Common mistakes of first-time buyers

Are you a first-time buyer hoping to find your dream home? Stop and take a look at the common mistakes of first-time buyers so that you don’t get trapped.

Not thinking long term

Your family will grow and your needs will change. Clearly determine your needs by thinking long term. Moving is expensive, so ideally you should avoid moving too often.

Not budgeting for all home ownership costs

When you purchase your first home, you need a comprehensive budget that takes into account all the costs associated with this major transaction. You should make provisions for inspection and notary fees, moving expenses, home improvements (painting, decorating, accessories, etc.), furniture, equipment, transfer costs, municipal and school taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.

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Getting caught up in looks

All too often, first-time buyers are swept away by the cosmetics of a property. Staging a home can definitely make it more appealing. It enhances the overall look and feel of the property and makes a fantastic first impression on visitors. However, don’t be distracted by furniture and décor. You need to objectively assess a property’s potential; otherwise you could miss out on a great opportunity. Continue reading

The eight houses of Agatha Christie

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iStockphoto

She is said to be the most read author in the world, all genres combined. Therefore, many of you must be among the admirers of the one who created detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Did you know that Agatha Christie fed a strong passion for houses?

At one point in her life, she was at the head of eight residences. She bought dilapidated houses in London, renovated them and sold them furnished. Sometimes she would rent them or live in them with her second husband.

On more than one occasion she built homes in her head if she saw an ideal site during her many voyages.

As a child, she enjoyed “building houses with bath towels draped over chairs and tables to make houses that you come out of on all fours,” she wrote in her autobiography.

Little Agatha loved her dollhouse. She bought so much furniture that she wanted a second house. Her mother offered her a cupboard as an expansion room. Agatha placed the first house under the cupboard, which gave the residence six storeys. Once a week, the people living in the house had to move. Agatha loved moving.

She lived in an apartment with her first husband. She experienced the scourges of the housing shortage and overly high rents. She spent hours pouring over the classified ads in the newspapers.

She experienced living in the suburbs, then purchased her first home. She had to shop. A burden you say? Not at all, Searching for a house was one of her favourite hobbies. Continue reading

A real wood floor—or almost

Today, it’s no longer necessary to choose hardwood as flooring to enjoy its great look. Other options have the same effect. One of them is engineered wood flooring.

This flooring is made of two superimposed parts; the base and the top coat.

Generally speaking the base contains a minimum of three layers of material, which may include plywood, fibreboard and wood. The higher the number of layers, the more the flooring remains intact. It is less susceptible to shrinking and expanding with changes in temperature and humidity.

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iStockphoto

The top coat, called veneer, is natural wood. A multitude of species can be blended with the most varied decors. The floor looks exactly like a hardwood floor.

The veneer is usually 0.6 mm to 4.5 mm and sometimes even more. If the top coat is more than 3.5 mm thick, it can be sanded and varnished. It will easily stand up to long-term use. Continue reading

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Orange adds joy to life

You get up feeling sluggish one morning. Dark and pessimistic. Someone peels an orange just beside you. What a pleasant odor. Suddenly things seem much brighter.

Do the blues hit you in the middle of the day? You have a glass of fresh orange juice and suddenly you feel lighter.

A depressing evening after a bad day. Dusk is fantastic. You take two minutes to contemplate it. The orange of the sky soothes you. You already feel better.

Orange is freshness, love of life and calmness. Three sensations that perform miracles in decoration.

The colour orange stimulates the senses without putting them into the overdrive that comes from red, while leaving the softness and serenity of yellow.

The ideal vivid colour, orange is a must for a room with citrus tones, along with citrus yellow and lime green. Add some red and you obtain a vintage effect that evokes the happenings of the 1960s.

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iStockphoto

No need to drown a room in orange to appreciate this warm colour, even though it does exist. We once saw a living room that was orange from one end to another. Projectors mounted in various places of the room mirrored shining halos on numerous glass surfaces. The effect was staggering. Continue reading