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Factors to Consider When Selling Your Property

Purchasing or selling real estate is one of the biggest financial decisions an individual can make in their lifetime therefore it needs to be taken very seriously. If you are considering placing your property on the market for sale here are a few things you need to know.

 

 

Whether you are buying or selling a property the process can prove to be extremely stressful and exhausting, especially if you are selling on your own. To take some of the burden off your back consider hiring a real estate agent/agency to assist you in getting your property sold. You may be given the option to list with multiple agencies or list exclusively with one agency. If you decide to enter into an exclusive agreement, ensure that you choose the right agents who will minimize worry, maximize results and have your best interest at heart.

 

Improve your properties curb appeal in order to make a great first impression. Depending on the state of the property, a prospective buyer could lose interest before placing one foot inside the premises. A prospect’s first impression should make them feel impressed and excited to see more.

 

Consider brightening up your fence or gate with a fresh coat of paint, planting a flower garden, creating a paved walkway, or simply move anything unsightly out of plain sight. Yard maintenance is also highly important. Please note that, particularly if you are selling land, properties that have been overtaken by overgrown grass and shrubs tend to appear smaller than their actual size.

 

Another way of increasing curb appeal is with the inclusion of outdoor living space, such as a deck, patio, or gazebo. This will not only beautify your property but can also increase its value and selling potential. It is important that your property is in a condition that can present it in the best light which allows it to be purchased at its maximum market value.

 

Give your property some tender loving care. Start by placing attention on the little things and work on fixing them before they become unmanageable or result in further damage. Prospective buyers, especially those who are determined to find their ‘dream home’, can at times be nit-picky and focus on details that you yourself may not consider an issue.

 

If you are going to place your property on the market for sale, it is wise to take a walk through the property and try looking at it from a stranger’s point of view. If you find any issue that can easily be rectified at a low cost, consider working on it as soon as you can. Doing this will also give the prospect the impression that the property has been well maintained over the years and give them a greater appreciation for the property.

 

Come up with a competitive selling price.  In order to settle on a formal selling price that will ensure that both you and the buyer are happy you will need to know how much your property is worth. Overpricing is one of many factors that can keep quality real estate from being sold. If you are serious about selling your property, it is far better to have it listed at a reasonable price than to have it sitting on the market for years without attracting any   potential buyers because it is overpriced.  Remember, your property is not the only one on the market and home buyers almost always shop around.

 

Before you decide on selling, it is important to note that when selling you will be required to pay Government Transferor’s Fee of 2.5% calculated on the selling price or value of the real estate being sold, whichever is greater.

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3 Non-Financial Benefits of Home Ownership

Whether it is through purchasing an existing property or having the home of your dreams designed and built, most individuals dream of one day owning their own home. Reaching the point of home ownership is considered a significant moment in an individual’s life and thus we work hard to turn that dream into our reality.

While owning a home provides several financial benefits it also offers some non-financial benefits that aren’t often considered. In today’s article we take a look at three (3) non-financial benefits of home ownership.

Individuals often compare the differences between home ownership and renting when considering the advantages that owning a home offers. A key difference between the two options is that when you own your own home you won’t need to worry about the cost of rent being increased or being evicted.  Also, renting a home or apartment does not usually provide much option in regards to modifying the living space to better suit your needs. Whereas if you own your home you are free to renovate or add an extension to increase your comfort and convenience.

Home ownership offers stability. Having to move from rental to rental is a major inconvenience and can be both a financial and emotional burden. When you spend your life constantly renting homes and apartments you can never really be sure where you will end next. Factors such as a change in your financial situation or even a growing family may require you to move to another property sooner that anticipated.

Another benefit to home ownership is that it grants owners the opportunity to be a more established member of a community. When you own your property you literally own a piece of your community. Being part of a community means being a good neighbor, and that requires owners to take care of their property and improve the community.

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Office Space Layouts

As an employer or business owner have you taken the time to consider how the layout of your office affects your employee productivity and work experience? Having an effective office layout enables productivity, and also makes workflow efficient. Different office layouts work best with different types of businesses or organizations. If you are searching for a new office space or planning on remodeling your existing space this article will help you learn more about the different types of office layouts and their functions.

Open Plan Office Layout  

The open office layout’s main benefit is that it encourages communication and teamwork. Due to the lack of interior walls / barriers decisions tend to be made faster which results in swift action and increased productivity. Offices with this layout are ideal for fast paced business and businesses with a flat organizational hierarch. Open plan office layouts also allow employers to give more attention to their employees, and can help employees develop better relationships with their employers as well as their coworkers. The disadvantages of this layout is that it lends itself to a lot of distraction; it offers very little privacy and the office can get very noisy.

Private / Closed Office Layout

The private / closed office layout works best for businesses where confidentiality is extremely important (such as law offices). Thus employees would need solitude to take private phone calls, or meet individually with clients. The main drawback to using this layout is that it does not offer the same level of effective communication as the other office layouts. It is also more costly. For one, you would need a larger office space than with an open layout and more artificial lighting and cooling would be needed to maintain a conducive working environment.

Cubicle Office Layout

Cubicles use a series of partitions allowing workers the benefits of a private / closed office layout (privacy, limited distractions, decreased noise levels), while offering an adequate level of openness. Cubicles do not take up as much floor space as private offices. They are also beneficial to companies that require confidentiality and those that do not have the budget to offer everyone a private office. Similar to the private / closed office layout cubicles offer limited natural light. Using glass panels will allow more natural light to come in and allows the space to appear larger. Half partitions which are like cubicles (except the walls only go halfway up) can also be useful, however they offer less privacy.

Team Enclosures

Team enclosures offers a private area for teams working on a single project and those who work on similar projects. This layout allows increased communication and encourages cooperation between team members while minimizing external distractions. This layout is beneficial to organizations and businesses such as advertisement agencies, news offices, or architectural and engineering firms.

 

Remember, with many people spending more time at work than they do at home, choosing the right office layout is an important decision to make not only for you but for your employees as well. Also, in many cases, it may make sense to have a variety of different layouts in one office space.

 

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5 Tips When Viewing a Home to Buy

Have you ever heard of anyone buying a home by only looking at the photos, or hearing good reviews? Most likely your answer is no. Before purchasing a home the prospective buyer should always schedule visits to the properties they are interested in. However, viewing the property without knowing what to look for or knowing what to do can have the same effect as not viewing the property at all. This is one of the most important decisions anyone can make especially because it is usually more difficult process to sell a home than to buy one.  Here are five tips to guide you when viewing a home.

  • Ensure that everything that is supposed to work actually works. If electricity and water are currently available to the property check the water pressure, light switches, circuits to be certain that no additional maintenance has to be done on your part. If you have already been informed of any issue that may already exist then it is not necessary, however you still can do this to determine the extent of the problem.
  • While walking through the property look at the structure of the building, pay close attention to both the exterior and interior walls. See if you can find cracks which can be a symptom of structural problems, or for the presence of mold. If you find something wrong with the home ask questions to find out whether the problem can be fixed before you decide to buy the home.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the community where the home is located, it is wise to ask the agent, homeowner, and neighbors about the surroundings. Is it peaceful or noisy? Does a lot of criminal activity (burglary, etc.) occur in the area? Do the schools nearby provide quality education? If you eat out often, where can you get a bite to eat in the area? What time does the bus service shut down in the area? All these should be considered when deciding whether you should buy the home or keep on searching.
  • A common mistake that many home buyers make is making a decision after viewing the property only once. If you are interested in buying the home ensure that you schedule a visit with the agent or homeowner at least two or three times. The next time you visit you may find problems that can deter you, or aspects you love but did not notice at first. It is recommended that you view the property at different times of the day to take note of the changes in lighting and surroundings.
  • Do not rush the final decision. Whether you fall in love with the property at first sight or not take your time before you make a decision. A home is a serious and often lifelong investment. Hence necessary thought and consideration should be given. When looking at the property together with the agent or homeowner. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions about the property as possible.
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Advantages of an Open Concept Home

An open concept home provides many benefits to homeowners compared to homes where every room is enclosed by walls.  Here are 6 advantages of an open concept home design.

  • Spaciousness

The interior walls of a building take up a lot of space. While it may not be a significant amount of square footage, it takes up a lot of visual space.  By removing the walls and other barriers the home appears larger due to the increase in distance from one point to another.

  • Lighting and Scenery

With an open concept home there are very little barriers that can hinder the flow of natural lighting into the home. This benefits home owners in that an increase in light from the sun and even the moon can help cut down on use of electricity. An open concept house also provides constant accesses to the stunning and breathtaking views from our natural environment.

  • Proper Ventilation

Not only does an open concept home maximize the amount of light entering the home, it also increases the air entering the home as well. Without walls to get in the way, the breeze entering through the windows and doors can properly circulate through the home providing a cool and refreshing sensation throughout.

  • Family Socializing

Tearing down the literal walls within the home can build metaphorical bridges, uniting the family. Having an open concept house plan increases the frequency of family members being in contact with one another and creates greater avenues for family bonding. While mom may be in the kitchen area preparing a meal the rest of the family is within sight. This also allows for more effective communication between family members.

  • Entertaining Guests

Homes built with an open concept design are ideal for hosting events, parties or just having a group of friends over for a fun gathering. The spacious nature of the room makes it a perfect area to watch a movie while eating, and having other activities going on simultaneously, especially compared to homes with a lot of interior walls making the home feel congested.

  • Safety and Security

Open concept homes make it easier to keep an eye on small children while they frolic through the home. In homes where rooms are separated by interior walls and where there may be hallways providing even more separation, it is easy to lose sight of a child, and the slightest glance away can have them wondering off where they can get hurt. An open concept home allows for better supervision.

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Preventing Mold Infestation

Is your home and environs damp? Dampness can result in the formation of mold on your walls, furniture and window frames causing them to get rotten. Mold is a type of fungi developed from airborne spores. It usually grows in damp, warm conditions with little airflow. This can have adverse effects on the body causing increase risk of respiratory illnesses. If you do have mold, the first thing to do is find the source in order to get rid of it.

 

Preventing Condensation:

Condensation is one of the main causes of dampness in the home.  It mainly occurs during cold weather regardless of a presence or absence of rain. When the air gets colder and it can no longer hold back all the moisture in the atmosphere, tiny droplets appear causing the surface to be damp.

To avoid condensation:

  • Ensure that your home is well ventilated. Keep windows opened as much as possible and as wide as possible to maintain a balanced atmosphere.
  • Create less moisture. Certain activities we do daily produce a lot of moisture. When cooking keep pots and pans covered, and avoid unnecessary over boiling. When doing the laundry it is best that clothes are hanged outside to dry.

Other Causes of Dampness:

  • Leaking pipes and faucets – ensure that your pipe system is properly maintained.
  • Holes or cracks in the roof – rain water can sip through these spaces and enter the home without your knowledge. Always check for leaks and have them fixed as soon as possible.
  • Window entrance – while it is wise to have windows opened as much as possible to allow proper ventilation, naturally they need to be closed when rain falls to prevent water from entering.

 

Removing Mold:

If mold has already taken effect, the following things can be done to rectify the situation:

  • Use a solution of chlorine bleach and water. For the best results use a ratio of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. If you cannot acquire these substances use a household detergent with bleach as an active ingredient.
  • When scrubbing the affected areas use a stiff-bristled brush, rinse thoroughly and dry.
  • Ensure that you wear protective eye-wear, gloves, and a face-mask. Making physical contact with the mold can be harmful.
  • While cleaning mold, open all the windows to the room or use a fan in the room if possible.
  • Purchase specialized products – anti-microbial sprays and anti-mildew paints can reduce the chance of mold development.

 

Have you had a problem with mold infestation?  What did you do to solve it?

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6 Design Tips for Your Baby’s Nursery

A nursery is a bedroom within a house or other dwelling set aside for an infant or toddler. The nursery is designated to the housing, care and well-being of a baby, and is generally the smallest bedroom in the house. However, the room in many cases could remain the bedroom of the child well into his or her teenage years, or until a younger sibling is born, and the parents decide to move the older child into another larger bedroom, if one is available.  Our architects offer the following tips to help you design a nursery for your bundle of joy.

Location: The most beneficial location to build a nursery is near to your bedroom. This benefits both you and the child in that you are close enough to hear if anything is wrong, and it also leaves a short walking distance when you need to check up on the baby in the middle of the night. The nursery should also be appointed in an area where it can receive good ventilation, and ample lighting.

Color: The best color scheme to choose when designing a nursery is one that provides a calming and nurturing feel. You should focus on what makes you feel relaxed, especially because mothers generally experience a higher level of stress post childbirth. When the child gets older they can decide what color they desire.

Coherence: The style of the nursery should reflect your own personal style and should resemble the design of the other rooms in the home in regards to the design, color, furnishing, etc. It does not have to be a carbon copy but if the entire home has a modern contemporary look, that should be carried into the nursery.

Safety: When purchasing a crib, ensure that it is deep enough and that the bars are an appropriate distance apart to keep the baby from getting out. Place the crib away from, doors, heaters, lamps/light fixtures and wall decorations. Also, try your best not to over-decorate the room and have it cluttered. It should be organized as much as possible.

Furnishing: The cheapest and easiest thing to do when planning on purchasing furniture is to buy them before deciding on the color of the walls. Then you can chose your wall options based on the type of furniture you have. Another reasonable option is to buy the crib and then design everything with your focus on the crib. While the crib is definitely the most important furniture in a nursery, another piece you should invest in is a rocking chair.

Adaptability: When designing take in consideration how long the décor will last. As the years go by and the child grows aspects of the room may need to change when the child finds that they have become too old. When it comes to things such as the design of the wallpaper, choose an option that can be appropriate for a number of years which will allow ample time before it needs changing.

 

Additional Tip: Remember babies are messy therefore ensure whatever you buy is washable.

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Make House Paint Last Longer With These Six Tips

It’s that time again; you’ve recently applied a fresh coat of paint to your walls and it is already starting to fade. Having to move furniture and appliances as well as getting photos and paintings off the walls over and over again can be frustrating and not to mention a financial burden. Today we offer you a few tips on making paint last longer.

 

  • Ensure that your home is properly ventilated. Moisture enters the home in liquid form and exits as vapor, thus lifting the paint on the outside walls. Allow constant fresh air to both enter and leave your home by having windows and door opened as much as possible, and ensure that the home is well designed to accommodate maximum ventilation.
  • Clean the walls before applying paint. Paint is able to stick over dirt, cobwebs, and other contaminants on the wall. Before painting use water and bleach if necessary to remove them. If bleach or any other chemical substance is used gently and thoroughly rinse to remove residue which can loosen the paint.
  • Apply the right thickness of paint. If the coat of paint is too thin the paint will be weak and easily fade, and if it is too thick it will crack. The right thickness of paint is approximately 0.004 – 0.005 inches, or the thickness of a single sheet of copy paper.
  • Ensure that you do not apply paint in direct sunlight or while experiencing high winds. The sun and wind makes the water and petroleum solvents in the paint evaporate too quickly. It also slows down the paint from flowing and leveling out the way it should, as well as weakening the bond between the particles.
  • If there are a lot of plants (trees, shrubs, flowers) near the walls of your home you either need to constantly trim them or cut them off completely. Plants create moisture which will cause the paint to fade quicker than it should.
  • Use the right type of paint. Natural paint which has no harmful chemicals is capable of lasting up to 50 years if 3 coats are added. While oil paint is more resistant against dirt and has a level of hardness.
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4 Ways To Make Your Small Kitchen Appear Larger

The kitchen is arguably one of the most (if not the most) important rooms in the home. It caters to the entire family, guests, and stores the largest amount of household appliances than any other room. In cases where the kitchen may seem cluttered due to its minimal size, an extension may be considered. If because of any reason from lack of finance, to not enough space to expand, you should not worry. Today we offer you four simple interior design alterations to make your small kitchen appear larger.

  1. Aim for function: A small kitchen will not be held at the same standard of accommodating multiple activities. You will not be able to cook, do schoolwork, or wonder about aimlessly all at the same time. Instead of trying to force everything where it cannot fit design the kitchen to handle the basics (cooking, cooking and more cooking).
  2. Glass offers transparency: Design the room with the use of glass fixtures and or furniture. Glass allows you to see through an object which makes the room appear larger than it really is. This is what designers refer to as ‘negative space’. Apply glass to your cupboards, kitchen door or you can even make use of reflective glass tiles.
  3. Brighten up the room: The color scheme used for your appliances, décor, walls and flooring have a large part to play in how big any room appears. Light colors such as beige and pastels are more reflective hence the room feels larger and more airy. Dark colors on the other hand absorb light leaving the room feeling smaller than it actually is.
  4. Light it up: The kitchen like any other room requires the use of natural light as well as task lighting. Natural light opens up the interior of the room (try to get as much in as possible). An incandescent light bulb which provides a yellowish glow is highly recommended. They spot lighting, when directed at the cabinetry, to increase the shadowing of the space. Floor lighting can also be considered to lighten up the kitchen.
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Mistakes Made During the Home Buying Process

Your home is an important asset to own. Not just its financial benefits but also because of what it represents. A home offers security. It is generally viewed as a place of love, where memories are made, where families are built. It is because of these and many other reasons that many individuals desire to one day own their home. And just as there are reasons to want to own a home there are several reasons why individuals would want to sell their home: from personal reasons such as moving away, or accommodating a growing family, to financial reasons.

Whether you are selling or buying a home the real estate process can be a daunting task that if not handled properly can be exhausting and both the owner and the buyer can cause the process to be more difficult than it already is.

 

Here are a few tips to help homeowners avoid making mistakes that could hinder the selling process.

1)        Overpricing

Most sellers have a tendency to overprice their property. One of the main causes of overpricing results from the homeowner’s emotional attachment to their property. As a property owner, once you have made the decision to sell you should detach yourself emotionally from the home because this attachment does not affect the buyer’s decision. Bear in mind that a real estate transaction should be viewed and handled mainly as a business transaction. Homeowners can also overprice due to the property features that they believe to be of high value. However, what may seem appealing to the owner may not have the same appeal to the prospective buyer. The best way to avoid overpricing is by formulating a selling price based on the most recent property valuation and taking the price of similar properties in the area under consideration.

3)        Not Trusting the Agent

One of the most significant components of any personal or business relationship is trust. As a homeowner looking to list your property with a real estate agent or agency you have to ensure that there is an element of trust. Before listing your property, ask as many questions as you need to get comfortable working with the agent. If at the end of the conversation you feel like you cannot trust the agent it would be best to look elsewhere in order to avoid the tension that distrust is most likely to cause down the line.

 

Similarly to homeowners, buyers can make mistakes during the real estate transaction that they may eventually regret later:

1)        Lowballing

As a home buyer it is only natural that you would want the lowest price possible, however there is a big difference between negotiating to get a more affordable price and lowballing. Sometimes buyers can come in with unrealistic expectations about how much the property is worth. If you feel that the selling price is a bit steep and you really love the property, when negotiating it would be best to make a realistic offer that is not too low from the owner’s asking price.

 

 

2)        Searching for the cheapest property

Individuals searching for homes to purchase on a strict budget often keep their eyes open for the cheapest property they can find. What some homebuyers fail to consider is that most times cheaper properties tend to have many issues and require renovations. It is wise to find out as much about the property as you can, its value, structural integrity, etc. without only considering the price.  Before purchasing a home, you should be aware of anything that may be wrong and factor your findings into your final decision.

 

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