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Are Home Inspections Really Worth It?

Monday Mar 05th, 2018

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Everyone says I should get a home inspection. Is an inspection really worth it?   Too often, buyers forgo a home inspection in an effort to save time and money. This is not the place to skimp. A home inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process. Keep in mind the option to perform a home inspection is included in all standard real estate contracts. This should be a clue to buyers that it’s important.   A home inspection reveals any issues that are a... [read more]

‘Is It Done Yet?’ 
How to Renovate With Kids

Monday Mar 05th, 2018

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Spring home improvements can be stressful, especially when you’re living in the middle of it. Add children to the mix, and the tension increases. But you don’t need to take a vacation while your home is being remodeled — even if walls are coming down. Here are some tips on how to continue to live as a family during a major renovation. Your children’s space — and their routines — will be disrupted. To avoid comments like “When can we use the... [read more]

Why Canadians Are Embracing the Trend of Smaller Homes

Monday Mar 05th, 2018

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The small house movement may be coming to a neighbourhood near you, proving that “bigger is better” is not necessarily true. Having a bigger space to fill, a bigger mortgage to pay, and a smaller disposable income make having a large home unrealistic for many young professionals and families.   In an article in homify.ca, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association suggests that Canadian homes have long been among the world’s largest, at 2,300 sq. feet (213.68... [read more]

These Hacks Cut Noise in Open Concept Spaces

Wednesday Aug 10th, 2016

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There’s no question that open concept living is still the way to go for designers and their decorista clients. And why not? It can make a space feel large and airy, provide the room-to-room flow that supports today’s relaxed lifestyles, plus it’s so in now that alternatives look dated. But with the open concept lifestyle comes a problem: no walls means no sound barriers, which can raise noise issues for families with competing priorities. Fortunately, there are hacks to... [read more]

Noisy Neighbours Bug Us More Now Than 10 Years Ago

Friday Aug 05th, 2016

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Here’s something to consider when planning end-of-summer backyard gatherings: an increasing number of Canadians don’t like noisy parties. While this may seem, well, not particularly newsworthy, a recent Statistic Canada survey on victimization reports that more people found noise to be a problem in their neighbourhoods in 2014 than in 2004. The survey didn’t address the issue of whether parties were noisier than they were 10 years before, or whether there were more... [read more]

How Summer Container Plants Will Help Sell Your House

Wednesday Jul 27th, 2016

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Container plants are an easy way to give immediate visual impact to your home, creating that important curb appeal - the "wow" factor as potential buyers pull up outside. Here are some important tips to make sure you use containers effectively. Use big containers Don't be afraid of using big, bold containers. They will have much more impact and will be easier to care for because they won't dry out so easily. Smaller containers tend to get lost in the landscaping, so... [read more]

6 Ways to Create an Attractive Home Office

Wednesday Jul 20th, 2016

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A home office is on its way to becoming an essential item on a house buyer's wish list. After all, many people work at least part of the time at home — and even if they don't, they still want somewhere to store the computer and their household papers. Here are some tips to help you create an attractive home office that you'll actually want to spend time in. An attractive place to work A home office doesn't have to be just functional — it can be attractive,... [read more]

How to Choose the Right Neighbourhood

Monday Jul 18th, 2016

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Location, location, location — goes the saying about what’s important in real estate. Most home buyers start by looking for a suitable area. The following tips will help you find a neighbourhood that feels like home. Priorities Set priorities about things that matter most to you and your family: Is safety a prime concern? Are you looking for vibrant nightlife? Do you need to live close to work? The best purchase is usually a trade-off among several... [read more]

5 Ways to Boost Your Home’s OQ for Less

Friday Jul 15th, 2016

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When getting a home ready to sell, most homeowners focus on interior upgrades and fixes. But what’s on the outside counts, too. Lawns, walkways, patios, gardens, doors, and windows all play a role in the livability of a home – and its salability as well. Thinking of selling soon? Here are five ways to boost your home’s Outside Quotient (OQ), courtesy of a Williams Ski & Patio infographic: For an investment that could range from $300 to $1,000, you can undo the... [read more]

Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question (July 2016)

Wednesday Jul 13th, 2016

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I live in a condo complex. How can I feel secure in my new home? The good news is, you don’t need to hire Biff the bouncer from the nightclub downtown. Instead try these simple tips: Lock ’em out: It can be tempting to leave your entrance unlocked while getting the mail or visiting a neighbour. Take a few extra seconds to lock up behind you. Check to make sure the door in your apartment condo (as well as the garage door) closes behind you. In townhouses, don’t hide your... [read more]

Questions to Ask a Contractor Before You Hire

Monday Jul 11th, 2016

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It’s renovation time, and, as part of your preparations, think about the last time you hired someone to rebuild or remodel your home. There was probably an initial phone conversation, followed by a site visit where you were probably given a quote for the project and a discussion of a timeline. Then, they showed up to start the job. You may have asked them for testimonials or photos of previous work. But did you ask if they had their own insurance? According to experts,... [read more]

Buyer Beware: There Are Downsides to Buying an FSBO

Tuesday Jul 05th, 2016

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Purchasing a property for sale by owner (FSBO) may make sense to many; because the seller doesn’t pay real estate agent commissions, the price should be lower. However, buyer beware. There are downsides to purchasing an FSBO. According to research conducted by the National Association of Realtors®, fewer than 10 percent of FSBOs are actually sold. Why? There are any number of reasons, ranging from sellers not knowing how to price the property to potential problems with the... [read more]

Sale/Leasebacks May Benefit Canadian Seniors

Monday Jun 27th, 2016

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It sounds like an impossible dream: sell your home, pocket the money, then live in that home for the rest of your days. The premise is called “a sale and leaseback,” and it could deliver meaningful benefits to Canadian seniors. Why seniors? Increasingly, retirees aren’t saving enough for retirement; therefore, many seniors need to fund their retirement, and often the way to do this is to cash out of their homes. But here’s their dilemma: where do we live now? While... [read more]

Gardening Can Be a Bed of Roses: Try These Tips

Wednesday Jun 22nd, 2016

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Dreaming of a bed of roses or rows of tasty tomato plants is easy; the reality may feel like a nightmare, particularly to first-timers. If you’re planning on seeing whether your thumb is green this summer, note that gardeners are just as varied as gardens, and even those who grew up surrounded by high-rise buildings can nurture something from a plot of earth. You don’t even need your own backyard; thanks to locavores, the local food movement is spawning community gardens... [read more]

Top Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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Home Owners! Certain renovations can be a long and grueling process. So make sure you are picking the right renovation for your home in order to maximize the value in the short and long run. Put away the tool box first, let's look at the top ways to increase the value of your home.   #1: The Kitchen will always be King You have probably heard by now that the kitchen is definitely the best option for increasing the value of your home. It will always give you the... [read more]

Brampton Sale Prices Have Rose by 16% Since Last Year

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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The first quarter of 2016 has been on FIRE in the Greater Toronto Area. Just the average residential sale price in the Toronto Area has increased by 14%. Looking at a 2016 Spring Trends Market Report from REMAX, it had this to say: "High demand and low inventory for single-family homes continued to be the dominant theme in Toronto’s housing market in the first quarter of the year. As city planning shifts toward density and away from urban sprawl, the... [read more]

The 7 Most Common Mistakes that Cost Home Sellers $1000's of Dollars

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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Don't be the Home Seller that loses thousands of Dollars with these 7 Common Mistakes. 1. Don’t ... ask for too much money. Yes, you know what you paid for the house. But that doesn’t mean that it’s still worth that amount—or that it’s appreciated in value since you bought it. Your house is only worth what the market is willing to pay you. It doesn’t matter what’s in it. And it doesn’t matter what your mortgage is. Your... [read more]

The Tiny House Movement: Fad or Solution?

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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You don’t have to be house shopping to know that “tiny” is very now. “Tiny” as in “tiny homes,” that is. TV shows, magazines, and the lifestyle sections of newspapers have been promoting the “small is beautiful” philosophy for months now. What’s it all about? A tiny house or apartment is generally described as less than 400 square feet (37.16 square meters), and, according to Betsy Shiffman in Forbes, “While tiny... [read more]

Why not delight in white this summer?

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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Is repainting on your summer to-do list? Instead of going with this year’s hot colour, why not bring light into your home by painting some of your rooms white and adding colour as an accent? As white is classic, you won’t have to repaint regularly; just change your accent colours to stay up to date. Plus your art will look great on white. For those who have trouble deciding, white is not an easy out. Far from it; there are hundreds of different shades of white available... [read more]

Home Value Online Estimates: Informative or Misleading?

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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Online real estate information sites are routinely used by homeowners, home buyers, real estate agents, and developers as gauges of a home’s market value. However, are these websites actually trustworthy? Some of these sites use automated valuation models (AVMs) to provide information on estimated market value, usually for homes currently on the market. The information is available on many home search websites across North America. AVMs are often proprietary, but generally these use... [read more]

The 80's Called: Your Dated Home Is Trendy Now

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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We’ve seen it on TV: potential buyers (PBs) horrified by dated bathrooms and kitchens, wall-to-wall carpeting, and floral wallpaper (“The ’80s called; they want their rooms back…”) “It’s so old-fashioned,” the PBs say, “we’ll have to gut it.” There must be a lot of gutting going on: according to the most recent American Housing Survey, some two-thirds of owner-occupied U.S. homes were built before 1980, and many of... [read more]

Ask the Agent: This Month's Question

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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Finding that sweet spot between undervaluing and overvaluing your home can be difficult. As a homeowner, your personal attachment to your home, and the money you’ve put into it, can colour your judgment. You need to price your home correctly by considering a variety of factors: the current local market prices of similar homes that have sold recently in your neighbourhood; any upgrades; landscaping or condition issues; and proximity to schools, shopping, transit, and recreation. It may... [read more]

A Garage Remodel Can Pay Back Big Time

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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The garage is a catchall, right? Right. But should it be? According to recent statistics, a clean, bright, updated garage may be a big selling point with today’s buyers. Currently, remodeling the kitchen will return 70 cents for every dollar spent and a renovated bathroom will give you a return of 60 cents on the dollar. But updating the lowly garage, including a good storage system, will net you 65 cents per dollar spent…more than a bathroom! Take the homeowner who added to... [read more]

5 Hacks to Boost Your Home’s Look for Under $500

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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Itching for a home improvement project but low on cash? Not every project has to break the bank; there are plenty of jobs that will boost your home’s appeal for under $500. Here are 5 hacks to boost your home's look for under $500: 1.Paint: Paint your kitchen, paint the baseboards, paint your front door, and paint some furniture. It’s amazing how a few coats of a new colour (or a refreshing of the old one) can improve the overall look and feel of your... [read more]

Ask the Agent: June 2016 Question

Monday Jun 20th, 2016

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QUESTION: I’m going to be house-hunting this summer. Are there any benefits to looking in the warmer months? There are several benefits to searching for a new home in the summertime. The biggest upside is fewer competitors; house hunters who began looking in the winter and spring often take the summer off and start again in the fall. Sellers may also feel fatigued after a spring without selling and might be willing to come down in price in order to make a sale. Finally,... [read more]

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