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Stacey

Devoe Your Neighbourhood Area REALTOR®

Inside This Issue :

Mortgage Rates

Home View: Caretaker or Financial Partner

Kitchen Makeover Without Spending a Fortune

Brain Teasers

Real Estate Listings

Home View: Caretaker or Financial Partner? Written by: PJ Wade

Fixed Rates 1 year term - 2.75% 2 year term – 2.99% 3 year term – 2.99% 4 year term – 3.29% 5 year term – 3.25% 7 year term – 3.99% 10 year term – 4.49% Variable rates 3 year term – 2.90% 5 year term – 2.85% (As of Jan. 3, 2012 *Interest rates are subject to change without notice) Elaine Sherwood, Mortgage Broker The Mortgage Group Atlantic Inc. Tel: 902-229-1254 Elaine.sherwood@mortgagegrp.com

SPECIAL FEATURE LISTING

What did you neglect to do for your real estate in 2011? What will that cost you in 2012? As 2012 gets underway, what opportunities to accelerate appreciation have you overlooked? - Which simple value preservers have you ignored? - How many costs of ownership have you missed opportunities to reduce? - Which value builders have you ignored? - Which advantages of ownership have you neglected? Is your home a "thing" to look after, or a financial partner in your future? Either way there is maintenance and property management to be done on many levels every season, every year. Why not make sure your care-taking activities consciously also build value? How many of the following value-making strategies did you apply to your real estate this year to achieve cost saving and equity building?

23 Beech Tree Run Beechville, NS $247,500 “Fenced Yard” 3 Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms

· The last leaves have fallen...probably into your eaves troughs. Did you have them cleaned out once the trees were barer? Depending on how many trees surround your home, you may need to clean the eaves troughs two or three times a year to keep rain water and melting snow flowing off your roof

and away from outer walls and the basement of your home. Reduce the labour and cost of cleaning by installing screens across gutters that block debris accumulation. Failure to act will cause damage to the gutters, roof damage, damaging interior leaks, and a wet basement. Rotting leaf litter can also attract animals and end up smelling bad. The unsightly damage down-values curb appeal, too. What will all that cost in 2012, or later, just because eaves troughs are ignored now? · Snow is part of winter...causing ice dams on your roof which damage the roof and inside, too. If there is not sufficient insulation and ventilation in the attic to keep the attic and roof cold, escaping warm air will start a chain reaction that means unnecessary expense and a prematurely-aged roof. Interior heat loss (which is also financial loss) melts snow on the roof and the melt water runs down to re-freeze when it hits snow or ice in the gutters. This repeated action causes a dam of ice which pools water, so it seeps up under shingles and into the home to damage ceilings, walls, and furnishings. Eventually, rot sets in and you've got structural problems. Are you sure you have enough insulation in the attic and great ventilation? If insulation's been there a while, it may have been damaged by contractors or animals. Have roof vents and exhaust vents from fans been properly installed, or are they piping warm moist air into the attic to grow mould? Government energy grants may shoulder some of the cost, but what will it cost Continued on page 2

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Devoted To You “I would give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.” - Shakespeare Deidre Sim Photography

Photo by Deidre Sim

Home View: Caretaker or Financial Partner? cont’d... if you ignore the threat? · Winter is garden planning time...How did you improve curb appeal this summer? Many homes don't sell because buyers are not won at the street. If they won't go in, they won't buy. Create the most interesting, lowmaintenance garden on the block and you'll have a house that wins attention even before you decide to sell. Make that a "green" lowwater landscape and you'll save time and money in the process. · Spring is property tax time...Did you contest your assessment and have the assessed value of your property lowered? Keep pushing that value down and you'll keep property taxes in check as much as possible. The more loonies you keep in your pocket, the richer you are. · Summer is sale time...furnace sales, that is. Make major purchases in the off season and you'll get a great price and the full attention of the best installers. In peak months, you're overpaying for overworked contractors who are too rushed to do a thorough job, just show up. Government grants and manufacturer specials for replacement of furnaces and heat/cooling systems are common, particularly at the beginning and end of season. Updating systems adds resale value and saves on monthly costs. · Holiday season is payback time...Shop locally and you enhance the value of your neighbourhood, and stave off big-box and chain stores which homogenize areas. Buy your gifts from local artist studios and shops

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and you'll have unique presents that keep value in the neighbourhood. Too often the very shops and small food stores that first draw home buyers to an area are ignored once they're residents in favour of cheap, high-volume national and international chains. Start 2012 by revisiting local shops and businesses so their year starts strong, and you'll keep future home buyers envious of those who live in your neighbourhood. · Action beats "if only I'd"...If you believe 2012 will bring a slow down or stall to your neighbourhood real estate market, did you seriously consider the advantage of selling in the stronger 2011 market? You could rent for a while and then buy in the softer real estate market. Your home is only worth what someone will pay for it, not should pay in your opinion. Owners who list with prices from the last strong market, lose valuable credibility with buyers and, therefore, may net less in a sale. Investing time to crunch numbers and seriously consider all your options each year, is the best way to be sure you're making the most of your equity. Aim to never put yourself in an "if only I'd" situation, and you'll know real estate is your financial partner in building the future of your choice.

house to megahome to recreational property to deluxe condo, through various stages of life, have driven real estate values to dizzying heights and made significant annual price increases seem the norm. What will drive value increases in the future? How much can owners count on passive appreciation to build future value? Real estate will increase in value under some circumstances, but not automatic, not for every property. Sometimes values decline. In strong real estate markets and preferred locations, property values can steadily increase, but not equally for all properties in every neighbourhood. When markets slow, only preferred locations may keep increasing in value, or at least hold their own. Unless owners step in and deliberately preserve equity, maintain equity, and build value by treating their real estate as a financial partner in their future, many owners may not see as dramatic appreciation in the future as they have experienced in past decades.

The future starts now for real estate. By the time future patterns become present realities, it is too late to make the most of those real estate opportunities. Look ahead with your real estate. Build value as you go to retain the flexibility to be Many real estate owners count on ready to act on opportunity. Take full passive appreciation and expect their advantage of the investment you love to real estate to automatically increase in live in. Make 2012 the year you moved value. Waves of real estate booms beyond being a caretaker. driven by boomers moving from first

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Kitchen Makeover Without Spending a Fortune Written by: Phoebe Chongchua If you're selling your home then you should know that one of the popular rooms that tops buyers' favourites list is the kitchen. So it makes sense to spend time, energy, and even a little money to make it shine. That thought can make some sellers cringe. The thought of spending money to fix up a kitchen in a home that they're about ready to sell is unpalatable. However, it could make the difference between a buyer making a higher offer or even any offer at all. Kitchen makeovers don't need to make your blood boil and break you out in a sweat, fearing the loss of money that will soon be drained from your bank account. You can tidy up your kitchen and even give it a fresh, stylish, updated look, on a frugal budget. Let me show you how. It starts with simple things. The kind of tasks you can do yourself. Deep cleaning. Nothing beats a deep cleaning. This means pulling the refrigerator out from the wall, moving f ur nitur e and giving the f loor , baseboards, crown molding, walls, back splash, counters and all surfaces a good scrubbing. It's amazing how much crumbs and other debris accumulate in the kitchen (even in a well-cared-for kitchen there's usually a fair amount hidden in between appliances). Scrub down the appliances. It's so unattractive when you walk into a listed home and you can tell what the family

had for dinner just by opening the oven. Think buyers don't open your appliances? Think again! They're considering your home as their own. They will check out your refrigerator, oven, kitchen cabinets, and your closets. So, be careful what you stuff inside them. I often caution sellers to remove medication from your cabinets before having an open house. I know it's more work but it's safer and retains your privacy. Buy hardware in bulk. You don't have to hire a remodeling company to come in and resurface your cabinets or replace them; that can be very costly. Giving them a deep cleaning or painting them (depending on their surface) can be an excellent way to freshen them up. Then, if you have worn-looking or outdated hardware, buy some knobs. When you buy the hardware in bulk you can often get a better price and easily replace them to give your cabinets a better look. Experiment with additions. Sounds like I'm talking about high-priced additions but actually you can head to a mass retailer and find additions like trim and even plate rack shelving that has a custom, high-end look at a moderate price. Then clear the clutter out of those

Brain Teasers What phrase is this? Interrogator, "Who stole the gold?" Parsley,"..." Sage, "..." Rosemary, "..." Thyme, "It was Basil."

Time 78 = S of N on a C

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custom

high-end

cabinets and shelves and display beautiful plates in a spacious plate rack. Think of what you're used to seeing in a print or TV add for home decor. It's like a computer ad that shows the solo computer without all the wires - clean, elegant, attractive. Add molding to your cabinets. This can turn an every-day looking cabinet into a chic kitchen look. Painting your cabinets can give the entire kitchen an upscale look. However, be sure you know what kind of paint will adhere to your cabinets. Custom hood range. Adding a custom hood range–again it doesn't have to be outrageously priced–can really complete the look of your kitchen. It's a subtle difference that makes it look and feel more like a high-end remodeled kitchen. A bit of planning and careful budgeting can go a long way in creating a kitchen that sparks an interest in prospective buyers.


Real Estate Listings

Free Home Evaluation www.BLTHomePricing.com

Stacey Devoe, Real Estate Professional EXIT REALTY METRO TEL: 902-209-4230 . FAX: 902-482-3219 E: SDEVOE@EXITMETRO.CA

www.StaceyDevoe.com $385,000

58 Pioneer Cres, Halifax

$ 434,990

73 Bellbrook Cres, Dartmouth

$599,900

2673 Gladstone, Halifax

$ 259,900

98 Elk Rd., Upper Tantallon

$ 549,000

204 South Gate Drive, Bedford

$99,900

10 Acres - Great Potential Upper Partridge River

$ 259,900

5 Allenby, Stillwater Lake

$ 83,500

1159 Susan Drive, Beaver Bank

$ 247,500

23 Beech Tree Run, Beechville

$ 549,900

18 Glen Arbour Way, Hammonds Plains

Stacey Devoe giving keys to a happy new homeowner!

Ready for a New Career Path? Contact Stacey today to begin your real estate career. 209-4230 sdevoe@exitmetro.ca


Stacey Devoe's January Real Estate Newsletter