The Delight is in the Details

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a place special – those subtle details that give clues to a home’s history or the lives of people who’ve lived there and loved it as their own. 

 

In homes with a degree of vintage, a unique architectural detail evokes a place in time. The half-hip roof at 3378 Albert Street exemplifies the “built to last” construction ethic reflected in 1920s homes that replaced those lost in the Halifax Explosion.

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3378 Albert Street, Halifax

For some interesting history on reconstruction after the explosion, read here.

 

Sometimes a room’s distinctive shape gives it character. This bedroom isn’t just a bedroom – it’s a sanctuary!

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82 Duke Street, Lunenburg

 

There’s nothing like a peaked roof to make a bedroom feel cozy.

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5621 Leeds Street, Halifax

 

Exposed brick can act as a nod to the past that contrasts nicely with a home’s contemporary character.

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6428/6430 Norwood Street, Halifax

 

History stands front and centre in this home, where tall Gothic dormers attest to its Gothic Revival heritage.

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121 Edgewater Street, Mahone Bay

For more on the history of 121 Edgewater Street, read here.

 

Vintage cast-iron radiators and wooden detail around the staircase give this home character and hint at its history:

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3080 Dublin Street, Halifax

 

The generous windows in this heritage character building located in a trendy part of the Halifax Peninsula are very much in keeping with its vintage:

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5574 Falkland Street, Halifax

 

Sometimes a detail’s uniqueness makes it memorable. Such is the case with the rare piano finish of the engineered wood floors in this Prospect, Nova Scotia home:

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140 Hages Lane, Prospect

 

The sweeping hardwood staircase is the centrepiece of this home – an inviting detail that leads visitors in and through the elegant, well-appointed interior:

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14 Amirault Court, Halifax

 

And there’s nothing like a bathroom oasis that includes a glassed-in shower with custom tile work. The only thing that would make this detail better would be heated floors to keep your feet warm. WAIT! They’re here!

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5959 Spring Garden Road #1207

 

Sometimes it’s the small details that add a feeling of luxury to a bathroom space – like this faucet and vessel sink:

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42 Sunnyvale Crescent, Sackville

 

Placed in just the right spot, an elegant light fixture can bring an entire room to life:

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45 Vimy Avenue #18, Halifax

 

Then there are the practical things. How about this tidy, space efficient laundry arrangement to make life a little easier?

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127 Purcells Cove Road, Halifax

 

From stylish to practical, contemporary to heritage, the details in a home say much about who we are and the things we hold dear. The next time you walk through your home, take note of the details, big and small – what do they say about YOU?

*Opening Image: Central Fireplace at 2 Tucker Lake Road, Beaver Bank.

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Red Door Realty is a full service real estate company that exists to serve residential, multi-family, and commercial clients. To view more of our current listings, click here.

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Think you don’t need your own REALTOR® when you purchase a home? Oh yes you do – and here’s why

You’re looking for a home. You search online, attend open houses and drive around areas where you’d like to live, scanning for real estate signs.

Good for you! You’re being proactive and getting a feel for what’s out there.

But there’s more to it than that.

Hunting for properties on your own is like driving with one headlight on. Sure, you’ll illuminate some of what’s available, but only half the road is visible. This is where it’s crucial to have your own REALTOR® assist you with a house purchase, from the get-go.

Here’s what a purchaser’s REALTOR® brings to the table:

SEARCH POWER

A licensed REALTOR® has access to some MLS® documentation that isn’t always available to the general public, even though there’s a lot more information available online to prospective purchasers these days.

Most REALTORS® have a subscription to alternative registries, allowing them to see the history of a property back to the original deed in most cases.

A purchaser walks a fine line when estimating what to offer on a home – your REALTOR® can use these research resources to help you achieve just the right balance.

How? Your REALTOR® can prepare a Market Evaluation on a property to ascertain its value, based in information available on MLS® and other realty-related databases. A Market Evaluation is a document that uses a number of comparable properties to calculate the value for a property. It is an essential tool when it comes to figuring out what would be a reasonable offer on a home – an offer that takes your budget into account and is likely to be considered seriously by the seller.

IT’S FREE!

In most cases, you do not pay a commission to a REALTOR® who assists you in finding and purchasing a home. This is negotiated with the selling agent and is usually not an out-of-pocket expense for you.

EXPERTISE

Each REALTOR® offers a unique set of qualifications. By choosing your own representative, you can engage the real estate professional who’s best suited to you.

Expertise is essential. A qualified REALTOR® knows how to draw up a strategic Offer and interpret a Counter-Offer.

They have access to every Nova Scotia condominium corporation’s Declaration and By-laws online, plus building and unit plans. Their expertise enables them to interpret these materials – they know exactly what to look for.

They can advise you on what costs are involved with any property purchase: legal fees, mortgage application fees, deed transfer tax, survey fees, fire insurance premiums, home inspection fees, HST – the list goes on – so you can budget for them.

They know the risky areas and keep an eagle eye out for any red flags that may present themselves: Septic systems, furnaces, hot water heaters – those can be trouble areas that require examination and possible replacement.

Sewer line inspection, radon testing…depending on what areas require it, your REALTOR® will include a clause in your Offer that allows for important testing to be carried out – this will protect you.

And they can recommend qualified professionals to do the inspecting!

EXPERIENCE

An experienced REALTOR® knows the potential pitfalls. They’ve shepherded buyers through many a purchase and they’ve seen, first-hand, what can go wrong.

This is the kind of expert you want on your team – someone who can prevent problems before they happen because they’ve seen it all before. They know the risky areas and keep a sharp eye out for any red flags that may present themselves.

NEGOTIATING SKILLS

From drawing up the initial offer to negotiating dates, deadlines, inclusions and a firm price, your REALTOR® will defend your interests with bulldog determination.

Your REALTOR® conducts all negotiations based on YOUR instructions – you are in control in every aspect of the decision-making process.

Your concerns are your REALTOR®’s concerns and you can count on their firm hand and fierce loyalty throughout.

RELATIONSHIPS

REALTORS® know EVERYONE. Social people by nature, most have an extensive contact list. From Mortgage Brokers to real estate lawyers, home inspectors to moving companies, your REALTOR® has a whole network of connections and is happy to recruit them for your benefit.

Fun fact: REALTORS® stay in touch with other REALTORS® and regularly exchange notes on the local market. They often know a property is available before the sign goes up!

CODE OF ETHICS

Just as important as it sounds, a strong code of ethics is essential to any REALTOR®’s practice. In Canada, all licensed REALTORS® are required to adhere to an industry-wide Code of Ethics and it is part of a real estate Broker’s responsibilities to ensure that this code is followed – to the letter.

There are many REALTORS® to choose from out there and no matter which one you select as your representative,  the Code of Ethics should be as important to them as it is to you.

MORAL SUPPORT

For most people, a home purchase is the largest investment they will ever make. Your REALTOR® knows and respects this. They are there for you and will act as a buffer between you and the outside stressors involved in every stage of the transaction.

Your REALTOR® will also explain everything to you in plain English, not legalese. They will outline your options clearly  and ensure the final decision-making power is yours and yours only.

At a time in your life when you need a knowledgeable, experienced ally, a staunch defender and sometimes a shoulder to cry on, you’ve got one in your licensed REALTOR®.

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Red Door Realty is a full service real estate company that exists to serve residential, multi-family, and commercial clients. To view more of our current listings, click here.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Putting your Home at Centre Stage

So you’ve decided to list your home. Maybe you’re downsizing and don’t need as much room as you did. Or your family has outgrown its space. Perhaps you’re moving because of a job transfer, or simply because you need a change.

Whatever the reason, selling your home is a big step – and as with all major life decisions, proper preparation is crucial. This is where home staging comes in.

“Staging” a residence means getting it ready to display to prospective purchasers. The reason for staging is to make a home  as visually pleasing as possible  in order to attract offers to purchase. The end goal: a fast sale for a good price.

There’s a distinction to be made here. Staging a home is not the same as decorating a home. To understand the difference, take a moment to read this article by Charlotte Skiba of Charlotte Interiors.

So how does a seller go about preparing a home for market? Here’s a checklist to help get the process started:

CLEAN:

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A clean, bright kitchen (here at 14 Amirault Court) is a sign of a well-kept home.

 

  • Clean your home from top to bottom, including windows, carpets and baseboards. Consider hiring a professional cleaner such as Lynn King to lend a hand – an entire residence is a big task!
  • Have chimney and furnace professionally cleaned and inspected.
  • Clean the air. Stale cigarette smoke is a potential deal breaker. Ditto for the smells that our furry family members can create. This helpful article sets out the house showing rules on pets.

DECLUTTER:

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Clean lines and uncluttered surfaces at 1454 Dresden Row #303

 

  • Pack what you need, purge what you don’t, using the 50% rule in closets.
  • Clean out cupboards, cabinets, shelves and drawers, leaving lots of space – the 50% rule applies here too. By the way, Prep Home Staging‘s blog offers some fresh ideas on how to  style a bookcase.
  • Edit your furniture and small appliances in each room. Remember, less is more – you want to create a feeling of space, so keep only what’s necessary and makes sense based on the intended function of each room. Many professional stagers such as WOW Home Staging carry an inventory of furniture and accessories for rent if you need to supplement what you’ve already got.
  • Consider a storage locker rental if you have an overflow of items that you absolutely cannot part with, especially if your plans include moving to more spacious accommodations.

COMPLETE SMALL REPAIRS AND TOUCH-UPS:

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Pristine tiles speak well for this listing at 62 Lawlor Crescent.

 

  • Re-caulk bathrooms.
  • Repair leaky faucets.
  • Oil squeaky hinges.
  • Repair or replace anything cracked or chipped (ceramic, glass, stone, brick).
  • Thinking about removing or replacing worn carpeting? Now’s the time!

UPDATE:

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A neutral palette with pops of colour at 45 Vimy Avenue #18

 

ARRANGE THE FURNITURE:

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A feeling of air and flow between living spaces at 2107 Poplar Street, courtesy of Rave Review Home Staging & Redesign.

 

  • Arrange the furniture so that visitors experience a feeling of air and flow within each space and between rooms.
  • Create sight lines that draw the eye to features you want noticed.
  • Ensure each room offers the visitor an attractive scene that they can picture themselves in.
  • Use accessories sparingly, to create atmosphere. Here too, less is more!
  • Take a minute to read Revive Home Staging‘s excellent blog on arranging furniture to its maximum effect.

BOOST CURB APPEAL:

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A bright red front door offers visitors a cheerful welcome at 5503 Atlantic Street.

 

  • Mow lawn/shovel walks, steps and driveway.
  • Trim shrubbery.
  • Weed and mulch all plant beds.
  • Consider landscaping with fresh gardens.
  • Add pots of flowers, if and where appropriate.
  • More paint! Tip: A bright, freshly painted front door is very welcoming (especially a RED one!)

LOOK IT OVER:

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The whole picture: cohesion and harmony at 5959 Spring Garden Road #1207

 

  • Inspect your property with an objective eye – maybe ask a friend to do it.
  • An experienced REALTOR® can also give you valuable feedback in this area.
  • This may be a good time to enlist the services of a professional Home Stager who will apply their expertise to ensure your home puts its best face forward.

Major life changes are always stressful and believe it or not, strategic home staging can help you feel more in control of the entire home selling process. Just take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to enlist outside help. Organizer Andrea Josey (Happy 2 Organize) illustrates this point in her blog posting, “Preparing to Downsize or Move“.

Remember, you have 30 seconds to make a first impression – and so does your home.

*Opening Image: 7285 Highway 329, East River Point, Lunenburg County

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Red Door Realty is a full service real estate company that exists to serve residential, multi-family, and commercial clients. To view more of our current listings, click here.

Take a Walk around our Halifax Neighbourhood

At Red Door Realty we’re fortunate to have our Halifax office in the middle of a bustling, vibrant district – a walk around the block reveals that we are surrounded by the people and businesses that make this city tick! Join us in a tour of our neighbourhood.

Our Halifax office is situated at the corner of University Avenue – appropriate enough, given that we’re just down the street from Dalhousie University & the University of Kings College – and a few blocks from Saint Mary’s University.

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Dalhousie University

Across the street, Le Bistro by Liz has provided us with many a lunch or dinner throughout the years – it’s still a favourite stop.

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Le Bistro by Liz, 1333 South Park Street

Humani-T Café is always ready with a coffee, soup, sandwich or its famous gelato to keep us going when the work day gets busy.

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A latte from Humani-T Cafe, 1451 South Park Street

Need a last-minute Christmas gift for someone very special? Fawcett’s Fine Jewellery is there for you!

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Fawcett’s Fine Jewellery, 1447 South Park Street

And when the snow starts falling, Preamble Footwear can fit you out with some stylin’ boots.

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Preamble Footwear, 1457 South Park Street

Holiday home decor? Thornbloom can deck your halls!

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Thornbloom , 1459 South Park Street

If you’re looking for a new look or just a quick style or colour for the holidays, the pros at Thumpers Salon can help you out. Tell Malcolm we said hi!

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Thumpers Salon, 1455 South Park Street

Hungry? Your Father’s Moustache is a great place for a quick bite or some live music.

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Your Father’s Moustache, 5686 Spring Garden Road

Rockbottom Brew Pub boasts some of the best craft beer in the province.

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Rockbottom Brew Pub, 5686 Spring Garden Road

If you love independent book stores, Bookmark is the place for you.

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Bookmark Halifax, 5686 Spring Garden Road

Then there’s Spring Garden Place: Lovely stores, fantastic food court – this boutique shopping centre is definitely worth a drop-in!

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Spring Garden Place, 5640 Spring Garden Road

A shout-out to our friend Don Power at Vitality Medi Spa in Spring Garden Place!

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Vitality Medi Spa, Spring Garden Place

Duggers Men’s Clothing has kept Halifax’s gentlemen looking sharp for over 20 years.

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Duggers, 5476 Spring Garden Road

A new shop on the block, Fantasie Music offers private music lessons, instrument sales & rentals, and musical gifts.

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Fantasie Music, 5512 Spring Garden Road

One of the best things that’s happened to this city in recent years, the Halifax Central Library is celebrated for its innovative architecture. A truly public space, there’s something here for everyone.

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Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road

History in our midst! Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica is the oldest Roman Catholic church and first stone church in Halifax. Its cornerstone was laid on June 29, 1820.

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Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica, 5221 Spring Garden Road

Further up the street, Suzuki Restaurant is our #1 stop for sushi.

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Suzuki Restaurant, 1579 Dresden Row

Love Thai? Fill your belly at Chabaa Thai Restaurant.

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Spring Rolls from Chabaa Thai Restaurant, 1546 Queen Street

Whether you’re consigning clothing or shopping for yourself, Put Me On keeps you in style and under budget.

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Put Me On, 1526 Queen Street

And for those occasions that call for a unique floral arrangement, My Mother’s Bloomers takes creativity to the max.

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My Mother’s Bloomers, 5486 Spring Garden Road

Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia is proud of the fact that 100% of the items in their shop are handcrafted by local artisans from Atlantic Canada. Definitely a must on your Christmas shopping trip.

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Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia, 5635 Spring Garden Road

Woozles is Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore and it’s right here in our neighbourhood!

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Woozles, 1533 Birmingham Street

Pete’s Fine Foods – known locally as “Pete’s”, this popular lunch stop and market brings flavour and colour to the area.

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Pete’s Fine Foods, 1515 Dresden Row

The Fireside and Tom’s Little Havana: These two long-loved watering holes recently relocated to new digs on Birmingham Street and so did their loyal patrons. Welcome to the neighbourhood!

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The Fireside  and Tom’s Little Havana, 1542 & 1540 Birmingham Street

A women’s clothier since 1973, Foreign Affair is a familiar storefront and favourite shopping destination on Spring Garden Road.

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Foreign Affair, 5639 Spring Garden Road

Park Lane Mall: three storeys of quality shops – you could take care of your entire Christmas list here!

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Park Lane, 5657 Spring Garden Road

Just down the street from our office, the Halifax Public Gardens provides an oasis of peace in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. The gardens are quiet with the approach of winter, but they do give us a reason to look forward to spring!

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The Halifax Public Gardens, 5665 Spring Garden Road

 

Thank you for coming on our tour of the neighbourhood. There are many more shops and destinations just a quick walk from our doorstep – too many to list in just one REDitorial. One last tip: if you lived here, you would have the whole neighbourhood at YOUR doorstep!

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Embassy Towers, 5959 Spring Garden Road #1207

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Red Door Realty is a full service real estate company that exists to serve residential, multi-family, and commercial clients. To view more of our current listings, click here.

Red Doors – Some things you might not know

At Red Door Realty we love red doors (naturally). 

In fact, our Lunenburg office boasts a bright, welcoming red door:lunenburg-office-red-door

And did you know…

  • In China, doors are painted red before the New Year, to attract happiness and good fortune.
  • The Irish believe that a red front door protects against ghosts and evil spirits.
  • Scottish homeowners paint their front doors red in celebration of the mortgage being paid off. 
  • In early America, a red door signified to travelers that a home was a safe refuge. 
  •  During the American civil war, a red front door marked a “safe home” that was part of the Underground Railroad.  

And most surprising of all…

  • Rumour has it that the brilliant Albert Einstein painted his front door red so that he wouldn’t get lost on the way home!

Check out these 3 Red Hot Listings complete with cheerful red doors. Click on the caption to find out more about each:

 

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5574 Falkland Street, Halifax

 

Christmas is coming, and what better time to boost your home’s curb appeal by adding a beautiful red door? Contact Red Door Realty’s Owner/Broker, Pam Cherington about our offer to provide our clients with their own Red Door.

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Red Door Realty is a full service real estate company that exists to serve residential, multi-family, and commercial clients. To view more of our current listings, click here.