Look out housing market, the millennials are on the move — and they want outdoor spaces for play.
Every spring I like to take a look at the housing numbers, all of the stats associated with buyers and what they are looking for so that I can help you improve the value of your homes. I’ve always know that even if you are not planning on selling today, making smart upgrades to your front and back yards has long-term dividends when it comes to home valuation.
What I couldn’t predict was the colossal impact that this new generation of buyers will have on these outdoor spaces and how they want to use them.
It doesn’t seem quite fair that the gardeners are being blamed for our current rat problem.
Backyard composters are coming under fire as a source of food for the rodent population, and many gardeners and homeowners are being told to get rid of them in hopes that somehow the rats will all disappear because they don’t have your lettuce scraps to eat anymore!
Instead of getting rid of the composters and encouraging everyone to send biodegradable waste to the landfill, why don’t we just explain how to rat-proof your composter?
I had a great conversation recently with a distraught homeowner complaining about their neighbour’s yard. They were desperately seeking some advice as to how to handle a next-door neighbour with an unkempt yard because they were certain that the home was hurting their property value. This is such a tricky subject. Your neighbour’s property impacts the value of your own space.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t much you can do about it.
It amazes me how many companies try to convince us that their products will work outdoors in our Canadian environment. Thankfully, we are definitely starting to see a technological-shift with products that are truly designed to handle extreme cold, lots of wet and transition straight into drought. (And I think that was just last week!)
1. Kitchen Aid’s new Magnetic Drive blender
My first product doesn’t even claim to be for the outdoors, but with the explosion in popularity of outdoor kitchens, Kitchen Aid’s new Magnetic Drive blender is a must have.
Many moons ago, I read an article written by the amazing Dear Abby where she spoke about being asked the same question by readers on a regular basis. Who knew that so many people cared about which way to toilet paper roll goes on the holder!
Now that I’ve been writing for a few years, I’m beginning to understand what she was referring to. In her honour, I am going to post the answers to the top three questions I always get asked in hopes that this will solve some of your own outdoor challenges.
Thanks to the Toronto Sun for this fun Q&A about my home in Prince Edward County:
As this is my first column for 2016, I wanted to take this moment to sum up 2015 and talk about the year ahead for gardening enthusiasts and homeowners who enjoy their outdoor spaces.
2014 and 2015 saw a lot of Canadians in transition. Housing markets were up and down all over the country. Personally, it felt like we were getting settled for the next stage of our lives.
Even if you weren’t looking for a new space to live, it was clear that homeowners were taking a closer look at their existing houses and making some big changes.
The backyard became an opportunity for extra living space. Landscape companies were busy installing bigger decks and patios with more room for fireplaces and barbecues.
The trends for 2015 seem to be split into two very separate categories. They are either all about home improvement or all about lifestyle choices. I’m not really surprised. The Gen X’ers are more focused on increasing the value of their homes than ever before, while the Millennials and the Boomers are making choices to improve the quality of their lives.
Here are my top picks for 2015 (see which category you fall in!)