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DIY kitchen fixes

Seven amazing DIY kitchen improvements and ideas

Dreaming about a whole new kitchen? Kitchen renovation is an experience that is rather daunting, due to the huge costs involved with both installations and decor. The kitchen is one of the most important areas in a home, so most of us have, at one time or another, dreamed about upgrading to make it better.

Fortunately, there are many do-it-yourself kitchen projects that can be undertaken in the most cost-effective way possible. 

Today, we are outlining some of the best kitchen upgrades and improvements we’ve found:

Consider a tile backsplash
Putting in a tile backsplash is an easy kitchen improvement which offers plenty of advantages - it brightens the room, adds up to the home decor with its variety of styles, and is also extremely easy to clean.

Install shelves
Shelves aren't expensive nowadays, and they can be a great accessory for any kitchen. You can store your favourite spices and sauces, or simply put flowers on the shelves to make your kitchen more appealing.

Upgrade the appliances
If you have a goal to upgrade at least one appliance per year, you will end up with a completely new kitchen in three to four years. Using energy-efficient appliances is going to save you a lot of money over time. Sometimes there are BC Hydro incentives that can save you $$ by upgrading.

Upgrade your kitchen hardware
Your knobs may be old and broken, and replacing them is not a big cost, relatively speaking. Adding new door and drawer knobs and pulls in the same style will complement your kitchen, and make your grip more comfortable.

Add texture (and colour) to your ceiling
Your kitchen ceiling is the 'sky' of the room, and if you create it to mimic the look of the room’s colours, it will utterly transform your kitchen environment, making it more classy and elegant.

Hang your accessories high
This inexpensive kitchen improvement is a life-saver when it comes to organizing your kitchen space. Hanging your cookware on a rack suspended from the ceiling is a stylish solution for every kitchen.

Add new lighting
A kitchen needs good lighting throughout - whether it's under the shelves or above your sink. Make sure to install light sources that don't require any electrical work, are energy efficient, and make the space more appealing.

In the end, DIY upgrading your kitchen can be a rewarding experience, and sometimes better than a professional upgrade simply because it relates to your own passion and dedication for a better and more comfortable space.

For more information on the best ways to add value to your home, please contact the Salt Fowler Team at RE/MAX Vernon at 250.549.7258 and ‘Just Add Salt’!

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Holiday housing market

There are seven very good reasons why you should consider selling your property during the holiday season.

Although the winter holiday season is when many people get together to enjoy the comfort of their homes, this time of the year is considered as one of the best seasons for selling a house. 

At this point, you may be wondering, 'Why would I try to sell my house over the holidays?'

Here’s why!

1. Serious buyers
People who look for homes in Vernon over the holiday season are more serious about buying. Otherwise they would be focusing on Christmas and keeping warm. The ones who are out there, although not as many, need to buy.

2. Fewer options available
Many people take their homes off the market come autumn, which gives you a competitive advantage. In other words, with low competition, you can be one of the few real estate options available to the serious buyers.

3. Decorations, decorations, decorations
Most people feel amazed and delighted when they see a well-decorated home at Christmas. During the holidays, your home shows as lively and more attractive, because it is filled with Christmas spirit.

4. Show off the spirit of Christmas
The Christmas holidays reflect love and caring, and this can be your unique value when including your home in the Okanagan real estate opportunities. Your neighbourhood will be decorated, and bright with Christmas lights, so you can easily motivate a buyer by showing them how creative your neighbours are. And usually everyone is in a good mood.

5. It's a holiday season
People have more time to look for homes when they’re off for the holidays than during a regular working week.

6. Tax reasons
Many people are obliged to buy a new home before the year ends for tax purposes, which can be a great opportunity for you. 

7. Earn more
The plethora of real estate opportunities in Vernon lets you think smart when selling your house over the holidays. You could earn more and actually delay the closing or extended occupancy until early next year. During the spring, a large number of houses will be on the market, meaning plenty of competition. Selling over the holidays can give you the opportunity to make more money, and before the market is flooded with homes.

Happy Christmas selling!

For more information on selling over the holidays, or any time at all – contact the Salt Fowler Team at RE/MAX Vernon at 250.549.7258 and ‘Just Add Salt!’

Why buy a condo?

Nowadays, you will find both condos and houses offered for sale in most urban areas, and the big question asked by many potential homebuyers is: 'Should I buy a condo or a house?’

Many people love living in a condo. Today, we share some of the biggest benefits:

1. Flexibility in Terms of Travel

People nowadays are more mobile than ever. Business trips, holidays, time spent abroad - these are all positive reasons that add up to the condo life. With a condo, you can leave your place unattended for extended periods by simply locking the door while off enjoying your nomad life.

2. No Yard to Mow

One of the biggest struggles for many busy homeowners is finding the time to mow the grass. When purchasing a condo, you generally don't have to do this - as your condominium association collects money for the maintenance of the yard shared by the group of homeowners.

3. A More Cost-Effective Option

In most cases, buying a condo is less expensive than buying a house. Obviously, this depends on the size of the house and the condo, but in general, the property values plus the cost of living in a condo is a more affordable option. 

4. A Sense of Community

Many homeowners living in a condo praise the way of living, and the sharing of space with their neighbourhood. Condo owners are placed in a closer proximity than many suburban homeowners, who live in houses with big yards separating them from neighbours. There is a real sense of community in a condo that can, for example, help in cases of emergency.

5. The Style of Urban Living

Last, but not least, is the style of urban living. What we mean by this is simply the fact that condos are meant for urban living. Saving you the space, costs and definitely some of the most common struggles with being a house owner, a condo will make sure to treat you to your utmost satisfaction by offering various alternatives to the house way of living, and, most of all, by accenting the future style of living and sharing.

As with everything in life, there are also cons to buying a condo, such as the sharing issues, and association fees. But cost-effectiveness, location, and sense of urban community are just a few of the strong advantages to living in a condo.

For more information on purchasing condos or houses in the Okanagan, please contact the Salt Fowler Team at 250-549-7258 or visit our website at www.SaltFowler.com.  

First-time buyer?

As newcomers to the real estate game, most first-time buyers do not know how real estate works. Here are a few important points to help:

First, as a buyer you usually do not pay commission. Whether you are a first-timer or not, the realtor® is free to you. 

Why? Because the seller is technically responsible for paying the commission out of the proceeds of the sale. This is very important when you possibly only have limited funds to make the 5% downpayment required, as well as your various closing costs such as legal fees, home inspections, and so on.

It is a good idea to call a realtor to arrange an interview. If you are not happy with what this person or team can provide to you, call another. You are not obligated to someone just because you meet them once. If you are happy with their service, and feel they are the right person/team for the job, then hire them to work for you.

Secondly, it is important to have a realtor work on your behalf. He or she can advise you on recent sales in the area, and therefore lead you toward the true value of the home you wish to purchase - no sense in overpaying. Realtors have access to the prices of the listings in the area that have sold, and will prepare a current market analysis of the value of the home to ensure you get a great buy on the home that you want.

Once you are a client, professional realtors also negotiate offers on your behalf*. It's important to have an impartial third party doing your negotiating. As professionals, they will work to get you the very best deal, and can ‘read’ the other party to ensure that the offer is negotiated in your best interest*. Again, talk to your realtor to see what they can do for you. Ask them about their negotiating history. It's important to hire a top-notch negotiator when you are making what may be the largest investment of your life.

Another benefit to using a professional realtor: They have all the contacts you need for as stress-free a transaction as possible. For example, he or she will write a binding contract or purchase and sale,  arrange for a home inspection for you once you choose an inspector, arrange for all the necessary documentation to go to your financial institution, recommend lawyers/notaries for conveyancing, and much, much more.

The reality is, a professional realtor saves you time and money. So why not hook up with one today?

*assuming no Limited Dual Agency

For more information, go to www.VernonFirstTimers.com and arrange to hire your realtor today. 

Call the Salt Fowler Team to talk to a buyer specialist today at 250.549.7258 or email [email protected]


More Just Add Salt! articles

About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan. 

An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today. 

To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and 'Just Add Salt'.

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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