House & Home
The frost has finally had it for the season, which means it's time to open some windows and doors, and Clear Out The Clutter. The sentiment is pretty widely shared: spring cleaning (whether we do it, or just think that we should do it) is a culturally engrained thing.
As with most culturally engrained events though, there's a whole industry that exists in response, trying like mad to get you to part with some of your hard-earned dollars as part of the festivities. (Think storage tote sales.)
In and among the multitude of links to sell me something when I searched the phrase, "get organized," I found one article, thankfully, that had this very salient piece of advice:
"Hold off on container shopping... getting organized does not start out with a shopping trip."
WebMD, 10 Ways to Cut Clutter in Your Home. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
Even just getting started, though, can sometimes require professional help. Do you sometimes wonder where to start? You're not alone. Enter, the professional organizer.
Here are some tips on affording a room renovation you'll actually finish:
The RRSP Home Buyer's Plan (HBP):
This program allows first-time home buyers to withdraw funds from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to pay for a home without incurring the usual tax penalty. An individual is allowed to withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSP, but must pay it back over 15 years. If that person is purchasing with a spouse, both the individual and the spouse may withdraw up to $25,000 each.
There's gold in them hills of clutter you're keeping in the basement. (Or garage. Or in the kid's rooms.) Ok, it might not be gold, but there is money to be made from a lot of the unused stuff you have taking up space at home.
There are two different kinds of garage sales though: Those where everyone leaves happy, where your house gets a good cleanout, and where you finish the day with an extra $500 in your pocket. Then there are the other garage sales that are just a lame waste of time for all involved.
Making yours one of the good ones takes work, but the task isn't complex. It boils down to three or four steps: Purge, process, piggyback if you can, and price things correctly.
Statistically speaking, corner houses are burglarized more often than houses that have neighbours on each side. But common sense would suggest that because they're more visible, would-be thieves should be more visible as well.
We thought we'd pull together the pros and cons of corner houses, so you can decide for yourself. Click on the image below to launch a gallery of reasons for and against buying a corner house.
Most apartments will never come with the same perks as hotels. No room service. No wake-up calls. No daily housekeeping. No fancy soap in the bathroom or mint on your pillow. But while your typical apartment lacks these instant-gratification niceties, many come with at least one or two alluring perks of their own. A yard, rooftop deck or other outdoor space for hanging out. A pool or fitness room. On-site laundry (or even that elusive, magnificent find: free on-site laundry). Most of these amenities are well-advertised as part of the landlord's sales pitch. Other perks, for various reasons, aren't offered, and you have to ask for them. There's no guarantee your landlord will say yes to any of these extras, but it's worth making the inquiry.
If you've tried to sell a home in the last few years, you know how hard it can be to get the price you're asking for. Even now as the housing market heats up and bidding wars are breaking out in parts of the country, it's still an uphill battle selling for the right price. But if your home has the right features, that can help score a higher bid from buyers -- maybe even more than you were asking for.
According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey looking at which home features are most desirable to buyers, there are 10 home improvements that homebuyers are willing to pay more for. Many of these features center around the kitchen, and some of these improvements could snag a seller thousands more from an interested buyer. Of course, these features aren't necessarily the most important deciding factor for homebuyers, Brendon DeSimone, a Zillow real estate expert, told 24/7 Wall St. The location -- proximity to good schools, neighborhood safety and commute -- will be the biggest factors weighing on buyers' minds, he said. But having some of these features inside the home can only help. Click through the gallery below to see the 10 most popular home improvements that buyers want.
Filed under: House & Home
It's warm, it's cold - must be spring and with spring weather comes spring cleaning. It's that time of year when most of us take apart our homes and clean it from top to bottom.
A full clean can be a tedious task but there are ways to get a clean home without spending an entire day elbow deep in products.
The Pantone folks have put their 50 years of expertise in colour into an infographic that gathers together the defining colour trends of the past five decades. From the Psychedelic 60's to the Expressive 00's, the palettes are a distillation of what was cool in design, fashion and home decor for half a century. Plus there's some info on top colours mentioned in social media and a collection of famous logos in a rainbow of colours. Jump to the next page to see the graphic in all its technicolour glory.
Here are five inexpensive things you can do to prepare your outside space for the coming love affair.
Do it Yourself: What You Don't Need to Pay for This Spring
Get More Bang for Your Spring Cleaning Buck
Home Improvements that Get Your House Sold