Try ‘Home Refreshing’ Rather Than Spring Cleaning

Too many people don’t have the time or energy to do a full spring cleaning. Thankfully, a quick and simple home refresh will go a long way toward making your home look new without breaking the bank or your back.

In a Houzz article, Laura Gaskill outlines several easy ways to refresh your home for spring. For example, freshen up your entry simply by sweeping and mopping the front porch and adding a new welcome mat.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a back entrance or mudroom, it’s time to clear out all the remnants of winter. Consider adding extra storage with baskets, racks, or closet organizers to keep your newly tidied mudroom or entrance clutter free. And while you’re decluttering, why not tackle clutter catchalls like junk drawers and countertops? You’ll be able to find things again, and your space will feel brand new.

Can’t remember when you last cleaned your light fixtures? You’re not alone; most of us miss this step during regular dusting. By wiping down neglected lamps and sconces (and those ever-so-dusty light bulbs), you’ll lose the grime that’s accumulated over many months (years?). Your living space will suddenly feel so much brighter and lighter you may decide to tackle your mirrors and inside windows next.

It needn’t cost the earth (or take forever) to change up your d├ęcor. New paint is great, but you can achieve a similar result with less work by applying one of today’s trendy large-scale adhesive murals to a blank wall. The result: an instant accent space that’s easy to switch up when it’s time for a change. And don’t forget greenery – add plants and flowers to your living space for that instant spring feeling.

As you can see, spring cleaning no longer has to be intimidating. With these simple tweaks, your home will feel like spring before you know it.

Canada’s Real Estate Market in 2017: How Is It Shaping Up?

Three months into 2017 it looks like predictions made in a study conducted by the Urban Land Institute and PwC are pretty much on track.

Canadians need no reminder of the crazy real estate ride of the past few years: Prices of homes skyrocketed, particular in Vancouver and Toronto; foreign investment surged; and governments tried to dampen housing demand with stress tests to ensure buyers could afford their homes should interest rates rise.

Lack of affordable housing: Housing prices were all over the map in 2016. (They ranged from +15.5% in Toronto to -2.8% in Saskatoon, with the Canadian average totalling a 10.6% change). The key issue was and is lack of affordable housing: All signs point to a continuation of this trend throughout 2017.

Slow sales: High prices, low inventory and new regulations are expected to dampen sales. We’re about to find out whether that will hold true in the spring months, which is traditionally a time for a boost in home sales.

Rentals – the new normal: It won’t happen overnight, but 2017 just could be the year of the rental home, especially in expensive urban centres. Thanks to expected high immigration over the next five years, as well as downsizing boomers and millennial urbanites, demand will grow for long-term rentals, once considered a short-term housing solution.

Challenges: There are challenges aplenty ahead in 2017 – both globally and domestically – that will impact Canada. Ultimately, our housing market will respond. However, in this first quarter of the year, how remains the question.