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Archive for April, 2012

Kitchen Countertop Ideas

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Whether you plan to embark on a remodel project or
are designing a kitchen for your new home, countertops are one of those choices
that require a little thought. Consider the other fixed elements of the kitchen
such as floors and cabinets to help you determine what type of counters will
best suit the decor.

Combine samples of each fixed element to get an
idea of how they will tie together, but remember with large scale installations,
the sample may not give you an accurate indication of how the final product will
look. Visit showrooms for a better idea of how the countertop looks in context.
Another option, when choosing natural stone counters, is to view slabs of stone
to see how the pattern looks on a large scale.

 Stone

 Stone counters are available in a wide range of
colours, styles and finishes. While marble is a classic choice and granite has
been in the spotlight for a long while, there are many other stone options to
consider. Slate, agate and quartz are lesser used stones that will add instant
visual appeal to any kitchen. Dark slate like black or charcoal needs to be
sealed, but lighter colour variations do not. Stone countertops are cut to fit
your kitchen and come with your choice of edging, however options can vary from
one company to another.

 Recycled Glass

 If you would like to add a pop of vibrant candy
colour to your kitchen countertops, recycled glass counters will do just that!
Colour options vary, but you can expect to find bottle glass varieties in green
and brown, as well as a rainbow of other shades like aqua, red, clear, yellow
and orange. While the glass is set in a white base of cement or resin, the glass
pieces may be all one colour or variegated.

Glass

 Glass countertops are a current trend in kitchen
design. The durability of glass, paired with its beauty and its stain resistance
nature make it an ideal choice for kitchens. Glass counters are thick and
durable and come in a range of patterns. For patterns you can expect to find
crackled variations, swirled designs, bubbles and river rock textures. Glass
counters are custom made, which means you can customize the edge, thickness,
colour and how opaque you wish it to look.

 Concrete

Concrete is a versatile option for countertops as
it can be stained, stamped and dyed to take on many colours, textures and
variations. It can be polished to a glossy finish or a matte finish depending on
the look you want. Options for a concrete countertops include embedded drain
boards and sinks.

Check out the following links for more
information:

http://www.vetrazzo.com/eng/products/color_palette

http://www.thekitchendesigner.org/journal/2007/6/28/kitchen-countertops-slate-yes-slate.html

http://www.homeportfolio.com/catalog/Product.jhtml?prodId=248433

 

 

 

Trees – All Kinds Of Benefits!!!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Regardless of whether your home rests on a mature lot or a brand new one, adding
trees with proper placement in mind, will increase the value of your home in
more ways than one. Not only do trees add beauty and functionality to your
property, experts suggest trees planted in the right places can reduce your
energy bills by as much as 30%. This is good news all around considering trees
are beautiful and help reduce our carbon footprint! However, there are a few key
things to keep in mind before you head to the local nursery.

Trees Provide Wind Protection

Planting evergreen trees around your home will create a wind barrier during cold
winter months. This may also help prevent snow from drifting up against your
home. Trees planted as a wind barrier help protect topsoil erosion, which occurs
during high winds. A general rule of thumb when planting a wind barrier is to
plant the trees no more than two tree lengths away from your home. For city
properties consult your local nursery for planting
specifications.

Leafy Trees Provide Shade

Lower your air conditioning usage  during the summer months by planting leafy shade trees strategically around your
home. Leafy trees can also provide shade near your driveway or wherever you park
your vehicle. If direct sunlight dominates your backyard in the summer, consider
planting a leafy tree above your patio or where your kids play to create a shady
respite from the sun.

Trees Add Visual Appeal

Soften the curves of a square or rectangular backyard by placing a tree in each
corner. Check with your garden center to determine proper placement to ensure
the tree has enough room to grow. Apple and other fruit trees showcase blooms in
the spring and provide fruit in the late summer and early autumn months. Apples
can be peeled and frozen for juice or pies all winter, or you can donate excess
fruit to your local food bank. Properly positioned trees can also hide unsightly
areas like your neighbour’s garbage area, a less than beautiful view or a back
alley.

Tips and Links

Always purchase your trees with your region’s hardiness zone in mind. While
local nurseries tend to only stock trees that will survive an Albertan climate,
big box chain stores sometimes get different trees in that will not survive our
harsh winters. Read the tags! Or talk to the
horticulturist.

Check out these links for more information
about planting trees:

http://www.treecanada.ca/publications/guide.htm

http://www.treelink.org/docs/29_reasons.phtml

http://forestry.usu.edu/htm/city-and-town/tree-selection/planting-trees-for-energy-conservation-the-right-tree-in-the-right-place

http://www.arborday.org/globalwarming/windbreak.cfm

Do You Need To Hire A Home Stager?

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Once you are ready to sell your house and you have
removed all personal items such as photographs, books and knick knacks you might
realize your house now looks bare! Chances are you can reconfigure furniture,
art and accessories to make it look decent, but if you find yourself coming up
short of creating rooms with a polished finish, what do you do? While there are
many options, one viable approach is to hire a professional.

Save Time and Money

How bad do you want to sell your home? Instead of  reducing the sale price because the house has been on the market without a bite
forever, another option is to hire a home staging professional to give your home designer appeal. First impressions develop quick when buyers walk through the
door, offer them a designer atmosphere and the process will attract  ready-to-sign clients. While you will pay for the service of a home stager,  staged homes tend to get asking price or higher and sell much faster allowing  you to move on to your next home.

Give Potential Buyers a Taste of  Inspiration

Instead of a potential buyer entering your home and wondering what they will do with each living space they  encounter, you want them to immediately understand how each space can be optimally used. Demonstrate the usage for each room with ideas and concepts that  look put-together.

Brand New Perspective

Hiring a professional home stager will give you a fresh perspective on your own possessions, unless your home is empty and the
stager has to furnish the whole place. For instance, new accessories and textiles mixed in with pieces of your furniture may be the finishing touches
required to pull the room together and elevate it to designer status. A fresh perspective will not only give you an edge in the real estate market, it will
put you in the mindset of selling your home and help you attract the right buyer.

What to Expect from a Home Staging Consultation

Home stagers often begin with a consultation, which will vary in price, and then move on to the options
available to you. Pricing will depend on whether you will be creating a  do-it-yourself staging based on the home stagers professional advice or whether
you decide to give the stager full reign to reconfigure your home with rented  furniture and accessories. Once you have a consultation quote, you can weigh the
price of your quote against the potential price reductions you may need to do in  order to sell your home.

Check out these links for further information:

http://revealitsappeal.com/benefits-of-home-staging/

http://www.stageandsell.ca/benefits-of-home-staging

http://www.realestateabc.com/homeguide/staging.htm

 

5 Quick Fix Tips For Curb Appeal

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

First impressions are lasting ones. This is an important statement to consider when
selling your home. If the exterior of your home is in disarray, prospective buyers will groan and wonder what waits for them on the other side of the door. Work this statement to your advantage and create an inviting entrance with 5 quick fix tips for creating instant curb appeal!

Clean Up

This may seem simple when analyzing the inside of your house, but the outside needs some love too. To begin, wash the windows, scrub down the door, sweep the steps and wash out the mail box. Take time to weed the garden and cut back any unruly shrubs or
plants. Make sure the lawn is neatly trimmed and rake up any leaves or debris to give the landscaping a neat appearance.

Fixtures

Update fixtures to add curb appeal to your home. Small upgrades like an overhead light, a new mailbox, a welcome mat, a door knocker and a door knob will create a polished look. If you are replacing more than one element, coordinate them in one unifying colour scheme or finish. For instance, if you choose a brass lantern look for a door knocker and doorknob in the same finish.

Planters

Planters add instant curb appeal as they give prospective buyers the impression that the home is being cared for. Create a planter display to suit the time of year. In the spring plant flowering bulbs. In the summer, plant a selection of greenery and flowers. For autumn look to ornamental grass and late blooming flowers like Sedum. For a winter display use pine branches or decorative twigs and decorate
with pine cones and berries. Place a solitary planter on the steps or flank the door with two identical planters.

Repairs

Fix anything that appears to be broken. Whether that be a broken fence board, a screen with a hole in it or a broken house number. While it takes little time or money to complete these small tasks, if a buyer is able to look at the house without finding any projects, you are one step ahead of those who haven’t gone the extra mile.

Quirky Element

Help your home stand out from the rest with one quirky element. Paint your front door a vibrant shade like cherry red or lemon yellow, depending on the existing colour palette of your home. Another idea is to add oversized house numbers or a sign displaying a name for the house. These extra touches help buyers remember your home and are often the small things they fall in love with, which could very
well translate to a sale.

 

Welcome To My Blog!!!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog!

I’m Carrie, and I have been a realtor for over three years serving Edmonton, Devon, Leduc  and
surrounding areas. In these past three years, I have come across many topics concerning the real estate industry – topics I hope to shed some light on here. Whether you are thinking about purchasing your first or tenth home you can count on me for all your needs and access the blog for current market trends and financing updates.  If you are ready to sell, check in for industry related info, renovation tips, general real estate and market information, local topics and much more. Having grown up in Alberta I feel my perspective on the ever changing market will prove useful for all your real estate needs. Check back often and feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns or blog topics you wish to see here.  Have a great day!

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