Horses have taught me to be better, be responsible, step outside my comfort zone (still working on this) be willing to give, and LET THEM GO (still working on this one too) be present and focus on the task at hand. Horses have taught me patience; they have made me a better version of myself. Photo of me and Ollie (my current ride @halifax_lancers )#ponies#horses
Read full post

Ready to buy your first home in Halifax/Dartmouth area in 2022? I specialize in helping first-time home buyers like you find their dream property in Halifax.


Before you start searching for homes online, it's important to take the first step to house shopping: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage.


Your pre-approval will tell you what you can afford and what your monthly payment will be, so it's important to determine this before you start searching for your new home.


Once you've got your pre-approval letter in hand, it's time to start the search!

Before we hop into the home search, I like to meet my clients in person to review their  "Needs"  and "Wants" list. This will help us to really focus on the things that are most important in your future home.


Needs are the non-negotiable features; the features you simply must-have in your next home. Wants are the ones you’d like to have, but you can add or change down the road. Remember, you can’t change the lot or the location so make sure you love both.


Once you've established what you're looking for, I will set you up on a search so you can receive an email the second a home that fits your criteria goes live. If you have any questions about a property, send me the information and I will find out for you. Send me listings you like and I can get more information and set up showings on your behalf.

After touring houses and choosing the one you love, it's time to make an offer. 


Have more questions about buying a home or what happens after making an offer? Reach out to me today!

Read full post

The final walk-through on your new home is an exciting event. It means you have successfully maneuvered through negotiations, inspections, and financing approval, and are on the verge of signing your closing papers. Most buyers attend the final walk-through with thoughts of furniture placement and paint colors in their heads. But the walk-through is about more than just making sure your favorite chair will fit by the fireplace. Be sure to do your due diligence to make sure there are no issues that should be resolved before you reach the closing table.   The purpose of the final walk-through is to ascertain that the home is being conveyed to you in the same condition it was when you agreed to purchase it. Here are a few of the things you should check:  


1.) Make sure no damage has occurred to the home that the sellers are responsible for repairing. Weather conditions or careless movers can cause accidental damage, and old and forgotten damage may be uncovered when the sellers’ belongings are removed.

 2.) Check that appliances are still in working order and no new plumbing or electrical issues have popped up. While you aren’t doing a complete home inspection, you can visually check for obvious problems that should be repaired before you move in.  

3) Confirm that items contractually conveying are present. If the sellers agreed to leave particular furniture, décor, or equipment, see that it has not been removed.  

4) Make certain the sellers have removed all their belongings. You don’t want to arrive with the moving truck only to find out that the sellers left behind an assortment of unwanted furniture or trash. The sellers should be held responsible for removing everything that doesn’t convey with the sale.

Welcome, Home!!!


Read full post

Upsize or Downsize: Which is Your Best Move?


Deciding if it is time for your family to upsize or downsize is not always a clear choice. There are factors to consider that might push you to take the leap or stay put for a while longer. Whether you are thinking about upsizing so your family can spread out or purging possessions so you can downsize, here are some questions to ponder.


1. How are you using your current space?


Do your family members feel like they don’t have adequate privacy or space to do their own thing?  Are you tired of working at the dining table and really need an office or workshop? Is having the kids share bedrooms just not working out? Maybe an upsize is warranted. On the other hand, do you have rooms that aren’t being used, or are you tired of paying property taxes on more house than you need? Check for the downsize column!


2. Have you considered the maintenance costs?


If upsizing is on your mind, consider the added costs for maintaining a larger home and property, whether in money or time. Will you be able to keep up with cleaning, lawn care, and general maintenance issues that come with owning a home? If you are ready to cross maintenance off your to-do list, perhaps you are ready to downsize to a more manageable property or one where the HOA handles part of the job.


3. What are your outdoor space needs?


Are you ready to give up having a yard or garden to downsize to a maintenance-free space? Do you have pets that need outdoor space? Do you need more outdoor space for your children to play or your dog to run around in? The size of the house is one thing, but the property is important also.


4. Have you looked to the future?


What do you expect your needs to be in the next five, ten, or twenty years? Do you want a large home where your children and grandchildren will come for vacations and holidays, or will you be spending those times at their homes? Will you want to entertain groups of friends, or do you foresee going out for your entertainment? What will happen if your spouse passes; will you want to stay in the home on your own?


5. Do the financial implications add up in your favor?


Can you handle the higher costs involved with a larger home, or are you ready to cut costs with a downsize? Consider where you stand on your current mortgage. Are you alright with starting a new mortgage at this point in your life, or are you in a position to purchase in cash? What are the tax implications for your move?  



6. Is it the right market to upsize or downsize?


A seller’s market is hot for those looking to sell a larger home and downsize. Upsizing may be riskier in a big seller’s market, but if your family would be happier in a larger home, it might be worth the leap.


Whatever questions you have about purchasing your next home, I’d be honored to assist you. So let’s work together to make sure your next move is the right one.

Read full post

When I work with clients who are downsizing to a smaller home, one of the hardest chores they face is letting go of sentimental belongings they no longer have room for. Souvenirs collected during travels, family heirlooms, and your children’s keepsakes can be quite stressful to part with. It doesn’t matter whether the items have monetary value or not; in fact, often the most difficult items to let go of are worthless in terms of money, but priceless in sentimental value.

Here are some tips to help you part with belongings you are attached to but no longer want to keep.

1. Remember that our memories reside within us, not within our possessions.
Psychologists say that letting go of sentimental items can be extremely therapeutic. When we keep things, the items occupy both physical and mental space in our lives. It’s healthier to focus on your memories and not the items that represent your memories.

2. Focus on the present. Letting go also helps to bring your focus to the present. Sometimes things are continual reminders of the past and hold us back from living in the present. Dwelling in the past can make one more prone to depression and can affect our ability to deal with stressful situations in our lives. Realize that while we can always cherish our memories, we don’t need the past to be happy in the present.

3. Let go of guilt. People often hold onto an item they don’t want or need because someone special gave it to them or it represents a special person. Learn to let go of the guilt associated with getting rid of gifts you can’t use. Appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver or the special memory it represents but pass the item on to someone else who can use it or donate it to charity.

4. Don’t save it for your grown children. Times have changed and today more young adults are able to buy their own furnishings. And they aren’t as sentimental about family heirlooms as prior generations were. Talk to your kids now and find out if you are holding onto your china, crystal, and silver tea service for nothing.

5. Compromise with your spouse. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to resent the others’ favorite belongings while holding onto their own special stuff. It’s important to recognize that, while you may not understand your husband’s need to keep a ball cap for every MLB team he’s seen play, he may feel the same way about his hats that you do about keeping every book you have read. Decide together on a reasonable number to keep.

6. Start with the easy stuff. If you have a lot of belongings to sort through, start with the easier decisions and work from there. Often people find that once they get some momentum going it feels good to let go.

7. Write a family memoir. Hold onto your memories with words instead of things by writing your memoir or the story of your family. Writing your story can be very therapeutic and can help you release your hold on tangible items. 
 
Read full post


8 Ways to Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Home

We all want people to love our home as much as we do, but especially when you are trying to sell it! While it’s impossible to please every buyers’ taste, there are several easy things you can do to make your home more appealing without spending a lot of money. Try some of these tricks and see if your showings cause buyers to swoon.

1. Check your curb appeal. Take an honest look from the curbside. What are buyers seeing first? If your home needs to be painted or pressure washed, consider making that investment. Clean up landscaping by trimming trees and bushes, planting some fresh annuals, and laying new mulch. Clean windows, repair sagging soffit, or porch railings, and have any trip hazards on your driveway or front walk repaired. Finally, consider some attractive, yet subtle decorations for your front porch.

2. Create an inviting entryway. When buyers step inside your front door, you want them to feel welcomed. If you have a foyer or front hall, it is easier to make an attractive entryway, but even if your front door opens right into your living room, you can create the feel of an entryway with a couple of simple tricks. Clear the area of clutter things that tend to pile up at the front door, like backpacks, dog leashes, or shoes. Place a small table or bench beside the door with plants, candles, or another simple décor. A small area rug can help define the space as the entryway.

3. Let the light shine in. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can. Trimming any bushes or trees outside your windows can help immensely. Wash your windows inside and out and replace or remove any worn screens. Make sure to open blinds or curtains before all showings.

4. Add some fresh color. Painting is an easy and inexpensive way to make an older home look new and is especially important if your current wall color is dark or outdated. Choose a light neutral color like a warm grey or light beige and use the same color throughout the house. If your home tends to be dark, this will help brighten it up.

5. Let storage spaces speak for themselves. Many sellers make the mistake of waiting until they have a contract to start cleaning out closets. Cleaning out clutter is part of getting ready to show, not just getting ready to move. You want buyers to perceive that there is ample storage in the home, and this doesn’t work if every drawer, cabinet, and closet is stuffed to the gills.

6. Eliminate distractions. Streamline your decorating so your buyers see the house and not your personal belongings. Go ahead and pack up collectibles and family photos and keep decorative touches to the minimum. Too many plants, magazines, or toys distract the buyers from seeing the home as their own.

7. Entice them with outdoor space. The back yard shouldn’t be an empty space of infinite possibility, nor should it be a storage area for neglected toys. Get rid of any eyesores you’ve been avoiding dealing with, spruce up your landscaping, repair irrigation or pool issues, and create an entertaining space with a patio set, or a backyard oasis with some potted plants and a hammock.

8. Make it easy for them. Taking care of minor repairs is another step you can take to help buyers see your home as an easy and comfortable move. You want them to be mentally arranging their furniture as they walk through, not making a list of nicked woodwork, torn window screens, and leaky faucets. The less work involved, the easier it is to fall in love

Read full post

I made "The Ultimate Banana Bread" yesterday - since I have had some free time on my hands right now I've been baking ...

This recipe comes from smittenkitchen.com


You’re going to need 5 bananas which I thought was just bananas...Tongue Out


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 slightly heaped cups (about 18 ounces or 510 grams) (updated weight, see why) of mashed banana, from 4 extra-large or 5 medium-large bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A few gratings of fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) raw or turbinado sugar (on top)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup (9×5-inch) loaf pan (see note up top if yours is smaller) or coat it with a nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


Melt butter in a large bowl and whisk in brown sugar until smooth, then stir in mashed banana. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Sprinkle the surface of the batter evenly with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), baking soda, and baking powder, and whisk until the ingredients are fully dispersed in the batter, and then whisk 10 more times around the bowl because it’s better to be overly cautious than to end up with unmixed pockets. Add flour and stir until combined. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. It should come to just over 1/2-inch from the top rim. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the raw sugar; it will seem like a lot but will bake up beautifully.

Bake banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes. It is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the bread is batter-free — be sure to check the upper third as well, near the rim of the pan; that’s where I’d find the unbaked pockets of batter hanging out. The bread will get very dark but will not taste burnt.

Let cool in pan. This banana bread is good on the first day but exceptional on the second and third if you can bear to wait.


Read full post

Horses have taught me to be better, be responsible, step outside my comfort zone (still working on this) be willing to give, and LET THEM GO (still working on this one too) be present and focus on the task at hand. Horses have taught me patience; they have made me a better version of myself. Photo of me and Ollie (my current ride @halifax_lancers )#ponies#horses
Read full post

Ready to buy your first home in Halifax/Dartmouth area in 2022? I specialize in helping first-time home buyers like you find their dream property in Halifax.


Before you start searching for homes online, it's important to take the first step to house shopping: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage.


Your pre-approval will tell you what you can afford and what your monthly payment will be, so it's important to determine this before you start searching for your new home.


Once you've got your pre-approval letter in hand, it's time to start the search!

Before we hop into the home search, I like to meet my clients in person to review their  "Needs"  and "Wants" list. This will help us to really focus on the things that are most important in your future home.


Needs are the non-negotiable features; the features you simply must-have in your next home. Wants are the ones you’d like to have, but you can add or change down the road. Remember, you can’t change the lot or the location so make sure you love both.


Once you've established what you're looking for, I will set you up on a search so you can receive an email the second a home that fits your criteria goes live. If you have any questions about a property, send me the information and I will find out for you. Send me listings you like and I can get more information and set up showings on your behalf.

After touring houses and choosing the one you love, it's time to make an offer. 


Have more questions about buying a home or what happens after making an offer? Reach out to me today!

Read full post

The final walk-through on your new home is an exciting event. It means you have successfully maneuvered through negotiations, inspections, and financing approval, and are on the verge of signing your closing papers. Most buyers attend the final walk-through with thoughts of furniture placement and paint colors in their heads. But the walk-through is about more than just making sure your favorite chair will fit by the fireplace. Be sure to do your due diligence to make sure there are no issues that should be resolved before you reach the closing table.   The purpose of the final walk-through is to ascertain that the home is being conveyed to you in the same condition it was when you agreed to purchase it. Here are a few of the things you should check:  


1.) Make sure no damage has occurred to the home that the sellers are responsible for repairing. Weather conditions or careless movers can cause accidental damage, and old and forgotten damage may be uncovered when the sellers’ belongings are removed.

 2.) Check that appliances are still in working order and no new plumbing or electrical issues have popped up. While you aren’t doing a complete home inspection, you can visually check for obvious problems that should be repaired before you move in.  

3) Confirm that items contractually conveying are present. If the sellers agreed to leave particular furniture, décor, or equipment, see that it has not been removed.  

4) Make certain the sellers have removed all their belongings. You don’t want to arrive with the moving truck only to find out that the sellers left behind an assortment of unwanted furniture or trash. The sellers should be held responsible for removing everything that doesn’t convey with the sale.

Welcome, Home!!!


Read full post

Upsize or Downsize: Which is Your Best Move?


Deciding if it is time for your family to upsize or downsize is not always a clear choice. There are factors to consider that might push you to take the leap or stay put for a while longer. Whether you are thinking about upsizing so your family can spread out or purging possessions so you can downsize, here are some questions to ponder.


1. How are you using your current space?


Do your family members feel like they don’t have adequate privacy or space to do their own thing?  Are you tired of working at the dining table and really need an office or workshop? Is having the kids share bedrooms just not working out? Maybe an upsize is warranted. On the other hand, do you have rooms that aren’t being used, or are you tired of paying property taxes on more house than you need? Check for the downsize column!


2. Have you considered the maintenance costs?


If upsizing is on your mind, consider the added costs for maintaining a larger home and property, whether in money or time. Will you be able to keep up with cleaning, lawn care, and general maintenance issues that come with owning a home? If you are ready to cross maintenance off your to-do list, perhaps you are ready to downsize to a more manageable property or one where the HOA handles part of the job.


3. What are your outdoor space needs?


Are you ready to give up having a yard or garden to downsize to a maintenance-free space? Do you have pets that need outdoor space? Do you need more outdoor space for your children to play or your dog to run around in? The size of the house is one thing, but the property is important also.


4. Have you looked to the future?


What do you expect your needs to be in the next five, ten, or twenty years? Do you want a large home where your children and grandchildren will come for vacations and holidays, or will you be spending those times at their homes? Will you want to entertain groups of friends, or do you foresee going out for your entertainment? What will happen if your spouse passes; will you want to stay in the home on your own?


5. Do the financial implications add up in your favor?


Can you handle the higher costs involved with a larger home, or are you ready to cut costs with a downsize? Consider where you stand on your current mortgage. Are you alright with starting a new mortgage at this point in your life, or are you in a position to purchase in cash? What are the tax implications for your move?  



6. Is it the right market to upsize or downsize?


A seller’s market is hot for those looking to sell a larger home and downsize. Upsizing may be riskier in a big seller’s market, but if your family would be happier in a larger home, it might be worth the leap.


Whatever questions you have about purchasing your next home, I’d be honored to assist you. So let’s work together to make sure your next move is the right one.

Read full post

When I work with clients who are downsizing to a smaller home, one of the hardest chores they face is letting go of sentimental belongings they no longer have room for. Souvenirs collected during travels, family heirlooms, and your children’s keepsakes can be quite stressful to part with. It doesn’t matter whether the items have monetary value or not; in fact, often the most difficult items to let go of are worthless in terms of money, but priceless in sentimental value.

Here are some tips to help you part with belongings you are attached to but no longer want to keep.

1. Remember that our memories reside within us, not within our possessions.
Psychologists say that letting go of sentimental items can be extremely therapeutic. When we keep things, the items occupy both physical and mental space in our lives. It’s healthier to focus on your memories and not the items that represent your memories.

2. Focus on the present. Letting go also helps to bring your focus to the present. Sometimes things are continual reminders of the past and hold us back from living in the present. Dwelling in the past can make one more prone to depression and can affect our ability to deal with stressful situations in our lives. Realize that while we can always cherish our memories, we don’t need the past to be happy in the present.

3. Let go of guilt. People often hold onto an item they don’t want or need because someone special gave it to them or it represents a special person. Learn to let go of the guilt associated with getting rid of gifts you can’t use. Appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver or the special memory it represents but pass the item on to someone else who can use it or donate it to charity.

4. Don’t save it for your grown children. Times have changed and today more young adults are able to buy their own furnishings. And they aren’t as sentimental about family heirlooms as prior generations were. Talk to your kids now and find out if you are holding onto your china, crystal, and silver tea service for nothing.

5. Compromise with your spouse. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to resent the others’ favorite belongings while holding onto their own special stuff. It’s important to recognize that, while you may not understand your husband’s need to keep a ball cap for every MLB team he’s seen play, he may feel the same way about his hats that you do about keeping every book you have read. Decide together on a reasonable number to keep.

6. Start with the easy stuff. If you have a lot of belongings to sort through, start with the easier decisions and work from there. Often people find that once they get some momentum going it feels good to let go.

7. Write a family memoir. Hold onto your memories with words instead of things by writing your memoir or the story of your family. Writing your story can be very therapeutic and can help you release your hold on tangible items. 
 
Read full post


8 Ways to Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Home

We all want people to love our home as much as we do, but especially when you are trying to sell it! While it’s impossible to please every buyers’ taste, there are several easy things you can do to make your home more appealing without spending a lot of money. Try some of these tricks and see if your showings cause buyers to swoon.

1. Check your curb appeal. Take an honest look from the curbside. What are buyers seeing first? If your home needs to be painted or pressure washed, consider making that investment. Clean up landscaping by trimming trees and bushes, planting some fresh annuals, and laying new mulch. Clean windows, repair sagging soffit, or porch railings, and have any trip hazards on your driveway or front walk repaired. Finally, consider some attractive, yet subtle decorations for your front porch.

2. Create an inviting entryway. When buyers step inside your front door, you want them to feel welcomed. If you have a foyer or front hall, it is easier to make an attractive entryway, but even if your front door opens right into your living room, you can create the feel of an entryway with a couple of simple tricks. Clear the area of clutter things that tend to pile up at the front door, like backpacks, dog leashes, or shoes. Place a small table or bench beside the door with plants, candles, or another simple décor. A small area rug can help define the space as the entryway.

3. Let the light shine in. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can. Trimming any bushes or trees outside your windows can help immensely. Wash your windows inside and out and replace or remove any worn screens. Make sure to open blinds or curtains before all showings.

4. Add some fresh color. Painting is an easy and inexpensive way to make an older home look new and is especially important if your current wall color is dark or outdated. Choose a light neutral color like a warm grey or light beige and use the same color throughout the house. If your home tends to be dark, this will help brighten it up.

5. Let storage spaces speak for themselves. Many sellers make the mistake of waiting until they have a contract to start cleaning out closets. Cleaning out clutter is part of getting ready to show, not just getting ready to move. You want buyers to perceive that there is ample storage in the home, and this doesn’t work if every drawer, cabinet, and closet is stuffed to the gills.

6. Eliminate distractions. Streamline your decorating so your buyers see the house and not your personal belongings. Go ahead and pack up collectibles and family photos and keep decorative touches to the minimum. Too many plants, magazines, or toys distract the buyers from seeing the home as their own.

7. Entice them with outdoor space. The back yard shouldn’t be an empty space of infinite possibility, nor should it be a storage area for neglected toys. Get rid of any eyesores you’ve been avoiding dealing with, spruce up your landscaping, repair irrigation or pool issues, and create an entertaining space with a patio set, or a backyard oasis with some potted plants and a hammock.

8. Make it easy for them. Taking care of minor repairs is another step you can take to help buyers see your home as an easy and comfortable move. You want them to be mentally arranging their furniture as they walk through, not making a list of nicked woodwork, torn window screens, and leaky faucets. The less work involved, the easier it is to fall in love

Read full post

I made "The Ultimate Banana Bread" yesterday - since I have had some free time on my hands right now I've been baking ...

This recipe comes from smittenkitchen.com


You’re going to need 5 bananas which I thought was just bananas...Tongue Out


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 slightly heaped cups (about 18 ounces or 510 grams) (updated weight, see why) of mashed banana, from 4 extra-large or 5 medium-large bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A few gratings of fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) raw or turbinado sugar (on top)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup (9×5-inch) loaf pan (see note up top if yours is smaller) or coat it with a nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


Melt butter in a large bowl and whisk in brown sugar until smooth, then stir in mashed banana. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Sprinkle the surface of the batter evenly with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), baking soda, and baking powder, and whisk until the ingredients are fully dispersed in the batter, and then whisk 10 more times around the bowl because it’s better to be overly cautious than to end up with unmixed pockets. Add flour and stir until combined. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. It should come to just over 1/2-inch from the top rim. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the raw sugar; it will seem like a lot but will bake up beautifully.

Bake banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes. It is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the bread is batter-free — be sure to check the upper third as well, near the rim of the pan; that’s where I’d find the unbaked pockets of batter hanging out. The bread will get very dark but will not taste burnt.

Let cool in pan. This banana bread is good on the first day but exceptional on the second and third if you can bear to wait.


Read full post