Are you trying to save money by using the toilet bowl cleaner to also clean the bathroom sink? Many toilet bowl cleaners are highly corrosive. Over time, the cleaner will eat away at the metal on your metal sink stopper. Replacing the sink is going to cost much more than what you are savings by using the toilet cleaner for a dual purpose.
Don’t let the cleaner eat away your savings.
Buyers are having a sense of buying urgency in the past two months of 2010. It seems that houses are just listed and – boom – sold. I looked at three neighbourhoods to see if sales are really faster paced than last year. Based on MLS® listings for sold residential units (not condos or multiple family dwellings, January and February last year and this:
Blackburn Hamlet: 5 units sold within an average 21 days in 2009. This year, 9 units sold within an average of 10 days.
Central Park: 14 units sold within an average of 27 days in 2009. This year 7 units sold within an average of 14 days.
Barrhaven: 100 units sold within an average of 27 days. This year 103 units sold within an average of 17 days.
Homes are definitely on the market for less time this year than last year. For the prudent Buyer – know what you want and where you want to live, have a pre-approved, not just a pre-qualified, mortgage and be ready to have your agent write offers.
This market is not for the timid.
While not the most common foundation type in Ottawa, there are homes with crawl spaces in lieu of full basements. At a recent showing, the Buyer and I noticed that the living room and kitchen floors were really cold, even though the heat was on in the house. This was an indication to take a good look in the basement. After opening the trap door and crawling in, it was apparent that
- the crawl space had a dirt floor,
- the walls were not insulated and that,
- while there was some attempt several years earlier to put a little pink insulation between the joists, it was inadequate.
All of this contributed to the cold in the house. In addition, the heating ducts were not fully wrapped in insulation and they crossed the area. When it is below zero outside, it is very cold in this type of uninsulated basement. On the positive side, there was only a little indication of damp (some efflorescence) and the dirt was dry. The picture in this blog is not the exact basement but very close to what we saw.
Structurally the house seemed solid. For the comfort of the new owner and to reduce energy consumption (to heat the very cold rooms), I advise that additional insulation be added plus vapour barriers where possible. At a minimum, the duct work needed to be protected from the cold.
Photo credit: Darwin repeater work 8-30-2008 @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/davef3138/2811740417/
Look at the caulking around your sinks and tubs. Is the caulking discoloured, mildewed, missing and in bad shape? There are tools to remove caulking. Buy one and get started. Replace the caulking. Not only will it refresh the look around tubs and sinks but it will also improve the seal to keep water from leaking into the base.
Seal the deal.
When you think you have seen everything, there is still more to surprise you. A few years ago, I was looking for a new house. I must have seen over 20 homes when lo and behold – a bathroom with a clear glass door. I thought it was a joke. Who would want to have the most private room in the house, clearly visible? My only thought was that nudists lived in the house. It would be bad enough that everyone can see how clean or dirty the room is BUT it would also be a huge surprise to dinner guests and visitors.
If you think the clear bathroom door brings light into the rest of the house, you may be right. However, privacy will always trump light when it comes to bathrooms. I never went back to that house and thought it was a unique ‘feature’. Later in my search, I came across another bathroom, this time in the basement, with the clear glass door. Was this just an Ottawa phenomenon? Apparently not. I recently saw a home on a TV make-over show that had the same issue.
If your bathroom door is clear glass or you see a house that you want to buy with a clear glass bathroom door, you have three choices – leave it and learn to live with voyeurism, remove the door and replace with something more standard and private or frost the glass so that it is not transparent. A bathroom is not the place to play….
Peek-a-boo, I see you.
Photo credit: bathroom @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/littleghoti/488561616/
When it is a French Fry.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Photo credit: french fries @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/2932206250/
You have found deals on shampoo, deodorant, toilet cleaner, etc and bought several bottles of each. If you are going to sell your house, stop buying large quantities of products. A stockpile makes your space look cluttered. Having two of each is like royalty…
An Heir and a Spare is enough.
Golden Triangle MLS® Area 4104
Detached 6 Units; Average Price Sold $619,000, Average DOM – 27
Row 8 Units; Average Price Sold $519,000, Average DOM – 31
Semi Detached 3 Units; Average Price Sold $697,000, Average DOM – 5
Condos 29 Units; Average Price Sold $374,220, Average DOM – 25
Photo credit: Adrice Smitton
I was recently doing a walk through on a potential listing. The owners had a wonderful collection of little statues in a specific theme. These were located on coffee tables, end tables in the living and family rooms. I thought they were delightful but was worried on the owners’ behalf that these would be too tempting for Buyer visitors, especially when they bring children.
In trying to convince the owners to pack these and all little ornaments and souvenirs, I said “Don’t leave anything out and available that could fit in a purse or pocket.” It is not that the people house hunting are thieves. In fact, so few things are stolen that one forgets that this could happen. But….. there is always a first time and no home owner wants this to happen to them.
I also advise clients to put away anything of extreme value (vases, paintings, etc). Buyers like to touch things and why risk damage to your valuables.
My clients asked if I would follow every visitor during an Open House. It is not possible to do this. When more than one visitor arrives, it is better to be centrally located. Often, visitors roam freely while agents locate themselves near the only exit. It would be impossible to miss a TV going out the door but I have never heard of a purse being inspected or a pocket being turned inside out.
Why risk it? Pack up your worries.
Photo credit: My sister’s S&P Shaker Collection @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/randysonofrobert/2758366145/
Did you know that you can wash the plastic liner behind your shower curtain. After washing it in the machine with a few towels, rehang the curtain. You know not to put it in the dryer. Most mildew and spots on the curtain will be gone. If not, an investment of less than $10 to buy a new liner will be well worth the money. Boy can those curtains stink!
Why save $10 to lose a $289,000 sale?