Thursday, 19 September 2019

TOP 6 SIDING OPTIONS FOR HOMES


Your home’s siding is its first layer of defense against the elements. Siding needs to be durable, weather-resistant, energy-efficient and attractive. Whether you’re updating your home’s exterior or investing in a new home build, choosing the right siding for your home can help protect it and protect your home’s value too.
A siding replacement has a good return on investment. A mid-range siding replacement can recover over 75% of its cost at resale. How much monetary value will that add to your home? If you spend $16,000 on a siding replacement, you can expect your property value to increase by more than $12,000. Plus, your home will be more attractive to buyers, which can give it a competitive advantage on the market.
There are several types of siding available. Each have their pros and cons, visual appearance, cost, and some are better suited to certain climates. The top 5 most popular siding options for homes include vinyl, wood, fiber cement, metal, engineered wood, and stucco cladding. Here are  the advantages and disadvantages of each along with some siding cost estimates.

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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca



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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Home Improvement Projects to Tackle Now, According to Your Zodiac Sign

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Figuring out where to spend your energy and funds on home improvement projects always comes with a fair amount of stress. What should you prioritize first: painting, updating the appliances, or replacing those icky bathroom tiles?
Planning your home improvement projects can be especially frustrating if you live in a home with so much potential. There are many little tasks that, if completed, will make the home look like a million bucks.
Sure, a contractor could help you sort it all out, but why not consult the stars?
It turns out, the best home improvement project for you to focus on is already written out there in the universe; all you need to do is reference your zodiac sign. 


Aries (March 21–April 19): Building and styling bookshelves
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Let’s be realistic. Busy Aries don’t have the attention span to spend all weekend on a remodeling project—they want something that can be done in a few hours. Putting in bookshelves is something that will give the room a refresh and won’t take too long to complete.
Aries prefer home improvement jobs they can finish quickly. These energetic folks don’t mind tackling physically challenging tasks, so long as they can see the results of their efforts at the end of the day.
Already have a bookshelf? Try styling it by grouping books by colour, or adding paint or wallpaper to the back of the shelves.

Taurus (April 20–May 20): Focus on the backyard

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For a Taurus, the real question is: Why spruce up the inside of the home when you’ll be spending most of your time in your outdoor space, anyway?
People born under the earth sign Taurus have a strong affinity with Mother Earth. They want to be surrounded by nature’s beauty, so when it comes to making home improvements, a Taurus will focus on their outside living areas first.
I would recommend to repair the deck or spruce up the landscaping with new plants.

Gemini (May 21–June 21): Hang wallpaper on an accent wall

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An accent wall of wallpaper as a focal point for the room isn’t for everyone, but a Gemini will appreciate the look. 
Geminis love colour, surprises, and things that appeal to their busy minds. Boring is not something associated with any Gemini. Their homes would have little surprises here and there like wallpaper to keep them amused.

Cancer (June 22–July 22): Paint the front door

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Putting a bright and cheery coat of paint on the front door is the perfect project for a friendly Cancer.
Cancer is the sign of home and family, and people born under this sign love to entertain. 
The entrance to a Cancer’s home is a great, big welcome sign––they’ll need a freshly painted front door with handsome hardware, attractive lighting, and colourful planters on the porch.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22): Fireplace makeover

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The fireplace is the heart and hearth of the home for a Leo, a fire sign. So if it needs a spruce-up or face-lift, that’s where they should start.
It’s important for Leos to have a working fireplace––and the bigger, the better. Adding an attractive mantel (or refinishing an existing one) or fixing cracked bricks and mortar are all good home improvement projects for these people.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): Add molding or baseboards

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Meticulous Virgos enjoy attending to all the little details of a home improvement project. That’s why those born under this sign may want to initiate their home improvement with a dining room restoration project. Whether they’re repairing a room’s baseboards or touching up hairline cracks in a ceiling, they bring a perfectionist’s skill and patience to the job.

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): Organize a closet

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Libras are the most fashion-conscious of the signs, so they’ll want an amazing closet space to match their wardrobe.
Beauty-conscious Libras are known for their fashion sense, but they’re also sticklers for orderliness. When it comes to home updates, they want great closets with plenty of shelves and cubbyholes that let them organize their wardrobes efficiently.

Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): Update the bathroom

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Since Scorpio is a water sign, people born under it take a special interest in their bathrooms.
Updating an older bathroom with new tile and stylish fixtures will be a priority for a Scorpio, who appreciates both hygiene and aesthetics.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): Install a spice rack

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Sagittarians are fascinated with all things foreign, including food from around the world. That's why having a dedicated space where they can store all their cooking ingredients makes sense.
They’ll want to install plenty of shelving, Lazy Susans, and hanging racks in their kitchens to hold their extensive collections of exotic spices and gadgets.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19): Restore a piece of vintage furniture



You’ll probably find a Capricorn hunting around at a vintage flea market on the weekend and looking for old treasures they can put their stamp on.
Capricorns appreciate things that have stood the test of time, and often choose older homes they can furnish with antiques. They enjoy restoring historic pieces to their original beauty.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18): Switch out old appliances



An Aquarius couldn’t stand living in a home with outdated appliances in the kitchen or laundry room.
Forward-thinking Aquarians are always on the cutting edge––they’re the first to update their homes with the latest technology.
These environmentally conscious people may invest in energy-efficient appliances, thermal windows, perhaps solar panels, or even a wind-powered generator.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20): Put in a window seat

Pisces would take on this project so they could have a dedicated spot for reading and daydreaming.
Pisces love cozy nooks and places where they can meditate and drift off into fantasy. They have vivid imaginations and can make a simple window seat into a dreamy otherworld.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

7 Clever Ways to Conceal Your Flat-Screen TV

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Even if you love your massive, flat-screen TV, one thing you probably don't love about it is how it screams to the world just how much you love TV. Wouldn't it be nice to hide it—and then reveal the screen only when showtime arrives?
Hiding TVs has a long history. The first ideas were armoires and entertainment centres—and as TVs became larger, we had to find more creative ways to disguise them.
Here are some TV-hiding ideas to match any decor.



Textiles/Floor Coverings
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Some textiles and floor coverings are too delicate to be trod upon by your kids (or the dog!). Instead, mount one on your wall to hide your TV and protect your tapestry at the same time. I favour a wall hanging or fabric cover.
One of the most well-done TV hiders I've seen was a quilted fabric that was fastened with elastic straps around the backside of a wall-mounted screen. It hides the TV completely, but watching it was a snap because the cover simply rolled up so you could store it out of the way.

Ceiling mount

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Homeowners with deeper pockets and enough clearance space in the ceiling might consider a drop-down pocket for a large TV. A click of a button sets the screen in motion, dropping it gently for viewing. But if your ceiling can't accommodate this method, I recommend a flip-down mount, which takes just 7 inches of space above your ceiling.

A hinged panel

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A simple hinged panel with a piece of art on the front can quickly hide a TV. If you're a DIY type, consider retrofitting a picture you already own. And for the less crafty, companies such as Frame My TV can create custom framed artwork or a mirror that slides on easily to fit your screen.
But be sure to skip the TV-in-the-fireplace idea, It's the worst idea I've seen—it's really very tacky.

Barn doors

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Going for a farmhouse or country chic style? Repurposed barn doors offer a rustic look and a fast method for stashing a TV. Wrought-iron handles and other details on either painted or grey, weathered doors are equally good picks in a casual living room.

Shutters or panels

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I recommend panels or pocket doors that slide over a screen. This works especially well for a TV in the kitchen. Or try a cabinet that a TV can be lowered into and then popped up when you're ready to watch. Shutters are another option, especially a pair with an interesting shape or unusual patina.

Folding screen

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Folding screens have been hiding flaws on walls for a very long time (think scratched paint or cracked plaster), so sliding one in front of an oversized flat-screen is a no-brainer. And by using a screen, you'll be adding a pop of colour or texture to your room.

Smart tech

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Many designers have been gushing about The Frame TV by Samsung (starting at $1,200, Amazon.com). It works just like a TV when it's on, but looks exactly like a picture frame when it's off. It even sits flush against the wall, with no ugly wires snaking out from underneath.
I love it, and can't wait for more people to incorporate it into their rooms.
An alternative: Stream "art" on your smart TV (or via Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV) with an app like Artcast. You can select from more than 400 different galleries (videos, fine art, or photography) that will seamlessly loop pretty pictures on your screen.


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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca



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Friday, 13 September 2019

5 Home Upgrades Millennials Couldn't Care Less About

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Despite being called out for their ineptitude at saving money and their overwhelming fondness for spending it on experiences instead of things, millennials actually do desire financial stability—especially if it means they can buy a house.
So what kind of homes do they want? According to real estate professionals, a large majority of millennials seeks out properties that are move-in ready—with plenty of room for customization. Millennials care more about the home being clean and in good condition. Cosmetic changes are much easier to make, and millennials are a generation of DIYers.

1. Over-the-top landscaping

A spacious, well-manicured yard was the pride and joy of earlier generations that didn’t mind working up a sweat mowing and fertilizing their lawns. But that's not the case with busy millennials. They prefer cultivated indoor plants—and the convenience of an outdoor space that's easy to maintain. Millennials prefer to have landscaping beds (for growing a vegetable garden?) and other green-filled areas that look nice, are easy to maintain, and can be set up for quality time with pets.

2. A formal dining room

Mom and Grandma may have cherished dinner time in their fancy dining room with matching plates, sterling silver flatware, and gold-plated tea sets. But younger buyers tend to consider that dedicated room a stuffy waste of space.
Young buyers enjoy cooking in their kitchen and want to eat in or near their kitchen, too. Most millennials don't care about formal dining rooms. It was a fixture for many homes in previous decades, but today dining tends to happen close to the kitchen—from the convenience of a meal home delivery box like Blue Apron—or on the go. When it comes to gathering for a meal, millennials appreciate the laid-back simplicity of breakfast nooks and bar stools. 

3. A designated floor plan

Older generations may be satisfied with a mapped-out floor plan that designates a living room, kitchen, and dining room, but millennials seek multifunctional rooms. Think wide-open spaces that make the home feel like one flowing space.
Where homes traditionally would have separate rooms, millennials are gravitating toward having large, open rooms that bring these all together like kitchens with breakfast bars or islands that open to the living space.

4. Brand-new carpeting

If you're considering sprucing up your home before you sell, think twice before spending money on installing new carpets. Millennials are moving away from carpeting in favor of bare floors with statement rugs.
There are some buyers that like it in the bedrooms, but in the living spaces, laminates, tile, hardwood, and engineered hardwood are much more popular.
Another reason to stick with noncarpeted flooring is that it's more pet-friendly—and millennials love their pets. Carpeting can absorb and retain odors, stains, and hair, and pet cleanup is easier on a hardwood floor.

5. Memorabilia and game rooms

Millennials aren’t defined by their possessions—and they definitely don’t want to showcase them in a room. So if you're thinking about staging a room where the owners can show off their stuff, think again.
Millennials may be a little different than previous generations in wanting to keep, collect, and show off all that they have accumulated. Put away the pool table and think digital.
Millennials live a more digital existence, I recommend staging your game area in a media room with a large TV or projector and maybe even surround sound.

Looking to sell your home? Claim your home and get info on your home's value.

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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca



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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Real Estate Market Update September 2019 by Carmen Leal :)


Check out the Real Estate Market Update for September 2019

by clicking HERE




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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca



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Monday, 12 August 2019

How to Survive a Home Renovation without Ruining Your Relationship

If you think building furniture with your significant other is the true test of a relationship, try undertaking a home renovation together. Renovations can last anywhere from a few weeks to months and even the most in-sync of couples can find themselves at odds at some point during the process.

There are a few things you and your partner can do to stay on the same page and survive your home renovation (almost) effortlessly.

Talk money


Renovations are expensive and unpredictable. As you peel back old layers of your home, problems can emerge and costs can add up. If you own a home together, you've hopefully talked about money before. But the money talk before buying your home (an exciting milestone) is very different from the discussion over replacing the roof or fixing a crack in the foundation (a terrifying, stressful and not-at-all-exciting milestone).

Although knowing things like each other's savings, credit score and income are important, it's most important to know the kind of relationship you both have with money. Are you good at saving money? How do you feel spending it—especially when costs can be in the thousands? And how do you handle unexpected expenses? If one of you feels comfortable paying top-dollar for quality work and the newest, most innovative products but the other is a discount shopper who breaks down at the thought of tapping into your contingency fund, you'll likely butt heads throughout the process.

Establish a budget based on where you feel comfortable spending money and where you can penny pinch. Make sure you've established an emergency fund and capped budget if things go awry. Once you have a price range in mind for each part of your renovation, the first challenge is done and you can start looking for your contractor or materials. The next challenge is finding things you both agree on.

Compromise

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Compromising can be especially challenging during a home renovation. You'll be living with your renovation decisions for a long time.

Renovating is not the time to passively let one person make all the decisions. If your partner wants a quirky backsplash but you're more of a Minimalist, tell them. Alternatively, if your partner thinks Scandinavian d├ęcor is boring, you're better off finding out before the renovation starts. You should reach a healthy middle ground you're both happy with.

Many ideas will be shot down throughout the renovation process, but decisions should rarely come down to, “If you like it, I'll settle for it—but I get my way next time.” If one person doesn't like it—whether it's paint colour, flooring, furniture or layout—keep looking until you find something you can both agree on. Otherwise, you're setting yourselves up for resentment down the road. 

Give each other space

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A renovation means lots of sacrifices, sharing ideas and shelling out money. Add the fact you and your significant other will be living in very close quarters, and you might start to feel overwhelmed. When you find yourself feeling this way, it might be a good time for you and your partner to give each other some space.

Couples need space every now and then but during renovations, it's especially important both for your sanity and to release any tension that may build between the two of you, to carve out some “alone” time.

Space can mean anything from a weekend apart—maybe to visit your parents or a friend—to an afternoon spent painting separate rooms. Maybe one of you can stay home to oversee things while the other goes shopping for materials. Some time apart will allow you both to clear your head and regain a sense of control amidst the chaos of your renovation.

Work together :)

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Not to contradict the point we just made but a renovation also offers great opportunities for bonding. Depending on your or your partner's skill level, you might opt to do some projects yourselves to save money. Find projects you can work on together. Something like intricate tile work might create more arguing than bonding, but a fun task like putting up an accent wall, painting your own artwork or installing wood flooring can be a great way for to collaborate and contribute to your new and improved home together.
You'll never feel 100% in control during a renovation, and the fear of not getting exactly what you want in your home might create tension in your relationship, so it's necessary to establish boundaries (both financial and creative) beforehand. By opening up about your respective relationships with money, giving each other space and doing fun projects together, you and your significant other can make it out of this stressful process stronger and closer than ever.

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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca



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      This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.