Thomas & Wanda

"Mr. & Mrs. Fraser Valley"

(BPT) - Most Americans over 50 want to stay in their home as they age, but few are making the renovations they need to ensure easy and comfortable living for years to come.

In fact, 80 percent of people older than 50 say they would prefer to remain in their home indefinitely, according to an AARP survey. The Hartford and MIT Age Labs found that while 96 percent of baby boomers are aware of the changes they could make to their current home to make it more comfortable as they grow older, only 26 percent have made such modifications.

Consider some of the following functional, yet beautiful, touches that help make a home safer and more comfortable for residents of all ages.

* Hardwood floors

Replacing carpet with hardwood floors can help accommodate difficulties ranging from respiratory problems to decreased mobility. Unlike carpet, hardwood flooring doesn't trap dust, pollen or other particles that cause problems for those with allergies and respiratory issues. Wheelchairs and other mobility equipment can glide more easily over a hard surface, and hardwood floors require far less maintenance. Homeowners can choose from a variety of hardwood flooring options that meet their needs and fit their budget at retailers such as Lumber Liquidators, North America's largest specialty hardwood flooring retailer.

* New furniture

Changing out furniture can make a huge difference in the comfort and style of a home. Enhance maneuverability by allowing ample room between furnishings, and by picking accessible pieces such as counter-height dining tables and chairs. Likewise, it's easier to sit in and stand from firmer sofas and chairs than deeper, softer options.

* Kitchen updates

Kitchen shelves that pull out make utensils, pots and pans, and ingredients much more accessible, and do not require a kitchen remodel. A wide range of products and kits enable homeowners to easily install sliding shelves themselves, or they can hire a contractor to do the job. Also, consider swapping out knobs for handles on cabinets and drawers to make them more accessible and easier to use.

* More lighting

Make sure all areas of your property - inside and outside - are well lit. Pendant lamps, inset ceiling lights and track lighting help illuminate a room from above, preventing glare that can cause temporary blindness. Opt for switches to turn lights on and off, and locate them at the entrances of each room. If a home's wiring isn't set up this way, the homeowner may need to contact an electrician.

As we age, we want to remain as independent as possible, which includes being able to stay in our own home for as long as possible. With a few functional changes, homeowners can create a beautiful space now that can enable them to live more comfortably later.
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We are thrilled to say we have just SOLD a property at 15445 20TH AVE in Surrey.
This fabulous custom built home is situated in a very quiet area and sitting on a lot size that's almost 10,000 sqft! Home features a master bedroom on the main floor and another master on the upper level. Both masters have oversized showhome quality ensuites. 4 full sized bdrms up. Fully fenced and landscaped semi private backyard backing onto elementary school. Great yard for entertaining and summer BBQs. Gas hook up for BBQ/patio heater. Overheight double car garage + parking for 4 cars in drive & street parking. Home features vaulted ceiling entrance that leads to a beautiful wood ceiling family rm & a designer kitchen perfect for any family! Main floor also features a theater room with full wet bar. This will not last.
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Or, perhaps you are a business owner seeking to retain your patrons by hosting a series of events and private parties to show appreciation for their business. You also have very limited time to dedicate to the creation of an invitation from the ground up, but you'd like to have something tangible to send to your customers. 
Here are some tips for meeting your invitation needs:
* When designing your invitation, first and foremost, you want to ensure that your guests have a clear understanding of when and where the event will be. It's imperative that you allow enough time in your party planning to give those invited plenty of time to respond and reserve space in their calendars. If you find the date of your event quickly creeping up and you haven't finalized anything aside from the date itself, a save-the-date may be a good option for you. It serves as a courtesy by notifying guests to reserve the day, and lets them know more details will follow.
* If you are hosting your event in a remote location, be sure to include directions and look into getting a group discount on hotel accommodations for out-of-town visitors. Integrating this information into the invitation will assist attendees in making the ultimate decision as to whether or not to attend your event. Additionally, when giving the location, state whether it's outside or inside so guests can plan their attire. If you plan on holding your event on a boat, airplane or other vehicle, provide ample notice to your attendees. You should also feature the reason you're hosting the event prominently on the invitation itself. For instance, if you're hosting a gala to celebrate the election of a new president for your company, then attendees will know it's more formal than a birthday party for a child.
* The design, color and paper quality selection also play an integral role in grabbing your invitees' attention and getting them to commit to attend. This is why it is so important to take advantage of an invitation vendor who can accommodate your customization needs, with styles available in full color, in a matte, glossy or even linen finish and matching envelopes to complement your masterpiece. Be sure to include a way for your guests to RSVP. A low-cost option is to provide a phone number or email address where guests can leave their responses. If you want to be slightly more formal, include a response card with a pre-printed, postage-paid return address envelope with your invitations.
* Finally, it's important to remember to stamp those invitations and RSVP envelopes. Otherwise, the chances of you getting RSVPs will be slim to none. Following these simple tips will help you create the perfect invitation for your next big event.
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We are thrilled to say we have just SOLD a property at 19622 72A AVE in Langley.
A place you can call home. Just like new - 2 storey plus fully finished basement. Features include: welcoming high ceiling living room, gleaming hardwood flooring, lots of natural light, an open concept plan, designer paint, alarm/securitysystem and more. Main floor is an open floor plan with den and magnificent maple kitchen cabinets and granite countertops and large island. 4 spaces bedrooms/3 bathrooms on above floor. 2 bedroom legal basement suite as a mortgage helper with large rec room and bathroom for your entertainment. Quiet street. Motivated seller bring your offer.
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We are thrilled to say we have just SOLD a property at 76 35287 OLD YALE RD in Abbotsford.
The VIEW will sell you! Welcome home to The Falls at Eagle Mountain! Lots of room in this 1,725 square foot 2 storey with basement townhome! 3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms -yes, there is a powder room on the main floor! Open floor plan on the main suits today's lifestyle -entertain with ease! Except for one of the bedrooms, all of the rooms look out over the amazing mountain and valley view. Kids need somewhere to go -no worries! Large rec room in the basement with access to the lower level patio is perfect. Two-piece bathroom in the basement also has a roughed in shower. Priced to sell and ready for possession immediately!
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(BPT) - The residential housing market is heating up, but before you post that for-sale sign, consider making upgrades that add style and value to your home. With many buyers seeking wood floors, kitchen upgrades and other add-ons, it's important for homeowners to highlight these features so their property stands out from the competition in today's market.

"It all comes down to dollars and 'sense,' " says Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center. "In addition to warmth, beauty and durability, hardwood features increase your home's resale value. Even with a modest budget, if you take the time and price your options, updating worn floors, dated cabinetry, and lackluster walls will make a significant difference. And it's easier and less expensive than you think."

Survey says hardwood floors sell

When it's time to sell, hardwood floors not only add good looks, they increase the value of your home. According to a nationwide survey of real estate agents commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association, 99 percent of respondents agreed that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell. In addition, 90 percent said these homes sell for more money.

"Absolutely true," says Bob Strader, a real estate agent with The NORTH Group of Keller Williams Realty in Atlanta. "Between two similar properties, buyers will gravitate toward the home with hardwood floors, and that home will sell in half the time."

Debbie Gartner, known as "The Flooring Girl" by customers at her New York-based flooring store, agrees and says quality increases value. "Hardwood sells," notes Gartner, adding that you're in luck if you already have a hardwood floor under a carpet. "Clients are shocked when I tell them it's almost always less expensive to refinish a hardwood floor than it is to re-carpet a room."

What about the kitchen?

Real estate agent Strader advises sellers to "upgrade their kitchens prior to going on the market because buyers see kitchen upgrades as being rather expensive." He adds that, "Homes without updated kitchens will take longer to sell, and will sell for less."

Gerry Henley, president of Kitchen Solvers, a national kitchen and bath remodeling franchise, suggests simple cabinetry updates that won't break the bank but will result in a higher return on your investment. And hardwood products offer plenty of options.

"Many homeowners overlook the low cost and high impact of re-facing their existing kitchen cabinets," he says. "By swapping out dated doors and drawer pulls, a homeowner can get the look of a newly updated kitchen and save up to 50 percent of the cost of a complete overhaul. Cabinet re-facing is a quick-moving project and the kitchen remains functional throughout installation."

Value in the details

Architectural details - hardwood crown moulding, baseboards and other millwork - add depth and character, provide a finished look, and change lackluster to extraordinary, so much so that according to the National Association of Home Builders' "What Home Buyers Really Want" study, crown moulding ranks higher than other luxury features such as fireplaces, kitchen seating and window seats.

Strader agrees. "From my experience, millwork adds the 'wow' factor that stays in a buyer's mind. And most sellers are unaware that a custom look can be obtained relatively inexpensively with off-the-shelf moulding patterns available at home improvement stores."

The American Hardwood Information Center offers some additional tips to keep costs low. For crown and other decorative ceiling mouldings, consider using a less expensive species such as poplar. Where durability is a must, such as baseboards, door casings and chair rails, consider a harder species, like white oak.

 
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