So you've moved into your new place and are just settling into your new space.  Here's a list of 10 ways to bring good vibes into your new place and make it feel like home:


1. ORGANIZE

When you know where everything is, you eliminate the frustration of feeling discombobulated with your own belongings.


2. SET UP YOUR KITCHEN AND BATHROOM

Immediately put up your shower curtain, put away your towels, set up your coffee machine and the rest of the essentials. If you do this as soon as you move in, you will be set up to continue your daily routine in your new home.


3. PUMP THE TUNES

Put on your favourite artists and just enjoy your space. There's no better way to get the good vibes going than to chill with your favourite tunes in your new home.


4. LIGHT CANDLES

In Swedish culture, there is a word called 'Hygge' which is essentially the Danish obsession with getting cozy.  Think woolly socks, curled up with a good book by the fire with a hot chocolate in hand kind of cozy. Having candles light around your space brings a similar type of warmth to a space akin to a fireplace.


5. GO TO A LOCAL EATERY

Walk your neighbourhood, get to know your street and local spots to grab coffee and food.  Find your new go to spots and get to know your favourites on their menus. This will be handy when you invite friends over to your new neck of the woods.


6. PUT UP YOUR CURTAINS

Nothing says "I just moved in" like bare windows. Do yourself favour and get those curtains up. It looks nice and it saves you from doing the naked dash after getting out of the shower. 


7. HANG THOSE PHOTOS & ART

When people purchase art, it is usually based on an emotional connection to the imagery. People buy what speaks to them and makes them happy. Nothing warms up the walls of an unfamiliar place like your handpicked art work and photos of good times and loved ones.


8. SPRINKLE SOME PLANTS AROUND

Having fresh greenery around is the perfect antidote to a drab new place full of boxes. Line your window sills with your favourite types of plants to brighten the space. Get bonus points if you pick plants that have air purifying qualities.


9. MAKE PLANS TO HAVE FRIENDS OVER

Setting a date to show off your new digs is a great way to give yourself a subtle deadline to have your stuff straightened out. You'll find there's a fire under your feet the second that you set a date.


10. PAINT THE WALLS

Still living in the mind space of the previous owners? Freshen up the space with your own hues. Nobody can relax in a lime green room or enjoy dark brown walls when they are a fresh white type of person. Find a shade that fits your needs and go for it. 

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When shopping for their new house, buyers in the Greater Victoria area are typically sold on two things: the kitchen and the bathroom(s).  Whether you own a small bungalow in Fernwood or a mansion along Dallas road, the presence of an inviting bathroom is critical. 


If you are thinking of selling your home, it is worth taking a look at whether a bathroom reno would invite a more qualified buyers and sellers. Typically a standard bathroom remodel from the studs will run you between $14,000-$20,000. 


So where should you focus your funds and efforts to maximize your remodel?


KEEP IT NEUTRAL

It may be tempting to customize the bathroom with colourful paint and patterned tile to match. Unless you are remodelling for the longterm where you do not plan on selling for a number of years, it is best to stick to a neutral design.  Keep the colours a to a friendly and widely likeable palette. Avoid bright patterns or colours on the floors as well. Instead add personal accents by installing a shower curtain, artwork, towels and accents that reflect your style.


STORAGE AND SPACE

Although there are some styles in magazines these days that show sleek and minimal countertops, you are best to err on the side of traditionalism.  Opt for a clean and spacious look with ample counter space and cabinet space below. A double sink is especially enticing to buyers should the space and budget allow it.


LUXURIOUS TOUCHES

There are some ways you can cut costs, but the one spot to avoid cheaping out on is the hardware. The feeling of rickety and cheap fixtures (think wobbly faucet handles) immediately sets buyer's minds into a tizzy. It makes them wonder what other corners have been cut. Everyone knows the difference between the feeling of sturdy and well built fixtures. Spend a little extra and reap the extra perceived value from buyers.


HIRE PROFESSIONALS

Nothing is as much of a turn off to prospective buyers than the look of a cabinet that has been cut to the wrong size or poorly installed. When it comes to plumbing and electrical, always seek the advice and service of a professional.  When dealing with water, it is best to avoid suffering the consequences of faulty installation. There are so many fantastic service providers in Victoria, BC, that there really is no excuse.


REMODEL TO THE ERA OF THE HOUSE

Always make sure that the design and look of the bathroom is consistent with the design of the rest of the house. For instance, a ultra modern and sleek bathroom likely won't jive with a character home that features hardwood flooring and classic design. Likewise, it would be bizarre to place a vintage style clawfoot tub into a modern build that holds no heritage features.


KNOW YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC

If you live in a youthful neighbourhood and building, then perhaps you could get away with a bathroom that looks like it could be from a New York loft. If you live in an area with a middle aged population, you are likely going to want to install a conservative and sensible bathroom with solid and classic finishings. On the other hand, if you live in an area where more seniors reside, you will find that installing items that are easy to use and keep clean are of a higher value than something that requires high maintenance levels and is not comfortable. Function over fashion.  It is important to know your demographic of who lives in your neighbourhood. Victoria, BC has many different neighbourhoods where the age ranges of buyers and residents wild vary.

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As we all start begrudgingly digging out our fall coats and closed toe shoes, it's time to admit that summer is over. With the impending cold season afoot, don't resign yourself to cold and bland days.


Breathe life into your winter months by introducing a little hygge into your life. What is hygge you might ask? An expression used by the Danes, Hygge (pronounced 'hooga')  roughly translated means the "art of intimacy (or coziness)".


Living with hygge means to enjoy the good life with wonderful food and friends.  

Here's a quick list to get you started on your pursuit of coziness:



SPEND MORE TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Conjure up memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sitting around the fire with good company and a mug of mulled cider warming your hands. Who says you can't make occasion to pass time with your loved ones a la Christmas on a regular basis?

KEEP THINGS SIMPLE

No matter the time of year we all have to work a regular schedule. Simplify your life. When cooking, favor one-pot meals or roast a chicken in the oven with seasonal vegetables. Warming, savory food with one pan to clean is the ideal.

CANDLES, CANDLES AND MORE CANDLES

Sitting by a window streaked with raindrops? Surround yourself with the warm and soft glow of candlelight. Illuminate while you are reading a book or even while sitting under a blanket watching TV.  Bonus points for candles scented with warming natural scents such as vanilla, cinnamon, cranberry & cedar.

NATURAL TEXTURES

Wood features and simple greenery brings a relaxing and spa-like feel to your home. During Christmas season, there is nothing like walking in the door to the smell of a natural Fir tree wafting through your hallways.  Inspire every day with sprigs of fresh cut greenery from your surroundings. Decorate with natural local wood pieces such as side tables or lamp bases.

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In your day to day living, you create an abundance of humidity within your home. Moisture can be introduced into your home through cooking, washing, bathing, exercising and more. From your dog's bowl of water to dampness from the soil under your crawl space can introduce moisture into your home.


When a home has too much moisture, it becomes inviting for mold and bugs.  Additionally, moisture in a home can be the leading cause of electronic failure due to corrosion caused by excess humidity.

HERE ARE SOME SIGNS THAT YOUR HOME SUFFERS FROM A HIGH LEVEL OF HUMIDITY:

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CONDENSATION ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR WINDOWS

If your window gets coated in fog and water droplets when it gets cold out, you are dealing with a humidity issue. This is not relegated to old single pane windows as it can happen in brand new builds that have been built to be too 'air tight'.


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MOLD WHETHER VERY MILD OR SEVERE

One of the easiest moisture symptoms to spot. The most common spot you will see little black mold spots form is on your bathroom ceiling.


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MUSTY ODOURS

A mildewy or dank lingering smell is a typical sign of an area that has a lack of good ventilation. Basements are common areas that suffer from this issue.


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YOUR ALLERGIES ARE ACTING UP 

Whether you have prexisting allergies or new ones are popping up, this is a common symptom of living in a moist environment that has mold spores in the air.


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WATER STAINS AND WOOD ROT

These are easy to spot and important to treat and cure the cause of the moisture before the condition escalates and causes more serious damage.



IF YOU OBSERVE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS IN YOUR HOME, HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO REDUCE MOISTURE IN YOUR HOME

First a foremost, you want to ensure that you are diligent about turning on ventilation fans when you are cooking in the kitchen an more importantly when you are showering in the bathroom. Many modern fans have a self timing option which allows for a regular schedule of ventilation which will keep you on a healthy cycle even if you forget to turn it on when you are in a steamy shower.  In the rare instance that your home does not have a ventilation fan in either of these two rooms, you will want to ensure you crack a window for a good period during and after your shower or cooking. It is highly encouraged that you install a fan in these areas for proper ventilation.


Keeping your home at a comfortable room temperature assists in keeping the moisture at bay as warm air has a higher capacity to hold moisture than cold air.  This is especially important in the winter months. Additionally, when it is in the colder season, it is good to ensure that closets that do not have good ventilation or heat sources are not packed too densely. When items are pressed against a particularly cold wall, you may find mold growth when you move these items. Good air flow is always your friend.


If you find yourself in a particularly moist season or region, you may find it helpful to regularly run your air conditioning. The majority of modern air conditioners have a built in dehumidifier that will aid in removing excess moisture from the air. The only draw back to this is that it can be costly to operate during heavy usage.

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For those of you lucky enough to walk in after work to a perfectly climate controlled home, keep moving. This article is for those of you suffering from the summer heat that seems to seep into every corner of your house.

With a few simple hacks, you can enjoy a moderately cooler space from the beginning to end of your day.

IN THE MORNING

If you are a relatively early riser, start by modifying your routine. Take advantage of the cool morning temperatures by opening as many windows as possible. In extremely hot climates, you may want to amp this up by placing small fans by large windows or open sliding glass doors. The idea is to push as much cold air into your place as you can before you leave for your workday.

Before you leave for work, take a moment to go shut all windows and draw all blinds.  The goal is to lock in the cold air and block out that hot sun.  This will help a great deal with keeping the offending heat out as much as possible.

WHEN YOU GET HOME

Once your back for the evening, turn on your ceiling fans and pour yourself a cool drink. The best way to beat the heat without the pleasure of air conditioning is to control your temperature internally. Eat cooling foods and beverages such as salads and icy cold drinks.

Take the time to inspect your ceiling fan. Most fans have settings to operate the fan counter clock-wise. Not many people do this but it will assist in drawing the hot air up and out of your space.

WHEN YOU COOK DINNER

Make sure you turn all your kitchen fans on high and also if your space is a condo or smaller in size, turn on your bathroom fans. You want to do everything to draw the heat out of your home.

Take to the grill! Instead of bringing more heat into your house with the stove or oven, crank up the barbeque and cook al fresco.

BEFORE BED

As you get ready to sleep take a moment to open all the windows in your house strategically to create a breezeway. Most houses (not so many condos) will have windows on the hot and cool side of the house. If you have these windows running parallel in the direction you can open the front and back to create a current that pulls the hot air out and the cold air in.

It will also be advantageous to look at what type of bedding you are using. Ditch anything heavy such as flannel or satin. If you gravitate towards a cool cotton or linen, you will find that you will sleep cooler throughout the night. Additionally, a buckwheat pillow is amazing at keeping the heat away as well.

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Now that we're enjoying longer days and pleasantly hot temperatures, it's time to get a little work done around the house. These are a collection of tasks you will want to take on while the summer is still around:



  • INSPECT FOUNDATION - Repair any cracks that require attention


  • WASH WINDOWS - Make sure to get any cobwebs


  • CHECK FOR LEAKS - Look at your hoses & faucets, wrap with waterproof tape if needed


  • CHECK ROOF FOR DAMAGE - Look for damage, contact a pro if work is needed


  • GET OUT THE POWER WASHER - Blast away the moss off your siding & sidewalks


  • FRESHEN UP YOUR PAINT - Nows the time to take care of worn paint on decks, siding & railings


  • CHECK DETECTORS - Make sure that your smoke & carbon monoxide alarms are working


  • INSPECT AIR CONDITIONER - Take out the filter and make sure it is fresh & clean


  • SPRUCE UP YOUR BBQ - Get out all the excess ash, grease and residue for safer grilling

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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.