Rosalinda Voth | 604-250-4996

You probably don't think buying a lighting fixture for a room is all that complicated. It isn't. However, it does require you to consider which types of lighting you may need. According to the Lighting Association, there are three types:

 

  1. General lighting. By far the most common, this is the type of lighting that is designed to create a functional brightness that spreads throughout a room. A good example is a main ceiling light.

 

  1. Task lighting. As the name implies, this type provides extra light needed for a specific task, such as working at a desk or chopping onions on a kitchen countertop. A bedside lamp used for reading is another example of task lighting.

 

  1. Accent lighting. This type is designed to set off a particular feature of a room, such as a painting. It creates some practical light, but its main purpose is to add to the overall decor.

 

When choosing lighting for a room, it's important to consider these three types. First, decide how best to light the space generally. Then think about any special lighting you might need for specific functions, such as reading. Finally, consider how accent lighting might add to the overall look.

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Sometimes we don't have much choice about selling our home and buying another. Circumstances, such as a job relocation, may have made that choice for us.

 

However, most often the decision to move is discretionary. Sometimes people move simply because they think it's a good idea. They feel that "now" is the right time to find their next dream home.

 

So how do you make that kind of decision?

 

There are, of course, many reasons to make a discretionary move. Usually, those reasons fall into one of two categories: need and want.

 

You may need to find a new home, for example, because you've outgrown your current property. Perhaps you have a growing family and require more space. Maybe you're doing more entertaining and need a larger backyard with a more spacious deck. It could be that the commute to work is arduous and you need to move to a place that's closer.

 

Those "needs" may motivate you to move, but sometimes a "want" plays an important role, too.

 

For example, you may want to live in a quieter neighbourhood or in a newly built home that requires less maintenance. Maybe you simply want a change.

 

If you're thinking of making a move, take a moment to write down a list of your needs and wants. Seeing them on paper will help make the decision easier.

 

Looking for expert help? Call Rosalinda today. 1.604.250.4996

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There are unwelcome guests that most homeowners dread. They come into your house, eat, sleep, make a mess, and never leave willingly. Each one has at least six legs and sometimes flies.

 

They are, of course, insects. They’ve been freeloading in homes since homes were invented. Here are some practical ways to keep these unwelcome guests out:

 

  • Find out how they got in. Look for gaps around windows and doors, and cracks in the basement. If you find a spider web, there's likely an insect entryway nearby.
  • Watch out for standing water near the foundation of your home. Make sure rain gutters drain water well away.
  • Eliminate clutter. Insects love warm, cluttered, moist areas.
  • Check the seal around dryer vents and other vents, pipes and cable wires going through the wall. Reseal if necessary.
  • Rinse recyclables before putting them into a bag or bin. Few things are more tempting to a bug than the dark, moist, sweet insides of an un-rinsed pop can.

 

If you do end up with a serious insect problem, call a professional exterminator. 

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Have you ever driven up to a restaurant and your first impression was disappointing? Perhaps the windows looked dark and gloomy, the façade was worn and unattractive or for some other reason it just didn't look like a tempting place to eat.

 

It could still be a fantastic restaurant – a real gem. But, your first impression has soured your anticipation. If you still walk through the front door, it will likely be with the expectation of being disappointed.

 

This scenario often plays out in the real estate market as well.

 

A buyer drives up to a home for sale and quickly forms an impression based on what he sees "from the curb". That's why you'll hear real estate experts talk about the importance of "curb appeal". It's one of the most important selling points of a property.

 

If you plan to put your home on the market, you obviously want your home to look as attractive as possible from the street. Fortunately, there are many simple things you can do to improve curb appeal.

 

For example, you can trim shrubs and hedges, plant flowers, clean the walkway and driveway, paint the front door and garage door, and clean the exteriors of the windows. All these projects are relatively easy and inexpensive. Yet, each can make a dramatic improvement to how your home looks at first glance.

 

Don't be like the great restaurant that’s hidden behind an unkept façade. Make sure your curb appeal reflects the overall value of your property.

 

Looking for more advice on selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call me today. 604.250.4996

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You would have to visit your local pharmacy or science lab to rival the number of potentially dangerous chemicals in the average home. You likely store everything from fertilizers and acidic cleaners to gasoline and corrosive drain openers.

 

Obviously, it makes sense to ensure that everyone in your home uses and stores such items safely.

 

For example, laundry detergent packs – which have become popular recently – are attractive to children. Keep them locked and out of sight. You should do the same with all laundry products. Even exposure to fabric softener pads can cause skin irritation to a child.

 

Always read and follow the labels on household chemical products. Use and store them as directed.

 

Keep corrosives, such as harsh cleaners and drain openers, separate from other chemicals and in a place where, should they leak, they will cause minimal or no damage.

 

Also, never put a chemical in anything other than its original container. You don’t want to take the chance that paint thinner stored in an old water bottle, for example, is mistaken for water!

 

Finally, make sure you have the phone number to your local Poison Control Center in a handy place, such as your fridge door. (You can find a list of numbers at www.CAPCC.ca in Canada and www.AAPCC.org in the U.S.)

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"Staging" your home is all about making the space in your home as appealing as possible to buyers. You may already know the basics, such as eliminating clutter. Here are some other tips that are less well known yet very effective:

 

  • Chandeliers. Surprisingly, these are one of the simplest ways to make a foyer, dining room or living room dramatically more eye-catching. You can buy a good-looking chandelier for a few hundred dollars.

 

  • New linen. This is something many home sellers don't consider, but should. Replace any worn linen – sheets, coverings, towels, and even oven mitts with new ones. Believe it or not, new linen makes a big impression on buyers.

 

  • Pedestal sinks. It may not be practical for you to replace a bathroom sink. However, if you are doing a renovation, keep in mind that pedestal sinks – especially in small washrooms – are a big hit with buyers.

 

  • New appliances. A brand new fridge, stove and dishwasher are motivating selling features to buyers. That's because new appliances make the whole kitchen look brand new.

 

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The first known use of stairs was in ancient Egypt during the building of the pyramids. Chances are, some workers back then tripped and fell on them. Some 3,000 years later, injuries on stairs are still a big problem.

 

According to the Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, the insurance cost of injuries from falls on stairs is second only to automobile accidents! Clearly, it's a bigger problem than most people imagine.

 

So how do you prevent trips, falls and other mishaps on stairs?

 

The most common way is to use handrails. In fact, most trips and falls occur when people aren't able to regain their balance because they are not holding a handrail.

 

Another source of accidents are items, such as toys, left on stairs. Some people have the bad habit of using stairs as a temporary shelf for books, magazines, mail and other items. That’s not a good idea!

 

Always be careful when carrying heavy items on stairs. Even an overloaded laundry basket can be a hazard. If it's too heavy or you can’t see over the top, it’s too full.

 

A lot of this is common sense. However, because injuries on stairs are so prevalent, we need to use our common sense more often. 

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Imagine you're viewing a potential new home. You walk in the front door and are instantly impressed. You explore the property room by room and like what you see.

 

Then there's something you notice that's not quite right. An odour. You realize that it's likely cat dander and, now that you've identified it, you smell it everywhere. Suddenly the home doesn't seem as attractive as it did just moments earlier.

 

The owner of the property is probably so used to the smell that he doesn't even notice it. Neither does anyone else in the household.

 

So, when marketing your home for sale, be scent sensitive. Think about the odours that you may have become used to but others are likely to notice. Even odours you think are pleasant, like the strong scent given off by some house plants, may not be pleasing to everyone.

 

An odour can easily distract a buyer from appreciating the good qualities of your property. Pay particular attention to garbage bins (which can smell even when empty), pets, kitty litter (even when fresh and unused), the kitchen (especially after cooking), perfumes, and closets.

 

The smell of cigarette smoke is particularly unpleasant to many people. Its odour can linger even on an outside deck or patio.

 

Bottom line? Don't assume buyers won't notice certain smells. They will.

 

Looking for more advice on selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today.

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Like most home products, candles are safe as long as you use them properly. The problem is thinking that as long as a candle doesn't fall over or come into contact with anything flammable, it is okay.

 

However, according to the National Candle Association (candles.org) there's more you can do to ensure candle safety.

 

  • Do not place candles where they can be knocked over by pets. (Cats can be particularly fascinated by the flickering light.)

 

  • Trim the wick to 1/4 inch before burning. A long wick can cause the candle to drip.

 

  • Don't burn a candle all the way down. At about two inches, put the candle out.
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  • Despite what you see in movies, don’t try to bravely extinguish a candle with your fingers.

 

  • Avoid using a candle during a power outage. Use flashlights instead.

 

  • Never use a candle as a night light next to your bed.

 

And, of course, never leave a candle burning unattended. If you need to leave the room, put the candle out. 

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When some people think about selling their home, they imagine all the things they will have to do: paint the kitchen, clean closets, prepare for viewings, find another home, arrange financing, start packing, etc. It can all seem very overwhelming very quickly.

 

In fact, the long to-do list you imagine you’ll have to deal with may dissuade you from making a move!

 

It doesn't have to be that way.

 

There are many ways to make selling your home and buying another relatively simple and easy.

 

Sure, there will be some work to do. You may need to prepare your property so that it looks appealing to potential buyers – cleaning, decluttering, doing some repairs, etc. Of course, you will also need to view some properties for sale in order to find your next dream home.

 

But those activities may not be as time-consuming or difficult as you had imagined. In fact, you and your family might actually enjoy the experience – and see it as an adventure.

 

The trick is to work with the right REALTOR®, someone who can guide you through the process, show you the shortcuts, and generally make things easier for you.

 

It's a little like baking your first cake from scratch. The task seems daunting, unless you have a master baker by your side to guide you step-by-step through the process. Then it's a lot easier, and even fun!

 

That's what a good REALTOR® can do for you. Looking for one? Call today.

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For Wallpaper Remnants


If you don’t already have half a roll of leftover wallpaper tucked away somewhere in your home, drop in to your local supply store to see what’s available in the remnant bin. You’d be surprised by what might catch your eye and how that bit of paper could quickly change a room’s decor. Here are just a
few ideas:


• Wallpaper a single wall for a dramatic accent.


• Paper the lower third of your dining room walls, then install a level strip of painted chair rail trim at the top edge of the paper.


• Instead of crown moulding, apply a border of wallpaper around the top of a room’s four walls.


• Wrap the sides of a kitchen island or peninsula.


• Resurface cupboard or pantry doors.


• Add wallpaper to the inside back panels of a bookcase or china hutch to create contrast.


• Cover shoe boxes to create decorative stacking storage bins (ideal for keeping kids’ rooms tidy).


• Use wallpaper as a dustcover for photo albums, journals, recipe books, etc.


• Centre a dramatic wallpaper pattern within a sophisticated picture frame.


• Cover a headboard and footboard for a decorative bedroom theme.

 

Looking for a good REALTOR® who wants to get to know you? Call today!

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Some people can live in their homes for years without ever experiencing a power outage. In fact, even in areas prone to serious storms or snowfalls, power loss doesn't happen that often. No wonder so many homeowners are caught unprepared when it does.

 

To make sure you're not caught unprepared, follow these tips:

 

  • Replace batteries in unused flashlights every six months.

 

  • Keep candles and matches in a handy place. Monitor them closely when lit and always blow them out before going to sleep.

 

  • For computers and phones, consider purchasing a power backup. (Some models provide up to 8 hours of power for two or three devices.)

 

  • Know the address of your local fire station and nearest community centre. These are the most common places to find help during a power outage.

 

When the power does go out, make sure the stove is turned off. You don't want an unattended burner or gas leak when the power finally comes back on. 

 

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Buyers are more likely to make an offer on your home if they see a lot of things they love about it. So what do buyers love to see?

 

One of the main things they like to see is a lot of space. Of course, you can't change the size of your rooms, but there is a lot you can do to make small spaces in your home seem more spacious.

 

Buyers also love to see a clean and uncluttered home. Think of how inviting a hotel room looks at first glance, with everything neat and organized. Of course, your home isn't a hotel, but the more neat and attractive you can make each room, the better.

 

One thing buyers don't love to see is potential maintenance issues. So as much as possible, get things fixed or updated.

 

In fact, the more "finished" and "move in ready" your home looks, the more likely a buyer is to make an offer.

 

Don't forget the surrounding neighbourhood either. A buyer may not take the time to explore the area, so be sure to make a list of the most appealing features. You might want to take a picture of the brand new playground just down the street or print off a local map showing nearby shopping, theatre and other points of interest.

 

It's not about creating a false impression. Rather, it's about making your home look its best and drawing attention to its most enticing features.

 

Want more home selling tips? Call today.

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If you have young children, or expect a visit from friends or relatives with little ones in tow, it pays to ensure your home is free of hazards. The last thing you want is an injury that could have easily been prevented.

 

Here are some basic childproofing tips.

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  • Remove everything that is toxic, hot or sharp, from within reach of a child. (For example, the leaves of some types of house plants are toxic.)
  • If possible, keep children out of the kitchen while cooking.
  • Install plug-in covers in electrical outlets. (These are inexpensive and can be purchased at any hardware store.)
  • Block or gate off areas where kids may fall.
  • Remove "pulling down" hazards, such as a heavy plant that a child can pull off a table.
  • Make sure there are screens on all open windows.

Finally, watch your pets. Even the most gentle dog or cat can act unpredictably around children – especially if they're not used to them. 

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When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it's important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.

 

An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are "conditional upon arranging financing" and "conditional upon passing a professional home inspection." However, there may be other conditions as well.

 

You should be aware of – and fully understand – all of them.

 

In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.

 

A good agent will always ask you to initial changes. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you're signing.

 

A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgement against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.

 

You don't want that to happen to you. Take the time to carefully review and understand an offer.

 

Want to make sure everything goes smoothly with your next move? Call today.

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I have listed a new property at 1602 2008 FULLERTON AVE in North Vancouver.
One owner for 30 years! Prime Woodcroft location minutes to West Van, North Van, downtown, public transit, & shopping. Rarely offered this bright and spotless 16th floor unit offers Gorgeous Westerly views, loads of natural light & overlooks Harbour, Bridge, City, Ocean, Mountains. 13 acres of private & secure park like gardens with water features, fountains, & green space, are surrounded by nature trails. Large in suite storage could be den. Check out these amenities: indoor pool, sauna/steam room, hot tub, gym, billiard & ping pong room, workshop, social/meeting room, guest suites, bike room, & 24 hr gated security! Maintenance fees include all of this plus heat, hot water, gas, hydro, shared laundry, gardens & management! BBQ's OK & Rentals allowed! The perfect suite for a 1st time buyer or investor. With today's all time low mortgage rates why rent when you can own ?
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It may be a co-worker who feels slighted because of something you said at a meeting, a driver you inadvertently cut off on the way to work or a neighbour who's upset because your tree has branched too far into his yard.

 

It's almost impossible to go through life -- or even a week -- without someone becoming upset with you. It happens.

 

So how do you deal with it?

 

There's an easy technique recommended by de-escalation experts called the balloon technique. It works like this:

 

Imagine the other person's anger is like a balloon filled with air. If you get angry back, all you're doing is adding more air to the balloon.

 

Instead, simply let the person vent until he has communicated his frustration completely. (If he asks questions, say you prefer to hear him out fully before answering.)

 

Letting the other person vent with little or no interruption will help to "deflate the balloon" thereby de-escalating the tension. Then you'll be in a better position to deal with the situation.

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If you have pets, you probably adore them. They're part of the family! But when you're preparing your home for sale, you need to think about how you're going to deal with the "pet issue".

 

Some potential buyers who view your property may love pets as much as you do. However, others may be turned off by the tell-tale signs of pet ownership – such as kitty litter, dander, and smells.

 

So be sure to make a plan for how you’re going to deal with your pets.

 

It's a good idea to keep pets out of the house during viewings. Even if your dog or cat is friendly, some buyers will be uncomfortable around them. So, you'll need to decide where your pets will go when buyers view your property. Consider a local kennel or "pet day camp".

 

"Can't I just take my dog out for a walk?" you might be asking. You could,; however, you may not always be available to do that during a viewing. So have alternate plans available.

 

You should also consider how you will deal with pet dander and everyday pet odours. You're probably used to them. Unfortunately, some buyers will be turned off or even be allergic. So, in addition to cleaning your home before a viewing -- especially in those areas where pets spend time like a favourite cushion or scratching post – consider using specialty air sprays available on the market that will neutralize pet odours.

 

Finally, it's a good idea to advise buyers that they're viewing a home with pets. That way, they'll be more forgiving if they catch a whiff of cat dander.

 

Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today.

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Does your spouse like to practice the drums in the evening? Does your teenager like to play video games, with the volume turned up high? Are there other sources of noise you'd like to minimize?

 

There are many ways to soundproof areas of your home to reduce noise. Here are some ideas:

 

  • Furniture placement. Surprisingly, where you place furniture can dramatically reduce incoming noise. For example, a bookshelf covering a third of a wall can muffle sound from an adjoining room by 25%.

 

  • Noise harmonization techniques. Soft music, air fans, and other sources of rhythmic noises can actually reduce the unpleasantness of incoming sounds.

 

  • Area rugs. Adding an area rug, even on top of existing carpeting, can significantly reduce noise coming from the floor below.

 

  • Acoustic tiles and panels. These are special ceiling tiles and wall coverings that are designed to diffuse and reduce sound infiltration. There are some products on the market that are remarkably easy to install.
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Items that remind us of special people, events, milestones and interests are an important part of what makes a home a home. Pictures on the fireplace mantle, for example, showcase family and friends that are important to us. You might also have trophies, certificates, greeting cards, and other mementoes on display in key places.

 

Of course, all of those things add warmth and meaning to your home.

 

However, if you're preparing your home for sale, it's a good idea to pack those memories away - at least until you've sold your property and moved to your new home.

 

Why? Because those pleasant mementoes that mean so much to you may actually turn off potential buyers.

 

You see, when buyers view your property, you want them to be able to clearly picture themselves and their families living there. That's difficult to do if everywhere they look they see reminders that this is your home!

 

So, to help sell your home quickly, make it look great, but not personalized. Think of the showroom displays you see set up in furniture stores. Those displays are most appealing when they enable you to easily picture yourself, with that furniture, in your home. You probably wouldn't feel that way if it looked like the furniture belonged to someone else.

 

Of course, buyers will know you currently live in your home. But helping them imagine themselves living there will help you sell your property faster – and possibly for a better price.

 

Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call Today!

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