Monthly Archives November 2015

Ottawa Named 3rd Best City in the World for Quality of Life; Here’s Why

  In this Point2Homes post, Nadia Balint attributes Ottawa’s stellar, but unsurprising (to locals),  ranking in the recent Numbeo Quality of Life Index to three characteristics: Ottawa is young and fun with almost half the population under 35, it promotes and supports family life and the housing is relatively  affordable.  The Index rates factors like purchasing power, safety, property price to income ratio, and pollution.  To read more click here. This article was first published on https://www.teamrealty.ca.
Read More

Your Complete Guide to Pest-Proofing This Fall

  To prevent an onslaught of pests from occupying your house as the weather cools, simply  follow the National Pest Management Association guidance presented in this post from Bob Villa. Seal cracks in the exterior envelope, especially where utility pipes enter, with silicone caulking.  Fill larger gaps inside your home with steel wool. Pests avoid the roughness of the steel fibers and rodents cannot gnaw through it. Repair ripped window screens, door sweeps and loose mortar in the basement foundation, screen dryer vents and chimneys and replace weather stripping to seal these ideal entry points. If you suspect an infestation,
Read More

Your Guide to 10 Popular Landscape Paving Materials

  If you are considering landscape paving, this excellent Houzz.com post by landscape architect Falon Mihalic includes guides to 10 of the most popular materials.  Focused on cost, climate, maintenance and functional application, the guides explain the pros and cons of cast-in-place concrete, the cheapest option, pre-cast concrete, gravel, limestone, brick, slate, tile, bluestone, granite, and travertine.  Mihalic also notes that many of the materials can be reused and suggests where the cost and/or environmentally conscious consumer can find them.  To read more click here. This article was first published on https://www.teamrealty.ca.
Read More

How to Stage Your Home for Fall Showings

  This Zillow.com post by Nathalie Wise suggests that the time and cost of staging your home can result in higher sale prices and less time on the market.  Remove clutter, store items that could distract viewers and move furniture away from walls to make your spaces appear larger.  Clear counters and deep clean everywhere because it’s still the best way to make a house shine.  Allow potential buyers to visualize themselves in the home by taking down family pictures that could impede their imagination.  Open curtains to let in natural light and hang mirrors to bring light and life
Read More

8 Deer-Resistant Elegant Evergreen Shrubs to Plant This Fall

  Shrubs bestow privacy, a sense of enclosure and a splash of colour during winter.  In this houzz.com post, Brian Barth gives hope to discouraged homeowners who are tired of watching the local deer population feast on their shrubs.   Needle-bearing shrubs like the juniper will survive deer grazing, but they can lack artistic appeal.  Barth identifies 8 other options that have at least one redeeming aesthetic trait besides being evergreen.   Heath and heather are an unusual group of low shrubs with colorful flowers and needle-like leaves that change colour as the weather gets cold.  Doghobble spreads as it
Read More

How Will Real Estate Markets React To The Liberals' Election Victory?

  The Liberal Party’s successful election campaign included a promise to stimulate the economy by increasing infrastructure spending with deficit budgets. How will these changes effect the country’s real estate market? Until details are released, the exact consequences are difficult to determine, but some possibilities have emerged.   Foreign Investment   We don’t know what will follow the Liberals’ change in fiscal direction (deficit spending versus balanced budgets), but, if the promised infrastructure spending materializes, it could boost annual growth in 2016 and 2017 “by up to 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points respectively,” according to a TD Bank report.  
Read More

Winter Lawn Care: 4 Steps to Protect Your Turf

Home owners may be surprised to discover that fall is the most important season for lawn maintenance.  But, as we learn in this houselogic.com post by Lisa Kaplan Gordon, it is much more important than spring.   Aeration allows water, oxygen, and nutrients to reach roots, and gives seeds room to sprout.  Turf roots grow best in fall and winter when the soil temperature is cooler, so fall seeding ensures optimal growth.  Fertilize in late fall with phosphorous or nitrogen rich (10% – 15%) product.  Finally, mulching, rather than raking and removing the leaves is preferred because the shredded leaves will
Read More

Seven Monthly Bills Most People Have, and Seven Ways to Reduce Each Bill

  In this article for The Simple Dollar, Trent Hamm targets energy, water, car, mortgage/rent, internet, insurance and cell phone/telephone payments and gives specifics on how to lower each monthly bill.  Insurance costs drop if you increase your deductible. Reduce phone costs by using Skype, lowering usage and ditching the landline.  Save on energy bills with programmable thermostats, timers and energy-efficient lighting.   To read more click here. This article was first published on https://www.teamrealty.ca.
Read More

6 Misperceptions About Home Staging

  In this insightful Realtor Magazine post, interior decorator and professional stager Patti Stern explodes six myths about home staging.   The Cost of Staging For example, some sellers consider staging too expensive.  In reality, it actually saves you money because 95 percent of staged homes sell in 11 days or less and sell for 17 percent more than homes that are not staged.  Thus, staging costs are lower than the carrying charges (mortgage, utilities) you will pay if the house takes a long time to sell.   The Difference Between Decorating and Staging She also points out that decorating and
Read More

Home Improvements – Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional?

Completing a DIY project can be tremendously fulfilling and financially rewarding. But, bite off more than you can chew, and you might be looking at some major expenses to fix the damage or, even worse, a catastrophic incident. Before grabbing your toolbox, accomplish a quick risk-reward analysis. Then, determine if you have the skills and tools for the project. Finally, decide if you have the available time and are inclined to invest it in the task. These guidelines will help you decide whether to swing a hammer or write a cheque. Reno Risks And Rewards First weight the expected benefits
Read More