GREG STEELE

"Not All REALTORS® Are Alike"©

Who doesn’t dream of a multi-room house with a large garden and picket fence? But sometimes, your palace might be a bit smaller than you hoped and you’ll have to get creative with the space.


Tiny homes, which are less than 400 square feet, are becoming increasingly popular in big cities like Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.  Despite their size, tiny homes are subject to the same land use bylaws as other residencies.  


However, mobile tiny homes have to abide to a different set of municipal rules, depending on whether they are built on a chassis or on a permanent undercarriage. For example, parking regulations can vary city to city.


We turned to people living in the smallest of spaces for advice: those living in vans, RVs, micro-homes, laneway houses, and other unusual set-ups for a variety of tips.  


No matter what your living situation is, these ideas will inspire better living in minimal spaces.


1. Dual purpose storage

 

"If and when you need to bring organizational pieces into your tiny home, consider stylish items that can function beyond their intended purpose," says Whitney Leigh Morris, author and founder of The Tiny Canal Cottage.


Items that pull double duty, like storage chests that act as seats, are both functional and stylish.

 

2. Wall mounted shelves

 

"Open shelving allows you to see what you have, while maintaining openness," say Alexis Stephens and Christian Parsons, who live and travel in a tiny home on wheels.


These shelves can be everything from pots and pans, spices, and bicycles. Open shelves help create the illusion of space by clearing the floor.


3. Space saving tables and beds


Furniture that folds up and tucks away, like a bed that hides away or turns into a couch, means more space for everyday use. Some tables, for example, have hinges so you can hide it away when not in use.


4. Use lighter colours  

"Use white or light color paint on your walls. Painted wall panels can also lead your eye to a focal point, creating length in your space," says Jenna Spesard, who runs a tiny house blog.


A lighter colour palette brightens up a space and makes it look larger. Avoid dark coloured woods.


5. Think vertically


"Store items high and low, and out of the eye-line to make spaces seem bigger," says blogger Jenna Spesard.


Other tricks to make space look bigger include hanging mirrors up and keeping windows clear and open.

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I have listed a new property at 10924 38 AVE NW in Edmonton.
Fantastic DUGGAN location!! This spacious OPEN BEAM 1,270 S.F. 3+2 bedroom Bungalow is situated on a quiet crescent location close to LRT, Multiple Schools, Southgate, Whitemud, Parks, etc. The long term owners have meticulously maintained and upgraded this home over the years. Newer Vinyl Windows, Furnace, Hot Water Tank, upgraded appliances, newer garage door and opener, Air Jet bath tub, etc. The large Master bedroom has 2 closets and a 2 piece ensuite. The home is very solid and in wonderful condition...perfect opportunity for a cosmetic upgrade! There's a beautiful fully fenced and private yard with garden boxes, covered deck, 2 sheds and an oversized (heated) 24'x22' garage and RV parking. OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING.
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Every January, Edmonton mails out property assessments for both municipal and provincial taxation purposes. The assessment reflects the estimate market value — essentially how much it would sell on an open market.


The tax rate is calculated by dividing the city’s budgetary needs by the number of properties assessed. As an individual homeowner, you then pay a share of that tax based on the rate and the assessed value of your property.


This means that the amount of tax you pay each year can fluctuate based on the assessed value of your home or the city’s budget.


If you disagree with the assessment, it’s possible to dispute it.


Before reaching out to the city, check the factual information on record, review your assessment, and compare your assessment to similar properties through a sale search. 


Contact the city or Edmonton’s Assessment Review Board with any concerns.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream (until Feb. 9)
One of Shakespeare’s best known plays, filled with humour and mirth. 


The Art of the Book (until Feb. 16)
A book event that only happens once every five years, this is a great opportunity to learn more about both Canadian and international book artists.

Chinook Series (until Feb. 17)
A 11-day performance series that brings everything from dance to theatre together for the community.


Swingin' City Sundays (until Feb. 24)
Free live music and dance lessons every Sunday at City Hall this month.


Habitat for Humanity workshops (until Feb. 28)
The non-profit housing organization is offering workshops to the public — not only are these a pre-requisite to volunteer with the group, it’s a great way to learn about home building and renovations.


Mommy Mentors for Professionals (until March 4)
A great network for other career-minded moms to seek advice and support each other.


Portraits Exhibition (until April)
From quirky to iconic, this art exhibition has a little bit of something for everyone to identify with.

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