Greater Vancouver & Fraser Valley Real Estate & Community News

Dec. 16, 2020

11 Gift Giving Ideas that Support Local Businesses

 

This year more than ever we all appreciate the small local businesses that are weathering this storm. The impact of COVID isn't just health related, it trickles down and affects a lot of people and companies alike. If you’re looking for gift ideas for your loved ones, I’ve put together a Gift Giving Guide that supports some absolutely amazing companies across the Lower Mainland.

 

BLOOM ASSEMBLY: 

One of my favourite companies to send as gifts is Bloom Assembly. They specialize in using fresh and dried botanicals that will last forever. Not only do the flowers look absolutely beautiful they are also timeless pieces to add to your home. 

 

Eucalyptus Dreams Holiday Gift Box - $145.00 

 

BELLA & WREN: 

I cannot say enough amazing things about the Bella & Wren boutique in Fort Langley. The curated pieces are only the best with a strong emphasis on selecting ethical clothing brands, quality accessories and the purest skincare. If you’re struggling to find one perfect gift for your loved one, try their hand selected Holiday Gift boxes like the Stay At Home Gift Box. 

 

Stay At Home Gift Box - $158.00 

 

PLANT JUNKIE: 

Have that relative or friend that absolutely loves plants? You must check out Plant Junkie in Langley. The store is full of bright botanicals in beautiful pots that fit with everyone's home decor style. The gift of a perfectly potted plant is sometimes the most thoughtful gift as it will grow for years to come. 

 

Fiddle Bambino 4ft Tall - $150.00

MALA CANDLES: 

Mala Candles are so cozy and the ideal gift for the person that has everything. These candles are made of high quality soy wax, wood wicks with the perfect balance of fragrance and essential oils to create their heavenly signature scents. You have to try the Vanilla + Cinnamon + Cream candle. It's my favourite! 

 

Milk + Sugar | Vanilla + Cinnamon + Cream Candle - $30.00 

 

STIL CLASSICS: 

STIL is a female-run and founded company that empowers women to be their best, organized selves. The planners, journals and notebooks are the ultimate gift for the busy, social woman in your life, or even for yourself to kick off the new year.

 


“GET IT DONE” Planner - Goal Setting & Productivity Planner - $39.00 



MELANIE AULD JEWELRY: 

Melanie Auld Jewelry are timeless, beautiful pieces that tell stories and fit everyone’s personal style. Every woman can find the perfect piece of jewelry from Melanie Auld. These earrings are delicate yet edgy and can be worn day or night. A great addition to your loved ones jewelry collection. 

White Topaz Pave Chain Huggies (14k Gold) - $105.00

 

MIJA BOOTS: 

Mija Boots are created by Vancouver Blogger/Instagram influencer, Tessa Garcia, these handmade genuine leather boots are made in Mexico and come in 3 signature colours - black, honey, and white. The Classic Mijas are perfect to your closet for everyday wear all year round. 

 

Classic Mijas - $149.95 

 


KISMET ESSENTIALS: 

After a long stressful day, everyone needs to relax with these pure, non-toxic, organic bath products from Kismet. All their products are made in small batches here in Vancouver and make a great stocking stuffer or even a gift for new mamas.

 

Salt Soak Trio - $54.00 

 

LE FIL ROUGE: 

Have that person in your life that loves all things home decor? Check out Le Fil Rouge, a linen textile company based in North Vancouver that specializes in modern, simple, natural textiles making a great gift for a new home owner. 

 

 

Red/White Striped | Linen TEA/Hand Towel - $27.50 

 

 

JAX & LENNON CLOTHING CO. 

Mamapenuer, Kelsie Powers started Jax & Lennon back in 2015 and her company has grown into one of the top kids clothing brands in Canada. It’s a go-to for well made, soft fabric that effortlessly bends and grooves with your kids curiosity. 

 

Terry Jumper - $62.00 

 

BREWQUET:

Looking for a unique gift for the beer lover in your circle? You need to check out Brewquet. This local company puts together a craft beer bouquet that will make the most avid beer drinker giddy. Not only do you get a selection of…. you guess it… BEER, but also some tasty local snacks thrown in. 

 

Kitsilano - $65.00 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

 

Posted in Blog
Nov. 2, 2020

Five Fun Things to do for Fall 2020

As we starting to feeling the frosty air as of late, one thing we can say is Fall has fully arrived.  I look out the window to see my neighbour raking leaves and taking a quick shiver break to shake off that feeling of cold!  I think to myself, we need to do something fun before the forecasted snowfall arrives this Winter.  Normally, there would be plenty to do in Metro Vancouver and surrounding areas but this pandemic has surely changed how we plan for day trips.  With that in mind, I am sharing with you five local activities that offer some uniqueness and fun for the whole family.  Some of this planned events may change on short notice, so I advise to check their websites before making any final plans to head out.



VanDusen Festival of Lights

Want to see over one million lights on display?  Then the VanDusen Botanical Garden will offer you 10 acres setting to experience themed light displays and features while your stroll the new one-way path around the park.  With this much space, physical distancing and pace to experience all the features will make for a memorable outing with family.  Enjoy the holiday music backdrop as you make your way through the garden this holiday season.  The VanDusen Festival of Lights is currently planned to start in late November and will continue to early January.  




Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park 

This holiday light display is simply amazing and at times has been named and of the most impressive around the world.  When you walk across the suspension bridge, walk slowly to get a full view of the amazing light displays.  The tall trees are lit from top to bottom and the Treetops Adventure path is truly an enchanted journey.   This adventure is always family friendly and most definitely … Instagram Worthy!  Currently planned for a December 1, 2020 opening and will operated until January 3rd.



Skating Pond at Grouse Mountain

This one is not talked about that much when it comes to fun activities but is worth the drive.  The Skating Pond at Grouse Mountain is the only outdoor mountaintop skate facility in Metro Vancouver.  The skating surface comes in at 8000 square feet which will surely allow space for physical distancing this year.  You might even want to do the skating pond without the kids sometimes as it backdrop offer a majestic feel.  However, do take the kids sometime as the photo opportunities are plenty and the potential memories may just be priceless.  The skating pond is a part of The Peak of Christmas experience, which some of us locals call “Vancouver North Pole” – a Christmas wonderland at the top of the mountain.  




Glow in Maple Ridge

Downtown Maple Ridge turns into a Winter Wonderland!  Memorial Peace Park be at the heart of this annual event.  You can expect large lighting displays, giant ornaments and much more.  The neighbouring business owners turn their storefronts into an vintage Christmas village walking through the park and surround shops radius feels like you have been transported to historic times.  Get dressed up, grab your good camera and snap away while you enjoy this enchanted experience in Maple Ridge.  The GLOW experience is scheduled to open near the end of November and will run until early January.



Surrey Santa Parade of Lights

The show must go on!  In it’s 15th annual showing, this event will be reimagined and now run as a drive-thru event.  Currently scheduled for December 5, 2020 evening, you will have the opportunity to stay in your car as you drive the parade route to enjoy the planned displays, decorated vintage trucks and vehicles and more.  To enjoy the parade this year, a ticket will be required and can be purchased online in advance.  Each ticket will entitle you to a 30-minute tour that will start off at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.  The change to a drive-thru event and waiting for your scheduled time to drive off will add some excitement for any little ones in your family.  Let’s see if they can spot Santa somewhere along the route!
I hope you enjoyed my take for fun and safe things we can do with our families this Fall.  Stay safe and healthy and feel free to connect with me anytime along the way.

Posted in Blog
Oct. 2, 2020

Home Maintenance Tips for The Fall Season

Goodbye Summer and hello FALL!  This surely has been an unusual year for many of us and throughout it all, many homeowners have invested back into their own homes during the pandemic.  During Spring and Summer times, we saw a trend for home improvement projects on the rise.  In talking to many local home contractors, we see some of them have been busier this year than any other year previous.  If you walk into a home improvement store on any weekend, you will surely see many DIY’ers packing their carts in order to maintain or beautify their own living spaces.  With that in mind, let’s look at some key tips for maintaining your home during the Fall.

Is that a draft?

In the Summer months it may have been nice to experience the breeze in the home as our heating systems were turned off.  With outside temperatures starting to get cooler, it is very important to inspect your doors and windows for potential drafts to avoid and heat loss.  When doing your own inspection around the house, don’t forget about the garage door which can be a good catch for many.  Once you have identified the zones that have this draft, the fix can be a rather easy DIY fix with the use of weather-stripping, window seals and door strips that are readily available at your local home improvement store.  As well, have a look at the web links provided in this article for energy kits and rebates available during the Fall months.



Exterior home fixes

A visual inspection of your home exterior would be highly recommended before the rains get heavy and we get closer to Winter temperatures.  On a clear day, conducting at walk around the home could help you identify areas that may need a little TLC repair to withstand the cooler temperatures.  Things to look for include:

  • Roof:  any loose shingles or areas of concern should be addressed and repaired.  If we look ahead and were to experience a snow season, the danger of heavy snow sitting on the rooftop will only lead to more expensive repairs and discomfort for the family.
  • Gutters:  with the winds picking up and leaves starting to fall, having your gutters cleaned is a proactive way to avoid the potential of your gutters been overfilled during the fall.  The cleaner the gutters, the less the chance of leaks and water over spilling and damaging your home side walls.
  • Trim and Siding:  look for any cracks or splits in the wood trim that can potentially expand.  Your home improvement store can recommend supplies to repair this type of damage and are usually an easy fix.  As well look for any loosed siding panels or soffit panels.  It is imperative to re-position or in many cases to nail them back in place to so they don’t fly away in a windy night!

Good Energy for all

During the Fall we see many energy providers like BC Hydro and Fortis provide rebates on energy saving products or updates to your residential home.  Along with support of rebates (see links below) and other DIY tasks listed below, you will be on your way to cozy Fall (and upcoming Winter) living:

  • Furnace maintenance:  when was the last time you had a professional service your furnace?  How often do you change your air filter?  Many professionals recommend the service of your furnace annually and changing your filter every month.  Some air filters can even be vacuumed and used again for select amount of time (check with your local professional).  In some cases, you can purchase fairly basic filters and replace them monthly.
  • Duct Cleaning:  this one is quite overlooked by many homeowners from what I have heard.  Proper duct cleaning will ensure good air flow and heat flow in the home.  This means the user is not turning up the heat a few extra notches to get to a comfortable temperature. 
  • Fireplace servicing:  weather it’s a chimney clean or servicing of your gas fireplace, this is usually a good time to book that service call.  Look at the links provided below as their maybe a rebate available in your municipality for this type of service.
  • Energy Rebate links:   BC Hydro Power Smart | Fortis Energy Rebates

Hope these key tips serve as a good resource for you to prepare your home for comfortable living this Fall.  As well, keep these tips in mind should you be getting your home ready for a potential sale during the Fall or Winter season.  The extra attention-to-detail goes a long way with potential buyers.  Feel free to connect with me at anytime for tips to prepare your home!

Posted in Blog
Aug. 24, 2020

Preparing Your Home For Sale

Thinking of selling your home and making a change?!  Recent events in the local market and activity shows this could be the time to prepare your home for sale.  This has been an unprecedented year for Real Estate in Metro Vancouver.  In Spring we saw home buyers take a pause activity due to pandemic restrictions and then a major bounce back as we approached the Summer months.  The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported that the April slowdown produced only 1109 home sales compared to that of July sales of 3128 units – now that’s quite the turnaround! 

With Canadian mortgage rates at all-time lows there are many buyers looking to purchase in the local market.  If you have been thinking of putting up your home for sale in Metro Vancouver, this might be an ideal time to enter the market.  Before you make the decision to list your home, I highly recommend preparing your home for sale with the tips shared below to attract the best interest and offers.



First Impressions Matter:


Love at first sight?  Make a potential buyer fall in love with your property as soon as they take a first look at the exterior.  If the exterior details are well presented, it will create a lasting impression as the potential buyer visits other homes but has your property on their mind.  Make yours the measuring benchmark by ensuring the below items are fine tuned:

  • Landscaping – well manicured and trimmed plants with a punch of fresh colour will go a long way in building that first impression. Ensure that all weeds are pulled, soil is refreshed and adding new colourful flowers will add to the “fresh energy” of the home as prospects walk up. I have seen many times, where a potential buyer is let down by the front yard or curb appeal and in a sense already disinterested in the showing of rest of the home. A nicely maintained front yard will immediately create more interest your visitors will want to see more of the home in a positive mood!

  • Roof & Gutters – I’ve seen homes for sale that also offer a 2nd home for the local birds with unsightly nests in the gutters! Remember, you are only trying to sell one home and that’s yours, so don’t create your own competition on your own property! A visual inspection of your roof and gutters is paramount. Look for removing debris from your gutters, any moss from the roof top and to fix any loose roof panels before inviting potential buyers to view your home is a must. Many local companies can handle this in a days job and the investment will be worthwhile.

  • Siding and Windows – up the clean value of your home with a good power wash. In particular, many local homes have vinyl siding and can have dirt build up overtime. At the same time, home windows and screens can also show signs of wear and tear. Carrying out your own power washing or hiring a local company to do so will be another great investment to prepare your home for sale and a great return for your service investment dollar. The home should be gleaming for the prospects when the stand back and take a good look.

These are just some top tips are overlooked as many sellers focus on the interior features and rooms. Along with the taking care of the already mentioned exterior spaces, it is very important to ensure your two interior zones; the kitchen and bathroom show well and are ready to present in a clean and de-cluttered manner. I would also add that an investment in painting rooms and trims is highly recommended (or at the least conducting paint touch ups if your walls and trim are already in good shape). By combining the shared exterior tips to the interior zones and paint detail, you will be ready to show and ready to impress!

I offer complimentary partial staging and guidance to ensure your home shows in the best way possible. I take great pride in providing attention-to-detail service and am happy to share ideas to get you ready for the selling market when it’s the right time. Feel free to connect at anytime!

Posted in Blog