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How To Brighten Up Your Home

How To Brighten Up Your Home

No one likes to live in a dark home, especially during the colder winter months. By brightening up your home, you make it more inviting and comfortable for your family and any guests who might stop by. Below are some tips on how to brighten up your home.

Try New Paint

New paint can definitely add some brightness and colour to the interior of your home. The best option is to use lighter colours and hues, such as white, yellow or pale blue. White will be the best choice to illuminate your surroundings, but any lighter colour will work.

Add Windows

If it’s in the budget, adding more windows is an excellent way to create more light in your home. This can also work well if you have a lovely view you want to see more of. Another option is adding a skylight, which creates additional brightness for larger rooms.

Hang Up Artwork & Photos

Another way to add brightness to your home is hanging up large-scale artwork and photos on your walls. This is an easy way to add colour to your home, as well as adding personality to every room. An additional tip is having photos framed and matted with white so that they seem even brighter.

Mirror, Mirror

Using a mirror as part of your room décor is both stylish and practical. Mirrors bounce around the light in a room, as well as making the room seem bigger and more open. This also makes it even easier to check your outfit on the way out of the house!

Light Bulbs

Do a regular check to make sure none of your light bulbs have burned out and replace them when necessary. Another way to enhance light is making sure you have light bulbs that give off white light, instead of a slightly darker, yellow light.

Bright & Light Décor

Choose furniture and décor that is light in colour and has clean lines for less shadows. This can include décor such as colourful throw rugs, white curtains, and pale-coloured wood furniture.

Add More Light

If your home still feels dark, try adding more light sources. This can include lamps, recessed lighting, and pendant lights. If you’re looking for a different approach to more lighting, try salt lamps, night lights or even an electric fireplace.

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Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Buying a new home is a big decision. There are many factors to consider, including where you’re going to live and how you will afford all the costs of purchasing the property. Below are some tips to consider when you feel ready to begin looking for a new home.

Get The Right Mortgage

Finding the right mortgage for you, and making sure you get pre-approval, will make the home-buying process much easier. There are many different types of mortgages and loans to consider, including adjustable rate mortgages and lower down payment loans. Go to your lending institution of choice, such as a mortgage broker, bank or credit union to discuss what mortgage is right for you.

Think About the Future

When buying a home, it’s important to think about how long you plan to own the property. Are you getting married? Planning on having kids? Will you have elderly relatives to support in the future? These are all questions to ask yourself and will possibly change the desired size and location of your future house.

Estimate Your Budget

Your estimated budget is especially important when deciding if you should buy a house. Can you afford all the costs of buying a property and moving? Consider the extra closing costs such as insurance, property taxes, home inspections, appraisals and lending fees.

Find The Right Place

Make sure you’ve really thought about where you want to live. This can mean the city, area or even neighbourhood where you want to buy a house. Is it close to your work or school? Will you want to commute? Are there nearby amenities? Do you like the area? These are all questions to ask yourself when deciding if you want to buy a house.

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Why To Buy A House In the Spring

Why To Buy A House In the Spring

Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or a long-term plan, buying a new home in the spring can be a smart decision. This is for many different reasons, not only because of the time of year but also to do with the current real estate market. Overall, the reasons for buying a new home differ for each person and family. Below are some reasons why springtime may be the right time for you to become a homeowner.

Tax Refunds

Usually no one is excited to file their taxes, with all the collecting of documents and extra paperwork. For those who end up getting a refund in the mail, tax season can be beneficial for entering the housing market. Whether you are making sure you have enough for a down payment or enough for after you purchase a property, a little extra from your tax refund will help.

School’s Out Soon

If you buy a new home in the spring, it is highly likely you will be moving in the summer. This means that not only is it good weather for moving, but children will be out of school.  Depending on your child’s situation, this makes the move to a new home and school a much easier task than it would when school is in session.

Good Moving Weather

Moving during the spring can include rain but it can also include clear skies. Although it may not be hot, moving is much easier when there is relatively pleasant weather and no extreme amounts of rain or snow.

Spring Cleaning

Nothing says springtime like cleaning, decluttering and organizing. If you are planning on buying a new home and moving from your old one, organizing your belongings is a vital step. Consider going through your personal and household items to decide what will make the move with you and your family. One way of categorizing your possessions is making separate piles for keeping, donating and throwing away.

Market Inventory

Spring has traditionally been the best time to enter the housing market because inventory is usually high this time of year. However, demand is still strong with buyers. Over the past several years, there has been a strong seller’s market but inventory is now increasing, making this a good time to purchase a property.

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Get A Move On: Tips For A Successful Move

Get A Move On: Tips For A Successful Move

Moving can be a challenging process, whether you are moving into a new home or leaving an old one. There are a number of tasks to complete, from packing up your belongings to preparing the property for new owners. For a successful move, organization and preparation are vital. Below are some tips on how to make moving easier and more manageable for you and your family.

Know Your Deadlines

When you’re moving, it’s crucial to remember when the important dates are. Important dates related to buying or selling a house include the subject removal date, completion date and possession date. The possession date is especially important for moving, as it is the day that the buyer is entitled to receive the keys to the home and take physical possession of the property.

Have Enough Packing Supplies

With so many items to pack, it’s important to have enough supplies. Boxes, bags, coolers, suitcases and packing tape are all items to remember. A good organizational strategy is to label boxes and packing as best you can either by contents or room.

Be Prepared To Clean

Whether you are moving in or out, a clean house can make a huge difference for your moving experience. Make sure everything is packed well and that the space is clean, including floors, carpets, walls and windows.

Try Decluttering

As you pack, try going through your belongings to see what you might want to donate or get rid of. This can not only help you minimize the number of boxes you need to carry but will also help when you need to unpack in a new home.

Lift With Your Legs

Moving can be hard, physical work so make sure you aren’t hurting yourself as you carry your possessions, including heavy furniture. The best option is to hire a moving company to do the hard work or enlist friends and family to help.

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Spring Into Action: Household Advice

Spring Into Action: Household Advice

Did someone say spring cleaning? This season is often known for its high ambitions of cleaning, decluttering and organizing. Are you preparing to move? Need to get ready for an open house? Have to show your house to potential buyers? Perhaps you’ve just moved into a new home and don’t know where to start? Now is the right time to get your house in order, one step at a time. Below is some advice on spring cleaning for anyone deciding to take the plunge.

Take It Slow

Your house does not need to be perfect immediately. Give yourself enough time before a deadline (such as a moving date) to clean, declutter and pack. Going through the house one room at a time to clean and decide what to keep, donate and throw away is a good strategy.

Get Inspired

Spring cleaning feels much easier if you feel inspired and energized. Try not to burn yourself out all at once, leaving time to take the cleaning and decluttering at a manageable pace. Find some inspiration to keep you going, whether that’s the image of a spotless kitchen or someone you know who will help you reach your cleaning goals. A good inspiration is Marie Kondo, Japanese organizing consultant and author. Check out her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Remember To Deep Clean

Although it may be easier to just clean the surface of your home, making sure you thoroughly clean is very important. Cleaning every nook and cranny can be a challenge but a beautifully clean home is the perfect reward. Deep cleaning can include washing carpets and upholstery as well as cleaning walls, doors, cabinets, windows, lighting fixtures, fridges and ovens.

Update Your Décor

Sometimes all your home needs is a little update to feel fresh and re-energized. This can include anything from new furniture to little touches like new doorknobs, cabinet handles, lamps, throw rugs or welcome mats.

Finishing Touches

To keep your home from looking tired and worn, sometimes it only takes a little effort. Some tips include paint retouches, fixing broken steps and rails, or even replacing old lightbulbs.

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How To Increase Your Winter Curb Appeal

How To Increase Your Winter Curb Appeal

Whatever the season, your home’s curb appeal should make a good impression on potential buyers. Curb appeal can mean anything that makes your home more attractive to potential buyers, such as a tidy yard or ample outdoor lighting. Below are some helpful tips for increasing your home’s curb appeal during the winter season.

Keep It Light

Making sure your home has enough light will help the property seem more inviting for potential buyers. Outdoor lighting by your front door and front pathway, as well as lighting any unique features of your home are good ideas to increase your home’s curb appeal.

Plan For Bad Weather

Depending on where you live, winter can often include heavy snow, wind and rain. As well as protecting your home from the elements, there are many benefits to keeping your home tidy and well-maintained. Some tips include having a cleared driveway and walkway and some type of cover for your front door. Snow and ice can also be a safety hazard, for you and potential buyers. Try using salt to melt snow and ice, as well as clearing any sharp-looking icicles.

Add Plants

A garden doesn’t just have to flourish in the spring and summer. Adding winter-blooming plants to your front garden can add some much needed colour to your home’s winter look. There are many types of winter plants and flowers to try, including witch hazel, winter jasmine and pansies.

Update Your Front Entrance

The front entrance of your home is especially important, as it is one of the first aspects potential buyers will notice. Some tips to freshen up your front entrance include repainting your front door, replacing your welcome mat and cleaning your house numbers.

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Canada Ranks #1 for Global Quality of Life

Canada has the best quality of life around the world, according to the 2019 Best Countries List.

The Best Countries List is put together annually by U.S. News & World Report, with research and analysis done by Y&R’s BAV Group and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Countries are ranked on a series of categories, including entrepreneurship, adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, heritage, power and quality of life.

Canada has been ranked #1 for best quality of life, followed by Sweden as #2 and Denmark as #3. Canada’s excellent quality of life was attributed to its high rankings in education, health care, retirement, gender equality, religious freedom, infrastructure and public safety. Beautiful scenery and dynamic cultures also helped raise Canada’s ranking. The list also covers challenges for the future however, such as concerns of Indigenous peoples and French-speakers in Canada.

Switzerland was ranked as the best country overall in the world for 2019, with Japan, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom making up the top five countries. Below is a complete list of the top ten countries, ranked in order.

Results of the 2019 Best Countries List:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Japan
  3. Canada
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Sweden
  7. Australia
  8. United States
  9. Norway
  10. France
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Home Projects To Do During Summer

Home Projects To Do During Summer

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy life, as well as enjoy your own home. Below are some ideas of home projects to do during summer that can help improve your home’s style, summer potential and curb appeal.

Paint

Good weather can make painting your house a much easier task, whether that’s painting the exterior, interior or even small touches like a new colour for the front door or trim.

Fix The Fence

Have you been meaning to fix your fence, porch or that one loose step? Summertime is the perfect time to haul out the toolbox and get to work fixing your house.

Enjoy The Garden

Nothing says summer like a beautiful, well-maintained garden. To enjoy your garden fully, consider weeding and adding new soil, flowers or other plants.

Upgrade The Patio

Sometimes just relaxing outside in your yard or on your patio can make the perfect summer day. To upgrade your patio consider adding new patio furniture, lounge chairs or even a hammock.

Clean The BBQ

This task may not be the most enjoyable, but cleaning your BBQ and getting it ready for summer is good maintenance and makes it that much more enticing to throw a summer party.

Clean Windows

With bright sunlight it becomes much easier to see and clean the windows in your house, which is a time-consuming but beneficial task.

Get Ready For Summer

Nothing says summer like a yard full of lounge chairs, hammocks and maybe even a small pool for the animals, the young and the young at heart.