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


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).



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.  


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.  


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.



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.



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. 


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! 


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Love Your Neighbour?

You may think you’re alone in your quiet, or maybe not so quiet, battles with a neighbour. As it turns out, you are not alone. All too often few who share walls or property lines, emerge unscathed from a negative neighbourly experience. 

There are many that say that they are happy with their neighbours and, they too, make efforts to be a good conscientious neighbour themselves. However if you do you find yourself in a situation with a difficult neighbour, it can be very stressful to know how to deal with it.

Or perhaps, as it can happen without us knowing, it is ourselves that are doing something to drive our neighbours nuts. Maybe we sometimes are not so neighbourly and we don’t even realize it.

Did you know . . .

It turns out that baby boomers (born 1945-64) were found to be more outspoken as neighbours when compared to GenXers (born in 1965-79), or Millennials (born 1980-95).

Twenty-three percent of millennials and 28 percent of GenXers reported getting into either a verbal or physical altercation with a neighbour. Baby boomers? Thirty-three percent have had such a confrontations. 

A survey between each of the 3 generations were respondents to rate some common neighbourly irritants. Baby boomers rated each one as more annoying than younger generations did. Among the three groups, for example, baby boomers were the most bothered by neighbours who didn’t properly care for their property. 

Here are everyone’s top 8 neighbourly annoyances: 

  • Frequently intrude on the privacy of others
  • Be loud or noisy
  • Refuse to pick up after their pet
  • Park in a space that isn’t theirs
  • Leave children unsupervised
  • Call the police on another neighbour
  • Leave notes on a neighbour’s door instead of speaking face to face

Here are two major points to consider for the best chances of having happy neighbours:

1. Be the neighbour you want to have.

Be mindful and respectful of your neighbours space, property, and privacy, and of the noise your activities create & when.

2. Be kind. Be friendly. A smile goes a long way. Get to know your neighbours names & let them know yours.

Here is more information procured by Porch.com with plenty of additional neighbourly information including a survey and helpful insights.

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! 


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Realities of Ageing in Place

Ageing and its challenges are often discussed in clinical ways and sometimes in ways that feel a bit abstract.

“Gray Area” is a podcast that you can listen to for free online, and is produced by students at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism that focuses on growing old in New York. 

Podcasts by “Gray Area” places you squarely in the day-to-day realities of different folks dealing with the challenges of ageing. 

An episode called “The Little Old Lady Stays Put” focuses on Jackie Herships, a 70-something South Orange, N.J., woman who is finding ways around the Ageing-in-place obstacles that every senior eventually faces.  

(listen here for free: http://bit.ly/2t3FDHA)

Renting out rooms in her house solves some of the isolation and loneliness issues. It also brings in some extra cash, in addition someone is around to shovel snow and help her in an emergency. 

She’s one of the lucky seniors who is lucid, mobile, and lives in a relatively age-friendly spot. She’s been able to stay active and connected and involved with her community.  

Yet she’s keenly aware of the hurdles ahead. 

Like so many seniors, she regularly debates whether to stay in her house or go. She explores her living options, including local independent living facilities, a move to Florida, or an intergenerational community in New York. 

There are four free podcasts to explore and listen to which are very interesting here:  https://www.grayareapodcast.nyc

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!  


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Walkability Drives Seniors’ Housing Decisions

Though a desire for walkable neighbourhoods is most associated with the millennial generation, walkability and good public transit also are high on boomers’ and seniors’ wish-lists. 

Though things like quality of care services, affordability, and a facility’s cleanliness topped people’s must-have lists, walkability and access to transit were also tremendously important to survey respondents. 

Among consumers considering their housing options, walkability was described as mandatory or very important to those seeking senior apartments (53%), independent living (38%), and assisted living (26%). Public transit options were also crucial to these groups.

As you look at your retirement housing options, especially if you’re a boomer with no physical limitations today, consider the longer term—a time when you may have difficulty getting around and you may no longer have access to a car.

Roam around a prospective neighbourhood to assess your options for getting around. 

Some questions to consider: 

  • What places are within a 10-minute walk of your prospective home? Could you reach all the necessities of daily life–the grocery store, parks, hair salons, banks, and so forth—on foot or by public transit? 
  • Are sidewalks and paths accessible, safe, and well-lighted? 
  • Could you maneuver those sidewalks with a walker or a wheelchair? 
  • Are crosswalks well marked and do you have enough time to get across the street? 
  • Are there places to sit and rest? Are there water fountains and public restrooms? 

Here is the local scores for Langley and major cities in BC:

Walkability Score for Langley BC:


List of BC Cities Walkability/Transit Scores:


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!  


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4 Reasons to Work with an Exclusive Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

If you are over the age of 50 and considering buying or selling a home, there are many reasons to choose a senior real estate specialist like Rosemary Papp

You’ve probably heard the saying, “all real estate is local”. It’s a truism that refers to the unique qualities of neighbourhoods and properties—and the importance of working with a real estate professional who intimately understands a local market.

The same claim can be made for real estate clients. Everyone who buys or sells property has unique needs. This is especially true for later-in-life real estate transactions, which may include distinct challenges (floor plans that accommodate aging in place, estate planning considerations, special financing requirements, etc.).

If you’re a buyer or seller over the age of 50—or are assisting someone who is—there are several reasons to choose a senior real estate specialist who has a special focus and the experience to help you:

  1. THEY MADE THE CHOICE An agent who has earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) designation, and only works with seniors, made this choice because they enjoy working with mature adults and helping people “of a certain age” navigate life’s transitions. Many of them have either made similar transitions themselves, or have helped parents and relatives. There’s a reason they chose this focus for their business, and it’s all about helping people.

  2. THEY’LL OFFER OPTIONS Newly retired? Empty nester? Widow/widower? Any of these transitions can precipitate a huge change in lifestyle, with many adjustments and decisions—only one of which is where to live. A senior specialist will listen to your concerns and share potential solutions and resources to help make your decisions. By focusing only on seniors, they already understand which properties come closest to meeting your needs—and where to find many other valuable resources.

  3. THEY ARE EMPATHETIC An exclusive senior specialist understands that major life changes are never easy, but they don’t shy away from the difficult topics or the difficult emotions that often accompany these decisions. They know your priorities change when your life changes. They’ll help you find solutions to make a smoother transition.

  4. THEY ARE ENGAGED These agents don’t just talk about senior issues, they get involved, whether it’s volunteering or developing relationships with senior-centric agencies and individuals. They’re able to help people who are 50+ throughout their community—not just their clients. (And they’ll remain a resource long after your business relationship is over.) Helping people is their passion!


>> Learn More About Rosemary Papp