Seasonal Sunlight Patterns

You may not notice it immediately, but the sun’s path across the sky begins to shorten everyday, in terms of both height and duration. As a result, your home’s exposure to daylight will not only diminish slowly until winter, but the trajectory of direct sunlight into your home will also change, as the angle of the sun changes almost imperceptibly from day to day.

This is a golden opportunity to make note of how sunlight strikes your home’s interior and exterior garden or balcony, so you can compare it to the lighting in the coming seasons. This can help you decide where to place various furnishings, plants and decor to make the most of your living spaces.

For example, drapery can help suppress sunlight exposure in the summer, while interior mirrors can help maximize it in the winter. Tracking and adjusting your space for sunlight year-round could help you save energy by reducing your need for air conditioning, heating, and/or lighting.

Furthermore, you could help prevent fabric-covered furnishings, carpets and hanging artwork from fading over time simply by rearranging them twice a year.

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How to Get Front-of-the-Line Access to Desirable Homes for Sale.

Click Here to Join the Club and Become a Nosey Neighbour

As you’ve probably noticed, credit card companies regularly offer bonuses to get you to apply for their cards. For example, one such card company offers opportunities to buy tickets to concerts and other events ahead of everyone else. It’s their “front of the line” service.

When you’re searching for a new home, wouldn’t it be great if you could get to the front of the line on desirable properties – before other buyers get the chance?

Well, in a way, you can.

The first thing you need to do is create a profile for the specific type of home you’re looking to buy. That profile will need to include the basics, such as type of home (e.g. detached), size and rooms (e.g. 2000-2,500 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths), and your target neighbourhoods. You’ll also want to add any additional features you’re looking for, such as a finished basement or in-ground pool.

Next, you want to work with a real estate agent like me who understands the local market and can arrange for you to receive immediate alerts for newly listed homes that meet your criteria. It’s not uncommon for homes to become available for sale before the listing information gets published on the MLS. In fact, in some circumstances, it could take a couple of days before such listings become available online.

So, if you get an alert soon after a listing comes on the market, you get a head-start on seeing that home and making an offer. And, you don’t need to apply for a special credit card to make that happen!

Just give me a call. I can help you find the right home for you.

(416) 779-8732

Click Here to Join the Club and Become a Nosey Neighbour

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The Psychology of Choosing House Paint.

Whether you’re painting your home to prepare it for sale, or simply to make it more attractive for your own enjoyment, choosing the right colour is important. A colour isn’t just a matter of taste, it’s also, to a large extent, about the emotions it elicits.

If you’re painting your foyer, for example, you may want it to seem bright and welcoming. So, light orange tones might be appropriate as that colour is often interpreted as friendly.

In your living room, you may want to create an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. In that case, consider shades of greens or grays as those colours communicate peacefulness and calm. Want the rec room to look vibrant and energetic? Purples and reds communicate those emotions.

Where do you find more information about colour psychology? There are plenty of charts available online. Just Google “colour psychology charts”. They can help you select just the right colour to convey the feeling you want for a room. Of course, if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with soft beiges, especially when selling your home. Neutral colours are often interpreted as reliable.

Have questions about painting and other fix-ups that will help sell your home faster and for the best price? Call me today. (416) 779-8732

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Home Office Considerations

Today’s portable technology has created a “work from anywhere” mentality, which has made a home office seem unnecessary to aspiring business people and serious students. But health and efficiency experts agree that people who want to be most effective while working from home should consider how their environment can influence productivity. That’s why setting up a designated workspace is so essential.

For example, avoiding family traffic areas is a must. If you can’t dedicate a room as an office, at least create a space you can isolate, even if it means simply converting a sizable closet into an alcove with a small desk.

Maintaining a functional workspace is also important. Ensure you have good lighting, an adequately clear desktop, an ergonomic chair, and handy storage for files and support materials. Once you have the essentials, spend a little time embellishing your area with creature comforts that help you relax, such as photos of loved ones, a vacation postcard, art and amusement pieces.

If you have a big enough space and budget, consider an invigorating colour scheme, and functional furnishings such as an adjustable-height desk that lets you sit or stand, a meeting table, and a guest chair or lounger that complements your décor.

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Storage Tips for Your Garage

Whether you are sprucing up your property for resale, or simply making the most of your real estate space, organizing a garage area can be a surprisingly simple way to add to a home’s appeal or functionality. Like any room in the house, the most effective makeover starts with removing clutter and getting organized.

First, determine the minimum floor area necessary to access your vehicle(s) and power equipment. This will allow you to determine the space available for a work bench, boot rack, tool shelving, storage bins or cabinets.

Next, look for underutilized wall space to install pegboards and broom holders, as well as overhead space for hanging bicycles, rafter racks for scrap lumber or paneling, or suspended netting for lighter items such as tarps, patio cushions, rain gear and sporting goods. If you have exposed stud walls, you can install horizontal blocks to create storage ledges between the verticals.

Alternatively, you can span the stud gaps with cable or wood strips and stand taller objects between them. You can also nail empty plastic jar lids (top side up) to the underside of any accessible ledge, cabinet or shelf, then twist the clear jars on for storing loose screws, nails and various hardware accessories.

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Retiring? You Have Choices!

As the bulk of the baby-boomers enter their senior years, many will be close to outright ownership of their homes. This could provide them with an opportunity to free up funds or provide equity to pursue personal interests.

One such pursuit might be to modernize their home and make it more functional and convenient, either to enhance its resale value before downsizing, or to accommodate life changes such as mobility challenges in later years. For example, a stair-lift installation and wheelchair access at doorways and under countertops can extend the duration of independent living for seniors who want to remain at home as they become more elderly.

Another interest might be to maintain ownership of the family home for the next generation. In such cases, if the residence is large enough, creating a separate living quarter could provide an economical solution for both the older and younger family members. Creating what is often referred to as a “granny flat”, typically requires municipal approval, although some municipalities tend to be flexible when it comes to accommodating family members.

Of course, downsizing remains the logical choice for many retirees who are ready to make a lifestyle change that reduces their living space.

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Small Condo Projects Can Make a Big Difference

One of the many pleasures of being a condo owner is having the freedom to evolve your home environment to reflect your changing lifestyle. While sometimes this entails a large makeover project, don’t underestimate how gratifying a simple project can be as you move toward a more comfortable unit.

For example, you don’t need to repaint an entire room to change its overall appearance. Simply adding a contrasting colour to its wood trim can create a significant visual impact. You might also want to consider installing removable wallpaper on a wall opposite a room’s doorway to create a dramatic focal point or adding a complementary colour on the back of a
bookshelf or hutch to add interest.

Another visually impressive “quick fix” could include painting the panels of your kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts, as well as changing the hinges, handles and pulls.

Finally, installing a ceiling fan with an overhead light can change the look of any room, as well as make it more comfortable and energy efficient.

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DIY-Friendly Bathroom Makeovers

Want to make your bathroom look fantastic without having to do a major renovation? There are a lot of projects you can do yourself. In fact, there are some improvements you can get done in less than a day that will transform the look and feel of your bathroom.

Check out these ideas:

• Update the sink. If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a project you should be able to do on your own. A new sink can make the entire vanity look like new.

• Make new decor. New shower curtains, towels, window coverings, mats, etc. can transform the look of a bathroom.

• Install new hardware. Replacing cabinet hardware may not seem like much of a change. However, it can have a surprisingly big impact. Shiny new hardware is like jewelry. It stands out.

• Replace the vanity mirror. Even if there are no scratches, an older mirror is like an old pair of glasses. It can become foggy. No amount of cleaning will make it any clearer. When ordering a replacement mirror, be sure that your measurements are exact.

• Paint. There’s no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint makes any room look better.

These bathroom improvement projects can make a huge impact on the look of your bathroom. And, they can all be done affordably and in just a day or two.

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Condo Security and Personal Privacy

There’s a fine line between protecting the security of a condo building and respecting the privacy of its residents in common spaces such as parking areas, lobbies and hallways. While local laws may specify what is permissible, your condo corporation – and possibly your fellow owners – may expect or even demand more stringent security levels. In most cases, privacy concerns revolve around the placement of camera surveillance, but the actual collection, storage and access to data may also be a significant source of condo owners’ privacy issues.

As an owner, you should know your building’s policies, as well as your local laws and individual rights with respect to privacy. You should determine whether your personal activities, such as your comings and goings, are being monitored and/or stored. Once you are aware of the difference between what is required by law and what your board deems to be critical to safety and security, you will be in a better position to understand the rationale behind such choices. If those choices seem unreasonable, bring any concerns to your board and initiate further evaluation of such policies and their implementation, as well as potential compromises.

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Stay or Move? 5 Questions that Help you Decide

It can be tough to make the decision to sell. In fact, for many homeowners, it’s overwhelming. If you’re considering making a move and struggling with the decision, here are five helpful questions to ask yourselves:

  1. “What are our practical reasons for selling?”
    This question refers to what you’ll get by moving to a new home. The reasons could include a bigger backyard, shorter commute to work, an extra bedroom, a more desirable neighbourhood, etc.
  2. “What are our emotional reasons for selling?”
    This question refers to how you’ll feel about living in a new home. For example, you might feel safer, less cramped, less worried (because the local schools are better), or happier (because the shorter commute means more time with your family.)
  3. “What type of new home can we afford?”
    This question involves finding out how much you’ll likely get when you sell your existing home and how much of a mortgage you qualify to receive. With that information, you’ll have a price range within which you can comfortably shop plus a clear idea of what your mortgage payments will be.
  4. “In what ways will our lifestyle be better in a new home?” This ties in closely with emotional reasons for selling. It relates to what your life will be like in a new home. Try to paint a picture in your mind. For example, you might want to be able to spend Saturday afternoons relaxing in your bigger backyard or Sunday nights entertaining friends and family in your larger living room.
  5. “What else do we need to know before we decide to sell and move?”
    Sometimes people are hesitant about selling simply because they have unanswered questions. So, if there’s any part of the selling and buying process that’s not clear, be sure to ask me.

Did thinking about these questions help make the decision easier? If you need more help or want to talk about your decision, call today! (416) 779-8732.

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