
  • Add a bathroom to the first floor.
  • Add grab bars in the bathroom, along with a bench in the shower, and a higher toilet or an elevated toilet seat. A walk-in tub may also be an option.
  • Widen doors to allow for walkers and wheelchairs. Also consider width of hallways.
  • Replace stone/tile with carpet/wood.
  • For properties with stairs, install a lift chair/ stair glide system.
  • Add lever-style doorknobs.
  • Include more automation in the home, from a programmable or voice-activated lighting system and thermostat to smart fire detection and security systems. Install doorbells, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms that turn on lights when they’re activated, in case you don’t hear the alarms go off.
  • Modify storage with pull-out shelves, also referred to as roll-out, glide-out or slide-out shelves, that allow easier access to deeper spaces for clothing, food and other belongings.
  • Add extra lighting for increased visibility and security.

Of course, the outside of your home should take into account any current or possible future mobility issues, from the width of the front door, to the stairs going from the entrance to the street, to the need for railings and ramps, to the condition of the concrete or ground surface and accessibility to transportation from there.

If you can’t remodel your current home to allow you to age in place safely and comfortably, or if the cost and process of renovating to get to that point is prohibitive, it may be time to move. When discussing your decision with your real estate sales representative, be sure to be clear about your wants and needs for your next home.

Remember, for every homeowner needing to downsize, there’s a new family anxious to fill those rooms with another generation’s worth of adventures and memories. #cbrmr

Investing in Curb Appeal

Thinking of renovating your home, either for yourself or to add head-turning sales appeal for potential buyers? Consider your return on investment (ROI) before you get too far.

On average, Canadian homeowners plan to spend about $16,400 on their home renovations*, so it’s important to ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your home after your renovation project. If you’re simply looking to freshen it up in order to put it on the market, you’ll be looking at your projects in a whole different light than if you’re planning to stay in the house for a few more years.

While the Appraisal Institute of Canada notes that kitchen and bathroom renovations can receive a 75% to 100% ROI, they also suggest homeowners not underestimate the value of inexpensive upgrades, noting that light landscaping or gardening, a fresh coat of paint, modern lighting fictures, or even upgraded door handles can give a home an updated look and feel, without spending a lot of money.

The spring real estate rush is on, so if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you may want to focus first on renovation projects that reflect prominently on a home’s curb appeal, enticing potential buyers to want to see more. Quick and simple tasks like painting your front door, mowing the grass, giving the yard a good tidying up and arranging bright flowers in outdoor containers go far in creating impressive curb appeal. #cbrmr

OPEN HOUSE CANCELLED…Home Sold

Welcome to 128 Allworth Cres in Bowmanville.  Bright, open-concept 4 Bedroom Family home with stylish curb appeal, just minutes from the 401/407 in the historic town of Bowmanville. Ideal for  commuting and enjoying small-town living.  Home Features:  Crown Moulding , 9′ Ceilings and Hardwood flooring on the Main floor.  Family room with gas fireplace that will not cramp your style. Family sized Open Concept Eat-in Kitchen with Breakfast Bar, Built-in Dishwasher, upgraded cabinets and walk-out to yard. Spacious dining/living room with Gleaming hardwood floors.  Large master bedroom with 4pc ensuite including Glass Shower and Soaker Tub plus W/I closet. Secure family neighborhood that is walking distance to newer schools, parks, shopping and public transit. Just Listed for $550,000. #cbrmr

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Selling? Low-Cost Home Improvement Fixes that Make Your Home Shine

When selling a home, even tiny fixes can have a big impact. Fortunately many fixes can be done quickly and with a small budget.

Here are 10 of the best low- (or no-) cost home improvement fixes to make your house stand above the competition:

1. Address the Heart of the Home
In real estate, the kitchen is a main selling feature and can be a make or break deal for potential home buyers. If a new kitchen just isn’t in the cards, consider replacing smaller ticket items and de-cluttering. Low- and no-cost fixes for the kitchen include:

New cabinet hardware
New faucets
Installing a new backsplash
Storing countertop appliances to create more work space
Replacing dark valances with lighter fabric or removing them altogether

2. Update Switch Plate Covers
Switch plate and outlet covers are brittle, and can crack and yellow over time, resulting in a home that, no matter how well updated, still looks dated. New outlets and covers can be replaced in a snap for generally under five dollars, making it one of the lowest cost updates available. Consider flat switches that create a modern, streamlined silhouette and stick to white for a timeless look.

3. Beautify the Bathroom
An updated bathroom comes only second to kitchens in a buyer’s list of must-haves, so showing them a clean and uncluttered bathroom will score points with any potential buyer.

New flooring can give an otherwise tired bathroom a much needed facelift and create a newer looking bathroom overall. Coordinating linens, a new shower curtain, and thoroughly cleaned grout can top off this easy home improvement investment.

4. Address Storage
Storage is always a concern for buyers. Installing low-cost closet organizers to your existing space will increase storage and organization in your home. Add storage baskets to hide clutter and you will have beautiful storage spaces that will make any buyer envious.

5. Deep Clean for a Good Return
If your home contains wall to wall carpeting, clean carpets can make a world of difference to a buyer. Cleaning carpets can easily be completed in a weekend with a rental cleaning machine, and it creates a noticeably clean, odor free environment for buyers to tour.

6. Boost Curb Appeal
Nothing boosts curb appeal like a tidy yard. Trim and edge walkways, weed gardens, and trim shrubs for maximum impact. If you have a porch, consider potted, seasonal plants to bring the look together.

7. Improve the First Impression
As buyers approach your home, first impressions matter. Ensuring your entryway is clean and inviting with something as simple as a new mailbox or updated house numbers will make buyers feel welcome. Clean windows and doors for extra impact.

8. Add a Coat of Paint
Freshening up your living space with neutral colors will invite buyers to imagine their belongings in your home and will cover up any nicks, scratches, or dents your wall incurred over years of daily living.

9. Update Lighting
While not the lowest cost solution on our list, you will find that a new light fixture or two really breathes new life into key living spaces. If your budget is tight, look to kitchen, dining, and living rooms for the most bang for your buck.

10. Add Some Decor Pizzazz
Finally, a fresh look can be completed with nothing more than some colorful fabric. Inexpensive pillows and throws in a coordinating palette through your home will create a unified look that will have buyers hooked. #cbrmr

Effective Improvements for a Faster Sale

You have decided to sell your home, and you are eager to sell it ASAP!   Here are some of the best ways to efficiently and effectively improve your home for a speedy sale.

First, curbside appeal.  This is the first thing every potential buyer sees so make it stand out!  Some suggestions:

  • Hire a gardener to clean and spruce up the front entrance
  • Remove superfluous items from the front of your home, i.e. garbage cans, strollers, etc.
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on your home’s front door.

Second, this is the time to clean and eliminate all clutter inside your home.  Here’s how:

  • Give away or store extra toys, clothes, and anything else that makes it look crowded or disorganized
  • Organize the kitchen countertops and closets
  • Place bulky items in storage

Third, landscaping matters.  A large yard cannot shine if the plants, grass and trees are in bad shape.  Try the following ideas:

  • Make sure the grass is mowed and driveway and walkway clear of snow
  • Plant or hang fresh flowers if its summer

Fourth, look under the hood.  Make the inside of your home look as good as possible.

  •  This is the time to do some of the minor repairs you have been putting off.  This will make your home look better and may eliminate certain issues during the Inspection Period.
  •  Yes, it seems expensive or time-consuming.  However, if you hire a handy person, this can truly make the difference and get you more money in less time.

Finally, hire a professional, licensed  full time realtor like “The Mash Team”.  We are realtor’s with experience and expertise that can help sell your home quickly for the best price. #cbrmr

Best of luck!

Ambient Lighting Tricks to Warm Up the Whole House

They say setting the mood is like flipping a switch and we couldn’t agree more. Lighting plays a lead role in making your house feel like home. Here are 10 lighting tricks to enhance your home’s aura

They say setting the mood is like flipping a switch and we couldn’t agree more. Lighting plays a lead role in making your house feel like home. Here are 10 lighting tricks to enhance your home’s aura.

1. Control natural lighting. If you thought only stormy weather could make a breezy beach house look dark and moody, take a second look at the photo above. The lucky homeowner can draw the sheer curtains closed without completely blocking out the sun. They also get a postcard-worthy view of sunrise and sunset every day from their glass doors. The dimmed fixture above casts a warm light in an all-white room while the cloudy landscape photo tones down the views of the beach.

2. Be picky about your paint. Ask a professional about a paint’s light reflectance value (LRV) before you commit to a color. Lighter colors tend to be more reflective than dark shades. Pay attention to sheen level too since glossy finishes are more reflective than matte finishes.

3. Experiment with materials and finishes. When mixed and matched strategically, these seemingly small details can determine the mood of a whole room. This white and grey bathroom would look stark and cold without the brass fixture above. The candles around the tub help warm the room up too.

4. Install a dimmer switch. There’s nothing relaxing about straining your eyes in a room that is too bright or too dark. Use a dimmer in addition to layering your light sources for ultimate light control. Believe it or not, installing a dimmer switch can be a DIY project.

5. Recess your lights. Even if the bulb is not that bright, a central fixture with multiple bulbs and a shiny finish can be overpowering. Recessed lighting conceals the bulbs and therefore can lights feel softer. You could also hide strip lighting underneath cabinets for a nice nightlight on your way to the kitchen or bathroom. Check out this ultra contemporary island that appears to be floating mid-air.

6. Go a different direction. Uplights, like sconces and track lighting, create a soft glow. On the other hand, downlights cast ominous shadows that can really add mystery to a romantic room. Get creative by backlighting wall decor for a play on color and shapes.

7. Take a refresher course in lightbulb basics. The type of bulb is equally important as its fixture. Halogen, fluorescent and LED bulbs have a range of temperatures from warm (or yellow) to cool (or blue) hues. This is a matter of personal preference, but typically yellowish bulbs warm up cool-colored rooms nicely and vice versa. Bluer bulbs also help brighten darker spaces, like basements and windowless bathrooms.

8. Find your favorite shade. Bright colors, playful patterns and funky shapes can bring personality into a stale space. Smoky glass chandeliers intensify intimate vibes in a dining room while big paper lanterns enliven sophisticated home offices. The teal shades on this fixture match the pillows and put an icy sheen on the large dark walnut bookcase.

Note: This ceiling light is reflected in the whimsically shaped mirror that will help spread light further into the room.

9. Try twinkle lights. Not limited to holiday decor, you can use twinkle lights all year round. Drape them over windows for some extra sparkle or fill jars or empty wine bottles with a bundle of battery-operated fairy lights for an illuminated vignette.

10. Open flame. It’s no secret that candles are customary to ambience, but they’re often reserved for after dark. Next time, try starting a fire first thing in the morning and you’ll find that candles are as effective for waking up as they are for winding down. The heat will naturally draw you out of bed and the rising sun will energize you. We’re channeling all the feels from this rustic bedroom. The corner fireplace and candle chandelier are nothing short of mesmerizing.

 

59 Aspen Park Way. Whitby

SEE IT AND FALL IN LOVE!

$475,000

Open house March 24  & 25. 2 pm – 4 pm

Upgraded home from top to bottom. Nothing to do, but move on in. Stylish kitchen with gas stove, hardwood floors, backsplash, and breakfast bar. Bright and Spacious Open concept living and Dining room, each with Gleaming Hardwood Floors, designer paint colors and Pot lights. Master Suite has walk-in closet and Updated Ensuite. Large and bright finished basement that walks-out to your private yard that perfect for entertaining. Located Conveniently for commuting. $475,000.

 

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433 Ritson Rd. N. Oshawa

Exceptionally Good Value!

$375,000

Open House March 24th & 25th  2 pm-4 pm,

Plant your roots here. Live your dream in this 2 bedroom detached home with formal dining room, living room walk-out to patio, custom designed kitchen with SS appliances, granite counter, under cabinet lighting, pot lights and subway tiles. Added features include a terrific finished basement with wet bar & R/I for future bath, pot lights, utility/laundry room, plus modern main floor bathroom with glass shower doors, and all this within minutes of shopping. Spoil yourself. $375,000.

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Spring Selling Checklist

With spring selling season around the corner, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyer expectations.

Guest post by Patti Stern

With the early spring selling season kicking off shortly after the new year, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyers’ expectations. Take advantage of being inside during the cold winter months with these quick fixes that will help your property stand out from the competition, boost its value and sell quickly.

Declutter & Organize

Start tackling one room at a time by packing up anything that will distract buyers from seeing the unique features of your property such as personal collections, family photos, newspapers, books and magazines. Rearrange and remove excessive furniture to simplify and make the room appear larger.

Make Basic Repairs & Updates

Make sure everything is in good working condition. Repair and replace broken light switches, bulbs, ceiling fans, door knobs, leaky faucets, shower heads, windows, thermostats, etc. Update lighting fixtures with contemporary styles and consider replacing older kitchen appliances with sleek, eco-friendly models to capture young buyer interest.

Refresh and Brighten With Paint

Remove wallpaper and cover bold wall colors with a fresh coat of neutral paint to set the perfect backdrop for simple, updated styling. Give older style kitchen cabinets or wood vanities an instant facelift by covering with bright white or dark espresso paint. Then pair with knobs and drawer handles in brushed nickel or satin brass for an elegant finishing touch.

Fresh Flooring

There is nothing that dates a room more that worn, soiled carpeting. Remove and/or replace carpeting to reveal hardwood flooring underneath to instantly brighten and make the room feel more spacious. There are also many budget-friendly, easy to install options on the market now for replacing damaged flooring such as laminate and vinyl that look and feel just like wood.

Add Storage Options

Today’s buyers are looking for plenty of storage. Added storage solutions such as built-in bookshelves, window seats with storage underneath, entry storage units, and extra closet hooks and rods are a practical way to attract immediate buyer attention.

Partner With a Pro

Consult with the Mash Team and we can recommend a professional stager who will have an objective eye and knowledge of what appeals to today’s sophisticated buyers. They will provide a range of solutions for enhancing your home showings by recommending everything from furniture placement to wall color to complementary modern accessories to add clean, welcoming style.

At First Glance

A positive or negative first impression makes all the difference when you’re showing your home, so make note of these tips to help you create the best initial reaction possible for potential homebuyers.

Show your home in its best light. Dark rooms strike the eye as being smaller than they really are, so maximize neutral light in your home by throwing open all your window coverings during the day. Also, make sure all your light fixtures are turned on, and consider (temporarily) switching out low-watt bulbs for some with higher wattage, to brighten rooms even more.

Tone it down. Bold colours are difficult for buyers to see past and busy pattterns are visually distracting, so tone down and neutralize: repaint those loud walls, tear up that busy carpet and tear down that dizzying wallpaper.

Kick clutter to the curb. Like darkness, clutter tricks the eye into thinking spaces are smaller than they are, and like loud colours and busy patterns, it’s distracting and hard to see past — not to mention it can cause buyers to wonder what else is being neglected in the home.

Create the illusion of more space. Open up your closets and have a look. Now remove half their contents. Do the closets look bigger to you? They will to buyers, as well. Another easy trick to visually open up spaces is to strategically place mirrors in small areas like foyers, hallways and anywhere they’ll reflect natural light.

Consider suggestions from your real estate sales representative, who has the experience of seeing what works in today’s marketplace! @cbrmr