The Latest Options in Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there’s an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.

Here are just a few ideas:

Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.

Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they’re designed to sit on top of a standard 4×4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.

Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to old-fashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They’re eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.

Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.

LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.

Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.

Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start.

One Hour Ideas for Boosting Curb Appeal


You’ve heard of the term “curb appeal”. It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.
How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:
 
Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You’ll be amazed at the difference that can make.
Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also, wash down the front door.
 
If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
 
Mow the lawn. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
 
Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside. Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
 
Place any trash bins out-of-sight. For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
 
If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it. New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
 
Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you’re showing your home in the evening.
 
Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
 
Clean your mailbox. If it’s rusted, replace it.
 
If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast. Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.
 
These one-hour improvements may seem minor, but anything that helps buyers form a more positive first impression of your home is worth the effort.
 

Know Your Smoke Detectors

 
 
For most people, smoke detectors are simply taken for granted. But, when it’s time to replace your smoke detectors, be sure to understand the differences between the two main types.
 
Ionization types use a battery to create a small current that charges the ion particles inside the detector. If that current is disrupted by smoke, an alarm is triggered. Though they are designed to detect all types of smoke, they tend to be more sensitive to smoke from fast-flaming fires, such as those that might occur in a kitchen. Another type is a photoelectric detector, which powers a small beam of light that, when broken by smoke, will sound an alarm. This type tends to be more sensitive to smoke from a smouldering fire, such as a burning cigarette on upholstery.
 
To be safe, homeowners are advised to use both types of detectors in their homes because no one can predict the type of fire that may break out, nor where it might start. Locate them strategically based on the type. Also, be sure your units are tested regularly, and their batteries are changed bi-annually.
 
 

3-Level Split For Sale in Broadmead, Victoria

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•  3268 sqft , 3 bath , 4 bdrm 3-level split FOR SALE  CAD1,275,000 .
MLS® 875533

Wagg and Hamilton Architects designed this classic 1977, 4 bed, 3 bath contemporary cedar and glass split-level home. Set amongst trees and nestled beside the cliff, each room has tree and water views. At entry level are two bedrooms, a full bath, sauna and dark room. Up and around a centre column, where an elevator could be installed, is the living room with wood fireplace, vaulted ceiling and wall of windows. The formal dining room opens to the front deck and to the right of that is a large kitchen plus a full-sized laundry room. On this level is the primary bedroom, with beautiful private windows across the front of the house and a full 4-piece ensuite bathroom. There’s an additional full bath and up a few stairs is a cosy bedroom, with its own fireplace. At the next level is a bright craft room with sink and an office with beautiful wood decor. Atop of this meticulous house are two very private decks designed to take advantage of the views of treetops, plus a greenhouse.

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Should You Buy the “Except for…” Home?

 
Imagine finding a home that is perfect in every way, except for one nagging thing. That “thing” might be a smaller kitchen than you want, fewer closets than you need, or flooring that you dislike. Should you buy it anyway? How do you know if you should take a pass? It’s not an easy decision to make and depends on a number of factors.
 
Trying to answer these questions might help:
 
How likely is it that you’ll find another home that better meets your needs?
 
How soon do you want to move? (If you’re in a time-crunch you may need to adjust your expectations.)
Is the “except for…” something that can be fixed, perhaps with a renovation? For example, there are many ways to expand a small kitchen.
 
If the home’s shortcoming is fixable, approximately how much will that cost? It might turn out that the improvement is a good investment.
 
Can you live with the nagging “thing”, especially when the home is otherwise perfect?
 
It can be tough to work through a decision like this, especially if you’re in a situation where you need to make an offer quickly. Call today for help.
 
I can help you find the best home to fit your needs. Contact me for more information 250-744-0775 or briarhillgroup@gmail.com
 

A Connected Home Helps Us Make Smart Choices

 
It’s been long predicted, but the time has finally come when whole-home systems can provide a network to allow the electronic features and fixtures of your home to talk to one another. Often a family’s first such network involves controlling and sharing subscription services for movies, TV and music among personal devices.
 
Home hubs are the next logical step beyond streaming services. They provide instant communication between household utilities. It is now possible to connect a single master control to automate decisions on your behalf regarding security, HVAC, plumbing, lighting, media & entertainment – and even monitor diet, physical activity and personal health.
 
The result is greater efficiencies and less environmental impact. This connectivity will only get better with the purchase of new appliances. Your next refrigerator and/or stove could be capable of reading product labels, providing recipes according to the food you have on hand, planning meals, cooking, and ordering groceries – not to mention reminding you to get exercise and take your medication.
 
 

Getting the Home You Want in a Competitive Market

 
Regardless of whether the overall housing market is up or down, there can be fierce competition when it comes to buying a home in a desirable neighbourhood. So, if you want to live in a “hot’ area, how do you gain an advantage? Here are some tips:
 
Schedule viewings of homes for sale in the neighbourhood as soon as they go on the market. Have you ever heard the expression, “The early bird gets the worm”? It’s often true.
 
Arrange to get alerted, via email or text, to brand new listings the moment they are available.
 
Make sure you have your financing pre-approved, so you can make a quick and credible offer right away.
 
Prepare your current home for sale, so you can list it quickly (if it isn’t already listed.)
 
Know how to make an enticing offer that a buyer will take seriously. It’s not always the highest price that wins the deal.
 
Even in a competitive market, you don’t want to end up overpaying. That’s why
savvy offer preparation, presentation and negotiation are also keys to getting the
home you want.
 
Contact me for more information!
www.briarhillgroup.com

404 1395 Bear Mountain Pkwy in Bear Mountain, Langford is Sold!

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The single story at 404 1395 Bear Mountain Pkwy has been sold.

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Should You Worry About Competition?

Buying a home is different than purchasing most other “products” in one important respect: agreeing to the price tag doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the property! There may be competing offers.

Fortunately, there is plenty that can be done to increase your chances of getting the home you want.

The most effective strategy is to be proactive. Get alerted to and go to see properties that match your criteria the moment they come on the market. That way, you’ll get a jump on competing buyers. When you find a home you want, go in at the right price. You don’t want to pay too much, but your offer does need to signal to the seller that you’re serious.

Effective offer presentation and negotiation also play vital roles. Having your offer presented with expertise and skill will maximize your chances of getting the deal.

Yes, competing offers can make you anxious. But, if you have the right expert working on your behalf, you can breathe a little easier.

What’s your Home Worth in Today’s Market?

If you own a stock, you can probably go online and quickly look up its current value.

What about your home? That, too, is an important investment and probably your most valuable one. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could “look up” its current value in just a few minutes?

Well, despite all the real estate data available on the internet these days, there is no site that will calculate your home’s true market value – at least not accurately. So, if you were to put your home up for sale tomorrow, how would you determine what it would likely sell for?

Your home’s probable selling price is influenced by the following factors:

  • The type and style of your home.
  • The condition of your home. (Is it “move in” ready?)
  • How well your home shows? (Is it staged?)
  • The desirability of the neighbourhood.
  • Recent selling prices of similar homes in the area.
  • The current demand for a home like yours.


All these factors, especially recent solds in the area, need to be considered in order to come up with the price range within which your property will likely sell.

Why is this information important? If you plan on listing soon, the benefits of knowing the probable selling price is obvious. But even if your plans to move are far down the road, it’s still a good idea to know what your home is worth – today. That information enables you to plan ahead and make better decisions. It’s something worth thinking about.

Contact me if you are thinking of buying or selling 250-744-0775 or briarhillgroup@group.com