Interior design can be extremely expensive. Costs can add up quickly if you are buying new carpeting or installing hardwood floors. Purchasing modern light fixtures and furniture can eat up your budget. The prospect of completing all these projects at once can seem impossible. However, we have a few secrets to share with you to help accomplish your decorating dreams.

Below are 8 important tips for decorating on a budget.

1. Do Your Research and Create a Plan Before You Begin

Proper research and planning are always essential for any home improvement project, especially if you are on a tight budget. Doing a little research beforehand will help you to plan for pitfalls that may arise.

Measure that space before you order that perfect cabinet or carpet, and before you purchase that fabulous piece...

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Are you thinking of remodelling and redesigning your bathroom? Are you on a budget? You really don’t need to spend a fortune to create a great new look. You can transform your bathroom into a beautiful, tranquil space. There are lots of ways to do bathroom remodels on a budget.

In order to find practical ways to make your vision attainable, you really must create a plan. Always do your research before beginning any project.

Bathroom remodels can be extremely costly if your design concept is to tear everything apart and start over. It really isn’t necessary to replace everything and break the bank!


There are many ways to mitigate costs of bathroom renovations. To start with, bathroom flooring can be inexpensive and easy to apply. Innovations such as luxury vinyl flooring...

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Whether you are planning to do a whole kitchen remodeling or invest in some select improvements, it's important to choose the right projects for your budget. You will want to make the most dramatic impact for the lowest price possible.

From paint and hardware and sources for budget materials, here are some ideas to help you plan your kitchen update.


Think of using strip lighting on the underside of your cabinets that plug right into wall outlets. It is an affordable way to brighten up your kitchen, and an easy DIY job.

Glass pendant lights can be a beautiful focal point of the room without breaking the bank.

Target light to the places it’s needed most, such as the counters where food is being prepared. Go Green and use LED lighting.


Changing to a more...

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 Although becoming a first-time home buyer is exciting and fulfilling, it can also feel very overwhelming! Along with your desire to buy a home that you'll love, you want to make sure that you won’t be crippling your other financial goals for the future.

I’ve put together some very basic tips for first-time home buyers as they tackle the home-buying process.

Pay Off Debt and Set Aside an Emergency Fund

Owning a home is extremely expensive, even if your monthly mortgage payment will be similar to the current rental amount you are paying.

Once you own a home, you will be responsible for all the maintenance costs. Upkeep of the home and property, repairs, hydro, heating and cooling costs, home owners insurance, property taxes etc., all fall to the home owner.

If at all possible,...

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Many of today’s Millennials are anxious to get into the real estate market. But prices are so high that the millennial home buyers may find it necessary to be creative in order to accomplish that purpose.

Millennials are the largest demographic in Canada and their numbers are now surpassing baby boomers. They have great influence over the economy and culture. Millennials are very quickly becoming the driving force in the real estate market.


Millennials have very specific expectations for both their homes and neighbourhoods. They want good appliances and  fixtures in a well finished home. They are unlikely to have enough income to do renovations after the purchase of a home. They would prefer the location of their home to be in a good, safe, neighborhood, walking distance...

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Renovating your house is very exciting, but so many things can go wrong if you haven't planned for the inevitable pitfalls. You may go over budget or hire a less than reputable contractor. You may find that you don't love the choices you've made in paint colour, counter tops etc.

Research Products

You need to do your research. Study interior design images in magazines, watch design shows on T.V., stroll the halls of IKEA, and moon over the boards on Pinterest.

Research current paint colours and companies (quality makes all the difference). Look at updated light fixtures, backsplashes, flooring, cupboards and cabinets. Order samples of absolutely everything you can, from carpet and tiles to fabrics.

Your renovation dreams are about to come true. Here are a few tips to help your renovation project...

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Does the housing market seem a little scary right now? No one seems to know where it's going. Knowing about what's happening in the real estate market is a challenge for consumers. Some people are running around like, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

While everyone is struggling with the decision of whether or not to invest in real estate right now, inventories have been steadily rising. Prices have stabilized. This may be the ideal time to find exactly what you've been searching for.

Invest Now

There has been an increase in home sales in the Fraser Valley because of the renewed interest in single family, detached homes. Total market activity remained well below historical norms – 18 per cent below the 10-year average – but the sale of detached homes increased by 14.9 per...

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Summer fun, here we come! Beautiful weather and carefree recreation are finally here!

Vacations have been planned; kids have happily escaped the school year. It is time for all forms of outdoor recreation, BBQ's and picnics, or to just stretch out with a good book. We are often so relaxed in the warmer weather that we forget just how dangerous the summer months can be.

Burglaries occur every 90 seconds in Canada. The summer months, particularly July and August, are the peak time for residential burglaries. Homeowners usually think that break-ins take place at night. But thieves do not always function under the cover of darkness, the way most people think. In fact, 80% of all break-ins occur during the day.


While people are on vacation, taking daytrips to the waterslide, local pool...

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So, you're in love. Have you made the decision to purchase a home with your significant other? Congratulations!

Not to burst your romantic bubble--but there are things you should know. Important challenges need to be considered when buying a home with someone with whom you're not married.

Have you discussed what will happen if you break up after you've bought a home together? Heaven forbid!

Down Payment and Mortgage

It would be ideal if you could split the down payment and mortgage costs equally. Sharing the financial burden makes for a far less stressful relationship. You can afford a nicer home and by sharing costs, have lower down payments for both of you. However, because every individual's financial situation is different, the division is seldom equal.

A situation that can arise is, one...

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Energy efficient windows are of great importance. You can save money on heating and cooling while reducing your home’s carbon footprint.

The average home loses anywhere from thirty to fifty percent of its heating and cooling energy through windows. We spend far more on heating and air conditioning than we should.

Summer is the ideal time to upgrade your windows. The government is offering rebates to encourage homeowners to improve their energy conservation.

If you’re thinking about replacing old windows with new, more efficient ones, the government rebates for window replacement will most definitely be of help.

But you will need to meet all the eligibility criteria. Follow the correct steps to get the most benefit from the incentive.

They may require that you have an energy...

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Selling your home is an extremely emotional experience. Everyone in the family is deeply involved. Your family home holds many treasured memories.

The big, oak tree in the backyard that held the kids tire swing. The door jam marking the childrens height measurements. Memories of your sweet pets and best friends. All the fabulous birthday parties and Christmas celebrations. The site of the infamous tree fort incident--

I have compiled a few key ideas to help make the process a little less painful.

Find a Real Estate Agent

You will need to do all you can to ensure you find a reputable and experienced real estate agent to handle the sales transaction in a professional way. Making the wrong choice when selecting an agent to handle such a large sale and/or purchase can have disastrous results.


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Buying a foreclosed home can be a sound real estate investment and a good way to generate revenue from a rental property.

The time is right, because the rental market is in high demand. But you will want to gather as much knowledge as possible before venturing into the high risk business of purchasing a foreclosed (or distressed) property. It will require a higher level of diligence and differs from regular home sales in several ways. My intention is to help you better understand the world of bank owned properties in order to avoid some of the pitfalls.

What It Means

Foreclosure removes the right of the home owner to redeem the mortgaged property when they default on the mortgage agreement. When Mortgage Default occurs, the lender will take legal action to protect...

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With so many baby boomers already retired, the massive generation born between 1946 and 1964 will be reconsidering their mortgage plan.

They will be downsizing to a smaller residence, or stay in the family home and possibly get a reverse mortgage. There are very definite pros and cons to the decision.

A Reverse Mortgage provides a way for homeowners to access some of the value of their home, while still retaining ownership. To be eligible for a reverse mortgage, you must own a primary residence and be 55 years or older.

It would appear that securing a reverse mortgage would be a very positive decision. The marketing being used to promote the choice is undeniably convincing: You can stay in your home and remain independent. You will enjoy financial freedom in your retirement. Why not renovate...

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Here on the West Coast we have unusually mild weather in the winter months. This year, however, was a little different. We actually had SNOW! It will be necessary to check everything from top (the roof) to the bottom (foundation) to keep your home in top shape.

Inspecting your home and property for damage caused by extreme weather conditions will help to preserve the value of your home. Proper exterior home maintenance improves the appearance of your house and property, and protects your home against further weather damage. When you stay on top of maintenance, you can prevent paying the high cost of a major repair.
Maintenance checklist of things to inspect:


Damaged, loose or missing shingles and flashing or leaks in the roof can cause serious destruction to your home. Call roofing...

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Step away from that gummy bear and pay attention. You need this information immediately!

We have not been adequately informed with regards to the legalization of growing cannabis in your home. It's important that our clients understand the consequences of making an error in our perception of Canadian laws and real estate.

It’s legal for Canadians to grow cannabis in their homes. But we have not been given the education to make informed decisions about "growing our own."

There has been virtually no information offered in regard to the issues around remediation. Homeowners who grow cannabis and those who rent their properties to tenants that may grow cannabis, are in for a terrible shock when they want to sell their home or property. Lenders’ and insurers’ appear to be reluctant...

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Thinking of selling your home this spring/summer? Proper staging can not only sell your home faster, but also help you get the price you want. You will be amazed at how a few changes in the styling of your home, can garner immense results.

1. Boost curb appeal.

This is much more important than many homeowners realize. Most people will judge a book by its cover, without even looking inside. Potential buyers may decide to keep on driving if they are very disappointed with the appearance of the exterior of your home. Power wash the exterior siding, driveway and walkways. Wash windows and paint or stain front door, window frames and porch. Mow the lawn (aerate and reseed if necessary), and plant colourful flowers and shrubs.

2. The front porch.

Placing a new doormat, a couple of potted plants and...

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You need to know which home renovations add the most value to your home and therefore will provide the best return on investment.

The Appraisal Institute of Canada says that the renovations that generate the highest return on investment are the kitchen, bathroom and interior/exterior painting. Storage space and giving new life to lighting and flooring are also on the list of profitable projects. Here are some interior and exterior remodeling projects that deliver the highest return.

Kitchen Remodel

An updated kitchen can make a significant difference in the value of your home. Invest in fresh, modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting and counter tops. New faucets, sink, hardware, splash and new, energy-efficient appliances, will greatly increase your homes value. Replace laminate counter tops...

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Recently, there are new services being offered to help home buyers and sellers conduct their own real estate transactions. Does this lead you to believe that using a real estate agent is becoming passé?

Doing the work yourself might save you from paying commissions to a real estate agent, but do-it-yourself methods are risky and could end up costing you much more if things go sideways. As in any major financial transaction, it is extremely important to have professional representation when buying or selling a home.

Working with a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents from HomeLife Benchmark Langley are continuously educated and experienced in acting as liaison between buyers and sellers. Our Higher Standards System guarantees you will receive the ultimate in real estate marketing services....

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Categories:   Cannabis | Staging
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