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Is your home show ready? Before you list your home for sale, here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Remove clutter and clear off counters.
Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small, personal decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, remove out of season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Get rid of family pictures, trophies and knickknacks. Make sure to clean out the garage too.

2. Wash your windows and screens.
This will help get more light into the interior of the home as well as looks better.

3. Keep everything extra clean.
A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, clean the stove and fridge. Polish your doorknobs (inside and out) and address numbers.

4. Get rid of smells.
Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odours, smoke and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Scented candles will help.

5. Brighten your rooms.
Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned out bulbs in closets etc. Clean the walls, or paint them with a fresh neutral colour.

If you would like more tips for better home showings or if you are thinking of selling your home, contact us at info@holmesteam.ca or call us at 778.834.9929.

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Let's face it...there's a lot of excitement when buying a home. The idea of more space, summer BBQs in the backyard, new paint colours and new decorating thoughts fill one's mind. You want a happy home for yourself...but if you have dogs, you also want a happy place for them too!

We're proud dog owners...our beloved Amber is more than a pet...she's part of our family. She's practically a big sister to our little girl, who is almost two years old. We're very happy where we live, and we made sure we considered our dog in our buying process.

Therefore, with so much going through your mind when buying a place, it would be wise to put yourself into Rover's shoes, or should we say, paws to consider their feelings about a new home.

Flooring:
Does the home have hardwood floors. In our opinion, a hard-floored surface seems to be great with pet owners. We all know how dogs shed hair, and cleaning up a carpet can be a big hassle. Hardwood or laminate is easy to clean, but it's important to know that a lot of hardwood surfaces are actually quite soft so susceptible to scratches, including dogs nails. Those nails can dig into the floor and leave some pretty big gashes in the floor, especially if you have an exciteable dog that runs around inside. If you have a dog that has long and/or sharp nails, a laminate floor might be a more suitable option. We've found laminate to be more resistant to scratches. If you prefer carpeting, consider the length of the carpet. If it's a long and shaggy carpet, remember that it will be more difficult to get dog's hair out, as opposed to a groomed carpet, or something easier to vacuum. If your dog is anything like ours...she loves lying on the soft carpet in front of our fireplace...oh how snuggly!

Fencing:
You should never assume that a house is fully fenced. It's a good idea to walk around the property and check to make sure all panels of the fence are in place and not about to fall off. We can't imagine a worse feeling that seeing Rover running down the street due to a missing fence panel. This also includes fencing behind shrubs. While shrubs add privacy to a yard, sometimes there is not fencing behind the trees, making an easy escape for dogs.

Around the neighbourhood:
Obviously, it would be important to know whether dog parks, or parks in general, are within walking distance. Places within walking distance usually mean you (and Rover) get out more. If it involves a car (even a short drive), it's more easy to put off that trip to the park...poor Rover won't get to see his friends as often. Also, what kinds of pet services are nearby... Where is the closest animal hospital? How far away is a reputable kennel for those times you travel? Where are you going to get their pet food? Since these may be aspects in our everyday lives, you probably should at least think of this when buying a place.

Pet-friendly complexes:
While it is true that many strata properties (condos or townhomes) have pet restrictions (often limiting the type and/or number of pets), some complexes are "pet-friendlier" than others. Be sure to look around when you're looking at properties. Do you see large dogs? Are there "no pet" signs? Do you see a lot of people walking with the dogs on a leash? All these are pretty good indicators as to "how pet-friendly" a complex is.

Overall, there are a lot of factors that go into buying a home. While Rover probably doesn't get the final say, it's important to consider how your dog will adapt to their new home. As you know, they only want you to be happy, so why not make sure that they'll be happy too.

Happy trails!

For all your real estate needs, contact Greg and Liz Holmes - The Holmes Team to help you buy and/or sell your home! Call us at 778.834.9929 or email us at info@holmesteam.ca .

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Moving can be one of the most stressful parts of the buying and selling process of a home. 

Some of the thoughts running through your mind might be: Who do I contact? Will the movers show up? Do I get the cheapest or most expensive moving company? Do I get someone from craigslist to help with my move? 

You want to make sure your valuables arrive at your new home safely and securely. Below is a link to the British Columbia Trucking Association that has information and tips on moving and storage companies. It might be worthwhile to take a quick read through the site. Good luck!

BC Trucking Association website

For all your real estate needs, contact Greg and Liz Holmes - The Holmes Team to help you buy and/or sell your home! Call us at 778.834.9929 or email us at info@holmesteam.ca.

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We were cleaning out our garage during the past few weeks and we didn't want to throw stuff in the garbage. So we wanted to recycle, donate or give away some of our things. Thought I'd do a repost of our recycling blog last year as well as add some new info.

It's easy enough to recycle your newspapers, paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and plastics into your household recycling bins, but what about some common household items that you really don't want to throw into your garbage? I was trying to find places to recycle my used batteries, light bulbs and plastic bags. 

Recycling rechargeable batteries and cellphones have been established for quite some time now. You can drop them off at several locations, the most common places are: Home Depot, Rona, Future Shop, Best Buy and London Drugs. For more info check out www.call2recycle.ca.

Home Depot has bins that will recycle alkaline batteries and cell phones, used power tool rechargeable batteries, CFL bulbs and fluorescent tubes.

It was a bit harder to find places that would take used light bulbs. Many places will take fluorescent tubes such as Home Depot and Rona but I just want to recycle the plain light bulbs! Edmonds Recycling will accept all types of light bulbs and batteries Their locations are in Langley, Surrey and Burnaby, open on weekdays during business hours - www.edmondsrecycling.com.

I wasn't able to find a specific recycling program that accepts used plastic bags but some grocery stores have a bin in front of their stores to recycle bags such as Wal Mart and Superstore.

The general recycling depot that accepts all kinds of electronics, batteries, computers and more can be found at 120-13065 84 Avenue in Surrey, open on weekdays. This is for all of Greater Vancouver. Their website contains the items they recycle at www.electronics-recycling.com. The Recycling Council of BC has a plethora of information as well. There is a drop down menu on the right hand side of their website where you can select the items you want to recycle and where you can find a place to recycle them. That's very useful. The website is www.rcbc.bc.ca.

Thanks to some of our Facebook friends we received some info about other recyclables:
Packaging styrofoam can be dropped off at the main gate at Mansonville Plastics (19402 56 Avenue, Surrey, 604-534-8626) between 9-4pm Mon to Fri. Styrofoam must be clean, no tape, labels or staples, bagged & tied.
Food & packaging styrofoam can be recycled on the 3rd Saturday of each month via Pacific Mobile Depot at Douglas Park Community Centre (5409 - 206 St, Langley) between 9am-noon. See their website for more info http://www.pacificmobiledepots.com/.
Styrofoam packing chips and peanuts can be recycled at UPS locations.

We had a client that wanted to get rid of her deep freezer without throwing it away. The South Vancouver Transfer Station recycles ferrous/non ferrous metals including other household appliances. You can drop off for free at 377 West Kent Avenue North 7 days a week from 7am-7pm (604-326-4600).
 
If you are going through your childhood trophies and awards and don't really want to keep them anymore (as we did), you can use a hair dryer and butter knife to pry off the plate. When you don't have any names on the awards, you can donate them to Value Village or Canadian Diabetes.

Hopefully that helps those of you looking to recycle some of these common household items. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at greg@holmesteam.ca. Thanks for reading! Liz

For all your real estate needs, contact Greg and Liz Holmes - The Holmes Team to help you buy and/or sell your home! Call us at 778.834.9929 or email us at greg@holmesteam.ca.

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Canadian House & Home Magazine is promoting their January 2012 issue with their trendy choices for paint colours. So if you're planning on doing some redecorating and aren't sure which colours to pick...a trendy choice is always a good option. Be sure to watch for accent colours...acid yellow isn't recommended for an entire room!!

 

Here's the link to their colour choices:

http://houseandhome.com/tv/segment/top-2012-paint-colours

 

In terms of an investment in your property, painting is one of the best AND least expensive ways to give your home a fresh, updated look and will help sell your home for more and faster, too.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

When you buy a brand new property, the colours in the show home are rarely the colours in your home once you take possession. "Builders beige" or white are the customary colours you can expect in your property once you move in. Make sure you get clarification about your expectations once it is move-in ready!

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What's your favourite home decorating colours? Do you like a white "Martha Stewart" kitchen? Do you like warm or cool colours in the bedrooms? Tell us! We want to hear from you!

 

Enjoy,

Greg

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A friend and client of ours had us over the other day for dinner and she was talking about her wall that she had painted with chalkboard paint. Her daughter was able to draw and scribble on the wall with chalk and of course easily wipe off too. It was pretty cool! I hadn’t seen that on a wall before and the fact that you can get it in so many colours is very unique – the typical black, but also beige, brown, pink, purple, blue etc. What a neat idea. Now I’m considering something like that for our little one.

 

I checked out a website that has a lot of decorating ideas and you might want to take a look at it: www.houzz.com . You can search by room, style, location, projects, idea books. You can even download it as an app on your iPhone.

This website actually has a bunch of photos from different people that have designed their home with space set up for kids with chalkboard walls.

 

If you want to find ideas on putting together or organizing your home office, this website has some ways to make your work space work. There’s even an example of an office set up in a closet!

 

If you would rather search by Product, you can check out flooring, lighting, storage or windows and doors. Lots of brilliant ideas to design and decorate your home.

 

If you have a website that you like or have some cool decorating ideas, tell us!

 

For all your real estate needs, contact Greg and Liz Holmes - The Holmes Team to help you buy and/or sell your home! Call us at 778.834.9929 or email us at info@holmesteam.ca .

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