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I have listed a new property at 164 ARBUTUS CRES in LADYSMITH.
One of the most desirable home designs for family living. This split level home is nestled on an large lot that will have you feeling like you own your own private park right in the middle of town. A spacious foyer leads to the formal living and dining area and the kitchen and sunken family room have access to the back yard and large patio. It's a great layout for backyard entertaining and family enjoyment. There is a huge utility room off the carport that could serve as a mud room, home gym or workshop. Upstairs are 3 secondary bedrooms and a large master with ensuite. The carport is large enough for a truck and there is additional parking.
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With a hot real estate market, we want to make sure that you get the most for your home. It's not a secret that depersonalizing and decluttering can have a big impact on the sale price of your home and also how fast it can sell. But where to begin!? 


The Professional Organizers of Canada share their top five strategies that residential organizers implement when helping clients get ready to sell their homes. See the link at the bottom for the original article. 


  1. Organize room by room: Organizing room by room will help make getting your home ready to sell manageable. Start with the rooms that often host the most clutter such as the spare bedroom, office or storage room.
  2. De-personalize: Remember that you're selling an asset not a home. Remove any personal memorabilia such as photos, trinkets or kid's toys. This will help prospective buyers envision themselves living there and stop them from feeling like they're intruding in your space when they look around.
  3. Look at horizontal surfaces and reduce the clutter: Buyers need to see that there's plenty of storage space available. Remove most of what sits on counter, table and dresser tops, mantles, tops of fridges, cupboard units, and large pieces of furniture like bookcases and entertainment units. Leave only a few coordinated, decorative items on a mantle or end table. Also look objectively at all closets and cupboards. If they look cluttered and crowded, review the contents and pack away excess items you want to keep, until after the house is sold.
  4. Create space: Purge and pack up anything you don't want, don't need or aren't using. Consider getting rid of niche decor items as different people have different tastes and this may turn the buyer off of the home. Pack these items away until after the house is sold. 
  5. Walk through your home with the eye of a buyer: Look for the first things that catch your eye, where the eye is drawn to and distractions. Focus on fixing these distractions as this can work towards the seller's advantage.

We are so excited to be interviewing Ladysmith's own professional organzier Diana Laflamme, with Refresh Your Space on Wednesday July 27, 2016. We will be getting information from Diana on how a personal organizer can help you with the sale of your home, or even just to help get control of the clutter in your life! If you have any questions you think we should ask her, please post in the comments and we'll be sure to add them to our list!


Diana is a mesmber of the Professional Organizers of Canada; a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada. Currently representing over 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide. POC also works to educate the public about the organizing industry and the benefits of working with a POC member.

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Are you looking for something fun to do this summer? Check out the 50th Annual World Championship Bathtub Race and Marine Festival in Nanaimo, BC July 22nd-24th 2016. What began in 1967 to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday and the Centennial year has become a world class event that attracts competitors and spectactors from all over the world. There's tons of live entertainment all weekend as well as a parade, fireworks and of course the bathtub race itself. It's definitely worth checking it out. There's fun for the whole family! For more information go to

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The “Real” & “Hidden” costs of moving.

You finished poring over listings and have finally found your perfect home. Your offer was accepted and you’ve been ecstatic with excitement and overcome with anticipation. After weeks of preparation, it’s time to make it all a reality, because it’s moving day!

With the cost of real estate rising, making yourself aware of any extra costs associated with moving is helpful when budgeting and will also eliminate any surprises that may pop up on the big day.

Here’s a list of the “real” costs – the ones you might be expecting on moving day – and some you may have overlooked…

The “Real” Costs

Hiring movers or renting a moving van

The first thing you’re going to consider is how to make this move happen. Are you going to hire a business to assist you? Or will you grab some family and friends, rent a big van, and do it all yourself?

When using a moving company, think about the extra costs like the distance to your new home, insurance, and even tipping your movers. For extensive moves, it goes a long way to treat your movers well. Buying them snacks and giving a good tip means they treat your stuff with extra care.

If you choose to move yourself, be aware that the cost of the van won’t be your only expense. You’ll also need to get some sort of insurance, with a possible day off work, and it might be nice to treat your friends, family, and whoever else is helping you that day to some snacks and refreshments throughout.

You may also consider shipping some items if it’s a long-distance move and you’re not a packrat.

Packing supplies

Don’t forget all the boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and other packaging supplies you’ll need to pick up for moving day.

Some companies may include these supplies in their fee or offer them at a cost, so have a chat with your moving company about preparation.

If you’re moving yourself, you’ll be on your own with these costs. Picking up spare boxes at the grocery store or collecting them over time could save you some money in this area. Just be sure the boxes you find are sturdy; the cost of broken knick-knacks falling out the bottom of an old box is more than the cost of a simple new box itself.

Cleaning costs

Whether you’re moving out of a rented space or have just sold your home, giving it one final scrub down is essential if you don’t want to lose your deposit or jeopardize any closing costs.

If you’re going to do it yourself, you’ll want to buy additional cleaning products and supplies in order to do an adequate job. There’s also the option of hiring a service. It’ll cost a bit more but could alleviate some stress leading up to your move.

The Hidden Costs

Storage costs

Are you a hoarder? A temporary storage pod or container may be essential if you have too many things to fit in a moving van or if you’re moving too much stuff into a smaller space. They’re handy because they give you extra time to load and unload your belongings but will carry an additional, ongoing fee.

Extra travel costs

Depending on where you’re moving to and the distance between point A and B, you may encounter some extra travel costs such as gas, hotel stays, and meals along the way.

These costs can add up the farther you need to travel to make it to your new home.

Child or pet care

If you have kids or pets, you may not have considered hiring a sitter to watch them on moving day.

Kids that aren’t old enough to be unsupervised during the move may get in the way or get hurt as people are moving heavy furniture throughout the house.

With your four-legged family members, keep in mind you’ll probably have at least one door in the house held open to accommodate your movers, making it an easy escape for those adventure-seeking dogs and cats.

Utilities and bill transfer fees

You should also be aware of the different transfer fees you’ll need to pay when you move. Hydro, utilities, and home phone services can all charge a fee that varies province to province when you change addresses.

With cable and internet, you may also need to consider a cancellation fee or additional service fee if they need to install anything at your new house.

Make sure you understand all the costs associated with your move so you’re not surprised on moving day.

Happy Moving!

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There’s a lot of first time homebuyer’s guides that describe getting pre approved, finding a realtor and looking for a house, but I haven’t found a lot of information on what can really help a first time homebuyer or any homebuyer for that matter, make a critical list of deciding factors to help narrow their search.  This checklist is a great starting point when you are first considering a home. Start thinking about the neighborhood, your lifestyle, interior and exterior features. It’s helpful to use a ranking score to really get specific on what features matter most, and what features you are willing to sacrifice if you find the perfect home but it doesn’t have everything on your wish list.

While our market is hot right now, having a specific criteria of what you are looking for will expedite your search as well as will save time when viewing homes. Being prepared this way can help reduce buyer’s remorse, as you have spent some time thinking ahead of what is really most important for you in your purchase.


The list should be wants and needs to help your realtor find your dream home. Buying a house brings up many questions and ideas of what’s important.

Which Neighborhood?

Choosing a home isn’t just about selecting or building your dream house, it’s also about finding the right neighborhood for you.

Things to consider when choosing your neighborhood:


Do you want to be in a family neighborhood?

Do you want to be near a playground?

Do you want to be close to your child’s school?

Do you want to be near trails you can hike and bike?

Do you want to be close to public transportation?

Do you want entertainment within reach?

Do you have easy access to loved ones?


Location Considerations: Rate items from 1-10 with 10 being the most important.


____ Neighborhood

____ Transit

____ Street Parking

____ Proximity to shopping amenities

____ Length of commute to/from work

____ Parks

____ Public Schools

____ Community Centers

____ Noise/Congestion

____ Mature vs. Growth Area

____ Zoning, future possibilities for development


Which features do you want?

What do you want your new home to have? Create a list of needs and wants for your new home. Making your every wish come true begins with the knowing what you really want in your next home.

Here’s a list of questions to keep in mind when choosing your dream home:


Do you want to entertain in a spacious dining room?

Do you want to park in a two-car garage?

Do you want to relax in front of a fireplace?

Do you want a backyard where your children or dog can play?

Do you want little to no yard maintenance?

Do you want a spacious laundry room?

Do you have to have a workshop or RV parking?


Property considerations: Rate items from 1-10 with 10 being the most important.


____ Single-family home

____ Townhome

____ Condo

____ Yard

____ Garage

____ Guest Parking

____ Deck/Porch/Balcony

____ Expandability

____ Energy efficient/utility costs

____ New Construction

____ Fixer-upper

____ Resell

____ Vintage

____ Brick construction

____ Frame construction

____ Views

____ Single floor or multi-level

____ Large lot or acerage

____ Privacy

____ Recreation facilities in multi-unit condos

____ Pool

____ Gym


Which interior considerations are must have? Here is a list of interior considerations for your dream home.

Do you want to have a rancher style?

Do you want a multi storey house with the bedrooms upstairs or downstairs?

Do you want the main living level upstairs or downstairs?

Do spend a lot of time cooking? Is a large kitchen important?

Do you want a basement you can finish yourself or would prefer everything completed?

Do you need a lot of storage space?

Do you entertain a lot and need room for family and other guests?



____ #Bedrooms

____ #Bathrooms

____ Master Bedroom

____ Master bath/ensuite

____ Closet space

____ Basement – finished or unfinished

____ Eat-in Kitchen nook

____ Gourmet Kitchen

____ Pantry in kitchen

____ New appliances

____ Dining Area/ Room

____ Den/ Office

____ Media or family room

____ Wood Flooring

____ Fireplace

____ Whirlpool bath

____ Guest closet

____ Foyer/entryway

____ Ceiling height

____ Thermal Windows

____ Central air

____ Forced air heat

____ Lighting


Now that you’ve completed all preliminary steps on the home buying checklist, you’re ready to start searching. Make sure to print this out to start your search.



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I have listed a new property at 10861 LYTTON ROAD in SALTAIR.
This elegant home has a feeling of granduer from the moment you pull into the driveway. The exterior style is colonial and the interior layout is formal with the living room and dining room as you walk in the front door. The spacious kitchen with maple cabinets has a pantry, centre island, Caesarstone countertops and a bright eating nook. The family room opens onto the kitchen and has a cozy propane fireplace as well as double french doors that open onto the beautiful backyard. There is also a powder room, den and laundry room that complete the main floor. The upstairs has a large master bedroom with 4 piece ensuite and walk-in closet. 2 other bedrooms also have walk-in closets. There is another 4 piece bathroom as well as a bonus room that can be used as a spacious 4th bedroom. This home sits on a 1/2 acre lot with gorgeous gardens that have so many different areas to appreciate. The backyard is fully fenced and there are sprinkler systems that easily water all the gardens.
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I have listed a new property at 8 711 MALONE ROAD in LADYSMITH.
Affordable living and perfect location. This tidy end unit is within walking distance to all level of schools, Rec Centre, trails and downtown. This level entry unit has a private back patio that backs onto park land, covered parking, storage unit, 2 pce bath on the mail and 3 bdr plus main bath up. This is a professionally managed complex that has been very well maintained, has low strata fees and plenty of guest parking. An excellent investment property, first time buyer's or retirees.
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