5 Ways to Increase Value to Your Home this Weekend

Increase Value to Your Home: As much as we may love to reserve the weekends for sleeping in and spending time with family; if you set aside a weekend or two for a few simple projects, you could increase the value of your home so that you can get the most from your sale.

1. Paint Your Front Door

Painting your front door is a quick and easy way to instantly improve your home’s curb appeal and make it stand out. Choose a color that complements the color of the brick or siding and look for a glossy finish that is low maintenance and looks high end. If your door has windows or a storm door, then give them a good cleaning as well to better show off your new door color and your exterior.

2. De-clutter

Most of us are guilty of having too much stuff and when it comes time to sell, all of that stuff can really put off potential buyers. Make it a family affair and spend the weekend getting rid of any unnecessary stuff. Clear out closets and storage areas so that not only are your things better organized and easier to find, but so that potential buyers can see your homes true space and potential. Less is more after all and scaling back lets your home feel clean, open and airy—just what buyers want.

3. Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Whether you use one of the DIY cabinet painting kits on the market or paint recommended by your favorite decorating blog; painting your kitchen cabinets can make your tired and dated kitchen look new, which always results in more money when you sell.

4. Replace Doorknobs, Handles, and other Hardware

Replacing doorknobs, cabinet and drawer handles and pulls, along with other hardware and fixtures like faucets helps to create a cohesive look for a high-end appearance even if you purchase your new hardware and fixtures at Wal-Mart or some other discount store! Try to stick to a similar finish on all to bring the look together.

5. Give Rooms Purpose

If you have rooms that are doing double duty and being used for multiple purposes or even just sitting empty and playing the part of a catch-all for your junk; it could confuse buyers and make it hard for them to imagine what they would use the space for. Take a weekend to tackle these rooms so that your spare room looks like a functional home office/guest bedroom and your dining room as an actual dining room instead of your makeshift craft room or office.

New Kitchens Sell Houses – Make Your Kitchen New Again

As much living as we may do in the living room, chances are that the kitchen is the real heart of the home and the place that most gravitate to when they come over. The kitchen also happens to be one of the most important rooms in a house for sale, not only because of its meaning to a family but also because they are the most expensive to remodel—something most buyer’s don’t want to take on when they buy a home.

The state of your kitchen could make or break a sale with even something as seemingly insignificant as some chips and scratches being enough to deter a potential buyer. A small nick to you could look like a lot of work and expense to someone else which is why a new kitchen will always help sell a home faster and for more money. No need to invest in an expensive kitchen reno to reap those rewards though—you can do many things to give the look of a brand new kitchen for very little.

Have a look around your kitchen and take an honest and objective look at what could be better. If your kitchen cabinets are tattered or outdated, then look into painting them or even having them refaced—both options, even done professionally, are cheaper than new cabinets. The same goes for your counter tops, which when scratched or in an outdated color can make your entire kitchen look outdated and put off potential buyers. Replacing countertops are an inexpensive and easy way to bring your kitchen up-to-date and have it looking new. Cut costs by asking local big box home improvement stores about upcoming sales or have a look through their section of precut and “leftover” countertops for great deals.

Sometimes the only thing stopping your kitchen from looking modern is the hardware. Fortunately that’s a cheap and easy fix that anyone can do themselves! Change out handles, drawer pulls and knobs for something simple and sleek for an instant update. Same goes for your faucet. Splurge—but not too much—on a new faucet that looks modern for a bigger impact than you may even realize! The same goes for appliances. If your appliances give away your home’s old age, then it’s time to look into package deals and replacing them.

Finally, you’d be surprised how much difference a good cleaning and de-cluttering can make in a kitchen. Keep your countertops as clear as possible, wipe down greasy cabinets and other surfaces as well as walls. Get rid of knick-knacks, ratty floor mats and any accessories that look dated. And when in doubt, ask your Langley real estate agent for their thoughts since their goal is the same as yours: a quick sale for top dollar.

Langley Real Estate – Selling your Townhouse?

Let’s face it; most couples who buy townhouses usually go on to outgrow them at some point and find themselves looking to upgrade to a bigger home. The key to getting the most from the sale of your townhouse so that you can afford to up-size is making sure that you make it more appealing to your target market, which is people who were where you were when you first bought it: singles or couples without kids.

Speaking with an experienced Langley real estate agent about your target market is a good place to start so that you have a better understanding of who you should be trying to impress, so to speak, when getting your townhome ready for sale. Along with insight from a real estate agent who knows the area, the trends and what people are looking, you can also use the following information to make your home more appealing to singles and couples looking for a townhouse for sale in Langley.

Executive Home vs. A Family Home

Young home buyers are looking for a home that works for their lifestyle, which for most doesn’t include kids. They want stylish and easy spaces that they can see themselves in relaxing, entertaining and often even working. This means removing toys and extra clutter that tends to accumulate when you have children, such as playpens, playhouses, etc.

Potential buyers should be able to walk into a space and envision their life happening there. If your only other bedroom has been decked out for a child, then removing wall decals and toning down paint is a good idea. The perfect second bedroom for appealing to your typical Langley townhouse buyer is one that works as a spare bedroom and office space. This doesn’t mean that you need to send your child to grandmas or move them into the basement. Paint out the room in a stylish and somewhat neutral color and stage it with a simple and uncluttered desk and a bed or foldout couch if space doesn’t allow for a full-size bed. This means that your child can still sleep in the room while the home is on the market—just be mindful to pick up toys and check for any hidden messes before showings.

Go through your home and pack up any knick-knacks, family photos and other memorabilia that isn’t in keeping with what your target market is looking for.  They need to be able to envision themselves in the home and that’ll be a lot easier to do if they aren’t bombarded with photos of your family trip to Disney or your child’s drawings and report cards on the fridge.

Talk to an experienced Langley real estate agent for other suggestions on how to sell your townhouse for more so that you can afford to upgrade to a family home.

Credit Score – What does that mean!

If your mailbox is full of credit card bills, make sure you deal with them right away. Ignoring them could have long-term effects on your credit score.

A credit score is a number that lenders use to estimate risk. While each lender may have their own way of dealing with your credit score, in general, the higher your score, the lower the risk and therefore the more likely the lender will extend a loan to you at a favourable rate.

You can get an idea of your credit score from Canadian credit reporting agencies Equifax and TransUnion. The answers to the following questions can influence your score:

• How long have you had credit, and what types of credit are you using?

• What’s your history of making payments? Do you carry a balance on your credit cards? Have you missed any payments?

• Do you have outstanding debts? Are you close to your credit limit?

• Have there been a number of recent inquiries about your credit history? (This will suggest you are trying to get more credit.)

• Do you have any record of bankruptcy? Have any of your debts been sent to a collection agency?

A good rule of thumb is if you do have to carry a balance from month to month, make sure to pay down the outstanding balance below 75% of the limit amount (ie. if you have a credit card with a $1000 limit, make sure the balance is below $750).

While a good credit score typically allows the borrower more financing options and better interest rates, a lower credit score doesn’t mean a borrower has no options – it just means the borrower needs to be open to investigating alternate borrowing options with their mortgage broker.

Give us a call with any questions you may have on credit scores, or any other mortgage related inquiries.

For other recent blog posts and market insight, click on Blog in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Tenant insurance is affordable peace of mind

So, you’ve found your ideal apartment: a 2-bedroom basement paradise or a mid-town penthouse or a fantastic south-facing 1-bedroom condo. Now it’s time to move in right away, right? Sure, start packing, but make sure you also budget for tenant insurance.
Perhaps you think you don’t need it because you’re only renting and you don’t own any fancy stuff. But, what if something happened — would you have enough set aside to replace all your belongings and to find temporary housing?

Tenant insurance protects your property and also covers you in the event that you accidentally cause damage to the property of others. For example, if your bathtub overflowed and flooded the apartment below destroying your neighbour’s property, tenant insurance would protect you. Luckily, it’s a simple and affordable coverage. Also, if you’re a student, your parents’ policy might automatically extend coverage to you at school.

What’s typically covered by tenant insurance?
This type of insurance protects you from damage, like fire, theft, certain water damage and vandalism. If your apartment is seriously damaged as a result of an insured loss, tenant insurance would also typically cover your additional living expenses while it’s being repaired. Tenant insurance also provides liability coverage if someone gets hurt because of your negligence, like slipping and falling on a wet floor in your apartment for example.

How much coverage do you need?
The total cost of tenant’s insurance will depend largely on the value of your contents. Most renters tend to underestimate what it would cost to replace their belongings. It’s smart to take an inventory, including photos, which only takes a few minutes and will make things a lot easier if you experience a loss. Start by walking from room to room and itemize all the contents, including your closets and cupboards. You might think they’re not worth that much until you have to replace them. Keep in mind however that coverage for some insured items may be subject to exclusions or maximum limits. Read your policy carefully to determine your exact coverage.

Typical items to include on your inventory are: computer, printer, tablet, smart phone, flat screen TV, video game system and games, music player and other electronics, clothes, shoes, boots, pots, pans, other personal and household items.

For more information about choosing the right tenant insurance, give us a call (604-588-4466) or email (