How Landscaping Can Help Sell Your Home

Posted: July 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Selling Home | Tags: , | No Comments »

Ladnscaping If you are planning to put your home on the market, you probably have begun to make a list of repairs and renovations to make before it’s ready to be shown to home-buying hopefuls. Proper maintenance and freshening up the inside of your home are quality investments to make but it is the curb appeal that you should direct a significant portion of your efforts to.

Studies show that a well-maintained yard can increase your home’s value by ten percent. With the help of home and garden experts, we have compiled some simple tips on how to give potential buyers incentive to step inside your house and make you an offer.
Mulch, mulch, mulch – If you neglect any other ideas for sprucing up your yard, at least spread a fresh coat of mulch to your property! A renewed layer of mulch alone exudes attractiveness and enhances the look of your landscape. No flower beds are complete without the brilliant color of mulch!

Prune overgrown shrubbery – Grab your pruning shears or clippers and give the overgrown brush a haircut. Prospective home buyers are less apt to explore your house if the landscape appears neglected, despite how gorgeous the space looks inside. You’ll be surprised what a little snipping can do for your curb appeal.

Pops of color – A flat of seasonal annuals are relatively inexpensive and will really add the missing piece to your property puzzle. Regardless of the season, there are various flowers and plants you can purchase to give your beds a little something extra. This is also a great time to add some potted displays or hanging baskets. These additions make great entrance and exit focal pieces.

If you follow through with these small but effective maintenance tips, you can be sure your home won’t be on the market too long. If you have any other tips for sprucing up your curb appeal, let us know in the comments below!

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Tips for Helping a Child Deal with Moving

Posted: June 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Moving Tips | Tags: , | No Comments »

MovingMoving from one place to another is an adjustment for young and old alike. If you’re the parent or guardian of a child, there are some things you can do to help your child cope with “the move.”

Before moving, take time to tour the old neighborhood, take some photos, and perhaps have a “going away” party. Ask children about their favorite memories that happened there. Explain to them the reasons for moving to a new place, and how it’s going to be an “adventure” where they’ll have a new bedroom to decorate, a new school and new friends. Assure them that they can still keep their old friends, too, and that you’ll make an effort to visit the old friends (or have them visit you).

Empower the child so he or she feels “part of the move,” making some decisions, which could be, for instance, the color of their new bedroom walls or choosing the house they like best—as long as you agree and can afford it!

Involve the child in the move, giving them work to do like packing boxes or making snacks for moving day. Decide to make a “special suitcase” of all their favorite things, so they have something to cling to on the trip to the new place, as well as while they’re settling into the new home. Things like their favorite stuffed animal or toy should go in the “special suitcase.”
Once at the new home, the first day or two can be treated like a camping trip—you may not have exactly everything when and where you want it, so make it fun for the kids, playing an indoor game of hide-and-seek among the boxes, or sleeping together in one room on the floor the first night. Since moving day will be stressful, try and take some time to just chill out (take a break), and perhaps walk or drive to a nearby restaurant or park for an hour or two to avoid being overwhelmed.
Moving has a way of disrupting a child’s daily routine. Do your best, as the parent or guardian, to maintain some sort of routine during the moving process, such as reading your child a favorite book right before bedtime.

Remember, children notice (and mimic) how adults look and feel about things—if you embrace the move with a positive, adventurous attitude, they will too.

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Three qualities of a successful real estate agent

Posted: June 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Edmonton Real Estate | Tags: , | No Comments »

Fortunately, for the homebuyer, finding a real estate agent isn’t too difficult. However finding a successful real estate agent who’s the one for you can be a bit more challenging. In a sea full of mediocre agents, how can you pick out the successful one? The one who will help you find your dream home?

Well, you’re in luck because we’re going to overview three of the many qualities that make a successful real estate agent. And we suggest you use this list the next time you’re searching for a professional to help you sell or buy a home!

Passion is one of the leading qualities in a successful real estate agent. And not just passion for selling homes. A successful agent must also be passionate about their career, meeting people, networking, and working their hardest to place their clients in the homes that best fits their wants, needs, and budget. This passion will show through with customer service, as well as going the extra mile for their clients to ensure a seamless home buying/selling process.

Not only is it important for a real estate agent to be knowledgeable about the market, but a successful agent will be up on the latest technology and have intimate knowledge of the neighborhoods they service. Whether this means being able to navigate the Internet to scour for new homes, or network with other agents to find the perfect homes, the most successful real estate agent will keep up with the latest information.

Timely Responses
There’s nothing worse than someone, including a real estate agent, who takes days to get back to you. That’s why it’s important for a real estate agent to respond to text messages, phone calls and emails IMMEDIATELY. While there are some exceptions (like extremely late night contacts), the most successful real estate agents will make sure they get back to their clients, and even potential clients in a timely manner.

There you have it, three qualities of a successful real estate agent. If you have other qualities you’d like to share, leave them in the comments below!

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Should I purchase a Home Warranty?

Posted: May 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

“Should I purchase a home warranty?” It’s a question that’s bound to come up in the process of purchasing a home. If you’re the type of person who always purchases “the warranty” on things you buy, then it’s a no-brainer—of course you will purchase a home warranty. And if you’re the opposite type of person, you won’t. Then there are those in the middle of this debate, weighing their options.

A home warranty is not a bad thing to have because it generally includes “basic coverage” of many things in your new place that could have problems weeks or months after you move in. For instance, most home warranties cover plumbing, electrical, and heating systems, as well as the big appliances like refrigerators and ovens. For the reasonable price of a home warranty, you get “peace of mind,” for those “just in case” times when something major breaks or has “issues.”

Think of it this way: you move into a new place, and while it was successfully inspected, something bad arises four months later, like a plumbing issue where there’s a leak that needs fixing. It’s times like those when people who didn’t purchase the home warranty kick themselves. It boils down to money, really. For a small investment, should something go wrong, you, the homeowner with the warranty, won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get it fixed.

Home warranties don’t cover “everything.” For instance, the washer and dryer that came with the house might just be old and need to be replaced—using your own cash or credit card. The idea behind the home warranty is to cover major issues when major aspects of the home fail shortly after you move in. The warranty is meant to protect you from unforeseen expenses due to something you didn’t clearly know about some aspect of the house that surprised you after you got the keys and got settled in.

For a couple hundred dollars, it makes sense (or should that be cents) to purchase a home warranty to cover potential repairs and/or replacements needed “just in case.”

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Decorating Your New Home on a Budget

Posted: May 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Home Improvement | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Whether you’re moving into your first home, upgrading from a starter home, or just redecorating, you know how expensive it can be to decorate multiple rooms. However, there are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when shopping and picking out your new furniture and décor.

The most important aspect of decorating your home is to set a budget. Know how much money you want and/or have to spend. This will keep you from buying things you can’t afford, and it will help you prioritize what your home needs most.

Paint is generally going to be the least expensive part of redecorating, but it can also have the greatest impact on the look and feel of a room. For this reason, you should choose the color of your rooms first. Keep in mind that neutral wall colors make it easier to find pieces that will work well in your home. Neutral colors also make it fun to find accent pieces for your room. In our opinion, accent pieces are what really make a room!

After you’ve chosen the paint, find the “big” pieces for your room. For the living room, start with the couch or couches, and for your bedroom, find your bed and/or bedroom set first.

For more helpful tips for decorating your new home on a budget, check out the infographic below:

Big Home Changes on a Budget

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

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Things to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Posted: April 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

How Not to Sell Your HomeBuying a house is typically one of the biggest purchases—if not the biggest—in a person’s life. When they go to the store to pick out small items, they don’t care so much about the details—but when they shop around for the place where they’ll spend their time eating, sleeping, entertaining and living life to the fullest, you better believe they’re going to have their eyes wide open and take in everything.

When selling your home, there are several things you can do to deter potential buyers, starting with first impressions. For example, if potential buyers pull up to a messy yard, complete with overgrown grass and weeds, it signals to them that taking care of your home was not at the top of your priority list.

Next, a home that looks like it’s decorated and arranged for a family in the 1950’s is not going to attract buyer’s interest.  Whether the walls need a new paintjob, or the seller needs to get rid of a carpet that was popular during the disco era, failing to endeavor in projects that modernize your home could deter prospective buyers.

Additionally, when showing your home to potential buyers, it may be wise to drop off the dog at a relative or friend’s house, or have your pet stay out back.  A barking dog can be distracting to those viewing your home, and if they are not pet people, they may be worry about the scents a home with a pet may have.

Also, remember to take care of normal household chores before they arrive.  An overflowing garbage, a plethora of dirty dishes, dusty furniture and other unkempt rooms could all be a major turn off.  Remember, a first impression leaves a lasting impression, and it’s vital to have your house looking like it would if the Prime Minister was coming for an official visit.

Lastly, it’s important to create space, so that homeowners can envision “their TV here, their antique furniture piece in that corner etc. etc.”  Every homeowner seeks additional space, and “hiding” some of your excess items can help you leave a strong impression on buyers.

Of course, working with a realtor will ensure your selling process is not set up for failure. If you are selling a home in Edmonton, feel free to contact reputable realtor Alexis Hlady with any questions you may have.

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Why You Should Buy Rather than Rent

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Edmonton Real Estate | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Rent vs. buyIf you think you’re going to live somewhere for several years, and you want to “settle down,” it makes sense to buy rather than rent. In larger cities, especially, it’s cheaper (by 10 – 35%) to buy than rent.

When you rent a place, you’re spending money that you won’t get back. If rent is $1,000 a month, that’s $12,000 you’re saying goodbye to in one year. If you buy a place, though, you can pay a mortgage toward owning it, and should you stay there a long time, eventually you’ll own the place. Then, if you choose, you can re-sell it, and, if the market conditions and neighborhood are “good,” you can potentially make a profit. A $100,000 home today could be worth $200,000 in ten years. Is it a bit of a gamble? Yes. But it’s better to own something and possibly make money selling it later on, than to just spend, spend, spend for rent, only to have to leave eventually and be forced to find another place to live.

Consider this: you rent an apartment for $1,000 a month and stay there ten years of your life: you’ve spent $120,000. Wouldn’t it make sense to have bought a place instead? Yes.

If a city has extremely expensive houses for sale and fairly cheap-but-nice apartments for rent, then consider renting a place. This, however, is the exception in most places. Generally, rents are quite high in most places, making it cheaper to buy.

Realtor Alexis Hlady can answer any questions you have about buying versus renting in the Greater Edmonton area. Call her today at 780-483-4848 to discuss your real estate needs.

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Avoid Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agent in Edmonton

Posted: March 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Edmonton Real Estate | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Selecting the right realtor Choosing a realtor is like choosing someone to date. You will spend a lot of time on the phone, emailing, and in-person with them. It won’t be a romantic relationship, but it will involve trust, kindness, respect and other elements of a dating relationship.

It can be hard finding the right realtor, just like it can be difficult to find a true friend or romantic relationship. Mistakes can be made in the process.

For those of you who are thinking of buying or selling a home, there are some things to avoid when choosing a realtor to work with.

First, part-timers aren’t usually as good as full-timers. It’s not their fault—they just don’t have their head in the game 24-7-365 like full-timers do. Would you want to go on a cruise ship with a captain who only commandeers ships ten days out of the year versus one who is at the job 300? Exactly—and the same goes for real estate agents. Full-timers live and breathe what they do. Part timers don’t.

Next, you need a realtor who’s willing to give you tough love rather than be your enabler. You may think your place is worth $100,000, but the realtor might say it’ll sell for $75,000. Sure, you could go with the realtor who’s willing to list at the price you insist on, but you’d be smarter to go with the realtor who will look at the comparable places in the neighborhood, and based on their professional judgment of the market, “tell you like it is.”

Maybe there’s a realtor’s name seemingly on every other real estate sign you see in town. Your first thought is to go with them because they’re ubiquitous. Think again—to them you may just be a little fish in their big ocean. You may be handed off to a sub-agent. Your property may not get the attention you’d like it to, because the “big name realtor” is dealing with too many clients.

Finally, the best advice in choosing the right realtor to work with is this: he or she needs to actually care about you and your property. If you’re just a commission to them, that’s not good. If you can connect on a personal level, whereas the realtor has your best interests at heart, they seem committed and confident in being able to assist you, and they truly care about you, then he or she should be your realtor.

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The Importance of Working with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Posted: March 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Edmonton, Edmonton Real Estate | Tags: , , | No Comments »

If you had a Mercedes, who would you rather have valet park it— a 16-year-old teen who just got his driver’s license or an experienced driver some twenty years older? When it comes to things we cherish most in life, we want the peace-of-mind that comes from working with people who have experience dealing with the things we have to deal with.

Buying and selling homes is not child’s play. It takes an experienced real estate agent to know the ins-and-outs of the business to help you make wise decisions that are in your best interest. Ideally, you want to feel comfortable with the agent you work with, as they’re acting on your behalf in many ways, helping find the “right” property for you and negotiating the price and dealing with the mountains of paperwork involved.

Imagine you’re working with a brand new agent, and they show you one built house for $100,000 as-is, and then take you to see a furnished model of a house that is to be built in the future by a local builder. You think the un-built house’s price is about $130,000, but you—and your agent—don’t realize that’s the base price. You’re seeing lots of amenities in the model home that makes “that version” about $200,000. In your head, though, you keep thinking, “What a deal!”

An experienced real estate agent would know not to play mind games with your head—he or she would not show you a palace you couldn’t afford only to take you to a less attractive, cheaper place you can afford where you’d be like, “I guess this is okay. It’s not as nice as that other one.”

Experienced sales agents are excellent at guiding your buying/selling process so that you avoid disheartening experiences as much as possible. Their job is to steer you in the right direction for your budget and specific interests, making it a less stressful experience overall.

In Edmonton, Alexis Hlady is an experienced real estate agent you can trust to help you when buying or selling a home. Her many years of experience come in handy when dealing with real estate transactions in Edmonton and surrounding communities.

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The Nuances of a Home Inspection

Posted: February 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Home Inspections | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Information about a Home InspectionBuying a house is one of life’s most important investments, and with that in mind it’s smart to have a home inspection done by a professional so you know what you’re “getting into.” If, for instance, a home inspector finds a major problem with a home’s furnace or pipes or roof, this is valuable information to help you determine whether or not to proceed with the purchase.

No property is perfect. However, some are better than others, and as a potential home buyer, you need to figure out in your own mind what you’re willing to deal with versus what could be a deal breaker. Oftentimes, after a home gets inspected, the current owner of the house will agree to fix up/replace/improve problems before you take ownership of the house—and that’s a good thing.

Inspectors look for problems such as pests in the walls, leaky roofs and cracks in the ceilings and foundation. Paying an inspector is worth the money, because it’s better to spend a couple hundred dollars to find out a home’s “secrets,” rather than buy it outright for a couple hundred thousand (without an inspection) and then discover costly repairs are needed.

Homes need to pass some basic tests (for lead, smoke detectors, etc.) in order to be legally sold, but the true test to pass is with you—the buyer. Once you know what needs improvement or replacing, you can negotiate with the seller to see if he or she will contribute to or complete the needed repairs. Should the repairs be too costly for the seller and you, then you always have the option to walk away from the deal and let that house be someone else’s headache.

Connect with real estate associate Alexis Hlady when you’re thinking of buying real estate/property in and around Edmonton—she can help you figure out the inspection process and if/how it’s possible to get out of a deal should repairs be too expensive.

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