Pair a gingham backdrop with solid-coloured plates and natural baskets.

Country Cupboard

Put a seasonal twist on a favourite hutch by facing the back of the shelves with gingham wallpaper. Work in small batches, cutting the wallpaper to fit in the spaces between the shelves. Place strips of double-sided tape around the perimeter and across the middle of each space and firmly press the wallpaper in place. For a seamless look, line up the pattern from shelf to shelf so it reads as one solid piece.

Courtesy of Canadian House & Home.


After putting in a huge amount of time and effort to get your home looking good and ready to sell, your hard work is finally going to pay off:  your home is on the market—you’re ready to begin showing.  Your house should always be at-the-ready for a tour, as agents may bring clients by with very little notice.  If they catch you unprepared and you aren’t able to show the house on the spot, you could be losing out on a sale.  Concentrate on the following areas to ensure your home is ready to show:


  1. People


Homebuyers may feel like intruders if you are present while they view your house, and this will affect their overall impression.  Consider taking the opportunity to visit the local coffee shop, go shopping, or take the kids to the park.  If you can’t leave while the house is being shown, try to be as unassuming as possible.  Do not move from room to room.  Don’t offer information, but make yourself available to answer any questions the agent or buyers might have.


  1. Lighting


When you know an agent is bringing someone by, make sure all of the drapes and window shades are open to let in as much daylight as possible, or—if the showing is taking place at night—to create a look of comfort and warmth when viewed from the outside.  Open all the doors between rooms to create an open, inviting feel.  Turn on all lamps and overhead lights, even during the day.  Keeping lights on during the day softens the harsh shadows sunlight can create in a room, and illuminates dim corners.  During nighttime showings, make sure all outdoor lights are on, as well as pool lights.


  1. Cleanliness


Scan the floor for debris—newspapers and magazines tend to accumulate without our noticing.  Make sure all the counters are clutter-free.  Empty the kitchen garbage before every showing, particularly if the garbage can doesn’t have a lid.  Keep everything freshly dusted and vacuumed.  Beds should be made and bathrooms cleaned (toilet lid down).  Every room should sparkle.


  1. Scents and Sounds


Avoid using scented sprays before showing your home.  Some people simply won’t enjoy the smell, and others may be allergic.  If you want to make a room smell pleasant, consider a potpourri pot or a naturally-sourced aroma. 


If you or your family is home while the agent is giving a tour, try to stay as quiet as possible.  Turn off the television and the blaring radio.  Put on some soothing background music at a low volume.


  1. Pets


If you have pets, make sure your listing agent includes this in your listing on the Multiple Listing Service.  This way, no one will be surprised by a furry welcome if the agent shows the house while you’re not there.  If you know someone is coming to tour the house, ideally you should take the pets with you, or arrange to have a friend or family member take them.  If this isn’t possible, keep dogs in the backyard, preferably in a penned area.  Try to keep indoor cats in one room while people are touring the house, and put a sign on the door.







Come by and visit me this weekend on Saturday, August 25th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at 12438 BRUNSWICK Place in Steveston, Richmond. This is a fabulous opportunity to visit this excellent Townhouse for sale in beautiful Steveston South.

brunswick 2

Please come with any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this Steveston South Townhouse for sale.

Alisa Sakamoto

RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate



Come by and visit me this weekend on Sunday, August 19th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at 5840 GRANVILLE Ave in Richmond.  This is a fantastic opportunity to visit this gorgeous house! 

Granville Clayton

Please come with any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this beautiful home.

Alisa Sakamoto

RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate


I just finished uploading this House for sale, 5840 GRANVILLE Ave, Richmond, British Columbia

You'll love this beautiful 5 bedroom, 5 1/2 bathroom home with its open great room concept bringing the outdoors in from 3 rooms surrounding the lovely garden patio. Enjoy the 2nd wok kitchen, a den/bedroom on the main floor (w/ensuite) 4 bedrooms up all with ensuite, granite counters, air conditioning and more. An oasis in the City, this Kraftsmen built home's elegant and modern design makes it the one. Call now to view!


Come by and visit me this weekend on Saturday, August 18th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at 12438 BRUNSWICK Place in Steveston, Richmond. This is a fabulous opportunity to visit this excellent Townhouse for sale in beautiful Steveston South.


Please come with any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to give me a call at 604.644.1044 if I can answer any questions before the open house, or if you would like to book a private showing.  In the meantime you can take a virtual tour of this Steveston South Townhouse for sale.

Alisa Sakamoto

RE/MAX Westcoast - Steveston Real Estate




I just finished uploading this Townhouse for sale, 16 12438 BRUNSWICK Place, Richmond, British Columbia

Wow! This completely renovated 3 bedroom plus loft with deck townhome shows beautifully! All new cabinets throughout, new Caesar stone and granite counters, new sinks, fixtures, new hardwood floors and new high end carpeting, paint and mouldings. This spacious and bright 1730 sq ft home in Steveston Village is just steps to Tomekichi Homma Elementary and Westwind Elementary school. This is the one. You will love this move-in ready home. Sqft includes garage. (1537 without garage) One small dog OR one cat allowed. OPEN SAT AUG 18TH FROM 2PM-4PM.


I just finished uploading this Townhouse for sale, 7 13400 PRINCESS Street, Richmond, British Columbia

Enjoy amazing water views of the Fraser River from this waterfront detached townhome in sought after London Landing.  Be amongst the esteemed few to call this lovely view a daily pleasure from the verandah of your spacious 2300sq ft 3 bedroom plus games room home, with all the charm of the Victorian era and the modern conveniences of today. Enjoy hardi-plank siding, maple cabinets, fresh paint, Kohler fixtures and a double car garage with lots of storage. The views will take your breath away! 


Buying a home is an exciting and rewarding process!  If you are a first time home buyer, I will walk you through the process in an informed and efficient manner.  I am fully committed to helping you find your dream home!  My website allows you to search for current listings and receive detailed descriptions and photographs.  Simply pick the homes you are interested in, and I'd be happy to arrange showings at those properties.


Tips On Buying Your First Home

  • Make a list of all the features you want in your new home such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, proximity to schools, shopping and workplace. 
  • Be sure you can afford your home. Your monthly housing costs should not be more than 32% of your gross monthly income and your entire monthly debt load (which includes other debts such as car loans and credit card payments) should not be more than 40% of your gross monthly income. 
  • Calculate your other monthly living expenses such as food, clothing, transportation, personals and childcare to ensure you can afford your mortgage payments. 
  • Call a REALTOR® in your preferred area. They are trained professionals with knowledge about local conditions and the housing market in general. Through the Multiple Listings Service they have access to virtually every property listed for sale in the province. Your REALTOR® can narrow down your search and provide you with information on properties for sale and those that have recently sold. This will allow you to make informed decisions about pricing. Licensed by the province and members of local real estate boards, REALTOR® must adhere to high standards of ethical behavior. 
  • Obtain a pre-approved mortgage form the lender of your choice. This will help you determine the price range you should be looking in. With a pre-approved mortgage, your lender will guarantee the interest rate for up to 90 days. 
  • You may wish to have an independent appraisal done of a property before you offer a price. It can keep you from paying more than the market value. 
  • Ask your REALTOR® for a copy of the Property Condition Disclosure Statement. This document is completed by the sellers and ensures the buyer gets complete information about the property they are about to purchase, and alerts buyers when they need to do more research on a property. 
  • If buying a new or existing condo, look beyond style and amenities and investigate whether the construction is of good quality. You can ask for a copy of the minutes to Strata Council Meetings to determine what kind of problems the condominium has had in the past, and the expenses. 
  • To assess potential water leakage problems, visit a condominium project immediately after a rainfall and check to see if flat areas such as roof deck and walkways have large pools of standing water on them. All building surfaces except specially designed ponds should drain freely and be immediately clear of water after a rainfall. 
  • It is always a good idea to have the home inspected from a professional home inspector. An inspector's written report should include how well-built the home is and whether any repairs are necessary and the estimated costs. 
  • Don't forget about other costs when you buy your own home such as legal fees (they will most likely be at least $500), property taxes and the GST (if purchasing a new home).



I came across this article and I thought it was very interesting and helpful for first time homebuyers.  Hope you find this useful!


The Upgrade Cycle

It definitely varies by geographic area — if not by specific neighborhood — but a lot of folks in my area will buy a townhouse or condo as their starter home. After about three years, they’ll start looking for a bigger place to upgrade to, either a bigger townhouse or a single family home. Depending on the family, that upgrade cycle can go through a couple of times as people work their way up to a house that they are happy with and is big enough for their family.

The thought seems to be that if you’re making a little more money every year, by three years out you’ll be in a position to afford a bigger house. And everyone knows assumes that buying is more cost-effective than renting — as long as you’re paying down the principal on your mortgage, you’re going to come out ahead.

But with an upgrade cycle of about three years, there’s a good chance that you will lose money.

The Five Year Rule

When you purchase a house, the general rule is that you want to be sure to be in the same location for at least five years. Otherwise, financially, you’re probably going to take a hit.

The first hit is your closing costs. Every time you go through closing — buying and selling — money hits the table. Depending on where your house happens to be, the buyers and sellers pay different amounts, but everyone pays something. We can easily be talking about thousands of dollars and limiting how often you have to pay out that kind of money is always a good idea.

But you take a second hit when you look at your mortgage statement to see exactly where those monthly checks you send in are going. The way mortgages are structured, you pay much more interest in the first few years that you own a house. Usually, it isn’t until you’re about five years into paying down that mortgage that you’ve made enough progress on the principal that the math actually works out that you’ve gotten a better deal than paying that monthly check to a landlord.

David’s Note: When you take out a mortgage, you are paying an interest rate on what you owe. So, in the first year, when the principal is highest, the interests you need to pay is the highest as well. However, since the monthly payment is the same through the loan (at least with a fixed rate mortgage anyway), more of the payment will be used to cover the interests payments, and therefore less goes towards the principal. As your principle goes down, your interests payments will go down, leaving more of your check to go towards the principal.

If you can wait at least five years to move, you’re in a better position to be ahead of the game.

Defeating the Five Year Rule

Five years is a generality. If you add in a couple of other factors, you can make buying a house that you don’t plan to stay in long-term a better choice.

The biggest factor is how much you’re going to pay on your mortgage. A lot of people buy as much house as they can afford, according to what lenders offer them. That’s usually the upper end of what you can financially manage. If, however, you buy at the lower end of what you can afford and make extra payments, you can pay off a bigger chunk of the principal. You need to run the numbers for the specific house you’ve got your eye on, but you can often come out ahead.

You may also consider buying a house that you won’t stay in for five years — but that you also won’t turn around and sell. It’s not out of question to purchase a home, start paying it down and fixing it up so that you can turn around and rent it out. You do need to be careful that you’re choosing a house that you can afford even if you don’t have a renter, on top of a mortgage for your next home. There are plenty of other arrangements that can work out similarly, but you need to study up on real estate before making such a choice.

[Click here for a discussion on whether you should buy an investment property]

But if you’re buying just on the basis of what the bank says that you can afford and you don’t want to think about it, stay in the rentals until you’re ready to spend at least five years in the same home.

David’s Note: Here is a quick and dirty formula that you can use to help you figure out whether it’s better to buy or sell that works with any duration of ownership. Try to determine the answer to: Seller and Buyer Agent Fees When You Sell + Purchase Price + Maintenance Cost for the Time of Occupancy + Interest Paid on Mortgage + Investment Gains from Your Down Payment + Taxes Paid Such as Property Tax + Closing Costs – Selling Price. This number could come out negative or positive, but if it’s lower than the rents you would have paid during the same time frame, then you would be better off buying. If the number is higher, meaning that the selling price wasn’t high enough to cover all those costs, then renting would be the more cost effective choice.

Of course, the big question mark is your selling price, which you sort of have to estimate. Also, note the obvious that the higher the selling price, the more buying makes sense. The five year rule is actually pretty arbitrary, but if you assume that the long term trend of real estate is up, do you see why buying makes sense the longer you stay in the home?

Courtsey of
Article found here. 


July 2012 Housing Market Update - Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Greater Vancouver housing market continues to slowdown, bringing us to the higher end of a Buyer's Market in many areas.  

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Housing Market Update for July 2012 with REBGV president, Eugen Klein.

For more news and statistics, please visit


DIY Wallpapered Side Table

Spruce up spaces big and small by covering a plain boxy table with wallpaper.

Wall Papered Side Table

From feminine florals to bold graphic prints, experiment with designs that might be too intense on walls but perfect for a small vignette. You don't need to buy a fancy table (you're re-covering it anyway!) and you can use wallpaper remnants, so the project fits within a tight budget. 

Source: Canadian House & Home 


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