Holiday Decorating When You’re Trying to Sell

The holidays are right around the corner and Christmas has arrived in every shop. Some of my friends have even started their holiday decorating already. For most people, decorating your home for the holidays is a favourite way to kick off the season and get in the festive spirit. If you are selling your home during the holidays, however, you may want to re-consider how and when you decorate your home.

It’s proven that when a seller spends time preparing their home for sale (e.g., doing touch ups, repairing anything broken, cleaning, organizing, staging) their home will likely sell quicker and for more money. The goal of organizing, cleaning, and staging is to help potential buyers envision themselves living in your home and seeing it as theirs. Unfortunately, holiday décor does not help with this, especially if potential buyers do not celebrate the same holidays and traditions as you. Consider this, do you think it would be more difficult to envision your furniture in someone else’s home when there’s a giant, decorated Christmas tree in the middle of the room compared to if there wasn’t a tree?  I think it might. However, I’m not a total Scrooge and I can certainly appreciate still wanting to enjoy the holidays despite preparing to move, so here I will focus on some tips for doing just that.

Tip #1: Wait to Decorate

Maybe it’s a tradition for you to put your holiday décor up on November 1st. If this is you, consider waiting at least another month to 5 weeks. And for the love of real estate, at least wait until you’ve had professional photos taken of your home and your first open house. This will give potential buyers an opportunity to at least view your home online, through pictures and virtual tours, and at the first open house without the holiday décor.

Tip #2: Keep it Minimal

Consider foregoing the 30-foot inflatable snowman in your front yard this year and try to keep what décor you put out to a minimum. For every 2 pieces you would usually put out, consider putting out just one. For instance, if you typically line your stairs with garland and put a wreath on your front door, just put the wreath out. The goal will still be to show off the best features of your home, so try not to cover those up with holiday décor.

Inflatable Snowman

(Image Source: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.6-ft-inflatable-shivering-snowman.1001007308.html)

Tip #3: Don’t Decorate Every Room

If you usually decorate every room in your house for the holidays, consider keeping it to just one or two rooms, such as the kitchen or your formal living room. Again, this will help buyers with envisioning themselves living in your home.

Tip #4: Declutter Other Items Even More

For every holiday décor piece that you put out, put one of your regular décor pieces in storage. This will help cut down on the feeling of clutter. It will also help you to be packed and ready to go for when you do sell.

(Image Sources: Photos by Tracey Ayton; images found here: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.6-ft-inflatable-shivering-snowman.1001007308.html)

Selling your home during the holidays can be a great time to sell as there is likely less inventory for buyers to choose from and those buyers that are out looking are typically quite serious and ready to make a move.

If you’re looking for some great gift ideas, check out my Maison Monday posts (#maisonmonday) on Instragram or Facebook (@fionawhiteatsutton) as I am featuring a holiday gift-giving guide at various price points each Monday leading up to Christmas. I wish you all happy holidays shared with loved ones.

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

Another Week, Another Project

Between listing appointments, buyer showings, preschool drop offs and pick-ups, and doctor visits (for one sick baby), I decided I wanted to fancy up my eating nook. I really can’t help myself; I guess my DIY projects are my hobby and my down time.

We bought our kitchen table and chairs (second hand) a couple of years ago for $100. It is an oak, round pedestal table. Already in the two short years that I’ve owned the table, I’ve already given it 2 makeovers; this is now it’s third (eek! Is it time to admit I have a problem?). The first makeover involved a few cans of spray paint. I spray painted the table white and the chairs a soft grey. With two toddlers, thinking I could keep a white table clean looking was probably a bit ambitious. Around the time of realizing that a white table was not the best choice for this family, I was introduced to fusion mineral paint. As you all likely know I love fusion mineral paint and it is so extremely durable. So, the table top (just the top) went from white to Ash Grey (click here for the colour: https://fusionmineralpaint.com/colours/). When I painted the top the ash colour I did not sand off the previous white colour, I simply painted right on top because Fusion Paint is very adhesive. This was about a year ago that I did this and it held up very well. HOWEVER, the dark grey colour was almost just as bad as the white. It shows everything.

After much time spent on Pinterest getting inspired, I decided to embrace the natural wood and stain the table with a grey-based stain to match the open shelving we have in our kitchen.

Sanding the table was a lot of work! I guess there’s a reason why I rarely ever do prep-work and always forego any sanding. The sanding took about 2 weeks and the most difficult part was getting the spray paint out of all the crevices in the table. I even bought a paint stripper to help with this but it did absolutely nothing. In the end, I wasn’t able to get all the paint out of the crevices and decided it added to the rustic look haha.

I put on a couple coats of the stain, allowing it to dry overnight before applying the next coat. On top of the stain, I applied a coat of fast-drying Polyurethane to protect the table and make it easy to wipe down.

20171108_101339

I ended up re-spray painting the chairs. What colour you ask? White. Now I know you might be thinking “didn’t you start off with a white table and change it because you couldn’t keep it clean?” Yes, yes I did. I might be losing it at this point but I truly felt that white was the best choice in terms of the look I was going for. The bright side is that the chairs are easy to re-spray whenever they need it. Ultimately, I hope to buy some upholstered chairs eventually and replace these ones.

Edit: I have to thank my friend Bri from A Whimsy Affair for all her advice on what to use for sanding the table and getting the paint off. If you get a chance, check out Bri’s facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/awhimsyaffair/), she is in the Vernon area (works in the Lower Mainland too) and is now offering DIY workshops and hosting sign making parties. She is about to open her own studio in the Vernon area and I know it’s going to be a huge hit! Thanks again Bri. 🙂

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

To Be Or Not To Be A Landlord

It’s certainly not uncommon here in the Lower Mainland to have an income suite in your home. In fact, a suite can add value to your home as many people specifically look for homes with a suite that they can rent out in order to help with housing costs. This blog is to help anyone that may be on the fence about taking on the venture of owning a house with a suite that they can rent out.

There are several pros when contemplating whether or not to be a landlord. The main pros fall under the category of MONEY. First, you will get rent payments which you can put towards living costs, housing, other investments, or whatever the heck you please (can you imagine the shoe collection you could start….just kidding….kind of)! Second, you may also qualify for a larger mortgage, if you can demonstrate that your home is income producing. In order to do this, the suite must be legal and registered; homes listed with “nanny” or in “in-law” suites could be a way to disguise that they are not legal and/or registered. These types of suites may not have full rental potential as they may not have a full kitchen, etc. Third, the resale value of your home may be higher (compared to similar homes without suites) as they are very desirable; especially here in the Lower Mainland.

There are also benefits to owning a suite but not renting it out. First, you can use it as a guest suite for out of town guests. Second, it provides a sense of financial security if you ever do need to rent it out. Third, (if bylaws and zoning permitted) you could use it as an office for your business.

While money always talks, there are risks and downsides to being a landlord that should also be considered. One risk is if your suite is not authorized or registered you could be fined (with the amount of the fine varying from place to place). In Surrey, this is a huge news story right now as the city is cracking down on unauthorized suites (read here for more information: https://globalnews.ca/news/3749352/surrey-rental-crackdown/). This can result in your tenants being displaced and also a loss of income, which if you need this to pay your mortgage or other bills can put you in a not-so-great spot.

Another risk is with tenants. Everyone wears a tie to a job interview right? What this means, is that it can sometimes be hard to know who you’re really going to be renting to; their true colours may not appear until after they’ve already moved in. One way to minimize this risk is to ask for multiple references, look into their financial situation (i.e., ask for a letter from their bank to show they’re in good standing), and one of the best tools is to do a background search for their name on the Internet. Oh the Internet – it’s amazing what it can reveal.

While not a risk or a con necessarily, one important consideration is to consider the additional work it will be to be a landlord. As a landlord you are required to do certain repairs and maintenance (see here for more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/during-a-tenancy/repairs-and-maintenance\). In addition, it is work to find a tenant, including placing an ad, showing the suite, interviewing tenants, reviewing references, doing walk throughs, completing paperwork, etc.

If you are considering becoming a landlord or purchasing a home with a suite, certainly do your homework. Research what it is like to be a landlord and know your rights as a landlord and your tenants’ rights.

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

 

The Great Appliance Hunt

It was Thanksgiving here in Canada last weekend and if you didn’t spend it at the Home Depot like the rest of the country then you really aren’t cool. Seriously though, it was busy and we had no choice but to spend our Monday shopping for new appliances. Let me rewind to Sunday to explain myself. Sunday afternoon I was in full on cleaning mode when I decided to do a really deep clean of our gas range. I threw the self-cleaner on for the oven and got to work on the burners with a toothpick and my favourite cleaning products from Norwex (if you haven’t heard about Norwex yet look them up – I don’t sell the product but I buy almost everything they have and love it). After an hour and a half of deep cleaning the top, I turned off the self-cleaner and turned my attention to the oven. Once it cooled down a bit it needed to be wiped down. One of my favourite tricks is to clean with baking soda, vinegar, and water. So I put baking soda all over the glass on the door and then immediately dumped a mixture of water and vinegar on it. CRACK. Immediately the glass cracked from the cool water/vinegar mix because of course it wasn’t anywhere near cold enough. Ugh. Not just any crack but an actual hole in the glass.

Since our appliances are about 14 years old we decided to go ahead and replace both our range and our fridge (we already replaced the dishwasher when we moved in 2 years ago). Since we had the luxury of appliance shopping sans kids, we checked out a number of retailers, including: Trail Appliances, Best Buy, Home Depot, The Bay, Sears, the Brick, Lowes, and Costco (a few of these we just looked at online). From what we found, pricing was pretty equivalent from place-to-place and brand-to-brand; Lowe’s even has a price match + 10% reduction if you find something cheaper than what they carry.

In considering colour/style, I was very interested in the black stainless steel, mainly for the following reason:

20171010_102249

See that my friends? Those are little finger and handprints and they are everywhere. Doesn’t matter if I clean my appliances every day, or every hour, or every 5 minutes. They somehow reappear immediately after cleaning. For that reason, I am drawn to the black stainless steel. We checked out a few of the “smudge-proof” stainless options but they still smudged and showed prints. When I asked the sales associate about this he said that it wipes away easily (cue laughter); obviously he doesn’t have a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old. Other colour options that I love are the matte black and white ice but we found there are many more black stainless options, and better yet, they are in our price range.

When it comes to the range, we were looking for a gas cooktop, a large oven, easy to clean (a self-cleaning option), and of course it has to be pretty. When we started looking we noticed many of the gas cooktops have a griddle/flat plate (I’m not 100% sure what to call this exactly) feature which I love, so this was also something we determined we needed.

Range2

(Source: bestbuy.ca)

For the fridge/freezer, it is most important to us to have a bottom freezer, french door style. Also, we were looking for a water dispenser/ice maker. For the most part, we are keeping it pretty simple so we don’t break the bank. One feature that we saw that I really just don’t understand is the door-in-door design. Can someone please explain how this is more convenient than just opening the main door? To me this seems like an expensive gimmick.

Door in Door Fridge

(Source: bestbuy.ca)

Speaking about gimmicks, one that I really do like and think is cool, is the built-in-touch screen on the fridge door. I wish this was in our budget but it’s not.

Fridge with touch screen

(Source: bestbuy.ca)

While I wasn’t expecting to have to spend so much money this week, it’s always fun to get to shop and buy new appliances. Here are the ones, we’ve decided to buy:

(Source: bestbuy.ca)

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room Refresh: Part 2

Guess what I’m never doing again? Building a bed. I always seem to think these things look easier than they are. I told my sister I thought in my head that it would take me an hour. WRONG. While it was exciting to use power tools for the first time since grade 9 wood working class, I also had to do a lot of math and measuring. Nonetheless, a can of worms has been opened, and now that I know I can use power tools, I have many other projects planned in my head (let the fun begin). Before I go on too much further, here are some before pictures of her room (and before you go on too much further, make sure you read last week’s post – Room Refresh: Part 1):

So really the bed didn’t take all that long to make and I did it over a couple of days. The biggest challenge was cutting the 45-degree angles for the roof peaks. I also had to get some help from my husband to hold up the top part while I screwed it all together. Once I was done the build part, I painted it with Fusion Mineral paint using their metallic copper colour. The colour is beautiful. A little unexpected for a little girl’s bedroom but because there is so much soft pink in her room I think it really works. To give the bed a princess touch, I added the sheer pom-pom curtains, which I got at Walmart for $20 (I think the curtains are her favourite part).

20171003_110605

If you follow me on Instagram (@fionawhiteatsutton) and watch my insta stories (thank you if you do) then you would have seen that I also used the copper metallic fusion mineral paint to paint the bottom legs of the IKEA table and chair set that we have. This project was easy and did probably take only an hour to do. I just measured 4” from the bottom, taped it off, and painted.

20171003_110705

I replaced the pictures I had in frames in the corner of her room with some cute new prints. I created the prints myself and went with a tree theme all in pink and copper colours. I absolutely love how these turned out.

20171003_110620

Finally, I also painted the mirror above her dresser to tie it in with the rest of the room. My mum and I also plan to sew some cute throw pillows together for her bed and I’m still on the hunt for a cute area rug for under the IKEA table and chairs.

20171003_110650

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

Room Refresh: Part 1

My oldest is now 3 and I’ve decided to re-do her bedroom; not a total makeover but more of a refresh. While I always have a decorating bug, the real reason behind this next project is to hopefully get her to sleep in her own room again. Everybody cross your fingers for us!!!

Since I’ve been fairly busy working and being a mom, the focus of this blog post is going to be on my plan for her room. Down the line (when I find some spare time to execute my plan), I will post again with the finished project.

The Plan:

For some time now, I have been dreaming of building a house shaped bed for her. If she loves the bed, she’ll sleep in it right? There are some amazing ones on Pinterest and because it’s the Internet, I was able to find some free plans. Since she already has a bed, I would like to build from the existing frame. I’m envisioning something like this:

House Bed2

(Source: Instagram @elinochalva)

Once the frame is done, I would like to paint it with, none other than, Fusion Mineral Paint. If you don’t already know, this is my favourite product. You can read all about it in my previous blog post here: https://fiona-white.com/2017/08/08/the-best-product-for-your-home/ As for colour, I just paused from writing this for about an hour to browse all the colours on the Fusion Mineral Paint website (https://fusionmineralpaint.com/colours/) and I’m no further ahead on deciding. I do love the metallic colours but I keep going back and forth between trying to match or compliment the already pale pink feature wall in my daughter’s room or contrasting it with say a brushed steel metallic colour or gold. What are your thoughts? Here’s a picture of her feature wall which I won’t be changing:

20161008_141335 (1)

Whatever colour I do decide to paint the bed frame, I was also thinking of doing a dipped paint look on this IKEA table set (which we already have). I will then use the table to create an art or reading corner. I will also paint the mirror hanging above her dresser in the same colour (whatever that may be).

DSC_0446

(Image Source: http://www.hellobabybrown.com/2017/01/playroom-tour.html?m=1)

I will also replace some of the pictures in her room. In one corner we currently have 6 frames which have pictures from when she was a newborn (weep!). I (obviously) won’t be getting rid of the pictures, but I’ll probably move them to my office and replace the frames with some cute prints. A trip to Target might be necessary to find the right ones.

I would also love to put up something by the window. I’m thinking curtains, but might go a little non-traditional as well. A slight whimsy touch could be cute, maybe a banner if I can source out the right one to work in the room.

So all-in-all, some lofty goals! LOL. Here’s hoping I can see this project through before she’s 5.

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com 

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

Creating a Space for You

The Man Cave. The Woman Cave/She Shed. These dedicated spaces to the men and women of the home are becoming all the rage and ever more popular. These types of spaces are even becoming part of essential search criteria when house hunting, as we yearn for a space in our homes to call our own – a getaway from the kids’ toys, the dishes in the sink, and the piled-up laundry.

So, where do you start? How do you go about creating a space that you can claim all for yourself? First, determine what you want to use the space for? Is it a room dedicated to crafting and sewing? How about a workshop for all your DIY projects, where you can paint and use a glue gun? Or what about the ultimate space to hang out with your friends, have a drink, and watch the hockey game?

Once you know what you want to use the space for, look for a room or even a corner, alcove, or closet in your house that can accommodate the activity you want to do. You don’t need a full room, basement, loft, or shed to create these types of spaces. Don’t limit your imagination. I discussed the concept of re-purposing a closet in my previous blog called Tiny Living. You can read all about it here: https://fiona-white.com/2017/07/31/tiny-living/

Next, once you’ve found the perfect spot, you can start to decorate it with décor and pieces that help create the right atmosphere. The trick, if you are using a small space, is to not overcrowd it or have too much going on. Aim to keep it simple while at the same time defining the space. Here are some pictures to help inspire you in creating your own space:

Image Sources: (1) https://digthisdesign.net/diy-design/small-home-bar-designs/ (2) https://www.decoist.com/2015-08-14/small-home-bar-ideas/ (3) http://www.homedit.com/creating-a-home-library/ (4) http://www.sewcando.com/2014/03/making-dream-craft-room-in-small-space.html

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com 

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

A Peek Into My Kitchen Renovation

Last weekend I hosted an open house at a gorgeous, newer home with a beautiful kitchen. The kitchen had all the bells and whistles: granite countertops, high-end appliances, gas range, drink cooler, etc. One potential buyer walked through and made the comment that his wife wouldn’t like the colour of the kitchen cabinets. And that’s a totally fair comment. Even though the kitchen was great in so many ways, not everyone has the same taste. I shared with him how our kitchen in our home was pretty nice as well when we bought the house but that it wasn’t completely our style and that we were able to make a few changes without breaking the bank. After our conversation, it got me thinking and I thought I would blog this week about what we did in our kitchen and also share with you the cost. You might be surprised!

Last week’s blog focused on the topic of Good Bones (click here to read all about it), and that was certainly a factor when we looked at our house. We knew that, for the most part, the kitchen had good bones. The appliances were in good shape, it was the right size kitchen, the layout worked well, and the cabinets were also in good shape. All these things meant we could save money as we didn’t have to replace appliances, or cabinets, or take down walls, etc.

Similar to the man I spoke with on the weekend at the open house I was hosting, I didn’t love the colour of our cabinets either. I’m a sucker for white cabinets. Initially we researched replacing them, but as I mentioned it’s quite a big kitchen and brand new cabinets would have been costly. After doing a lot of research and speaking with a few companies that spray cabinets, we decided to have our cabinets sprayed. I was nervous that they would chip, but two years later, with two kids who constantly drive toys and what not into them, I’m happy to report that they are in great shape and no chips! So you have an idea of the size of our kitchen, this is how many cabinets we have:

  • 7 single upper cabinets
  • 6 double upper cabinets
  • 17 drawers
  • 7 single lower cabinets
  • 6 double lower cabinets

In total, the cost to have all those cabinets sprayed was $5500. Not bad considering it probably would have been about double that cost (as a low estimate) to replace all those cabinets. We also saved energy and time in not having to remove cabinets or reconfigure them.

Before:

Old Kitchen

After:

 

In my opinion, if you’re going to do a kitchen renovation one of the biggest impacts you can have (other than changing cabinets) is updating the counters. While the counters were in great shape when we bought the house, they were laminate and not stone/solid surface. I love the look of marble but I don’t love the upkeep that comes with it or the cost. We ended up finding a quartz counter, which is much more durable, that had a marble look to it. The cost to upgrade the counters was $3900, this included delivery and installation. These counters are probably one of my favourite things about our kitchen.

20170908_095406

Next, we upgraded the backsplash. We went with a white subway tile. What I love about subway tile is that there are many patterns you can do to create interest and add detail. I have quite a traditional style, so we went with a standard brick pattern. What I also love about subway tile is that it’s easy to clean and it’s cheap (which is always a bonus). The tile and installation cost $900.

There were a few other changes that we made, such as replacing the sink, faucet, and handles for all cabinets and drawers. We went with a black granite sink from Costco, which cost under $300. The faucet cost about $200, and we got our cabinet handles from IKEA. The handles came in a two pack and they were (I think around $6 per pack). We needed 27 packs, so they cost us under $200. These extras add up to approximately $700.

In summary, we paid $5500 for our cabinets to be sprayed, $3900 for our counters, $900 for our tile (and labour), and $700 for the sink, faucet, and handles. In total (before tax) our kitchen reno cost $11K. Considering the size of our kitchen and the impact the changes had, it was worth every last dime. Kitchens also have the best return on investment when it comes to renovating. We also added some custom touches that cost us next to nothing but added character. This included removing one double upper cabinet and replacing it with open shelving. This is where we now display wine glasses and other décor. We were also gifted a new light for above our island (thanks mum and dad!), so we replaced the outdated fixture.

 

I wanted to share this because often times home renovation shows will show that it cost thousands upon thousands to renovate a kitchen. These costs can be accurate depending on the type of finishes you choose and the state of the kitchen to begin with. But what’s important to know or keep in mind, is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot and when you do renovate you get exactly what you want and exactly your style.

Thanks for reading.

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

Good Bones: House Hunting Considerations

What makes a house perfect, or close to perfect, truly depends on who lives there. Every family or individual is going to have different needs and requirements for what they look for. It is therefore important when house hunting to look for a place, that at its core, meet these requirements or has the ability to be changed to meet these requirements. The bones of a house are those things that are permanent or can’t easily be changed.

So, what is permanent or can’t easily be changed in a house? One thing is location. Because location is, for the most part, pretty permanent, I recommend when looking for a home that location become one of your top priorities or a starting place for your search. You don’t have to choose just one location, but do make sure that you know where you would live and where you wouldn’t. Think about how far you would have to commute to work, how close you are to family, schools, and access to community resources (rec centres, shops, parks, etc.). In a seller’s market, be willing to be somewhat flexible on location…could you live 10 minutes outside your preferred area? Would you be willing to trade single family living for a townhouse or condo to live in your preferred area or would you be willing to move further out to live in a single family detached home? Also, when considering location, keep in mind that just outside a popular neighbourhood will likely soon be up and coming as popular locations often expand.

Neighbourhood

(Image Source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/homesnews/63944-hunting-right-neighbourhood)

Strata bylaws (if applicable) and zoning are other considerations that can’t easily be changed. For instance, if you have children or pets (and you’re buying in a strata), then you need to ensure there are no restrictions that would prevent you from living in a certain complex, or renting out a certain unit (if you’re looking for an investment property).  Also, be very aware of property zoning and determine in advance what you want to use the property for. For instance, if farming is of importance to you or running a business from your property is important, then you need to ensure the zoning for that property would permit that.

Other considerations, that aren’t always easily changeable, are things such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the layout, and the square footage. In a seller’s market, however, it’s important to house hunt with a flexible mind and be open to creative ideas. For instance, if you’re looking for a five-bedroom house and you find a house that has good bones (i.e., it’s your desired location, it’s the perfect size, it has that open concept you want) but there are only four bedrooms, consider ways that you could create a fifth bedroom. Is there a den that you could buy a wardrobe for to create a fifth bedroom? Is there a loft space you could close in to create a fifth bedroom? What do you need the fifth bedroom for? Could you combine the purpose of another room to eliminate the need for a fifth bedroom (for instance, have a space in the family room for an office, use a closet as an office, have two kids share a room, etc.)?

Now, let’s consider what doesn’t make up the bones of a house. Really, this is anything that can easily be changed such as décor and paint. FOR THE LOVE OF HOUSE HUNTING (and investing) do not let things that can easily be changed influence your overall decision as to whether to buy or not. For instance, do you really want to pay $10K more for a house because it has paint colours you like, when you could hire a painter (or do it yourself) for the fraction of the cost? OR are you willing to miss out on a house because the paint colours don’t appeal to you or it doesn’t have crown moulding, or it’s messy, or the appliances don’t match?  When you focus on the bones of the house, and put all other things aside, the better investment you will make when it comes to purchasing.

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton

A Simple Basement Transformation

Is your basement used to its fullest potential or is it a place where furniture goes to die and storage boxes collect dust? The basement can often be the last to receive design attention, however, with the right touches, it can be an amazing space to enjoy. I have lots of great design tips but I’ve only incorporated a few of these ideas myself into our basement, mainly due to budget. I will say the few ideas I have incorporated have had a huge impact and help it to feel less like a dungeon!

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

As I always blog about, I changed the paint. This is the cheapest idea and it will often have one of the biggest impacts. When choosing a paint for your basement, my advice is to go light and bright. As basements are often mostly underground they can tend to be void of light, and darker spaces (if not done right) can be uninviting. In our basement, I went with Touch of Grey by Dulux paint. This is also the paint we have in the main part of our house. By using the same colour, it creates consistency and helps the basement to feel more like part of the house.

I also updated the décor by adding throw pillows, pictures/artwork, throw blankets, and lights. The more lamps and lighting you can add (without going overboard) the better. To add a little design interest, I also wallpapered a couple of different walls. I used the same wallpaper I have in other parts of my house for consistency with the design.

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I haven’t done a ton, but as I mentioned, what I have done has helped immensely. Now, over time, here’s what else I would like to do:

I would add curtains to the windows. Often in basements, the windows are smaller and by adding floor to ceiling curtains you can fake the appearance of larger windows. In choosing curtains, I would stick to a light colour fabric so not to add to the feeling of darkness.

We also have “hand-me-down” couches in our basement. I am grateful they were given to us and they are very comfortable. However, if it’s in your budget I would recommend replacing any old or second-hand furniture with something new. This will definitely help to feel less like a basement.

And finally, my last suggestion would be to add crown moulding as crown moulding can help a space to feel finished and elegant.

Thank you, as always, for reading. Please feel free to share this post and/or leave any comments or  questions below!

Written by:

Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty

Phone: 778-552-6246

Email: fwhite@sutton.com

Website: http://www.fiona-white.com

Facebook/Instagram: @fionawhiteatsutton