Kitchen Renovation – Difficulty Making Decision

I am a full time REALTOR. I know I have told you many times before. I see houses daily. I view old, new, retro, stylish, modern kitchens and SO MUCH MORE. When you see a kitchen you know you would want this, or that, but you would never lay it out like that, or couldn’t live without this…I could go on, but you get what I mean. It seems so easy to know what you want when it is right in front of you. I always thought my husband and I would know exactly what you wanted in a new kitchen. Let me tell you, it isn’t that easy.

I am a very visual person. I need to see IT ALL together to know how I feel. When you are putting pieces together to make a whole and all the pieces are at different locations, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around. And I am a decisive person when it comes to so many things in life. Now that I am married and want and need to share the decision making process with another person, things are much more difficult.

My husband, John and I have similar tastes, which would make it easier, but it still hasn’t been. That is not to say we don’t agree on the choices have and are making for the new kitchen. It means, there are too many choices to make and you simply want to make sure those final decisions ones you will be forever happy with. I think we will be. But, WOW! Making the design decisions was and is difficult than I truly expected.

Like anyone preparing for a renovation, you set an approximate budget. You look at photos, you set your mind or heart on a look, or colours etc. We did all that too. My husband and I decided on a white kitchen with grey accents (in tile or paint for example) and new we were going to work with our existing kitchen configuration. We had a budget in mind and we were not interested, at this point in time, to tear down walls. The big decisions made, you would think. That was all very manageable. Then, we went shopping.

After investigating different kitchen companies (5 to be exact), we settled on the newly launched IKEA kitchens. Wonderful. We went to IKEA to order. 4 hours in IKEA resulted in a full order. YEAH! 4 HRS! No one tells you how long this will take. I had a layout planned months ago when we first went to IKEA but, with the new launch, we had to start from scratch. Base cupboards now needed a slight change, a set of drawers moved, some enlarged, and then the fridge and the sink need an adjustment. 4 hrs of decision making is draining. Are you done, NO! More to come…

Choosing tile is another challenge. I love intricate detail. Colour is gorgeous. If I had my way, a room full of Portuguese tile would be a dream. However, together, John and I discussed that we may not live in this house forever. We should make choices that would appeal to any buyer coming through our property. The REALTOR in me never hides and I have taught my husband well. So, we need to love the kitchen, but not get out of control with our selection. After 7 different tiles shops, from big box stores to smaller family owned companies, we finally choose our tile…FOR THE FLOOR ONLY. Yes, samples came home and went. Yet, no concrete decision on back splash quite yet. Again, more to come…

So the decisions we have made should be great. They were not easy though. I gave you the extra short version on our progress. At this time, for those who have never renovated a kitchen before, know the variety out there can be overwhelming.

As a Realtor, my recommendations, opinions, and sometimes choices are vital to guide my clients through the buying and selling process. That comes very naturally. When it comes to me, my own life, I am always a bit nervous. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I do not know if you can relate. Hopefully you are much more decisive than my husband and I.

Regardless, the time has come for the tear down! The fun begins tomorrow evening. Expect more from my kitchen renovation very soon.

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Start 2015 with Good News about HAMILTON, Ontario

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015 has arrived! Where did 2014 go? No matter. Shake off 2014, begin those New Year’s resolutions, and get back to work. Or, continue to work away, in my case.

I found myself working throughout the ‘Christmas Break’. I am married to a teacher, so I felt entitled to 2 weeks off to spend with him, but that’s not real estate. My career and work hours are not ‘typical’. The real estate market in Hamilton has not cooled off, like our temperatures. 2015 is expected to be no different. So, for my first post of the year, I thought I would simply share all the good news coming out of The Hammer.

Off the top, you should read the CBC Hamilton article Boom town: Hamilton housing predicted to stay hot in 2015. ‘Hamilton was the tightest market in the country all year.’– Doug Porter, chief economist, BMO Financial Group within the article. We expect it to continue in this way. Hamilton is a great place to live and invest and is truly HOT, quoting the article, of course. Best to join the party early. Also, select the links at the end of the article for further reading. These are related pieces discussing the Hamilton condo market boom and much more.

People still view Hamilton as a gritty, steel-milled, stink hole. Growing up, I recall friends calling my hometown the ‘armpit of Ontario’. Okay, we are not shiny or smell like roses, and maybe we never will. We are a working-class community trying to clean-up. But, you cannot deny the changes that are coming and are HERE! Gentrification is giving our downtown new life. For the full read, have a gander at the Globe and Mail’s article How Hamilton is revitalizing its downtown to bring new life.

To sum it up, you need to investigate our ambitious city for yourself. See it and Hear it – Have a stroll down James Street North, Locke St South, or Ottawa Street North and the character homes in and around it. Taste it –  Then, I would highly recommend you visit one or more of the top restaurants in our city. Huffington Post’s article Best Hamilton Restaurants: Where To Eat In The Hammer is the perfect guide. Experience the difference.

Finally, after you have warmed-up to Hamilton, come invest! Give me a call, shoot me an email, or post a reply, and we can discuss your real estate options here in my hometown – Hamilton (saying it proud with a mighty fist up to accompany the cheer)!

All the best to you in 2015! There is much more to come from this proud Hamiltonian.

Spring has Sprung

April has arrived! I find this is the month where the weather truly changes (it may only be a couple weeks of above 0 degree temperatures and rain, but then its like BOOM summer) and we all start cleaning to welcome the fresh new season. I am feeling the cleaning bug at the moment myself. I spent a couple hours last weekend clearing the garden, washing the windows and making the exterior of my property look spring ready. Has the cleaning bug bit you yet? If so, here is a very helpful MASTER LIST to help you organize and tackle your spring clean.

I also find that April musters up a real estate bug amongst consumers. In all honestly, anytime of the year is a great time to buy or sell property, but come spring everyone’s mind set does change, which brings with it a typically busy spring market in most areas. Here in Hamilton, it is no different. If you have been waiting to sell until now, here are some Valuable Pieces of Information straight from Coldwell Banker.

Now, within those 10 pieces of information, tips #6 grabs my attention: Providing your Realtor with details about outdoor features. The exterior of your property is just as important at the interior. Why not stage your exterior too? I think its a fantastic idea to speak with your Realtor about highlighting the outdoor features as much as the indoor features. It is spring! Who wouldn’t want to play in the sun now that you can finally toss their winter coat into storage? So, get a head start and do some homework on your own and review the 6 Staging Secrets for your property before sell.

Spring is a renewal! Nature comes back to life. The real estate market is kinda the same. So, if you are interested in buying or selling in the Greater Hamilton area, don’t hesitate to contact me: your real estate consultant for life!

Colorful_spring_garden

Crown Point News and Gorilla Cheese in Crown Point

I am a new resident of the Crown Point Neighbourhood, which is a lovely area located between Gage to Kenilworth from the water to the escarpment. Just recently I have received some wonderful treats and I wanted to share them with you! Firstly, a few days ago I received a fantastic community newspaper about my neighbourhood and it was a wonderful read. As I read it, I was excited and extremely proud of the efforts made to create such a piece of media and proud of my neighbourhood. I was also over come with a sense of belonging and true community because I am proud to live here and the authors of the paper share these thoughts as well. If you live in my neighbourhood, you should read it. If you know anyone who does lives here, tell them about it. Or, if you are a proud Hamiltonian, read it. There are tremendous reasons to be proud of our home town and little gems like this make this city even sweeter.

http://crownpointhamilton.wordpress.com/

Another reason to be happy to be a resident of this wonderful area is because the famous grilled cheese food truck that rolls around town serving up delicious curb side food will now have a permanent residence in crown point!  Yep! Gorilla Cheese is opening up a restaurant on King St E near Gage Park and its going to be such a great add to this neighbourhood. It will attract all sorts of positive press, such as this, and positive vibes towards our neighbourhood and I really hope it will help change others views of this area. Too often people are overlooking this area and simply going down to James or Locke for dinner, which has tremendous places to eat mind you. But, this could be a major draw and my hope is its just going to help the area, mainly Ottawa St. Maybe it will entice some more business people to invest in this upcoming area! Here is a link to a spec article detailing more about this endeavor.

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4394336-fans-go-ape-over-gorilla-cheese-s-latest-move/

Can you tell I am a proud Hamiltonian?