Best Ignored

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…

No property is perfect – each one you come across will have its flaws, but while some are justifiable grounds for crossing a home off your list, others aren’t.

Below are four things that shouldn’t be dealbreakers.

Unappealing Décor
Outdated or ultra-modern: whatever the reason you’re turned off by a potential property’s décor, keep in mind that this is a cosmetic flaw – in other words, it’s a problem that’s easily solved. If you can’t look past the gaudy wallpaper, stained carpeting, and/ or shabby cabinetry, you might just miss out on a property perfectly suited to your needs.

bestignoredMinor Repairs
A home in need of significant (read: costly) work is one you’d be justified in walking away from. But problems of a “leaks and squeaks” nature – faucets, cupboards, and drawers needing a little attention, for example – are minor, and relatively easy and inexpensive to repair; as such, they shouldn’t put you off an otherwise sound property.

Certain odours – the smell of mold for instance – are always cause for concern, and you wouldn’t want to live near a factory that produces a foul smell, of course. But odours from cooking, smoking, or pets, while unpleasant, can be dealt with; walls can be washed and repainted with odour-eliminating paint, and carpets can be steam cleaned, for example.

The Listing
Sometimes, buyers write off a property before they even see it due to the listing itself – perhaps the photos are unflattering, the price seems too high or low, or it’s been on the market for a long time. Consider that if your real estate representative shows you such a listing, there must be a reason – give it a chance.


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Finishing Touches

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…

Furniture is a practical necessity, but it’s through our accessories that we really express our style and personality, make our living spaces utterly unique and “complete” our environments.

Below are five home décor accessories that are essential for turning any house – or condo – into a home.

But not just any old art: pieces you truly connect with, that you love to look at each and every day, be they fabric wall-hangings, travel photography from your globe-trekking adventures, or Dadaist prints. Just avoid the all-too-common décor faux pas of hanging your art too high. And consider highlighting (some of) your art with accent lighting (such as picture lights, which attach to picture frames; recessed lighting; or ceiling-mounted spotlights) to really make an impactful statement of your art.

Make your home come alive (literally!) with a living accessory. In addition to looking (and often smelling) good, plants are functional too. They can help camouflage flaws (block an unsightly view with a strategically placed plant); be used to create a focal point (a big Thatch palm or Dracaena tree makes a bold statement); and improve your indoor air quality (English ivy, Boston ferns, and rubber, spider, and snake plants are excellent choices for this purpose). Just do your homework before bringing any plant into your home – some species can be toxic to pets or people.

It’s been said that a rug can really tie a room together. Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, they’re a great way to add colour, pattern, and texture to a room, and warmth and softness to cold, hardwood or stone floors. Rugs can serve to provide a room’s focal point (think bold colours and geometric patterns), or to define certain areas, or zones, in an open-concept floorplan – make sure the rug is big enough to go under the furniture pieces that define the zone.

The overhead fixtures that come with most rooms may provide adequate general (or ambient) lighting, but left at that, a room looks rather stark. No décor is truly complete until it has the three light layers (ambient, task, and accent) needed to establish mood and provide functional lighting for the room’s uses. Floor and table lamps are key to providing ambient and task lighting, but they needn’t look utilitarian – with so many choices available, you can express your style through lamps just as easily as you can through artwork or rugs.

A Collection
As so many of us have something we collect, and those collections reveal much about our personality and passions to anyone visiting our home, why not make them part of the décor? Whatever the nature of your collection – books, records, tea pots, or vintage cameras – you’d be surprised at the number of creative ways it can be incorporated into your décor. Displays of collections can be so ingeniously creative, in fact, as to qualify as that first thing on this list: art.


The Gist: August 2014

“The Gist” is adapted from the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Monthly MLS® Report and Press Release. Every month I review, dissect, and post “the gist” of the MLS® data for Edmonton and area real estate activity.

PilgrimSoldSignThe average*** single family detached price in the service area of the Edmonton Multiple Listing Service® was down 2.0% to $426,716.
The average condominium price was basically unchanged at $254,654.
The average duplex/ row house price was up 5.0% to $360,309.
The average days-on-market in July was up 5-days to 46-days.

The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton releases month-end and year-end results for sales through the local Multiple Listing Service® and includes all residential sales for the City of Edmonton and surrounding communities and counties. ***Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual prices, which vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end. For information on a specific area, contact me directly***
Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)

July 2014

Change from

Change from
July 2013

SFDaverage selling price – month




SFD median4 selling price




Condominium average selling price




Condominium median selling price




All-residential5 average selling price




All-residential median selling price




# residential listings this month




# residential sales this month




# residential inventory at month end




# Total6 MLS® System sales this month




$ Value residential sales this month

$786 Million



$ Value of total MLS® System sales – month

$948 Billion



$ Value of total MLS® System sales – YTD

$5.90 Billion



1 Census Metropolitan Area (Edmonton and surrounding municipalities)
2 Single Family Dwelling
3 The total value of sales in a category divided by the number of properties sold
4 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
5 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses.
6 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales