It used to drive my ex-husband insane when I would turn the house upside on Sunday. His viewpoint was that it was a day of rest; a day to sit around and tinker with his hobbies and do nothing of consequence outside of his perimeter.

Me on the other hand sees it as a day to become reborn. The intensity of my week left no time for cleaning, personal organizing and getting back in touch with what I’m doing and why.

I haven’t changed.

This morning I woke up late because I could. Next thing coffee. The first thing my partner says to me when I’m standing in front of the coffee pot is “what would you like for dinner”?

I want coffee.

He wants to know what to take out of the congested freezer. I tell him I don’t care (mild panic hit me after the words stumbled out). He’s now hidden chicken and steak in the microwave so the cats don’t wander off with it while we’re not looking. His next statement (all this is happening within 3 minutes) is “we need groceries, what should I pick up”? He sees that I’m at a loss for words and tells me to write a list.

He soon leaves the home worried about his emotional safety.

Two cups of coffee later, fed the birds, sorted out my desk, returned client emails I settle into listening to a motivational speaker. Treadmill time, clean out the litter box and prep for laundry.

Feeling inspired; I look in the fridge.

My partner Gary is a great fan of regular weekly trips to the grocery store. I’m a firm believer in going based on need. He keeps cramming the fridge full of stuff we may or may not consume. He’ll buy food that requires preparation, a seemingly harmless activity. It makes me nervous. I work crazy hours. If I come home at 8pm I don’t want to cook nor do I want a sit down dinner. I feel like an abusive wifey. He’s pretty good about eating frozen pizza for dinner.

He does not clean out the fridge. I mention it at times and he changes the subject or wanders off. Is this a guy thing? It is he who stuffs it full of things I would not eat so I’m of the opinion that he should remove it when it’s deceased. The unopened bottle of Cheez Whiz was dated May 2015.

As you can see by the full contents of our compost bin I was yet again the brave one who popped those lids and scooped out the gross and green goop into its open mouth. I feel cleansed. I still haven’t made a grocery list. I’d rather it stay empty and rest. After all it is Sunday.

Have a beautiful day, your way


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As a REALTOR® you would think I am a firm believer in home owners listing their home. That actually isn't true.

I have a great love of the before and after. When I'm showing homes to buyers I spend time with them helping them see what a property could be rather than what it currently is. There are so many properties with "good bones" in the Annapolis Valley; it's a sin to see them inch closer to obsolesence with neglect.

This year we are seeing our market shift from a buyers market in 2016 and half of 2017 to a full blown sellers market. Inventory is low, buyers are plenty and competing offers are common. What's going on?

We live in a province of abundance seen from the eyes of retirees, pre-retirees and young people who can't afford the larger markets in Toronto and Vancouver. While our economny doens't support high income it is bountiful in beauty, low crime, fertile soil and affordable housing for many.

Seniors in particular at the moment are finding they either don't want to leave their home or have no where to go. The rental market is ever shrinking in part due to the population shift and the attractive profitability of the AIRBNB opportunity.

The Canadian Home Builders Association has an informative website on where to start to renovate your home and make it work for you going forward. 

Here is the link:

If affordability is your first concern, sit down with your bank and discuss your options. 

The hardest part about any change whether it is listing your home or renovating is starting the process. 


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Naturally my vantage point of this topic is from my perspective. That being said I have asked clients their opinion.

What do you look for in a real estate agent? The most common answer is "the one with the most signs up". That makes sense. Pick the popular one, the busiest agent in the area. They must be doing something right. Absolutely! The second response, and often the first, is "I ask around and get a referral". 

When I'm on a listing interview I try to explain to potential sellers the following:

1. You and your agent will be having a relationship during this process. Start by selecting one that you feel comfortable with and that you believe will offer the best service.

2. Next, check references. 

3. Are they taking the time to explain the process?

4. Did they do a written evaluation of your home showing how they arrived at a listing price?

5. What do they offer? 

6. Check out their website and social media pages.

If you are listing your home on the MLS® service and your agent advertises using the DDF services as well, your home is exposed to the entire world online. There's no magic to this; except in the presentation.

Here is where you can differentiate between agents. Do they have a plan for getting your house market ready? Are they using professional photography? What is their marketing plan?

Does this make a difference? Absolutely. If your home isn't ready, you'll lose buyers.

We live in a visual age and one with a short attention span. Buyers click in and click out in under 5 seconds. You have to grab their attention.

Selling your home is a huge decision and a large process that done with precision and guideance can net you the best price.

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Perception is that getting your house ready for the market costs a fortune and takes way too much effort. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money and the effort is all about the end result - you getting as much money as possible for your home.

Lets start outside. Putting a fresh coat of paint on the exterior doors and shutters goes a long way. Cut away all the over grown shrubs, weed all the gardens, install mulch for the clean and tidy look and make sure the laww is mowed weekly. Paint the front steps and put out a few planters or a door wreath for a pop of color.

Spend time with your REALTOR® discussing the bigger items and return on your investment. While it would be ideal for the whole house to be painted, that may not be in your budget so discuss how to deal with that issue.

Inside - Clean the house from top to bottom including all those weird places you never look because you don't need to - a buyer will look. Organize cupboards, closets and buy a bunch of boxes or rubbermaid tubs and start packing things away you don't need for the next 6 months. You are moving after all. Please don't take offense - pack away all family photos and collectibles. Your buyer wants to visualize themselves in your home, not you. This makes a huge difference.

Again, consult with your REALTOR® who has hopefully provided you with your free professional staging consulation so you know what is expected to really impress the buyer to offer on your home. Sometimes it's just a matter of cleaning, packing and moving furniture around.

If it involves more than that like repairs, your agent will guide you through the "must do's" and what can be forgiven.

Showings and photos of your home is like a first date. If you put forward a good impression, you're well dressed, smell nice and are clean you'll likely get that second date.

Don't just show up. Shine up.

I'd love to help you get your home ready from Windsor to Wolfville and as far as Aylesford in the Annapolis Valley. I love what I do. 

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Buyers are usually excited when they are house hunting. Buying a home is a big deal whether it's your first home or potentially your last and they are in a very open minded happy disposition when they arrive at a home. Keeping them that way is all about those first impressions.

As an agent it's our job to prepare sellers to be show ready. What does that mean?

1. The house is clean

2. The house is tidy 

3. The house is odor free (except baking smells)

4. The lights are on

5. The key works

6. Pet instructions are given

7. Music is not playing

I could write a paragraph on each point (that would include funny stories) but you'll just have to trust me that each one of those is important.

On the flip side they aren't always doable for the seller as follows:

1. It's a vacant home and in an "as is where is" state.

2. The seller's mobility is restricted

3. The seller smokes

4. The house has had damage that retains odors

While a buyer can look past many defects, they will be subconsiously deducting dollars from the asking price. If what should be the "wow factor" turns into the "what the heck" factor, the seller is missing out on an offer or a decent price.

The Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia is rich with a variety of homes ranging in age, style, size and location. There is something for everyone. Showing off our Valley is a regular pleasure of mine. Having lived all over the country, this is my chosen home and I'm proud to help you make it yours.

Have a wonderful day.

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Most people, and you can understand why given that it's a municipal service, think that a municipal sewer line is the responsibility of the municipality/town. It isn't unfortunately. 

These lines over time warp, corrode, become blocked or forever damaged by tree roots. Fixing the problem can cost thousands of dollars. Picture calling the plumber, having him or her determine the problem and informing you the line has to be dug up from house to street and replaced. You are also responsible for patching municiple property, i.e. the ashpalt.

If you're buying a home in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia you'll be facing sewer lines made of cast iron, no-corrode, clay and plastic. If you see a beautiful tree on the property, panic. They love water and will go to great length's to seek it out which includes invading the sewer line. 

What do you do? You have the sewer line inspected by a plumber who has a high quality video line to run down the pipe. You'll see the actual footage (video) of what's in that pipe. It's well worth the few hundred dollars.

The older the location as in the gorgeous century homes in Wolfville, Kentville and Annapolis Royal, the more likely you'll find corrupt pipes.

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