Archive for the ‘Home Tips’ Category

The Scoop on Home Inspections

Monday, November 20th, 2017

What a Home Inspection Entails

A home inspector will provide a thorough inspection of the home’s interior and exterior to alert you to any damage that may cause potential problems in the future. He or she will look at the house as a whole and evaluate how the different components work together and affect each other. The inspector will identify any areas that need repairs or are unsafe and advise you on what your next steps should be.

Benefits for a Home Buyer

When you are purchasing a home, you want to know that it is going to be safe for you and your family for many years to come. Obviously, you don’t want to buy a home that is rotting from the inside out. A home inspector can alert you to issues that are minor right now but could potentially become much more serious in the future. Purchasing a home is a major decision. The results of the inspection may lead you to reconsider buying a particular house if it is likely to have a lot of problems in the future. It can protect you from huge unexpected expenses.

Benefits for a Home Seller

If you are the one selling the home, it is a good idea to request a home inspection prior to listing your home on the market. Potential buyers of your home are likely to have an inspection done, and you don’t want there to be any surprises. If there are issues with the house, buyers may rescind their offers or make offers only on the condition that you repair the problems before they finalize the purchase. It is better if you know about any problems in advance. An inspection gives you the opportunity to make sure the house is in its best possible condition when buyers start coming to look at it. This will streamline the purchasing process and make potential buyers feel much more confident that your home is the right choice for them.

When you are ready to buy or sell a home, or have any questions regarding home inspections, get in touch!

Space-saving Upgrades

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Giving a Smaller Home a More Roomy Feel

Smaller rooms can create a decorating challenge for homeowners. While some may be dealing with a space that is smaller overall – such as an condo or apartment – others may have just a couple of smaller rooms that look and feel cramped. While enlarging these rooms may not be an option, there may be a few upgrades to consider that can give these rooms a more spacious and open feel.


Light Paint Colours

Dark colours can add dramatic flair to a room, and they certainly will make a bold statement. However, they also can create the feeling that the room is smaller than it is. It is best to paint with light paint colours on the walls or even to choose a lighter colour for the ceiling. In addition to these colours, a lighter floor colour can also add the feeling of depth to the space. If the use of bolder, brighter hues is preferred, consider adding a pattern in combination with lighter colours to the ceiling. Another idea is to use stripes with alternating darker and lighter hues on the walls to create the illusion of space.


Shelving Installed Close to the Ceiling

Storage space is often a concern with smaller rooms, and cabinets and bookshelves can take up valuable floor space in any room. A smart idea for smaller rooms is to install shelving or even cabinetry closer to the ceiling. This can enable the space below it to be kept open or to be used for other purposes, such as for other furnishings that must be kept on the floor.


Recessed or Flush Lighting

Lighting is an important element in any room, and brighter lighting can make a space look larger in many situations. Darker shadows cast about a room can make the space feel closed off. More than that, overhead lights that hang down, such as pendants or chandeliers, can create a visual illusion that makes the room feel smaller than it is.

To achieve the goal of casting light throughout the room more evenly while removing these hanging light fixtures from the space, install recessed or flush lights into the ceiling. These can be combined with small table lamps if necessary to brighten up any areas that may still be dark or shadowy. Avoid tall, imposing lamps when decorating a smaller room.

Decorating a smaller room is rarely easy to do, and there are many things that homeowners can do when decorating that actually may make a smaller room appear to be even smaller. These are a few tips that can be followed to make the space appear to be more roomy and spacious, but there are also other ideas for decorating as well as built-in upgrades to consider. Ideally, the fully decorated room will be stylish and functional as well as appear to be spacious.

With proper research and planning, a homeowner can achieve the desired results. Be sure to continue to read my blog for more great ideas and insight on how to maximize your home. When looking to sell, trust me to get the job done.

8 Home Staging Tips From the Home Sweet Home Team

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Garden Lounge Interior Picture (I stock)













As a home seller, you only have one crucial opportunity to create a positive, everlasting first impression with prospective buyers. From inside out, It’s of the utmost importance that your home shows and is promoted to the best of its ability. A staged home will have an edge over the competition on the market.

We have compiled a list of do it yourself staging tips that will help your home sell for the highest profit, in the least amount of days on the market.

  • Ensure your home is sparkling clean. Dusting, vacuuming , washing floors, cleaning carpets and washing windows will ensure you have your home ready for viewing.
  • Declutter your home. Remove extra furniture and accessories so that rooms appear larger and buyers can imagine it as their space.
  • Depersonalize your home. Buyers want to be able to picture themselves living in your home. Try to clear out a minimum of 50% of your personal belongings, removing items such as family photos and mementos will help.
  • Neutralize your décor and accessories so that they appeal to a wide set of tastes.
  • Complete updates and repairs where they are feasible. A coat of fresh paint will help your home shine. Ensure items such as light switches, fixtures, and faucets are in working order.
  • Boost your curb appeal, make your home more inviting by improving exterior maintenance and landscaping. Updates such as trimmed grass, clean windows and pruned bushes allow your home to look polished.
  • For pet owners, as much as possible make sure their odors are neutralized and their areas are kept clean.
  • On viewing days and open houses, ensure the house is kept tidy. Special touches such a vase with fresh flowers, a bowl of fresh fruit or light scented candles, will add to your homes charm.

If you are interested in receiving a professional staging consultation from a reputable Calgary staging company, please let us know. We have a few local companies we work closely with and would love to recommend to you.

If you are in need of any other information regarding Calgary Real Estate or your Calgary property, we would love to be of assistance. Please contact us today!

Home Sweet Home Team

Century 21 Bamber Realty’s Top Producing Team

Alberta New Home Buyer Protection Program

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

All of the Realtor®‘s in Alberta just received an Alberta Real Estate Association Advisory in regards  to ensuring proper warranties are included with the purchase of a new home. We thought this would be a great chance to bring some light to this issue and serve as an opportunity to educate prospective buyers.

According to the advisory, there has been an industry wide problem with some home builders selling new homes without a valid warranty.

260 Boulder Creek (2)We are bringing this to your attention as we want to make sure that if you are purchasing a new home, that you do your due diligence to ensure the builders are following the required warranty procedure. The extra light shun on this issue is to encourage Realtor®‘s working with builders, that their new home listings follow the required warranty legislation.

According to the New Home Buyer Protection Program here in Alberta, all brand new homes with building permits that were issued after February 1, 2014 must have a valid home warranty coverage included with the property. This act was put in to place to ensure that a new home purchased in Alberta would be protected for a designated period of time. At a minimum your new home warranty should protect your home for labor and materials for 1 year, 2 years for delivery and distribution systems such as heating and electrical, 5 years for the exterior of the home including the roof and walls, and 10 years for the major structural features such as the foundation and frame.

If you want to verify that a new build that you are interested in complies to the standards, we encourage you to use the Home Warranty Public Search which you can find here-

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are your Greater Calgary Real Estate Connection. We are available for assistance 24/7 and are more than happy to help you with your new home search.



Century 21 Bamber Realty ‘s Top Producing Team Ltd.



Summer Projects That Can Improve The Return on Investment on Your Home

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Deciding on what home improvements offer the greatest return on investment is key when deciding which projects to undertake.

Summertime in Calgary is a great time to consider investing some time and effort in to outdoor projects that will not only add value to your home but also increase its curb appeal. In a city like Calgary where warm months are far and between, it is important to maximize your time on the right projects. We have included a list of 4 outdoor home improvements below that we recommend for your summer home improvement project! 

1)    Building Or Upgrading a Patio or Deck:









Not only does a patio or deck contribute greatly to the visual appeal of the outdoor space of your home and make the perfect area to host guests. It can also add to the resale value of your home. If you do not currently have a patio or deck, be prepared to research and plan what materials you would like to use and the building requirements for your area.

If your existing patio or deck is beginning to look aged and weathered, this might be the time to consider re-paint or re-finishing it. Focus on a neutral stain tone or colour that will complement the exterior of the home.

2)    Landscaping Your Property









An excellent way to instantly enhance your properties curb appeal is to have it landscaped. Whether its adding a few flower beds to your yard, a full garden, trees or even a pond or waterfall, landscaping can maximize the desirability of your home. The best way to leave a lasting first impression with prospective home buyers is to make them want to stop and view your property. Landscaping is great at achieving these results and showing off your home.

3)    Replace or Build a Fence

Having a fence on your property increases its feeling of privacy, making you feel both more safe and secure. Ensure that your fence is not only sturdy but also is visually attractive and compliments your outdoor space.

4)    Re-Shingling Your Roof

A home with a strong, durable roof is very important in a city such as Calgary, where we have long winters with extreme conditions. If your roof is showing lots of wear and tear or worse signs of water seepage, we recommend you contact a qualified roofing contractor. If you are planning to tackle this job yourself, make sure you are knowledgeable and experienced as this is a repair that is not suited for your average joe.

We hope that you find these tips useful. We look forward to hearing how your summer home projects turn out. If you are looking to sell your property, or are curious to know what the value could be, or if you are interested in additional home tips, please Contact Us directly.

*Note* The pictures featured throughout this blog were taken from our stunning Glendale Bungalow for sale. If you are interested in this property or would like to schedule a viewing please do not hesitate to contact us!

HSH Logo #2 (passion, knowledge, integrity)

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

You would never know it by looking outside but Spring has officially arrived in Calgary. With arrival of Spring comes one of everyone’s most dreaded tasks; home spring cleaning and home spring maintenance to prepare for the upcoming months. As many of us do, there are tasks that you have been delaying, waiting for this never-ending Calgary winter to finally come to a much anticipated and long-awaited end. We have included a list below that should help get you off your feet and give you an idea of few spring maintenance tasks that you should think about tackling!

Spring Cleaning

  • Service your fireplace, woodstove, and chimney as necessary
  • Make sure the gas fireplace and furnace pilot lights are turned off whenever possible
  • Ensure your smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and security alarms are equipped with charged batteries and are functioning adequately
  • Inspect and clean furnace filters, and replace if necessary.  If you have a Heat Recovery Ventilation system, your filters should be inspected every couple of months
  • Check to make sure your air condition system is working properly. Be sure to have it serviced every few years
  • Clean and replace air conditioning  filters as often as you can
  • Clean windows and screens.  Repair or replace screens if damaged or worn out
  • Once weather conditions have warmed up, open the valve to the outside water hose connection
  • Repair and paint fences if they are in poor condition
  • Touch up areas on your exterior that were damaged by the harsh winter conditions
  • Ensure sump pump and downspout spouts are pointed away from the home so that the draining water doesn’t pool up and potentially cause a flood
  • Remove all debris out of drainage ditches
  • Start carrying out any spring landscaping that is necessary; fertilize young trees

We hope that you found these springs maintenance tips helpful. This Spring Calgary Real Estate Market is shaping up to be a very busy and record setting few months. Conditions are still very favorable for home sellers. Buyer’s demand is very strong, that combined with a small inventory of listings has resulted in rising home prices and home sales. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity to maximize the value for your Calgary property please CONTACT US today!

Home Sweet Home Team










STAGING: 12 tips to stage your home

Friday, January 24th, 2014

STAGING: 12 Tips To Staging Your Home

As a Real Estate agent I see multiple homes on a daily basis. I can say with full confidence that a home that is staged, clutter free and clean will sell faster than a home that isn’t. 63% of people will pay MORE for a move in ready home.
Here you will find 12 Helpful tips to stage your home


1. CLUTTER KILLS SALES: The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. Downsize, purge or store unused items.

2. BRIGHT IS RIGHT: What makes a staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Dark spaces/rooms can appear to be small, cold and uninviting. Open up your curtains. Allow the sunshine to brighten rooms.

3. IN THIS CASE BIGGER IS BETTER: To make a room appear to be bigger, paint all rooms the same color. If you have a small kitchen and dining room, a seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space. Adding a glass table will give the illusion that it is invisble, making the room appear bigger.



4. WHAT’S THAT SMELL? Best smell in the house is NO smell! However if you need to have some smell to mask cooking or a dog etc, try to find something that is not too offense. Like, a vanilla scented candle.

5. YOU SAY BORING. I SAY NEUTRAL: Painting a living room a fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space. Also try to have a unisex bedding, linens and towels. When you are selling, your master bedroom should appeal to buyers of both sexes. Get rid of features that seem too gender-specific.

6. ROSE ARE RED,VIOLETS ARE BLUE: Staged homes almost always have fresh flowers and a some kind of orchid arrangement, but you can simply venture out in your own back yard and raid you garden. This will add a delightful fragrance and pop of color in your home.

7. FACELIFT:If you can’t afford new cabinets or big upgrades in your home, do simple and afforable upgrades.  Update lighting, paint and replace hardware.

BEFORE                   AND                  AFTER

8. KISS THE COOK:  52% of buyers will purchase a home based on the kitchen. The number one thing buyers look for is storage in the kitchen.  So if your kitchen lacks storage space, add additional storage  by adding shelves, cabinets or even a extra pantry. Lastly…..PLEASE Make sure your kitchen is CLEAN!

9. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: Buyers will often open bathroom cabinets and closets. So, elimanate the clutter and clean out your cabinets. You want to show buyers storage, not a lack of storage.

10. PERSONAL PICTURES: Remove personal pictures. You may be very photogenic, but many buyers are distracted by portraits of the sellers, and miss out on key selling points of the home. You want the buyer to in vision themselves in the house. The reality is that people judge! You want them to judge the house, not the people living in in it. So place art work, or scenery pictures instead.

11. PUPPY LOVE: You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Make sure that during your listing period, you are cleaning up after them. You want it to seem like no pet has been there. So take a sniff test. Make sure it doens’t smell like your furry friend. Consider buyers with pet allergies. If possible remove your pet while buyers are viewing your property.

12. READY. SET. GO. Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold!! Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling , clutter to a minimum and carpets dust free.

BEST of luck selling your home. /hope these few tips will help geting it from staged to SOLD!




Rocio Radke
1612 17 AVENUE S.W.
Office: 403-245-0773
Fax: 403-229-0239

Condo Space-Saving Tips

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013


The condo market is one of the busiest sectors of residential real estate in Calgary these days. More Calgarians are choosing to live in condos in downtown Calgary and surrounding areas because of lifestyle preferences. There has been an increase of young professionals who are making the decision to give up a larger home and more space in exchange to be in the hub of the city, close to their place of work, bars, restaurants and more…

For these residents it is important to maximize space in their apartments and condos. This is especially important for kitchens which have a tendency to be smaller in condos. Below you can find a few tips to help keep your condo kitchen tidy and prevent it from looking clustered:

1. Build up: Take advantage of the space that you have above your cupboards and shelves. Use items such pot racks and storage containers placed on top of your cupboards. This will help maintain your counter space and keep things looking clean.

2. Purge: Do you really need the blender, ice cream maker and deep fryer on your counter? We all probably have something in our kitchen that is no longer of use or needed all the time. Remove bulky items that take up counter space and tuck them away in your cupboard.

3. Utilizing Wall Space: Since you don’t have an excess of space it is important to fully utilize the walls surrounding your kitchen. Placing shelves and hooks will keep clutter such as dish towels away from hanging off your stove, counters etc. Your wall space can also be used to hang large mirrors which can create the illusion of making your kitchen look larger than it actually is.

Following these simple steps will allow you to enjoy your condo, even if it’s undersized, to its full potential .


If you are in the market to downsize or are looking to avoid the crazy Calgary rental market, Contact Us today and we will have one of our Home Sweet Home Team condo specialists find you the condo of your dream.

On the other hand, if you are looking to sell your condo, it is currently a great time to consider doing so. The Calgary condo market is being pushed towards being a sellers market and prices are quickly on the rise. Please Click Here if you would like to have a Free Market Evaluation completed on your Calgary property.

Self Employed Canadians Looking For a Mortgage

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Home Owner pictureWhile freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs and small business owners are considered an excellent and reliable customer group, it’s not always easy for someone who is self-employed to get mortgage financing. Salaried employees prove their income with their T4 slips. The self-employed on the other hand have a much harder time proving their earnings because they use accounting techniques to report lower income so that taxes are reduced as much as possible.  This can make it harder to prove to lenders that they can afford to make their mortgage payments.


That’s why professional advice is so important. Based on your situation, I will advise you on the type of information you need to present to improve your options and get the best possible terms. For instance, by showing the following I can paint a picture that will mitigate lender risk:

  • Documentation to prove income – tax assessments, tax returns, financial statements, contracts
  • Proof of a registered or incorporated business
  • Good cash flow
  • That you are up to date with your property and income tax payments
  • Strong credit history
  • Solid net worth
  • Savings
  • Long job tenure / residential history, and
  • A significant downpayment.


I also have access to lenders that are not federally regulated and take a less stringent approach when it comes to self-employed borrowers. In fact, your mortgage broker has access to over 50 lenders, including major banks, credit unions, trust and insurance companies, and other national, regional and private lenders.


Many mortgage product options are available for Self-employed individuals also. Recently I helped a Self-employed customer find a near-perfect home in Cochrane. Well, actually the realtor found it, but I gave the realtor a valuable tool that expanded the home search criteria. The tool is a mortgage product called Purchase Plus Improvement. It allowed the customer to add a finished basement to a home that otherwise would have not met their criteria. All the work was done and paid for with inexpensive mortgage money!


Most of all, working with me allows you to delegate the many time-consuming and frustrating tasks associated with securing a mortgage, so you can stay focused on running your business. Also, I will typically work around your hectic schedule.


If you are self employed, you already know it makes sense to go to a specialist to get the job done. Call me and I’ll get started right away!

Jay Meakin

Mortgage Associate – (Mortgage Intelligence)
1535 – 19 Street NW
Calgary AB T2N 2K2
P: (403)861-7399
F: 1-(888)651-4550

We hope you enjoyed this weeks guest blog post courtesy of one of our Home Sweet Home Team preferred mortgage specialists. If you already have qualified for a mortgage and are interested in buying a Calgary home please Contact Us today or post the features that you are looking for in a home on our Post Your Wants Page and we will find you your dream home!

Home Sweet Home Team



Why You Should Get A Home Inspection Before Purchasing

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Lots of my clients ask us ” What are the benefits to having a home inspection?” Here are a few reasons why a home inspection is beneficial when purchasing a home.  


  • A home inspection can help you avoid costly surprises down the road and may also be used as a negotiating tool that will facilitate a reduction in the price of a property.
  • A home inspection can reveal any defects or various repairs that may need to be addressed before possession day
  • Home inspections can give you a piece of mind. It limits the number of surprises you may discover once you move in.
  • A home inspector can give you valuable information and details about your home, such as: The current condition of the property, possible safety concerns,  location of main service panels and shut off valves. A home inspector can alert you of any maintenance and type of repairs that may need to be done.
  • Having a professional home inspection can give you the  reassurance that you are making a sound investment.

Please visit our Home Sweet Home Team Website for additional home tips, our Home Sweet Home Team feature listings, Calgary housing information and MUCH MORE…

If you are interested in buying or selling a Calgary property please Contact Us today and we will show you the advantages of using the Home Sweet Home Team.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.