Tips for Hosting a Stress Free Holiday Party

Planning a festive gathering but want to skip the stress? Here’s how to throw a fabulous holiday party with ease, inspired by tips from Martha Stewart:

Get those invites out early! The holiday season is hectic, so ensure your guests can pencil you in by sending invitations ahead of time.

Utilize what you already have at home. Scour your cupboards for party essentials like plates and decorations. This not only saves money but also adds a personal touch to your party setup!

When it comes to food and drinks, it’s better to have more than less. You’ll avoid the worry of running low, and guests will appreciate the abundance.

Don’t shy away from asking for help. Friends and family are often happy to contribute, making the party more fun for you and memorable for everyone. With these tips, you’re all set to host a stress-free, joyous holiday celebration!

Make sure to bookmark this link so you have ideas for your holiday party!



4 Tricks to Save Money While Building a Home

Building a home is becoming more and more common and with good reason! You can design your home exactly the way you want it, complete with your favourite flooring, appliances, and finishes.

But the process of building a home from start to finish can add up quickly, especially when you add in all the extras like those luxury finishes or specialized rooms. While there are many ways to splurge while building a new home, there are also several opportunities to actually save money on building so you can put that money to use elsewhere! Let’s go through the 4 best tricks to save money on the building process.

1. Build up not out: If you want more square footage, you might think that the only way is to build out the floor plan on the same level and expand horizontally. But building out requires more foundation, more roof, and extra lot space. These three things can make up the bulk of your home cost. Instead of building out, consider building up by adding a floor. This will help you add square footage without the added cost of expanding the foundation or roof.

2. Group your wet rooms together: Wet rooms are all of your rooms that require plumbing–think your bathrooms, laundry room, and utility room. By grouping these rooms together, you’ll have your plumbing lines in the same spot. This will decrease the amount of plumbing you need to run throughout the house, which can get expensive!

3. Consider your flooring: Tile and real hardwood floors are nice, but they can get extremely expensive, especially when used throughout the home. Instead of these pricer options, use luxury vinyl plank (also known as LVP). LVP has the look of real wood or tile, but it’s much cheaper. It’s also great with pets and kids and is growing in popularity, so you have lots of options!

4. Look at different building materialsSome builders default to the most expensive building materials like stone and brick. But you can get similar looks at a fraction of the cost with a stone or brick veneer. If you’re not a fan of brick or stone, you can look at other lower-cost building materials like stucco, vinyl or hardy board, or siding.


4 Tips to Navigate Home Construction Delays

Building a new home and construction delays often go hand in hand. Delays and changes to the construction timelines are commonplace due to things like material supply chain delays, labor-related delays, or the home simply needing more work than originally anticipated. 

If you’re not prepared, these kinds of delays can throw off your plans and cause chaos, ultimately resulting in more stress and challenges. But with these 4 tips, you’ll be prepared to navigate home construction delays and will have the knowledge you need to handle and plan for unforeseen delays.

1. Set realistic expectations and flexible timelines. Work closely with your builder to understand their timeline and what goes into each part of the construction. If you have questions about a certain portion of the timeline, ask! If there are certain milestones that need to be hit by certain dates, make that clear to your builder so you’re working from the same expectations. From there, you can set your expectations–but remember to be flexible. Delays happen and can’t always be foreseen.

2. Focus on communication: Sometimes delays happen because communication breaks down between the builder and the buyer. To avoid this, make sure you have a designated contact person at your builder who will be your go-to liaison to answer questions. Then, set a regular check-in schedule with this contact. Standard check-ins will ensure that you’re always apprised of what’s going on with your build, and when delays do happen, you can alter course quickly.

3. Understand the why: Though flexible timelines, clear expectations, and communication will help avoid delays, they are still bound to happen. When something does come up, work with your builder to find out why it happened. Once the builder has determined the cause, you can work together to see if other delays will happen as a result and how to avoid them.

4. Have a contingency plan! This is probably the most important tip. Having a contingency plan will help you avoid the headache of scrambling to find housing if your home isn’t built in time. Plan for delays and for the build timeline to be longer than expected, and have a solid Plan B to fall back on in case a big delay does happen.

Your real estate agent will be by your side throughout the entire build process and will help you navigate those delays.

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