For my opinions on the local real estate market and lots of helpful tips for home buyers and sellers, please visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me! - Robin
1 - Leave your clothing and items in their existing drawers if at all possible! Pull the dresser drawer out, and wrap the drawer with stretch wrap to keep items safe and in place.
2 - Leave your clothing on the hangers. Use a scarf or string to tie a bundle of 15-20 hangers together.
3 - Pack a box with items that you will want at your fingertips the moment you move in. Things like cleaning supplies, toiletries, and hand soap.
4 - Pack an overnight bag with necessities so you can unpack the rest of your boxes at your convenience.
5 - Label each box by the room it belongs in. This makes for easy placement and organized unpacking in your new home.
6 - Take a picture of your electronic connections before you unplug them, so you know how to hook everything back up when you need to!
Top 3 reasons why you need to visit PEI!
1) The culture - one of the first things people notice when they come to PEI is how kind the people are. People wave. People stop and let you out in traffic. People say hi. All these people you've never met before, but that's who we are as Islanders. Travellers come here to get out of the rat-race they are used to, relax and unwind, and Islanders help them do just that!
2) The beaches - PEI's beaches are by far the finest in the country! People travel from all over the world to experience our beaches. The smell of the ocean, the feel of the white sand between your toes, and the breathtaking sights of sand dunes, red soil cliffs, and lighthouses galore, we are truly the most picturesque destination in Canada.
3) The seafood - PEI is known all over the world for it's fishery in lobsters, oysters, and mussels. There's nothing quite like meeting a lobster boat at the wharf when they come back with that day's catch to get your fresh feed of lobster! You can't get any more fresh than that! If you haven't done that, you really need to!
Hardwood vs. Laminate?
Are you considering replacing flooring in your home and wondering whether you should go with laminate or hardwood?
Laminate flooring is more durable to scratches, dents, and damage... and for the most part, it can be less expensive. Which is definitely a bonus. But, some laminate flooring (the cheap stuff) can NOT handle coming in contact with water for any length of time. I can swell up and warp in no time, which looks terrible! You could opt for the waterproof laminate flooring, but you'll pay a lot more for it... a by a lot more... I mean, as much or more than hardwood flooring. Another bonus about laminate is that it's easy to install.
Hardwood flooring is less durable to scratches and dents... and for the most part, is more expensive to buy. However, hardwood flooring is timeless. Those scratches and dents do add character. Over time, it can sustain wear and tear, but it can be sanded down and refinished multiple times. Also, hardwood flooring will add character and a lot more value to your home. When a buyer sees hardwood flooring, there's longevity that is attached to it. Even if it is scratched up a bit.
If you can swing it, I definitely recommend using hardwood flooring over laminate. Did you know that local suppliers have a "cottage grade" hardwood that is a lot less expensive? Cottage grade comes in smaller pieces but generally those pieces have knots and imperfections, that ultimately, add character to your floor! And, if you're handy at all, you can rent the nail gun to install the hardwood yourself to save in installation fees!
Go with cottage grade instead of laminate! You'll be happy you did!
Let's Talk Trash
Yes, you're reading that correctly! Did you know that Prince Edward Island was the leading province in the country to implement such a meticulous waste management system to reduce landfill space?
If you live in PEI, our recycling program might seam like second nature. But, if you're new to PEI, it can be very difficult to get the hang of. We've got compost, waste, paper recycle, plastic recycle, corrugated cardboard, metals, electronics, batteries, and so much more!
Thankfully, our waste management corporation has a very thorough website (www.iwmc.pe.ca) where we can find a lot of resources to help you figure out "what" goes "where." There's even an interactive sorting guide ( https://www.iwmc.pe.ca/interactivesortingguide.php ) that you can use. All you have to do is type in what you're disposing of, and it will tell you how it should be disposed of.
Let's work together to preserve our island and our earth... we've only got one, and this is one small effort we can all make to contribute!
5 Reasons why you should stop renting - and BUY!
Are you wondering if you should stop renting - and buy? In my opinion, YES. And these are 5 of the reasons why:
1) Equity - Instead of renting and throwing your money away every month (and paying for someone else's mortgage), you can be paying down the mortgage and investing into the equity of the home you own.
2) Appreciation - Property value has been continuously increasing in Prince Edward Island. Invest now, and cash in when you're ready. Real estate is one of the best investments you can make!
3) Freedom - Owning your own home is very different than renting. When you rent, you have to deal with other tenants in the apartment building, the landlord, and rules. There is definitely freedom in owning your own home!
4) Fixed amount - If you get a 5 year fixed mortgage when you purchase, you're guaranteed what your payment will be per month for 5 years. If you rent, your landlord can increase the rent periodically, which can definitely send your budget for a loop!
5) Customize - You can customize your space if you own your own home. That may mean painting your front door turquoise, or painting your kitchen cabinets. However, if you rent, you're likely very limited on what you can do the customize the property. Owning your own house, gives you the freedom to make it your "home."
Getting Ready to Sell - 5 Point Checklist
If you're thinking about listing your home, there are certain things you can do that will help. The more items you can check off on this list, the better!
1 - Empty your closets! Or, at least half empty them. Storage is very important to buyers. They want to know that there is enough space for all their "stuff." Go through all your closets and pack up what you don't use or won't need until after the move.
2 - Let there be light! Make sure every light bulb in your house is working. Before a showing, you need to make sure every light and lamp is on. This makes each room feel more spacious and bright. Also, if you're replacing bulbs, be sure that they are all the same type of light bulb. For example, if you're using bright white bulbs, don't replace a burnt out bulb in the same room with a warm light bulb.
3 - Paint! Yes, I know this can be a daunting task, but the value it adds to your home for the price it costs you, is worth it. Buy a neutral colour (either beige or grey) and paint. Not only does this allow the buyer to imagine their decor colours in your home, but it also creates a sense of openness and "flow" through your house. If you have bright colours in your home (lime green in the kids' room, or yellow in the bathroom) ... those have to go! Bright colours on the walls do not look good in photographs.
4 - Declutter! Go through your home, one room at a time. Pack up what you don't need or won't use before you move. Set a room or space aside in the house that you can store your boxes that you've packed. The less clutter, the more open and spacious your house will feel. It also helps buyers imagine their personal items in your home.
5 - Take your "home" out of your house. Take your personal photos off the walls and out of view. While they do mean a lot to you, it's important to de-personalize your home prior to showing it.
Your first showing, is not when potential buyers walk through the door. Your first showing is when potential buyers look at your listing online. In today's society, home buyers use the internet to narrow down their search before going to look at homes. This is why the above 5 tips are so important! Take time to declutter and check off these items, and your home will show brilliantly - online and in person!
Moving to PEI? What you need to know...
If you're considering moving to PEI, it's important to find a RealtorⓇ (me!) to help you through the buying process.
As a non-resident, there are rules and limitations with regard to how much land you can buy, as well as how much waterfront you can buy.
Under 5 acres per person on the deed.
Under 165' of waterfront per person on the deed.
If you've found a property that you've fallen in love with, but it exceeds your limitations, you can apply to Island Regulatory & Appeals Commission (IRAC) for approval. Your lawyer here on PEI can assist you with your IRAC application, once you have an agreement in place for the property you are purchasing. The application process can add approximately 4-6 weeks onto the buying process.
There is a land transfer tax on PEI that is 1% of the purchase price of the property. There are exceptions and exemptions to the rule, however, for the most part, the 1% would be applicable and due on closing.
There are many details that need to be covered and reviewed when buying property on PEI... especially when you are from out of province. Be sure to have someone you trust that can guide you through the process of buying... stress free!