Rob Pellegrini

Direct: 306-280-1602 |

More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room. Those fires can be
expensive; since even a minor incident, with no injuries, can result in
significant damage. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the latest in fire


The most recent research tells us:


• Never leave cooking food unattended. Doing so is the number one
cause of kitchen fires.


• Make sure cooking appliances, especially deep fryers, are safety
certified by the appropriate government agency.


• When using oil in a frying pan, always heat slowly at no more than a
medium heat setting.


• Always turn off stove burners and other cooking appliances
immediately after cooking.


• Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Use baking soda or
a fire extinguisher.


• Never remove or cover up a smoke detector due to nuisance alarms.


The one alarm that isn’t a nuisance may save your life.
Finally, experts say that if you can’t put out a fire immediately, get everyone
out of the home and call emergency services.

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No one wants to deal with a burglary. How do you reduce the chances of
one happening?


Fortunately, burglaries are a well-studied phenomenon — especially by law
enforcement. These studies have identified specific things you can do to cut
the risk dramatically. Here are some ideas:


• 34% of home break-ins occur through the front door. Experts
recommend investing in a door with a top-quality locking mechanism.
(The best are those that lock at three points of contact.)


• 50% of burglars will be deterred if your home has some sort of video
monitoring system. A thief doesn’t want his face on YouTube!


• Unfortunately, signs and window stickers warning of an alarm system
do not deter thieves. However, 62% of burglars will immediately run
away when an alarm goes off. Always turn on your alarm system
when you’re not home!


• 22% of burglaries occur through a sliding glass door or patio door.
Make sure it’s locked and also use a solid metal jammer.


• Some thieves use frequency scanners to gain access to garages.


Police recommend changing your remote entry code regularly and
putting blinds or curtains on garage windows so thieves can’t see
(and be tempted by) any valuables inside.


As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your
chances of a burglary dramatically. The effort is worth it.

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Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t
easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make
reality TV shows about it!


So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things
to consider.


1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?


If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given
the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a
spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that


Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your
house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you
may only be able to get by moving.


2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the
cost of moving to a new home?


It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart
decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help.


Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you
originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home
you want to stay in for quite some time.


3. Beware of compromising versus settling.


Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have
to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.


For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major
renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the
benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home
designed to include the space you need?


If you still have questions that’s normal too.


Call me and discuss your options.

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If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be
concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors.

First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the
result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry
about. If you’re using a humidifier, try adjusting the levels. If the humidity is
being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove
any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising
volume of moisture into the air.

Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the
window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in.

Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example)
that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the
gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to
creep in. Eventually, you’ll want to get it replaced.

If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window,
particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s
an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

Check out more information and tips on real estate on my blog home page.

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When you put your home up for sale, you want it to look its best to potential
buyers. That’s why you clean, tidy and de-clutter every room.
Some sellers, however, miss the backyard. You need to pay just as much
attention to that space as you do to the interior of your home. The backyard
is as important a living space as the family room. To some buyers, even


Buyers want to see an attractive backyard space, with the grass cut and the
hedges trimmed. The more neat and tidy you can make it, the better. Be
sure to sweep walkways and wipe down patio furniture.


Also, watch out for the following things that buyers do not want to see:


• Bags of garbage and other waste.
• Doggie do-do. (Be sure to stoop and scoop!)
• Rakes and other tools piled in the corner.
• Cluttered and disorganized storage sheds, pool huts and other
backyard structures.
• Weeds in the flower beds.
• Items stored underneath the deck.
• Hoses not stowed neatly.
• Electrical outlets and water faucets that don’t work.


These are not difficult issues to fix. Doing so will positively impact the
impression the buyer gets of your backyard.


Do you have a backyard that shows particularly well in the summer? Here’s
a tip: Take pictures. Those photos will help buyers be able to appreciate
how it looks should you list your home in the winter.


Want more tips on making your home show well so that it sells fast? Call

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“Staging” your home is all about making the space in your home as
appealing as possible to buyers. You may already know the basics, such as
eliminating clutter. Here are some other tips that are less well known yet
very effective:


• Chandeliers. Surprisingly, these are one of the simplest ways to
make a foyer, dining room or living room dramatically more eyecatching.
You can buy a good-looking chandelier for a few hundred


• New linen. This is something many home sellers don’t consider, but
should. Replace any worn linen – sheets, coverings, towels, and
even oven mitts with new ones. Believe it or not, new linen makes a
big impression on buyers.


• Pedestal sinks. It may not be practical for you to replace a bathroom
sink. However, if you are doing a renovation, keep in mind that
pedestal sinks – especially in small washrooms – are a big hit with


• New appliances. A brand new fridge, stove and dishwasher are
motivating selling features to buyers. That’s because new appliances
make the whole kitchen look brand new.


• Avoid multi-use rooms. Have a spare bedroom that doubles as a
home office? That’s a turnoff to buyers. Whenever possible, stage
each room so that it has a singular purpose. A guest bedroom, for
example, should be only that.


Want more tips on how to stage your home so that it attracts buyers? Call

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Imagine you’re viewing a potential new home. You walk in the front door
and are instantly impressed. You explore the property room by room and
like what you see.


Then there’s something you notice that’s not quite right. An odour. You
realize that it’s likely cat dander and, now that you’ve identified it, you smell
it everywhere. Suddenly the home doesn’t seem as attractive as it did just
moments earlier.


The owner of the property is probably so used to the smell that he doesn’t
even notice it. Neither does anyone else in the household.


So, when marketing your home for sale, be scent sensitive. Think about the
odours that you may have become used to but others are likely to notice.


Even odours you think are pleasant, like the strong scent given off by some
house plants, may not be pleasing to everyone.


An odour can easily distract a buyer from appreciating the good qualities of
your property. Pay particular attention to garbage bins (which can smell
even when empty), pets, kitty litter (even when fresh and unused), the

kitchen (especially after cooking), perfumes, and closets.


The smell of cigarette smoke is particularly unpleasant to many people. Its

odour can linger even on an outside deck or patio.


Bottom line? Don’t assume buyers won’t notice certain smells. They will.


Looking for more advice on selling your home quickly and for the best price?
Call me today.

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Discovering that a home you like has “issues”


Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls
are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering
making an offer.


Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your
feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat
was there to, literally, cover up that defect.


A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else
might be wrong with this house?”


There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues
hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the
home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.


One way is to have a professional home inspector check out the property as
a condition of your purchase offer. He or she will inspect the home from top
to bottom, inside and out, and point out any issues you should address.
It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as
the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and
determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.


Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with
information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your
own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with
your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re
likely to encounter.


Want to talk to a good REALTOR®? Call today.

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here are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its
best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until
you get those issues addressed, how do you make your indoor air healthier
— today?


Here are some ideas:


• Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked
maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell
you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those
aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating
throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.


• Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odour
in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but
they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least
once a season.


• Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove
odour, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air
pollutants originate from some type of moisture; mould being the
worst. Professionals recommend you keep the bathroom fan on for at
least 30 minutes after a shower.


• Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a
source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer
pesticides and other outside ground pollutants from their shoes to
your mat.


Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular way to
freshen the air, and it works.

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Buyers are more likely to make an offer on your home if they see a lot of
things they love about it. So what do buyers love to see?


One of the main things they like to see is a lot of space. Of course, you can’t
change the size of your rooms, but there is a lot you can do to make small
spaces in your home seem more spacious.


Buyers also love to see a clean and uncluttered home. Think of how inviting
a hotel room looks at first glance, with everything neat and organized. Of
course, your home isn’t a hotel, but the more neat and attractive you can
make each room, the better.


One thing buyers don’t love to see is potential maintenance issues. So as
much as possible, get things fixed or updated.


In fact, the more “finished” and “move in ready” your home looks, the more
likely a buyer is to make an offer.


Don’t forget the surrounding neighbourhood either. A buyer may not take
the time to explore the area, so be sure to make a list of the most appealing
features. You might want to take a picture of the brand new playground just
down the street or print off a local map showing nearby shopping, theatre
and other points of interest.


It’s not about creating a false impression. Rather, it’s about making your
home look its best and drawing attention to its most enticing features.
Want more home selling tips? Call today.

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If you own a car, you know there’s more to the cost-of-ownership than just
finance payments and gas. You also need to budget for maintenance and
repairs. If your car is older, those costs are going to be higher. That’s just
common sense.


The same is true of your home. It’s wise to budget for anticipated repairs
and maintenance. Otherwise, you might be caught by surprise when you
find that your furnace stops working and needs to be replaced. That can
easily be a four-figure expense.


Experts recommend that you set aside 1% of the value of your home for
repairs and maintenance. For a $500,000 property, for example, that would
be $5,000. That is, of course, merely a rule of thumb. If your home is older,
you may need to budget more.


Another recommended method is to budget $1 a square foot. If you have a
2,500 square foot home, that would be a budget of $2,500. Again, that
number would need to be higher for older properties.


When budgeting, consider things that are getting old and will likely need to
be replaced within the next three years. Examples include roof shingles,
furnace, A/C unit, deck, fence, plumbing, and windows. Depending on the
size and model, a new A/C unit will cost at least $5,000. Anticipating that
expense will help you plan accordingly and avoid the shock of an
unpleasant and costly surprise.


Keep in mind that budgeting $2,000 for repairs and maintenance doesn’t
mean you’ll actually spend that money this year. But, if needed, the budget
will be there, and that’s peace-of-mind.

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