There’s no doubt about it. Preventing mice from entering your home is much easier than evicting them once they’ve moved in. If you take just a few simple precautions, you can avoid the trip to the store to buy traps or the call to the exterminator.


Here’s what the experts recommend:


  • Install mouse-mesh in the drainage slots of exterior brick or siding. There are many types available on the market. (Note: make sure you don’t block water drainage!)
  • Trim back tree branches that are within two feet of the siding or roof. Mice can jump horizontally as far as 15 inches.
  • Make sure weather-stripping on doors and windows seal tightly. Mice can easily squeeze through weak spots and gaps, especially where stripping meets at a corner.
  • Don’t leave open packages of any type of food — birdseed, apples, etc. — in the garage. That’s like telling the mice, “The buffet’s open!”
  • Inspect the outside of your home and look for evidence of mice near walls, doors and windows. Look for mice droppings, which look like black rice.
  • If you see a mouse outside your home, don’t shoo it away. Instead, watch where it goes. The mouse might show you how it’s getting in.
Taking these precautions will significantly reduce the chances of mice becoming unwanted guests in your home
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These days, just about everyone relies on the internet for work, school, entertainment, shopping, networking, you name it. So, speed and connectivity have become big issues.


Ideally, you want a fast, reliable connection — consistently.


If you have a router and connect with WIFI, here are some ways to boost the signal:


  • Occasionally unplug your router, wait ten seconds, and then power up again. Routers get clogged with settings, protocols, code, you name it. Resetting the router is like cleaning the pipes.
  • Connect your computer directly to the router with an ethernet cord. This hard-wiring will often double or even triple internet speed. The downside is, you’re restricted by the length of the cord.
  • Check that you have the best router for your internet plan. Some newer high-speed plans require better routers, but you may not have been told that when you upgraded.
  • Experiment with the placement of your router. The ideal spot is often on the main floor near the centre of your home. If possible, place it in an open space away from walls and other obstructions.
  • Consider using Mesh WIFI. These are little “satellite” WIFI stations that you can place throughout your home. Your main router then connects to these, creating a much stronger WIFI signal in areas that were formerly weak.


Another way to improve your home WIFI is to contact your internet service provider. They’re the experts in their system and can advise you on how to create a better signal throughout your home.

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Where do buyers form the most lasting impression of a home for sale that they visit? On the main floor!

When buyers view a property, they often spend a lot of time on the main floor, thinking and imagining. They visualize cooking in the kitchen, having family dinners in the dining room, and entertaining guests in the living room. They even mentally calculate how their furniture will fit!


So, making the main floor look great to buyers is crucial when selling your property. How do you do that?


An effective technique is to walk your main floor the way a buyer would. Start at your front entrance. Stand there for a moment and look around. Get a sense of the impression a buyer is likely to get from that perspective.


Next, walk to the kitchen area, because that’s where buyers often venture next. Again, linger a while and look around. Does the kitchen look clean and seem as spacious as possible (given its size)?


Finally, check out the other rooms on the main floor, including the washroom, if there is one. Gauge how you feel and the impression you form as you visit these spaces.


Once you’ve done that mock tour, write down ideas that jumped out at you for improvements. Those may include uncluttering some areas, rearranging the furniture, adding or taking away items, etc.


This is a simple but powerful technique for improving how your main floor looks to buyers.


Call today for more staging ideas that will make your home sell faster and for a good price.
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Staging is all about dressing up your home so that it looks its best to buyers. This can involve anything from rearranging furniture and doing some home improvements, to painting and redecorating, to even replacing existing furnishings and other items. The goal is to make key rooms look worthy of a magazine cover!


But is it worth the effort? Can’t you just clean and tidy and, perhaps, do a little painting?


Sometimes you can — especially if your home is in high demand and likely to get multiple offers.


However, in most cases, staging can help sell your property faster and for a higher price.


In fact, studies done by the home staging industry consistently reveal that staged homes sell for an average of 5-23% above list price. (That varies, of course, depending on the local market.)


Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to do extensive staging. You may, for example, be able to focus on only key rooms on the main floor — where buyers tend to form their lasting impressions — and then simply clean and declutter the other rooms.


When it comes to staging, you have many options. Each home is different and will have different staging needs.


Want to find out how staging may impact the sale of your property? Call today.

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When you think about selling your property, do you dwell on the possible work and stress involved? You're not alone. Many homeowners share the same concerns.


But it doesn't have to be that way.


In fact, there are plenty of ways to add some fun, anticipation, and even a sense of adventure to the selling process. Here are just a few ideas:


  1. Plan fun things to do when your home is being shown. That can include walks, sports activities, or trying something you and your family have never done before.
  2. Declutter for your own benefit. Instead of thinking about decluttering as a chore required for the sale, focus instead on how much more comfortable your home will be after decluttering. Studies consistently show that less clutter reduces stress and increases a sense of well-being.
  3. Get everyone in your home anticipating the move in a positive way. Put pictures of your next home, including neighbourhood shots, on the fridge door. Sit together on the computer and explore your new neighbourhood's features and amenities.
  4. Celebrate milestones in the selling process. For example, when you're finished preparing your property for sale, go out to celebrate. Make a checklist of milestones and how you'll celebrate each one.
  5. Get the help you need. A big part of the stress of selling is the anticipated work involved. Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself. Much of what needs to be done can be handled by contractors and other professionals. 


There are many other ways to make selling your home a positive and turbulent-free experience. Give me a call if you'd like more ideas and suggestions.

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If you’re thinking about selling in the spring, don’t wait until the new year to start planning. In fact, you’ll save yourself a lot of work and get ahead of the game if you start planning now.


What’s that old saying? The early bird gets the worm! In this case, by starting the process this month, you’ll be in excellent shape when you’re ready to list in the spring.


Here are just a few examples of what you can do in December to get the process started:


  • Walk your property and note any maintenance issues that need attention.
  • Decide which items to stow or sell to declutter your home.
  • Determine what improvements you’ll need to make in order for your home to look great to buyers (i.e. painting.)
  • Find out approximately how much your property will likely sell for in the spring market.
  • Clarify the kind of new home you’d like to move into, including ideal neighbourhoods.
  • Look into your financing options, so you’ll know the price range you’ll be shopping within.
  • Connect with any professionals you may need, such as contractors, a mover, and a real estate lawyer.
  • Take advantage of any December shopping deals for products you may need, such as home improvement project materials, packing supplies, etc.


As you can see, the more prepared you are this month, the more stress-free and successful the home selling process will be for you in the spring.


And one more tip: contact me to get the conversation started about selling your home in the new year. It’s coming fast!
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When you’re shopping for a new home, you probably want the property to be as “move in ready” as possible. That way, you can... well... just move in!


However, there are a lot of fantastic properties on the market that need some work. For example, you might see a home that has everything you need, but the kitchen is long overdue for a renovation. Or, you might view a property that requires a lot of repairs and painting — tasks that, at first glance, seem overwhelming.


You don’t want to just pass on a property that might be a great buy. On the other hand, you don’t want to purchase a home, only to end up with more renovations, repairs and expenses than you anticipated.


What’s the solution? Here’s an idea.


When you view a home that needs work, make a note of exactly what needs to be done. Stick to the important “must have” improvements and leave “nice to have” improvements for a later time. Chances are, you’ll identify just one or two projects — such as “paint all the walls” or “replace the countertops in the kitchen”.


Once you have that list, you’ll be in a better position to determine how long the work will likely take and the approximate cost. This will give you some needed perspective on whether or not to buy the home.


If a home you’re considering needs $15,000 in work that can probably be completed within two months, that might make the property worth buying. In fact, it probably would!


So, when you see an otherwise ideal home that needs some work, don’t let your imagination make that work into more than it is. Take notes and get estimates.

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There is no doubt that COVID-19 casts a shadow on Halloween this year. How you choose to celebrate it this year is 100% the right decision for your family and one informed by your local government.

In a recent survey, by Treat Accessibly, that asked if Halloween was next month would your home hand out candy, 84% said yes they would participate, but they would celebrate it differently in light of COVID-19.

By following Treat Accessibly CURB-SIDE Tips for making your home accessible this Halloween, you are also making it a safer experience in light of COVID-19.

In a recent CTV News segment, a Canadian infectious disease expert shared that “for anyone looking to host people, doing it outside is key.” The likelihood of transmitting the novel coronavirus while outside is “very, very low”.

Treat Accessibly Tips

ou can help make Halloween accessible for everybody!

While COVID-19 has created a new barrier for all families to celebrate trick-or-treating. Lets rally to create an accessible and safer experience for all our kids this year.

If we work together for our kids we can help Halloween happen.

Here are some tips on how you can make your home accessible and CURB-SIDE safer:
 

HANDING OUT CANDY? ACCESSIBLE TIPS FOR HOME OWNERS:

  • Place an Accessible Trick or Treating sign on your front lawn one week before Halloween (follow @TreatAccessibly for updates on where to get a sign near you).

  • Create a trick-or-treating station at end of your driveway 

  • Clear driveway and pathways

  • Make sure the path to your trick-or-treating area is well lit

  • Refrain from the use of strobe lights

  • Move cars out of the driveway to allow better accessibility for trick-or- treaters

  • Make sure any pets are kept safely away from the front of the house

  • While our Treat Accessibly lawn signs are recyclable, we hope you store sign with the rest of your Halloween decor and celebrate accessibly every year

COVID-SAFER SUGGESTIONS: FOR HOME OWNERS HANDING OUT CANDY:

  • Setting up your station at the end of your driveway supports outdoor social distancing 

  • Wear a face mask, similar to how you would when shopping

  • Only handle the candy or other treats your distributing with gloves and hand it out directly from the bulk box or bag you purchased at the store

  • Don’t leave out self-serve candy or treat bowls

  • Draw temporary chalk lines on your driveway leading to your trick-or-treat station, 2-metres apart, to help kids and parents approach your trick-or-treating station in a way that’s familiar to when they check-out at a store.

COVID-SAFER SUGGESTIONS: FOR ADULTS TAKING KIDS TRICK-OR-TREATING:

  • Approach the experience similar to going grocery shopping, be mindful of social-distancing and bottlenecks at trick-or-treating stations. Be patient, take advantage of the time to share a story or two with your neighbours

  • Sanitize yours and your children’s hands often or provide your children with sanitizer to do themselves

  • Wear a face mask, similar to how you would when shopping

  • Sanitize all candy when you get home or let it sit safely somewhere for a few hours before enjoying

  • If your children are trick-or-treating without you this year, maybe reconsider and go with them or take the time to share responsible trick-or-treating practices listed above and why it is so important for everyone.

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When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best to buyers. Unfortunately, buyers are likely to notice any cracks or stains on your floor.

Luckily, there are many do-it-yourself solutions to help make your floors look significantly better.
 
Let’s start with stains.

If you have carpeting, there are a number of spot cleaning products on the market. But before you try one of those, consider this simple remedy. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the stain and then add just enough drops of white vinegar to make it bubble. Wait two minutes. Then, dab carefully with a paper towel and vacuum the residual. This method often works.

For hard floors, gentle rubbing with warm water will take care of most stains.
If you have hardwood floors, don’t let the area remain wet. Dry it completely.

Ceramic tile floors often have old, discoloured grout that is an eyesore. Of
course, there are products available to clean grout. But try using an old
toothbrush and water before investing in those products. Scrub the grout
gently. Then mop the entire area.

If you have minor damage to a section of hardwood floor or floor tiles — for
example, a chip or crack — the best solution is replacement. Unfortunately,
this isn’t a DIY-friendly job, so unless you’ve done it successfully before,
consider hiring a contractor.

If the crack is minor and you don’t want to replace the piece, there are sealing
products available, which will camouflage the crack — to some extent — and
prevent it from getting worse.

If you have a flooring crack or stain you’re concerned about, try these tips.
Also, check out your local home improvement centre for more ideas.
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There are many storage options for your household items. For example, receipts and other paper records can be stored in a file box. Seasonal items, such as winter clothing, can be put in the basement. You can even rent a local storage unit to help with decluttering.

But what about stuff that exists electronically? These days, many important records -- vacation pictures, tax receipts, home videos, school documents, etc. -- are in the form of PDFs, JPEGs, and other electronic formats. Having those reside entirely on your computer is risky. What if your computer crashes?

Someone smart once said, "A computer file isn't a file until it's in two places." So, the solution is to store your important electronic documents in a second place. Here are the most common options:

  • Portable storage. These are data storage devices that fit in the palm of your hand. For most homes, 1T (terabyte) of memory is plenty.
  • Cloud storage. Box, DropBox, and iCloud are the biggest players here. The advantage of storing your documents "in the cloud" is that, unlike portable storage, you can't damage or lose it.
  • Large backup units. These larger units continuously backup your files so you don't even have to think about it.

Whatever option you choose, the important thing is to have a duplicate or backup of your important files, so you never have to worry about losing them.

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