Here’s The Easiest & Quickest Way of Cleaning Your Microwave.

Let’s face it, your microwave is probably one of the most used appliances in your kitchen, and you probably are lost without it.  And your microwave is a workhorse, with all the heating, re-heating, melting, and popping. With all the exploding mess, your microwave can become less efficient. 

So it really makes sense to keep your microwave clean  - and here’s the easiest way to do it:

  1. Start with a little prevention – if you cover what you are heating, you will go a long way preventing the spills and splats that cover the inside.
  2. Wipe your microwave clean everyday – making this part of your everyday cleaning routine will remove the spatters before they get a chance to harden. Using a soft cloth, sponge or paper towel, wipe down the sides, tray and ceiling.
  3. Remove stubborn stains with steam – heat a microwave safe cup of water on high for 2-3 minutes and let it sit. After a few minutes, safely remove the cup and tray, and you will find that by just wiping with a soft cloth, you will easily remove those stubborn hard to remove stains.
  4. Keep your microwave odor free – by adding half a fresh lemon in a cup of water and heating for a few minutes, you will keep your microwave fresh and odor free. You can dispose the lemon in your garburator to keep it fresh as well.
  5. And finally – run your turntable in the dishwasher. Use a damp cloth to clean the rubber gaskets, door and outside of the microwave. If there is a lot of grease on the microwave, use a 50-50 water and vinegar solution or glass cleaner. If you vacuum the vents, your microwave will appreciate it!

If you are contemplating buying or selling a home, get in touch with us for some useful advice.  We can guide you within your budget and lifestyle. Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  or follow us on Facebook.

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2008-1408 Strathmore Mews Sold for $224,00 Over Asking In 7 Days With Multiple Offers!

Despite recession fears and economic slowdown, Vancouver’s real estate market is one of the hottest on record. Relentless demand and a lack of land have fueled sales of properties in the Greater Vancouver area. 2015 was a banner year for Vancouver real estate. 

A typical example of this trend is our recent sale of 2008-1408 Strathmore Mews, listed for only 7 days and sold for $1,403,000 – that’s nearly 20% over asking! 

This bright and spacious 2 bedroom and den 1,062 sq.ft apartment is located in a very desirable building, with unobstructed views of False Creek and Granville Island. With a record low inventory of property available, it was hardly surprising that this prime listing received so many offers. The bidding war and lack of inventory were instrumental in driving the price higher. 

Regarding Vancouver’s housing market, many economists predict a long-term trend whereby families will give up their detached homes on valuable real estate and move to higher density condos and apartments. Our recent sale was typically, a highly sought after type of dwelling.

The lack of inventory and historical low mortgage rates will ensure that sales in Vancouver’s real estate market will continue to sizzle, making our city join the ranks of the world’s most expensive cities. 

With fewer homes listed and greater demand, you need a real estate professional that will be able to secure the right home at the right price for you. If you are planning to buy or sell a property Contact us at 604 695 1000 or email us.

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Some Great Tips On How To Organize Your Kids’ Rooms.

Clean your room!” is the battle cry for millions of parents everyday. 

With the Holiday season upon us and everyone being home, now couldn’t be a better time to help organize and clean up life in the bedroom and set up some routines.  

Make use of these easy organization strategies to bring order and remove clutter from your kids’ rooms: 

                    1. Look at the room from your child’s eye.

Adult furniture and organizing systems don’t fit well with children’s needs. To organize a child’s room, solutions must fit the child. For younger children lower the clothing rods and use child size hangers for easier access and storage. Invest in floor level open containers and baskets to hold toys, store socks, underwear, etc. 

                    2.Teach your child organization skills and maintenance methods.

Look at the organization of the room as a learning activity focusing on the child. Address what’s working and what’s important to your child, and what’s causing the problems. If your child is involved in the organization system, he/she will better understand the logic behind what you are explaining to them and maintain the room.

                    3. Sort, store and simplify.

Kids cannot get organized if their closets are crammed, drawers are stuffed and there is no place to store their toys. Remove excess clothes from the drawers – if they are seasonal clothes, bag them and store in the basement.  Go through the toys and ascertain what is being used and what needs to be stored or thrown away. Use containers to store magazines, books, video games etc. Remove what is obsolete or hardly being used. 

                    4. Make it easier to put something away and hard to get out.

This is the golden rule for efficient children’s storage. In all the storage systems you devise, build the effort into getting out, not the putting away. 

                    5. Label everything.

Making simple graphic labels everywhere – inside and outside of drawers, on shelf edges, on containers – helps remind the child where the item belongs. Playing “match the label” can be fun and turns toy picking into a game! 

                    6. Organize bottom to top.

Depending on the stature of the child, it makes sense organizing from bottom to top. Most toys and belongings should be placed on lower shelves, drawers or on the floor. Higher levels should be designated for less frequently used possessions. 

                    7. Begin a maintenance routine.

Children’s rooms can transform from clean and organized to messy in just minutes. Getting them to clean up immediately after their mess can be frustrating for both parents and children. If you build a maintenance routine where certain chores are done at certain times during the day, there will be less disorder and less fraying of tempers.

 To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss a property, contact us at http://www.virani.ca/contact.php , visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000.

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Major Changes To Mortgage Rules February 15. Purchase Before February 16 With Less Money.

The new Liberal Government has announced some changes to the rules of mortgages insured through the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) that will come into effect February 15. 

These changes are creating some confusion for consumers, so we have highlighted the main changes that will directly affect consumers: 

Homes $0-500,000

Minimum down payment 5% – no change 

Homes $500,000 – $1,000,000

Minimum down payment increased from 5%  to 10%. 

While most Canadian homebuyers will be unaffected, the move is designed to protect Canadian homeowners by ensuring a stronger equity footing in their homes. 

Other changes:

  • CMHC raising the limit on its government insured mortgage backed securities program to $105 billion in 2016 up from $80 billion
  • Superintendent of Financial Institutions is changing the rules governing how much capital lenders must hold against insured mortgages, to address issues of about household and mortgage fraud. 

Over the past few years, the government has changed mortgage requirements several times, affecting how borrowers qualify for government backed insured mortgages.  This has been done to ensure that the Canadian mortgage and housing market remains stable and sound. 

If there’s a home purchase in the near future, let’s talk. You will need a mortgage approval before February 15 to qualify under the 5% rule, and your purchase must close by July 1, 2016. Contact us at 604 913 1000 or email us. 

 

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How To Do A Bathroom Makeover in 4 Easy Steps

If you have a slightly dated bathroom and don’t want to spend a lot of money refurbishing it, here a 4 tips that will not break the bank and save you a lot of time: 

1. Frost the bathroom windows. 

Most bathrooms have curtains that give the required level of privacy. However, by using curtains, you are blocking the sunlight from getting. So to get the maximum level of light while maintaining your privacy at the same time, try frosting the windows. 

2. Replace the towel racks 

Chances are that you have never replaced these since you bought the home. Not that towel racks and other hardware exactly expire, but their styles may become outdated. There are many new options of towel racks such as freestanding, wall mounted or over the door. The new pieces may give your room a vivid new look.

3. Replace showerheads. 

Again a showerhead is a piece of hardware that seldom gets replaced. Installing a new showerhead is easy and makes a great difference. Newer showerheads come with features such as adjusting the water pressure which can save water. 

4. Change the bathroom linen. 

Replacing old worn out linen with new fluffy towels (on that stylish towel rack you just installed) gives your bathroom a fresher look. Imaginative color coordination also helps. 

Just making a few changes, such as described above, may give life to an older looking bathroom.  

Any questions? Please feel free to call THE VIRANI TEAM at 604.695.1000 if you have any real estate questions at all. We simply see our mission as striving to be as helpful as we possibly can to area homeowners.

 

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MARKET WATCH – December 2015

MARKET WATCH

Call VIRANI REAL ESTATE ADVISORS for more information on these and other market trends supplied by SnapStats®

DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER WESTSIDE

 

 

 

 

NORTH VANCOUVER


WEST VANCOUVER


 

 

SnapStats® Publishing Co. and Virani Real Estate Advisors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied, posted on the internet or forwarded in any printed or electronic format without written permission. The data contained in this report has been prepared by SnapStats® on or about January 5th, 2016 drawn from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board MLS®, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed. In providing this information SnapStats® or Virani Real Estate Advisors and Virani Real Estate Advisors do not assume any responsibility or liability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Do You Insure Your Valuable Items? Find Out Here.

Standard insurance policies for homeowners and renters do not cover personal items such as jewellery, furs, stamp collections, rare coins or bundles of cash. If they do, their coverage may be limited to a fraction of their current value. If you have a high-value item, you should be sure your insurer knows about it, has an accurate idea of its value and has listed it on your policy.

There are a couple of ways to increase the insurance protection on your valuable possessions. You can increase the limit on your policy for personal items, or you can obtain broader protection through a floater or endorsement, which itemizes each piece, whether it be a single antique or a piece of art or fine wine collection.

Adding separate cover may cost more in premium but this broader coverage will respond in situations not typically covered in homeowners policies, such as accidental damage, coverage for breakage or damage to fragile items and theft.

Tips to ensure adequate protection:

  • First, contact your insurance broker to discuss what possessions you have requiring additional coverage and to find out how much coverage you currently have under your policy.
  • Have your valuable possessions professionally appraised to ensure the additional coverage you purchase will be adequate to cover a loss. The premium will be based on the appraised value.
  • Maintain a detailed inventory of all valuable articles insured separately, including sales receipts, a visual record of each article, and any other documentation establishing providence for antiques and other collectibles. This helps document your loss and speed up the claims process. Store this information in a safe place.
  • Store your valuable items properly in a secure location of your home. If the item is not used regularly, consider keeping it in a safe deposit box. This provides additional protection and will lower your premium costs. If you wish to use the item for a special occasion, your insurance company may provide additional coverage for that specified period of time at an additional premium, but you must notify your insurer in advance.
  • Do not store fine art or carpets in basements or attics as these are areas of the home that experience higher levels of temperature change, and are more susceptible to leaks and flooding.
  • For jewellery, consider a false-bottom container for storage. These are empty containers made to appear like ordinary household items, like food cans. It is advisable not to store precious jewellery in the bedroom, safe or in a jewellery box as this is typically the first place a burglar will check after breaking into a home.

Please feel free to call THE VIRANI SALES TEAM at 604.695.1000 if you would like further explanation on any of our blog topics, or if you have any real estate questions at all.

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Housing Demand Remains Strong Despite Weakening Supply.

Last month (November), home sales reached near record levels even as listings began the seasonal year-end decline. Typically, November is one of the quietest months, but not this year. 

November 2015 sales ranked as the second highest November on record for residential property sales. Here are some interesting statistics for November (as reported by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver):

  • MLS sales in Metro Vancouver reached 3,524, compared to 2,516 in November 2014.
  • The total number of properties listed on the board’s MLS was 8,096 – a 35% decline compared to November 2014.
  • The MLS Home Price Index composite for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $752,500. This represents a 17.8% increase compared to November 2014.
  • The sales-to-active listings ratio was a healthy 43.5% in November. Generally, according to analysts, there is a downward pressure on home prices when the ratio declines below the 12% mark, while there is upward pressure when it reaches 20% or higher.
  • Sales of detached properties in November 2015 reached 1,335 – an increase of 31.9% from the 1,012 detached sales recorded in November 2014.
  • Sales of apartments reached 1,553. An increase of 47.6% compared to the 1,052 sales in November 2014, and a 60.3% increase when compared to November 2013.

By just looking at these figures, one can conclude that the housing market in Vancouver is very strong, especially for sellers.

If you are contemplating buying a home or even selling, get in touch with us and we can certainly guide you within your budget and lifestyle. Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  or follow us on Facebook.

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Why Selling Your Home in Winter Actually Isn’t A Bad Idea!

Contrary to the misconception that it is better to sell your home in the summer, putting your home on the market in winter can be advantageous. 

Although selling your home in the winter does have its unique set of challenges, you will discover that there are a lot of advantages to listing in winter: 

  1. There is less competition
    There will be less inventory on the market as homeowners typically sell in the warmer months. With fewer homes on the market, there will be less competition and sellers will be in control. 
  2. Buyers are serious
    You will find that generally, those potential buyers in the winter months are more motivated. You will probably have fewer showings, but the people who come through will be more qualified and serious – they should be –  braving the cold to view homes!
  3. You may get a better price
    Because there is less inventory, if you market your home right,  you have the potential to getting a great price for your home.  Sellers definitely have the upper hand in a winter transaction. In the summer months, buyers might have 20 homes to choose from. But in the winter, there may only be 5 that fit the same criteria. You have a much greater chance of someone submitting an offer on your home in the winter. 

Don’t forget, people need to move for many reasons: a new job, a growing family, up or down-sizing, so every day is a good day to list your home for sale. This happens all year round, and there are still plenty of buyers out there 

Interest rates are still historically low compared to years past. This is good for buyers today and it’s good for buying your next home. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.

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How To Keep Up Curb Appeal During The Winter Months

Once December rolls around, cutting the grass may no longer seem like a top priority especially since the lawn mower may be in hibernation, so it’s still important to keep your home’s outdoor appearance looking great throughout the winter season.

Here are some cool ideas to help improve your cold weather curb appeal:

  • Add a splash of color: Once all the leaves have fallen, the outdoors starts to feel a bit drearier and less energetic. You can liven up your surroundings by adding in a splash of color to the focal point of your home – your front door. You can add a festive wreath or take it a step further and add a fresh coat of bright paint – either way you’re sure to make your space stand out!
  • Shine some light: While decorations and bright colored icicle lights may be novel and fun, they tend to take away from the natural beauty and design of your home. To highlight some of your houses’ best features, consider adding a few spotlights to shine on the exterior, while adding in a few simple white holiday lights to glow from the windows. As the days get darker, your house will be a vision of light for people driving by – and you never know, your next buyer might be one of them!
  • Incorporate garden accessories: Your greenery may die in the frigid winter months, but lively garden accessories and ornaments will shine on no matter what the temperature drops to. Those bright colored metallic balls will reflect any light that hits them, creating a dramatic, yet elegant effect that will be sure to make your home sparkle.Winter months are traditionally quiet months when it comes to buying and selling real estate. It makes sense to plan the future if you are contemplating a purchase or sale. Our real estate professionals will help you make the right decision. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.
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