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Cost Effective Exterior Improvements

In our previous article we discussed a few low budget improvements that can be implemented to add greater appeal to your property while it is on the real estate market. Today, we head outdoors as we take a look at some exterior improvements.


As expressed in our previous article the home in general should be kept speak-and-span, similarly so should the yard. Ensure the environment is void of any unnecessary clutter.  Remove all broken appliances, and old pieces of furniture that may be lying around. If there is a pet(s) ensure that are cleaned up after regularly. Trees and shrubs should be well pruned, outdoor vegetable and flower gardens should be well weeded, and the lawn should be well manicured.

Outdoor living spaces such as porches, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the home such as stairs should be uncluttered, cleaned and repaired. Pieces of furniture within your outdoor living space should also be kept clean. Ensure that shades and awnings are in good repair and the colors have not faded away.

Both the house and garage doors should be in optimal condition, working properly and painted; nothing looks worse than a peeling door. Ensure that accessories such as door knobs are cleaned and polished. Also, keep in mind that gates, fences, walls and any other buildings on the property need to be taken care of as well.

When it comes to real estate first impressions do matter. The initial feeling that a prospect gets when they see a property for the first time in person will remain with them throughout the entire showing, and perhaps even through to subsequent showings as well.

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Cost Effective Interior Improvements

After you’ve decided to place your home on the market it is wise and extremely beneficial that it looks as presentable as possible so that is appears more attractive to prospects.  After all, a clean home is a happy home, and that results in a happy buyer!


Today, we share a few cost effective ways to improve a home’s interior for a productive showing.


Interior Improvements:


Use curtains and drapes that are both fresh and attractive, and ensure both the inside and outside of all windows are properly cleaned. Well washed windows accentuate the views of outside thus improving the appeal of the home to the buyer.  When facilitating showings, allow the outside light to engulf the room by keeping all drapes opened and shades pulled.


In addition to using natural light to brighten up the home, having new light fixtures installed can be an added asset. Consider putting in higher watt bulbs in all fixtures to improve the lighting. Have all the lights on while the showing is being done, especially in areas that do not get a lot of natural light.


Bathrooms are considered a sacred part of the home; hence it should always be as clean and sanitized as possible. Have it well organized and ensure that everything is where it should be.  Mop the floors, clean up the shower or bathtub, and ensure that the toilet is cleaned.  Get rid of the torn or stained shower curtain and have it replaced with a new one.


Have pets? From the moment you decide to place your property on the market for sale, consider making arrangements for pets that live or are frequently inside the home. You could either restrict their access into the house or have them stay at another property. This is because, not only do pets leave behind odors that may upset a prospective buyer, the buyer may also be allergic to pets.  Remember, you want the showing to go as smooth as possible.


Having clean walls is an important feature of a home on the market for sale.  If the walls are stained, firstly, try cleaning it with soap and water or other appropriate chemicals.  If that doesn’t remove the stains add a fresh coat of paint. Normally, where colors such as chartreuse, tangerine, purple, orange or any dark colors are over used, it causes a negative perception of the area; add at least two coats of white paint to turn the room into a blank canvas. This will allow the prospect to focus on more important features of the home.


Other important rooms that need attention prior to a showing are the bedroom and kitchen. Beds should be properly made and the bedroom clutter free; get clothing out of sight and have them stored neatly in your closet, wardrobe, or drawer.  In the kitchen, keep both the countertops and sinks clean and clear, be sure to have your stove and fridge cleaned, and ensure that the garbage is taken out in advance.


Dusting, scrubbing, sweeping, mopping up the floors, dusting out the rugs a little more than usual and replacing broken tiles are a few other cost effective ways to improve the interior of your home and increase your chances of securing a buyer.


Use these tips to improve, and look out for our next article where we focus on affordable ways we can improve the outside of the home.

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Keep Your Kitchen Clean

You can probably create a very long list of all the reasons why you should always keep your home clean and sanitized, particularly for the kitchen which is essentially the heart of the home. Today we share a few simple tips used to ensure that three of the most important areas of the kitchen are well taken care of.


The Stove: When cleaning the kitchen it is recommended that you begin on the right side of the stove and move around the room clockwise. Typically the stove is the dirtiest part of the kitchen as it tends to be the most used area and the area where most messes occur. Hence when cleaning, ending with the stove keeps dirt and grease from spreading. Ensure that the oven is kept clean by lining the bottom with a nonstick oven liner or aluminum foil in order to catch spills.


The Sink: It is a little known fact that a dirty kitchen sink is more contaminated with bacteria than the average toilet seat. Clean your sink with soap and water before spraying a mist of vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide, then allow it to air-dry. Keep in mind that the vinegar and hydrogen-peroxide should not be mixed together. If you have a stainless steel sink, adding a few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and buffing can provide an added shine.


The Fridge: Firstly, remove all items from the refrigerator and throw away all food items that have no use. Wipe down the entire surface of the refrigerator using a clean sponge or cloth, and a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda and one quart water. After you have scrubbed all the drawers and shelves wipe dry using a clean cloth. When cleaning the freezer combine one cup of water, one teaspoon of dish washing liquid, and one teaspoon white vinegar (in a spray bottle if possible). Shake the solution well and spray the whole freezer. If you don’t have a spray bottle, simply dip a clean cloth or sponge in the mixture and wipe then dry.


Bear in mind that there are various methods and numerous solutions used to clean around the home and more specifically the kitchen. It’s wise to try a few and find the ones that you are comfortable with. If you have any other tips to keep these areas of the kitchen clean feel free to share them below.

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House Planning: Choosing the Right Tile

When designing your home, no detail is too small or insignificant.  With every decision that needs to be made there are factors to be considered and options to choose from.  Today we focus on tiling and discuss three (3) factors that one should consider when choosing the right tile:


  1. Style:Knowing where the tile will be placed will help make all the other factors that need to be considered become clearer, especially in regards to the style of tiles to be used.  There are several style options to be considered.  Here are the most commonly used styles:
  • Ceramic tiles are an excellent choice for bathrooms and areas exposed to a lot of moisture because of its waterproof nature. In addition its surface is ideal for paint.
  • Glass tiles are a common choice for bathrooms and kitchens because they are easily recyclable and come in a variety of colors and finishes. They are mostly used for walls and backsplashes.
  • Porcelain tiles are a common flooring choice due to its no-slip grip and incredible strength. Its durability and water-resistant nature makes it ideal for outdoor use.
  • Natural stone tiles are incredibly durable. A smooth stone works well for the kitchen as it clean-ups easily, whereas a textured stone floor will help prevent slipping on a wet bathroom floor.
  1. Size & Shape: Large tiles have a distinguishing look and are much easier to install compared to smaller tiles. Likewise, tiles that are squared and rectangular in shape are easier to install compared to irregular shaped tiles. In addition, when you use a larger tile it limits the pattern effects of grout.


  1. Color: Ultimately you will decide what color tile you prefer based on personal preference, the color of the walls, furnishing, décor, etc. but it is wise to keep these things in mind when making a decision: light colors make a room appear larger than it actually is; dark colors add a feeling of warmth and comfort; and using neutral colors offers the benefit of being able to change your décor.


If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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Baby-Proof Your Home

It should be the desire of all parents to see to it that their children are safe, secured, and protected. In the following article we share 5 tips you should consider implementing in your home to keep your little ones safe.


Preventing fall:

As soon as our little one starts to crawl, precautions need to be put in place in order to keep them safe on the countless occasions they are likely to trip and fall down. Safety gates are a great way to keep babies away from stair cases. For multi-story homes, fit a gate at the top of the stairs and another at least three steps from the bottom. Gates are also useful for blocking the entrance to rooms where babies can easily get hurt.


Windows and Doors:

Ensure that pieces of furniture and other items that your little one may attempt to climb are away from windows. In addition, for areas of the home with large areas of glass, for example glass doors, consider adding stickers at baby level to remind the child that something is there, hence avoiding collision impacts.


Protect little hands:

To prevent your toddler’s hands from squeezing between hinges consider installing hinge protectors throughout the home. Scissors, staplers and other sharp items should always remain within draws that are locked. Ensure that cords are well concealed away from the baby’s reach.


Prevent Drowning:

All it takes is as little as 5cm of water for a child to drown; hence it is of the outmost importance that you remain vigilant when they are near water. Ensure that areas where water is stored from a container or bucket to a pool, is covered whenever you are not around.


Preventing suffocation:

To prevent suffocation ensure that your baby has a safe sleeping space such as a cot or a crib, which is the safest place for your baby to sleep. Ensure that the toddler’s feet are placed touching the bottom of the crib and that light blankets are used to cover him/her. It is never a wise decision to put your baby to sleep on a sofa especially one with large gaps and many cushions. Plastic bags, which are great choking hazards, should be kept out of your child’s reach.


Share with us any other tip that you can think of to create a safe home environment for little ones.

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Make Your Bedroom Healthier

The health and well-being of you and your family should be one of your top concerns. There are countless ways and methods that can be used to maintain healthy living within the home. Today we take a look at the bedroom and discuss 3 measures that can be taken to make it healthier.


  • Improve Air Quality:

Fresh air provides numerous benefits to our overall well-being. Fresh air is good for digestion. Clean air improves individual’s blood pressure and heart rate, as well strengthens our immune system. Not only does it provide physical benefits, breathing in clean air makes us happier in general. Ensure that your bedroom is well ventilated; keep windows open as frequently as possible to allow the constant circulation of air throughout the bedroom.  Also, consider including plants in the bedroom. Plants take in Carbon dioxide and release Oxygen which we need.


  • Keep it Clean:

In order to maintain a healthy environment in your bedroom cleanliness is important. Change your sheets and pillow cases regularly to fight against germs and help your bedding last longer. In addition it is wise to rotate your mattress regularly (about every 3 months), to ensure even wear and tear. Regular maintenance is extremely important because the amount of dead skin, grime, and dust mites that gather on bedding can cause problems from asthma to acne. In regards to the entire bedroom in general, ensure that it is regularly dusted and clutter free.


  • Keep out Toxins:

To keep your bedroom healthy it is recommended that all finishings, materials and coatings should be natural and non-toxic. While you wouldn’t want to use toxins anywhere in your home the bedroom should be the number one priority. It is fundamentally important that nothing is releasing toxic chemicals into your bedroom while you sleep. When choosing furnishings for the bedroom make your selections based on health. Purchase furniture constructed out of solid wood or very low emissions plywoods, and try to avoid using synthetic fabrics and foams.


If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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Naturally Ventilate Your Home

Proper interior ventilation is essential to your family’s health, comfort and overall well-being. It helps your home rid itself of moisture, smoke, cooking odors, and indoor pollutants. When it comes to keeping our homes well-ventilated there are many options we can implement. Today we share with you 6 natural methods that you can use to ensure that your home is properly ventilated.


  • Ground Cover: Not only does ground cover improve the physical appeal of a property, it also aids in reducing heat levels. By using ground cover options such as having a well-manicured lawn or by using any low heat absorbing materials the heat retained in the ground is very minimal. This greatly helps guiding cool air inside the home.


  • Water: When we think of cooling off the first thought that may come to mind is having a cool glass of water or enjoying a refreshing bathe. Just as water can be used to cool our bodies it can cool our homes as well. Having a water fountain or swimming pools can act as transition spaces where air is naturally cooled before entering the home.


  • Windows: When installing windows ensure that they are at least 3.6 feet high. This helps with the circulation of air within the home and reduces the heat levels on the ceiling. Keep them opened as frequent as possible to take advantage of fresh air filling the home.


  • Clerestories: A clerestory is a high section of wall that contains windows above eye level. Not only do they provide natural lighting, but they also improve air circulation. When hot air rises a clerestory acts as a vent and space for the hot air to accumulate and exit.


  • Outdoor Space: Incorporating outdoor living spaces such as porches, balconies that connect with the indoors significantly improves the air flow into the home.


Do you know of any other methods that can be used to naturally ventilate your home? Share with us below.

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Making Use of the Walls

Homeowners generally tend to design rooms without making use of the walls. If walls are left bare it gives off an incomplete feel to a room. If you do not have an eye for design, figuring where to start in regards to wall décor may be difficult. For all intents and purposes you can chose to follow your instincts, but we have included a few ideas that you can use in this article.


Similar to furniture, wall décor can be arranged to change the mood of a room, and reflect an individual’s personality.  Here are a few tips that can help you use wall décor to make your home design more interesting:


  • Art can have a significant impact on the mood and ambiance of the room in which it will be placed. The right color or subject of a piece can bring life and energy into a room. Art in itself can take on many forms. If you are interested in an option besides having the average painting or drawing consider using large canvases painted with interior latex paint.


  • Family photos or photographs that are highly sentimental tend to remind us of loved ones and happy times and transfers that feeling in the room.  Search your photo albums and electronic devices for the best shots that you can find and have them framed.


  • Mirrors are essentially the wonder child of design therefore it is wise to learn how to incorporate them in your home design. They reflect light and make a room feel brighter and appear larger, while adding visual dimension and depth.


  • Fabric can also be used as artwork. A piece of fabric with a color scheme or pattern that speaks to your personal taste that meshes with the style of your room can be easily framed and hung on a wall as piece of art.


  • Be as creative and imaginative as possible. In truth many items that you probably would not consider can make wonderful wall décor if hung in an appealing manner. For example, plates in unexpected colors can form a beautiful wall arrangement.    Artistic pieces created with materials such as ceramic, glass, wood, feathers, metal, plastic etc. make great wall décor.  Even the frame used for hanging artwork and photographs can be considered a work of art in itself. Use your decorating sense when choosing a frame so that you can reap the most benefit from the purchase.


If your walls are naked, complete your home’s design by dressing them up!

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Benefits of Having a Kitchen Pantry

The pantry is essentially a special closet that serves as a storage area for foodstuffs and, or kitchen appliances. Pantries usually feature a combination of shelving as well as open space for the storage of larger containers; the exact configuration of the interior space will depend on the type of food storage that is intended for the space. Originally, a pantry was simply a cool and dark place where perishable foods such as freshly baked bread could be stored. As a matter of fact, the word pantry is believed to have originated from the French word “pan” which means bread. The concept of the pantry has now expanded from a simple bread room to an area where essentials could be stored in bulk, thus, providing many benefits to the modern kitchen.


The most obvious benefit of adding a kitchen pantry is additional storage space. Not only do cluttered kitchens look messy and dirty, they also make it easy to misplace cooking tools. Including this home storage option in your kitchen is a great way to make better use of available space.


Having a well-organized kitchen pantry will make cooking at home easier and more convenient.  Have you ever settled for eating out because you were not sufficiently stocked with the necessary food items to prepare a meal?  Or, have you come across certain food items after thinking you had none at home because it was not being stored in an easily accessible place? Having a pantry solves both of these problems.  You have everything you need, in one place.  In addition, who wouldn’t want the money saving and health benefits of cooking at home.  You know what you are eating when you cook your own meals, and you save the money you would spend when eating out.


Having an updated kitchen with pantry adds considerable appeal to the room, and increases selling chances. The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home, thus making it a critical component when considering buying a home.


If you are currently planning on building your home, remodeling, or expanding, consider taking advantage of these benefits by adding a pantry to your home design.

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Home Fire Safety Tips

Protect your home and your family with these 4 essential home fire safety tips:


1) Create multiple fire escape plans for your family to adhere to in the event of an emergency. Having an escape plan is a critical and proactive step to keeping your family safe. As part of your family’s escape plan, designate a specific individual(s) to get infants and small children out of the home safely. Ensure that you review and practice the escape plans with the entire family several times. You can never be too cautious.

2) In the event of a fire, exit the building immediately. Beforehand you will need to identify the most appropriate exits to be taken in the event of a fire. Ensure that the entire family is aware of where the exits are located. Also take into consideration any obstacles that may be in the way such as burglar bars or furniture that might block these exits. When you get out of the building, stay out and call for help. Do not go back into the home for anything.

3) If you are trapped in the building and cannot safely escape try your best to keep smoke out of the room by covering the spaces around the doors and other points of entry with tape, towels, or whatever you have available. If you are trapped in a room with a window, stay near it and keep it opened. If you are unable to escape through the window then signal for help with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.

4) As a family, develop fire safety habits:

  • Prevent the start of fires by avoiding having several appliances plugged into a single electrical socket.
  • When you are cooking do not leave the stove unattended. Any item that can catch on fire should be kept away from your stovetop especially if it is lit.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn easily and always have them placed on a non-flammable surface. Remember to blow them out when you are leaving a room and especially before going to sleep.
  • Lastly, keep matches and lighters in a safe place, out of the reach of children.


Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.  If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at