Shirley Brown, your local Coquitlam REALTOR®

(604) 939-6666

How do you select the best moving company for your needs?


  • Ask for recommendations from friends other professionals in the local real estate industry.
  • Beware of fly-by-night operations. They may seem like a bargain, but you get what you pay for.
  • Does the company provide you with a written estimate and contract? (Beware of movers that just give you a price over the phone.)
  • Ask if they are covered by insurance, and what their policy is regarding lost or broken items. Make sure you receive a copy of their insurance certificate.

Finally, always ask what circumstances would result in extra charges being applied. The number one complaint received about movers by the Better Business Bureau is unexpected extra charges.

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When shopping for a new home, it's a good idea to try and see the potential of the property you're viewing. It may not be exactly what you're looking for "as is", but it may have the potential to become your dream home after some redecorating or renovating.

The challenge is, judging how much work is required. You don't want to buy a home with the expectation that it requires a $20,000 renovation, only to discover that it really needed three times that much!

That’s where a good REALTOR® can help.

I can help you get a realistic estimate of the cost of repairs, upgrades, and renovations, and even recommend some reputable interior designers or contractors.

That way, when you see a home with "potential", you'll be able to make a more informed decision.

Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Call me today.

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One of the most prominent features of any home is the windows. When they are well maintained they have a positive impact on the impression people (such as potential buyers) will have of your property. The opposite occurs, of course, when your windows look old and worn.

So does that mean you should replace your windows?

That depends on a number of factors. Window replacement can be an expensive renovation. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision.

  • Do your windows get frost or condensation build-up on the interior side? This could be a sign that the windows are not keeping out the cold as well as they should.
  • Do you see water infiltration or mildew on the interior sides of any of the window sills? This means that moisture is creeping in from the outside, and you need to get those windows repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
  • If your windows are double-paned – (two panes of glass) – check for any signs of moisture in between the glass panes. Moisture indicates that the thermal seal is broken and at a minimum, the glass will need to be replaced.
  • Take a look at your windows from the outside. Is the trim rotted or cracked anywhere? Are there dark spots or any signs of rotting on the wood frames? Repairs or replacement may be required.
  • Check the operation of your windows. Do they open and close easily? This is important because some windows, such as those in bedrooms, are often designed to be big enough to use as an exit in case of a fire.
  • Finally, are you happy with how your windows look? Do you feel that your property will look significantly better with new windows?

Although they are expensive, replacing windows has a lot of advantages. Depending on the efficiency of your current windows, replacing them could cut your energy costs by 10-20%. In addition, new windows block out more exterior noise, making your home quieter.

Want more tips on increasing the value, and enjoyment, of your property? Call me today.

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Most people feel confident about the basics of home security. For example: Keep all doors locked. Have a light on in the house while away. Never hide a key outside in an obvious place, like under the mat.

  • Yet, almost a million and a half properties get burglarized in North America each year. So how can you prevent that from happening to your home? Here are a few less known home security basics:
  • Actually, never hide a key outside. Thieves know all the hiding places. Instead, make sure all family members have a key.
  • Two-thirds of home burglaries occur during the day. So be extra vigilant about making sure doors and windows are locked while you're away during the day.
  • Surprisingly, most thieves are not daring. They are 2.7 times more likely to target a home without an alarm system.
  • Thieves will attempt to force entry through sliding-style doors and windows first. So make sure these have a locking bar or extra bolt lock.
  • Surprising, 40% of household burglaries do not involve forced entry. The thief is able to slip in through an unlocked window or door.
  • Don't show off possessions! An imported racing bike parked next to the garage, or expensive audio equipment clearly seen through a window, is an invitation to burglars.
  • Take a look at the lighting and landscaping around your property. Are there spots where a thief could easily hide? If so, make some changes.
  • When planning a trip, have a trusted neighbour pick up newspapers, flyers and anything else that may accumulate at your door.

Your local police department may have more tips and special programs for keeping your home secure. Give them a call.

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Pollutants that most often affect indoor

air quality (IAQ) are either biological

(living organisms, like mould, bacteria

and dust mites) or chemical (usually

from outside air, indoor combustion,

and common household products). To

improve IAQ, homeowners are advised

to both prevent them from entering the

home and to eliminate them from the

inside. A proper system can do both. In a

sealed home environment, most incoming

air can be directed by circulation fans

through a mechanical filtration system

that eliminates the bulk of common

airborne offenders. Even if windows or

doors are frequently opened, the air can

be channeled through the system. In

addition, electronic air cleaners can be

very effective at removing pollutants from

the air in specific rooms. A third portable

type called ion generators are also

common, but they should not be used if

they create harmful ozone gas as a byproduct,

as it can make breathing all the

more troublesome. If you’re unsure of the

best treatment for your home, consult a

reputable IAQ professional.

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Home safety is more than locked doors and alarms 



When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.

 

One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn't need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.

 

Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home.

Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery like a cedar hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.

 

Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back door.

 

Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.

 

Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they see a light turn on.

 

Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar finds the box, he still won't be able to open it and access the key.


The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.