The Griswold's aren't the only ones to decorate their home for the holidays.
Besides decorating the interior of your home for Christmas, also you should pay attention to the exterior. Make a magical atmosphere in your backyard that will be admired by all who pass by it. Use all lights you have available and if you are able to buy more it will be better, that way you will make your exterior even more beautiful and attractive. We made one collection of fascinating ideas to help you to transform your yard into astonishing paradise with all kinds of lights that emits magical atmosphere and everybody gonna love it for surely. Take a look and get inspired to make this Christmas atmosphere like never before. Have a fun and enjoy! Check out these over the top decorated homes.
We have been very busy lately. I have been honoured with the priveledge of presenting two Regina programs with money raised recently at our annual golf tournament. Story below...
Posted in: News
Home sales were down more than 20 per cent in Regina in May, while the number of active listings for sale in the city remained at 20-year-plus highs, according to the Association of Regina Realtors.
Photograph by: Don Healy , Regina Leader-Post
REGINA — Home sales were down more than 20 per cent in Regina in May, while the number of active listings for sale in the city remained at 20-year-plus highs, according to the Association of Regina Realtors. There were 331 sales reported in the Regina area, down 21 per cent from 419 sales in May 2014, and below both the five-year average of 412 and the 10-year average of 396. This was the lowest number of sales since 2005 when 306 sales were reported, the association said.
Single-family detached home sales were off 12 per cent, while sales of other types of single-family housing units, mostly condominiums, were down 43 per cent.
The average sales price in the Regina area for the month was $320,393, an increase of one per cent from $318,276 in May 2014. “This is entirely attributable to a larger proportion of higher-priced homes selling and should not be interpreted as an indication of rising property values,’’ the association said.
The Home Price Index (HPI) — a more accurate measure of housing price trends than average price — reported a composite residential price of $285,300 for the city, down 3.2 per cent from last year’s composite HPI price of $294,800.
“This indicates that residential selling prices have fallen in the Regina market over the past year. The HPI also shows selling prices as being down 2.7 per cent over the past three-year period.”
Sales in the Regina area in May totalled $106 million compared to $133.4 million in 2014 — also 20 per cent decrease. For the year-to-date, 1,275 sales have been reported in Regina and area — a 13 per cent decline from 1,461 in 2014. Year-to-date sales volume stood at $402 million, down 13 per cent from $462.5 million for the same period last year.
There were 1,549 homes for sale at the end of the month. This is the highest number of homes for sale at this time of the year in over 20 years.
“We were hoping that sales taking place in the traditionally active second quarter would absorb much of the high inventory carried over from 2014 and added to in 2015,” said Gord Archibald, CEO of the association. “So far, this has not been the case,” he said.
“Elevated supply levels are not only persisting, but are continuing to grow and are having a definite impact.”
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post
Posted in: Interesting
the Wall Street Journal reports.
Details so far are fairly scant, but one certainly jumps out: The asking price is $100 million -- "very optimistic," the Los Angeles Times is told by one Randall Bell, a "specialist in evaluating stigmatized properties."
"It's hard to get by the fact that Neverland is closely associated with child molestation," Bell tells the Times. (Indeed, a fascinating Times story during Jackson's 2005 trial was headlined "Neverland: Paradise or Trap?" and characterized the ranch as "a shrine to innocence or a shortcut to depravity.")
The county assesses it at about $30 million.
Jackson created Neverland from what was once known as Sycamore Valley Ranch — the name that it has resumed, according to the listing agents. He lost control of it amid financial problems not long before his 2009 death.
Its 2,700-odd acres lie outside Santa Barbara in Los Olivos, California. The six-bedroom main house has about 12,000 square feet of living space; there are also about 20 other buildings on the property, listing agent Suzanne Perkins told the Wall Street Journal.
Sycamore Valley Ranch was built in 1981 by developer William Bone, who is known especially for his golf course properties. He sold it to Jackson in 1988 for $19.5 million.
Jackson is said to have put upward of $30 million into Neverland improvements, including an amusement park, a train, animal menageries and more. Most of those additions are gone now -- though the Journal notes without elaborating that "there is currently a llama on the property."
"Our seller is not encouraging a lot of showings," listing agent Jeff Hyland told the Journal, and his colleague Suzanne Perkins concurred: "We're not going to be giving tours."
Time magazine says that "the person selling the ranch is specifically looking for a buyer who doesn't plan to turn the place into a museum for the singer," but Yahoo Homes was not able to confirm or corroborate Time's claim.
Yahoo Homes could not reach Hyland or Perkins for comment; their offices instead referred us to a public relations firm, which said that no one would be commenting on the story.
However, we did reach the third listing agent, Harry Kolb of Sotheby's, who -- when we mentioned that he must be deluged with media interest -- acknowledged with a laugh, "It's a wonderful storm."
Then he referred us to the PR firm.
Feeling extremely honoured to be able to represent the Association of Regina Realtors this year as their president. However, quite embarassed by the video as I was not given a heads up and was caught wearing my "40 below and working in office" attire. Sorry Mom.
Posted in: Funny
This year I am looking to really step up my game and am looking to add a Success program to my education. There are lots from Anthony Robbins and Deepak Chopra but I quite like this guy. What are your thoughts?
Posted in: Tech
Posted in: Decorating
Interior designer Kristi Will spends most of her time creating high-end, luxury interiors. But for clients with small children, she turns her mind from custom furniture to decorating pumpkins at Halloween time. “It started last year,” she says. “Because the kids are young, the family wanted me to help them find something that was Halloween but wasn’t superscary.” That first year she decked the halls with what she calls “happy monsters.”
This year while visiting the family, Will noted the youngest child’s affinity for Sesame Street’s Elmo and, with that in mind, designed a new Halloween look that thrills more than it chills.
Posted in: Home Maintenance
When weather stripping on doors and windows gets worn out, cold air comes sneaking in. Here’s how to replace weather stripping and stop air leaks.
Weather stripping on windows and doorsprotects the home from air leaks while increasing comfort and saving energy. But as weather stripping ages, it loses its effectiveness. Stay ahead of the game by checking for worn-out weather stripping and replacing it.
Posted in: Home Maintenance
Would you throw away $20,000? You are if you’re letting your home age faster than it should. Here’s a simple maintenance strategy to keep your home young.
Keep a maintenance fund. Some sources say you should save 1% to 3% of your initial house price annually to pay for maintenance. On a $200,000 house, that’s $2,000-$6,000 a year. Yeesh, that’s a big nut.
Posted in: Maintenance Tips
Posted in: Tips for Sellers
Today’s homebuyer is different to those of previous generations. In the age of smartphones, apps and smart homes, the modern house hunter’s demands have changed dramatically. At the same time, in an era defined by fluctuating house prices, today’s homebuyer is more cost-sensitive than ever before.
As searching for the perfect property continues to evolve, global real estate portal Lamudi explores the top 10 most important factors for those looking for a home in 2014. From energy efficiency to the latest technology, these are the top demands of modern house-hunters.
1. Energy efficiency
Cost of living and the household budget have always been important factors for those on the hunt for a new property. But as the price of amenities such as gas and electricity increase, it is no surprise that buyers now want reassurance about a home’s energy efficiency.
2. Storage - and plenty of it
One word: built-ins. To satisfy the needs of the modern household and help homeowners stay well organised, an ample amount of storage space has become a high priority. Built-in storage - including linen closets, wardrobes and even walk-in kitchen pantries - are now a must to attract modern home buyers.
3. The latest technology
Technology is now part of all elements of our lives and our home life is no exception. This can be something as simple as LED lighting, or involve more complicated technology like automated thermostats. These days, many property seekers expect to have the latest gadgets and high-tech features installed before buying.
4. Top notch security
Home security has been completely transformed by new technologies. Features like glass break sensors for windows and doors, and motion-activated lighting for exteriors, are just some of the modern security solutions that are attracting buyers.
5. Open plan living
Bright, open living spaces have become a staple of the modern home. The trend has even reached the kitchen, which homeowners often prefer to combine with the dining area. In fact, a 2012 study in the UK found that the dining room was becoming a thing of the past, with one in three households featuring a combined kitchen-dining area.
6. A modern kitchen
Kitchen design trends have changed significantly in recent years, as popular features of the past decade have started to look dated. Granite is no longer in vogue, with marble countertops and a simple black-and-white color palette giving the kitchen a distinctly modern edge. Here too, buyers are looking for the latest state-of-the-art, energy efficient household appliances.
7. Entertainment options
The modern home is much more than a place to sleep and eat. It is now also a place to entertain and be entertained. As a result, features including game rooms, home theatre systems and outdoor entertainment areas are now highly sought after.
8. A dedicated laundry room
It sounds simple enough but several recent surveys have pointed to the importance of a laundry room for new home buyers. According to a recent study of the most popular characteristics for new homes from the National Association of Home Builders in the US, a laundry room is one of the top features of a typical single-family home in 2014.
9. Smaller homes in general
As buyers have become more cost conscious, the appeal of the traditional McMansion or large home has dipped. Instead, homeowners are willing to sacrifice space for other key features, such as high-quality appliances and overall energy efficiency, as well as easier upkeep.
10. Location, location, location
The desire to find the perfect home in an ideal location remains top of mind for most house hunters. Where a property is located is often the number one factor influencing a property seeker’s decision to buy. It seems some things about looking for your dream home will never change.
Posted in: Tips for Buyers
Lots of people who decide to buy a home haven’t got a clear idea about all of the costs involved, beyond the purchase price and, perhaps, the legal fees. We often enter into the biggest purchase of our life without a clear plan, research or budget.
Here are some things that should be considered:
Mortgage Loan Insurance:
If you are putting less than 20 per cent of the house value down, you’re going to need mortgage loan insurance. Depending on the lender, the premium can be added to mortgage payments. Usually, mortgage loan insurance premiums range between 0.5% and 2.75% of the principal plus applicable fees.
Lenders typically loan a percentage of the home’s purchase price or the market appraisal of the property. Cost depends on the size and complexity of the assignment.
The lender may ask for a current survey or certificate of location before signing off on the loan. There can be a substantial cost for having a new survey done on the property.
A deposit normally goes with the formal offer to purchase.
If you have a mortgage, your lender will insist that you have enough home insurance to cover total since the property is their security for the loan. Your lawyer will need confirmation that insurance has been arranged. Should your house be completely destroyed, the insurance company is required to pay the lender first. You will still own the lot but will have to negotiate with a lender to borrow to re-build. Home insurance is priced based on the value of your home and current reconstruction costs.
Title insurance is optional and covers problems that may arise due to encroachment issues (for example, a structure on your property is actually part of your neighbour’s property and needs to be removed), existing liens against the property’s title, title fraud, undischarged mortgages and other issues relating to the property’s previous owners. The cost is relatively low, usually a few hundred dollars.
You can save some of the legal fees usually charged by the lender if your lawyer draws up the mortgage. You’ll also pay for disbursements which are the costs involved in drawing up the title deed, conducting a title search, and preparing and registering the mortgage. Make sure your interests are protected by discussing your Offer to Purchase with your lawyer or notary prior to signing.
Land Transfer Tax:
This is charged whenever a property changes hands and is based on the purchase price. Most provinces in Canada charge a provincial land transfer tax and some cities also charge an additional municipal land transfer tax. In some cases, first time homebuyers may be exempt from a portion of this cost. You can obtain further details about land transfer tax on provincial or municipal websites to help you estimate the cost.
Goods and Services Tax:
Resale (used) homes are exempt from GST but it does apply to newly constructed homes and may qualify for a partial rebate depending on the sales price and if the home is going to be your primary place of residence.
Home Inspection Fee:
An inspection protects the buyer by revealing any problems in the property that you’d want to know before you move in. The home inspector evaluates the structures and systems that make up your home and provides you with a written report. While not mandatory, many people make a professional home inspection a condition of their Offer to Purchase.
Sometimes requested by the lender, a survey is done to verify the property’s boundaries, measurements and structures and identify any easements, rights of way or encroachments on your, or adjacent properties. If the seller does not have one or does not agree to get one, you will have to pay for it yourself.
Mortgage Broker’s Fee:
If you use a mortgage broker, a fee may be charged to arrange a mortgage on your behalf.
Don’t forget general expenses such as moving costs, fees charged by utilities for service hook-ups, property tax and other adjustments (an adjustment takes place when the seller has already paid for something in advance and wants to be credited for the unused portion on the date the house becomes yours), and ongoing maintenance (condo fees, etc.), and utility costs.
What expenses do you consider when you purchase a new home?
Posted in: Tips for Sellers
If planned out properly your garage can actually become an extension of your house and provide you with a ton of storage space. Why not take advantage?
Here are five simple garage organization tips you can incorporate quickly and easily:
1. Chalkboard Paint
Chalkboard paint is a great way to help with organization. It comes in a variety of colours and saves frustration and money. With chalkboard paint if you outgrow the space, simply swap the contents; wipe off the outside of the cabinet or bin and re-label with chalk.
2. Vertical Height
Take advantage of the vertical height in your garage and place shelving on the ceiling. There are a few different options: you can use shelving or you can build a sliding track for bins. Whichever option you choose, it is best to use one that allows you the most visibility of the stored contents. The ceiling is also a great place to hide a ladder.
3. Magnetic Strips
Magnetic strips are an easy way to keep track of lots of different objects one has roaming around the garage. You can place items like scissors, wrenches, drill bits, etc. directly onto the magnetic strip to get items that are often used out into the open so that you can quickly grab them while working away. You can also buy small metal containers and place smaller items like nuts, bolts, nails, etc. into the containers and then the containers onto the magnetic strip.
Curtains are perfect for hiding clutter. Place adjustable shelving or hanging solutions for storage and hang curtains in front to place everything out of eyesight. You could choose a plain colour to have them blend in or you could incorporate a nice pop of colour. Colour is not expected in the garage and makes a nice statement.
Covering an entire wall or a portion of a wall in pegboard or slatted wall panels allows you to adjust and move your organization system as you need to without the hassle and mess.
Consider painting your garage. This is often overlooked and can make a huge difference in the space.
What is your favourite garage organization tip?
Whether you’re considering minor updates to perk up a room, or a full-scale renovation of your entire home, it’s important to be aware of how renovations might affect your property value, especially if you’re thinking of selling in the near future.
Since most renovations resolve an issue or improve quality of life, many people automatically assume that they also increase a property’s sale price. That’s often true— but it’s not always the case. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, “If the value of your house exceeds the average market value in your neighbourhood, your renovations will not yield much return. But if your house value is below the average, you can recover a larger part of the renovation costs.”
That being said, there are certain changes to a home that are more likely to yield a financial return on investment. Top renovations that have the most potential for a financial return on investment include:
Kitchen renovations often give you the best return on investment compared to any other room in the house. Remember to carefully calculate your budget and to take into consideration the average house price in your area to make sure that you aren’t pricing yourself out of the market should you choose to sell. A kitchen upgrade often yields a 75% to 100% return on investment.
The majority of people prefer bathrooms with a soothing colour palette and modern design with chic materials and finishes. Bathroom renovations typically yield a 75 to 100% return on investment.
Income suite renovations, such as a basement apartment, an attic or loft conversion or a coach house style suite in a garage, when done correctly, can often double your investment. An income suite adds a significant amount of value to your home and it can help you make money while you build.
Hardwood floors are the number one requested type of flooring by prospective homeowners. Hardwood looks fantastic, is classic and is super durable. Make sure to do lots of research so that you get the most bang for your buck.
Replacing an older front door with a new, high quality one can often pay back over 70% on your investment and it greatly improves curb appeal. The same thing applies for a new garage door replacement.
Hardware & Fixtures:
Homes that are fresh and updated always sell faster and often at a higher price. A very simple way to modernize the look of a home is to update things like faucets, sinks, toilets, cabinet hardware, doorknobs, light fixtures, etc. Hardware updates can improve the entire feel of a room and a small investment can equal a big return.
What renovations are you hoping to complete?