Its no doubt that we’ve all heard of smart home technology for a while now. These days controlling various aspects in your home is as simple as a quick “Hey Alexa!/Google!”. From thermostats to lights to cameras, there is a huge list of awesome gear to simplify and connect your home! Whether you’re new to smart home technology or someone who’s been using it for a while, we can all agree that these amazing items have been invaluable when it comes to the security and functionality of our homes. The great part about these technologies is the fact that you can completely customize the intricacy of your system. Below we’ve compiled a list of our favourite practical accessories!

Security Systems

Security systems give us peace of mind whether you’re out of the home or inside the home! Most can alert you (and announce) when a door or window is opened. There are some complex security systems out there, it’s a great idea to do your research when it comes to installation and monitoring fees. Some may opt for self-monitored systems with push notifications through app integrations on your smartphone or connected devices. However, these put the control in your hands with regards to responding to any out of the ordinary notifications.

Security Cameras

Other than deterring crime, security cameras serve many functions both outside and inside the home. They provide peace of mind to keep an eye on your cars and to view anyone in the proximity around your house. They can be especially useful for parents of school aged kids leaving and returning from school during the week!

A front door camera (or doorbell camera) is at the top of our list for handy accessories as it provides the comfort for the whole family before opening the door. Many cameras now detect motion and sound, which you can usually set up alerts for on your smartphone or viewing device. Many of these devices also have two way talk capability, which is great for deliveries!

The use of indoor cameras is great for kids’ rooms or to be used as a baby monitor (or pet monitor). They’re also very useful to keep an eye on the interior of any entry points to your home (i.e. garage door).


Smart thermostats are a complete game changer when it comes to efficiently controlling the temperature within your home. Many of the current smart thermostats have the ability to learn your heating and cooling patterns (ie. warmer during the day and cooler at night) and will also work in integration with some security systems to detect when the home is empty to help conserve energy use. Many users notice a great savings in their energy bills as a result of this!

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke detectors are an essential part of the home to ensure safety. Many of the newer smoke detectors also include carbon monoxide sensors to detect the odorless gas. Some of the smart smoke detectors can actually alert you as to where it senses smoke or CO in your home, so that you can move quickly. These are an essential tool for any household!

Smart Lighting

Smart light bulbs and lighting are becoming a quite common household item. These LED bulbs are fantastic for energy conservation and can be controlled or timed easily using an integrated app on your smartphone or device. They can also be controlled by your home hubs (Google or Alexa) and many are capable to display an array of colours suiting your situation or mood!

This lighting can also give you a sense of comfort if you are away from your home for an extended period. You have the ability to turn on a few lights randomly so that the house doesn’t look vacant.

There are of course many, many other options and modifications you can make to completely automate the things we do within our homes. We hope this brief list helps to shed some light on a few possibilities and helps to inspire you to create your own smart home!

- Kristina & Rey

11 views0 comments

Many of our clients wonder about doing renovations before listing their home. These can range from a minor bathroom renovation to a complete kitchen overhaul. Renovations usually come at a pretty hefty price and many aren’t sure what their return will be in the grand scheme of things. We’ve included the most common areas you may consider before the sale of your home, and the typical return on your investment.

Minor Bath Remodel $7,000 to $10,000*

A minor bathroom remodel can include things like changing tiles and a new bathtub or vanity. A fresh coat of paint can brighten it up quickly! These changes can really update the look of an outdated bathroom, at a lower cost rather than a full renovation.

The average return at resale on a minor bathroom reno is around 80% of the cost.

Major Bath Remodel $10,000 to $18,000*

A major bath renovation includes a complete overhaul and redesign of the space, with new walls, floors, lighting, fixtures, vanity and shower or tub. This can also take into factor relocation of some of the plumbing and increasing or decreasing the size of the bathroom.

The average return at resale on a major bathroom reno is around 71% of the cost.

Minor Kitchen Remodel $10,000 to $15,000*

A minor kitchen renovation can include things like refacing cupboards, changing countertops, new light fixtures and a fresh coat of paint. A small renovation like this can completely transform an existing space at a fraction of the cost of a major renovation.

The average return at resale on a minor kitchen reno is around 98.5% of the cost.

Major Kitchen Remodel $15,000 to $30,000*

A major kitchen renovation is a quite expensive investment, but it usually includes an extensive list of changes. These changes can include new cupboards and counters, new countertops and backsplash, newly installed lighting, new or upgraded appliances, and a complete change of layout or relocation of plumbing.

The average return at resale on a major kitchen reno is around 91% of the cost.

Basement Remodel $25,000 to $50,000*

When getting into finishing a basement there are so many things to consider. Will you be adding a bathroom or kitchen? Will you be adding extra bedrooms? There are so many variations of cost when you start to play with ideas to add value to your basement space.

The average return at resale on a basement reno is around 81% of the cost.

Replacing Windows $10,000 to $20,000*

Aside from aesthetic reasons, updated windows can greatly improve the overall efficiency of a home. This can be super appealing to a buyer looking at an older home, as they will appreciate not needing to change them in the near future.

The average return at resale on a complete window replacement is around 74% of the cost.

Deck or Patio Addition $7,000 to $15,000*

Outdoor living space is fantastic for our warmer summer months! Whether it be for a dining table and chairs or a lounge area with a fire pit nearby, there is a great appeal to outdoor entertaining space.

The average return at resale on an added deck or patio space is around 67% of the cost.

We hope you found this information helpful regarding renovations in your own home. As always, we are here to provide valuable information about preparing for listing your home, as well as the listing process. Feel free to reach out to us at anytime!

- Kristina & Rey

* Prices indicated are approximate. Costs can vary based on size of area and finishes selected.

11 views0 comments

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Fall is a great time to get the house organized and ready for the upcoming holiday season! Here are some simple tips to help get started:

Create an organizational checklist

This will encompass everything that you intend to tackle! Remember to be realistic with this list, don’t add 15 areas of organization to be done in just one weekend. It will be discouraging if you barely make it through a couple of small projects, so try to keep your goals attainable.

We’ve put together a simple preliminary list to consider while narrowing down your areas of focus, feel free to add specific areas of your home that you feel need a little attention. Fall is a great time to organize and clean before the hustle and bustle of the holidays is among us. These simple tasks are a great first step to help alleviate worries about holiday entertaining in the next couple months (hopefully this year, with Covid still a factor).

Start the day with making your bed! (yes…everyday)

This is a controversial topic for many, stating that they don’t have the time, or that they’re going to just sleep in it again that night. Something as simple as taking 1-2 minutes to make your bed can set the tone for the day, and keep your bedroom looking tidy and fresh! There is a psychology behind this - that you accomplish your first task for the day. Navy Admiral Seal Sean William H. McCraven is quoted “It will give you a small sense of pride, and will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

Wardrobe edit and swap

We swear by seasonally changing out our wardrobes, fall and spring are fantastic times to do this! This is usually a scary looking dump of clothes on the bed to be folded and placed into bins for the following season. Make sure you have enough hangers for any extra winter pieces that need to be hung (including jackets).

As you swap out your sleeveless dresses for comfy sweaters, consider items that you may not have worn in a few years. If you feel there are items that are no longer of use to you, donating is always a fantastic idea. Always keep in mind shoes and accessories as well, now is a great time to see if there is anything that no longer serves you.

Another touchpoint for the wardrobe swap would be your front door closet. Make sure all of your winter jackets are available and easy to access and store any light summer items away. Organization bins for the top or bottom of the closet can be a great way to hold gloves, scarves and hats.

Kids closets and toys

Just like your own, its good to do a quick scan of kids closets and drawers to make sure there are seasonally appropriate items easily accessible. This also allows you the opportunity to find anything that they may have grown out of, and either store it away (for another child or family member) or to donate as well!

The dreaded toy edit is likely a more time-consuming project. You can have your child(ren) help you to go through their current toys to see what they still enjoy playing with, and what they’re willing to maybe part with. Donations are another great option for toys, especially leading up to the holidays.

Declutter and organize cabinets

This is a big category because this encompasses not only eatware and drinkware, but food, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items and linens. Focus on one cupboard at a time, create sections for each type of item and don’t forget to check expiration dates on food items. For bathroom cupboards, sift through any old items or creams that you no longer use, and properly discard any old medications. Plastic bins are fantastic for organizing cupboards and gives you tidy and clean access to items.

As the seasons change, some prefer to change bed linens and blankets as well. Vacuum seal bags are a great way to store linens and bulky blankets, and take up much less space in a linen closet.

Home office

With more and more people working from home at this time, our home offices (or dining room tables in some cases) are becoming increasingly unmanageable. Filing loose papers and bills in a portable filing folder helps clear up desks and allows you to locate these items at a later date if needed, such as tax season. If you have the ability and time to scan these documents, you can even save them digitally. Organizing office supplies is another major focus, use desk drawers, filing cabinets or even desktop storage to help keep all your items neat and tidy.

Junk drawers

I think everyone has the random drawer where odds and ends always seem to end up! A good way to organize this drawer is to take everything out and sort it into piles. See if there are items that ended up in there that may have a spot somewhere else in your house, or some things that might just be straight up garbage! This drawer may always be a catch-all but adding a drawer divider might give you the opportunity to keep even your random items organized.

We hope these tips have helped you with your fall organization plans! If you have any ideas for future blog topics, leave us a message below!

-Kristina & Rey

11 views0 comments