Home safety is more than locked doors and alarms

November 19, 2012 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Local St. John's and Tips for Selling your Home · Comments Off 

When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.

One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your  home doesn’t need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent  to burglars. Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force  their way into your home.

Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery like a  cedar hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit. Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the  back door.

Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as  soon as they see a light turn on.

Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar finds the box, he still won’t be able to open it and access the key.

Staging your St. John’s Home – The catch phrase for 2011

January 4, 2011 · Filed Under Home Staging and Tips for Selling your Home · Comments Off 

The word de-clutter is now a thing of the past. “Home Staging” is a thing of the future. It seems that every time you turn around people are talking about staging when the time comes to sell their home in St. John’s.  Of course staging your home requires you to de-clutter so you will not get away with piling everything in the closet.

If you haven’t heard of “staging”, it’s a fairly straightforward concept. It simply involves cleaning, organizing and decorating your home in such a way as to make it look its best for potential buyers.
One of the most difficult rooms to stage is the kitchen because it’s one of the most used. It’s not like you can set it up to look nice for tours and then never go in it! Yet, an effectively staged kitchen can help sell your home because it’s the room that buyers often scrutinize and remember most.

Here are some basic kitchen staging tips:

  • Be relentless when de-cluttering your kitchen. Stow or get rid of any unnecessary items.
  • Clear the countertops. Leave no more than two appliances in view. This will give the impression that there’s lots of surface space available
  • Make sure the sink shines. If regular cleaners don’t work, there are a number of specialty products available for cleaning sinks of all kinds, including stainless steel.
  • Consider making upgrades. This could be as simple as replacing cabinetry hardware to as involved as installing a new countertop. Your decision to make upgrades depends on the age and condition of your kitchen.
  • Paint and stain. One of the most affordable improvements you can make to the kitchen is painting.  A new coat of stain or other finish can make older, worn cabinets look like new.
  • Fresh flowers in a vase brighten up any room, especially the kitchen.
  • Make it double-duty. Not enough space for a kitchen table? If there’s room, put in a small table with a couple of stools. Buyers like to see that there’s at least the option to eat-in.

Need more tips on making your home show well, so it sells faster and for the price you want? Call us today and we will gladly be of assistance.

Protect, Maintain and Enhance the value of your home with HouseLogic

February 19, 2010 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Home Maintenance, Real Estate Articles and Tips for Selling your Home · Comments Off 

Interested in ways to seal air leaks around the house to lower your heating bill?  How about saving energy with home lighting?  Planning on redoing the kitchen or bathroom?  Enter HouseLogic, a comprehensive website aimed to assist you in 100’s of home remodeling, energy saving tips.  Best of all….it’s FREE!

Earlier this week, the National Association of REALTORS (American version of CREA) launched a new website, entitled HouseLogic.  This web site is designed to help home owners make smart decisions to maintain, protect, and increase the value of their homes. HouseLogic will help consumers take responsible actions pertaining to what is likely the largest investment of their lives.

With content covering home improvement, maintenance, taxes, finance, insurance, and even ways you can get involved in and enrich your community, HouseLogic can help you increase and protect the value of your home by helping you make confident decisions.  (remember this is an American site so the taxes and finances, insurance may not be applicable here in Canada)

Create to-do lists, and set project reminders, get costs estimates on various renos and home improvements (in USD). A very informative website that has it all.  Be sure to check it out.

4 Simple Ways to make your home irressistible

February 8, 2010 · Filed Under Home Maintenance and Tips for Selling your Home · Comments Off 

There are dozens of ways to make your property more enticing to potential buyers.  For example, you can invest in  getting your home professionally “staged”, which involves making it look a little like a model home.  Or, you can do a major renovation to improve your home‘s look and value.

But what if you don’t have a lot of time and are on a limited budget? What can you do today to make your home irresistible to buyers tomorrow?  Here are some ideas:

1. Paint
It doesn’t cost much to paint key areas of your home, like the foyer, kitchen or master bedroom.  Yet the impression it makes on buyers is significant. In fact, compared to most other types of home improvement projects, painting gives you the highest payback when you sell.

2. Create space
Homes naturally get cluttered over the years.  Even a double car garage can seem claustrophobic if there are a lot of boxes, equipment and other items stored in it.  Go through each room of your home and do a major decluttering.  It will  make your property seem more attractive and, when you sell, make moving easier too!

3. Clean and tidy
Obviously, you’re going to make sure your home is clean for viewings. But you’d be surprised what a homeowner can miss and a buyer notices. Closets, laundry rooms, side yard, basement furnace room and all other nooks and crannies should be as tidy and clean as possible.

4. Roll out the red carpet
Not an actual red carpet! But you do want the entrance way to your front door and into the foyer to make the best impression possible.  After all, those are the areas that a buyer sees first. Make sure walkways are clear and clean. Ensure that when a buyer opens the front door and walks in, the impression he or she gets is that of a great looking place to live.

These four tips don’t take much time or money to implement. Yet, they can all help make your home even more irresistible to buyers than it is today.

Want more tips on preparing your home for sale?  Curious to know the value of your home? Contact Fraser and Stephen Winters today for a FREE home market evaluation.