Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there's an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.
Here are just a few ideas:
• Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.
• Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they're designed to sit on top of a standard 4x4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.
• Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to oldfashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They're eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.
• Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.
• LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.
• Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.
Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start.
You've heard of the term "curb appeal". It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.
How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:
• Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You'll be amazed at the difference that can make.
• Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also, wash down the front door.
• If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
• Mow the lawn. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
• Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside. Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
• Place any trash bins out-of-sight. For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
• If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it. New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
• Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you're showing your home in the evening.
• Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
• Clean your mailbox. If it’s rusted, replace it.
• If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast. Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.
These one-hour improvements may seem minor, but anything that helps buyers form a more positive first impression of your home is worth the effort.
The first month of autumn had spring in its step as Saskatoon’s residential housing market saw increases in listings, sales and the average price, according to statistics from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR).
Sales rose 14 per cent to 305, up from last September’s 267 and 260 the year before, while the average price was up 10 per cent to $351,741 from $319,534.
Those factors contributed to a 26 per cent jump in the dollar volume of sales, which came in at $107.3 million — well up from $85.3 million last September and $89.5 million in 2017.
More homeowners decided to put their properties on the market, as well, listing 717 homes, up 11 per cent from 647 last year.
“The market is really balanced right now,” said Trevor Schmidt, interim CEO of SRAR. “With the sales to listing ratio being at 43 per cent, it indicates both sellers and buyers are able to come together and get deals done. It’s a good situation for both seller and buyer.
“If you go back six months, the market has been trending toward balance.”
Year-to-date, sales in the city are up seven per cent to 2,855 from 2,677, while listings have fallen two per cent to 6,393 from 6,520. The average price of $332,762 is practically unchanged from last year’s $332,757.
In the region surrounding Saskatoon, including the cities of Warman and Martensville, sales were down 11 per cent to 76 from 85 in September while listings rose 14 per cent to 227 from 199. The average selling price, however, was up three per cent to $302,502. Dollar volume came in at $22.9 million, down eight per cent from last year’s $25 million.
Regional year-to-date sales are down five per cent to 755 from 797, and listings are down one per cent to 2,422 from 2,454. The average price so far this year is down three per cent to $295,187 from $303,636, and dollar volume has fallen eight per cent to $222.8 million from $242 million.
At the end of September, active residential listings in the city were down two per cent to 1,896 from last year’s 1,944. Listings in the region were also down two per cent to 1,143 from 1,161. ~ October 2019 SRAR News Release