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Archive for July, 2013

Why the Faucet in Your Home is Better Than Bottled Water

Tap or bottled, that is the question. We’re not quite sure when the negative stigma surrounding tap water first started, but we’re here to try and dispel it. Did you know that 30.8 gallons worth of bottled water was consumed, per American, last year alone? (BEVNET) That’s roughly 246.4 bottles of water that one person consumed each year. The bottled water industry reported about $11.8 billion worth of sales in 2012. (BEVNET) We support making the healthy choice of choosing water over other artificial thirst quenchers but when you’re at home the water from your sink just might be a better option than what’s in the plastic bottle.

According to Harvard University Office for Sustainability, “…bottled water is less regulated than tap and up to 40% of bottled water in the US and Canada is actually filtered municipal tap water.” So why pay for what you have coming through your home’s faucets anyway? The report also goes on to state that if a person was to consume the daily recommended amount of water each day for a year, the annual cost for using water bottles would exceed about $3,000!

So join the revolution and switch to tap. We now know that tap is just as healthy, if not more, than bottled water. What we also know is that bottled water is not always healthy for the environment. Plastic takes years to decompose and only further burdens our already inundated landfills. Recycling water bottles is crucial, but it is still creating unnecessary waste given the fact that you can just as easily use that glass in your cabinet instead of that disposable container.

Next time your feeling thirsty at home, try filling up from your faucet. For those who want to be extra cautious try installing an attachable water filter to your faucets spout. Also, one of the more recent trends is to carry around stylish, reusable canteens. They can be found almost everywhere–from grocery to department stores. This will allow you to make your water portable and helps reduce waste.

There is also a really cool product out right now called Boxed Water is Better. Instead of using plastic, they chose to use a box which 76% of which is derived from trees, which makes for an easier recycling process. And while they are in the business shipping water out to millions around the world the company also states, “…we really care about the world’s water supply. 10% of our profit is donated to world water relief foundations.” Now that’s a great cause and incentive to make the switch away from using plastic!

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Lucky House Numbers

Door numbers impacting home sales? Could be.

Having the number 4, 13 and 8 on front doors could affect the value of a property by up to $35,000, according to real estate agents in the GTA.

Superstitious or not, investors are staying away from numbers that may impact future sales. No.13 always carries a stigma, no matter the location or price, but more investors are stepping away from doors with the No.4.

Most recently, Richmond Hill council voted to drop the No.4 in new addresses as that number means ‘death’ in Cantonese and Mandarin.  Other house owners are applying to change their numbers for a nominal fee. On the other side of the coin, the No.8 symbolizes luck and perfect balance in Chinese.

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What is Depersonalization? Stage Your Home to Appeal To Buyers

Have you wondered, What is depersonalization? Also called staging, depersonalization involves creating a home that is inviting to a wide range of potential buyers. Your ultimate goal is to help the potential buyer visualize his or her new home in the house you’re selling. To effectively entice buyers, you want to remove anything in your house that would not appeal to another person. Keep in mind that your house will ultimately end up as someone else’s home and that person will have his own unique style and personal touches to add.

Neutralize

By removing personal items such as pictures and framed degrees along with utilizing neutral colors, it is much easier for home buyers to see how their own furniture and personal style would mesh with the house they are viewing. For example, vivid colors may only appeal to a few buyers. But by placing neutral-colored throw pillows on your couch and having complementary wall colors and window treatments, you create an inviting space for people of all tastes, from traditional to contemporary. For specifics on “what is depersonalization?” and how to incorporate this concept into your selling strategy, consider using some of the techniques provided below.

Clean

This should go without saying: Have your home thoroughly cleaned before showing it. A clean home is much more inviting and appealing to potential buyers than a home with dust, clutter, and dirt. Be sure to tidy up every morning or evening. For example, unwashed dishes in the sink, an unmade bed, and dirty laundry overflowing in a laundry basket are unappealing to potential buyers.

Extra Touches

  • Make sure the trashcans are empty and the toilet lids are down. Remember to stow away grooming items such as toothbrushes and shaving kits.
  • Turn on some lights. In rooms without windows or rooms with heavy drapes, turn on lamps and recessed lights. An adequately lit home is warm and comforting to buyers.
  • Place flower arrangements in communal spaces such as kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. Fresh flowers bring a cozy, earthy feel into a home without being too personal.
  • Consider using mild air fresheners throughout your home, especially near trashcans, pet areas, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Avoid overpowering fragrances, though, as they may distract buyers.

By depersonalizing your home and appealing to a broad range of buyers, you increase the likelihood of receiving a viable offer and decrease the likelihood that your home will sit on the market for an extended period.

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By Eric Bunnell, St. Thomas Times-Journal

St. Thomas is seen by some as a poster child for the economic downturn, but it’s also becoming a destination for first-time homebuyers seeking a less expensive alternative to London.

That’s how the president of the London-St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) interprets the 18 % spike in St. Thomas home sales in the first six months of this year.

“People like it down there with the small-town feel, even though it’s a good-sized city,” said president Doug Pedlar.

“St. Thomas is holding its own, and it’s been great this year.”

The average house price in St. Thomas is about $50,000 less than in London, something Pedlar believes is attracting people who want to live close to London without paying high prices.

“With some of the problems and the companies leaving St. Thomas, you might have expected something different,” Pedlar said.

“So it’s really nice when St. Thomas has kept a fairly healthy market with the economy having some hits.”

That’s a trend the city has seen throughout the economic downturn, said St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson.

“The developers have done really well and I think in part it’s the quality of homes that they’re building but it’s also the quality of life that’s offered here,” she said.

“A lot of homes in the north end of the city were purchased by young families that are making that commute to London every day. So it’s certainly good news.”

It’s also a message the St. Thomas Elgin Home Builders’ Association has been pushing for years.

Through its 25 Percent More Life advertising campaign, the group has tried to sell the notion that the cost of living in St. Thomas is relatively low.

The city has become a bedroom community for London and a destination for retirees from the Greater Toronto Area, said builders’ association executive officer John Gundry.

“They’re selling their homes in the GTA and buying a very nice home here and putting a bunch of money in the bank for their retirement,” Gundry said.

There were 356 homes in St. Thomas sold between January and the end of June this year, compared to 302 in the same period a year ago.

The month of June saw a slight dip in home sales compared to last year but there were only four fewer homes sold, a figure Pedlar said is not statistically significant.

Average home prices rose slightly in St. Thomas to about $190,000 but that’s lower than the average price of about $248,000 in London.

Both centres are well below the national average of about $368,000.

Pedlar said he doesn’t see any reason the trend of solid home sales and favourable prices in St. Thomas will change.

“St. Thomas looks like it’s going to be a good, healthy, balanced market,” he said.

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What is Depersonalization?

What is Depersonalization? Stage Your Home to Appeal To Buyers

Have you wondered, What is depersonalization? Also called staging, depersonalization involves creating a home that is inviting to a wide range of potential buyers. Your ultimate goal is to help the potential buyer visualize his or her new home in the house you’re selling. To effectively entice buyers, you want to remove anything in your house that would not appeal to another person. Keep in mind that your house will ultimately end up as someone else’s home and that person will have his own unique style and personal touches to add.

Neutralize

By removing personal items such as pictures and framed degrees along with utilizing neutral colors, it is much easier for home buyers to see how their own furniture and personal style would mesh with the house they are viewing. For example, vivid colors may only appeal to a few buyers. But by placing neutral-colored throw pillows on your couch and having complementary wall colors and window treatments, you create an inviting space for people of all tastes, from traditional to contemporary. For specifics on “what is depersonalization?” and how to incorporate this concept into your selling strategy, consider using some of the techniques provided below.

Clean

This should go without saying: Have your home thoroughly cleaned before showing it. A clean home is much more inviting and appealing to potential buyers than a home with dust, clutter, and dirt. Be sure to tidy up every morning or evening. For example, unwashed dishes in the sink, an unmade bed, and dirty laundry overflowing in a laundry basket are unappealing to potential buyers.

Extra Touches

  • Make sure the trashcans are empty and the toilet lids are down. Remember to stow away grooming items such as toothbrushes and shaving kits.
  • Turn on some lights. In rooms without windows or rooms with heavy drapes, turn on lamps and recessed lights. An adequately lit home is warm and comforting to buyers.
  • Place flower arrangements in communal spaces such as kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. Fresh flowers bring a cozy, earthy feel into a home without being too personal.
  • Consider using mild air fresheners throughout your home, especially near trashcans, pet areas, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Avoid overpowering fragrances, though, as they may distract buyers.

By depersonalizing your home and appealing to a broad range of buyers, you increase the likelihood of receiving a viable offer and decrease the likelihood that your home will sit on the market for an extended period.

Read Full Post »