Every Holiday season is stressful, with the busyness between meeting up with friends, family and even those Christmas work parties. The feeling of being stretched out thin is inevitable—with the help of these 9 tips, I hope your holiday season can be as stress-free as possible.
Skip all the lines and circle the parking lot, and shop online. Not only is everything you could ever want at the tip of your fingers—but it also conveniently arrives at your doorstep. Frequently online shopping allows for gift-wrapping options. Take full advantage of that service!
Try to alleviate stress by planning fewer get-togethers and easier ones to host—even better yet, try to avoid hosting altogether and be a guest. If you are hosting, go to the fancy dining and centrepieces, and opt for guests to bring their dish, potluck style and keep decor to a minimum.
Only Buy for the Kids
Purchasing gifts for people can be a huge challenge, from deciding what to get everyone to the financial burden. Skip the adults and only buy for the kids of the family. Children will appreciate the gifts more, and it is more fun to buy and watch them open them. Speaking of gifts, opt for gift bags and tissue paper to save time wrapping.
Minimal Christmas Decorations
A Christmas tree is all you need to set the Christmas mood. Try not to go overboard with too many decorations. If you want to change things up, make your own decorations, from popcorn garland to paper snowflakes—get the whole family involved.
Prepare in Advance
Preparation is your best defence to combat holiday stress. Up until Christmas, pre-bake and pre-cook as many things as possible for the big day. Make lists, plan all your meals, and stock up on extra snacks for drop-in guests. Consider getting some chocolate boxes and small monetary gift cards to have on hand if you’ve missed a gift here or there.
Stock Up in November
The end of November is quickly approaching, so hopefully, you already have some things stockpiled and prepared. Surviving the holiday season means gathering everything you need before the holidays are in full swing—stock up on the essentials like gifts and beverages before the store madness begins. You can easily do this before the start of December.
Call People vs Christmas Cards
Instead of taking time out of your busy schedule to write and order Christmas cards—give those essential people in your life a call before the holiday craziness begins. You may not have talked to friends and family for a while, now’s your chance, even sending off a Facebook message might spark a delightful conversation.
Make Plans in Advance and Re-confirm
Plans are the key to a successful get-together. Make plans days or weeks in advance with your expected company. Re-confirm several times if certain people require it, and re-confirm a few days in advance to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Plan Ahead for DownTime
Regarding schedules, incorporate some quiet downtime into your busy schedule—whether a walk together or alone, a fun family activity like skating or building a snowman, or a drive around the neighbourhood to look at the Christmas lights.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Nothing in life is perfect, and if you expect everything to run smoothly and go as planned, you are sadly mistaken. Don’t let the little things get in the way of your enjoyment of the holidays. Keep plugging away bit by bit until it’s over.
There you go. I hope you are ready to combat the holiday season with these 9 helpful tips. All we can try is our best and make it through to January.
If you need a home to celebrate the holidays in, contact your local REALTOR®.
Unlike popular belief, winter can be a perfect time to sell your house. Please keep reading to find out how it is advantageous to list your home as it gets colder.
Winter Spawns Serious Buyers
As the snow falls and temperatures start to plummet, people start to leave their homes less. In spring and summer, it’s easy to attract people to view your home, but how many of them are serious about purchasing it?—verses when you host an open house or a showing in winter when people show up, you know they are serious buyers.
Winter weeds out the tire kickers from the dedicated clients.
In winter, fewer homes are on the market, reducing the competition significantly. As long as the demand is there, you could sell your home faster than in warmer months because fewer options are available.
Highlight Your Homes Energy Efficiency
If you have lived in your property for a few years, you might have significantly upgraded your home. These improvements might include energy-efficient upgrades like a new furnace or windows. When selling in winter, highlight these investments in your listing that could save the new owner money in the long run.
Other key features to show off in cold weather, such as a hot tub or fireplace, are lovely ways to beat the winter chill and have buyers wanting to feel cozy.
The days are getting shorter, and the snow has started to fly, making it the perfect time to sell your home. I hope this blog has sparked your interest to list your home in winter to get in on the hot seller’s market.
BONUS TIPS :
Summertime is here, which means one thing…it’s time to get outside and enjoy all Saskatoon has to offer. There are many places to eat in Saskatoon, and choosing one to meet up with family and friends can be challenging. Here are five local restaurants to try in Saskatoon that will win anyone over.
Bannock Express is a locally owned indigenous restaurant. It started as a Farmer’s Market stall and now has a restaurant on Avenue B, shared with Botte Chai and Dulce Bakery. The menu features bannock-centric offerings, which all look delicious. If you need to cool down this summer and are downtown, the menu also features various lemonades! The Co-op also sells the restaurant’s signature bannock—so stop in there if you can’t make it downtown. Inside the business is a pinboard that encourages people to donate and provide meals to feed the less fortunate.
Ace Burger began its life as a food truck and transitioned into a restaurant that is located on Broadway. The patio is perfect for summertime meetups with family and friends to enjoy great burgers, hot dogs, poutines, chicken sandwiches and out-of-this-world fries. Modern and cozy vibes fill the space. On your way out, pick up an Ace Burger shirt and hat! They also offer take-out—a nice break from cooking on a hot Friday night.
Odla is another restaurant gem found on Broadway. The owners of Farm One Forty started the place with their holistic approach to farming and food. The menu consists of high-end meals made with products from local farmers and producers—featuring a vast list of wines and unique cocktails. The atmosphere is casual, yet sophisticated. Check out their patio to relax and enjoy a fantastic meal. If dining in isn’t for you, they also have an extensive selection of “market items” that you can purchase to cook or reheat meals at home.
Korean & Japanese Fusion
Sticks & Stones has a delicious menu with an array of Korean and Japanese fusion eats. It has a casual, yet modern vibe, conveniently located downtown. Stones is the perfect place to enjoy a warm bowl of Ramen and a tasty ice cold drink—exclusively open in the evenings, offering table reservations or ordering online.
Thirteen Pies is open only in the evenings and is located downtown. The pizza is self-described as “Brooklyn style”—definition: it has a thin crust and is foldable to go down quickly. Their white sauce pizza is terrific, the drinks are divine, and the atmosphere is an upscale pub. If you are wandering downtown on a summer night and are looking for some late-night eats, pick this place—they offer delivery too.
From sushi to pizza, there is something for every taste bud in Saskatoon. Even better is supporting local businesses, producers, farmers and families. I hope that a few of these places spark your interest and you try them out this summer!
If you need help finding real estate close to any of these hot spots, contact your local REALTOR® today!
Interior design trends in 2022 are broad and diverse. Some timeless classics hold steadfast while emerging colour palettes, textures and materials flip-flop. Given the varied array of trends, not only will you be able to make your home unique to reflect you but also in style for years to come. Spending more time inside and our needs are ever-changing, our style and purpose must also be altered at home. Here is a mish-mash list of top 2022 home decor and interior design trends I am sure you will love!
Curvy accents and furniture
The end of modernism of sharp corners, sharp edges and angular symmetry seems to be ebbing away. Be on the lookout for circular mirrors, curvy tables and soft round couches—accent furniture with gorgeous rounded cushions.
Natural Materials have been a continuing trend over the last few years with a focus on natural materials, textures and shapes. Think of quartz or marble surfaces, whether countertops or accent tables, natural woods, rattan or bamboo furniture. Homeowners are finding quality materials and pieces that will last and keep on-trend for years to come.
There’s something magical about being surrounded by greenery and the satisfaction of caring for something that grows. Bringing the outdoors in is a great way to boost creativity, productivity and concentration as plants boost a person’s mood, purify the air and can prove to be therapeutic. So, scatter some plants around your house and don’t forget that hanging plants can be a piece of art and that unique planters and macrame hangers add a touch of elegance to any home. For those of us that don’t have time to take care of plants, fake plants add just as much ambience to the space!
There is no denying that adding texture to a home is visually pleasing–layers of textures create volume and elevate coziness levels. However, try not to limit texture to textiles such as blankets, cushions and rugs. To generate more stimulation, consider adding pieces of furniture with inlays, intricate designs or unique handles. Lastly, rich or flowy natural fibre window coverings help style any space and set the mood.
Clients are continually embracing natural tones and going away from white, greys and blues. Embracing interesting colour palettes of purples, chocolates and hunter green, which add an individual flare to any home. Or, choose colours that are more subdued with creams, taupes and beige while keeping the colours warm and cozy.
Emerging generations are becoming more conscious of the environment, and home sustainability has changed with it. There is a more significant push to focus on recycling, renewable energy and ethically sourced home decor. To curb waste, choosing natural and organic fibres, materials, paints and dyes over synthetic ones is a must.
Vintage and antique pieces are all the rage! Take joy in making something old new again, whether that be with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Or, simply embrace as is to keep the original lived-in vibe.
New builds emphasize energy efficiency, featuring solar panels, heat pumps and EV chargers. If that sounds a little extreme, adding a low-energy furnace and water heater can significantly impact the environment for the greater good. A word of advice would be to check out the Government of Canada website to see what kind of Environmental retrofit benefits your home can qualify for!
Dual Purpose Spaces
Over the past few years, our homes have had to adjust to our ever-growing needs to be at home for longer periods of time and rooms have transformed into offices, classrooms, gyms and entertainment spaces. Rooms that were once just spare rooms are now an office with a Murphy bed, creating form and function all in one. Organizational containers, shelves, and multi-purpose furniture are the best way to create a comfortable dual-purpose space.
My living room has also become a gym, meditation room, and yoga mats and dumbbells have taken over—a tall decorative basket resolved this issue!
Choose an excellent patio set, barbeque and a few warm throw blankets and bring the party outside. Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities and food. Use the 2022 trends mentioned in this blog as a guide to style your outdoor deck or patio with natural but bold colours, organic fibres, and textures. They should all play a role in your design.
This year’s Interior Design trends are unique yet cohesive and every option on this list is a winner. Put them all together for an Instagram-worthy look! If you are ready to start your interior design dreams and want to find a great new home in Saskatoon to test them out contact me for all you local real estate needs!
Which of these trends will you incorporate into your home this year? Any you’ve already got?
Open houses can be a bit of a controversial topic in the real estate world. Some professionals insist that they are necessary, others want nothing to do with it, and some are in the middle, having open houses occasionally. Holding an open house when selling your home can have some great benefits, but they also have disadvantages. Being aware of the advantages and limitations of open houses can help you decide what you want and what risks you want to take on.
Pros of Open Houses When Selling a Home
Attract Buyers at the Start of the Homebuying Process – Buying a home is not a process that everyone is familiar with, and open houses can be an easy first step. Especially for first-time homebuyers who may not know where to get information or whom to contact when looking for a home. Open houses can be a way to attract new buyers, which is helpful for any home seller.
Additional Exposure – Exposure is the name of the game when selling your home. Having a solid marketing plan to get as many potential buyers’ eyes on your house is the key to getting a good offer. Open houses can be an excellent way to get additional exposure and advertising.
Reduce Pressure on Buyers – Open houses are often very low-pressure environments where buyers can tour the home with little to no pressure. Some buyers like to analyze a home in detail without having a time constraint or someone showing them around.
Show Off Your Advantages – If you have put considerable time and energy into upkeep in your home, an open house is a great way to show off those features. Visitors will appreciate the unique features of your home or just the general upkeep. This could help your home stand out on the market or over other listings in your neighbourhood.
Cons of Open Houses When Selling a Home
It May Not Sell Your Home – The percentage of homes that actually sell due to an open house is less than 2-3%. While you may get a good turnout, open houses aren’t necessarily going to attract buyers who are at the offer stage yet.
Attracting Unqualified Buyers – Anyone can attend an open house, whether they are financially capable of buying a home or not. Not everyone that attends the open house will be qualified to put an offer on it.
Possible Theft – The reality of an open house is that you will have strangers coming through your home, and you don’t know their intentions. It’s always a good idea to put away any valuables or objects you don’t want to lose.
When considering whether or not to host an open house when selling your home, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for you. An open house can be a great opportunity to better market your home to buyers. Still, it isn’t for every seller, and it’s not necessary for selling your home. If you are unsure, talk to a local real estate expert about your situation and goals. And, of course, you can always contact me if you have any questions or need any advice!
In the digital age, 80% of buyers first start their house search online. Having great photos that accentuate your home’s best features is the best way to get buyers’ attention and give them the best impression of your home for sale. But taking good photos can feel intimidating if it’s not something you’re familiar or comfortable with. As part of my professional marketing plan, though, I enlist the help of a professional real estate photographer who can help you take the best photos of your property and put it in a good light. That being said, here are some things you can do to get your home photo-ready.
Tidy, Tidy, Tidy
The number one tip to a good photo is a decluttered space that shows off the room. After all, buyers want to see the area around your possessions, which can be difficult with too much clutter. If you have furniture in the rooms, make sure that minimal objects are placed in or around it. Keep the space as neutral as possible, and the furniture helps show what the room can be used for, rather than the main feature.
Find the Best Lighting
Lighting really matters when taking a good photo. Look at the lighting sources in your room and have it prepared when the photographer shows up. Windows and natural light can be great to give your room a soft and natural feel.
If it is a cloudy or overcast day, consider what artificial light your room has. What are the overheads like? Do they effectively light the room? If not, do you have lamps or floor lighting that could enhance the space? You could also consider turning on lighting features like fireplaces to add to the ambiance of the photo.
Think About Composition
Have you already moved out your furniture, or is it still in the space? Either option can work, but you may have different considerations depending on your answer. If you have moved furniture already, this can be great for helping buyers get a complete picture of what the room looks like. However, it may be difficult to judge the size of the room without anything in it, so home staging may be something we want to consider. Even if you have moved, appliances in the kitchen and bathroom should be clean and tidy.
If you still have furniture, think about the way it is positioned in the room, and see if there are smaller pieces you can move to give a better view of the size of the space. Also, consider objects such as coffee tables or shelving and how you’ve displayed objects on them. These types of furniture shouldn’t be empty. Instead, a couple of tasteful decor items can help to make the home feel welcoming. Be sure to limit these items or create groups of threes for visual appeal.
Consider the Colours
While it is always good advice to keep your space filled with neutral colours, adding a couple of accents can be nice to enhance your space. If you have some items that add a burst of colour, think about where you want them and how that might help create a more eye-catching photo. If you’re unsure, sticking with neutrals and basics is always the safe bet.
As always, listing photography can be tricky. And while these tips may help enhance your photos, the biggest thing you can do is keep your space clean and let the professionals do the rest! If you have any questions or concerns, I am here to offer my professional real estate advice to help put your house in the best light and answer any questions you may have.
Though the blustery winter weather we’ve been seeing over the last few weeks in Saskatoon might have us thinking spring is still months away, we’re actually only a couple of weeks out. Soon enough, the longer days will bring warmer weather, and the long-anticipated seasonal thaw will begin. And with that thaw comes some essential home maintenance that will need taking care of!
Check & Clean Eavestroughs
With the wind and snow blowing around all winter long, things are bound to end up on the roof and in our eavestroughs. These little valleys are not only preventing water damage during spring and summer rains but are particularly important in helping the thawing snow and ice find their way to the ground as they melt. That means, even when it’s still a little chilly out, a trip up the ladder may be to ensure they are working at 100%.
Check the eavestroughs and downspouts for any blockages and clear them away. Secure any loose joints to prevent drips, and make sure the downspouts point away from your foundation. The last thing anybody wants to wake up to is a flooded basement!
After working hard to heat your home from the famous Saskatchewan winter chill, your furnace is bound to need a little TLC. Change out the furnace filter to keep it in good working order for those chilly spring evenings. Change out the range hood filter while you’re at it, and clean out your heat recovery unit, too!
Inspect Entryways & Windows for Gaps
Sure, warmer weather means enjoying more time in our outdoor space, breathing in the fresh air, but it also means the return of every homeowner’s nightmare: pests. Take some time to check your doorways and windows for any gaps or holes where bugs or rodents could sneak through. If you find any, seal them off to keep unwanted guests out. (The insect and rodent variety, of course…)
Check Soil Settlement at the Foundation
The one thing the winter thaw is particularly good at is washing away soil where we might actually want it to stay. One place that can often get hit pretty hard: around your home’s foundation.
Once the snow has cleared enough for you to see, take a walk around your home and see how the soil is settled. If it looks more like a moat a prince would have to cross to get to the castle, water damage may be on the way as the water drains toward your foundation. To combat it, simply fill it in until you see a nice, gentle slope that will encourage water to drain away from the house rather than into it.
Other Spring Home Maintenance Tasks
Test Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors – If you’ve got littles, spring is also a great time to run fire drills with them to prepare them in case of emergency!
Inspect the Roof – Once the snow has melted away through your sparkling clean eavestroughs, break out the ladder again to check your roof for any repairs that may need to be done. You can also use this time to inspect the siding around the house for any spots that may need to be re-secured.
Clean Fireplaces & Chimneys – If you’re lucky enough to have an incredible, fully-functional wood-burning fireplace, chances are it’s been working double-time over the past few months. Before retiring it for the season, clean it out and consider having it serviced if you haven’t had it done recently.
Check Sump Pump – If you have one, make sure it works correctly and pushes water away from your foundation, not toward it.
Spring Cleaning – While the weather’s not too cold and not too hot, take some time to give your home a spring makeover! Clean windows inside and out, wash off window and door screens and consider spraying off your siding, deck, and siding for some added curb appeal—especially if you’re thinking of selling your home.
Though we may feel like hibernating until the hottest days of summer, don’t sleep on these essential spring home maintenance tasks. Not only will they keep your home in tip-top shape, but they’ll also set you up for that easy-breezy, worry-free summer you’ve been waiting so patiently for!