Home Trends from Megan Slaats
Megan's Monthly E-newsletter
CELL: 519-614-0015 | Megan.firstname.lastname@example.org www.meganslaats.ca
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ARCHITECTURAL VARIETY: A LOOK AT COMMON HOME STYLES
Just as with people, houses come in a variety of styles, with each distinctive version appealing to a different segment of the buying public. But what are some of the more common types of housing design? Different styles of homes are popular in different areas of the country, but the following are some of the most frequently produced examples. Cape Cod style homes typically feature a steep roof and have an exterior covered by shingles. Houses of this type will have a symmetrical façade and usually feature a large chimney in the middle of the house. Cape Cod style houses can be constructed with more than one floor, but a true home of this type is limited to a single storey. Inspired by the homes constructed along the East Coast of North America, Cape Cod houses are clean and simple in design without excessive ornamentation. Colonial style houses can come in a wide variety of forms and are designed to reflect the diversity of home styles produced in Europe. A Colonial style home can be reminiscent of housing styles favoured in Britain but could just as easily bear a resemblance to those found in France or even Spain. Houses of this type do have a few common attributes such as a squarish form with a sense of
symmetry and balance throughout. A Colonial home will be a two-storey structure with a portico or partially covered front door. Window shutters and large chimneys are also common features of this type of property. Spanish style homes are not as common in Canada but do exist, especially on the country’s West Coast. A typical Spanish house will be constructed using thick, stucco-clad walls with curved (barrel style) tiles on the roof. Originally designed to keep out the heat, they are usually quite energy efficient and are built using a low-pitched roof and with a minimal number of windows. Usually coloured white or terra cotta, Spanish style homes are noted for their dark wooden doors and windows. Georgian style homes have a British origin and feature odd-looking bricked-up windows (a holdover from a window tax that had been imposed on British homeowners). Georgian houses are multi-storey (up to four) and feature tall sash windows with multiple small panes, instead of large single windowpanes – adding a vintage look to the structure. Homes of this type are symmetrical in design and can include classically inspired elements such as columns or porticos.
Doors are a very important part of a home, not only do they allow access, but they also provide security and can be one of the property’s primary causes of heat loss. Often overlooked, it’s worthwhile to examine this ubiquitous architectural feature. Exterior swing doors are generally made of solid wood, metal, wood over a foam core or even fibreglass. Exterior doors are exposed to detrimental weather conditions and extreme temperature variations from the inside to the outside which can harm the surface of the door. Variations in the relative humidity from the interior to the exterior can also affect the door. Collectively or separately, these conditions can cause doors to warp or change in dimension. Seasonal variations can occur up to 1/4” in any direction. It is prudent to refrain from trimming an exterior door as the problem may rectify itself with a change in climatic conditions. Some exterior doors have restrictions imposed by the manufacturer as to the colour the door may be painted. The heat absorbed by darker colours can cause failure of the sealing compounds in the glazing and/or cause excessive warping of the door. The wrong paint colour may void the manufacturer’s warranty; therefore, any such restrictions should be reviewed prior to the door being painted. Interior doors are usually a wood veneer over a hollow core. Interior doors are generally sized to allow a gap of up to 18 mm (3/4”) at the bottom of the door between the door and the floor covering. This gap is provided to allow for the circulation of air beneath the door. The man door between the garage and the house should have an automatic door closer and seal (weather stripping) to ensure that the door automatically closes to prevent the entry of exhaust gases from the garage into your home. Weather-stripping is installed around doors and windows to reduce air infiltration. Check the weather stripping annually to ensure that the seal is adequate. Petroleum jelly can be used to lubricate rubber or vinyl products to maintain their flexibility. DOORS ARE A CRUCIAL PART OF A HOME’S STRUCTURE
HANDY TIPS FORWHEN YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR A CONTRACTOR
Your home is your castle, but sometimes the castle might need a little work. Perhaps it’s no longer big enough for a growing family, or you need to add a suite for an elderly family member, or an expanded rec room is needed for your busy social life. Whatever the reason, when it comes time to take on a major home renovation project it is better and ultimately safer to leave that work to the professionals. Here are a few points to ponder when shopping for a builder. • Know what you want before you start. Determine exactly what you need to do and let the prospective contractor know in as much detail as possible. You are the client so be very specific and don’t allow extra work to be forced on you by an over-zealous builder. If you don’t know how to turn your ideas into a tangible reality, contact a design consultant beforehand to work out the details. • Shop around to get multiple estimates. Major reno jobs can be expensive, so if you’re not working from a bottomless budget, do your due diligence beforehand. It’s often a good idea to get cost estimates from three different contractors before beginning the project. If the projected costs are similar to all three, then that is probably the true cost. If there is a wide variation in the estimates that could be a sign that something isn’t right. • Speaking of doing research beforehand, it’s also a good idea to do some background checks on the shortlist of contractors you settle on. Check their credentials, find out their full company name and address and ensure they are licensed to operate in your area. If possible, talk to other people who have employed them to see if their work is up to your expectations. Homework now could head off major problems down the road. These are just a few suggestions; you’re bound to come up with some of your own. The key takeaway is before you embark on any major project requiring the services of outside providers always plan as much as possible. The effort is bound to save you both time and money.
WHAT TO DOWITH PETSWHEN SHOWING A HOME Any animal lover will tell you that pets are as much a part of the family as children or relatives. But not everyone shares that same enthusiasm for domestic animals and that could prove costly when it comes time to sell your home. Here are a few ideas for heading-off issues when showing a pet-friendly home to prospective buyers. If a showing of your property is planned and you are uncertain how well having your pet around the place will be received, then, if possible, find someone who can pet-sit for you. Temporarily removing the pet from the property – even next door – could make all the difference when showing your property. It’s also important to remove evidence of the pet as well as the pet itself. Seeing a dog bowl or scattered pet toys could be a major turn-off for some purchasers. This also includes vacuuming up pet hair from furniture and around the house before any showing. Obviously, for the temporary removal of a pet from the premises to work effectively you must know in advance when a home showing is going to occur, to provide enough time to take care of the details. Make a showing schedule and stick to it for maximum effectiveness. Another aspect of owning a pet that might play a negative role when showing a property is odour. You as the pet lover may have become so used to the smell of a litterbox or damp dog that it doesn’t even register. That won’t be the case for someone who isn’t regularly exposed to animals. If possible, open the windows to give the home a thorough airing prior to a showing.
LOCAL HOUSINGMARKET’S CORRECTION CONTINUES
BENCHMARK PRICE Residential $575,500
NEW LISTINGS 875
SALES TO NEW LISTINGS RATIO 51.5%
SOLD LISTINGS 451
London, ON, December 2022 - 451 residential properties exchanged hands last month through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR), 44% less than in November 2021. LSTAR Members’ home sales included 336 single family homes, 64 condo townhouses, and 36 apartments – all significantly down from a year ago. While residential transactions were at their lowest point in the last decade, the number of new listings climbed to 875 in November, a new record high for the eleventh month of the year. This increased the level of the local housing inventory, which sits now at 3.3 months. Compared to a year ago, the average home price decreased, but remained higher than the figures seen in 2020 and before. LSTAR’s overall average home price was $615,247 in November, 7.8% less than a year ago, but 13.8% higher than in November 2020. On the other hand, the composite MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price was $575,500 last month, 10% down from last year, and also 9.8% lower than in November 2020. “When compared to other values recorded provincially and nationally, homes in our area continue to remain relatively affordable,”Pawlowski said. Source: The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® | Market values stated are of the average of London and St.Thomas. Individual home market values will vary and are affected by factors such as location, size, interior and exterior condition. Please call to get an up-to-date evaluation of your home.
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