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Why Your Home Needs to be Staged When Selling Category: Home Improvement

White living room staged

Selling your property and getting the best return possible is all about appealing to prospective buyers. And a big part of that appeal comes from how you present your home; it’s about showcasing its potential and qualities in the best light possible, ensuring you make the right impression. 

This is where staging comes in. Professional staging will usually involve arranging furniture, decorations, and other design elements in a way that is designed to appeal to prospective buyers. Professional staging is an expense, albeit one that will often pay off in terms of increasing the sale value of your home. 

However depending on the budget, and your aims and expectations, it may be beneficial to either go the professional route, or to take a more hands on DIY approach. But no matter how you go about it, there are a wide range of benefits when it comes to staging your home for sale, which we’re going to take a look at now. 

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Should You Renovate Before Selling? Category: Home Improvement

One of the trickiest propositions for anyone selling their home is that of deciding exactly how much work, if any, they should put into renovating the property before selling. Renovations are often costly, both in terms of time and money, and therefore there is a definite risk/reward element to any considerations. 

On top of this, even minor cosmetic changes need to be thought of with the broadest audience in mind, something that’s a much more fraught process than just accounting for your own individual taste! 

Luckily, you don’t have to make that decision alone, we’re here to lend you our expert opinion with this guide on whether or not you should be renovating your property before selling, and which renovations would better serve your interests. 

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Backyard Gardening in Victoria - Showcase Your Home Category: Home Improvement

Backyard Garden

The west coast is famed for the spectacular beauty and diversity of its fauna, with some of the best gardens and forest areas in the world. But what about something a little closer to home? 

It’s true that some of the same conditions, the temperate rainforests, towering trees, and ample space, that make this area so beautiful, also pose their own unique challenges to home gardeners. Not to mention the increasingly unpredictable weather cycles and seasons! 

But ultimately it’s worth it to get that spectacular garden that can make your home feel more like a home, and provide exceptional value when it comes to the time to sell. 

So here’s our look at what you need to know to make the most of your Victoria backyard garden, and why gardens are so important to us as homeowners, and realtors!

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A Guide To Winter Planting Category: Home Improvement

Frosted yellow flower

Winter has already descended upon us, and with that comes one of the most difficult times of the year for keen gardeners. The frost, snow, and shorter days all combine to make planting and growing a daunting task. The key to a successful winter garden is to plan and prepare properly — but it’s still not too late to make the most of your garden this winter if you haven’t.

We’re going to look at some of the ways you can help cultivate a year-round garden that thrives in winter, how to make the most of the winter period to lay the foundation for the next planting season, and some of the best plants and vegetables to plant next year for a bountiful winter harvest. 

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Tips On Making Your Home More Accessible Category: Home Improvement

Whether you need to make sure you’re living in a home that can meet your mobility requirements or you’re looking to make sure your home is well-suited to your needs as you approach retirement—accessibility is going to be your number one concern. This applies to both those who are looking for a new place to live and those that want to make their current home more accessible.

To help you on both these fronts, we’re taking a look at some of the key accessibility concerns you need to look out for when looking for a new home as well as some of the things you can do right now to make your own home more accessible. 

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How To Make Your Home Appealing By Cleaning And Decluttering Category: Home Improvement

When it comes to selling your home, having a clean and tidy space can really make all the difference. Selling is all about making a positive impression, and whether consciously or unconsciously, an untidy or cluttered property may influence buyers negatively. It doesn’t take much, often it’s just a few small things and a matter of being thorough with your cleaning, and you’ll have your home dressed to impress. Below we’ve offered our own handy guide to the steps you should be taking in order to clean and declutter your home.  

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Suite-ing A Home In Victoria Category: Home Improvement

Often known as "in-law suites" or "granny suites", secondary suites have long been used to house family members in an independent space that's still close at hand. A simple one-bedroom suite can be comfortable and private accommodation for teenagers, university students, or seniors. Aside from benefiting family, secondary suites can provide additional income in the form of rentals, or be converted into a home office or business.

So how do you know if adding a suite to your property is the right move, and how do you get started?

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Open House Checklist Category: Home Improvement

Open house sign on a quiet street. Photo credit to Agover on Pixabay.

It's the right seasonyou've gotten a real estate agentyou've added some value to your home and you're ready to go and host some open houses! But hold on — while open houses are a great tool for showcasing properties, there are some standard steps to follow to make sure that your property is looking its best... and that your belongings remain secure.

In this post I'll be going over a checklist of items that most homeowners will want to follow before hosting an open house. Work together with your real estate agent to complete them and you should have a fantastic event.

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Septic Tanks 101: Maintenance & Repair Category: Home Improvement

Schematic of a standard septic tank. Credit to Tilley, E., Ulrich, L., Lüthi, C., Reymond, Ph., and Zurbrügg, C.

Safe disposal of human waste is a concern of any town or city. Wastewater can contain dangerous pathogens like bacteria and viruses (such as hepatitis, salmonella, E. coli, and cholera), and elements like nitrogen and phosphates which can harm wildlife and local water quality.

Municipal sewer systems and water treatment facilities have a number of ways to counteract these dangers, but what about houses that are off the sewage grid? In the Greater Victoria area, houses without sewer service typically have a septic tank system on their property — which the homeowners are responsible for.

In this post I'll be going over the general workings of a septic tank system, and what you as a homeowner might need to know to keep your tank safe and maintained.

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The Bones Of A House: What Makes A Good Home Category: Home Improvement

The wood frame of a house under construction. Credit to Jaksmata on Wikimedia.

As one of the biggest investments one can make in a lifetime, homeowners want and expect their homes to last a long time. But not all buildings — or building materials — are made equal.

Homes of a certain age in BC are more prone to some issues than others. Condos built in the 1990s often have leaking issues, while those built in the 70s can have poor plumbing and elevators. Homes built from the 1960s all the way up until the early 90s can contain harmful asbestos. Buildings constructed prior to the 1950s, the start of official building codes, can have everything from poor foundations to faulty wiring.

Everything is fixable for a price, but many home buyers may not have the budget to replace or upgrade the core "bones" of a house. I'll be reviewing some of the warning signs to watch out for when touring a home, as well as what kind of systems and materials are preferred.

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