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Weatherproof Your Home Before the Temperature Begins To Drop
Posted on Wed, 15 Nov 2017, 03:30:00 PM  in My services

It is essential to keep your home warm in the winter to protect its materials along with preventing any health complications with your family. The best time to begin winter weatherproofing is in the autumn before it begins to snow. Start with exterior repairs first before the temperature drops outside, and continue with interior weatherproofing throughout the autumn. Before you begin any repairs of your home, walk around your property to find any problems, and prepare a written list of the items that you must buy at local hardware stores.


Install Storm Windows and Caulk CrevicesWeatherproof Your Home Before the Temperature Begins To Drop

To keep out the cold drafts, remove window screens and install storm windows throughout your home. This is a difficult chore that requires a ladder and several people to reach and lift the heavy screens into position. This is also a great time to add more liquid caulking around the windows to eliminate drafts. Make sure to buy enough caulking to use inside your home to fill more holes and crevices. For addition protection from drafts, you may want to install plastic window film over the outside of the windowpanes.


Fix Your Home’s Rooftop To Prevent Cold Drafts and Moisture Leaks

If your home has missing shingles, then you must replace these items, and at the same time, you can nail down the loose shingles. While you have a ladder near a rooftop, check your home’s rain gutters and downspouts to make sure that the devices aren’t full of leaves. By removing the debris from the downspouts and rain gutters, you can avoid having any rain or snowmelt dripping down the sides of the building onto the foundation. When moisture can flow through the rain gutters and downspouts correctly, you are less likely to have water damage in your home’s attic.


Add Insulation To the Inside Of Your Home’s Attic or Basement

When your home doesn’t have enough insulation, you can buy rolls of this item at a home improvement store. It is easy to install insulation in a home’s attic to keep the building warmer. You can also use insulation rolls on the ceilings of basements to keep a home’s floors warmer. If the walls of your home require more insulation, then use loose insulation materials that you can blow into the spaces with a special machine.


Maintain Your Home’s Water Heater

In the winter, you may need more hot water for bathing, but the water can become cold quickly as it travels through the water pipes. You can empty your home’s water heater to remove a buildup of sediments, but you should also place a specialized insulation blanket over the appliance. In addition, you can wrap insulating tape around the water pipes to keep the water warmer longer. Not only will you have more hot water after completing this chore, but also, you will save money on your electric or natural gas bill each month.


Use Specialized Insulating Devices Inside Your Home

When you are shopping at hardware stores, you can find specialized insulating devices such as switch plate covers or door draft dodgers. These items are often inexpensive but will provide wonderful benefits by preventing cold drafts throughout your home. In addition, you can also use magnetic covers on your home’s vents to avoid heating unneeded areas of your home such as guest bedrooms or storage areas. After completing all of these chores, make sure to change the filter in your home’s furnace along with cleaning the fireplaces and chimneys.

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How to Make Your Home Stand Out on the Market
Posted on Tue, 15 Aug 2017, 04:10:00 PM  in Home selling tips
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When you're ready to list your home, it's important that the property stands out to ensure that you find the right buyers. Home sellers often want to sell the property as soon as possible to prevent the home from losing value. If you want the house to stand out on the market, there are a few important tips to follow.


Stage Your Home

Staging the home is necessary to help buyers envision themselves living in the property instead of feeling like they're taking a tour of someone else's home. Use neutral furniture and decor to create a contemporary setting that isn't overly bold or dramatic. Repaint red or dark walls with beige or off-white color shades. Remove personal items that include family photos or children's artwork on the fridge. All clutter will also need to be hidden to prevent it from detracting from the features of the interior and exterior setting. Consider renting a storage unit to place extra belongings instead of stuffing everything inside of cupboards or closets where buyers may inspect. All animals or pets should also be removed from the property.  The Zoi Ouzas Team are not just experienced realtors, but also Accredited Staging Professionals.  We can help you every step of the way in preparing your home for sale and maximizing your home value.stnad out on market


Take Quality Photos

The photos that you use to advertise your home will determine how many people want to take a look at the property. Hire a professional to take quality photos during the daytime when there's plenty of natural light present to create an uplifting setting. The photographer can take pictures of the best features of the property after the home has been staged. The professional should also be capable of editing the images to ensure that they look attractive.


Increase the Curb Appeal

It can often be difficult to sell your home if the inside setting is updated, but the curb appeal of the property looks dire and neglected. Boost the curb appeal by increasing the quality of the landscaping and using potted plants on the porch. Consider painting the front door to make it pop and stand out on the home. You can also add a water feature like a pond or a fountain in the yard for extra appeal or a few chairs on the porch.


Updating the mailbox and address numbers will also make the home appear newer and maintained well. Having a beautiful front yard and exterior setting will allow buyers to notice the property when driving by and seeing a sign in the yard that the home is for sale.


Make it Personal

Your goal should be to make your guests feel at home when they tour the property. Consider leaving fresh cookies out on the kitchen countertop or hanging clean white towels in the bathrooms. Adding air fresheners or lighting a few candles will create a pleasant setting that allows them to feel comfortable in the environment.


Avoid being present on the property when buyers tour the property, which can make for an awkward encounter. Let your real estate agent represent you and show off the different features while you're away to help potential buyers feel at ease as they take a look around.


Make Use of Each Space

Empty rooms can be a turnoff to buyers because they may not know what to do with the space if they purchase the home. Make use of each space in the home by staging an area that can be used as a home office or a home theatre for the family. Getting creative can allow potential buyers to see that the house will serve many different purposes.

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6 High-Return Home Upgrades That Every Homeowner Should Consider
Posted on Tue, 31 Jan 2017, 09:15:00 AM  in Home selling tips
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All homeowners should have strategic plans for updating their properties throughout the years. These efforts are essential for keeping residential units on par with local standards and for ensuring high returns on these investments. Whether you intend to remain in your current abode for the rest of your life or want to sell your property for profit within the next several years, following are six, high-return upgrades that are well-worth consideration.

 6 High-Return Home Upgrades That Every Homeowner Should Consider

  1. New Siding

Having new siding installed is an investment that will pay for itself many times over. New siding will improve overall building insulation, thereby making it both cheaper and easier to maintain ambient temperatures indoors. This upgrade can be especially beneficial for buildings that have asbestos-containing siding at their exterior. It will eliminate the need for costly and unpleasant disclosures that can bring sales to a grinding halt, while additionally protecting the health of both residents and locals.


  1. High-End Rooftop Drainage Systems

Property owners are often encouraged to invest in projects that increase the curbside appeal of their units. While incorporating new landscaping features can certainly add aesthetic value, it is far better to focus on property additions that have intrinsic and functional value as well. One of the most popular improvements among savvy investors is the addition of all-copper gutters and downspouts. Copper gutter systems are incredibly durable and long-lasting. In fact, these additions are estimated to last for up to 100 years. They also beautify residential building structures and are capable of making them stand out, which can be especially beneficial if you're attempting to offload a unit that's surrounded by a number of similar-looking buildings.


  1. All-Copper Sinks

Copper isn't just a great addition for the outside of your property. It's also the perfect way to enhance the beauty, value and usability of bathroom and kitchen sinks. This metal has inherent, antimicrobial properties that naturally limit the presence of harmful bacteria. They're also less prone to rust and corrosion over time, even when used extensively. Available in a vast range of shapes, sizes and styles, both hammered and smooth copper sinks blend well with a number of contemporary and conventional decorating schemes to create a luxurious look that's surprisingly easy to maintain.


  1. Basement Finishing

For property owners with unfinished basements, investing in services to complete and enhance these spaces is the ideal way to build sweat equity. These projects greatly increase the amount of usable space at the interior of the home. At the very least, a finished basement can become a functional storage space. With vision and a slightly larger budget, a finished basement can also be turned into a functional wine cellar, an additional family room, an office or even an in-law apartment.


  1. Hardwood Floors Or Ceramic Tiles

The latest trends in modern property designs include a concerted move away from carpeted flooring. More consumers are concerned with maintaining acceptably high indoor air qualities. Carpet fibres can trap and retain pet dander, dust, dirt and many other allergens. Investing in hardwood flooring, ceramic tiles or other hard, durable flooring options will make your floors easier to maintain and can greatly increase the overall marketability of your property.


  1. Smart Home Technologies

Smart home technologies are investments that are virtually guaranteed to provide excellent returns, whether you want to sell or intend to stay right where you are. The addition of a smart thermostat will give you the ability to remotely control your home HVAC system for far more manageable energy bills. Smart security systems and smart entertainment features also make properties far more comfortable and convenient for all property residents.

Although many home improvement plans focus solely on the kitchens and bathrooms, there's much more that you can do to improve the value and appeal of your property throughout the years. Upgraded, rooftop drainage systems and smart features and functions will make it easier to attract qualified buyers in even the most competitive markets. New sinks with their own anti-microbial properties along with other strategic home additions can also greatly increase the level of enjoyment that you get from your home right now.

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Organize The Closet Of Your New Master Bedroom
Posted on Wed, 30 Nov 2016, 12:50:00 PM  in Marketing strategies
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There is nothing like organizing the closet of your new home. It allows you to create an organizational system that may not have worked in your previous closet. One example is the closet in your new master bedroom, which is going to be the source of your seasonal and year round items. Use the following tips to organize the closet in your master bedroom.Organize The Closet Of Your New Master Bedroom

Clear Out The Clutter: The first step to organizing your new closet is to clear out the clutter. You should actually do this before you start packing so you can lighten the load. The best way to eliminate the clutter is to take everything out of your closet. You are going to separate the items based on what you plan to keep, donate or give away, sell and discard. Purging your closet creates more space and allows you to focus on the items you plan to keep.

Create Ample Lighting: You need to create ample lighting if you want your closet to be a functional space. Consider using an LED bulb to brighten your space without consuming a lot of energy. You may be able to fit an actual lamp inside a larger or walk-in closet.

Hanging Your Clothes: Hang the clothes you plan to wear this season and year round, and pack the clothes you are not going to wear this season in a storage bin or comforter bag. Come up with an organizational system for the clothes you plan to hang up, such as hanging them by color, size or occasion. You can also hang your outfits based on what you plan to wear each week, but this method does require you to change the order of your clothes once a week.

Organize The Shelves: Your closet may include built-in cubbies or shelves for folded clothes or accessories. The items you wear several times a month should go on the top shelves, and the items you wear less frequently should be stored on the bottom shelves. Store the items you wear daily or several times a week at eye level so you can access them with ease.

Use A Small Dresser: A small dresser is perfect for large or walk-in closets with plenty of space. You can use the actual drawers for scarves, winter accessories and items that need to be folded. Use the top of the dresser for items such as your jewelry box or tabletop hat rack.

Shoe Organizer: It is always frustrating to spend time looking for your shoes when you need to head out the door. This is why you should consider investing in a shoe organizer for your new closet. There are different types of shoe organizers, from a shoe cubby to an over-the-door rack. You are sure to find an organizer that fits your bedroom closet.

Maximize Your Space: Maximizing your space is important if you do not have a lot of room in your new closet. Store your seasonal items on the upper closet shelves, and arrange your shoes neatly on the closet floor. You can use over-the-door organizers for items such as hats, belts and scarves.

Seating Arrangement: If your space allows it, consider placing a seating arrangement inside your closet for easy dressing. One idea is to invest in a bench with shoe storage for your walk-in closet. You can use a stool or chair to add a seating arrangement to a regular closet.

You are going to use the closet in your master bedroom daily, and you do not want to pull your hair out trying to find a specific item. A good organizational system can create a functional spot inside your master bedroom.

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6 Tips For Renovating Your Basement To Perfection
Monday, 31 October 2016, 12:00:00 AM
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Whether you just bought a new house or are looking to sell your home you may be in need of a basement renovation. Here are 6 tips for renovating your basement to perfection. Renovating your basement may be hard work but is more than worth It once it's complete.


6 Tips For Renovating Your Basement To Perfection1. Make Sure There Are Exits

The most important tip of renovating your basement is to make sure that there are exit windows to get out of the basement in case of an emergency. It is required for any bedrooms you build in the basement to have escape windows in them in the event that there is an emergency. If you do not have an exit window in what you want to be a bedroom in the basement it will not count as a bedroom so it won't be counted in the overall value of your home as a bedroom. However, if you do put a bedroom in your basement and it has an escape window it counts as a bedroom and can make your home value go up when it's time to sell.


2. Get Rid Of Any Moisture

The second most important tips for renovating your basement is to make sure there is no moisture or water getting into your basement as this can cause damage such as moldy or soggy insulation and even wrecked floors. If there is no moisture then you are good to go but if there is you need to figure out how to stop it from coming it before renovating the basement.

Livable Ceiling Height

Some basements do not have high enough ceilings for them to be used as a living space. If this is the case in your basement you may have to figure out a way to make the ceilings higher so that you can renovate your basement to where it is able to be a living space. One option to fixing this problem is to dig the floor down in order to have more height in the basement.


4.Don’t Cover Anything Up

When it comes time to put the ceilings into your basement make sure that there is no wires or duct work that you may need to get at in the future. Chances are if there is something that connects to the upstairs your going to have get at it at one point or another. An option for being able to get at any wires or duct work would be by putting in a drop ceiling. Drop ceilings are tiles that can be moved if they need to be.

5. Basement Style

Once you figure out if there are any ceiling or water damage problems and get them fixed you have to decide if you want your basement to be renovated as a separate living space from the rest of your house or if you want it to match and flow with the rest of your house. Some ways that it could be similar is by using the same floors, wall colors, and even fixtures that are used in the rest of your home.

6. Building a Utility Room 

The utilities in your basement are not meant to be moved or renovated at all. So when renovating your basement you have to work around the utilities such as the hot water heater and the furnace. You can do this by putting a wall up between the utilities and living space and have a door to get to where the utilities are. By doing this you won't have to even see the utilities well you are in the living quarters part of the basement.

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Hot Water Heater Systems; Traditional Or Tankless?
Posted on Sat, 30 Jul 2016, 02:55:00 PM  in My services
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Traditional Hot Water Heater Vs A Tankless Water Heater

It’s not until there’s no hot water to cook or shower with that people pay attention to the performance of their water heater. The lack of hot water puts a crimp into one’s daily routine and can have an impact on your attitude. Most homeowners assume there’s always an ample supply of hot water awaiting them at the twist of a faucet, but the reality is that hot water heaters fail.

In the new millennium, many options await consumers when faced with the prospect of replacing a water heater or the installation in new home construction. When we hear of a hot water heater, the image of a cylindrical tank comes to mind. With contemporary innovation and technology, homeowners can consider tankless water heaters.

water-heaterTraditional vs. Tankless...Stay the course or time for a change?

A traditional hot water heater heats water to a specific temperature and contains it in a cylindrical tank. 40-gallon capacity tanks are considered the norm and deliver plenty of water for a family of four’s needs. Pre-heated water is held on standby and provided on demand when you turn the faucet, run the washing machine, bath, or prepare a meal. A municipal water supply or your property replenishes your water supply.

Commonly known as on-demand or in-an-instant-hot water heaters, a tankless system heats water when it's needed by a family member. When the hot water faucet is turned, a stream of cool water flows through the tankless hot water heater system. The water is heated at that moment, either with a natural gas or electrical source instead of being contained in a cylindrical hot water heater tank.

Is one system better than the other?

When comparison shopping for the appropriate water heating system for your residence, the cost, system efficiency, and convenience provided are the primary factors elements to think about. Hot water tank system shopping isn’t as simple as it appears. The needs of your family are the primary consideration when choosing a hot water heating system.

Cylindrical hot water heater tanks coming in various gallon capacities. There’s no “one size fits all” application. Selecting the proper system can save you money in the long run and add to your personal comfort, knowing that there will always be plenty of hot water.

Here are the important differences between the two systems

  • - Efficiency
    Traditional hot water heater systems consume a lot of energy when keeping water heated to a pre-set temperature, even when there’s no demand for hot water in the house. When the last light is turned off for the evening, the traditional hot water heater is still hard at work maintaining a comfortable, not dangerous, hot water temperature. Tankless water
  • - Accessibility
    Traditional systems are designed with a 40-gallon tank. Often, a family of five or more will experience a shortage of hot water, especially for the last individual to hop into the shower in the morning. Cylindrical hot water tanks take up valuable space in a home, often hidden in a closet or in a basement or garage corner. Compare this with a tankless hot water system that is attached to a wall.
  • - Expense
    Upfront, tankless hot water systems will be more expensive than a traditional tank system. The savings realized in reduced heating costs will pay for the tankless system over its life expectancy. How your finances are at the time you need to purchase a hot water heating system will contribute to which system, traditional or tankless, you choose.

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Some Things You Will Want To Accomplish Before Putting Your House Up For Sale
Posted on Sat, 30 Apr 2016, 11:50:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  My services
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Before you make a call to a real estate agent, you might want to make sure that you are taking the time to review the following suggestions. This way, you will not only have an easier time selling the house, but you might just be able to get more money for it. You could use a little extra money, right? 

Get Things Nice And Tidy 
The last thing you want to do is to have people walking through your home while it is a complete mess. However, being clean does not always mean that you are avoiding looking like it is not a mess. Clutter can look very messy and you certainly do not want potential buyers to be distracted by the clutter when they should be looking at your home and imagining how they could fit everything of theirs into the home.

This might mean that you will have to box or bag up a lot of your stuff. And that is okay. You can put some things into a storage unit. Then, you can stage yourfresh home to look as universally inviting as possible. 

Freshen Up With Paint
You do not want potential buyers to come through your home, only to spot dull, dirty, and stained walls. Therefore, you might want to go around your house and add a quick fresh coat of paint to all of the walls. You might also want to consider painting the exterior of your home so that the curb appeal is raised a little. Of course, unless you have tall enough ladders to accomplish that, you might need to consider hiring a professional for the job. 

Give Your Home A Few Updates 
It is important to make sure that you are upgrading as much as you possibly can without having to worry about breaking the bank. Small upgrades, such as replacing the old faucets and doorknobs can really go a long way. Believe it or not, many potential buyers will notice these upgrades it will make a great impression on them. If you want additional advice on the things that you should consider upgrading, you may want to schedule an appointment with a real estate agent. 

He or she will be able to point out some of the simple changes that you can make in order to give your home the best look and feel to it before you attempt to put it up for sale. Just make sure that you are doing everything that you can in order to follow the advice that you are given because that advice should be considered golden. 

Get The Carpets Deep Cleaned 
It is important to make sure that if you have any carpets in your home that they receive a good deep cleaning before a real estate agent brings anyone through there. While there are some carpet cleaners that you can use on your own, you might have a better chance of getting the best results by hiring a professional carpet cleaning company. Sure, it will cost a little bit of money, but the deep cleaning will give your old carpet new life. 

With those few things in mind, you should have a much better idea of the things that you should do before you ever think about officially putting the home on the market. The more you prepare for the selling of your home, the more likely you will be able to get a good amount of money for your home and for everything that you have put into it over the years. You should easily find that it is worth all of the time and effort that you put into getting the home ready to be sold. 


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ZOI OUZAS Sales Representative
RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc., Brokerage
64 Main Street West, Grimsby ON L3M 1R6
Office: (905)-945-0660 Office: (905)-563-8527


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