real estate


Top Residential Areas in Qatar to Consider for Living

  • August 9, 2023

Top Residential Areas in Qatar to Consider for Living

When it comes to finding the perfect place to call home in Qatar, there are several exceptional residential areas that stand out. With a booming real estate market and a variety of properties for rent in Qatar, there’s something for everyone’s preferences and needs. Whether you’re a young professional, a family with kids, or a retiree looking for a peaceful environment, Qatar has a range of residential options to cater to your lifestyle. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the top residential areas in Qatar that you should consider for living.

1. The Pearl-Qatar

The Pearl-Qatar is a stunning man-made island that’s become synonymous with luxury living. Its Mediterranean-style architecture, picturesque views, and high-end shopping and dining options make it one of the most sought-after residential areas in the country. The Pearl offers a mix of apartments and villas, all equipped with modern amenities and stunning waterfront views. It’s also conveniently located near major business districts, making it an attractive choice for professionals. If you’re looking for exclusivity and a lavish lifestyle, The Pearl-Qatar should be at the top of your list.

2. West Bay

West Bay is another prominent residential area in Qatar, known for its towering skyscrapers, impressive skyline, and proximity to major business hubs. This area is perfect for those who seek convenience, as it’s situated in the heart of Doha, the capital city. West Bay offers a mix of upscale apartments and serviced residences, making it a great choice for expatriates and professionals. The area is also home to numerous international schools, making it suitable for families with children.

3. Al Sadd

Al Sadd is a vibrant neighborhood that strikes a balance between modernity and tradition. It’s known for its bustling markets, cultural attractions, and a wide range of housing options. From cozy apartments Read the rest


Finding Your Dream Home in St Albans: Tips for House Hunting in a Competitive Market

  • July 20, 2023

Finding Your Dream Home in St Albans: Tips for House Hunting in a Competitive Market


St Albans, a historic city nestled in the heart of Hertfordshire, has become a sought-after destination for homebuyers. With its charming neighborhoods, excellent schools, and convenient access to London, it’s no wonder that the property market in St Albans is highly competitive. If you’re on the hunt for your dream home in this bustling city, here are some tips to help you navigate the challenges of a competitive market and find the perfect property.

Define Your Priorities 

Before diving into the house hunting process, take the time to identify your priorities. Consider factors such as location, size, amenities, and budget. Knowing what you’re looking for will help you stay focused and make informed decisions during your search.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage 

In a competitive market, it’s crucial to be prepared. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a clear understanding of your budget and show sellers that you’re a serious buyer. This step will also expedite the buying process once you find your dream home.

Work with a Local Real Estate Agent

Partnering with a knowledgeable and experienced St Albans estate agent who specializes in the St Albans market can be a game-changer. They will have insider knowledge, access to exclusive listings, and the negotiation skills needed to help you secure your dream home in a competitive market.

Stay Updated with Online Listings 

Set up alerts on popular property websites and stay updated with new listings. In a competitive market, desirable properties can go under offer quickly. Being one of the first to know about new listings will give you an advantage and increase your chances of finding your dream home.

Attend Open Houses and Viewings  

Actively participate in open houses and property viewings. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for different neighborhoods, Read the rest


Belmont residents gets feel for new home before renovating it

  • July 14, 2022

Many people who buy a home that hasn’t been updated since the 1950s would want to do a major renovation before moving in. However, Belmont residents Rita and Sarkis Chekijian did the reverse. They purchased a home and decided to live in it first with their three children before making any decisions about the renovation.

After selling their Watertown home, they moved in with Sarkis’s parents on Woodfall Road in Belmont while looking for a place to live. What was supposed to be a few months turned into 18 months before they learned about a home just a few doors down the street.

The owner had died and the Chekijians were able to purchase 56 Woodfall Road in 2014 for $850,000 through a private sale. It’s a ranch-style home built in 1956 with four bedrooms, a two-car garage, living room, dining room, kitchen and three full bathrooms.

Work continues on the addition Sarkis and Rita Chekijian are having put on their Belmont home, July 8, 2022.

Now, eight years later and a little longer than they originally planned, they have temporarily moved out of their home while it is partially gutted for updated electrical wiring, a major renovation of the kitchen and bathrooms and the addition of a new half bathroom, family room, four-season sun room, exercise room, storage closets and a farmer’s porch. 

Russell Amaral, of Dream Builders, cuts planks for the new front porch at 56 Woodfall Road in Belmont, July 8, 2022.

Why they waited

It was not their dream house, but the Chekijians said they loved the neighborhood and location down the street from Sarkis’s parents, who bought their home in 1989.

They knew they wanted to make changes to the house, but felt it was important to get a feel for the space first. 

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While they would

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How To Know When It’s Better To Remodel Your Home or Move

  • July 4, 2022
Construction worker plastering and smoothing concrete wall in room.

urbazon /

Your current home is no longer working for you — at least in its current state. However, you’re not sure if you want to sell or stay put and renovate it to perfection.

In May 2022, the median national home price for active listings surged to an all-time high of $447,000 — an annual growth rate of 17.6% — according to However, HomeAdvisor data revealed renovations and remodels average $47,825, which is also a hefty investment.

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“Right now, the prices are skyrocketing and will affect both roads — renovating and buying a new home,” said Amy Kite, a real estate agent and owner of The Kite Real Estate Team, based in the Chicago area. “You’ll have to run some figures and decide what one makes sense for you.”

If you’re serious about remodeling, she said you’ll also need to consider the availability of materials you’ll need.

“Construction supplies are limited and you might not be able to purchase the items you want for your reno, even if you go down that road,” she said.

However, she said purchasing a new home comes with its own unique challenges — including potentially being outbid in your area — which makes this decision more difficult than it once was.

“You aren’t given the luxury to browse a number of homes and have a pick of the one you’d like,” she said. “It’s a competitive market and you might have to pay more than you’d imagine getting the home you’d like.”

Since the market is difficult in many areas right now, she said many people are no longer finding the process of buying a home enjoyable. Therefore, she recommended heavily considering a

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Real Estate Experts Reveal the Best Money You Can Spend on Your Home

  • June 30, 2022
A worker installing hardwood floor in an American upscale home.

slobo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Thinking about renovating your home? More than half (55%) of American homeowners are, too, according to a 2022 Houzz & Home Study.

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Home upgrades and remodels can be a great investment — if you choose a project that will eventually allow your home to sell for more. As the cost of labor and materials rise, here’s how real estate experts recommend making the most of the money you spend on your home.

First, Determine Your End Goal

Before choosing a project, decide why you’re investing in your home, says Allison Timothy, a buyer agent with Homie in Utah.

“Before beginning a home remodel or adding to your home, it’s best to know who you are trying to please,” she said. “Unique finishes that you really love are great if you plan to stay and enjoy them. However, if you’re remodeling to get ready to sell, look for new neutral trends that buyers are seeking right now.”

Experimenting with trendy colors is fine, as long as you do so with easily replaceable décor such as accent pillows, wall hangings or rugs. For permanent pieces or upgrades — like light fixtures, backsplashes, tile flooring or anything that’s glued or bolted down — Timothy recommends sticking with neutral colors.

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Next, Plan Your Budget and Choose a Project

Renovating and upgrading your home may be exciting, but don’t rush into a project too quickly. Take your time to research and map out how much you can spend.

“For those looking to improve their home, I would recommend first establishing what your budget is and make sure to

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Canada’s home renovation boom under pressure amid soaring costs, rising rates

  • June 29, 2022

Hillary and Andrew Strack-Cheng with their kids Leland and Juniper in their home on June 22.Cole Burston/The Globe and Mail

Home renovations can be unpredictable and anxiety-laden at the best of times. But soaring costs, rising interest rates, cooling home prices and uncertainty about Canada’s economic outlook are increasing the financial risks associated with a major property uplift, some real estate experts warn.

Homeowners with large mortgage balances should “be careful with renovations right now,” said Nasma Ali, broker and founder of One Group Toronto Real Estate.

On top of sky-high materials and labour expenses driven by supply chain snarls and worker shortages, another squeeze on some home renovators’ budgets is coming from rising borrowing costs. Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which homeowners often rely upon to finance major improvements, generally come with variable interest rates, which have been climbing as the Bank of Canada has raised its benchmark rate to help fight inflation.

Those changing real estate and economic trends have caught some Canadians by surprise, mid-reno.

In Toronto’s east end, Hillary Strack-Cheng and her husband embarked on a sweeping home makeover September. They wanted to add two bedrooms and a bathroom to their small two-storey home to make room for their growing family. The couple had decided to renovate after calculating that a home extension would cost them less than selling the house and buying a bigger property in what was then a red-hot market.

But some nine months later, the project, which was temporarily derailed by a dispute with a contractor, is continuing. Delays and unexpected costs forced the couple to refinance their mortgage, which has a variable rate, and max out their HELOC.

While the family expects to move back home in August, Ms. Strack-Cheng said rising interest rates are adding a layer

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Can upscale renovations price your home out of the resale market?

  • June 24, 2022

Find out which renovations give the best return on investment when selling a home.

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A kitchen renovation provides the most bang for your buck when increasing a home’s potential resale value, a new survey has found.

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Yet a local realtor suggests homeowners think twice before paying tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade their kitchen or undergo other costly renovations if their intention is to maximize the sale price of their home.

“On the whole, renovating your home is not a bad idea,” says Doug Smilski, realtor with Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate in Edmonton.

“But when you do a renovation, you should know that you may not see a comparable return on investment when you sell your home, so a big renovation should really be more about enjoying it while you live there.”

Still, the recent Royal LePage Home Renovation Return on Investment survey of more than 400 real estate professionals found a newly remodelled kitchen could on average add 20 per cent to a property’s total value.

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That’s the highest return on investment among all renovations on the survey’s list of 13 improvements, which included everything from pools to home offices and eco-upgrades.

“Most homeowners would like to know where they should invest in their home and what renovations offer the best return

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Maya Vander reveals the most important room to remodel if you’re on a budget

  • June 21, 2022

If you’re in the world of home renovation then you’ll be fully aware that it’s a little… Addictive. And despite a rise in house prices and renovation costs generally, people’s taste for house flipping and reno projects really isn’t going away any time soon. Whether you’re renovating your forever home or planning to sell and make a profit, knowing which are the most important rooms in a house to focus on can be key to success.

In an exclusive interview with Real Homes, luxury real-estate agent, and an Oppenheim Group original of Netflix’s Selling Sunset, Maya Vander (opens in new tab) shares her knowledge on which rooms are the most impactful when it comes to staging and giving potential buyers a great first impression.

Maya Vander

(Image credit: Lindy Lin)

After all, even if you have a lot of cash to play around with, you still need to manage your budget accordingly for a successful project.

Which room is most impactful when showing potential buyers?

The kitchen is often argued as the heart of the home, and Vander says it’s worth perfecting this space as a priority, especially if you plan to redo your entire house, but don’t necessarily have the budget to do it all in one go.

‘I think generally speaking kitchens are very important in a house, especially if the kitchen is open, because

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20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value

  • June 16, 2022
gilaxia / Getty Images

gilaxia / Getty Images

Your home isn’t just a source of pride or a place where you can relax after a long day — it’s also an investment in your family’s future.

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And while it’s natural to want to make improvements to increase your home’s resale value, some renovations will actually cost you money in the long run. Just because you see something as an improvement doesn’t mean a potential buyer will feel the same way. Find out which renovations are ones to avoid.

Roman Rybaleov /

Roman Rybaleov /

Lavish Lighting Fixtures

One common home improvement mistake is falling in love with unique or lavish light fixtures, said Alon Barzilay, founder of real estate development company Urban Conversions.

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“Whether it be ceiling-mounted lights in a dining room or a hanging pendant, there is a psychological phenomenon that happens when you go to a lighting store … you’re going to pick something exciting and new instead of picking a new addition that suddenly matches the big picture,” Barzilay said.

Further, the passage of trends works against homeowners. “Whatever is in vogue today will look dated 10 years down the road when you are ready to sell,” he said. “Simple is best. Fortunately, lighting can easily be switched out at a low cost.”

bikeriderlondon /

bikeriderlondon /

Too Much Wallpaper

With its patterns and texture, wallpaper can be an overwhelming design choice for your home. Plus, it’s notoriously difficult to remove. Homebuyers might view wallpaper removal as a potential headache, and it could be the tipping point for someone who wants a more move-in ready

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