Mike & Bernadine Nielsen

Mike: 604-315-3151 |

Bernadine: 604-619-2063 |

Be Sure to Plan for the “Pet Issue” 
If you have pets, you probably adore them. They're part of the family! But 
when you're preparing your home for sale, you need to think about how 
you're going to deal with the "pet issue". 
Some potential buyers who view your property may love pets as much as 
you do. However, others may be turned off by the tell-tale signs of pet 
ownership – such as kitty litter, dander, and smells. 
So be sure to make a plan for how you’re going to deal with your pets. 
It's a good idea to keep pets out of the house during viewings. Even if your 
dog or cat is friendly, some buyers will be uncomfortable around them. So, 
you'll need to decide where your pets will go when buyers view your 
property. Consider a local kennel or "pet day camp". 
"Can't I just take my dog out for a walk?" you might be asking. You could,; 
however, you may not always be available to do that during a viewing. So 
have alternate plans available. 
You should also consider how you will deal with pet dander and everyday 
pet odours. You're probably used to them. Unfortunately, some buyers will 
be turned off or even be allergic. So, in addition to cleaning your home 
before a viewing -- especially in those areas where pets spend time like a 
favourite cushion or scratching post – consider using specialty air sprays 
available on the market that will neutralize pet odours. 
Finally, it's a good idea to advise buyers that they're viewing a home with 
pets. That way, they'll be more forgiving if they catch a whiff of cat dander. 
Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today.
Be Sure to Plan for the “Pet Issue” If you have pets, you probably adore them. They're part of the family! But when you're preparing your home for sale, you need to think about how you're going to deal with the "pet issue". Some potential buyers who view your property may love pets as much as you do. However, others may be turned off by the tell-tale signs of pet ownership – such as kitty litter, dander, and smells. So be sure to make a plan for how you’re going to deal with your pets. It's a good idea to keep pets out of the house during viewings. Even if your dog or cat is friendly, some buyers will be uncomfortable around them. So, you'll need to decide where your pets will go when buyers view your property. Consider a local kennel or "pet day camp". "Can't I just take my dog out for a walk?" you might be asking. You could,; however, you may not always be available to do that during a viewing. So have alternate plans available. You should also consider how you will deal with pet dander and everyday pet odours. You're probably used to them. Unfortunately, some buyers will be turned off or even be allergic. So, in addition to cleaning your home before a viewing -- especially in those areas where pets spend time like a favourite cushion or scratching post – consider using specialty air sprays available on the market that will neutralize pet odours. Finally, it's a good idea to advise buyers that they're viewing a home with pets. That way, they'll be more forgiving if they catch a whiff of cat dander. Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today.
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Homeowners are “happy with the decision to buy their home,” feel confident they can weather a downturn in the housing market and they consider mortgage debt to be “good debt.” Their attitudes are the same whether they live in Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver where prices continue to rise, or in areas where home prices are stabilizing, says a new consumer survey report by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP).

“From the consumer perspective we have a picture of a very confident, healthy mortgage market,” says Jim Murphy, president and CEO of CAAMP. “Key to the current stability in the mortgage market is the fact that Canadians continue to pay down their mortgage debt faster than they are required and they continue to take out five-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Canadians who renew their mortgages are seeing their interest costs reduced, which is boosting their personal financial circumstances and this will continue to be a positive force during the coming year.”

The survey says:

* 55 per cent of homes purchased in 2013 were bought by first-time buyers.

* Most Canadians say they have no regrets taking on the size of mortgage they did and that real estate is a good long-term investment.

* 66 per cent agree in some degree that mortgages are a form of “good debt”.

* House prices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver have increased by a year-over-year rate of 8.2 per cent, compared to just 2.9 per cent in the rest of Canada.

* More than 80 per cent of homeowners in Canada have 25 per cent or more equity in their homes.

* The average mortgage interest rate is 3.24 per cent, a drop from the average of 3.5 per cent found in the fall 2013 survey.



Canadians are reducing their mortgages by negotiating lower interest rates, making lump sum pre-payments and repaying their mortgages at, on average, two-thirds of their contracted amortization periods, says the report.

“Across Canada the housing market is slowing and has been on a downward swing since the mortgage policy change in 2012,” says Will Dunning, CAAMP’s chief economist. “While the national market may look healthy, activity in the Greater Toronto Area (including Hamilton), the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Calgary area is skewing the numbers high. In the rest of Canada sales activity has weakened and house prices are flat and even falling in some communities. Housing has played a key role in driving economic growth and job creation in Canada. But looking ahead, decreased starts and slower price growth will throw off the balance between the housing market and the overall economy.”

The report urges policy makers not to confuse rising home prices in the Toronto area and Vancouver, where urban land shortages are driving prices, and the Calgary area, which currently benefits from strong job creation, with the slowdown that is evident in other communities across the country.

For a full copy of CAAMP’s spring survey report, visit www.caamp.org

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Consumer Trends:
Buy-cotting and Up-Cycling
Environmental concerns and scrutiny of corporate ethics
have led many shoppers to think twice about what they
allow into their homes. Here are two examples of significant
trends among consumers:
Buy-cotting is the opposite of boycotting. Consumers
choose to purchase products manufactured by companies
that have made a commitment deemed virtuous by
the shopper – such as contributing to a charitable
organization, abiding by a fair-trade practise, or adhering
to a particular human resources policy. In fact, this trend is
now supported by an app that allows shoppers to instantly
scan a bar code with their smartphones to discover a
company’s and its subsidiaries’ ethical track record before
making a purchase decision.
Up-cycling is an extension of the “reduce, reuse, recycle”
mantra. Consumers who have become intent on avoiding
the purchase of newly manufactured items (particularly
furnishings and decor) will rely on finding stylish or funky
items cast off by others. The idea is to repurpose what you
have but don’t need, or trade it in for something better – but
always with an eclectic sense of fashion or design in mind.
To avid up-cyclers, a tasteful mish-mash of retro styles is
considered the ultimate in chic upscale decor.
Consumer Trends:Buy-cotting and Up-Cycling

Environmental concerns and scrutiny of corporate ethics have led many shoppers to think twice about what they allow into their homes. Here are two examples of significant trends among consumers:Buy-cotting is the opposite of boycotting. Consumers choose to purchase products manufactured by companies that have made a commitment deemed virtuous by the shopper – such as contributing to a charitable organization, abiding by a fair-trade practise, or adhering to a particular human resources policy. In fact, this trend isnow supported by an app that allows shoppers to instantly scan a bar code with their smartphones to discover a company’s and its subsidiaries’ ethical track record before making a purchase decision. Up-cycling is an extension of the “reduce, reuse, recycle”mantra. Consumers who have become intent on avoiding the purchase of newly manufactured items (particularlyfurnishings and decor) will rely on finding stylish or funky items cast off by others. The idea is to repurpose what you have but don’t need, or trade it in for something better – but always with an electric sense of fashion or design in mind.To avid up-cyclers, a tasteful mish-mash of retro styles is considered the ultimate in chic upscale decor.
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This can be the worst time of 
year for annoying insects such 
as mosquitoes. However, many 
families are reluctant to rely on 
chemical sprays or products for 
protection. Fortunately, there 
are natural alternatives that 
some claim provide surprisingly 
good results. Essential oils are 
a particularly popular choice, 
with lavender, citronella, lemon 
eucalyptus, peppermint and/
or clove often being identified 
as the most effective. However, 
these oils may need to be 
applied more frequently than 
chemical solutions. Inside 
the home, a drop or two on a 
light bulb (or your pillow) has 
been considered a successful 
deterrent against buzzing 
intruders. Different potencies 
or combinations may have 
different effects, so ask 
an herbalist or pharmacist 
before experimenting.
This can be the worst time of year for annoying insects such as mosquitoes. However, many families are reluctant to rely on chemical sprays or products for protection. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that some claim provide surprisingly good results. Essential oils are a particularly popular choice, with lavender, citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint and/or clove often being identified as the most effective. However, these oils may need to be applied more frequently than chemical solutions. Inside the home, a drop or two on a light bulb (or your pillow) has been considered a successful deterrent against buzzing intruders. Different potencies or combinations may have different effects, so ask an herbalist or pharmacist before experimenting.
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Items that remind us of special people, events, milestones and interests are 
an important part of what makes a home a home. Pictures on the fireplace 
mantle, for example, showcase family and friends that are important to us. 
You might also have trophies, certificates, greeting cards, and other 
mementoes on display in key places. 
Of course, all of those things add warmth and meaning to your home. 
However, if you're preparing your home for sale, it's a good idea to pack 
those memories away - at least until you've sold your property and moved to 
your new home. 
Why? Because those pleasant mementoes that mean so much to you may 
actually turn off potential buyers. 
You see, when buyers view your property, you want them to be able to 
clearly picture themselves and their families living there. That's difficult to do 
if everywhere they look they see reminders that this is your home! 
So, to help sell your home quickly, make it look great, but not personalized. 
Think of the showroom displays you see set up in furniture stores. Those 
displays are most appealing when they enable you to easily picture yourself, 
with that furniture, in your home. You probably wouldn't feel that way if it 
looked like the furniture belonged to someone else. 
Of course, buyers will know you currently live in your home. But helping 
them imagine themselves living there will help you sell your property faster – 
and possibly for a better price. 
Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call Today!
Items that remind us of special people, events, milestones and interests are an important part of what makes a home a home. Pictures on the fireplace mantle, for example, showcase family and friends that are important to us. You might also have trophies, certificates, greeting cards, and other mementoes on display in key places. Of course, all of those things add warmth and meaning to your home. However, if you're preparing your home for sale, it's a good idea to pack those memories away - at least until you've sold your property and moved to your new home. Why? Because those pleasant mementoes that mean so much to you may actually turn off potential buyers. You see, when buyers view your property, you want them to be able to clearly picture themselves and their families living there. That's difficult to do if everywhere they look they see reminders that this is your home! So, to help sell your home quickly, make it look great, but not personalized. Think of the showroom displays you see set up in furniture stores. Those displays are most appealing when they enable you to easily picture yourself, with that furniture, in your home. You probably wouldn't feel that way if it looked like the furniture belonged to someone else. Of course, buyers will know you currently live in your home. But helping them imagine themselves living there will help you sell your property faster – and possibly for a better price. Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call Today!
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Does your spouse like to practice the drums in the evening? Does your 
teenager like to play video games, with the volume turned up high? Are 
there other sources of noise you'd like to minimize? 
There are many ways to soundproof areas of your home to reduce noise. 
Here are some ideas: 
• Furniture placement. Surprisingly, where you place furniture can 
dramatically reduce incoming noise. For example, a bookshelf 
covering a third of a wall can muffle sound from an adjoining room by 
25%. 
• Noise harmonization techniques. Soft music, air fans, and other 
sources of rhythmic noises can actually reduce the unpleasantness 
of incoming sounds. 
• Area rugs. Adding an area rug, even on top of existing carpeting, 
can significantly reduce noise coming from the floor below. 
• Acoustic tiles and panels. These are special ceiling tiles and wall 
coverings that are designed to diffuse and reduce sound infiltration. 
There are some products on the market that are remarkably easy to 
install. 
Does your spouse like to practice the drums in the evening? Does your teenager like to play video games, with the volume turned up high? Are there other sources of noise you'd like to minimize? There are many ways to soundproof areas of your home to reduce noise.
 Here are some ideas: • Furniture placement. Surprisingly, where you place furniture can dramatically reduce incoming noise. For example, a bookshelf covering a third of a wall can muffle sound from an adjoining room by 25%.
 • Noise harmonization techniques. Soft music, air fans, and other sources of rhythmic noises can actually reduce the unpleasantness of incoming sounds.
 • Area rugs. Adding an area rug, even on top of existing carpeting, can significantly reduce noise coming from the floor below.
 • Acoustic tiles and panels. These are special ceiling tiles and wall coverings that are designed to diffuse and reduce sound infiltration. There are some products on the market that are remarkably easy to install. 
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You can discourage flies 
from buzzing around the 
kitchen by placing a basil 
plant on the counter. 
Apparently, flies hate 
basil and will avoid going 
anywhere near it!
You can discourage flies from buzzing around the kitchen by placing a basil plant on the counter. Apparently, flies hate basil and will avoid going anywhere near it!
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Heavy storms and burst pipes are next 
to impossible to predict yet they can 
do significant damage to your house or 
condo. Here are some key precautionary 
steps to take into consideration:
1. Read the details of your home’s 
insurance policy to understand the 
water damage coverage included, and 
to confirm your deductible.
2. Check municipal policies about storms 
and flooding, and know the legal 
jurisdictions for drainage/sewage and 
water supply. Find out where your 
municipality’s main supply and drain 
pipes connect to your property, and 
what/where the lines of responsibility 
are located. 
3. For condo owners, ask your corporation 
to identify the point at which 
responsibility and liability is transferred 
to individual owners
Heavy storms and burst pipes are next to impossible to predict yet they can do significant damage to your house or condo. Here are some key precautionary steps to take into consideration:
1. Read the details of your home’s insurance policy to understand the water damage coverage included, and to confirm your deductible.
2. Check municipal policies about storms and flooding, and know the legal jurisdictions for drainage/sewage and water supply. Find out where your municipality’s main supply and drain pipes connect to your property, and what/where the lines of responsibility are located.
 3. For condo owners, ask your corporation to identify the point at which responsibility and liability is transferred to individual owners.
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