Summer Pool Safety and Maintenance

For those of you who have pools in your backyard, you know how much fun those backyard parties and barbeques can be. Pools are fun for people of all ages, but safety and maintenance are crucial. Here are just a few safety tips to keep in mind, as well as some maintenance reminders to help you enjoy a safe and wonderful summer by the poolside:

  • Store all chemicals out of children’s reach. Maintain proper disinfectant and pH levels at all times and use all chemicals only as directed
  •  Consider running your pump longer during high-use times or when the weather is especially humid or rainy
  • Surround the entire pool with a fence or barrier that is at least 4 feet high, has a self-closing and self-latching gate and is designed so that a child cannot climb over, under, around or through it.
  • Remove any steps or ladders that you may have to aboveground pools when the pool is not in use
  • Always keep an eye out on all children - enforce rules or time limits and make sure those who are weak swimmers wear approved life jackets at all times; do not rely on water wings or inflatable toys
  • Know how to respond to water emergencies - consider taking First Aid, lifeguard or CPR training

First Impressions Count...For Buyers and Your Neighbours

The summer months are the perfect time to freshen up the exterior of your home. Whether it's for your pleasure or to impress potential buyers, you'll boost your home's curb appeal with these good old-fashioned cleaning tips:

- Edge the gardens, clean out debris
- Pull the weeds and rake the leaves
- Prune the plants and wooly shrubs
- Sweep the step
- Fix the saggy gutters
- Hide the garbage cans
- Dispose or rusty broken garden décor
- Tidy the garage and organize boxes and shelves
- Plant some urns by the entrance and flowers to the beds
- Put out a fresh welcome mat and oil the front door
- Paint the windowsills, mailbox, and anything else that is looking tired
- Place clear light bulbs in exterior fixtures - replace any that are burned out
- Reseal the driveway

Who says cleaning has to hurt? Get the kids involved! Borrow or buy a power washer and have fun cleaning siding, windows, sills, railings, decking and patio furniture.

How Shelves Can Help Declutter, Organize, and Beautify Your Home

Shelves are the ultimate multi-tasker. They can help save you space, minimize clutter, and make a room more functional. Best of all, shelves and bookcases can add subtle style and personality to your home, making it more appealing and enjoyable to your family, and for visitors. Here are a few tips for getting your shelves working for you:

Make More Space
Shelves are space savers and decluttering  devices. Floating shelves are a perfect fit for your entryway where they can organize things that tend to clutter up your hallway such as keys, mail and dog leashes. To keep your countertop clear, build a single shelf over your kitchen sink and store your dish soap, gloves and scrubbers. Shelves at the bottom of closets can be used to store shoes and off-season items.

Divide and Conquer
If you're looking to provide a little separation in a larger space, consider using bookcases. Forget about a big reno; a tall bookcase can divide a large living room and create an office space away from the TV or other distractions. Tall or short, bookcases give you enough separation to let you focus on your work, the computer, or a good book.

Just Display It!
Shelves and bookcases aren't just for books anymore. They are the perfect place to display sculptures, collectibles and keepsakes.   Personalize these pieces with pictures, artwork, or family heirlooms.

Think Outside the Bookcase
Bookcases boring? Standard shelves uninspiring? Time to get  creative. Instead of shelves, try mounting reclaimed wood, vintage drawers, or even old open suitcases to the wall. Stack books on an   L-Shaped wall brace to give the illusion of an invisible shelf. For a country kitchen, repurpose a wooden ladder and use the rungs for hanging dishtowels, recipes and magazines.

Up The Style Bracket
Extend the life of your shelves with style and flair. Cover your books with plaid paper or patterned cloth for visual appeal. Alternatively, turn books around so pages face out, giving you a creamy-textured backdrop against which you can create displays or artwork. To add intrigue, paint your shelves the same   colour of your wall for that "floating" look. And for a refreshing alternative to traditional bookcases, choose a modern, industrial-style shelving unit with  beveled glass, steel brackets, and sleek angles.

Whatever shelving units suit you, an interesting mix of sizes, styles and textures gives you lots of storage while still maintaining a clean and uncluttered look.

Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Luxury Home in Mississauga

It might be a sellers’ market for those living in the exclusive communities that make up the City of Mississauga, but there are plenty of steps you can take to maximize your property’s value further to really take advantage of this unique market.

Mississauga is made up of a number of exclusive communities, with Lorne Park and Mineola being some of the most affluent. Further, within Mississauga communities, there are quite a few exceptional villages. Such areas have some truly spectacular luxury homes. For example, there are some prestigious homes in the Meadowvale Village community, specifically in Levi Creek and Olde Meadowvale Village. In addition to Meadowvale Village, some of the most sought-after areas are Central Erin Mills and Streetsville.

If you live in Mississauga and are planning on putting your luxury home on the market, you need to develop a unique strategy designed to exceed the buyer’s expectations. That means showcasing not only the home, but also the neighbourhood and the lifestyle that comes with living there.

With that in mind, here are Russell Robson’s top five tips for selling luxury homes in Mississauga’s exceptional communities and villages:

#1 – Work with a Realtor Who Specializes in Luxury Homes
To get the most out of your luxury property, you need to work with an experienced real estate agent who understands all of the nuances of Mississauga's luxury real estate market. You also want to work with a realtor who has a proven track record of selling homes in Mississauga.

#2 – Make a Spectacular First Impression
First impressions are paramount when it comes to selling luxury real estate in Lorne Park, Mineola, or any other area of Mississauga. Enhancing your home’s first impression and presenting it in the ideal manner from the perspective of the buyer is done by home staging. In addition to staging, having attractive finishes, pristine housekeeping, and meticulous yard maintenance also aids in presenting the home in the ideal manner. Also make sure the lawn is cut and any flowerbeds are trimmed. Finally, hiding garbage bins (or at least keeping them organized) and a good sweeping up near the front entrance will not only keep the porch looking great, but will also minimize the amount of dirt tracked inside.

Once inside, you want potential buyers to envision living in your home, not feel like they're intruding in someone else's. Depersonalize as much as you can by removing family photos and keeping personal effects out of sight. Also use light air fresheners to make the home smell fresh, though not too strong, as some people are sensitive to smells. Russell Robson can also help you stage your home to impress buyers and help them visualize themselves living in the home they’re viewing.

#3 Market Extensively
Different selling strategies attract different buyers. For your luxury home to attract the attention it deserves, make sure it is marketed properly and extensively: that means professional staging and professional photos, online marketing campaigns, and traditional media channels like print and mail. Contact Russell Robson to find out how he will market your luxury home in Mississauga 24/7 until it’s sold.

#4 Make Sure Your Real Estate Agent Understands the Internet
To sell a luxury home in Mississauga means potential buyers have to be able to find it. Today’s potential buyers rely less on newspapers and magazines and more on online resources to glean valuable information about the neighbourhoods they want to live in and the houses for sale; in fact, the vast majority of Canadians use the Internet as their first step to finding their dream home. But you need more than a web site like to sell homes. To make sure your luxury home is visible to as many potential buyers as possible, no matter where they are in the world, ensure your real estate agent is skilled with Internet marketing and understands how different custom web site options, including search engine optimization, can attract qualified buyers and sell your luxury home quickly. Lastly, there is a huge influx of overseas purchasers of luxury homes in Canada. Having a strong online presence is crucial in exposing your luxury home to these potential buyers and targeting them effectively.

#5 – Open Houses Help Sell Luxury Homes
Though some may prefer private showings only when it comes to luxury homes in Mississauga, Russell Robson believes that public open houses can be a very effective selling tool. The open house gives the selling agent the ability to show the home in a more controlled manner. For example, the selling agent can make sure all of the lights are turned on and window coverings are open well before any potential buyers arrive. These are the types of small details that present the luxury home in its most flattering light, pushing the potential buyer from just liking the home to feeling like they can truly live there.

It takes a certain skill set to sell a luxury home. Just because a real estate agent can sell a lower priced home does not mean they know how to successfully sell a luxury one. If you’re looking for a real estate agent in Mineola or any of the other luxurious enclaves in Mississauga to sell your luxury home, make sure they understand the luxury market. Failing to use an experienced luxury real estate agent like Russell Robson could be a costly mistake.