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Economical Upgrades to Increase Your Home’s Value


Whether you are looking to move now or may consider it in the future, there are many affordable options for making significant changes to your home without having to do a major renovation. With low-cost purchases of supplies, DIY instructions or professional guidance, and time set aside, you can make improvements that will increase your home’s resale value, save you money on energy costs, and improve your quality of living. When considering improvements, consider what needs attention first, such as protection from the elements, mold removal, mobility safety, and energy efficiency. Once those are addressed, you should pay attention to enhancing the appearance to attract future buyers. Such consideration should include space, lighting, curb appeal, and interior decorum. The following upgrades can transform your home into a more comfortable and stylish environment without stretching your wallet.

Start simple with cleaning, painting, and other resurfacing

Always begin with sparkling up the floors, walls, fixtures, and cabinetry which you can easily do with minimal expense. Sanding and repainting, wallpaper, and retiling can give a new look to what has grown old and drabby. Also, replace old appliances and countertops when you can find items on sale. Another way to eliminate eyesores is to hide them with a photo or painting. You can also cheaply replace old handles, knobs, locks, and outlet plates with a newer style to create a unique look. If preferred, you can paint over these fixtures and tile and tubs. It’s important, though, to match the colors and style of your room, furniture, and appliances. Consult a professional to recoat ceramic, porcelain, or fiberglass.

Give the illusion of space, and don’t waste what you have

Do you have an unused room? Why not turn it into a functioning space, such as a comfortable den or extra bedroom? You can add new furniture, rugs, pillows, a TV, or a free-standing wardrobe closet. Add mirrors to a small area to make it appear more spacious. Install visible storage, such as floating shelves, to allow others to see the capacity. Rid your home of bulky furnishings to free up space.

Refurbishment instead of replacement

Re-stain or refinish old wood on decks, doors, and furniture. Update your windows by adding molding or painting the frames inside to make them appear bigger and more modern. If you need to replace, buy energy-efficient windows; vinyl ones are recommended. You can also add interior shutters for style and privacy.

Upgrade the lighting

You can improve the ambiance of a room with a different light fixture, such as a new dining room chandelier or a vintage lantern, to give a rustic charm to your entryway. Consider investing between $1000-$3000 to install a sliding glass door to bring in more natural lighting. In addition, choose neutral paint colors for a softer environment pleasing to the average eye.

Improve curb appeal

Although they shouldn’t, people will judge a book by its cover. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and that includes your home. You may only need to paint your front door and add a few plants or plant shrubs and perennials to populate a barren area. You’re not only beautifying your property but benefiting the environment. In addition, pay attention to the exterior material of your house. Worn siding and peeling shingles will immediately turn potential buyers off. You can remove dirt and stains by power washing, but if you need to replace siding, fiber-cement is recommended for its affordability and resistance to fire, rotting, and termites.

Compared to more extensive remodeling, these small home improvements are a more affordable and less laborious approach to giving your home the facelift it needs to be saleable. In addition, these upgrades allow you to enjoy the time you have in your home with the added comforts and conveniences they provide.

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New property listed in West Transcona, 3L

I have listed a new property at 113 Edward AVE in Winnipeg. See details here

Calling all first time buyers, investors or builders. Long time owner says sell. This 2 bedroom bungalow on a huge 60 X 100 lot with a single detached garage. House is still livable but value is in land. New homes have been built on this street.

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Make Sure Your Home Is Ready for Winter


If you do not live in a warm, tropical climate, the fall months are the best time to get your home ready for freezing temperatures, snowstorms, and icy conditions that lie ahead in the wintertime. Without the proper care and adherence to a maintenance routine, your living space and appliances are prone to damage that can lead to considerable costs for repair and high energy bills.

Protect your home and property by reserving some autumn weekends to check the interior and exterior space for proper drainage, protection from winds, and insulation from the cold. You also want to ascertain that all your heating appliances are in tip-top shape. Here is a checklist to help you get through your maintenance schedule in time for the onset of old man winter.

INSULATE PIPES. Pipes that run along unheated areas can freeze and burst when temperatures drop to 32F and below. Protect them with foam or blown-in insulation you can purchase at a hardware store.

CLEAN OUT GUTTERS. Avoid clogs that can damage your shingles or roof. Use a strong ladder or get a handyman to help. Use work gloves to scoop out leaves and other debris that can block proper drainage. You can also purchase gutters with leaf guards to keep maintenance minimal.

DRAIN SPRINKLERS, UNHOOK HOSING, AND TURN OFF EXTERIOR FAUCETS. Like pipes, these can expand and crack when frozen. Remove any residual water or get help from a contractor who can blow out the water with compressed air.

INSTALL INSULATION. Block drafts by stripping around windows and door frames. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it is impervious to the elements. For baseboards, use paintable caulking.

GET YOUR FURNACE CHECKED. Hire an HVAC Contractor to inspect all parts and replace the filter with one that will easily trap particles. Ensure it is operating efficiently and that there is no carbon monoxide leakage.

FIREPLACE CLEANING AND INSPECTION. Gas fireplaces should be inspected every three years. However, wood-burning fireplaces require annual cleaning by a certified Chimney Sweep to prevent the ignition of soot build-up.

TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP. Slowly pour several gallons of water to check that it will turn one, especially during a previous dry season or before rainfall.

INSPECT YOUR ROOF. Check for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that could cause a leak from melting snow and storms. Hire a handyman for small repairs or a roofer for larger sections.

PREPARE FOR SNOW AND POWER OUTAGES. Be ready for an emergency and proper snow clearance. Restock rock salt and check that your snow removal tools are operational and in good condition. Have a generator handy in case you need a backup of power.

MAINTAIN OUTDOOR PLANTS AND TREES. Trim dead branches that could fall and cause major damage. Add mulch to insulate plant roots from low temperatures. Cut back perennials to eliminate harmful insects that may hibernate and resurface to impede spring growth.

Fall is fun for pumpkin carving, farm festivals, and comfortable, cool-weather hikes. Set some time to enjoy activities and appreciate nature. However, don’t put off the tasks needed to prepare and protect your greatest asset, your home. The fall months fly by, and before you know it, you are faced with the unforgiving harshness of mother nature. Be ready and armed with that first snowflake, a gust of wind, and a dangling icicle until you can let your guard down again in the spring.

 
 
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New property listed in North End, 4C

I have listed a new property at 472 Bannerman AVE in Winnipeg. See details here

Showing start now with offers being presented November 23 evening. Owner says sell. Call all investors or first time home buyers. Upgraded bungalow with two bedrooms. This was a great investment property that was rented out to a long term tenant paying $995 a month+ all utilities. Single detached garage with carport on a fenced in 27 X 120 lot.

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Should You Sell Your Home in the Fall?

 Spring is the most popular time to sell a home, yet there are some advantages to getting your house on the market in the autumn months. Although you may feel you have missed out by not putting your house on the market in the spring, the fall months for selling your home could be a feather in your cap. Look at the following four benefits to selling your home in the fall, along with tips for leveraging those to find a buyer. 

Demographics Most Likely to Buy in the Fall

Serious homebuyers for this time are often millennials, empty-nesters, or relocated employees without children. Without having to consider a new school year, they are more apt to buy before the end of the year to lock in mortgage rates, avoid the hassle of a move in the winter weather, or get settled in a new location for their job before the start of a new year.

Less Inventory—Less Competition

Homes listed for sale are generally lower in autumn, so you are not competing as much with other buyers. While sellers are more susceptible to the pressure of buyers’ demands during the peak season, you have a better chance of attracting buyers to your home and getting them to accept your selling price during a slower period.

TIP: Get professional assistance with pricing your home and the right strategy for selling during the off-season

Seasonal Attractiveness

The fall brings vibrant colors, a cooler temperature, and more choices for décor. The heat and humidity of summer have mostly passed, and the new season of harvest and festivals lures people out into the environment. It is a time when people may want to make a big purchasing decision before the rush of the holidays and the end of the year.

Improve the curb appeal of your home and stage the inside. You can do this in the following ways:
1. Clean and De-clutter
2. Replace dim lighting
3. Add flowers
4. Paint and caulk
5. Purchase new pillows, curtains, and candles
6. Re-arrange your furniture for better social interaction
7. Use gas or electric fireplaces for ambiance
8. Don’t overdo decorations.
9. Photograph the property while you still have natural lighting.

Quicker Closing

Since the fall tends to be an off-peak season with fewer home sales and real estate transactions, your closing should go quicker and with less stress. You should be able to book with mortgage lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, and other vendors related to your home’s sale without delay or hassle.

There is never a right or wrong season to sell your home. Although spring may lure many enthusiastic families into wanting to buy in the warm weather, the fall can be equally enticing for others. You’ll find that many are motivated during this time to buy because they want to settle in before the winter and holiday season. Still, whatever season you decide to sell, it’s always important to prepare your home adequately and know the strategies to attract the aptest buyers.

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Considering Adding a Firepit This Year?

There are few things that carry the feel of fall like sitting by a fire on a cool autumn night. Of course, not everyone lives somewhere where they can just build a bonfire or even set up a little campfire at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, there are options available for those who want the ambiance and experience of sitting by the fire without the hassle and liabilities that go along with building bigger fires. The best option is installing a firepit in your yard or even on your deck for those days you want to just relax by the fire. 

Not all firepits are created equal, however. While you could pick up a cheap firepit somewhere and just set it up, if you really want to maximize the experience and get the most out of it, then you’ll want to do a bit more planning and create an area where you can really enjoy it. This will also help to ensure that the firepit is set up safely, so you don’t accidentally create a fire hazard or other dangerous situation in your yard.

Firepit Considerations

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your firepit is safe. This involves not only installing a firepit unit that is structurally sound, but also installing it in a place that is stable so that the firepit won’t tip or shift in such a way that it could spill its contents or fall over. Regardless of whether the firepit is being installed on a deck, on your yard, or buried in the ground, safety and stability should be your primary concerns.

This could mean that you’ll have to do a bit of construction around the firepit or add stone or concrete underneath it to create a solid and stable surface for it to sit on. Once the firepit is in place, you’ll want to try moving it in different directions to make sure that it doesn’t shift or wobble. You should also inspect it for dents, cracks, or other signs of damage that could become a bigger problem down the road; you’ll want the firepit to be structurally sound before it’s installed, and if you see signs of damage now then you’ll want to get those repaired before you finish the installation.

Cozy On Up

Once you’ve got the perfect place to put your firepit and you’ve confirmed that it’s safe to operate there, you’ll want to build out the area around it. While you could just use folding chairs or other temporary seating, it’s almost a shame to go through all the trouble of setting up a firepit just to then skimp on the seating. A better option is to get matched seating to go around the firepit to help add ambiance to the location while also giving you somewhere to sit.

This can come in a wide range of forms. You could go with nice wooden seating, Adirondack chairs, metal seats with cushions, or even wicker seating to go around the firepit. Rounded benches or other connected seating are also a good idea, giving you multiple seating options, while also being stylish and literally making the firepit the center of attention. Regardless of the type of seating you go with, try to match the colors and style of the firepit to your seating, and you’ll really be able to tie it all together.

Setting Up Your Firepit

After you get everything else sorted, setting up your firepit is largely a matter of getting it in place and securing it or otherwise ensuring that it’s stable. If you have a firepit that runs on propane or other gas, then you’ll also have to run pipes to feed it; this is a less common scenario, though, since many people who want a firepit want the smell and experience of burning wood.

If all of this seems like more work than you’re comfortable taking on, though, you can always call in a professional. HomeKeepr can help you connect with contractors and other pros that can get your firepit installed safely and ready for you to use. Just sign up for a free account and connect with professionals in your area. Get started today, and be on the way to a warm fire on a chilly autumn night!

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