Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Creating Curbside Appeal

If you are planning a move this spring/summer but still need to sell your home, there are some things you can do to make your house stand out above the rest. We’ve talked about staging the inside of your home, but many people neglect the outside – which is also important.

Here are a few tips:

1.The inside of your house can be pristine, but if you can’t get people through the doors, it won’t really matter. Start with the entrance. If your porch or front door has chipped paint or is looking tired, dress it up with a coat of paint. Sometimes just painting your front door with a more modern colour (black or a dark red) can make a huge difference.

2.Adding a few seasonal flower pots, some simple plants or flowers and mulch to your flower beds creates instant warmth. If you don’t want a lot of work, consider easy-care plants like hostas or sedums to fill in space and create beauty.

3.A fresh coat of white paint on window sills and tired looking garage doors will also spruce up the front of your home.

4.Get rid of the junk. You may not notice the broken barbeque or the ugly trailer at the side of your place with garbage that needs to go to the landfill site, but buyers definitely will.

5.Cut grass and trim hedges. Sometimes when people know they are moving they stop trying. Now more than ever your home must be “show-ready”. Make your home look like you care about it. This will tell buyers you aren’t hiding a lot of problems they can’t see.

Best wishes selling your home and taking the step to moving on.

By: Sharon Osvald in collaboration with Andrew Brown

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Flat Pack

With more and more of our readers buying flat screen televisions, we realized it might be helpful to know how to pack them if you are moving. So here is our version of "Step by Step" instructions of how to pack a flat screen television. Please note, it is safer and easier to do this job with two people than solo.

1) SUPPLIES (and TV's cords all unplugged and removed).

2) Remove tv stand from the tv... (be sure to keep tv stand, cords, and any tv related electronics together in one box so nothing is misplaced when reassembling)

3) Be sure all supplies are in the package (tv bag, two narrow 1/4" thick foam pieces, two 1/4" thick larger foam pieces)

4) Assemble box and place both narrow 1/4" thick foam pieces in bottom.

5) Place and wrap tv in protective bag.

6) Wrap the outside edges of the tv in both sheets of 1/4" thick larger pieces of foam and tape in place.

7) Place wrapped tv in box.

8) Be sure excess edges of the thick foam are tucked down the inner sides of the boxes so the tv is snug and does not move around.

9) Seal the box and handle with care.

Enjoy your safely packed Big screen TV!

By: Andrew Brown

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

While You Are Waiting

You’re moving.

Congratulations! Your house has sold or you’re nearing the end of your lease. You’ve already got your new home all arranged but you aren’t moving until the summer. There is nothing to do but wait. Not so. There is a lot you can do while you wait, that will make less work for you later on.

Here are a few ideas (besides packing of course):

•Have a garage sale. Take a look at all that extra stuff you’ve accumulated while you’ve been in your current home. If you haven’t used that tread mill, downhill skis or watched those movies in two years, it is time to get rid of them – and make a little money at the same time.

•Get rid of hazardous chemicals. Throw out your old paints cans and cleaning chemicals. Most dumps have special dates you can dispose of these chemicals. Check with your local landfill sites. Don’t forget to empty the fuel from your lawnmower/snowblower.

•Take a good hard look at your clothes closets. Again, if you haven’t worn something for a year – it is time to set it free. There are many places that would benefit from the donations of your gently used clothing, coats and bedding or towels. There will be less to move and you’ll be helping someone.

•Create your change of address list. With email this is a lot less expensive and time consuming than it used to be. Make a list of the relatives, friends and businesses/services that will need your new address.

•Contact your utility companies, insurance company etc. and make sure you have given them your end/ new start dates for services.

•If you are leaving the area, begin researching and making arrangements for a new veterinarian, family physician, dentist, optometrist etc. You can also take this time to research schools, family and recreational activities and churches.

Happy Planning!

By: Sharon Osvald and Andrew Brown

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Home Sweet Home?

If you are moving this spring or summer, you may be considering whether or not to purchase your very first home.
You are probably asking yourself: Am I ready to buy?

Here are some things to consider before taking the leap:

1. Are you really in a good financial place to handle such a commitment? Have you saved up the down payment? Have you paid off or in the process of regularly paying off outstanding debts, student loans or credit card debts?

2. Could you afford to pay your mortgage payments if the interest rate jumped? Currently, in Canada the interest rate for borrowing is at an all-time low. Many borrowers are paying 2% interest on their mortgages, but in the 1990’s people were paying closer to 14% interest. Although, you are able to lock in for a term where your rate remains the same, be certain you could manage an eventual price hike.

3.Have you truly considered the cost of maintenance, property taxes, insurance and utilities? Are you aware of the large one-time costs like legal fees, title insurance, home inspection, property transfer and taxes?

If you have prepared and are ready to buy your first home, here is a good website where you can learn more about how to arrange a mortgage, how to calculate what you can afford and much more at

Happy House Hunting! If we can be of help in your upcoming move visit

By: Sharon Osvald and Andrew Brown