GO BAKE or GO HOME! (a great food blog to check out)

My cousin Lisa is a nutritionist and vegan who recently relocated back to Montreal.  She confesses to being “obsessed with health food stores and eating and making delish food“!  Her blog Go Bake or Go Home! has great recipes from Vegan Cheeze to Savory Scones along with mouth watering pics!

Do check it out!

Click on any of the photos above to view recipe deets!



Stats and Facts – Doing The Math on Home Staging

Depending on where you live the statistics will differ slightly but the fact remains that when a properly staged home is priced right it will sell 2-5 times faster and for 5% to 20% more! For example, let’s use a very conservative 5% on a home sale of $300,000.  This would mean the seller would pocket $15,000 more than their competitors un-staged property!!

Besides being a great way to make your home appear more attractive, shorten the time it sits on the market and increase equity in your property, home staging can also be tax deductible! (depending on where you live and/or circumstances – verify with your accountant).

In a survey done in 2009 of 100 real estate agents by HomeGain.com, agents estimated that a small investment of around $300 to stage a home returned an average of 586% ! Home Staging literally pays for itself several times over!


HGTV Quiz – Are you a savvy stager?

Take this quick quiz I discovered on Home and Garden Television’s website to see if you’re on the right track to staging your own home!

Take Quiz


Julie’s Top Five for Top Dollar

1. Depersonalize

It’s not your home anymore! The moment you decided to put your home up for sale it’s best to start thinking this way; it will help you realize that your home needs to appeal to a range of buyers and to not be offended when your Home Stager tells you that the hot pink kitchen needs to be repainted!   Replace personal items such as a shelf filled with trophies with a few books and a house plant.   Remove (or at least pair down to just a couple) family photos, religious items and collectibles;  You want to help buyers imagine themselves in your space.

2.  Declutter Declutter Declutter

Clear surfaces like kitchen counters, desks and tables of unnecessary items, arrange bookcases to look tidy, take down fussy window treatments to let in more light.   Remove bulky furniture pieces to make rooms feel larger.  The garage, closets, cupboards and storage areas should also appear organized which means you might have to order some moving supplies and get a head start on packing.

3. Clean it

Kitchens should sparkle; scrub your appliances, take out the trash regularly and don’t leave the nasty dish sponge in the sink.  Bathrooms should look unused;  Don’t leave your toothbrush out or half used bars of soap laying around.   Dust baseboards, light fixtures and shelves.  Revive wood cabinets, railings and furniture with an appropriate polish or oil.  A fresh coat of paint to a space can also go a long way in making buyers feel that your house is and has been well maintained.

4. Fix it

Replace the cracker mirror in the powder room, change out burnt light bulbs, repair any chips or holes on walls or woodwork,  secure the wobbly banister, apply fresh cocking around sinks and baths.  These are just some of the things we get used to living with on a daily basis but you want potential buyers to focus on the positives of your home and see it’s full value  -so while you’re at it hide/sell/donate any worn or broken furniture and accessories!

5. First Impressions

Does your front door need to be painted?  How about a new doorbell? Buyers will often take a drive past your house before booking a showing.  Which is why power washing your siding and front stoop, scrubbing windows and outdoor fixtures, doing some touch up paint, picking weeds, mowing the lawn, planting seasonal flowers and even hanging a welcoming wreath to your front door is incredibly important.