4 things you can do to keep your real estate plans on track
With rent on the rise in Halifax and low resale inventory driving up home prices, it’s getting harder for Atlantic Canadians to save up for their first home. But that doesn't mean you need to press pause on your real estate dreams just because homebuying looks different than it did earlier this year.
Just like people are finding creative ways to offer the services you know and love, the real estate market is pivoting so your plans of owning a new home this year don’t go off the rails.
Here are 4 things you can do to keep your plans on track.
1. Get Pre-Approved
The best pre-approvals accurately measure your qualifications and how much house you can afford. There’s nothing worse than finding your dream home, then realizing that it’s just outside your financial reach.
Take the time to gather the necessary documents like:
Then book a virtual appointment with a lender. It’s important to note: getting an online quote is different than being pre-approved! Booking an appointment will mean less possibility of running into a problem down the line.
2. connect with an agent
Serious home buyers need to start the process by connecting with a trusted real estate advisor.
With most properties in the HRM seeing 20+ offers, I’ve seen homebuyers stranded in situations where there are multiple offers on a property and no one to move quickly and advocate for them. Booking a virtual buyer’s consultation is a great way to connect with an agent. They’ll take time to get to know you and your needs, and then start looking for homes that might not yet be on the market.
Working with an agent will also mean having someone to walk you through the whole process from viewing homes, making an offer and navigating the closing process.
3. Do your research
With interest rates on the rise, it's a great time to investigate down payment assistance programs. There are a variety of federal and provincial programs that can help keep your dream of owning a home on track.
Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive provides:
Nova Scotia also has a down payment assistance program. Under this program, participants can apply to receive their down payment an interest-free repayable loan as long as the purchase price of the home does not exceed $280,000 and the household income is less than $75,000.
4. View listings online
This is a great way to get a sense of your purchasing power in different neighbourhoods. If you have a budget of $400k, then you might get a lot more for your budget in an up and coming area like Fairview than Downtown Dartmouth. Use this time to compare your budget and your home needs with locations you’d be comfortable in.
You can also use virtual tours and listings to take note of your must-haves and nice-to-haves in your potential home. This is the perfect time to clarify your budget, personal property preferences and lifestyle requirements.
Still have more questions? Book a buyer's consultation here to get the answers.
📣 Small Business Shoutout 📣
For this week's Small Business Shoutout, we're featuring a local favourite—Almonak! If you're looking for small businesses you can support across the HRM, follow along on Instagram for more.
Q: What's the story behind why you started your business
My husband/business partner, Barrett, always dreamed of living an entrepreneurial life. I, on the other hand, am less of a risk taker, but decided to take the plunge. We had spent a number of years working in Western Canada, before making the decision to relocate our young family to Halifax, to be closer to family in Cape Breton. We both love great food, and the excitement of the restaurant industry, and feel honoured that we were able to be part of opening a restaurant to serve the North End Halifax community.
Q: What challenges have you faced during the pandemic?
There's no getting around that one; the pandemic has been incredibly hard on the hospitality industry. The constant changes to restrictions, the ongoing shut downs, staffing challenges - every part of it was hard. For us specifically, we had decided to focus our energy on brunch, instead of multiple services, but every time we were shut down, we switched to a dinner menu, and had to re-engage our customers. What was a fun novelty for the community in the beginning, waivered through the multiple shut downs. It became increasingly difficult to operate a restaurant through the unknown of Covid. It was very trying and stressful as business owners, and also very difficult for our team, who we weren't able to give all the answers to.
Q: What can customers expect to find when they visit?
Customers will find a modern, clean, nordic inspired esthetic, speckled with lots of greenery. We have a dedicated cafe area offering up third wave coffee, wellness lattes, and fresh baked goodies. Our brunch menu highlights fresh, creative, flavourful, unique dishes curated by a fantastic chef and kitchen team. We are known for serving up some exceptionally tasty Eggs Benny, but have recently expanded our brunch menu to include items like savoury french toast, and pakora brunch. When the warm weather hits, we will open up our patio, which is one of the few in North End Halifax. Another exciting addition will be the return of our dinner menu in Spring 2022. We focus on beautiful ingredients, prepared for you to enjoy with your favorite people! We will have amazing cocktails, and local beer and wine to complete your experience. Lastly, we are very proud of the consistently positive reviews we receive on the hospitality, knowledge, and welcoming nature of our serving team. We love being able to work with such great people!
Q: What is your favourite part of having a shop in your area?
The North End of Halifax is a really exciting, vibrant, and growing area to be. Over the last 3 years, the amount of residential and commercial growth has been exponential. We love seeing our little area flourish, and for locals and tourists to enjoy and support other small restaurants and shops in our area. We have also been lucky enough to connect with other business owners with similar goals, and have been able to support each other through the pandemic. We are also grateful to be part of the North End Business Association, whom are incredibly supportive,
Q: How can Nova Scotians support small businesses like yours?
We would love for you to come in and enjoy a meal or your favorite coffee. If you aren't able to do that, all small businesses truly appreciate the purchase of gift cards to use later, as well as following along on our social media. Liking, commenting, saving, and sharing Instagram or Facebook posts does not take much time, but is so helpful. Lastly, tell your friends and family about your favorite small businesses to support. It is true that small business owners do a happy dance with every sale. A lot of heart and soul goes into operating a small business, and without the support of our community, many of us would not still be here. Thank you for all you do to keep us small fish going!
Ready to make your move in Halifax? Book a free consultation to find out how you can find your dream home in our vibrant city.
Variable Interest Rates and the Stress Test by James Mckeown
Clients often have questions after hearing in the media how variable rate mortgages are set to rise (linked to the prime rate), but what they don’t realize is how fixed rates mortgage have been on a rocket to the moon for the past several months.
Fixed rate mortgages are impacted by the bond market and not the prime rate, meaning they are free to rise and fall at anytime, not just set intervals. But how do fixed rates impact affordability, and what is the stress test?
Last updated in June 2021, the stress test requires that mortgage applications be approved at a rate of 2% above the contract rate, or 5.25%, whichever is higher. With some fixed rates exceeding 4%, the qualifying rate is pushed above the 5.25% benchmark, while the variable rate product from the same lender is often not. While almost half the cost today, variable rates are set to increase, and with record inflation, and other unknowns there are no guarantees when those increases will end.
A variable rate could be a very smart move, if you are in a position to afford increasing payments, as locking in down the road could still mean a higher rate than today. Variable rates are less advantageous to first time home buyers, retirees looking to downsize, or those looking to refinance. In today’s policy environment however, they may have no other option but to take the variable and its lower qualifying rate, in order to secure the extra money to purchase or get approved.
But why don’t we have 30 year amortizations for first time home buyers, or the ability to qualify at the rate you would be paying in the case of a fixed rate term? These changes could bring immediate benefit to buyers looking for a home and level the playing field with those who are purchasing to invest, but it would also push prices even higher as Canada is estimated to need up to 1.2 million additional housing units with plans to build only a fraction of that number. It’s simply not possible to increase ownership and limit dramatic price increases when we have a shortage of homes to begin with. Rising interest rates and the stress test may well be what ultimately limits the rise in housing prices to a more manageable number, but that’s cold comfort to those being pushed out of the market and left in a rental market with its own challenges. A policy designed to promote stability however should not be encouraging variable rate mortgages, and as long as that’s the case, the stress test simply makes no sense.
Read the original article here.
Spring Showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring an influx of new listings to the market. Thinking of listing this spring? I've gathered some of my top tips from local experts to maximize your sale price when the time comes.
1. Getting a pre-inspection
Whether you’re selling or simply looking to maintain your purchase, Ed Pottie of Greener Inspections recommends doing a pre-inspection before you list so you can be aware of any issues that may pop up before a potential buyer does their own inspection.
When I asked Ed what some common things that are found during pre-inspections, he told us:
2. Invest in photograph
The influx of out-of-province buyers has changed the way Realtors list and show homes and tech tools have evolved to handle these changes. Tim Robichaud of Harbourtown Photography recommends incorporating Matterport video and drone photography into your listing marketing to assist in marketing to buyers who won’t be able to view your home in person.
Matterport 3D Video home tours help potential buyers understand the layout of the home, better grasp the room sizes and even allow for buyers to take measurements. For buyers who are doing FaceTime/Zoom showings with their agents, this gives them a firm grasp on the size of the rooms and the layout of the home during the showing and offers the ability to revisit the layout after the showing has been completed.
Drone photography offers potential buyers an understanding of your property and neighbourhood. When dealing with sprawling oceanfront properties or country lots, it's impossible to get a true sense of a property from the ground. Nothing gives you a truer picture of a property than a birds-eye view.
3. Stage your home for sale
In this hot seller’s market, home staging is one service that sometimes gets overlooked. Staging is about making your home visually appealing and welcoming to prospective buyers and in many homes, only minor tweaks or temporary adjustments are needed to make your home more presentable. Maureen Kennedy of Stage Right Design, for her top tips about preparing your home for sale:
4. Improve your curb appeal
The first thing buyers see when they pull up to your home is your yard. This gives the buyer their first impression of whether the home has been taken care of, or not. Rob Corey, owner of The Gardener Halifax, works with homeowners to do a full clean-up service to prepare your home for listing, and this is what he recommends to DIY your yard before listing:
If you’re ready to get started and want to book a home seller’s consultation, hit reply to book a quick chat about your home.
Hidden EAster 'eggs' in nova scotia
One of my favourite parts of being a real estate agent is sharing my passion for this city and all things local with Haligonians or soon-to-be Haligonians. For this special Easter edition of the newsletter, I hunted up a few hidden 'eggs' for you to find and enjoy this Easter season.
Rosa Rugosa Seaside Market
If a short drive along the lighthouse route is in your weekend plans, make sure to stop by Rosa Rugosa Seaside Market in Hubbards. This year-round farmers' market has a little something for everyone, featuring a restaurant, general store and vintage shop. They offer a wide variety of local products sourced from all over Nova Scotia, including edible market goods, antiques, vintage clothing, flower bouquets, plants, and a full-service restaurant offering lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
If you're following me on Instagram, you know I love hunting for new coffee shops to try all over the city and Narrow Espresso Cafe may be Halifax’s narrowest coffee shop. Tucked in between two buildings on the corner of Fenwick and Queen Street, Narrow Espresso is a great place to pick up a coffee before exploring the South End.
Narrow Espresso serves drinks made with premium quality, organic, fair trade & locally roasted coffee beans, which are delivered fresh weekly. In addition to their traditional coffee menu, they also offer a rotating menu of seasonal drinks, tea and smoothies, plus a variety of local baked goods and treats. Make it your destination to meet up with friends before going for a weekend walk through Point Pleasant Park or checking out what's new at the Seaport Market.
Ori Foods Co.
Something brand new is coming to North End Dartmouth. Today we're welcoming Ori Foods Co. to the corner of Wyse Road and Russell Street in North End Dartmouth and I can't wait to check it out. This new resto-bakery is offering a selection of pastries, lunch fare, wine, beer, and coffee featuring quality local ingredients. You can expect to see favourites like key lime pie, cream puffs and creme brulee cookies on the menu.
Ori will be located near the Dartmouth commons, making it the perfect place to grab a treat before walking down Park Avenue to see if the Cherry Blossoms have bloomed (the surest sign that winter is actually over in Nova Scotia!)
Easter Egg Hunt Wine Tour
Looking to make plans with friends for the Easter weekend? The annual Easter Egg Hunt Wine Tour is back, after being temporarily paused in 2020 and 2021. Go North Tours is currently offering this unique Easter Egg Hunt-Wine tour experience for private groups of 8. You’ll stop at three wineries: Grand Pre, Planters Ridge and 1365 Church Street, for guided tours and tastings, and compete in easter egg hunts to win prizes. Transportation to and from HRM is included in the price. Click here for more info and to book your spot.
With news of interest rates increasing and the spring buying season just around the corner, I caught up with Mortgage Broker Alex Lavender of the Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team to get the answers to your most pressing mortgage questions.
1. What questions are you getting from borrowers?
The top question right now is what will happen with interest rates? If I had a crystal ball, I would be a rich man. There are a lot of predictions out there right now, but from the data we are seeing it looks like there’s an expected 1% increase in rates in 2022 followed by another 0.50% increase in 2023. As of March 2nd, we have just had the first rate hike in almost two years. It is expected that this is the beginning of the rate increases for the next two years.
2. How are rising interest rates affecting mortgages?
Rising interest rates have two effects; They can increase the cost of mortgage payments and they can also reduce the qualifying power for a mortgage. As interest rates increase, you will typically see an increase to the stress test rate as well, which is currently set at the greater of 5.25% or the contract rate + 2%. In terms of payment increases, every .10% increase typically increases monthly payments by $5 per $100,000 of mortgage debt.
For existing owners, this really depends on the type of mortgage product. If someone is in a fixed-rate mortgage and currently owns a home, the increased interest rates will not affect them until their term ends and they come up for renewal. At this time they would need to renew at the rates available in the market and that is when they will see an increase. For variable rate mortgage holders their rate can go either up or down during the term. Most mortgage lenders will either increase or decrease the payments when this occurs, but there are some lenders that will keep the payment the same.
3. Do you have any tips for first-time homebuyers?
The most important tip is to get pre-approved. Ensuring you can qualify is only one aspect of a pre-approval, you also need to ensure that you can comfortably afford the payments for that mortgage as well. I highly recommend you contact a mortgage broker of your choosing to assist with this, as they have access to a wide range of lenders that can search out not only the best rates but the best terms for your unique situation.
The second most important tip in this market is to not get discouraged. It is very competitive and I know firsthand how disheartening it can be when you don’t have the accepted offer on your dream home. It may take some time but if you are persistent there’s a very good chance you will finally land that accepted offer.
March Break In The Maritimes
Staying put this March Break? That doesn't mean it can't be an adventure! One of my favourite parts of being a REALTOR® is exploring neighbourhoods across the province, so here are my top picks for family-friendly March Break activities in Nova Scotia.
1. Downtown artwalk
Did you know there are over 20 Murals located in Downtown Halifax? A self-guided tour of these murals and other public art pieces can be found on the Downtown Halifax Business Commission’s website.
I recommend starting your exploration at 5151 South Street where you can pick up one of Rousseau Chocolatier’s famous house hot chocolates before heading North to the downtown core. Make sure you have your camera ready!
2. Alderney ferry
Looking to make a day trip from Halifax? You can hop on the Alderney Ferry for free between March 14th to 19th and arrive in Downtown Dartmouth. I suggest lunch at Humble Pie, Canteen or Portland Street Creperie before checking out the 15 public art pieces on the Downtown Dartmouth Art & Selfie Walk.
3. The Board Room Game CafE
Weather not cooperating? Check out The Board Room Game Cafe. Located on Barrington Street in downtown Halifax, it features a large gaming area with a collection of 600+ games to play, an espresso bar, local craft beer and soda, a tasty menu, AND an extensive retail area. The retail area opens daily from 12-5, cafe open Thursday- Sunday 12-12.
4. Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will be open for extended hours —March 12-20, consecutively— over March Break. You can explore their current collections including Witnessing: Alicia Henry, which is running from March 12th to May 22nd, alongside their extensive regular exhibitions.
5. Peggy’s Cove
The winter is the perfect time to enjoy this iconic Nova Scotia tourist attraction without all the crowds! Bundle up and head out to watch the waves and explore the rocks. On the way, stop by the new coffee shop/café Labour Day Picnic Café located at Paul’s Hall in Glen Haven. Grab a soup or sandwich off their “Lunch(ish) Menu” or a coffee and a sweet treat from Lure Caramels for the road.
6. Overnight stays
Make the most of winter on the Cabot Trail! Snowshoe by day, then curl up by the fire and watch the stars in a spectacular dome skylight. Cabot Shores has packages that include meals, snowshoe rentals, yurt or chalet accommodations, outdoor hot tub access, and a morning meditation or Qi-Gong session.
The Prince George Hotel
Treat your whole family (Dogs included - they have pet-friendly suites available) to a bit of luxury at The Prince George Hotel. Pretend you’re someplace sunnier and take your staycation poolside (indoors.)
HOW TO BUY A HOME IN HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA IN A SELLER'S MARKEt
Last year I shared some tips on purchasing in a seller’s market. With only 157 active single-family listings in the Halifax-Dartmouth area, this advice is as timely as ever. If you or someone you know is looking to purchase in this hot market, read on:
I’ve talked about how to take advantage of the seller’s market to get the best price for your home, but what if you’re on the other side of the equation? Navigating a home purchase can be stressful on its own—but in a hot seller’s market, there’s even more to consider.
In a seller’s market, there are more people shopping for homes than there are listings for sale giving sellers the upper hand. A seller’s market is characterized by:
As a buyer, you need to be ready to move fast, negotiate generously, and prepare for rejection. Maybe more than once.
Having an agent working to support you makes the process easier, so here are my top tips for buyers looking to stay competitive in a seller’s market.
GET PRE-APPROVAL BEFORE YOU START SHOPPING
In competitive offer situations, the first thing the listing agent wants to know is if the buyer is pre-approved.
Being able to send in a pre-approval letter with your offer proves that you are serious and gives the sellers confidence that the deal won’t fall apart on financing down the road.
While you’re at it, be sure to gather the income documents your lender requires (proof of income, proof of assets, and employment verification) in advance of submitting an offer.
In order to make your offer more competitive, you will want to shorten the condition deadlines as much as possible, which doesn’t leave much time to track down these documents after your offer is accepted.
I’ve talked about lending questions with Alex Lavender, Mortgage Broker previously and you can find out more about getting pre-approved here.
SHOP ALL WINTER LONG
Having a little less competition can go a long way in landing the right home. Some buyers tend to hibernate during the winter months in favour of waiting for the infamous ‘spring market’ when the real estate industry kicks it into high gear for the warmer months.
Winter is a great time to shop as sellers who list mid-winter are often more motivated and you’ll face much less competition.
STAY ALERT. SIGN UP FOR AN E-NOTIFICATION.
This ensures that you get an email alert the minute a property that matches your search criteria hits that market. You don’t want to miss out on “the one” because you went out to grab a coffee on your work break instead of checking Realtor.ca.
SCHEDULE HOUSE TOURS ASAP
Once a property you like becomes available, it probably won’t last long. Make sure you give yourself an opportunity to get in on the action by going to see it as soon as possible, even if it means being a little flexible in other areas of your schedule.
WRITE A STRONG OFFER
Unfortunately, a seller’s market is not the time to try and score a deal.
Ask yourself how upset you’ll be if you lose out on this house, and then write your offer accordingly. If you really love it, don’t be afraid to go in above the asking price. (And a heartfelt letter to the sellers included in the offer never hurts.)
HIRE AN EXPERT
Don’t get swept up in the seller’s market. Hiring a neighbourhood expert means having someone working in your best interest, so you’re not overpaying for a property or relying on over-offering to get the property you love.
There are lots of ways to write an attractive offer and working with a professional means having insight into the market so that you can write a winning offer.
4 SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR HOMES VALUE
Whether you're looking to maximize your sale price or increase equity, there are many small projects that will boost the value of your home.
Here are a few cost-effective home improvement options that will result in an immediate return on your investment:
One quick fix that can seriously boost your home's value is paint!
A recent study by Zillow found that buyers were willing to offer $5,000 more when a home was painted in certain colours.
It seems so simple, but paint can really change the feeling of your entire home. Just imagine repainting a bright red kitchen with a cool gray. It would make the room feel totally different with just one change. And the best part? Painting a room is fast and inexpensive compared to other renovations.
When repainting your space to maximize the resale value, keep your palette to cool, timeless colours that lean more towards classic than trendy. These colours will appeal to the most buyers and make it easy for people to picture themselves living in the home.
We asked Christine Santimaw of Ramar Construction for her top neutral recommendations; "The number of whites is, truly, overwhelming, but my go-to is almost always Simply White by Benjamin Moore, a warm but true white that looks both crisp and cozy in every space. Just outside of the white family, I'm really gravitating to shades of what I best describe as 'mushroom' for both walls and cabinetry. It's a grey-meets-beige tone defined by tasteful elegance that pairs beautifully with a wide variety of countertop selections, especially creamy marbles. Favourites? City Loft and Balanced Beige by Sherwin Williams; Pale Oak, Stone Hearth and Kingsport Gray, all by Benjamin Moore."
2. Invest in energy efficient upgrades
With rising energy costs, energy efficient upgrades are a huge hit with today’s homebuyers.
We asked Karynne of Efficiency Nova Scotia for her top tips on increasing energy efficiency at home. Her first recommendation was to install a cold climate heat pump. Compared with electric baseboard heat, high-efficiency heat pumps can be up to 200% more efficient. And best of all, rebates are available through an easy-to-complete application through Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Heating System Rebates service.
She also recommended taking advantage of the Canada Greener Homes Grant and stackable rebates through Efficiency Nova Scotia. For only $199+HST, you can receive a personalized Home Energy Assessment on your home’s energy performance and customized recommendations to improve the comfort and efficiency of your home—lowering your bills and improving the resale value of your home. Rebates are available for upgrades such as:
3. Kitchen and bathroom updates
Bathroom and kitchen updates are always a smart move. Even if you can't afford a complete remodel, minor changes such as painting, replacing dated wallpaper, or replacing old light fixtures will update a room without denting your wallet. Start by swapping out just one item, such as a stained sink or ancient microwave.
For kitchens, Mark Higgins of InVogue Home Design recommends installing a tile backsplash to make your space feel larger, as well as swapping out cabinet hardware for a big impact with minimal investment. He suggests brass, gold and mixed metals for a modern feel.
More intensive updates—like replacing an outdated vanity, old plumbing, or swapping linoleum flooring for a new tile floor—will guarantee a lot of bang for your buck and give your home an updated, modern look. Mark recommends renovating the primary ensuite before any other bathroom for increased resale value. But if you're remodeling just to put your house on the market, keep it simple and neutral, because you never know what the future buyer's style is.
Real estate agents talk about 'curb appeal' for a reason. First impressions have a significant impact on the sales value of your home. Affordable landscaping and modest enhancements to the front exterior of your home can help increase its value to both appraisers and potential buyers.
When considering exterior upgrades, pay special attention to the entry points of your home. Repair or replace any damaged stepping stones, concrete paths, or pavers—then give the front door a fresh coat of paint and add some outdoor planters for a splash of colour.
Shrubs and colourful plants will add curb appeal to any home. The Gardener Halifax suggests giving existing gardens an update by adding evergreen shrubs or perennials that are native to your region with appropriate sun and water requirements. If you're looking for a quick update to existing gardens, add fresh dark-coloured mulch shortly before you list your home to give your yard a tidy feel.
Getting your home ready for sale can be overwhelming. If you have any questions or you'd like to book a consultation to discuss the best options for your home, send me a message or comment below. I'd love to chat about how you can get the best price for your home.
Over the past two years, the home has become more important than ever. It has become a classroom, workplace, fitness studio, and much more. As a result, we've seen an increase in home renovations as people adapt their living space to meet their ever-changing needs.
If you're considering an update to your home this year, here are 5 design trends to keep in mind for 2022.
Interior home design choices are directly influenced by what’s going on in the outside world. The past two years of instability and uncertainty have sparked a longing for familiarity and cozy soft furnishings in our homes.
2020 and 2021 saw a huge demand for Japandi and Scandinavian design, which both focus on simplicity, natural elements, and comfort. But as we move forward into 2022, brighter and more daring colour combinations are becoming increasingly popular.
According to Mark Higgins of InVogue Home Design, the kitchen, in particular, is seeing a demand for more colourful design choices. Think funky backsplashes, forest green cabinets and statement range hoods in bold colours and industrial metals.
The sentiment was echoed by Maureen Kennedy of Stage Right: Home Staging and ReDesign, who noted the shift away from minimalist patterns and textures in textiles. She noted that “In upholstery, we will see more experimentation with edge details including ruffles, pleats, tassels, and ball fringes. These decorative elements may have felt stuffy before, but paired with bolder colors and patterns, they can feel less traditional and more playful.”
2. Neutrals With A Twist
Despite the shift toward bold colour, don’t throw out all your beige just yet. Minimalism and neutrals are still relevant, and an added twist can make them feel fresh again.
Wendy Friedman of the Independent Mercantile and Biscuit General Store says one way to do this is by adding in pops of colour in a room’s textiles—minimalism and maximalism can coexist in the same space by keeping your white walls, but adding print and colour in rugs, throw pillows, and accessories.
This shift toward bolder design choices and the desire for a more sustainable, environmentally-conscious lifestyle is bringing antiques back.
Shopping second-hand (or accepting your parents' hand-me-downs) is not only more cost-effective and eco-friendly, but it also contributes to a uniquely personal sense of style at home.
These items tend to have more longevity, not only in the quality of their craftsmanship but also in their ability to outlive fleeting trends. Some of my favourite places to shop for antiques in NS are Timeless Objekt, The Refound Shop and the Funky Flea Market.
You can also find gems on Kijiji and FB Marketplace—one man’s trash is another’s treasure!
4. Multi-Purpose Living Spaces
Whether you love it or hate it, working from home seems to be here to stay with many offices opting to choose smaller spaces and keep their teams working remotely. With this change in working arrangements, the appeal of a beautiful and functional home office has never been stronger.
Unfortunately, the steadily increasing prices of our housing market results in buyers opting for smaller spaces with less options for that spacious, standalone home office.
This means maximizing the space you have, with flexible floorplans featuring stylish and airy room dividers, well designed storage to hide office and school supplies, and multi-purpose furniture.
Cottagecore was one of the biggest trends to come out of 2021, and it seems like it’s here to stay.
For those of us who aren’t avid TikTokers (myself included), “cottagecore” harnesses the look and charm of an idyllic country cottage. It embraces familiar floral prints and patterns, organic textures, and artisanal homeware.
Lucky for us, Nova Scotia has an abundance of on-trend handmade goods, such as hand-punched rugs, quilts, and pottery. Beadboard and wainscotting are gaining in popularity, but once again with a twist—we’re seeing it painted in bolder, deeper and more saturated shades.
If you're planning renovations to your home in hopes of selling over the next year and aren't sure what the best investments would be, hit that comment button. I would love to chat about how to maximize your home's potential.
Real Estate Advisor based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I help people buy and sell homes with Engel & Völkers.