Check out Maclean's time lapse video of 12 Canadian university campuses.
Check out Maclean's time lapse video of 12 Canadian university campuses.
Even though winter months have a reputation for being a slow seller’s market, there are many ways unique real estate opportunities the season brings. First, there is less competition from other sellers. Second, a buyer looking for a home during the winter will typically be more motivated to purchase. Take advantage of these factors with these tips.
Buyers should feel toasty from the moment they walk in the door. The change in ambience will create warm and cozy feelings during their viewing of your home.
Consider increasing your thermostat to about 20-21 degrees about an hour before people viewing your home show up. Try not to let the heat become too hot. Run a humidifier for several hours a day if your home tends to feel dry when the furnace runs.
In addition to the actual temperature, visual cues can enhance the sensation of coziness in your home. Add a tasteful rug to large areas of bare hardwood. Throw a plush afghan or comforter over the side of the couch.
If you have a fireplace, try to stage your home so that it is the centerpiece of your living room or den. Have wood logs stacked ready to go for normal fireplaces. Consider lighting up a gas fireplace before buyers arrive to create an impressive display.
The holidays bring out some of the most vibrant and cheery decorations of the year. Not everybody is into celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or other holidays as much as the next person.
Try to find a middle ground with timeless, neutral decorations. A wreath on the door and some boughs on the porch make perfect handsome accents that add to curb appeal. A Christmas tree in the living room with minimal decorations and perhaps a few presents also amps up the festive feel.
What you want to avoid are gobs of light strings and deflated yard decorations that can come across as tacky to more reserved home viewers. Aim for a look that is rooted in the past, instead.
While it may not snow very often around UBC homes for sale, temperatures can still drop below freezing during the night. Make sure that your walkways are free of ice before every showing. Also be sure to remove any icicles or built up ice dams around your eaves. These can lead to water damage.
Finally, avoid tracking mud into your home, on your walkways or having grime from melts streaking your windows. A home should look fresh and pristine to give buyers a positive impression.
With these tips, you should increase your odds of finding an interested buyer during these cold months. Take a look at our seller’s page to find out more about how to attract buyers to your property.
UBC residents have access to plenty of choices when it comes to holiday celebrations. Part I of our post covered just some of the traditional festivities that Vancouver-area citizens get to participate in. Here are some more noteworthy events worth attending.
The Grouse Mountain resort is nestled about a thousand metres above Vancouver. Making the trek up there gives you access to mounds of snow and winter fun.
From now until Christmas Eve, Grouse Mountain goes even further by creating a holiday wonderland. Santa’s Workshop is displayed there, complete with real live reindeer and sleigh rides. There is also an 8,000 square foot skating pond and caroling choirs singing holiday favorites.
As long as you are going to be up in Grouse Mountain, you may as well pay jolly old Saint Nicholas a visit. From December 14th to 24th Santa will be dining at Grouse Mountain’s delicious restaurants, Altitudes Bistro and Lupins. A bountiful breakfast buffet will be provided along with the chance for the young ones to get some face time in with their favorite holiday mascot.
One of Vancouver’s most time-honored holiday traditions, Stanley Park becomes dressed to the nines every Holiday season to create fun for the whole family.
Ride throughout the 1000 acre park on the delightful Mini Train, witnessing the spectacle of more than 2 million lights as you chug past. When you are done, you can enjoy some hot cocoa and roasted nuts in the plaza. After that, you are encouraged to sing along with carolers and belt out classic and contemporary Holiday songs that everyone should know by heart.
Right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Robson Square provides one of the most iconic sights for the holiday season: throngs of ice skaters, both young and old. This sight is proliferated by the fact that Robson Park’s ice rink is free for skaters. Even if you do not have your own skates, rentals are just four dollars.
If you want to rub elbows with a younger crowd, UBC’s Dance Club puts their moves to the test every year at an annual Holiday Ball. Food and drinks are provided, along with the ability to witness all the hard work the Dance Club has put in so far pay off.
Semi-formal attire is required, as are non-marking dance or dress shoes.
These events are sure to put a smile on you and your family’s face every year around the holidays. To become a part of our community and have access to these events for years to come, you should consider buying one of the many inviting UBC homes for sale. Take a look at our listings to see what can be in store for you.
Living near the University of British Columbia campus means you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best holiday festivities in the region. Vancouver and the surrounding areas tend to pull out all the stops when it comes to holiday celebrations. Here are some of the events you will not want to miss.
On Sunday December 7th, a festive pageant of holiday cheer marches through the streets of downtown Vancouver. Santa and his family will be joined by floats, dancers and marching bands. Volunteers will also be collecting donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
The Nutcracker has become a venerable holiday tradition. Between the beautiful imagery, timeless story and Tchaikovsky’s addictively catchy score, understanding the ballet’s enduring popularity is not difficult.
Vancouver’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet puts on a fresh take of the classic performance every year. While the score and the story are largely the same, the production also adds familiar and iconic Canadian visuals. A hockey game on a frozen pond and a battle upon Parliament Hill are just some of the scenic additions that will have you appreciating the ballet in new ways.
For a more traditional take, the Goh Ballet puts on a classically-influenced performance of The Nutcracker accompanied by the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.
The VanDusen Botanical Garden is already renowned for its beautiful and diverse collection of trees, flowers and exotic plants. The holiday season takes their presentation to the next level. Nearly every bough is hung with delightful twinkly lights.
Visitors are particularly drawn to the “Dancing Lights” display erected upon Livingstone Lake. Every thirty minutes, the lights erupt into a performance set to familiar Christmas and Holiday tunes.
Children also love to visit since they can meet Santa and the energetic Scandinavian Gnomes. The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s “Room of Joy” display is another must-see. An enormous diorama will depict this year’s theme: the planet Hoth from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
For a radically different take on the Holiday light show, look no further than the Vancouver Aquarium. Every year from November to January the staff assembles an enthralling collection of fluorescent and bioluminescent specimens. Watch as they dance and shimmer thanks to the presence of their specialized proteins and symbiotic bacteria that light up the ocean depths.
In addition to the luminescent displays, you can catch two of Vancouver’s favorite holiday attractions: a Christmas tree powered by electric eels and “Scuba Claus,” who swims in full livery among salmon and rockfish in the Strait of Georgia display.
There are many more memorable events we will cover in part II. These jubilations make moving into one of UBC homes for sale a holiday dream come true. Take a look at our home listings to become a part of our community and enjoy the annual celebration year after year.
A basement can be a great asset for a house, as long as it has been properly maintained. Buyers must be able to determine if the owner has taken precautions; it is crucial to keep the basement sealed from the outside elements.
Identifying potential problems can take a savvy eye or a professional home inspector. There are still some tell-tale signs you can look for when determining whether a basement will be a boon or a hassle.
The most persistent problem a basement could face is intruding moisture. Basements are the lowest level of gravity in a house. They are typically surrounded by dirt on most sides. These two factors mean that if water will come in anywhere in the home, it will probably be the basement.
When looking for water damage, some telltale signs include:
Where there is moisture, there could be mold. Mold is difficult to remove, especially if it has grown under carpets, in walls or up in the ceiling.
Check for common areas of mold growth in:
A professional sterilizing team can clean out any mold they find and help you waterproof the basement to prevent further issues. You can also buy mold resistant walls, paints and caulks to stop the problem.
Many basements will be “unfinished” but are still usable as storage or a utility room. Take the time to assess how you want to use your basement area. Ask the current owners questions (if you can) about how they used their basement to determine if it can be used for your purposes.
Your agent will also be able to determine what limitations you could face when trying to use your basement or finishing it yourself.
Everyone’s definition of a “finished” basement differs, as does whether or not a finished basement counts in the square footage of a home. Generally, “below grade” rooms lower than the home’s entrance do not count for square footage unless there is a “walk out” exit directly from the basement to the exterior.
If you have the opportunity, ask the home sellers how much time they spent in their basement and who performed the work to finish it. If they were able to spend lots of time downstairs or even have someone’s bedroom located there, you should have no issues doing the same.
Your real estate professional should be able to provide you with advice on a basement’s condition and how its value should be factored into the home. If you need an agent who can help you find a functional basement in one of the UBC homes for sale, take a look at our buyer's page. We would be happy to find a home that meets your needs.
Depending on the situation, repairing a problem in your home may be better than replacing the components outright, and vice-versa. Our last post discussed the best way to fix some of the problem areas when getting home ready to show to buyers. Drafty doors or windows, troublesome appliances and toilets that use too much water were examples.
Here are several more solutions for fixing common household problems. These will give you the most cost-effective way to get your home ready for prospective buyers.
Some older houses may have more than just the occasional light flicker. A fuse box that seems to short out during every lightning storm can be a real issue. One that flickers every time you turn on too many appliances can mean an overloaded electrical system.
If you have wires and an electrical box that is roughly up to date, an electrician may be able to add an extra line. If you experience a power outage when you just turn on the TV, you may have more than a few frayed wires and loose connections.
The more frequent the problem, the more likely a wiring replacement will be necessary. Only a licensed electrician will be able to evaluate your home’s wiring for sure.
Hardwood floors can have a lifespan as long as a century or more. Even if your wood floor is showing its age, most cosmetic problems can be fixed with some sanding and refinishing..
On the other hand, large swathes of rotted-out wood means a total replacement is likely necessary. Refinishing may also not be an option if your boards are getting worn too thin — exposed flooring nails are a bad sign. Estimate the extent of the damage or wear and then consult a flooring professional to see how far a sand, stain and refinish will get you.
Clean out your gutters and identify any problem spots to see if you can repair them yourself first. Gutter sealant is inexpensive, and most holes can be brushed off and plugged with a flashing patch. Use denatured alcohol to clear away any remaining adhesive beforehand.
Professional steel or aluminum gutter repairs can be prohibitively expensive. In most instances where you or someone handy you know cannot handle the repairs themselves, replacement may only cost a little bit more. With a replacement, you will have gutters that are likely to last 25 years or longer when well-maintained.
Copper gutters are the exception. The high cost of copper and their 70 year lifespan means that you should attempt to revive them. Home buyers particularly like the look of copper gutters as an accent, it is worth it to save them if you can.
With enough effort, you can have your entire home looking beautiful and like-new before showing it to buyers. You can always consult a professional real estate seller’s agent to get even more advice on fixing problems and preparing your UBC real estate for sale. Take a look at our seller's page to find out more.