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5 steps to achieve first-home style

The time between inking the deal on your first home and move-in day is sure to be filled with anticipation and excitement. You’ll be thinking about the empty rooms in your soon-to-be-occupied home and the promise they hold. But it’s important to give yourself some time in the home to let your ideas evolve into better ones.

By all means visit stores, gather information, ideas, colours and fabric samples to begin your decorating plans. But remember, a truly comfortable and functional home that reflects your personal style will develop over time.  These tips will help first-time homeowners to furnish and style their new abode:

1. Resist the temptation to immediately purchase new furnishings. Organize and move in with what you have, placing furniture in rooms and finding places for items that go in closets, cupboards and drawers.

2. Measure and make a plan for each room on paper. Explore options on graph paper and consider using masking tape to mark out dimensions on the floor or walls of any furnishing you might purchase. This will ensure the pieces will work within your available space.

3. Consider unwanted elements. Home ownership affords you the luxury of making choices.  If you don’t like a lighting fixture or the wallpaper border in the kitchen, you are at liberty to replace it.

4. Consider any changes you would like to make to flooring. Carpeting from the previous owners may be crying out for replacement. Research and price out replacement options with consideration to available products, the temperature underfoot, and any need for noise reduction.

5. Create a budget. Apply a realistic price tag to your wish list and establish a time-frame to achieve your goals. Do things one step at a time and keep a tally against your budget as you go.

Soon enough, your first home will reflect your style and dovetail with your lifestyle.  More information can be found at www.royallepage.ca/realestate/info-and-advice/

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Five Summer Projects to Increase Home Resale Value

Assessing the best return for your investment is paramount when undertaking home improvement projects. This means putting a priority on the jobs that are likely to be more valuable than others.

Summer is an ideal time to get outside and invest your time, money and resources in a project that is going to pay back when it comes time to sell your home. We recommends investing in these top five outdoor home improvements:

1. Build a deck or patio. A deck or patio not only adds visual interest and enjoyment, it is also a way to add to the resale value of your home. There are many designs and approaches to consider so start with a trip to your local library to research ideas and choose an approach that fits your time and budget.  Be sure to plan well ahead and to check your municipal building requirements as a building permit may be required for decks above a certain size and height.

2. Install a sprinkler system. On average, homeowners use 50 per cent more water than necessary on their lawns. This increases hydro bills and may subject your basement to seepage and your garden from damage from over watering.

Automatic lawn sprinkler systems are designed to allow proper irrigation through timing and even water distribution. Although there’s an initial cost of installation, you could save money in the long run.

3. Landscape your property. Landscaping is a great way to add visual interest to an   outdoor living space. Whether planning a garden or building a pond, landscaping often results in a significant return on your investment. However, always consult a trained professional before tackling a landscaping project to ensure that your project has all the elements of a professional project.

4. Build or replace a fence. Defining the limits of your property is important for a variety of reasons, including privacy, security and safety. Considering your specific needs will help you to choose the right fence. Ultimately, the fence has to fit with how you use your yard. Do your research and consult with neighbours to determine if you can complete the project jointly.

5. Re-shingle a tired roof. A strong, durable roof is an essential component of your home’s overall health and functionality. If your roof is showing signs of wear, such as raised shingles or water seepage, choosing a qualified roofing contractor is a good first step. If you decide to do the job yourself, you’ll want to estimate the materials required accurately, consider disposal options for the old shingles, and ensure that you have plenty of hands available to make light work of a rigorous one-day job.

If you are looking to sell your home, or to concentrate your efforts on improvements that will enhance your investment, additional resources can be found at www.royallepage.ca/realestate/info-and-advice/seller-resources/

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