Right Sizing Your Home

It used to be back in our Grandparents or even our Parents generation when you bought a home it was with the idea that it would be your “Forever Home.” That was the GOAL – that this one home would be where a married couple would begin their life, raise a family & eventually retire & become empty nesters with room to host large family Christmas dinners. So the idea of a forever home is steeped with emotion. It all sounds very romantic. But, realistically that is asking a lot of one home… It is difficult to imagine that one home would be practical functionally or financially for all of these different life stages. 

Nowadays with technological advancements and globalization it’s easier for people to move around. There is also a growing movement to a more minimalist lifestyle with less stuff to weigh us down – think Marie Condo. And baby boomers are more likely to spend their Golden Years travelling or relocating entirely than previous generations. 

The current trend in Real Estate is finding the “Perfect Right Now Home.” Finding a home in an area that suits your needs at this point in time but not needing to know that it will still −it the bill in 10 or more years. 

Here are some reasons why your home may no longer suit your needs: 

Divorce – nobody plans for it to happen but a divorce drastically changes your family’s housing needs. 

Family – your kids have moved out or maybe they have just come back? Or maybe you need room for aging parents to live. 

Age – a 2 story home with a large yard was great to accommodate your growing family but now you can no longer handle the stairs or yard maintenance. 

Career Changes – a job loss or change can mean needing to move due to relocation or for financial reasons. 

Lifestyle Changes – what once mattered the most to you like school districts may no longer be applicable to your life. 

Change of Neighbourhood Demographics – your friends have all moved and your neighbourhood seems to be filled with families that look a lot like yours – only 25-30 years ago?? 

Change of Taste – styles change. What you once liked you may not anymore. 

Financial Reasons – maybe you want to free up some money so that you can travel more or to help pay for your children’s education. 

Any of these reasons may lead you to the idea of needing to “Right Size” your home to suit your life. Right sizing is updating your living space based on your current needs. Between the many career, hobby, family and activity changes that we experience it makes sense to −ind the right home for you. Instead of compromising to meet the needs of your current home, rightsizing offers a freeing alternative. 

Questions to ask yourself: 

  1. Do you really use all of the rooms in your home?
  2. Are there rooms that are used more for storage than any other activity?
  3. How many times a year do you use your formal dining room, living room, guest room etc?
  4. Are there routine activities that are uncomfortable or inefficient in your home’s current set up?
  5. Do you feel like you spend more time cleaning & maintaining your home than you do enjoying it?
  6. Does your current neighbourhood offer you the connections & accessibility that you desire?
  7. Do you feel like you are house poor?

It’s important to remember that right sizing does not necessarily equal downsizing. You may discover in this process that you actually need a larger home or maybe just a different configuration. Or you may find that your current home does or can suit your needs with a few changes. 

The most important thing to remember is – a home is where you and your family live at any moment. Once you leave that home it becomes just a house again & the next house you move into becomes your home.

Here are my lessons learned:

… and one ⭐️big HINT: start with one closet. Don’t look beyond one closet.

Professional organizers tell us that we get overwhelmed if we think about the whole project. Break it down into manageable tasks 

1. I started with a smaller closet because again- the idea is that I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed or discouraged. 

2. Next, I put 3 medium sized” moving boxes near the closet. I had to make 3 decisions… is the item going in the keep box? the recycle box? or the throw away box? ⭐️HINT: BE RUTHLESS with this process. If you haven’t worn or touched the item in 6-12months, you really need to consider getting it GONE! #mariecondoyourself  

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The Key Story

How did four women get together? And how did they know they were going to be successful?

When you have people that are full of passion and grace who are real about what the struggles and stressors in all aspects of life are, especially Real Estate and family,then you can pretty much make anything happen.

These women are masters of prioritization, scheduling,goal setting,and task distribution.Together with their staff they work competitively while always maintaining the highest level of respect for each other creating a culture that truly allows ALL to flourish!

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Did You Know?? Routines are a good thing…

I’m a routine kind of girl …. I LOVE routines. My day always starts the same way.

I make coffee for Phil and I, take my vitamins, make the bed, then I head into the yoga room for meditation & then I workout … Every day, like clock work this is how I start.

Now, you might ask WHY…. Why is a routine so important and what the heck does it have to do with real estate? … I’ll get there, I promise.

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Plant the good seeds…

I am sure you have all heard the old saying–
Plant the good seeds, in the good ground, do the good work and collect a good harvest…..

This reigns so true in every aspect of life, even if you are not familiar with farming there is a sense of pride and honour that comes with this line fo work….

I truly believe we should all have this same attitude when it comes to our businesses,  jobs and our communities – this attitude grows a sense of ownership and pride.

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I’m dusting off a blog that I wrote a few years  back… because it inspired me again.

I was thinking about how important TRADITIONS are – old and new – and also about WHY we create traditions…

Me? – I think it’s because it feels comfortable. Traditions are like comfy sweaters. They just feel cozy and right. Traditions also help us keep great MEMORIES alive.

I love pulling out my Christmas recipe book. It always reminds me of Phil’s mom, who passed away 8 years ago. This recipe book is full of some of her favourite treats to make at Christmas and I think of her every time I’m making “Marshmallow Marvys” and other family favourites at Christmas. All these traditions remind me of when we moved far away from family and our home … and our first Christmas here.

It didn’t feel right. Our first Christmas here was different then we had always had, and I didn’t know what we were going to do.

My mom was the person who helped remind me …”CREATE your OWN Traditions” she said. Start NEW ones. So we did and here is a copy of that blog that I shared ….


Yes – it does happen….People move during the Holidays…We did. Phil and I landed here just before the holiday season – complete with 2 young kids along with a dog and a cat in tow.


Imagine- your typical Christmas preparations along with ALL the “over the top “ planning that occurs…shopping, wrapping, shopping, baking, shopping, visiting, eating, shopping, entertaining, school plays and concerts, more shopping, more cooking and then more eating. And then add MOVING to a new home into that equation and ….Holy Reindeer!!

Talk about a recipe for stress…. BUT, ONLY IF YOU LET IT. Talking from experience , We Poiriers were New to Strathmore during the Holidays (years ago now)


There were soooo many things to consider but we KNEW ONE THING

We wanted our kids experience to be THE PRIORITY…. Because, let’s face it- Christmas is for FAMILY and especially the KIDS. We had no other family here when we moved and we were in a new province So the One thing we DID know …. a WHITE Christmas was going to be a first for us….cool.


We all sat down and made a list of NEW traditions …It was a PERFECT time to create NEW memories with NEW traditions.We all got to pick one new tradition each and all these years later, each tradition is honoured – from “More than Ice creme” for Christmas Eve Dinner (they were the only restaurant open that first year, and our waitress still remembers us each year), to skating outdoors on Christmas Day (only 2 Christmas’ we’ve had no ice to Skate on but hiking in +15c sunny weather is a great substitute.)

Another important item that first year was an EARLY letter to Santa letting him know that we had moved, complete with Directions on how to get to our new house… it was all good. Santa found us and we started our traditions …Strathmore was our NEW HOME

Traditions during the Holiday season are TREASURED memories, whether you are NEW to your town or have always lived there, keep traditions. Or start a new one.

First written 2008


Another update.

Nowadays, our TRADITIONS have changed again. Phil and I are now empty nesters, so once again, we have created NEW traditions.

Spending time in Kelowna and Lethbridge over the holidays, sharing those old recipes with Jayden, his wife Taylor and Brayln too. AND sharing in their new TRADITIONS in their HOMES


HOME + TRADITIONS….that is what makes the HOLIDAY season SPECIAL ….

What are your special traditions? TREASURE them, share them or if its’ been awhile dust them off and experience TRADITIONS with your loved ones this year



The REPs Group want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season

Merry Christmas ALL!!

Hayley, Carey, Christa, Michelle E, Michaela, Kim, Michelle L and Michelle N … the REPS


Scott McGillivray’s Top 5 Renos For Return On Investment

How can you increase property value? It’s the eternal question being asked by homeowners, real estate investors and renovators. While the answer may seem simple enough, the wrong upgrades can actually decrease the value of your home.

According to television host, celebrity contractor and real estate investor Scott McGillivray, “It’s doing the right renovations that provide value to the people.”

Whether you’re buying a fixer-upper home, are renovating an existing house to suit your needs, or you’re planning to sell and want to get the biggest return on your investment, here are some tips to increase property value.

Scott McGillivray’s Top 5 Renos for ROI

Don’t discount the value (or rather, the potential value!) of your flooring. Pull up your dingy carpets, and particularly in older homes, you’re quite likely to find a treasure buried beneath! Oftentimes, hardwood floors will have been covered up for years, and could be in great condition. Refinishing those floors could be all it takes to update the look – and boost the value – of your home.

For a quick, easy and inexpensive home update, swap out the fixtures throughout your home. Every room has them, which means every room has… well, room for improvement! Replace damaged, worn-out or mis-matched door knobs, cabinet pulls, faucets and fixtures, to give your home a more modern edge.

Scott says paint is a simple and quick value-add to your home. “Use colour to enhance spaces and make changes. Change the way a space feels,” he says. For example, if you have a small, dark kitchen, consider repainting the walls and re-finishing cabinet in lighter, fresher hues to create the illusion of a larger space. Lighter, cooler colours make walls recede, so this is a great trick for any small room.

Believe it or not, adding a bathroom in an unconventional space is a growing trend that Scott is no stranger to himself. “What we’ve done a lot of times is under a staircase, we’ll add a powder room or a two-piece bathroom. You will add a lot of value.” If you’re short on space (or budget!) and adding a bathroom isn’t in the plan, renovate an existing bathroom. What’s trending? According to Scott, frameless walk-in showers make a big splash (pun intended!).

Number one on Scott’s list of ways to increase property value is (drum roll please…) renovate the kitchen. There are many areas to consider, and they all come at a cost. Scott says to tackle the task, start at the top and work your way down.

  • Lighting Will you have pot lights, perhaps pendants or a chandelier?
  • Seating “Most families today are spending time eating in the kitchen.”
  • Flooring “We do a lot of hardwood in our kitchens,” says Scott. “Engineered hardwood performs best in these spaces.”
  • Appliances “Most people are preparing spaces for 36 inch refrigerators.”
  • Countertops “The most popular in demand is quartz.”

And the most popular layout when it comes to the kitchens is…open concept.

Take a good look at your home and see what you can do to improve property value. Once you do, you may never want to leave!

This article was originally published by Toronto Home Shows.

4 Reasons Staging Your Home Makes a Difference

We’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, but first impressions usually impact our decision-making, whether we care to admit it or not.

Therefore, a well-staged home typically has a better chance of selling at a higher price than one that hasn’t been staged.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to discover why sellers shouldn’t have “stage fright” when it comes to selling their home.

Faster sale, higher price

Our Influencers agreed that effective staging will help sellers get the deal done quicker, for a higher price.

“I guarantee sellers that, while I don’t know the exact amount they will receive as a result of staging, I know they will get more than their money back and they will sell their home in a shorter period of time than they would without staging,” said one RE/MAX Influencer.

A buyer can tap into his/her imagination when a home is shown in its best light. When potential buyers can see themselves living in your home, they will be motivated to make a reasonable offer.

The ‘Wow’ factor

Simply put: Homes look their best when they are staged.

Staged homes are also depersonalized, which is important because buyers don’t want to feel like they’re purchasing somebody else’s home. They want it to feel as though it’s theirs.

Stagers understand how to professionally present homes to appeal to the emotions of the broader spectrum of prospective purchasers. Photographs of a staged home are also more likely to garner increased interest online.


When potential buyers walk into a home, they’re thinking beyond what their eyes are showing them. They’re visualizing themselves living in the space. Is the home an ideal place for their children to grow up? Does the house have what they need to enjoy retirement?

Personal clutter can often hinder these visions, which is not ideal for the seller. A professional stager will take an objective look at the property and make sure prospective purchasers will be able to see themselves in the space.

A positive first impression

First impressions are incredibly important. On many occasions, buyers will form their opinions by the time they’ve taken a few steps into your home. A bad smell, a crooked frame or a bit of dirt on the floor can be the difference between whether or not you get an offer.

Great books deserve stunning covers; great homes deserve to be staged.

Fall Selling Time

Canada has 4 seasons. We embrace the change of the weather as we gently (or not so gently) move from hot Summer weather into the crispness of Fall

We pull on our favourite sweaters, cuddle on the couch with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and start to plan fall activities like kids hockey and ringette, Boy Scouts or Guides. All the stuff that Fall is made of….. BUT how many of us plan the Fall Home Selling season?

As a REPs Group Realtor®, I have conversations with people all the time asking if FALL is a good time to list their home …and we say YES

Many buyers are out looking for homes now before the snow is here to stay, so a savvy seller takes advantage of the potential opportunity

Yes, selling in the Fall is a little different then in Springtime or summer …. but it has its advantages, if you plan.

I have gathered some of my favourite Fall Selling Secrets ….here are my top 5

1. Clean up the yard…your whole yard . Get the rake out, prune the trees a bit, cut the grass one last time and put the garden to bed for the winter.
In summer, the brightness and fullness of the summer plants really add cheer to a yard. But In Fall, we don’t have that luxury
(though the green grass and evergreen trees, and the beautiful changing leaves do look so good right now) .

A yard that is super TIDY and trimmed shows your property at its BEST in Fall.
And If weather permits, maybe keep your lawn chairs out staged by the firepit, with a bundle of wood. This gives the buyer an idea of coziness. A fire in the evening of a cool fall night is truly relaxing.
Small details like water hoses and garden tools stored away neatly for the season, give the buyer an impression that you CARE about your home.

2. Next, Pull our your yard broom or power washer and get to work. The littlest of creatures need to be swept away. Have you ever walked around the exterior of your house and noticed all the little spider webs and dirty marks? Sweep or wash them away. And get the exterior windows washed up one last time too. Dirty windows are a large turn off for buyers.

3. Now that the yard and exterior are organized and neatly trimmed up, add some Fall colour …just a bit goes a long way. I love to add a large potted Mum or 2 at the front step.









Many home owners will put a fall wreath on their door (bargain hunt at the dollar store or discount stores) If the budget is tight or you are crafty, go for a walk on forest trail, bring your snippers and cut yourself some foliage. Then grab a large pot (discard from summer possibly) and create a display for the front door or back deck.

As we move into October, I love to see a pile of Gourds in a basket or several pumpkins
Little sprinkles of fall colour add the brightness that you might be missing. When you are listed for sale, always consider BOTH the front and backyard in your plans.
Another little tip-Repeating a small display on the back deck reminds the buyer of the fond first IMPRESSION they had as they walked up your front steps.
It’s kind of like the Bow on a gift or the “icing on the cake” Finishing details make ALL the difference.


4. The outside is ready, lets move indoors.
The furnace and fireplace have probably not been turned on for months, so it’s time to get them cleaned and serviced before you need to turn them on. It’s a good maintenance tip for everyone, but especially for sellers. Be prepared.
With an accepted offer, typically there is a home inspection. The inspector will take note of when the furnace was serviced last and a buyer will feel confident in seeing that the seller has maintained key items.
If you have Central AC, maybe put the cover on it and tuck it in for winter.

5. Ahhhhhh, the smell of Fall baking- can you beat it?
Apple pie, Banana bread, cinnamon cookies …..Fall flavours are so inviting. The comfort of smelling fall baking is simply magic!
Having a plate of cookies out on the counter on a fall day makes buyers feel right at home

If you need some ideas about what I’ve mentioned here, please reach out to one of the REPs Group. We love to share ideas.

Back To School

Well, another summer has flown by!  Time for all the students to head back to school!

For the parents sending their children off to kindergarten, it can be a very stressful yet exciting time!  Kids are anxious; most of them have already met their teachers in the spring and are ready to get going.  Spend a little time with the little ones explaining what their day will look like.  For them the 1/2 day at school can feel like a lifetime at the beginning of the year but after a week or so they will settle in nicely.

For the grade ones attending a full day of school it can be exhausting – try not to overschedule these little ones until they get settled in.  Kids are so busy these days with sport and extra curricular activities that their school work can certainly suffer especially if they are exhausted.

As the students get older they understand the routine and expectations of school life, but getting them ready can certainly be tough.  They have so much going on in their daily lives with school, activities and that wonderful technology which seems to have taken over our lives.

Schools and teachers are an important and integral part of your children’s lives.  They will influence their daily routine and leaning structure so they really need your support.  In this day of hustle and bustle and over scheduling school routines can suffer.

Take the time to understand what support your school may need, whether its volunteering for hot lunch day, helping reading programs in the elementary school or spending time on fieldtrips and outings.

Don’t forget to set up bussing if your young ones need transportation.

Bring on the school year!  Before you know it will be Halloween and then Christmas.  Enjoy every minute with your little ones, before you know it they are taller than you, borrowing the car and waving good-bye before they head off to their own lives.  Let’s enjoy, love and support them while we can.

Michelle Eldjarnson
The REPs Group