5 Hot Trends in Landscaping

 DSCN1950More people are beginning to view their outdoor spaces as an extension of their homes. These current landscaping trends show that people want more out of their yards than just visual appeal.

1  “Green” your landscape with sustainable features such as native and drought-tolerant plants and organic gardening techniques.

2  Pops of vibrant colour in outdoor furniture, cushions, light fixtures and woodwork complement the natural tones of your garden.
3  Enjoy your outdoor spaces longer by covering or installing screens on your deck.
4  A small water feature, such as a small pond or fountain, not only enhances your landscape, it also helps to create a relaxing atmosphere.
5  The yard is fun again with space for popular summer backyard games like Bocce ball and lawn bowling.

Keep your yard in top shape if your home is for sale. A potential buyer may overlook your home if they can’t see past overgrown shrubs and weeds.

Do you mow your lawn the right way?
• Let your mower mulch your clippings. It’s better for your soil, and you’ll save water and reduce your fertilizer costs.
• Keep your mower in top shape. Put fuel stabilizer in the gas tank to keep the carburetor in good condition all year round.
• Edging is so nice, you should do it twice. Use a horizontal cut in those hard-to-reach places and a vertical cut where the lawn meets your sidewalks and flower beds.
• It’s better to water less often but for a longer period of time to allow the roots to fully absorb the water.

Renovate Your Landscape

A well-landscaped property can add 20% to your home’s value, and has an average return of 100-200% at the time of sale.1 Even if you’re not thinking of selling now, summer is a
great time to spruce up your landscape and make it a place you enjoy spending time.

Click Here for Full Article: Renovate Your Landscape

What’s the difference between an agent, salesperson and broker?

A real estate salesperson, or broker, will explain the brokerage’s representation agreement. They’ll also likely be your rep during the home sale or purchase process.

Yes, the terminology can be confusing. While it may not seem important to know the difference between these terms, there are some common traits and useful distinctions to be aware of when you look to buy or sell a home.

Let’s start with the most commonly misused term, “agent.” While most people use this term to describe the individual real estate professional assisting them, it’s not technically correct. Legally, “agent” is actually the term given to the brokerage (the company) that represents you as the buyer or seller. An agency relationship is formalized when you sign a contract, either in the form of a buyer representation agreement or a typical listing agreement. These agreements are between buyer/seller and the brokerage, not the individual representative.

A real estate salesperson, or broker, will be the person who presents and explains the representation agreement to you on behalf of the brokerage. In most cases, they will also usually be the same person who represents you during the buying or selling process, on behalf of the brokerage.

Both salespeople and brokers are real estate professionals who are subject to regulation under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002. They must be employed by a real estate brokerage and must be registered with RECO in order to trade in real estate in Ontario.

Education is what distinguishes a broker from a salesperson. A salesperson achieves the broker designation by passing additional courses and exams that then allow the individual to manage a brokerage. A brokerage must be managed by someone who has the broker designation.

It’s unlikely that you will be dealing directly with the manager, called the broker of record, but they will be in the background managing the business, reviewing details of transactions and, if needed, serving as a resource for your real estate representative. Just like any business owner or manager, it’s in their interest to make sure their clients are satisfied, and that the brokerage and its brokers and salespersons are complying with the rules and regulations. If you have any questions or concerns your representative can’t address, you could speak with the broker of record.

Regardless of their designation, it’s important to know there are significant benefits to working with a registered real estate professional, including valuable consumer protections. Those protections revolve around three pillars:

  • Knowledge: Once real estate professionals complete the courses required to enter the field, they must complete ongoing, mandatory continuing education to keep their knowledge up-to-date and their skills sharp.
  • Professional standards: Your real estate representative is also required to uphold professional standards that emphasize treating anyone involved in a transaction with fairness, honesty and integrity, and following rules and regulations that are there to protect consumers. In the rare instance that something goes wrong and you want to complain about your representative or the brokerage, RECO will investigate the complaint and take steps to hold the real estate professional accountable for their actions.
  • Insurance: Deposit insurance provides you with peace of mind knowing that your hard-earned payment will be held in trust and insured against loss, insolvency or misappropriation by a brokerage.

 Top 6 Living Room Ideas

A living room is the most important place in our homes, after all, we spend the maximum time there, relaxing and chilling out with friends and family.
Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing!
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  • Enchanting Living Room:  Highlight the windows in your living room with floor to ceiling curtains, creating an enchantingly beautiful space.  Accent with a silver sofa, two armchairs and a glass coffee table in the middle of the room and finish off the look with some fresh flowers and colourful artwork.
  • A Splash of Colour Living Room:  Colour contrasts work great in a living room and vibrant colours such as yellow, red, orange and green help remove any tension from within.  Along with multi-coloured  cushions and orange curtains, place three neutral gray sofas in a “u” shape with a cream ottoman serving as a table in the centre and complete room with an area rug in a brilliant shade of red.
  • Comfortable Modern Living Room:  A living room needs to be comfortable for you to relax and unwind. A light gray sofa/chaise combination with a mustard yellow armchair and a side and centre table in light wood with small artwork creates a modern yet comfy room to enjoy.
  • Contemporary Cute Living Room:  A favourite look with many people who like trendy furniture and other accessories that look quite stunning.  If you have a fireplace, make that the centre-piece of the room.  With a cream coloured sectional sofa w/chaise and a glass coffee table facing the fireplace, move the  mocha brown cloth armchair to the corner of the room and place the matching coloured throw on the chaise to create a simple yet smart and attractive space.
  • Cozy Living Room:  Cozy and warm are two important elements for a living room.  Make the room an eclectic mishmash that reflects your family.  Choose family favourite colours such as green, brown and blue.  A soft blue area rug sets the tone for a beautiful chartreuse green sofa and loveseat along with two coffee brown leather swivel armchairs and sturdy coffee and end tables. Red burlap shades as well as scattered toys compete the look of the room!
  • Simple Living Room:  Decorate your living room without putting any extravagant pieces anywhere. With light patterned tiles on the flooring and comfortable touches such as a light brown area rug highlighting a neutral sofa and love seat and one glass end table, the comfy look is completed with neutral beige pillows and throws.

Whatever look you want your living room to reflect, make it your own.  Use your imagination and the resources you have at your disposal to help you achieve your dream room!!! Whether you have a small or large living room, lighting will always be key!  Open up the curtains and let the light in or add another light fixture to the room.

 Information Supplied by
Tara Savelle, CSP
Canadian Staging Professional
Home On Display

Before and after The Storm

Before and after the storm
Spring and summer storms can wreak havoc on property. Damage can be instant or cumulative; if initial damage is not addressed promptly it can often worsen as time goes by. Taking some preventive steps at home can reduce the chances of serious damage to homes and lives. Before the storm Check outside for loose items that may be blown away or collide with the home. Outdoor furniture, grills, toys, birdbaths and the like should be put away. Large objects such as sheds and play sets should be secured and anchored to prevent them from falling or blowing over. Inspect fencing for any loose or damaged boards that may damage nearby structures if they are carried by the wind. If there isn’t time to make repairs before the storm hits, remove the damaged pieces to prevent possible damage. Trees around the home or near other structures, including near neighbors’ houses, should be inspected by a licensed professional to ensure that they are healthy. Trees can appear to be in good shape but may be diseased or have structural problems that can cause them to fail unexpectedly. Local ordinances may require that trees be trimmed a minimum distance from driveways, structures and power lines. For safety’s sake, a qualified professional should perform this work.

Using binoculars, check the roof for missing or damaged shingles. Flying shingles may damage structures, while missing shingles can allow water to leak into the home, causing additional problems. Any repairs to roofing should be done professionally to ensure proper repair techniques and safety.

After the storm:

Check in on neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or who live alone, to make sure they and their property made it safely through the storm.

Look around for downed or sagging power lines and report them immediately to the utility company. Power lines should never be approached or touched, as even the ground around a downed line can carry an electrical charge.

Check around the property for downed branches or other damage to trees and structures. Any debris that may have blown into the yard should be removed promptly, as it can attract damaging insects. This is also a good time to re-inspect the roof for storm damage; any repairs should be made as soon as possible to prevent further problems.

If there was significant wind during the storm, chimneys and flue caps should be professionally inspected to ensure they were not damaged and are functioning normally. Check garage doors to make sure they are still on their tracks for safe operation.

 

 

Canadian home sales edge slightly higher in March

http://www.durhamrealestate.org/default.cfm

Ottawa, ON, April 15, 2014 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up on a month-over-month basis in March 2014. 

Highlights:

National home sales rose 1.0% from February to March.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.9% above March 2013 levels.

  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.5% from February to March.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 6.0% on a year-over-year basis in March.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.2% year-over-year in March.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations edged up one per cent from February to March 2014. This builds on the monthly gain of 0.6 per cent the previous month, but leaves activity closer to the low reached in January 2014 than to the most recent peak reached in August 2013.

Why Now is the Time to Enter the Housing Market

If you’ve been on the fence about buying a home or selling your current one, what are you waiting for? The Canadian housing market is stable, and the majority of Canadians say that real estate is a good long-term investment.2 Although interest rates have been slowly creeping up, they’re still well below historical levels. And while home values are increasing, they’re still considered affordable. So, why wait? Here are the top reasons why now is a great time to buy or sell:

Click here for full Article: Why NOW is the Time to Enter the Housing Market

Why We Work By Referral

Relationships are more important than transactions. You may have noticed that many real estate agents take a transactional approach to sales—identifying clients, closing the deal, and then moving on to the next one. I choose not to work that way because I believe you deserve more from the professional you decide to work with. That’s why I work by referral. Since my primary source of new business is referrals from people who know and trust me, I don’t have to spend time prospecting and promoting myself. I can dedicate myself fully to the activities that benefit you most and always deliver truly exceptional service.

Click Here for Full Article: Why I work by Referral

With You Every Step Of The Way

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