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6 need-to-know pointers to prepare your kitchen for an open house

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Kitchen Staging 5



Photo by WBM, designed by Redesign4more

Selling real estate may be about location, location, location, but once a prospective homebuyer decides on a location it’s up to you to ensure your home stands out from the competition. A good place to start is your kitchen, aka ‘the heart of the home.’ This is where meals are made, family meetings are held and party guests congregate. It’s an important room that can make potential buyers decide whether or not to make an offer (and for how much) on your property. This means showing it off at its best is a must.

To help get your kitchen prepared for your next open house, we turned to professional home stager Red Barrinuevo to hear his top tips. Red is the president and principal home stager of Redesign4more, a home staging company that services the Toronto region and beyond.



Kitchen Staging 8



Photo by WBM, designed by Redesign4more

1. If you can smell it, you can’t sell it

Between trapped food particles in drains and garbage bins under the sink, the kitchen can be a major source of unpleasant odors in the home. “Studies have shown that the kitchen is the dirtiest room of the house and with it comes unpleasant odors,” says Barrinuevo. “This is a serious concern that MUST be addressed when selling.”



Kitchen Staging 1



Photo by WBM, designed by Redesign4more

2. Declutter your countertops

The kitchen is a center of activity and the focal point of every home so it’s easy for clutter to accumulate over time. “A great rule of thumb for staging a kitchen is to leave no more than two appliances on your counter,” suggests Barrinuevo. “After you’ve decluttered the countertops, soften the space and add visual interest by displaying fresh fruits, new dish towels, plants or fresh flowers.”



Kitchen Staging 2



Photo by WBM, designed by Redesign4more

3. The stainless steel appliance is king

“If you have the budget, upgrading your major appliances is definitely worth the investment,” says Barrinuevo. “Stainless steel appliances are often on the top of many homebuyers’ list, but if you can’t replace your current appliances, be sure to have them repaired and spotlessly cleaned with special attention to the fridge and stove as buyers often inspect these.”



Kitchen Staging 3



Photo by WBM, designed by Redesign4more

4. Let the light shine through

To ensure that your kitchen is shown in the best light during an open house, have a look at your fixtures and let as much natural light in as possible. “Make sure that fixtures are clean, all bulbs are working and remove any dated or dirty blinds,” says Barrinuevo. “If you’re still using the original builder’s fixtures or stuck with a dated one, now is the best time to replace it. A lot of stores offer inexpensive and more contemporary light fixtures that can give your kitchen a new glow.” He also suggests adding a small lamp to brighten up dark corners.



Kitchen Staging 6



Photo by WBM, designed by Redesign4more

5. Conduct a thorough clean up

With so much wear and tear, the kitchen is a space where a little extra elbow grease can go a long way. “Start scrubbing those kitchen tiles, make sure the grout in between tiles is free of dirt, mold or stains,” says Barrinuevo. “Check all the cupboard doors, clean the inside cupboards and get rid of all the things that don’t need to be there.”

Once you’ve completed a thorough clean up, keep an eye out for maintenance items like loose hinges, small cracks, peeled paint or dirty vents. “Replace dated knobs and handles – easy and inexpensive but can make your kitchen doors and drawers look new again,” adds Barrinuevo. “And if your kitchen floor is badly damaged and cannot be saved through cleaning, it may be time to consider installing new flooring.”



Kitchen Staging 4



Photo by WBM, designed by Redesign4more

6. Don’t forget the kitchen sink!

Sellers sometimes overlook the kitchen sink but it’s a spot that often needs more than just a rinse. “Your ‘sinkware’ such as faucets, soap dispensers and basin are vital in the overall look and feel of your kitchen,” notes Barrinuevo. “Replacing your old faucets with a more modern set is the best way to give the kitchen an updated appearance. Remember, buyers love to try out the taps during an open house!”

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5 DIY Home Improvements for the COVID-19 Lockdown

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The global coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people around the world, to spend more time in their homes this year than they have spent in a long time. As people sit around day after day within the confines of their home, it becomes easier to notice all the areas of the house that need some work. Fortunately, everyone can now afford the extra free time to do the home renovation project they’ve been putting off for years.

Due to the on-going global health crisis, you may not be able to hire any help for your home improvement project; this means that whatever new project you plan to do around the house, whether it’s repainting the home, or installing floor heating systems, you would have to do it yourself.

Here are some do-it-yourself that you may like to try out.

Upgrade to Smart Home Appliances

It’s 2020, what better year to embrace the future by installing a range of high-tech devices that make life extra easy. For instance, with a smart thermostat, your home’s heating and cooling system can go off on their own when not needed, keeping your electricity bills lower. Other appliances that you can make smart include your lighting, home security, music and more.

Clean out your Garage

Homeserve suggests a garage cleanout as a great home improvement project for this season because cleaning out your garage provides some fresh air, the heavy lifting provides some workout and you feel an enormous sense of accomplishment when it’s done.  What’s more, the day would be far spent by the time you’re done with this project. Cleaning out your garage would require you to sweep out any dirt or debris, and get rid of other useless items that may have been stored there for a long time.

Start a Repainting Project

There’s always room for a fresh coat of paint to make everywhere look more alive, so grab a paintbrush and add some extra character to your home. The good news is that you don’t even have to go out for the paint, you can have it shipped directly to your door. Southlandremodeling suggests that if you had 2019 palette or older in your home, now is the time to embrace the latest colour hues of 2020, that show off a more contemporary style and make your home look more sophisticated.

 Build a Patio

Now is the time where every family would enjoy having a paver patio or an outdoor deck, somewhere to sit and get some fresh air when you’re tired of being cooped up inside all day. First you have to ensure that your home has enough space for a patio and that you have enough skills to handle a hammer and other tools for simple construction.

Next you order your needed materials online and get started. There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with being able to create an outdoor space that your family can enjoy while being stuck at home.

Install some floor heating systems

Installation of floor heating systems is one of the best home improvement projects that one can get. Many people prefer to hire professionals to do these kinds of installation but if you are up for it, it’s not impossible to do this on a DIY project and get a valuable addition to your home for about half the cost.

Finally

There is no reason to continue holding out on your dream DIY home renovation projects, especially now that you have all the time in the world due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Now is the perfect time to transform your home all by yourself!

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13 Montreal Apartments For Rent That Have Breathtaking Outdoor Spaces

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With Quebec’s moving day just around the corner, many people are starting to look for a new property to rent. And, now that Montreal real estate activity is back in action, you can start trying to find the perfect space again. And, if you ask me, an apartment that comes with outdoor space is a must when living in the city.

From balconies to shared rooftop spaces, we’re all looking for a place where we can be outdoors. 

Now, more than ever, fresh air is something that we’re all craving. And, with summer coming faster than we think, finding a place with access to the outside is on so many of our checklists. 

Luckily for you, we at MTL Blog have made your job very easy and have gone through listings throughout the city to showcase some of the best rentals, all of which have outdoor spaces. 

Some of these properties offer private balconies while others have surreal rooftops you get access to. Regardless of which one you fall in love with, you’ll be sure to have a summer to remember living in any apartment on this list. 

Get ready for moving day because after looking at these properties, you’re going to be ready to pack your belongings.

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Montreal real-estate market hit hard by pandemic

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Like many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the red-hot Montreal real-estate market has suddenly chilled.

After 61 consecutive months of increases, the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area reported a 68-per-cent decrease in residential sales transactions in April 2020 compared with the year-earlier period, according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers.

The most recent residential real-estate market statistics for the Montreal area showed 1,890 residential sales transactions were concluded last month. Those figures are based on the real-estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.

Montreal has been hit harder than other Canadian cities by the pandemic, and the drop in sales was seen in all six main areas of the Montreal CMA.

The drop in sales applied to all three property categories. Single-family home sales fell 68 per cent (1,048 transactions): plex sales dropped 67 per cent (161 transactions); and condominium sales tumbled 69 per cent (675 transactions).

Despite the drop in sales, real-estate prices rose in the CMA. The median price of single-family homes increased by nine per cent to reach $360,000, while the median price of condominiums climbed 12 per cent to $289,900.

Compared with April 2019, the median price of plexes (two to five dwellings) increased 10 per cent to $595,000.

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