You may love animals, but with the exception of your family pets, you don’t want them in your home. Here are some tips for keeping the wildlife around your property where it belongs: outside.

 

  • Don’t place bird feeders too close to your windows. Doing so may cause birds to associate a window with food and therefore try to peck their way inside.
  • Make sure window screens are secure. If you can push a screen loose with your hand, so can a bird or other animal.
  • Check screens on dryer vents and chimneys. If they are damaged, fix or replace them.
  • To determine how animals are entering your home, stuff wadded paper in the suspected entry point. If the paper is disturbed the next day, you’ll know where they got in.
  • Never leave food outside, unattended. After a barbeque, for example, take all remaining food inside.

 

If you do find an animal in your home, never try to pick it up. It may bite or have rabies. Instead, call a professional.

Read full post

When would you talk to a car salesperson? Probably only once you’re ready to buy a new car. You would do some initial research (perhaps on the internet), get an idea of what you want, and then go to the dealership to meet a salesperson, test drive the car and make the purchase.

 

Although that approach may work when you’re buying a car, it’s not the best approach when it comes to real estate.

 

You see, successfully buying or selling a home requires a lot of planning and legwork. You want the process to go smoothly, the right decisions to be made, and the best possible deal to be negotiated.  

 

After all, this is the purchase and/or sale of your home!

 

So, the best time to talk to a REALTOR® is as early in the process as possible.

 

In fact, even if you’re just thinking of buying or selling — and simply want to explore the possibility of making a move sometime this year — you should have a conversation with a good REALTOR®.

 

A REALTOR® will answer your questions, provide you with the information and insights you need, help you avoid costly mistakes, and make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

 

When you are ready to buy or sell, having worked with a REALTOR® early in the process will help ensure you get what you want.

 

So talk to a good REALTOR® when:

 

  • You have a question about the local market.
  • You want to know what your home might sell for today.
  • You’re interested in checking out homes currently available on the market.
  • You’re in the midst of deciding whether or not to make a move.
  • You’ve decided to buy or sell.

 

Getting a good REALTOR® on your side early in the game makes everything a lot easier for you.

 

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call me today. 1.604.250.4996

Read full post

Please support this worthy cause, by donating blankets and warm clothing to the 21st Annual Realtors Care Blanket Drive.
With the recent wet and cold weather there is a desperate need for the following items:

Gently used or new blankets or sleeping bags
Gently used or new winter jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves
New socks and underwear

From Nov 16- 23rd, you can drop off your donations at any of the real estate offices http://www.rebgv.org/blanket-drive-drop-locations-0 . If you are unable to deliver to these locations and live on the North Shore, simply give me a quick call and I will be happy to personally arrange to pick them up.

North Shore Donations collected will go directly to the Harvest Project and Lookout Society, as well as Covenant House in Vancouver. The Vancouver Police Department are also distributing these items to the homeless on the Downtown Eastside.

Thank you again for all your support.

Read full post

As we approach the beginning of a new year, trade shows, consumer reports and specialty retailers are anxious to turn our attention to the latest trends, gadgets, and household goods. Not surprisingly, many offer technological advances that can enable homeowners to embrace infrastructure improvements.

Here are a few:

 

• LED lightbulbs: One automatically turns on when you enter the room, and turns off when you leave, while another can deliver music to any room via a wireless Bluetooth connection!

 

• Smoke detector: One of the latest versions will turn on a light whenever you enter the room.

 

• Wall-hung household battery: A rechargeable residential battery that stores power during low-rate periods (or from solar panels), then lets you tap into its energy when rates are higher (or when the sun’s not shining). It’s also a terrific back-up during blackouts.

 

• Smart outdoor sprinkler: Hook up your hose to this wireless unit, then use your smartphone to tell it what plants you have, and where they are. It will give each species (including grass) the right amount of water, so there’s much less waste.

 

• Smart toilet: This unit will adjust flush power, monitor overflow risk, and detect leaking – and it’s touch-free!

 

Home and Design Show is coming up in Vancouver, October 22-25 at the Vancouver Convention Center West.

Read full post

If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors.

 

First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re using a humidifier, try adjusting the levels. If the humidity is being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising volume of moisture into the air.

 

Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in. Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example) that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to creep in. Eventually, you’ll want to get it replaced.

 

If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window, particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

Concerned about Condensation on Windows?

 

If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors.

 

First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re using a humidifier, try adjusting the levels. If the humidity is being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising volume of moisture into the air.

 

Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in. Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example) that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to creep in. Eventually, you’ll want to get it replaced.

 

If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window, particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

Read full post

If you take care to price your home correctly — that is, at a price that is in line with what similar properties in the area have sold for recently — then you have a good chance of selling it at or near your asking price.

 

That doesn’t mean you won’t get a low-ball offer. You might. So what do you do when that happens?

 

First, understand that the buyer may not necessarily be trying to steal away your home at a bargain-basement price. He might simply be mistaken about its true market value. Of course, he might also be coming in at a low price in the hopes he’ll get lucky.

 

You will never actually know the buyer’s motives. So it would be a mistake to get angry or dismiss the offer out-of-hand. That low-ball offer might end up being the beginning of a negotiation that results in you selling your home at a good price.

 

Your first step is to work with your REALTOR® to determine:

 

  • How serious the buyer is.
  • How qualified the buyer is. (For example, does he have a pre-approved mortgage?)
  • How amenable the buyer is to a counter-offer that reflects the true market value of your home.
  • What that counter-offer should be.

 

This isn’t an easy process. It takes knowledge and experience to get it right. That’s why working with a good REALTOR® is essential.

 

Looking for a REALTOR® who is an expert at this stuff? Call me, Rosalinda Voth today, 604-250-4996.

 

Read full post

There may be no faster and less expensive way to transform a room than to apply wallpaper. Before you get started, look into the various types of available wallpaper materials (natural, vinyl, etc.) and consider their durability as well as their application and removal methods. Next, make your décor cohesive, by choosing a hue or design that complements dominant furniture, carpet, drapery or artwork and select your colour or pattern for a specific effect. For example, a lighter print helps a room seem larger, darker prints create a more intimate, cosy effect, and vertical stripes add height. Be mindful that matching the paper pattern can get tricky – especially around corners, but often just one papered wall will create a wonderfully dramatic transformation. Another option is a wainscot treatment, in which the wall is divided by a wood strip at chair-back height, and wood panelling, heavily textured wallpaper or solid paint is applied on the portion below, while lighter paint or wallpaper is applied above.

Call me now for helpful suggestions. 604-250-4996

Read full post

There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until you get those issues addressed, how do you make your indoor air healthier — today?

 

Here are some ideas:

 

  • Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.

 

  • Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odour in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season.

 

  • Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odour, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture; mould being the worst. Professionals recommend you keep the bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower.

 

  • Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer pesticides and other outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.

 

Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular way to freshen the air, and it works. 

Read full post

Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering making an offer.

 

Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat was there to, literally, cover up that defect.

 

A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else might be wrong with this house?”

 

There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.

 

One way is to have a professional home inspector check out the property as a condition of your purchase offer. He or she will inspect the home from top to bottom, inside and out, and point out any issues you should address.

 

It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.

 

Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re likely to encounter.

 

Want to talk to a good REALTOR®? Call me today. 604-250-4996

Read full post

The fall season can be the busiest time for home renovations, so it’s often difficult to find an available and reputable contractor or tradesperson. However, homeowners should not compromise on the choice of the right person or crew to get the job done properly. When considering your project, determine what portions of the job require a contractor, a certified tradesperson or a handyperson. For example, an uncertified worker may be an ideal choice for basic construction and repairs in terms of availability, skill and cost. However, if your project involves structural, plumbing, electrical and/or HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) work, you should probably defer to the expertise of skilled trade workers or a general contractor, even if they are scarcely available. They are likely the best way to be assured of the quality of the work and that it adheres to local building codes. Regardless of your choice, it’s always wise to make sure that the help you hire is fully insured for liability, theft, etc., and checks out with an industry or business association (e.g. BBB). As well, all work should be guaranteed in writing, with penalties for unsatisfactory outcomes.

Call me if you have any questions or if I can help. 604-250-4995

Read full post
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.