Seasonal Interest December 1, 2022

9 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

 

 

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.

Online Shop 

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!

Celebrate Minimally 

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®.

 

Seasonal Interest September 30, 2022

Checklist to Secure Your Home While You Are Away

 

Travelling is always an exciting time, but how do you ensure your home is safe and secure while you enjoy a vacation away? You can do several things to prevent break-ins and decrease the risk of damage. 

 

Consider this checklist next time you travel:

 

  • Ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked, and double-check the basement and garage doors.

 

  • Timers for your lights are another solid investment. Install the timers indoors and outdoors. Set the on and off times to the natural rhythm of when your home lights would typically be on. Setting them to be on 24 hours daily is a clear sign something is a miss.

 

  • Securely lock up and put away all your valuables, such as jewellery, cash or other sentimental items. Avoid leaving valuables out in plain sights, such as near a window.

 

  • Never leave spare keys hidden around your property. Contact a trusted friend or neighbour to hold onto any extra keys while you are away in case of an emergency.

 

  • While you are at it, get that trusted friend or neighbour to check on your home while you are away. They can ensure that your house is still in one piece throughout your vacation, preventing frozen pipes, water damage and bringing your mail inside. Doing so will also give off the impression that someone is home. In winter, hire a company or friend to clear your snow, so it looks inhabited. Plus, it saves you the headache of shovelling when you return.

 

  • If you haven’t already, install an alarm system and security cameras. You can check on your home via your cell phone and alert your trusted person to anything amiss. Doorbell cameras are another excellent investment; alerts can be sent to your phone when people approach.

 

  • Shut off the water and unplug unused electronics if you go away for extended periods.

 

  • Check your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors before you leave. Replace the batteries and ensure they are in good working order.

 

  • As exciting as going away is, avoid posting about it on social media until you return. You do not want to alert the public that your home is unattended. 

 

Use this checklist to plan the security of your home and give yourself a piece of mind while you are gone on vacation. 

 

If you are looking for a home (to be away from), contact your local REALTOR® today!

Selling September 1, 2022

4 Sure Fire Ways to Attract Home Buyers

 

 

We are currently in a seller’s market, but you still probably want to sell your property quickly to make top dollar on your house if possible. The first step is to get buyers interested in the property.

Here are four simple tips to get potential buyers interested in your property.

1. Boost the Way it Looks Online

 

Homebuyers have become savvier and are doing research online as a first step in the home buying process—over 90% of buyers look online before committing to a REALTOR®. Listing a house online is crucial these days, and the next step is social media ads targeted to your audience. Social media makes it easy for people to share the for-sale ad, which will significantly extend the reach of your listing.

The photos are the first thing people see when looking at your listing. It’s easy to snap pictures with your smartphone quickly but consider investing in a professional home photographer. Their knowledge of angles and lighting in a home will vastly improve your photos, making them more appealing. If you can’t afford a photographer, consider staging the house to make the most of your interior. Here are a few tips for setting yourself up for successful photos:

· Use bright natural lighting

· Touch up paint and update finishes in your home

· Focus on statement pieces and standout elements of the house

· Stick to a specific style or theme overall

· Remove personal items or clutter from areas if possible

Compare other homes for sale online, see how they look and view the pictures for inspiration. Not only will this help you with your photos, but also it will let you know what to avoid.

 

2. Keep Things Clean

 

Try to keep your house clean at all times to ensure buyers will have a positive experience. Your real estate agent should inform you when people are coming by to look at your home, but if it’s a last-minute viewing, it’s ideal to have a clean house and not worry about it.

Open houses are a great way to showcase your home. Make sure to declutter and clean it well before viewers arrive.

It’s important to note that people want to envision themselves living in your home—while it’s okay to keep your belongings out, buyers don’t want to be surprised by things like:

· Dust

· Mould

· Mildew

· Presence of pets

If you have moved out or currently live in the home, make sure you stop by regularly to tidy and check over things to prevent mould and mildew and make your home as attractive as possible.

 

3. Make Things Cozy and Warm

 

Excellent pictures attract buyers, but when they visit your home, you want it to feel inviting—staging and cleanliness only go so far. The moment your house feels uninviting, homebuyers will second guess their choice.

One easy way to add warmth in summer is to open all the blinds and curtains and let the natural light fill up the space. If it is wintertime, turn up the furnace an hour or so before people come for viewings to warm things up. These simple tricks will draw buyers in and add a sense of security and comfort to your space.

Consider setting out cookies, coffee or tea for added coziness. The smell of cookies always feels homey and inviting.

 

4. Curb Appeal

 

Potential buyers first notice the outside of your home and the front yard. Curb appeal not only boosts the asking price of your listing but will provide a sense of comfort to buyers.

There are lots of inexpensive ways to boost curb appeal. Check out these ideas:

· Paint your home’s exterior or door a bold colour

· Invest in a quality maintenance-free fence

· Replace the front door

· Groom and trim the existing greenery

· Replace roof or shingles

 

 

Implementing these few tips will boost your home’s interest and hopefully make it a quick sale for top dollar. If you need more suggestions or recommendations, contact your local REALTOR® today!

Seasonal Interest July 29, 2022

5 Local Places to try in Saskatoon this Summer

 

 

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.

 

Indigenous Cuisine 

Bannock Express

 

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.

 

Burgers

Ace Burger

 

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.

 

Farm-to-Table

Odla

 

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

 

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. 

 

Pizza

Thirteen Pies Pizza + Bar

 

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!