Don’t take stair safety for granted!

November 18th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

The first known use of stairs was in ancient Egypt during the building of the pyramids. Chances are, some workers back then tripped and fell on them. Some 3,000 years later, injuries on stairs are still a big problem.

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Hey, where’s the handrail?

According to the Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, the insurance cost of injuries from falls on stairs is second only to automobile accidents! Clearly, it’s a bigger problem than most people imagine.

So how do you prevent trips, falls and other mishaps on stairs?

The most common way is to use handrails. In fact, most trips and falls occur when people aren’t able to regain their balance because they are not holding a handrail.

Another source of accidents are items, such as toys, left on stairs. Some people have the bad habit of using stairs as a temporary shelf for books, magazines, mail and other items. That’s not a good idea!

Always be careful when carrying heavy items on stairs. Even an overloaded laundry basket can be a hazard. If it’s too heavy or you can’t see over the top, it’s too full.

Safety codes are in existence for a reason, but a lot of this is common sense. However, because injuries on stairs are so prevalent, we need to use our common sense more often. If in doubt look at the safety codes, they are a great source of information!

Can a bathroom sell your house?

November 14th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

Oh no, Power’s out!!

September 24th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

We take for granted the constant, uninterrupted flow of electricity into our homes.

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Some people can live in their homes for years without ever experiencing a power outage. Thanks to our excellent first world infrastructure, even in areas prone to serious storms or snowfalls, power loss doesn’t happen that often, or for very long . No wonder so many homeowners are caught unprepared when it does.

To make sure you’re not caught unprepared, follow these tips:

• Replace batteries in unused flashlights every six months and have extras handy.

• Keep candles and matches in a handy place. Monitor them closely when lit and always blow them out before going to sleep.

• For computers and phones, consider purchasing a power backup. (Some models provide up to 8 hours of power for two or three devices.)

• Know the address of your local fire station and nearest community centre. These are the most common places to find help during a power :outage.

When the power does go out, make sure the stove is turned off. You don’t want an unattended burner or gas leak when the power finally comes back on.

I lived on an acreage for many years and power outages were a fairly common occurrence, so having a hardwired back up gas or diesel generator was a normal practice. This a little extreme in the city, but for those who have ‘boy scout’ mentality….

It’s easy to take things for granted if you never have to think about it, but when it comes to your power; Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

 

What a buyer wants to see

September 9th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

Buyers are more likely to make an offer on your home if they see a lot of things they love about it.

So what do buyers love to see?

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One of the main things they like to see is a lot of space. Of course, you can’t change the size of your rooms, but there is a lot you can do to make small spaces in your home seem more spacious.

Buyers also love to see a clean and uncluttered home. Think of how inviting a hotel room looks at first glance, with everything neat and organized. Of course, your home isn’t a hotel, but the more neat and attractive you can make each room, the better.

One thing buyers don’t love to see is potential maintenance issues. So as much as possible, get things fixed or updated.

In fact, the more “finished” and “move in ready” your home looks, the more likely a buyer is to make an offer.

Don’t forget the surrounding neighbourhood either. A buyer may not take the time to explore the area, so be sure to make a list of the most appealing features. You might want to take a picture of the brand new playground just down the street or print off a local map showing nearby shopping, theatre and other points of interest.

It’s not about creating a false impression. Rather, it’s about making your home look its best and drawing attention to its most enticing features.

Want more home selling tips? Call me today.

Company’s coming, I need to childproof my house!

August 28th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

If you don’t have kids, this advice may be something you have never even considered. When I had my first child it came as a bit of a shock, the stress and disruption that can occur if you don’t take a few preventative measures!

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You did WHAT to the beanbag chair?

Childproofing tips for your home

If you have young children, or expect a visit from friends or relatives with little ones in tow, it pays to ensure your home is free of hazards. The last thing you want is an injury that could have easily been prevented.

Here are some basic childproofing tips.

• Remove everything that is toxic, hot or sharp, from within reach of a child. (For example, the leaves of some types of house plants are toxic.)
• If possible, keep children out of the kitchen while cooking.
• Install plug-in covers in electrical outlets. (These are inexpensive and can be purchased at any hardware store.)
• Block or gate off areas where kids may fall.
• Remove “pulling down” hazards, such as a heavy plant that a child can pull off a table.
• Make sure there are screens on all open windows.

Finally, watch your pets. Even the most gentle dog or cat can act unpredictably around children – especially if they’re not used to them.

If this isn’t enough to make you want to have kids, call me, I have some great stories!

Who knows, maybe you’ll need to buy a bigger house(lol).

Understand what you sign!

August 14th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

The importance of reading and understanding an offer

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When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it’s important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.

An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are “conditional upon arranging financing” and “conditional upon passing a professional home inspection.” However, there may be other conditions as well.

You should be aware of – and fully understand – all of them.
I will always run over theses things a couple of times to make sure that you fully understand the ramifications of agreeing to the conditions of the offer.

In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.

You will always be asked to initial changes. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you’re signing.

A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgement against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.

You don’t want that to happen to you. Take the time to carefully review and understand an offer.

The only “silly” question is the one you don’t ask!

Want to make sure everything goes smoothly with your next move? Call me.

Creating quiet in a (sometimes) noisy home

July 8th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

Does your spouse like to practice the drums in the evening? Does your teenager like to play video games, with the volume turned up high? Are there other sources of noise you’d like to minimize?

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There are many ways to soundproof areas of your home and to reduce noise. Here are some ideas:

Wall coverings/ drapery. They not only look stylish but they absorb sound and reduce ambient noise levels.

Furniture placement. Surprisingly, where you place furniture can dramatically reduce incoming noise. For example, a bookshelf covering a third of a wall can muffle sound from an adjoining room by 25%.

Noise harmonization techniques. Soft music, air fans, and other sources of rhythmic noises can actually reduce the unpleasantness of incoming sounds.

Area rugs. Adding an area rug, even on top of existing carpeting, can significantly reduce noise coming from the floor below and the rooms adjoining.

Acoustic tiles and panels. These are special ceiling tiles and wall coverings that are designed to diffuse and reduce sound infiltration. There are some products on the market that are remarkably easy to install. Go to your local rock music store they will know what you need. The same material used in studios will work at home.

Stairwells allow sound to travel the entire house, especially hardwood or laminate(which look great by the way). Try installing a carpet runner, it can do wonders in sound dampening.

But in spite of all the modifications to your current home, if it is still way too noisy, maybe the solution is……to move! Call me that’s what I do!!

 

 

Decisions, Decisions!!

June 24th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

My job is being with people when they are making life changing decisions. Watershed moments, if you will.

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What the heck do I do now?

Getting married, divorced, kids being born, kids moving out, downsizing, upsizing, relocating for love or employment…. being there to bounce things off of, or to provide “the voice of experience” when decisions are being made, that’s what I do. People make these huge choices in very different ways, some by feel, some by logic and some others use “the force”. Another interesting aspect, is the dynamic of couples. They get the information to form an opinion and come back with a collaborative decision…. usually better, but occasionally in conflict. At the end of the day, people who are pure logic decision makers do not always make the best decisions, it is actually more difficult for them, as there is no absolute choice. My job here is to understand my clients wants and needs and to help guide them so they can trust themselves! People who are all feel and emotion, need to be protected from their lack of analysis by making sure there are checks and balances in place, such as inspections, appraisals and financing clauses. These are very important business considerations not to be overlooked. However, the best buying decisions are ultimately emotionally based. if you really like the property and you can see yourself living there, trust it, but apply common sense and sound business considerations to the decision.

Is it a good property? Get an inspection.

Is it a safe neighbourhood? Look at the Edmonton Police Service website for neighbourhood crime stats.

Can you afford it? Make it subject to financing and the bank will do an independent appraisal.

I love my job, and I have been party to in excess of 1300 property sales, all watershed moments in their own way. I help people make sound buying and selling decisions every day. If you need to make an important Real Estate decision, give me a call, I can definitely help!!

How much do I have to renovate to sell my property?

June 13th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

The truth is, everything you can do that makes your property seem complete and finished will help. An objective professional objective opinion can really make a big difference. The trick is; do the things that are cost effective and have immediate impact.

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“We love our decorating, why wouldn’t everyone else?”

When the average buyer sets out to purchase a home they will have a wish list. For most people it does not include a whole bunch of renovations, inside or out.  If it seems like much work they simply move on to another property. 

The expression “turn-key” comes to mind. This is when a property appears to be done and does not require much immediate work. That will attract the largest number of buyers willing to make an offer. The more work left to do, the smaller the buying audience. It will take more time to market, with more financial concessions at the time of the offer.

 

The only reason Buyers will accept deficiencies is because:

a)  The price is attractive and they are getting an area or type of home that would otherwise unaffordable.

b)  They are looking to put in some time and material to gain  equity.

c)  There is a very limited supply of homes on the market and this is as good as it gets.

Either way the purchase price must reflect the cost of doing things that appear to need upgrading, and sometimes more, to account for the labour and hassle factor.

 

The major issue for the seller preparing to sell is:

a)  They are simply not able to afford or have the expertise to do the required work.

b)  The renovations are simply not cost effective and are better left to the buyer to worry about.

c)  They have been living with the property the way it is, and underestimate the impact of fixing the ‘issues’.

 

In the end, the more “turn-key” a property is, the quicker and closer to the listing price it will sell. A little vision, paint, some floor coverings, maybe some staging go a long way to get your property sold fast and for top dollar. Call me, I can offer an experienced and perspective that will make things a whole lot easier!

 

 

Pack those memories away!

June 5th, 2014 by leeyulehomes

Items that remind us of special people, events, milestones and interests are an important part of what makes a home a home. Pictures on the fireplace mantle, for example, showcase family and friends that are important to us. You might also have trophies, certificates, greeting cards, and other mementoes on display in key places. Of course, all of those things add warmth and meaning to your home. However, if you’re preparing your home for sale, it’s a good idea to pack those memories away – at least until you’ve sold your property and moved to your new home. Why? Because those pleasant mementoes that mean so much to you may actually turn off potential buyers.
You see, when buyers view your property, you want them to be able to clearly picture themselves and their families living there. That’s difficult to do if everywhere they look they see reminders that this is your home!
So, to help sell your home quickly, make it look great, but not personalized. Think of the showroom displays you see set up in furniture stores. Those displays are most appealing when they enable you to easily picture yourself, with that furniture, in your home. You probably wouldn’t feel that way if it looked like the furniture belonged to someone else.
Of course, buyers will know you currently live in your home. But helping them imagine themselves living there will help you sell your property faster – and possibly for a better price.
Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call Today!

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