Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Staging the Kitchen

We all know that kitchens and bathroom sell houses; in the same breath, what can you do in the kitchen? You can't move the appliances around.
 

The kitchen is the heart of family activity. The kitchen is not just used to prepare and eat meals, it is used for phone calls, planning dally life and family conversation. All this activity can create clutter. Buyers want to see a clean, well-organized and updated space. Think of the kitchen as the focal point of the whole house; it’s the most widely viewed used room in your house, and it’s the most expensive room to update. Buyers would rather pay more for a house with an updated kitchen so it’s not an out of pocket expense. Kitchen remodels get you the highest return on your investment than any other room.

When preparing the kitchen you need to scout out your competition. You want to look at the floors, appliances, lighting, countertops and the feeling you get in the competitions kitchen. You need to know what you’re up against!
 
Kitchens tend to displays a lot of personal items; take all your magnets and photos off the fridge. These items distract the buyer. Instead of them envisioning living in the space, they are learning about your life. Clear your counter tops, put away your coffee pot, toaster and all other appliances. This will make the space look bigger, with lots of counter space.
 
One of the cheapest upgrade you can do in the kitchen is updating the paint. If you have wall paper, stenciling, or outdated color, painting is a great way to refresh the space. A light, neutral paint is the most successful when staging.
 
Refinishing cabinets is a budget friendly way to give new life to your dated kitchen. Replace your faucet with something that is in trend as well as the hardware. Big box hardware stores have many options to suit any budget.
 
Addressing the counter top- if it has stains, burns or is just dated, there are lots of options to update, depending on budget. Granite is the president but not so budget friendly; to achieve the same look, you can install large tiles with narrow grout lines.
 
Formica is a great cost effective choice to update your counter tops. Formica comes in a huge selection of textures and colors. Choose a neutral color and style that will be in trend for a few years.
 
Current floor is at the top of the list of what buyer’s want, updating flooring is another costly item in your staging budget. Spending the money to update your floors before listing will prevent buyers from chipping away at your asking price.
 
Hardwood flooring can be resurfaced, if it’s still in good condition. Resurfacing is a cheaper alternative than replacing the flooring. If you have vinyl that is dated or worn, replace it. Today vinyl comes in lots of options and does a marvelous job to refresh the space
 
All your hard work will pay off when offers start rolling in!
 
- Courtesy of Elysse Bulloch of Simply Stylish Staging
 
 
 
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Royal LePage Shelter Foundation 2011 Donations Set a New Record

A contribution from every sale I makes goes towards the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and I am proud to be on the top 10% donor list for 2011.  It is amazing to see that so many names comprise the donors list showing how many people contributed to set the new record.
 
April 5, 2012 – The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is thrilled to announce its fundraising results for 2011: a record-setting $2 million was raised to support women’s shelters and to help stop family violence in Canada. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company with its own charity, empowering sales representatives to make a tangible difference in their local community and across the country. Now in its 14th year, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation supports 200 shelters across Canada, helping more than 30,000 women and children every year. It's also committed to funding violence prevention and education programs for youth.

Since its inception, the Shelter Foundation has raised more than $14 million with the support of generous Royal LePage agents, brokers, managers and staff, along with members of the communities in which they live and work and local and national sponsors. Since Royal LePage covers the administrative costs of the Shelter Foundation, 100% of the funds raised goes toward the cause.
 
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

School Changes

Today parents of children that attend Tuscany School received an important notice regarding the designation of schools for future enrollment as Tuscany School has reached capacity.  Future enrollment may see some Tuscany children enrolling in W.O. Mitchell in Silver Springs.
 
A few months ago Royal Oak Elementary managed the same challenge in a different way by instituting a lottery system to determine enrollment.
 
Parents often ask me about schools, designations and areas and with so many changes in our growing communities it is unexpected when some change are announced. Most recently prior to this, the designated areas for NW High School were announced differently than the previously published designations.
 
If you have strong feelings about which school your child will attend, please consult the Calgary Board of Education website at www.cbe.ab.ca or contact the area offices for detailed information about your school options. The CBE website also provides the future capital plan, enrollment surveys and more. We are looking forward to hearing when the next phase of schools for development will be announced as per the capital plan. More Information.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Calgary Market Update - April 3, 2012

Spring is here and so is the start of a brisk season in the real estate market in Calgary.
 
City of Calgary residential sales continued to rise in March 2012, reaching 2,167 units, an increase of 12.6 per cent over last March. Single family home sales are now in a balanced market while condos still remain in a buyer's market.
 
Buyers generally are finding that well presented, appropriately priced homes are selling quickly and there are more multiple offer situations.  Sales and price increases are reported on average across the city, but there is significant variation between communities and property types as always.
 
As some people have been waiting for the market to turn before they list their home, the balance of new supply and buyer demand will create an ebb and flow over the coming months. It is important for sellers to review the comparable sales in their area, to price appropriately and to present their homes as best as they can to achieve a higher sales figure. Buyers quickly see the difference between homes priced to market and those 'testing the market'.
 
As more sellers are reviewing multiple offers, it is essential for both to be prepared. Getting paperwork, financing, condo documents, RPR's and other information ready to go will set you up for a successful transaction.
 

Notable numbers from the CREB press release:
Single family homes continue to record strong activity, with sales increasing by 10.3 per cent at the end of the first quarter. Meanwhile, quarter totals for listings of single-family homes remain 8.3 per cent lower, resulting in a tightening of supply. The benchmark price reached $433,500, while the MLS® Home Price Index points towards a price growth of 3.6 per cent compared to last year.
 
The apartment condominium market continues to exhibit lower sales, with 782 sales recorded in the first quarter of 2012, a decline of 2.1 per cent compared to last year. However, March sales activity did post a 7.2 per cent gain over last year and is closer in line with typical March sales in this sector. New listings recorded a year-over-year improvement of 9.1 per cent for the month of March, but still remain 2.3 per cent lower than last year at the end of the first quarter. Despite the monthly rise in new listings, inventories continue to decline. Overall market conditions continue to favour the buyer.

As always, feel free to give me a call with any questions or comments.
 
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Listing - 423 19 ave SW, Update: SOLD

This amazing home attracted so much attention when it was listed that I didn't even have a chance to post it before someone fell in love.
 
Beautiful character with modern and energy efficient upgrades on a quiet street in Mount Pleasant. A renovated modern kitchen with hickory cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counters is the heart of this home. Overlooking the dining area, enclosed sunroom and huge cedar back deck, this warm space will host many special moments. Custom double glass doors will welcome you from the foyer with slate flooring into the large front living room. The master bedroom is a true retreat with a balcony overlooking the front yard. The main bath separates the master bedroom from the second bedroom on the upper floor. The basement opens into a great rec room and offers a third bedroom, updated full bath and laundry area. Double detached garage. Upgrades include new roof (2007), high efficiency furnace (2009) many new windows (2009), EnerGuide rating upgraded to 73 in 2009, R-40 attic insulation (2010).
 
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