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How to Make a Small Space Appear Bigger

Wed, 25 Oct by teamcore

A small space is never a bad thing, it makes you feel cozy and comfortable, it has a way of making you feel at home, yet it can be tricky to decorate. You don’t want to decorate it in a way that makes the room feel more cramped than it already does, but how does one go about making the room appear bigger? Here are some tips on how to make a small space appear bigger.

Stick to Light Hues
Dark colours are nice, and have recently come back into trend.  But did you know that the dark colours in your room are actually making it appear smaller.  Stick with the light hues like white, beige, off-white and even some blues to give your room a light, airy and open feeling.

Stay Monochromatic
While on the topic of paint colours, try painting your walls, trim and detailing different shades of one colour.

Invest in Multi-functional Pieces
If your small space is your living room, try investing in an ottoman that also has a storage space(ex-vintage trunk).  These are perfect as they can be used as a coffee table, extra seating, and a place to hide your extra blankets.  Having multi-functional pieces will allow you to be decorative without having to worry about it being an inconvenience.

Use Mirrors
Mirrors are an easy, sure-fire way to make your space appear larger.  Because of the reflection of the mirror, it’s going to instantly double your room size.

Think Big
Just because you have a small space, it doesn’t mean you should stick to small pieces.  The smaller the pieces, the more items you will need, crowding your space even more.  Have one prominent piece of furniture, such as a sectional, to get the most out of your space.

Add Colour to Your Ceilings
We just told you to stick with light hues, we know.  However, adding a pop of colour to your ceilings will draw your eye upward and it will create the illusion of height.  If colour isn’t your thing, try adding a floor- to ceiling bookcase to your decor.

Take Advantage of Natural Light
Nothing shows space more than natural light.  If you have it, use it.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have a space with it.  The use of natural light will help create the illusion of a bigger area.

Use of Glass/See-Through Items
This one might seem weird in some circumstances, like a bathroom.  However, if your bathroom is a tight squeeze, changing your shower curtain to a see-through one will instantly add depth.  That’s 2 feet of bathroom(yes, your tub) that you wouldn’t see otherwise.  If your struggling with a small dining room or living room, try upgrading your table, or coffee table to a glass top.  The fact that you are able to see through this items, gives the illusion of space.

Size isn’t everything, but decorating is.  There is no need to make your small space feel any smaller, especially when we have the tools to make it feel large.  Try these tips, and we would LOVE to see your before and after photos!

Happy Decorating!

5 Tips for a First Time Home Buyer

Wed, 18 Oct by teamcore

 

 

 

You just graduated from high school, and you moved away from home. You’re renting from a nice middle aged couple. Rent is cheap, utilities are included. You think this is great! Fast forward 10 years.  You’re graduated from University and you’ve been working at the same office for 6 years and you’re renting the same house, from the same couple. Rent is still cheap and utilities are still included. Perfect! But is it? Your parents are on you to buy a house, because why help someone else build their equity, when you can build your own.  This scares you, because you have NO idea where to start.  Here are 5 tips to help you prepare to be a first time home buyer.

1) Build Your Credit
There are a few ways to build your credit.  These include but are not limited to:
– Opening a bank account
– Paying your bills on time
– Get a secured credit card
– Get a retailer credit card(ex- Hudsons Bay Card, The Brick Card)
– Apply for a small loan

When it comes to loans, make sure to ask your lender if they’re registered with the credit bureau.

2) Save for the Down Payment
A down payment is a necessity when it comes to buying a home.  You can put as much as you want down, as long as it is AT LEAST 5% of the purchase price of the home.  Give yourself enough time to save up this amount, and if you can’t or don’t have quite enough, it doesn’t hurt to ask a family member to help.  But remember, that money has to be in your account for at least 90 days before you can use it for a down payment.

3) Lower Your Debt Service Coverage Ratio
Lowering your debt service coverage ratio could improve your chance of getting a mortgage greatly.  This goes as simple as trading your current car payment for a lower one.

4) Save for the Closing Costs
There are a few more costs than just the down payment to save up for.  A few of these other costs that you will need to save up for include but are not limited to: a home inspection, legal fees, and creating a Sask Power and Sask Energy account (if you do not have on currently).

5) Look for Functionality and Resale
It’s your first home.  We know you want everything, but most of the time, everything isn’t in your budget.  Look for the functionality and the resale value of your home.  Look for updates on the big ticket items, such as your furnace, windows, and shingles.  Every other aesthetically pleasing renovations can be done on your time and your money, so when it comes to resell, YOU’RE reaping the benefits of the renovations and you didn’t pay for someone else to renovate your home right out of the gate.  If you buy finished, you will have less opportunity to build equity.

These are just a few tips to point you in the right direction.  One thing we can say for sure is, before looking at homes, be sure to talk to a bank and they can help you get started.  You want to know the amount of mortgage that you can qualify for before looking at homes that are out of your price range. Once you’ve figured out your mortgage situation, give us a call; we will be sure to help you out with all of your buying needs!

Happy buying!

5 Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Short Notice Showing

Wed, 11 Oct by teamcore

You’re sitting at work, on your coffee break, reminiscing about the family game night you had last night. It was so much fun! There is a little bit of cleaning to do, but the kids promised to help you clean up after work today.  GREAT!  Now your phone rings, it’s your agent.  They want to book a showing at 1pm.  You panic a little, but you can’t say no. “Yes, you can show the house.  It’s tidy” you tell your agent.  Now what do you do? You run home at lunch to tidy up, but you have NO idea on where to start.  You start throwing things in places they’ve never even seen before.  The house doesn’t look any better, but it’s the best you could do on short notice.  You run back to work and call your agent when you believe the showing is done.  Unfortunately, you’ve lost your potential buyers.

This sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?  We don’t ever want this nightmare to become your reality so here are 5 tips to help you prepare your home for a short notice showing.

Take the Garbage out
No one likes the smell of old garbage.  Make sure to take your garbage out and replace it with a fresh bag.  This will help eliminate the smell.  If there’s a smell lingering, spray some Febreeze, or even plug in a Scentsy!

Put Pets Away
Agents know it’s sometimes tough to have a showing when there are pets around.  If possible, try and get someone to take your pet for an hour.  If that’s not an option, let your agent know that your pet is in it’s kennel and where the kennel is located.  That way, they can inform your potential buyers.

Sweep/Vacuum
No one likes walking around a house with the feeling of crumbs on their feet.  Or leaving the home with pet hair all over their socks.  Make sure to do a quick sweep and vacuum of your home.

Make Beds
The bedrooms might be a little untidy, but a quick, surefire way to make the rooms look neater than they appear, MAKE THE BEDS!

Tidy Key Areas
You don’t need to power clean EVERY room, but there are a few rooms that you should pay a little more attention to.

Kitchen– toss the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.  Or, if you don’t have a dishwasher, stack the dishes neatly in the sink.  Depending on how many dishes you have, you might be able to just wash them right then.
Bathroom– We’re not asking you to full out clean the bathrooms, but taking a disinfectant cloth to the bathtub, toilet and sink will make a world of difference.  And if you get the cloths that have a scent, you’ll also leave your bathroom smelling lemony fresh!  And if your mother never taught you, it’s always good manners to put the toilet seat down.
Main Entrance– This is the very first part of your home that potential buyers will see.  You should keep it tidy.  Limit the amount of footwear that is kept at the front, along with the amount of outerwear.  The less items, the less clutter!
Living room– Usually the living room is right off the main entrance, so it’s going to be the second room they look at.  Move any dishes, garbage, clothing out of the living room and give it a quick spritz of Febreeze.

Usually you’re given a few days notice that someone wants to have a showing, but other times you aren’t that lucky.  Don’t be caught in this predicament and try and keep your home tidy, but if not, use these tips to help you out of the rut!

Happy cleaning!

5 Tips to Winterize Your Home

Wed, 04 Oct by teamcore

Fall has just begun, but let’s be honest, we live in Saskatchewan, so that means winter is right around the corner.
You know what you need to prepare yourself for the cold weather, but what about preparing your home?
These five tips and tricks will help prevent any unfortunate winter mishaps and get your home winter ready!

1) Have Your Furnace Professionally Serviced
– A routine maintenance check each fall will help ensure your furnace will run properly during the winter months.

2) Inspect Windows and Doors for Leaks
– Checking and replace if needed, the weather-stripping around the windows and door frames will help prevent heat loss.

3) Inspect the Roof/Clean out the Gutters
– Inspect your roof for any loose, damaged or missing shingles.
– While you are up on the roof, make sure your gutters are free of leaves, dirt and sticks. Make sure the downspouts are extended at least five feet from your house, to prevent potential water damage.

4) Turn Off Outside Faucets
– Undrained water can freeze and may cause pipes to burst.

5) Trim Bushes and Trees
– Trimming overgrown bushes and trees away from your house and electrical wires, will decrease your risk of property damage and power problems.

It doesn’t take long to winterize your home, especially if it helps to prevent damages. While you are out prepping your home, it might also be worthwhile to pick up anything you’re missing or will need for the winter, including salt, shovels, or maybe even a snow blower! Because who wants to leave in -40 to go grab these?

Happy Winterizing!