Advice tips and ideas for home owners


Small Space Solutions

 Monday, November 26, 2018     Marion Goard     House and Home

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Sometimes small spaces are inevitable in our homes and it can be overwhelming trying to contain all of our belongings in these areas. Implement the following changes into your home and make the most out of your small living spaces. 

Kitchen

Small kitchens often mean limited storage. Consider storage options in places you may have never thought of. The inside of cupboard doors in your pantry, for example, are a great place to hide small items like cans, brooms, etc. Magnetic strips can be glued to hold knives or steel spice jars. Hooks can be added to hold the family calendar, kitchen towels and oven mitts. Small baskets can be hooked around the door for storing tin foil, saran wrap, baggies and other kitchen essentials.

Living room

Living rooms are often the hub of family get-togethers, slumber parties and games nights but in a small space things can feel cramped quickly. To make the space feel bigger and brighter, hang mirrors strategically, paint the room in lighter colours and declutter. Adding a console table behind the couch adds functional storage, and using canvas baskets to store magazines and throw blankets helps to keep the space organized in a flash!

Bedroom

To maximize space in a bedroom ditch the clunky dresser and opt for a bed with built-in drawers. Under-the-bed storage is great for bigger items like blankets, warm clothes, pajamas and seasonal clothing. By eliminating the need for a dresser you will have more walking space and your room won’t seem as cramped. This option is great for any room as beds with storage can be found in all sizes.

Bathroom

Be bold with your bathroom decor and try using large scale prints. Big patterns on your shower curtain, or wallpaper can trick the eye into thinking the space is much bigger than it actually is. It is also important to keep your bathroom accessories to a minimum. Keep toiletries stored away and consider only having a hand towel and soap visible. The more clutter there is the more cramped the bathroom will feel. 

Closet

If your closet is small, consider custom built-in storage. Built-in storage maximizes all of the space in the closet by using hanging rods, drawers and shelving systems. Custom closets allow for you to choose your preferred clothing storage and ensure that every space is being used effectively. 

Small spaces don’t have to be a bad thing. By using these small space hacks you’ll be creating functional and open spaces to enjoy.


Staging your home for the holidays

 Tuesday, November 20, 2018     Marion Goard     House and Home Buying and Selling

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The holidays are an exciting time for many and as a home seller you have the double duty of celebrating the season and selling your home at the same time. Check out these great tips and learn how to properly stage your home for showings throughout the holiday season.

Clean it first

Before you bring out the holiday decor be sure to clean your house from top to bottom. Vacuum, dust and reorganize the furniture to maximize the space in each room. After you clean, put away personal items such as family photos, personal trinkets, and other items that will make it hard for the buyer to picture themselves in your home. Once you’re done, you can begin adding some seasonal decor to your space. 

Less is more

Always remember that less is more when staging your home. The more that the buyer is able to visualize their belongings and style in the home, the better. Avoid displaying all of your holiday decorations over every surface and in every corner as it can be extremely overwhelming and take away from the home’s features. Consider picking a seasonal colour palette and using that as your inspiration. Use pillows, vases, blankets and other household items in these colours as your decor. Bring in some winter touches by displaying greenery and pinecones in vases and table tops. This decor won’t overwhelm buyers but still shows off your holiday spirit.

Make your traditions your decorations

Even if you aren’t displaying all of your favourite holiday decor, there are still so many ways to make your home reflect the holiday season while entertaining guests. Play classical or Christmas music throughout the house while guests are over, bake holiday treats for your family and friends to enjoy and keep the house warm by turning up the heat a little higher. These decor-less tips will make your home feel festive and fun.

Think of your curb appeal

Stay away from the oversized lawn ornaments and instead put lights around bushes or on the roof. During day, when potential buyers are coming through the house, the lights won’t be as noticeable but they will still make your home look like a winter wonderland when turned on in the evening. Remember to also have a salted walkway and a driveway clear of snow for safety during showings and open houses. 

With these great staging tips your home will look great to potential buyers and still show off your holiday spirit when entertaining guests!

Need more tips and advice? I'd be happy to help you on your real estate journey! Contact me anytime! Email me at mariongoard@kw.com or call 905-335-8808. 


How to make sure your home is winter ready

 Monday, November 12, 2018     Marion Goard     House and Home

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The cooler nights and shorter days are a sign that it’s time to make sure your home is winter ready. We may not be able to predict what the winter will bring but we can definitely prep our home for whatever comes our way. 

Seal the windows

Sealing the windows is a very important task and for good reason. With the cold months quickly approaching you’ll want to keep the elements where they belong…outside! To prevent icy cold drafts from coming through the windows you’ll want to get a good quality silicon sealant. By sealing the windows you’ll save money on energy bills as your heater won’t have to work as hard to keep the house warm.

Service the furnace

After resting for the warm months it’s almost time to put the furnace back to work but before you do you’ll want to make sure to service it first. Tune-ups help to make sure everything is in good working order to ensure the most comfort for you and your family throughout the winter. By staying on top of furnace maintenance you will increase its life span, catch any potential problems and in the long run save time and money. 

Protect the pipes

Don’t forget to turn off all outdoor pipes and store away the hose. With below freezing temperatures, outdoor pipes can crack or even burst if left on during the winter. You’ll also want to make sure to store your hose properly too. All you have to do is drain it, coil it, and store it in a warmer area such as the garage or basement. If you forget to put away the hose, accumulated ice can create pressure in your pipes and cause some serious damage. To erase a major headache in the spring, be sure to include these simple tasks in your winter preparations.

Run fans in reverse

A great winter tip is to change the direction of your ceiling fan. By changing your ceiling fan to move in a clockwise motion (when you’re looking up at it) you will be creating an updraft. This helps the warm air that has risen to the ceiling to be pushed back down to those using the room. Don’t turn the fan up too high, a gentle and slow speed is all you need to do the trick. 

By following these simple tips, you’ll enjoy a warmer and stress-free winter.


Is your home a smart home?

 Wednesday, October 31, 2018     Marion Goard     House and Home

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Smart home technology is making big waves in the home industry. It seems as though there’s always a new home gadget to try or buy. 

If walls could talk

Many companies have released smart devices that answer questions, play music, and tell you the weather. These smart speakers are small enough to hide so they aren’t noticeable. They are so discreet that when they talk and converse it seems as though the walls are talking. Google, Amazon, and even Apple are all up on the trend. Ask for recipes, traffic updates, the weather, or even to play music on command. Just speak to your device and it will do anything for you…except maybe not the dishes.

Recharge and recharge 

Sit back, relax and recharge…your phone. Furniture is now being designed to include built-in charging pads. Just place your phone or tablet on the secret spot and, voila, it’s being charged! No more worrying about finding a plug that reaches your favourite spot on the couch. Just place the phone beside you and let the furniture work its magic. This smart technology can be found in tables, desks and even lamps.

Clean freak

One of the most dreaded home chores is vacuuming. It’s loud, clunky and time consuming but did you know you can enjoy clean, hassle free floors with an automatic vacuum cleaner? These robots can navigate around spaces that often get missed. You can even schedule them to automatically start and finish the vacuuming before you get home from work! 

Who let the dogs out?

There are many smart home technologies geared to your furry friends. Automatic treat and food dispensers can include microphones, speakers and videos that you can control from your smartphone and allow you to chat and reward your pet from anywhere.  Attach a tracker to your pet’s collar and watch their whereabouts from an interactive map on your smartphone. This is great for those pets that like to wander. Hate cleaning the litter box? With a self-cleaning litter box you no longer have to worry about this stinky chore. This box automatically rakes through the litter and stores droppings into a closed container that’s easy to remove and empty.

There is new smart home technology for all of our wildest dreams. It is easier now than ever to live smarter not harder.


Top tips for hiring a home inspector

 Monday, October 22, 2018     Marion Goard     House and Home Buying and Selling

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Just because the home you have your eye on looks perfect at a glance, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any issues that need closer inspection. By hiring a home inspector you’ll get peace of mind and a full report on the home rather than being unpleasantly surprised by any costly issues that could occur after closing.

Get Referrals

Ask friends, neighbours and family whom they’ve hired for home inspections – and don’t forget to get recommendations from your own real estate agent. Your agent has likely worked with the same inspector(s) several times and can give them a good review.

Interview the Inspector

You should interview two or three inspectors before deciding on one. Spend some time chatting with the inspector to get to know them, and get a feel for whether or not you’ll want to work with them.

Are they Insured?

While surprisingly not mandatory to have, look for an inspector that has errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. An inspector that carries this insurance is likely to have more on-the-job experience.

Hang out in the Home

An inspector shouldn’t have any issues with the future homeowners – and their agent, too – wanting to be present for the inspection. Tell the inspector that you insist on accompanying them from room to room and have them point out features – and potential issues – as the inspection occurs. Also feel free to ask questions at the same time. After all, it will be your property and the inspector is supposed to work for you!

Remember, a complete home inspection should:

  • Give you the peace of mind with your purchase
  • Reveal repairs and improvements needed before you buy
  • Provide invaluable details about every aspect of your purchased home
  • Reduce the risk of unpleasant “surprises” after closing.

It’s the home inspector’s job to check the safety of the home and focus on the structure, construction, and its mechanical system. They should point out any issues or repairs that should be done so you’re not left emotionally and possibly financially frustrated after buying your dream home.

Contact me anytime to find out how I can help you on your real estate journey! Email me at mariongoard@kw.com or call 905-335-8808.