Keystone Blog

October 3rd, 2013 4:37 PM

Many Canadians are interested in knowing the “smartest” household renovations to make to receive a good return on their investment. Although there are many variables that affect the value of a home, the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) offers these general tips to Canadian consumers.

1. Choose improvements with long life expectancy. Roofing, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and windows can provide homeowners worry-free home improvements for as long as 10 to 15 years. But remember…regular maintenance is as important as the initial investment.

2. Invest in modern updates in high-traffic areas. Update the core rooms of your home such as the kitchen and bathroom. This can be as simple as changing door knobs, resurfacing cabinets or replacing fixtures and countertops.

3. Don’t underestimate the value of inexpensive updates. A fresh coat of paint, modern lighting fixtures, light landscaping or gardening, or upgraded door handles can give your home an updated look and feel – and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money!

4. Consider energy efficient renovations that have a high return relative to cost. Energy-efficient renovations are considered one of the highest paybacks relative to cost. Energy efficiency translates into reduced operating costs over time.

5. Be careful about over-improvement. Consider your neighbourhood and the expectations of buyers in your area when planning your next renovation project. Investing in an expensive project may be an over-improvement for a home in a particular market, and the investment may only be partially recognized by homeowners.

6. Think about your personal needs. How much you spend on improvements will depend on how long you plan to live in your home. If you’re thinking shorter-term, smaller and less expensive improvements may be your best bet to recover your investment.

7. Be sure to get a building/renovation permit. Take the time to obtain the proper building permits from your municipality or appropriate authority. This is a good step to ensuring that the renovation work complies with the building codes.

8. Hire a designer, architect or contractor. Talk to a professional when you start planning your renovation project. They can help you draw up a plan, provide renovation advice, or assist in the construction. This will add to the quality of the renovation and go a long way in preventing cost overruns.

9. Consider unique features with care. Unique designs or improvements that are uncommon for a particular market may impact the resalability of a home. This is where the expert advice of a real property appraiser can provide an objective perspective on marketability of the property.

For a professional and independent opinion on the value of your home – either before or after a home renovation – contact us at Keystone Appraisals. We proudly serve the Kootenay Boundary!

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Posted by Keystone Admin on October 3rd, 2013 4:37 PMLeave a Comment

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OK, I’m going to do a little bragging as I am so proud of my brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Monty Misson, for following their dream to start a vineyard and to design and build their winery.

They just had their Grand Opening on Saturday, July 20th. Mayor Ron Hovanes congratulated them on creating the vineyard and producing a quality product and then helped with the three-generation ribbon cutting ceremony.







Montakarn Misson, Gladys Misson, Mayor Ron Hovanes, Eric Misson, and Gary Misson cut the ribbon.

The land was purchased for the specific soils.

Tasting Room

Tasting Bar

Covered patio to enjoy a glass of wine and an exceptional valley view!

It’s not pretentious – it’s about family!

Toe-tapping music provided by Rick Wood.

Next time you're in Oliver, look for the Big Red Roof at 5462 Black Sage Road, Oliver, BC.

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Posted by Keystone Admin on July 24th, 2013 2:15 PMLeave a Comment

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Congratulations to all the Winners of the Trail Garden Contest!

It was perfect weather to sit back and enjoy a glass of Columbia Garden wine while the winners of the Communities in Bloom Trail Garden Contest were recognized and presented with awards for their creations. It was held at the Piazzo Colombo on Rossland Avenue. It is worth a visit to enjoy a little piece of Italy.

Commercial Winners

1st Place - Keystone Appraisals
1328 Bay Avenue

2nd Place - Casa di Cioccolato
1346 Bay Avenue

Trail's Best Residential Garden Award

Connie Smith & Arlene Chapman
1362 Third Avenue

Having some celebratory cake!

Sampling some wine from our local winery - Columbia Gardens.

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Posted by Keystone Admin on July 18th, 2013 4:13 PMLeave a Comment

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July 15th, 2013 11:26 AM

Yesterday, Rob and I thought we would check out what is happening in downtown Trail, soak in some of artistry of the Communities in Bloom displays and take a walk along the Columbia River on the Esplanade. As usual it did not disappoint. We even found some new hidden gems and also came across some work of the infamous Trail Prankster!

Our first stop was morning coffee at the new Bears Den located in the Gulch on Rossland Avenue.

Oh My! You have to check out this new store. The treasures by local artisans are a treat to the senses. This used to be Mike’s Radiator for years. The new owner, Richard Golding, has brought back the beauty of this building. The original stamped tin ceilings and walls have been spiffed up and the fir floors redone. The displays by local artisans include paintings, photography, jewelry, carvings and unique log and solid wood furniture by local Trail Manufacturer, Old School Log Furniture.

Richard Golding also designs and manufactures mirrors which are shipped all over Canada. That is his reflection in the mirror above. The Bears Den is open 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday to Saturday.

Now to our walk along the Esplanade. The colourful and elegant tapestries created by Communities in Bloom did not disappoint as we were gobsmacked by their creations. The work by Bill Garnett, the staff and the tireless volunteers will bring a smile to your face and peace to your heart and mind.

Take a stroll along The Esplanade and drink in the beauty. Sit in the shade of the white garden and immerse your senses in wellbeing.

Important dates for Communities in Bloom:

  • The Trail in Bloom Garden Contest awards will be held at the Colombo Piazza at 6:30pm on Tuesday, July 16th. Come out and support all those who participated.
  • The Garden Tour and Teck Mad Hatter Luncheon is on Saturday, July 27th. Garden Tour Maps sold by donation at Ferraro Foods. Mad Hatter Lunch, also on July 27th, will be at the Teck Guest House at 410 Ritchie Avenue in Tadnac. Tickets are limited (only 80) so get them early. Cost is $10.00 each and are available at Century 21, Ferraro Foods and Columbia Green House. Feel free to don your hat and gloves. I’ve got mine already, picked it up at the Trail Esplanade Market. It was a creation of CIB volunteer Annette Gallatin.

For an experience from a different dimension take a stroll down Bike Alley, the lane in the 1300 block between Bay and Cedar Avenue and melt into childhood. It would be likened to an E.T. experience amongst some back alley gardening. The magic of E.T has returned.

Walking down Cedar Avenue we noticed that the infamous but allusive Trail Prankster had struck again and left some broken pots of plastic flowers at the doorstep of Century 21 Kootenay Homes.

Well, that is it for our Sunday Out and About. If you find hidden gems, new businesses, things of interest, or some fun, nondestructive and good natured Trail Prankster hits (you never know where he/she will strike again), take a picture and let us know.

From all of us here at Keystone Appraisals

Have an awesome week!

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Posted by Keystone Admin on July 15th, 2013 11:26 AMLeave a Comment

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June 7th, 2013 5:11 PM

It's that time of year again! The Farmer's Market has started up on the Esplanade in Trail's downtown core along the Columbia River.

With the success of last year, it has grown to include 50 vendors with a variety of food, beverages, clothing, jewelry, soaps, crafts, pottery, and much more. There is something for everyone! 

The market will take place every second Friday from 10:00am to 2:00pm until October 11th. This is a great opportunity to get out and support your local farmers and businesses.

For more information, or if you would like to set up your own booth, visit the Chamber of Commerce website.

Next time you are in Trail be sure to stop by!

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Posted by Keystone Admin on June 7th, 2013 5:11 PMLeave a Comment

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