Aug 2018 Newsleter

October 30, 2018

August 2018

4 CHEAP WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE

If you want to improve how your home shows to potential buyers, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a costly remodeling or renovation. In fact, there are some simple – and relatively inexpensive – things you can do to make your property look significantly better.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the options available:

1. Paint it.
There’s no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint will significantly improve the appearance of just about any area of your home. In fact, compared to other home improvements, painting will give you the highest return on investment when you sell your property. Think beyond the walls. Painting a door, window frame, garage floor or deck can make those features look like new.

2. Declutter it.
Eliminating clutter will make your home look more attractive, roomy and comfortable to buyers. Do an inventory of each room. Ask yourself: “What can I throw out? Give away? Sell? Put into storage?”

3. Put up mirrors.
Mirrors are a relatively inexpensive design feature. Yet, according to an article in Style At Home magazine, they can make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter. You don’t necessarily need to buy wall-hanging mirrors. Standalone floor models will have the same effect.

4. Repair it.
In most cases, you will have to get any needed repairs done anyway. So, do them before you show your home. That way buyers will focus on the appealing features of your property, not the minor defects.

Want more ideas for preparing your home for sale on a tight budget? Call today.

 

RETROFITTING HOUSES AND CONDOS FOR SENIORS

Many seniors are reaching the stage in their lives when they are choosing to downsize their homes for lifestyle or financial reasons. Other seniors are faced with a more difficult decision. Health and/or mobility concerns may require them to either retrofit their existing home to meet their changing needs, or to seek a more accommodating home. 

The decision can be difficult because many simply don’t want to move. In such cases, especially if mobility challenges are arising, wheelchair accessibility may be necessary, not just at the home’s entrance, but under counters, in bathrooms, and through doorways as well. Ramps, elevators, and stair-lifts may also need to be considered.

In addition, other small changes may need to be contemplated, such as easy-to-find and easy-to-use switches, possibly with remote or hands-free applications, as well as levers for all door handles. The addition of keyless entrances, remote control security and 24/7 monitoring devices will help put many family members at ease. However, in cases where a retrofit is cost-prohibitive, the logical option may well be to seek a bungalow or well-appointed condo that can be more easily adapted.

 

WHAT HOME INSPECTORS SEE THAT YOU CAN’T

When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.

 

Nevertheless, you might question whether you really need to invest the few hundred dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.”

However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement.

But, most people don’t have the equipment, knowledge or experience to identify all the issues a home inspector can.

A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mold. A home inspector will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code.

That’s not all.

Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components – and then report the findings to you.

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So, getting one is highly recommended – even for recently built homes.

Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a home? Call today.

 

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Kale, Apple, and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves
very thinly sliced
1 Honeycrisp apple, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
Microgreens (optional)

Directions
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in large bowl. Add kale, toss to coat and let stand 10 minutes.

Add the apple, almonds, quinoa, and Pecorino to the kale. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Garnish with microgreens.

Serves 6

 

TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT: Eastern Australia

Half a world away, the Land Down Under is a place where festivals are frequent, strange animals are common sights and the espresso stands in a class of its own. It’s a long way away, but the jet lag is worth it to explore this country full of beautiful landscapes, friendly people and wild adventures.

Don’t underestimate its size: Australia is about as big as the continental United States. Tackling Eastern Australia alone is tough to do within a limited time frame. Here are some sights you don’t want to miss:

Sydney. Tour or watch a show at the Opera House, surf at one of Sydney’s world-renowned beaches and explore The Rocks historic precinct. Sydney has something to offer every type of tourist, from the thrill seeker to the history buff. Tip: Public transportation is clean and easy to use. Get a free Opal card and reload it to use on buses, trains, and ferries.

Great Barrier Reef. Covering approximately 133,000 square miles (the size of 70 million football fields), the world’s largest living structure is a wonder you have to see to believe. Tip: For snorkelers and divers, consider an overnight trip to the reef or a “liveaboard” experience for three or more days.

Whitsunday Islands. Water so blue, sand so white and islands so green, you’ll be able to use #nofilter on every Instagram photo you snap. This is an especially good place for sailing. Tip: To save on accommodations, book lodging in Airlie Beach on the mainland and take day trips via boat out to the islands.

Most people visit Sydney between December and February, during Australia’s summer. Flights and accommodations are less expensive and the temperatures are cooler in the off-season. Though Sydney is sunny most of the year, temperatures can drop to around 45 degrees on the coldest days in July. Expect a tropical climate when you visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays, with the most chances of rainfall from December through March.

 

NOTABLE, QUOTABLE, QUOTES!

“It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.”
Jean Nidetch

“Character is like a tree, and reputation like its shadow.”
Abraham Lincoln

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
Benjamin Franklin