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The Importance of Tradition

Christmas time brings to mind all the comforts of a home – friends, family, love, tradition

Christmas Holiday Traditions

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What is it about traditions and especially those associated with a holiday that make them so important to us? Family traditions provide great value, and the value lasts far beyond the moment. The value of a tradition isn’t in completing the ritual; the value comes from what it provides for those who participate.

First of all, traditions provide stability. Activities that are observed year in and year out become a means by which family members can build trust and security. Regardless of what else may happen, the traditions will not change. So much in our lives these days is temporary. Family traditions provide something for every person to hold on to and to rely upon.

Secondly, traditions give us a sense of identity. They are one of the things that make us unique to other families. Although our Christmas traditions may have some commonality with other families, each household still has their own way of experiencing those traditions. That is what is so special about them. Each family’s unique twist is what gives that family its identity and helps the members bond with one another. Ethnic foods, decorations, special activities, all help families become distinctive.

Third, traditions are important because they provide continuity between generations. It can be difficult to keep up with extended family members these days, and of course it is impossible to touch those who are long gone. But traditions create a bridge between the young and the old, between the past and the present.

Traditions are obviously good for families. We can build memories and share stories so that we draw near to one another. Traditions are a building block of what makes a house a home. Through creating and maintaining family traditions, we can offer stability, identity and continuity to our loved ones. We can look to the past and not be afraid of remembering those who are no longer with us. We can enjoy the present, knowing that we are building strong families – and we can look forward to the future, when our children will sit by the fire in their homes and tell stories of their Christmas traditions.

This holiday season, create some new traditions with friends and family – and enjoy everything this season has to offer.

From Team VanDinther – Burlington Real Estate to your Family – We wish you a Very Merry Christmas and all the Best for the Year to Come!

Helpful Tips for Selling Your Home this Fall

Prepare Your Home for a Fall Sale

Prepare Your Home for a Fall Sale

Thinking of selling your home this fall? While the fall season typically sees a slow down of house sales, it’s not to say it’s a bad time to sell; you may just have to put in a little extra effort to ensure that your home stands out amongst others.

Autumn’s beauty helps to create instant curb appeal for your home. Trees with leaves in warm tones of pumpkin, red and gold naturally provide a lovely backdrop for your home. Certainly fall’s rich and warm hues help to create a great first impression for your home and property. Now go the extra mile and do some work to make your home all the more sale ready for fall.

Maintain your lawn. Yes, your lawn needs attention and care during the fall season so now is no time to stop, especially if you are planning to sell! Maintain your lawn by raking leaves and twigs and patching brown spots. Prune shrubs and bushes. At the same time, ensure that walkways are free of leaves and debris. Clean gutters and downspouts too.

Make your front entranceway a fall focal point. Create a warm and welcoming feeling to your front walkway and porch area. First impressions do count, so be sure to set a favorable tone for potential home buyers. Spruce up your front entranceway with tasteful fall décor and plants. A fall inspired door wreath adds instant appeal. Take advantage of the beauty of fall flowers. A series of potted mums on either side of the front door is an easy way to help frame the front entrance. Or, with Halloween approaching, consider adding a couple of urns filled with fall plants and flowers and even pumpkins and gourds for great color and a really stunning first impression.

Inside, highlight the fireplace; it’s a super fall selling feature. Make your fireplace shine by making it the focal point. To start, add beautiful artwork to the mantle or perhaps candles or even a collection of treasured vases filled with fresh fall flowers to draw the eye upward. Nestling furniture around the fireplace is another way to make the fireplace a focal point in any room. Add cozy cushions and a throw to the couch or chairs surrounding the fireplace to complete the mood.

Make widows sparkle. Clean your widows and open blinds and curtains to let the light in. If you have a great view outside, be sure to flaunt it! In fact, everything in your home should be sparkling clean for showings. Pay particular attention to the front hall where fall leaves and debris can blow in from outdoors and muddy shoes can leave a mess on floors. Of course, no matter the season, always de-clutter before even thinking of inviting potential home buyers into your home for showings.

Play up a festive fall mood by adding flowers inside the home. Adding fall flowers to just about any room in the house is an instant pick-me-up. Flowers are simply beautiful. Rooms with fresh cut flowers look warm and inviting. A fall centerpiece on the dining room table for example is certain to stand out and make a great impression. Also take advantage of the sense of smell. Perhaps some baking before showings will do the trick. If time is short, lightly scented candles or even a pot of apple cider and cinnamon brewing on the stove will help to create a warm feeling in your home.

Make sure everything works and looks fresh. Everything should be in good working order. No leaky toilets, loose knobs or handles and walls and ceilings should be clean and free of chips, etc. Take the advice of a professional real estate agent for an objective view of what work absolutely needs to be done to ensure the quick sale of your property. Sometimes interior or some exterior painting is all that is needed to freshen up a home and make it ready for sale.

Enlist the expertise of a licensed real estate agent. If you don’t already have one, invest the time to find an experienced realtor to work on your behalf. One of the most important things you can do is develop a relationship with an experienced real estate agent with whom you are comfortable. Your realtor will be an active partner every step of the selling process. He/she will provide invaluable facts from comparable prices, advice on housing market conditions, information on neighborhood trends and much more. She will help you price your house correctly. Some buyers may be looking for a bargain before the holidays and your real estate agent will offer sound advice to price your house competitively.

Have a wonderful fall season and happy house selling!

How to Save on Your Fall Home Improvement Projects

A photo of a home renovations professional

Homeowners tackling renovations may be eligible to receive grants of up to $5,000 when incorporating more energy-efficient solutions!

(NC)— The Government of Canada has renewed the ecoEnergy Retrofit—Homes Program from June 6, 2011 until March 31, 2012. What does this mean? Homeowners tackling renovations may be eligible to receive grants of up to $5,000 when incorporating more energy-efficient solutions.

Not sure where to start? The experts at The Home Depot Canada can help with a few of the most common home improvement projects that are eligible:

Remodeling the Bathroom

A cost-effective way to update the bathroom is to install a more modern vanity. Looking to a new unit similar in size to the existing footprint is smart—and a matching sink and new low-flow faucet will make the investment a good one. To take full advantage of the ecoEnergy Retrofit—Homes Program, consider adding one more update to the remodel—a new ecoEnergy approved low-flush or dual-flush toilet (that comes with a rebate of $65). This rebate can even be applied to up to four replacement toilets per home.

Finishing a Basement

A finished basement is a great place to entertain and enjoy as a family. Did you know that insulating this space could cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 per cent? Not to mention possible rebates of $125 to $1250. A warm basement and cash back—the perfect combination!

Winterizing for Cold Temps

With air leakage accounting for 30 to 40 per cent of total heat loss in a home, fixing drafts before the mercury dips can add up to big savings. Bigger projects, such as installing ENERGY STAR® qualified windows and doors, can save up to 12 per cent on the average energy bill and provide a rebate of $40 per rough opening (the structural framing in a wall or roof that separates a heated space from an unheated space—creating an opening for the installation of a window)

To find out more about the ecoEnergy Retrofit—Homes Program and whether other provincial incentives are available, visit www.homedepot.ca/ecoenergy

Source: www.newscanada.com

If you are thinking of buying a home, Selling your existing home, downsizing or relocating to another city – put the experience of a professional realtor to work for you. Burlington Real Estate Agent, Lori VanDinther wants to help you Make the Right Moves!