SHOPPING FOR YOUR NEXT HOME

When looking for a place to call home, it’s easy to get side tracked by thinking with your heart rather than your head. First impressions can distract us from making the right decision.

Here is a Checklist and list of items/apps to have on hand which will help make things much clearer when shopping for your next potential home.

Items to bring with you when looking at potential homes:

  • 1 ‘level’ app on your phone OR 1 marble
  • 1 ‘compass’ app on your phone OR a compass
  • 1 notepad with pen OR use ‘notes’ app on your phone
  • Measuring Tape 

Location
There are many things that can be changed, upgraded, or improved after you have purchased a home, but the location is not one of them.

Think about the proximity to the places that you will need to frequent the most such as: work, schools, shopping, doctors, and (if you have a pet) dog friendly park or can you walk your dog close by?

Also take note, and research, if there are any new development(s) planned, or upcoming changes expected within a reasonable proximity to this home?

Smells
While air fresheners and open windows can clear out certain scents, this requires you to pay closer attention in order sniff out any potential issues. For example, if you notice a damp smell, it could mean the home has poor ventilation or issues with mold or water damage/leaks. 

Even Floors
Do you think you detect a slant in the floor but you aren’t sure? You can use one of many free android or iphone level aps like this one with a visual level. 

Or simply bring a marble in your pocket and place on a floor that you think might be slanted, you’ll know pretty quick if the marble starts moving fast in any one direction. 

If you do notice something, ask your Agent to make a note of it and inquire with the owners. If you decided to move forward in a purchase, have your home inspector to also take a closer look. 

Lighting
Natural lighting is something that is often overlooked. Consider what time of day you are viewing this home.

North East South or West ?
It may be important to you where morning and afternoon sun lands on this home and property. For example, is it a shady backyard or a sunny backyard?

Not sure which way the home is facing?
Download one of the many free ‘compass’ apps for your android or iphone like this one and look out the main front window of the home while using the app and you will know which way the home is facing. 

Shape & Size of Rooms
It is important to take a good look at the layout in each room to make sure your furniture can fit the way that you imagine it will. This is where a tape measure is always handy. 

Parking
Is there enough space for everyone in your household to park or will this become an added expense? Where will visitors park?

Laundry
If there is laundry facilities included in the home? If there is no laundry room at all, is the home located close to a laundromat that is accessible with or without a car?

Storage Space
Crawl space, storage under stairs, storage room, garage, or outdoor shed? Definitely important (and something that easily slips ones mind) is there enough storage space for your needs?

It looks perfect, but are you missing something?
Professional stagers can sometimes fool buyers into thinking a property is perfect while diverting their eyes away from potential issues. For example, they will often use smaller pieces of furniture to make a room feel larger.

Tip: bring a measuring tape to measure any area’s that you are unsure about.

Save time by writing down in advance, the measurements for your largest furnishings (such as a big sectional couch for example) to make sure they will fit in the space.

Kitchen and Bathrooms
The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most costly rooms in a home. Make sure you pay special attention to these rooms. Avoid getting stuck with unwanted repairs or updates after purchasing the home by more closely examining and testing everything.

*TIP: Be sure to write down appliances & brand names and ask what is included with the home so there are no surprises later.

Don’t solely rely on gut instinct or emotional first impressions alone.

Following a checklist, like this one, will help you make a a more informed decision when shopping for your next new home. 

Senior Real Estate Specialist Banner

If you are seeking an experienced Realtor® to go to work for you in Langley, Surrey and surrounding area’s in BC, give me a call!  
778-834-8021

https://homesinlangley.ca/mylistings.html

HOME PREPARATION TIPS FOR YOUR VACATION

When you are preparing for an exciting vacation, consider these tips to keep your home safe and secure while you are gone . . . 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Use extra caution when communicating about your upcoming vacation on social media, such as Facebook. Information can spread easily and you don’t want the wrong people to discover when your home is going to be empty.

Never post dates, state when you are leaving, returning, or how long you will be away.

Do not post any photos on social media of your vacation while you are on your vacation. It is smarter to wait until you have returned home before posting photos. 

If you want to share photos with friends and loved ones safely while you are on your vacation–send them through private texts or emails. (You might want to ask them not to post any of your photos on their social media until you are home).

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES

Occupied

Making your home appear as though someone is home is one of the most effective ways to deter unwanted attention. 

However, it is not recommended to leave lights on the entire time you are away as this can be a light beacon revealing clearly that no one is actually home. 

Use timers on lights located in a couple different rooms in your home. Schedule them to turn on and off at various times after dark. 

You can find effective and reasonably priced timers in stores like Walmart or Canadian Tire. Here is an example of a 2-pack at Walmart for just $24.99 CA.

Don’t forget your front and back exterior security/porch lights – they should come on at night and go off before sunrise.  

Windows

Close all blinds/curtains on ground level windows and doors where it is easy for someone to see inside.

Be aware that closing all of your upstairs curtains/blinds up tight for days on end can also be a clear give-away that you are away for an extended period.

Leave your upper level(s) blinds/curtains the same as you usually have them when you are home, or leave some window coverings partially open (especially in the rooms where you have lights on timers, so that the light can be seen through the windows a bit).

Hide Items Of Value

Put valuables away and out of sight – do not leave anything tempting out in the open including laptops, jars of change, medications, jewellery, etc.  

Maintenance

If you are going to be gone for more than a week, arrange to have someone mow your lawn.

It’s a good idea to let your neighbour know if someone is going to be coming by to get out your lawnmower to mow your lawn while you are away.  

Packing Up To Go

When packing up your vehicle try be inconspicuous.

If possible, pull your car into your garage in order to pack your car privately. 

Alternatively, if you do not have a garage, pull your car as close to your door as possible in order to load luggage & other items into your vehicle as quickly and quietly as you can.

NEIGHBOURS

Tell

Tell at least one trusted neighbour of your travel plans and dates and ask them if they would kindly keep a look out while you are away.

Mail &/or Newspapers

Ask someone if they would collect any mail or newspapers for you so that they don’t pile up.

Spare Key

Leave your spare house key only with a trusted neighbour, friend, or family member. 

BE AWARE: If a criminal does suspect that you are on vacation, the FIRST thing they will do is look for a spare hidden key under a fake rock, plant pot, the mat, in the mailbox, above the door frame, etc. Don’t leave a spare key anywhere. Period. Bad Idea.

Alarm Code

BE SURE to let your alarm company know when you will be away and provide them with the phone number for your emergency contact (the person with your spare house key & alarm code & password).

To prevent any misunderstandings, write down your alarm access code/password yourself with clear directions on how to turn it off/on, and give this to the person you have entrusted your spare house key.

Emergency Contact

Give your neighbour your phone number as well as the emergency contact number of the person you have trusted with your spare house key. This will ensure you have all the dots connected in case of emergency at home.

Pet sitter?  

If you have a pet sitter coming to your house, you might want to let the neighbour know this as well so they don’t call the police.

Empty Driveway/Carport

If you have a driveway/carport that will be empty while you are away, ask a neighbour if they would consider parking their vehicle in your spot once in a while, so that it looks like someone is home or visiting.

EXTRA PRECAUTIONS

Unplug

Unplug small appliances such as coffeemaker, toaster, microwave, computers/laptops, gaming system, television, etc. (Be sure to leave your refrigerator & freezer plugged in of course)

Turn Off

To avoid potential water damage from an unpredictable leak or burst pipe/hose, consider shutting off the water supply lines to toilets, faucets, washing machine, dishwasher, and ice makers. 

Save Money

Adjust your water heater to its lowest temperature setting. No point in paying to have it maintain hot water temperatures when you’re not using it.

Turn down your furnace while you are away (or turn if off it’s summer silly!)…unless its winter and you have left your beloved pet at home.

Lock Up

Lock your garage, exterior gates, and storage structures.

Lock any doors inside the garage that lead into the house. 

NOW YOUR READY!

A little time spent planning & preparing everything at home before you go away, will give your mind a vacation too!

_________________________________________________________

If you are seeking an experienced Realtor® to go to work for you in Langley, Surrey and surrounding area’s in BC, give me a call! 
778-834-8021

https://homesinlangley.ca/mylistings.html

Senior Real Estate Specialist Banner