Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

Tuesday Dec 7th, 2021

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Red candles in front of a tree text: Hostess Gifts for the HOLIDAYS

It looks like the holiday season 2021 is going to be a bit more like normal this year. If you’ve been lucky enough to score some invites, we found some great stories behind some of the more traditional hostess gifts we thought you might enjoy. Plants A great gift that reminds the recipient that you appreciated their invitation. It can be enjoyed for years to come (depending on how green the hostesses thumb is). Rosemary It is believed that smelling the rosemary plants leaves on... [read more]

What’s a Walk Score?

Tuesday Nov 23rd, 2021

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What's a Walk Score? Toronto City St.

The Walk Score is a tool that measures the walkability of any address using a patented system. It can provide important information in making decisions when you are buying a property and can give insight to what others could value when selling your home. It’s important to be clear that it is one tool of many that can be used to assess the value of a property to a potential buyer.   How does it work? It’s easy, just input the address of the property you are buying or selling,... [read more]

Last Chance: Winter Garden Checklist

Tuesday Nov 9th, 2021

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LAST CHANCE Winter Garden Checklist

A quick reminder of the last few things you need to take care of before you can confidently say that your garden is ready for the winter.  First off it’s suggested that you stop watering your garden after the first frost though your trees & shrubs can be watered until the ground is frozen over. Most importantly: 🚨Shut off outdoor faucets & drain the garden hoses Also pretty important: 🌳Fertilize the lawn 🌳Add mulch the roses bushes 🌳Protect small... [read more]

Smoke Alarms: Everything You Need To Know

Tuesday Oct 26th, 2021

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A women & small child text: Smoke alarms: everything you need to know

We have consulted the experts and here’s what you need to know. First off, The Ontario Fire Code  requires every home to have one or more working smoke alarm(s). Knowing that, let’s get down to the specifics. Where they should be installed, what kind you should have and how to maintain them so that you can keep your family safe and sound.   Location, location, location ➡️Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, and preferably in every... [read more]

Haunted Toronto

Tuesday Oct 12th, 2021

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Orange & Black w/black cat background

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, let's start getting into the Halloween spirit! Spirit, get it?!  There are lots of ghosts roaming around the city that you may not know about. Consider yourself warned this information is not for the faint of heart! 🎃Humber College Lakeshore-3199 Lakeshore Blvd W🎃 The Humber College Lakeshore campus used to be called the Mimico Asylum. It was a psychiatric hospital that operated from 1889 to 1979. There is a cemetery on site that is... [read more]

Get The Conversation Started With Some Toronto Trivia!

Tuesday Sep 28th, 2021

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Toronto skyline: Get The Conversation Started with some Toronto Trivia

Now that we’re starting to socialize a little bit, here are some great conversation starters about our beloved Toronto.   What does “Toronto” mean? Toronto is derived from the Mohawk word tkaronto. It means “where there are trees standing in water”.    Who lives in Toronto? Did you know that nearly half of the population of Toronto was born outside of Canada? Toronto is recognized by both the United Nations and the BBC as the most multicultural... [read more]

Living More GREEN

Tuesday Sep 14th, 2021

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FROG w/text: Living more GREEN

Have you been thinking about trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle?  We asked the experts for ideas to help us and here are some great ways to save money & energy and live a more eco-friendly life. There are some great reminders and a few new ideas that can help you help us on our way. Turn off the lights 💡Turning off your lights is one of the easiest ways to save some money and reduce your carbon footprint.  💡Want to take it a step further? Switch to LED... [read more]

Preparing Your Garden For Fall

Tuesday Aug 31st, 2021

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wicker basket with gardening tools

As summer wraps up it’s time to start thinking about getting your garden ready for the fall & winter AND the spring. After consulting the experts we’ve put together a list of some things you may want to do to ensure that you can enjoy your garden for as long as you can this fall and that it’s ready to go in the spring.   Don’t stop watering just yet. You should continue to water shrubs and trees up until the first frost but stop watering tuberous... [read more]

Housewarming Traditions From Around The World

Tuesday Aug 17th, 2021

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There are lots of ways to celebrate the purchase of a home with family, friends, and new neighbours. Here are some lovely traditions from around the world. Light a candle on your first night It is considered good luck to light a candle or a fire (assuming you have a fireplace) on the first night in your new home. This tradition dates back to pre-electricity days when it literally warmed the new abode. Bring bread & salt Bread and salt are two important symbols of hospitality in many... [read more]

Commonly Asked Questions About Co-signing A Mortgage

Tuesday Aug 3rd, 2021

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Why would someone need to have a co-signer for their mortgage? Tighter mortgage qualification rules & high priced real estate have made it harder to qualify for a mortgage these days. Even though they may have a great new job with a decent income and a sizeable down payment they still may not qualify. Having a third party co-sign the mortgage may be the solution. What does it mean to co-sign a mortgage? ✔️Your name appears on the title of the property  ✔️You must sign the... [read more]

Let’s Talk Home Insurance

Tuesday Jul 20th, 2021

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Let's talk home insurance

Do I need Home Insurance? If you own your home (or condo) outright you are not legally required to have home insurance. However, if you are applying for a mortgage your lender will require you to purchase housing insurance before the closing date.  If you rent your home you are not legally required to have renter’s (tenant) insurance but often it is a term of your rental contract. Do you know what your home insurance policy should cover? (depending on the policy) ⭐️... [read more]

First-Time Buyers Incentive Program

Tuesday Jul 6th, 2021

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First-time buyers incentive program

What is the First-Time Buyers Incentive program? It is part of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy designed to help middle-class first-time homebuyers across Canada buy their first home. The First-Time Buyers Incentive program is designed to lower the monthly mortgage payments without increasing the amount of money you need to save for a down payment. Simply put, it is a shared equity mortgage. The program offers 5% - 10% of the home’s purchase price to put toward a... [read more]

8 Ways To Refresh Your Garden Mid-Summer

Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2021

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Flower blossoms: 8 ways to refresh your mid-summer garden

1. Liven up your containers by adding some sun-loving annuals to your pots Here are some good options 💐 zinnias 💐 calibrachoas 💐 petunias  💐 geraniums 💐 begonias 2. Add some new plants Look for “drought-resistant” and “heat-tolerant” They will only require minimal maintenance and only regular watering. Think about plants that smell good or produce fruit for a nice surprise.   3. Add mulch A new layer of mulch will not only make... [read more]

How To Host A Successful Garage Sale

Tuesday Jun 8th, 2021

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It may finally be time to start thinking about hosting a garage sale! As Ontario opens up and we try to figure out how we’re going to be spending our summer, garage sales feel like a safe bet. Not only does it give us the opportunity to continue the great purge of 2020-2021 but we can reconnect safely with neighbours outside.   A month before the garage sale   Decide on a date  Check to see if your local residents' association or local charities are organizing a... [read more]

Moving Tips: Doing Things In An Orderly Way

Tuesday May 25th, 2021

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dog in moving box

Moving into a new home is so exciting, packing up everything you own, not so much! Here are some tips we learned from the experts over the years that can make the whole process as painless as possible. It’s amazing how just doing things in the right order can make the experience so much easier.  ONE: Book the movers: Ask friends or your real estate agent if they recommend anyone, compare prices and get the movers booked. Now that you’ve got the final part of the move taken... [read more]

4 Things That People Are Looking For In A Post COVID-19 Home

Tuesday May 11th, 2021

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Bedroom/office space

The pandemic has changed the way we live and there is no doubt that what buyers are looking for in a home has changed. As people adapt to this new way of living they are reconsidering what they are looking for in their future home. Potential home buyers have a whole new list of priorities. This is what we’ve heard from buyers... Flexible layouts to accommodate multiple home offices, exercise space, and a need for privacy. Reimagining floor plans is a new art. Traditional homes... [read more]

Understanding Real Estate Forms in Ontario 101

Tuesday Apr 27th, 2021

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Woman signing document: text: Understanding Real Estate Forms in Ontario

Buying and selling a home in Ontario can be overwhelming. There is a lot of important paperwork involved and it can be confusing.  OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) has created a standard set of forms that can be customized for each individual transaction. It’s important to understand that in Ontario: 📝 All Realtors (also known as real estate agents)  work for and represent a Brokerage. 📝 The agreements you are signing are between the Brokerage and yourself... [read more]

How To Prepare Your Home For Sale

Tuesday Apr 13th, 2021

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3 succulents in white pots text: How to prepare your home for sale

Thinking about selling your home? Here are some tips & tricks we’ve learned along the way to help make sure that potential buyers see your house as their future home. The goal is always to create a space that potential buyers can see themselves living happily ever after.    Declutter, declutter, declutter. This is a great time to donate & recycle items that you aren’t using anymore.  Go through every room & closet in the house, don’t forget... [read more]

Closing Costs ~ Some Of The COSTS You Need To Consider

Tuesday Mar 30th, 2021

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image w/frames in background text: closing costs

Closing costs are the additional fees that you need to pay on the closing date. The closing date is when the transaction is finalized and you officially become the new homeowner. They include land transfer tax, legal fees, and the fees your lawyer has already paid on your behalf.    These are costs that have to be paid at the time of purchase, on top of the down payment. They usually range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the home. It is crucial to factor closing costs... [read more]

What Every First Time Buyer Needs To Know

Friday Mar 19th, 2021

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desk with flowers

Buying your first home is exciting, and stressful. We’ve put together a list of things you need to consider before taking the big leap into homeownership. ONE: What can you afford? The first thing you should do when you are considering buying a home is figure out what you can afford.  You need to know your annual income, living costs, condo fees (if applicable), heating costs… You will also need to list any credit card debts, loan repayments… We’ve got a... [read more]

Mortgage Terms 101

Tuesday Mar 9th, 2021

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white doorway: Mortgage Terms 101 text

Mortgage terms can be confusing, we hope this list of some of the most common terms is of assistance. A mortgage is a loan for a property that you own & it is secured by a lien registered on the title of your home. It can be repaid in regular weekly, biweekly or monthly installments. It usually pays down both principal & the interest & the payment may also include a portion of the property taxes. The term is the length of time you have committed to a mortgage rate, the lender... [read more]

Random Acts of Kindness week

Tuesday Feb 16th, 2021

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Random Acts of Kindness Week February 14-20, 2021

The folks at Downsizing Diva introduced us to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and we are so happy that they did.  Not only is February 14 - 20, 2021 Random Acts of Kindness week but tomorrow, February 16, 2021, is Random Acts of Kindness Day!  Sometimes we need a reminder to be kind to those around us, especially in challenging times like these. It’s interesting though, being kind is as beneficial to oneself as it is to the recipient.  “Kindness has... [read more]

Four Financial Goals for 2021

Tuesday Feb 2nd, 2021

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4 fiancial goals for 2021 blog post-plant in background w/pen on notebook

With 2021 well underway now is a great time to take some steps to set yourself up for financial success. We’ve talked with the experts and here is what we heard over and over again.  Four financial goals everyone agrees that you should tackle in 2021: 1. Pay Down Debt The goal should be paying off ALL your credit cards as fast as possible and then paying them off every month. Consider consolidating all your debt into one more manageable payment. This is not only good for your... [read more]

Organizing Your Photos

Tuesday Jan 19th, 2021

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sepia toned photos w/camera

At this time of year, many of us make New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, eat better, or be more organized.  The problem with these resolutions is that they are much too general.  If you  “want to be more organized”, I would ask, “WHAT do you want to organize?”  If you answered: “my photos” I would say, “That’s a great place to start!!”  This is a project that can be completed relatively quickly,... [read more]

Start With A Title Search

Tuesday Jan 5th, 2021

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keys on a keychain with wood background

What is a Title Search? It is a preliminary report, usually ordered by the lending institution that is financing a home purchase request.  It is an examination of the history of the property in question to make sure that there aren’t any issues that could prevent the buyer from becoming the new owner of the property. It is conducted on the names and addresses of the current property owners to uncover any documents of public record that might affect the lenders’ or buyers’... [read more]

Christmas 2020 From Around The World

Tuesday Dec 22nd, 2020

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painting of Rudolph pulling Santa in his sleigh

This year Christmas is going to be a little different. Here are a few traditions from around the world that might be fun to incorporate into our celebrations. Looking for something to do on Christmas Eve? In Iceland, in a tradition called “Jolabokaflod” or the Yule Book Flood, they exchange books with one another on Christmas Eve and then spend the evening cuddled up with hot chocolate. Please feel free to swap out hot chocolate for your beverage of choice. Does a big turkey... [read more]

What Exactly Is HYGGE?

Tuesday Dec 8th, 2020

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Dictionary definition of the word hygge

First things first, it’s pronounced “hue-guh”. It’s a Danish word used to describe the feeling of achieving a sense of well-being. It really describes the idea of being cozy, special, or charming. A state of mind, if you will, that is calm, slow, and content. Collins English Dictionary defines the word as "a concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cozy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing." Hygge recognizes that the small things in life are... [read more]

Tips For Moving With Pets

Tuesday Nov 24th, 2020

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Moving isn’t fun, I don’t care what anybody says but if you’re organized it can be a lot easier than one would imagine. Something to take into consideration is how the move is going to affect your pet. The easier it is on them, the easier it will be on you. Here are some tips and tricks to help make your move as stress-free as possible for your furry family members. Contact your vet If you’re moving out of the area ask for recommendations for a new vet and ask your... [read more]

10 Small Things That Can Make a Big Difference This Winter

Tuesday Nov 10th, 2020

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snowflake

As the cold weather approaches, we thought it was a good time to share some of the little fixes that can make a BIG difference to how much you enjoy your home this winter. These little tweaks will not only save you money, but they will make your winter more enjoyable and when spring finally arrives you’ll be better prepared to enjoy it as soon as it arrives.   1. Drain the hose: Remember to turn off the water supply from the inside and store your hose away for the winter.... [read more]

Tips for painting your home

Monday Nov 2nd, 2020

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paint roller w/red handle

Does painting a room in your home sound like something you’d like to take on but aren’t sure if you’re up for it?  Here are some tips from experts that we thought would help.   Apparently, success in painting your home yourself depends on one thing: How much prep work was done. Who knew? Here are some tips we’ve picked up from the pros.   Advanced prep work in 6 easy steps -pull furniture away from the walls and out of the way if possible furniture... [read more]

Five Ways Robots Will Take Over the Construction Industry

Thursday Oct 15th, 2020

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robot arm

Many industries have been transformed by automation: retail, finance, and manufacturing. Home construction, however, has been slow to adopt innovations in automation – but that’s all starting to change. After decades of research on construction robotics, new technology is beginning to emerge that could potentially make home construction safer, faster, and much more efficient. Meet the robots that could build your future house. Machines That Drive Themselves Autonomous machines... [read more]

What's My Stuff Worth?

Tuesday Sep 29th, 2020

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red box with text bubbles reading

Q: What’s my stuff worth? A: It all depends on who you ask! In the past few years, I have learned that things people think are worth money often are not, while the value of items thought to be worthless, can be surprising! The only way to find out for sure is to source interested buyers and ask what they are willing to pay.  Ask about an AUCTION. Sending surplus items to auction seems easy and convenient. Start by figuring out what stuff you don’t want to keep. First,... [read more]

BUILDING GENERATIONAL WEALTH by Buying Real Estate

Tuesday Sep 15th, 2020

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monopoly board

REAL ESTATE is how many of the world’s richest people became wealthy. It’s also likely how their children and their children’s children got rich. In fact, huge empires have been built from a single property purchase. American author Mark Twain once said “Buy land. They’re not making it anymore.” By that logic, real estate will always be in high demand. Building generational wealth by buying real estate is not a new strategy, nor is it reserved for the... [read more]

What Are the TOP ENERGY CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS Buyers Look For in a Home?

Tuesday Sep 1st, 2020

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electrical cords that look like they're made out of grass

With ENERGY EFFICIENCY and AWARENESS for our environment becoming more and more important and sought after in real estate, many people who are currently in the home-buying stage have energy conservation as a high priority in their house hunting checklist. When it comes to energy efficiency, there are several different things that can be done in homes now that make them energy efficient. For sellers who are looking to implement some energy conservation solutions in their homes before putting... [read more]

Home Improvement Projects You May Not Realize Need A Permit

Tuesday Aug 18th, 2020

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black & white paint can, brushes, newspaper

If you’ve been contemplating an update to your home, one of the first things you need to find out is whether the project will require a building permit. It’s especially important now because, depending on where you live, inspections may be delayed due to the pandemic, which means you’ll need to factor this into your timeline.  Building permits are necessary to ensure the work that’s being done complies with local zoning bylaws, building codes, and health and... [read more]

The Materials That Make for an Easy-To-Clean Home

Tuesday Aug 4th, 2020

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It’s never been more important to keep your home free of dirt, germs, and viruses. The amount of time and energy you spend on cleaning depends on the finishes, upholstery, and materials you use in your home. Easy-to-clean homes tend to have clean lines, seamless surfaces, and uncluttered spaces. This also happens to be an on-trend look, so if you want to reduce your cleaning time while modernizing your space, you may want to look into the following upgrades. Wall-To-Wall Carpet Carpet... [read more]

As The World Slowly Opens

Tuesday Jul 21st, 2020

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It has been three months since the start of this world pandemic, a very long three months. Our heads have been spinning by the tragedy, not only in other places but close to home also. Countless thousands who have not survived and millions of others whose lives have been turned upside down or even shattered. Loved ones lost, jobs lost, business’ that will not reopen. Don’t forget those heroes that every day, every minute, put their lives on the line so the rest of us can make it... [read more]

The Seven COVID-19 Related Scams Homeowners Should Avoid

Tuesday Jul 14th, 2020

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Many homeowners are feeling emotionally and financially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, fraudsters have been using this opportunity to take advantage of their anxieties, which has led to a growing number of pandemic – related scams. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, $1.2 million has already been lost to COVID-19 fraud between March 6 and May 1. Protect yourself by becoming familiar with scams targeting homeowners.  Duct Cleaning Companies... [read more]

The High-Tech Windows You’ll Wish You Had

Tuesday Jul 7th, 2020

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We have smart locks, smart light, smart thermostats-pretty much every aspect of our homes can be reached out. That’s why it’s about time windows got the tech treatment. Meet the technologies proving windows can do a lot more than just provide a pretty view.    Auto-Tinting Windows Imagine never having to get up to draw your curtains or close your blinds. At the push of a button, you can transform your windows from clear to opaque thanks to electrochromic glass.... [read more]

What You Should Know About Consolidating Your Debts into Your Mortgage

Wednesday Jun 24th, 2020

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Ever since COVID-19 hit, there’s been a lot of talk about mortgages. If you have high-interest debts to pay off, such as credit cards and personal loans, one option that may be available to you is to consolidate all of those high-interest debts into one low rate mortgage. It’s a good way to simplify your finances so you no longer have to keep track of multiple bills. Instead, all of your debts would be merged into one monthly payment at a lower interest rate. Sounds good, right?... [read more]

Hello summer 2020

Tuesday Jun 9th, 2020

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As we approach our third month of sheltering in place & social distancing and washing our hands (more than we ever thought possible).  Making an effort to do our part to flatten the curve and protect ourselves against the 2nd wave of the coronavirus, summer is upon us. I can’t help but reflect on how much our world has changed. These last few months have been a crazy ride that’s for sure.   Will those of us who revealed themselves as culinary geniuses and expert... [read more]

Is now a good time to buy?

Tuesday May 26th, 2020

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Is now a good time to buy? Again, I think this is a really personal decision. As with selling a home right now, there are both pros and cons to buying. If you were already positioned to buy there is definitely room for that in this marketplace. Although I would not necessarily suggest that you consider this an opportunity for a “deal”. For the most part, I think buyers are playing a waiting game, but that is not possible for everyone. Some sales are still happening, as a... [read more]

Is now a good time to sell my house?

Wednesday May 13th, 2020

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This is a really personal decision to make. Believe it or not but there are pros to selling your house right now as well as more obvious cons. Our job as your realtor is to give you the information that you need to make an informed decision and to guide you through the process so you can make educated choices that are right for you, right now. Recently we have assisted several sellers who were in the middle of transactions and we have gained some valuable insights into what it’s going... [read more]

The Kitchen Cabinets Trend to Expect in 2020

Tuesday Apr 28th, 2020

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I think we've all spent way too much time at home lately and we're starting to think about what we don't like about our homes. If you’ve got kitchen cabinets that are outdated, damaged, or constantly sticking and squeaking, it may be time to give them a brand-new look. Changing your cabinets can drastically alter the look of your kitchen and add instant value to your property. Since cabinets take up a lot of visual real estate, upgrading them can be costly. That’s why... [read more]

What is happening in Real Estate right now

Tuesday Apr 21st, 2020

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The question I’m being asked the most right now is “How are housing prices going to be affected by COVID-19?”. Honestly, right now, no one knows. Time will tell. The hope is that the fact that this was precipitated by a global pandemic rather than an economic crisis means that this is a pause & that the appetite for real estate hasn’t disappeared, it has changed. How we are going to move forward will be different as we use technology to work together to navigate... [read more]

Tips for Selling and Buying a Home at The Same Time

Tuesday Apr 14th, 2020

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1. Assess The Situation This person knows the market situation in your area and in the new area you are considering. An agent will also know if it is a buyer’s or a seller’s market. This is important so you have a sense of how quickly homes are moving and for how much. This, in turn, will help you with your timeline, your listing price, and how much you can afford. Make sure to choose the same agent for the buying and selling process. Having an agent who understands your... [read more]

When Is It Time To Downsize To A Condo?

Tuesday Apr 7th, 2020

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Several studies have found that many Canadian boomers don’t have plans to downsize anytime soon. National data showed that as more seniors stayed in the workforce, they reported higher levels of income and therefore were able to keep and maintain their houses. On an emotional level, it can be a drastic change to suddenly move out of your house and into a condo. But the reality is that downsizing to a condo may be the best option for homeowners who are transitioning into a new phase of... [read more]

When It Comes To Water Damage, What’s Covered?

Tuesday Mar 24th, 2020

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Getting water damage insurance is a no-brainer. It can cover the replacement of personal belongings. All of these expenses can add up to ten-of-thousands of dollars. Whether or not you’re covered depends on the type of damage and your insurance policy. Read on to learn more about the different types of water damage, as well as what’s normally covered and what’s not. Overflowing water If your toilet accidentally overflows from a clog or your pipes burst all of a sudden,... [read more]

These ENVIRONMENTAL UPGRADES could save money… and the WORLD!

Tuesday Mar 10th, 2020

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With all this talk of climate change, it’s easy to forget that it’s more than just a catchy phrase. The earth’s temperatures have reached a historic high, and natural habitats, resources and wildlife are experiencing a rapid decline. Here are some environmental upgrades that home-owners and prospective buyers can prioritize when purchasing and renovating, to help create a more sustainable future! What role does Real Estate Play in Global Warming? In Canada heating and... [read more]

Stigma???? What is That?

Tuesday Mar 3rd, 2020

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A word that is being tossed around in the Real Estate world more and more frequently is STIGMA. Thanks to the internet, Google and for some of us the good old dictionary… the definition can be found fairly easily but how does that apply to Real Estate? According to the Real Estate Council of Ontario it is described as “In the context of real estate a “stigma” is a non-physical, intangible attribute of a property that may elicit psychological or emotional response on... [read more]

What Really Happens When You Break Your Mortgage Early?

Tuesday Feb 25th, 2020

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If you end your mortgage early, you may get hit with a hefty fee known as a prepayment penalty. While it is hard to fathom why anyone would want to pay this fee, the reality is that breaking a mortgage is very common. Many Canadians break their mortgage because they want to move out to a bigger house, take advantage of lower rates, or because of unexpected changes in their lives such as losing a job, going through a divorce, or having to relocate. According to RateSpy.com, it’s believed... [read more]

All the Pros and Cons of Building a Walkout Basement

Tuesday Feb 18th, 2020

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Basements have a bad rap for being dark, creepy, and depressing. If you’ve got a basement unit you’re hoping to rent out, then it’s even more imperative that you make it look inviting and livable. One impressive way to do that is to build a walkout. It instantly adds more light to the space and gives tenants their own separate entrance. If you’ve never heard of a walkout basement, it’s essentially a basement with a door that opens out onto the ground level,... [read more]

Legal Issues to Think Of When Co-Owning a House

Tuesday Feb 11th, 2020

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For people who can’t afford to buy property on their own, there’s co-ownership. This allows homebuyers to split the cost of buying a home with friends, co-workers, roommates, family members, or even strangers. Co-ownership is becoming more common these days as housing prices rise and buyers are looking to share the financial and physical burden of owning a property. Co-ownership may sound like a win-win situation, but there are many legal issues to factor in when going in on a... [read more]

Everything You Need To Know About Accessible Housing

Tuesday Feb 4th, 2020

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These days it takes more than granite countertops, open concept kitchens, and modern appliances to impress homebuyers. With an aging baby-boomer population and a growing number of individuals who are disabled, more and more Canadians are seeking accessible housing. They want homes with accessible design elements such as wheelchair ramps, pocket doors, wide hallways, large barrier-free showers, floors free of level differences, wheelchair stair lifts, and roll-under sinks. According to the... [read more]

Would You “Tri” This?

Tuesday Jan 28th, 2020

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It seems the new trend for a lot of us that can’t afford a multi-million dollar homes, is either moving in with the in-laws or building a brand new building that can house everyone. It’s sort of like an old idea reborn. Do you remember triplex? There’s a new twist on that. A local builder has coined the name Flexplex with a desire to be more green. This case and much what is being talked about is the fact that there are three separate floors; one for each group of your... [read more]

KITEC, Fast Approaching The Deadline

Tuesday Jan 21st, 2020

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Most of the public is still not aware of these available funds for having KITEC deficient plumbing materials within their home. Set aside for settlements is $125 million dollars throughout North America. For those that do not know what KITEC plumbing is, it’s a defective plumbing material that will deteriorate over time and cause water issues within a home. It was developed to help replace the expensive commodity copper and was found to be easier to install. KITEC was installed... [read more]

What the Future of Condo Elevators Could Look Like

Wednesday Jan 15th, 2020

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Whether you love them or hate them, elevators are a necessary part of condo living. As buildings get taller, elevator manufacturers have been forced to innovate to keep up with modern-day needs. In 1857, Otis Elevator invented the first passenger elevator in a five-storey building in New York City. This innovation ultimately paved the way for the rise – literally – of skyscrapers across the world and changed the face of urban landscapes forever. Despite the fact that elevators... [read more]

4Tips to Help Sell Your Home Faster

Tuesday Jan 7th, 2020

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If your goal is sell your home faster, renovations can help move the needle. Buyers are attracted to a space that feels new and modern, so even small upgrades can go a long way – especially if it’s been decades since the last home upgrade. If you plan to put your house on the market, consider making these small but impactful updates before you list. FRESH PAINT A fresh coat of paint, both inside and outside the home, can brighten up the space and make it feel new... [read more]

The Not So Romantic Victorian Era

Tuesday Dec 31st, 2019

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I have always wondered about the layout of the interiors of those homes. They are surely built to be functional. There was no luxury in those times such as designing a house just to accommodate a large table or a flat screen TV. Every room and every hallway was built for function. And it made sense. Heat rises, so the kitchen was actually the family room of the house, the place where the family gathered for eating, games and conversation. The scullery was the room at the back of the house... [read more]

Beware Of The One Liners We’ve All Heard

Tuesday Dec 24th, 2019

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As in any industry everyone wants you to think they have the edge. Often it is a lead to get you to “buy into” what they have to offer and it is often too good to be true. In our changing society when you most certainly can’t judge the book by its cover, this “too good to be true” is increasingly the reality. In the Real Estate industry there are a few one liners you may want to consider more closely. I Have A Buyer For Your Home This is the biggest one... [read more]

10 Ways to Make Your Non-Working Fireplace Spark Joy

Monday Dec 23rd, 2019

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  Fill it with variety of votive candles If you still want your fireplace to add a sense of warmth, go for candles. The key wit this look is to use a variety of heights, shapes, and sizes to get that truly cozy effect. If you don’t want to deal with open flames or wax, you can opt for flameless candles that look like the real thing, plus you can simply turn them on with a remote control. Put in a mirror If you love the candle idea, go one step further by... [read more]

Top 10 Floorplan Mistakes You Should Avoid

Tuesday Dec 17th, 2019

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Whether you’re renovating your house or searching for your next home, a floorplan with a good flow should be one of your top priorities. An awkward or poorly designed layout could take away from your everyday enjoyment and it could also be wasting precious space, which is something nobody wants. When you’re paying good money for a house, every square footage needs to count, so here are the floor plan layouts you should try to avoid. Lack of entryway When you walk in... [read more]

Should You Be Making Bi-weekly Mortgage Payments?

Tuesday Dec 10th, 2019

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The majority of borrowers pay off their mortgage in monthly installments. However, it’s not unusual to hear of borrowers who insist that paying bi-weekly is the way to go. Are these people on to something? Most banks offer borrowers the option of paying bi-weekly, but what are the benefits of going down that route? Could it pay off your loan faster? Will you pay less interest over time? Is it something everyone should be doing? Here’s everything you need to know about bi-weekly... [read more]

Protecting The Greatest Asset

Tuesday Dec 3rd, 2019

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Tips on How to Keep a Home Safe Change the Locks Changing the locks on all the home’s exterior entry doors is one of the first steps recommended to new homeowners after closing. Re-keying a house is a relatively inexpensive process and one that can bring great peace of mind to new homeowners. Over the years, previous owners may have given keys to various friends, family members, contractors and neighbours, so changing the locks is a safe option that also helps new owners feel more... [read more]

Water Quality in the Home

Tuesday Nov 26th, 2019

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Municipal water systems are required to test and monitor drinking water supplies to ensure safe and good-tasting water. But what happens once that water has been piped into towns, neighbourhoods, and homes? Older homes may still have service lines made of lead going into the home, which can cause lead to leach into the water. The local water supplier should be able to confirm the presence of lead service lines for homeowners. Older fixtures that contain lead, or lead that was used on pipe... [read more]

How is your Walk Score calculated?

Tuesday Nov 19th, 2019

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Some homeowners like to brag about their big backyards or their spacious closets. Some like to boast about their home’s “walkability”. Walk Score is a website developed by urban planning experts that numerically ranks addresses based on how accessible it is by foot to essential stores and services. Scores range from 0 to 100 and yours can be found at www.walkscore.com   These scores don’t just determine the home’s proximity to a grocery store or... [read more]

What Does An Accessible Condo Look Like

Tuesday Nov 12th, 2019

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Every resident has a right to accessible housing, which is why it’s the responsibility of condo corporations to ensure their building is accessible for all residents, including seniors, people who use wheelchairs and those with mobility, visual and dexterity/strength impairments. Accessibility requirements for buildings are set by provincial building codes-which are based on the National Building Code – and are aimed at preventing barriers for people with disabilities. Buildings... [read more]

How to handle these three common neighbour disputes

Tuesday Nov 5th, 2019

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We all want to have Mr. Rogers as our neighbour, but not all of us are lucky enough to have a picture-perfect neighbour who brings over homemade pies and mows their lawn without being asked. If you unfortunately find yourself living beside a neighbour from hell, then we’ve got some solutions on how you can peacefully co-exist. The course of action you take all depends on what the situation is between you and your neighbour. Are they having parties well into the night? Are they not... [read more]

Sellers: It’s Risky Pricing High to See What Happens

Tuesday Oct 29th, 2019

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Every seller wants to get the best deal for their house – especially when you consider that as much as $500,000 in profit can be earned tax-free. So why not just price your house to the moon? After all, you can just bring it down later, right? Well, there are a few problems with that, if you price high and slowly start bringing it down…and down… and down… buyers are going to notice. It makes that home start to seem like it’s in a bargain bin. You want your... [read more]

4 Trending Smart Home Features That Might Catch Buyers’ Attention And Help Sell Your Home Faster

Tuesday Oct 22nd, 2019

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Keyless/Remote Entry Door Locks Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock – available from multiple manufacturers – you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who... [read more]

Foundation Cracks

Tuesday Oct 15th, 2019

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Houses of any age will shift over time, resulting in cracks. Cracks may appear in finishes, structural components or both. Though they usually don’t have any structural significance, it’s worth some visual detective work to help homeowners understand the difference between different types of foundation cracks. Shrinking Cracks Concrete shrinks as it cures, so newly poured concrete foundation may develop small vertical shrinkage cracks, which are not structurally significant.... [read more]

Moving Checklist: Handy Guide for Moving House

Tuesday Oct 8th, 2019

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Moving house is not something most people look forward to. It’s a huge disruption of your life and it requires endless coordination and organization. We put this guide together to help you remember everything you have to take care of so that you can take care of yourself a little better while the whole ordeal is going on. Old Location Before you start anything, arrange for a professional mover. You can get mover recommendations from friends or review sites. Then think about... [read more]

Sometimes the Time is Now!

Tuesday Oct 1st, 2019

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One of the most common questions in Real Estate is When is the best time TO Sell? Articles and articles have been written by “experts” in their respective fields: Mortgage Brokers, Lawyers, Economists and even Realtors! More often than not and quite typically the answer is the Spring Market. That argument is usually based on the sheer volume of sales that occur during that time period. This idea of spring being the “best” time to sell is not hard and fast rule. For... [read more]

The Top Ten Little Things That Scream “My House Looks Dated!!!”

Tuesday Sep 24th, 2019

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We often think about the BIG reno’s when we think of dated homes, those are easy to spot but heavy on the pocket book to fix. But don’t sabotage all that time, effort and money by forgetting the little items too. It does not take much to put off a buyer! The Top Ten Little Things That Date Your Home: Dirty old switch plate covers and switches. - Old “flip” switches and off colour or faded colour plates are one of those easy to forget or not get around to... [read more]

Granite Countertops: Care & Maintenance Guide

Tuesday Sep 17th, 2019

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One of the biggest fears people may have about natural stone is the maintenance it requires. The diamond-like hardness of granite makes it virtually impervious to abrasions, stains and heat. (It’s important to note that granite won’t stand temperature stress such as fireplaces, where the stone expands and contracts in a very short period of time. The seams, however, will prevent cracks.) You’ll find caring for your natural stone easy. Warm water, mild dishwashing liquid and... [read more]

Landscaping Rules You Need To Know

Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2019

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Thinking about adding a gazebo to your backyard? Before you go and make your yard dreams a reality, it’s important to check up on your municipality’s landscaping regulations first. Here’s what you’ll need to know if you plan to embark on one of these backyard projects.   Adding a Structure Whether you’re thinking of adding a gazebo, pergola, storage shed or any other kind of structure in your backyard, you may need to apply or obtain a building... [read more]

How’s Your Outdoor Entertaining Game?

Tuesday Aug 27th, 2019

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In the warm summer months, there’s nothing better than having friends or family over for a fun backyard party or outdoor barbeque. But there’s an art to throwing a great party, and if you don’t keep your guests properly entertained, they might not stick around for long. Whether you have a huge yard or tiny patio, here are three ways to level up your outdoor entertainment game and keep your guests happy this summer. Giant Games Your guests will undoubtedly be... [read more]

4 Ways Having an Agent Beats Selling Solo

Tuesday Aug 13th, 2019

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While selling your sofa or lawnmower on your own doesn’t take a lot of sales skill, working with a professional real estate agent will help you get the most money in the shortest time when selling your home. Here are some of the top reasons I can help. Increase Your Profit Many people think they’ll make more money if they avoid paying an agent a commission and instead handle their own home sale, but the statistics show otherwise. According to the National Association of... [read more]

Get Rid Of Clutter with these 7 Yard Sale Tips

Tuesday Aug 6th, 2019

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Busting clutter is almost always the first recommendation from professional stagers. Why not have a yard sale to clear out the things you no longer use while earning some cash for your move? Follow these tips to help things go smoothly and maximize your profits. Get The Online Word Out  - ​List your sale on the “Garage Sale” section of Craigslist and on any neighbourhood Facebook page groups. Include photos of your more interesting items to attract... [read more]

The Furniture Trends That Are Taking Over 2019

Tuesday Jul 30th, 2019

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There’s no better time to refresh your home than the fall. Every season, there are always new answers to the question: what’s in right now? Industry experts and tastemakers have gone out to gather trends from all over the world in order to forecast what colours will be popular in people’s homes and what furniture the masses will be scooping up. If you want to change up your home but have no idea where to start, look to this year’s trends for inspiration and while... [read more]

Plumbing Upgrades –The Basics

Tuesday Jul 16th, 2019

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Buyers and sellers often hear about plumbing upgrades, but just what does this mean? Generally speaking, upgraded plumbing in the context of buying or selling a home refers to both fixtures and/or the plumbing system itself. Here’s our list of the most frequently recommended upgrades: Fixtures New faucets are an easy way to add style to kitchens and baths without a lot of spend. If a home is being prepped for sale, use fixtures that will appeal to the most potential buyers. The... [read more]

Futuristic Family Room Ideas You’ll Want Right Now!

Tuesday Jul 2nd, 2019

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Technology has changed a lot of things about the way we live, so it’s inevitable that it will change one of the most used spaces in our homes: the family room. Not to be confused with the more formal living room, a family room is used much more regularly. They’re the gathering place for everyone to convene and socialize, and they’re typically more kid-friendly. Here are some ways technology companies are taking family rooms to the next level. Vibrating Couches Companies... [read more]

The Vacation Smart Home

Tuesday Jun 25th, 2019

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Planning that summer vacation? Here are our top tips to give you added peace of mind while you’re away   One of the most effective steps is to make your home appear occupied. Use timers or an app on a few lights throughout the house, scheduling them to turn off and on at various times after dark. Use extra caution when communicating about your vacation dates on Facebook and other social media. And don’t post photos until you’re back. Information spreads... [read more]

An Overlook on the Stress Test

Tuesday Jun 18th, 2019

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A prominent economist has added his name to the growing number of industry pundits who are urging regulators to revisit the B-20 stress test regulations. Benjamin Tal, CIBC Capital Markets Deputy Chief Economist, is calling for a more flexible benchmark for the B-20, which took effect in January 2018 for all uninsured mortgages. Tal feels that the stress test was probably necessary to, as he puts it, “save some Canadian borrowers from themselves”. However he seriously questions... [read more]

3 Strategies For The Move-Up Buyer

Tuesday Jun 11th, 2019

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MOVING UP TO YOUR “forever home” is exciting. When you bought your first place, chances are you were young, strapped for cash and prepared – if not warned – to make some concessions. The move-up buyer typically has some savings and home equity to work with, making this next move feel less like a compromise and more as a thoughtful selection. But move-up buyers face their own set of challenges that call for carefully considered strategy. Here are three options for the... [read more]

Spring

Tuesday Jun 4th, 2019

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Spring is the perfect time to clean house-both literally and figuratively. As you emerge from winter hibernation, here are some tactics to help both your health and your home get ready for the new season. Do Some Decluttering Clutter on the home has been linked to increased levels of anxiety. No, you don’t have to go full Marie Kondo. But why not get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in years, or donate the miscellaneous kitchen items you never use? Get Healthy Kitchen... [read more]

What Will Houses In The Future Look Like?

Thursday May 23rd, 2019

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Innovators are constantly finding new ways for people to live and it’s no doubt that the house if the future will significantly different from the ones we know today. But just how different will it get? For one thing, many experts agree that homes in the future will be made of eco-friendly construction materials, such as the self-healing concrete that was designed in the Netherlands. The cool thing about this bio-concrete is that it uses bacteria to heal any cracks that begin to form,... [read more]

Top Tips For Spring Maintenance

Tuesday May 21st, 2019

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Spring is here, and that means it’s the perfect opportunity to get your home ready for the months to come. Here are our tops tips to get you started: Winter can take a real toll on a home’s exterior. Wood, stucco and other types of siding should be checked for cracks, peeling or chipped paint, and general wear and tear. Have damaged areas repairs and repainted as needed for lasting protection. Clean gutters and downspouts of any debris that may have collected over the... [read more]

Incoming Market Changes

Thursday May 9th, 2019

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You may have noticed a flurry of recent press concerning the “inverted yield curve” that we have recently moved into Canada. An “inverted yield curve” means that the long-term bond rates are actually lower than short-term bond rates. In addition, almost every Canadian government bond is now below the Bank of Canada’s 1.75% overnight rate. That’s pretty rare. What does all of this actually mean for the economy and our real estate market? Typically, an... [read more]

Decorating Basics: Some Rules You Don't Want To Break

Tuesday Apr 30th, 2019

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SOME RULES we were never taught. When it comes to home décor, there are decorating basics that many of us are not aware of. How high do you hang artwork on the wall and what about the TV? How big a sofa should you purchase? Should you match your window treatments to the wall colour and what if you really like that fire engine red? Décor expert Karl Lohnes and Sue Rainville, director of marketing for Hunter Douglas, Canada’s leading window fashions manufacturer, offers the... [read more]

Selling Your Home

Thursday Mar 28th, 2019

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IT IS INEVITABLE that at some point in our lives we decide to sell the house. We may have lived there since birth, purchased it not to long ago or maybe we built our dream home and it is time to move on. Either way we will be dealing with one of the biggest investments of our lives! There are three variables in selling a house. One is the market place, how strong is it? Is it a buyers or sellers market? Are things moving? How long is it taking to sell a property in our area? The second is... [read more]

Oldies But Goodies: Living With An Older Home

Wednesday Jan 30th, 2019

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The charms of living in an older home can be many – history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. But there’s no denying that living in such a home has its challenges. Maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if certain systems and features have been neglected over the years. Let’s take a look at some common situations found in many older homes: Energy inefficiency is probably the number one issue with older homes. Most older homes were... [read more]

All About Garage Doors

Monday Jan 28th, 2019

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Overhead garage doors may be the largest and heaviest moving object in most homes. For safety and reliability, make sure it’s up to date and kept in proper working order. Safety First Older garage doors can lack some of the safety features required in newer installations. Automatic openers must have sensors, usually a pair of electric eyes, that will stop and reverse the door if a person or pet moves across its path. Power Out? What about getting the door open during a power... [read more]

Smoke Alarm Smarts

Thursday Jan 24th, 2019

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Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show that nearly two-thirds of home fire fatalities occur in homes with non-working or missing smoke detectors. Most building codes now require smoke detectors in all residential structures, which has resulted in a steep drop in fire- and smoke-related deaths. Homeowners should check with their local public safety office or fire department for... [read more]

Why Do Credit Scores Vary Between Providers?

Monday Dec 17th, 2018

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Canadian consumers have several options when it comes to obtaining their credit score.  They can get their credit scores via the two national credit reporting agencies, Equifax Canada and TransUnion. In addition, they can get them through free credit score providers such as Borrowell, Mogo and Credit Karma. Each provider uses slightly different models to weight credit score factors, which is why consumers can get different results from different providers, even if they requested their... [read more]

Holiday and Winter Fire Safety

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2018

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Residential fires take their toll every day, every year, in lost lives, injuries, and destroyed property. But many conditions that cause house fires can be avoided or prevented. Taking the time for some simple precautions, preventive inspections, and concrete planning can help prevent fire in the home and can save property and lives should disaster strike. Check holiday lights for fraying or broken wires and plugs. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to... [read more]

Laundry Room Thoughts

Wednesday Nov 28th, 2018

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If you're like most of us, laundry is a chore. We have found that a well organized laundry room is the best way to overcome the thought of laundry being a chore. First all, consider the placement of your washer and dryer. If you have the room, put them side by side and put a counter top on top so you have somewhere to fold or iron (yes people still iron their clothes). If you have to stack your washer and dryer, at least try make them look appealing.  Considering the size of most... [read more]

Just A Small Renovation

Monday Oct 29th, 2018

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Is it a small renovation or something much more? Maybe you are considering making some modifications to your existing home or building a new one. I have had lots of experience with both and enjoy them thoroughly. In these types of situations, you need to carefully consider how the space is going to be used. To further complicate the situation, you need to take into account things like property features which may also mean the available views.  Surprisingly not all homes were built to... [read more]

The Art of Negotiating…Emotionless?

Friday Oct 26th, 2018

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If you have ever tried to sell something you love, it is not an easy thing. If we are emotionally attached to something, how do you put a price on it? It is impossible, or at least impossible if you cannot find a buyer that has the same emotion as you do. That is often the dilemma when it comes to selling your home. A homeowner is far more vested in the property and has far more personal attachment than sometimes money can match.   Even with the shortfalls most homes have, perhaps... [read more]

Kitchen Renovation Has Greatest Potential To Boost A Property's Sale Price

Friday Oct 26th, 2018

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Prospective sellers likely to spend less than 2.5% of a home’s value on home improvement.   According to a cross-Canada survey of over 750 Royal LePage real estate experts, a kitchen renovation is the clear upgrade of choice with the potential to boost a property’s value by more than 12.5 per cent. Both ranking second, a finished basement or a new bathroom has the potential to increase a property’s value between 2.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent, depending on the... [read more]

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