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5 Landscaping Trends That Are on the Rise

According to a recent survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX, green space is trending as the most in-demand amenity sought by homebuyers, aside from price. While parks are highly sought-after, your yard can also translate to more “green,” when it comes to an offer on your listing. Maximize your little piece of the great outdoors with these five hot landscaping trends.

1. Think Smart, Think Small

Having limited outdoor space is nothing new; especially for city dwellers. How that space is used is pushing the envelope. Multitasking is king when it comes to planning which features to add and where to plant what within limited square footage. For example, a water feature can be integrated into the irrigation system, doubling the function of a single feature.

Analyze the systems and features you can work with in your garden. It will take some consideration and planning to get the most out of your limited space, but it will pay off immensely in the end.

2. Every Season Turns

Think “four seasons” for 2018 when planning your garden. Differentiating textures and bright conifer foliage will look lovely in the springtime, but also brightens up the garden during the winter months. Deciduous shrubs, trees with peeling bark, and evergreens that change colour can help you maximize your garden all year-round.
Choosing the right plants that can withstand Canada’s shifting seasons will be a challenge, so consult a garden expert before investing.

3. Feeling Fenced In

​Fencing is the most common method of enclosing a yard, however creative alternatives to posts and planks are popping up. Consider planting a screening foliage, such as bamboo, between the sidewalk curb and your lawn to offer some privacy. Also, look at incorporating lacy-leaved trees such as dogwoods or Japanese maple — they’re big enough to create a border but won’t overwhelm.

Thinking outside the box to create the feeling of a protected area is what this landscaping trend is about. The drawback to these pretty, yet permeable, barriers is they do little to secure a pet or protect against trespassers.

4. Get Crafty

​Part of the “maker movement”, this landscaping trend moves away from mass-produced products, and returns to roots of authentic craftsmanship. Whether it’s a stone bench or a pergola, finding a professional artisan to handcraft your next garden element is definitely a trend.

This trend is about quality craftsmanship that stands the test of time. This quality craftsmanship does come at a premium, but hiring local artisans is a wonderful way to support the local economy.

5. Go Forth

​Imagine being able to eat your evening meal under the open sky, in your own backyard, surrounded by friends and family. Alfresco dining is so popular these days that having a designated dining area, complete with an outdoor cooking area, has become one of 2018’s landscaping trends.

Different this year is the location of this open-air eating area — it’s no longer close to the kitchen but further afield. Creating a unique space at the back of the yard, far from the lights and bustle of the house is on-trend.

From backyard dining to living walls, these landscaping trends can add value to your home and boost curb appeal. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of what’s trending in the landscaping world, which one will you dig into?

Change Is In The Air…

Spring is typically a time of change. A time of rebirth and growth. 

Today, I look out at all of the blossoms bursting out on my trees and I’m amazed how every spring, life quickly appears and becomes green and fresh and new again… alive !!! The REPs have gone through some changes this spring too but I’ll come back to that and share later .

Firstly, I’d like to talk about something that is near and dear to us at the REPs Group and is truly a passion for all the REPs — we probably don’t share this enough but we are proud to say that there are nine GREAT people working at the REPs Group.
We have 5 realtors and 4 very very busy assistants helping us out. Each one of us comes to work every morning with a passion in our hearts to make today a great day for all of our clients. It is what we do and it is absolutely what we love.

I should also share that there’s one very important reason why we love it so much
WE LIVE HERE! We live in your communities …we own houses and businesses in our communities. Our kids go to school here. We attend community events and sports, and we also belong to volunteer groups here. The REPs Group love to get out and see friends, family and new acquaintances, or go grab a meal at our favourite restaurant.

And of course-we shop here.

YES – we REPs STILL LIVE in your community…. we haven’t gone anywhere.

And because we have such a vested interest in our communities, it helps us to be better Professional Realtors. We want to be the BEST we can be for our clients.

Your confidence in us helping you to make what is typically the largest decision and investment in your life is Paramount to the REPs.

…so WE WORK HERE!

The REPs want to see our communities succeed and we strive to know the markets that we work in. We study the statistics, we talk with local experts, we chat with moms on the playground and we meet with politicians and decision makers regularly. The REPs belong to several boards and we attend Chamber of Commerce meetings regularly and oh, yes …we LISTEN.

So it is True – the REPs STILL WORK here… we haven’t gone anywhere and it’s business as usual.

The REPs motto is “Guiding you home… we are Reliable – Responsive – Respectful”

We call it “The 3Rs “ …our foundation and guiding principles. Every day, with every client and with every decision we REPs make we are guided by our principles.

And with that said…

The REPs Group recently made the decision to join RE/MAX First – one of the largest real estate brokerages in the area. This tactical move will allow us to continue to be the BEST thing for our clients. It will help us to flourish and to grow but PLEASE don’t get it wrong… the REPs haven’t gone anywhere.

We STILL WORK here and I say it again proudly…its BUSINESS AS USUAL …so lets have a coffee or better yet, give us a wave at the grocery store next time we bump into you.

No Place Like Home

Home…there’s just no place like it.

As I lay here on my mattress which is sloppily laid out on the floor in my empty rental home, it really has me longing for my forever home. My family and I have been in between homes, patiently awaiting for our new house to be ready come May 1st.

It’s been a whirlwind of the last few months, and a pain in the butt if I must admit! We temporarily have been living in a little townhouse in Strathmore and are now having to move to a smaller condo while we wait out the last month for our house to be ready. We’ve luckily been able to move most of our possessions to our forever home, however we just can’t live there quite yet! I’ve decided to take the easy way out and have made the executive decision on behalf of my family, that we are bringing the bare necessities with us while we camp out on our mattresses on the floor and eat off of paper plates for the next month in the little 2 bedroom condo. (My room will be the living room!)

Of course all of this has me missing the feeling of being home. My head has been filled with all sorts of ideas about what I’m going to do to our new home to make it personalized and ours. I already have colours chosen to paint the walls, the decor all planned out, where I’m going to sit and sip my coffee to watch the morning news, what new furniture I want to buy, and so on. Thinking about all of these things has me so excited, that I can hardly wait another month to not live out of a suitcase.

So what makes your house a home? For me there’s a few important things. Number one, of course, is the people in it. My family. There’s nothing better than the chaos of my kids… the sound of mini stick hockey balls hitting the wall with a few new drywall holes for me to patch, or a fresh colour stain on the table from my daughters latest art project. While these things drive me absolutely mad sometimes, this is what makes our house a home.

Secondly, I have to have a home that is mine. It’s personalized with my style, the walls are freshly painted, my favourite blanket knitted by my grandma is laid out on the couch, there’s shoes in every single closest (because I have a serious problem!), my favourite candle is burning, there’s fresh flowers on the table, and the colour teal is everywhere to be found because it’s my favourite!

Lastly, the third most important thing to me for that feeling of being “home”, is having a yard. This is a luxury I have so been missing the last 6 months. I didn’t think of it as a big deal at first, as my family likes to be outside playing hockey at the rink, riding bikes on Strathmore’s awesome paths, or we are usually away from home travelling all over Alberta for hockey and ringette. There’s nothing I love more than being able to step outside of my kitchen door onto the deck to sit and enjoy the peacefulness of the outdoors, and to watch the kids play on their trampoline in the backyard.

It’s going to be a long next month, and if I’m totally honest, I’m dreading the idea of not being able to set down roots for another month.  But, I’m trying to have a positive outlook and view it as an adventure, or a camp out for the kids. How often can you just live like a fresh out of high school student? Paper plates, empty apartment, Kraft dinner stocked up in the pantry, take out dinner way too often. I’m sure it will be a great memory for us, and we can laugh about it while we sit around the table to eat dinner at our forever home.

Hello Spring

We are so happy you are finally arriving! So much hope for spring in so many areas of our life! Rural communities are welcoming spring arrivals on their farms, suburban residents are reconnecting with their neighbours after a very long hibernation! Kids winter sports are winding down and play offs are on and then April will bring them spring sports. Easter is on its way! Hope is everywhere! Embrace it, enjoy it and make it your own!

For many people spring is the time to start to look for a new place to live and get their present home ready for the spring market! There are also many ways to refresh your home and start your spring cleaning. All the little nicks and scrapes and stains you do not see any more become very obvious when you get ready to market your home. Let us help you get ready! We can guide you through all the facets of getting your home ready including a walk through to point out and suggest where you can improve and what is working before you list your home. Then enjoy our comprehensive marketing program to help sell your home in the least amount of time for the most amount of money with as little stress as possible!

We take a personal approach to every one of our clients individual needs and know that you are all different and can not be put into cookie cutter molds, you all have different needs and so does your home. Do not be afraid to do some research on your own. Find out what the latest trends in fabric and paint colour might be and add a pop of colour to your rooms. Go to a couple of show homes and see what the latest trends are. Do not be afraid to buy new furniture that you want to have for your new home to update the one that you are selling. Fresh flowers are always a beautiful addition and with the longer daylight hours, open up those window coverings and let the sun shine in!

Purge those unused and unwanted and dated items! There are so many for sale sites with followings waiting to buy your stuff, and so many charitable organizations that could use your used items to help the people right in your own neighbourhood.

So bring it on Spring! We are ready to greet you and welcome you into our homes and lives!

Michelle Eldjarnson
The REPs Group
RE/MAX Realty Horizon

Organizing a Closet

Oh boy!!! Thinking about our closets can put the fear and panic into people. It’s a common “little secret” that most of us just shut the closet door and ignore the mess- and I am guilty too!
So, it’s my turn. I am going to clean my closets in my house.

And the realtor in me knows that keeping closets organized and maintained truly helps when you decide to sell.
Hmmmm- but, where do I start? , it’s kinda overwhelming. I am told by experts that what can seem like a huge job, organizing my closets, is actually incredibly therapeutic … no, really!
Well, it’s time to find if this is true. It is a great time of year to tackle this project. The colder weather keeps us inside more, so an indoor project is perfect.
Here are my lessons learned
… here’s one big tip- start with one closet. Don’t look beyond one closet.
Professional organizers tell us that we get overwhelmed if we think about the whole project. Break it down into manageable tasks.

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Moving and….Christmas??? 

Yes- it does happen. People move during the Holidays.

Imagine your typical Christmas preparations and all the “over the top “ planning that occurs…wrapping, shopping, baking, shopping visiting, shopping, entertaining, school plays and concerts, eating and then add MOVING to a new home into that equation….Holy Reindeer!!

Talk about a recipe for stress…. But only, IF you let it.

Talking from experience, We Poiriers were new to Strathmore during the Holidays (years ago now)
There were soooo many things to consider but we wanted our Kids experience to be THE priority…. Because, lets face it- Christmas is for Family and especially the kids.

We had no other family here when we moved and we were in a new province.

But…. a WHITE Christmas was going to be a first for us….cool.

So we all sat down and made a list of NEW traditions …It was a perfect time to create new memories with new traditions. We all got to pick one new tradition each and 17 years later, each tradition is honoured -from “More than Ice Cream” for Christmas Eve Dinner (they were the only restaurant open that first year, and our waitress still remembers us each year) to skating outdoors on Christmas Day (only 2 Christmas’ we’ve had no ice to skate on but hiking in +15c sunny weather is a great substitute.)

Another important item that first year was an EARLY letter to Santa letting him know that we had moved, complete with directions on how to get to our new house… it was all good
Santa found us and we started our traditions …Strathmore was our NEW HOME

Traditions during the Holiday season are treasured memories; whether you are NEW to your town or have always lived there, keep traditions. Or start a new one.

  

Merry Christmas ALL!!

Fire Safety

Possibly one of the hardest things to ever imagine… is a house fire.

So hard to believe, in fact, that typically, more often than not, we ignore the thought and pretend it could never happen.

Which means – we don’t PLAN.

But, planning what you would DO in a fire is the KEY to surviving.

Let’s review together :

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TIS THE SEASON.. to SELL your HOUSE

We REPs get asked every year…

Should I sell my house this time of year ? Or should I take my house off the market for the holiday season?

We also hear- should I wait until spring to list my house?

Hold on to your Santa Hats…. The REPs are going to suggest that “TIMES are A-CHANGING ”

The theory used to be that buyers were too busy and preoccupied with Christmas plans like shopping, baking, parties and vacations

With all these things going on, buyers wouldn’t have time to be looking at properties too.

The REPs have a NEW way to look at it

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