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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What’s Your Kitchen Personality?

The more you know, the more you can create.
There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.
Julia Child

What style of kitchen is your ideal? As the room in the home that sees the most activity, your kitchen reveals much about your personality. From personal taste to practical considerations, your kitchen says a lot about you. So what’s your best fit? Let’s take a look.

THE FOODIE:
For you, a well-stocked chef’s kitchen is a must, complete with the BEST quality appliances.

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This kitchen at 140 Hages Lane is set with stainless Bosch appliances.

You are a loyal follower of the Slow Food Movement and belong to at least one Gourmet Supper Club. Your friends consider you a maestro in the kitchen and are more than happy to pitch in as sous chefs while you work your magic.

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This chef’s kitchen at 50 Kinburn Acres Road has plenty of surfaces and work stations.

THE MULTI-TASKER:
Need to supervise the kids’ homework while you cook supper? Work on a freelance assignment with one eye on the pot of spaghetti sauce bubbling on the stove? For you, an eat-in kitchen serves a multitude of purposes and helps you keep up with the demands of a fast-paced lifestyle.

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This updated eat-in kitchen at 328 Portland Street includes plenty of counter space and a nice little spot for a kitchen table.

Your friends treat your kitchen as an informal gathering place – busy, yet welcoming.

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Walk right in, sit right down! This spacious French country kitchen with woodstove is functional, practical and warm. 121 Edgewater Street, Mahone Bay.

THE ENTERTAINER:
The kitchen is the centre of your home, with enough room for a crowd and a huge island where everyone can gather.

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The kitchen wall at 5529 Carriageway Crescent was removed and in its place is a large maple island, perfect for cooking, eating and entertaining.

You’re known as the ultimate host and there’s always room for one more friend around your table. An open-concept kitchen design is your ideal because it allows you to cook and socialize at the same time.

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An open-concept, upgraded kitchen at 14 Amirault Court.

The Urbanite:
You’d rather dine at a neighbourhood bistro or gastropub than eat at home. For you, a well-stocked kitchen includes a spacious wine rack and a fridge large enough to accommodate several quality cheeses from the farmer’s market, plus a couple of growlers of local craft beer.

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At Harris East Condos, you’re steps away from all the trendy new cafes and restaurants, and a few blocks from downtown Halifax. Unit 404, 5677 Harris Street puts you in the middle of all the action.

Your kitchen is the gathering spot before a night out on the town with friends.

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Southport Condos, 1065 Barrington Street, is where all the evening fun begins.

The Trendsetter:
For you, style is as important as function. You prowl the aisles of home design stores, looking for the latest trend and you’re perpetually planning your next kitchen update.

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Contemporary finishes including a modern colour palette and quartz countertops set the tone in this chef’s kitchen at 267 Nadia Drive.

Your friends consider you the go-to person for kitchen design advice and you’re happy to share ideas.

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Granite countertops, under cabinet lighting and plenty of cupboard space at 45 Vimy Avenue #18.

Foodie, Multi-Tasker, Entertainer, Urbanite or Trendsetter, the kitchen will be an important part of the house as long as there is food to cook and bellies to fill. So where do you fit in? Are there any categories you would add? Let us know by replying to this blog post.

Bon appétit!

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Opening image: Everything’s within reach in this kitchen at 19 Theakston Avenue.

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.

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.