Little Things Make a Big Difference

Little Things Make a Big Difference
There’s no doubt about it. A completely renovated room – especially a kitchen or bathroom – will really impress home buyers. That room will probably look brand new and very stylish. But you don’t have to do a full “tear-down-the-walls” type of renovation to upgrade the look of a room. In fact, just a few minor improvements can make a big difference. For example, upgrading wall plates is an easy and inexpensive way to add a lot more style and personality to a room. In the kitchen, installing new hardware on existing cabinets can have a dramatic impact. So, look around your house to...
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Pay your mortgage and save too? Here’s a formula to build your wealth.

Pay your mortgage and save too? Here’s a formula to build your wealth.
As false assurances go, there’s nothing like your bank telling you the house you’ve got your eye on is affordable. Maybe the mortgage you need will truly fit your budget. But you won’t know for sure until you try my new measure of how balanced you are in terms of what you’re saving and borrowing. It’s called the Total Debt Service + Savings Ratio and it was introduced in a column last month on how smart management of big costs such as home buying is a better way to find money for saving than obsessing over little things like lattes. he TDSS ratio is a guide to balancing debts, saving for...
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12 Tips to Season-Ready Your Condo

12 Tips to Season-Ready Your Condo
Home maintenance is something we often neglect. Even though your condo may have a property manager for exterior maintenance, the inside of your unit is still largely your responsibility. Between our daily and weekly responsibilities, maintenance is something that often falls by the wayside. But it’s essential. Like your vehicle, your home and property benefit from regular tune-ups. Fun, right? We know: not so much. But here’s the good news. Taking on home maintenance in 10-minute bursts is the smart way to get it done. Here’s our checklist of 12 things you can easily manage, each in 10 minutes...
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Prepare your home for the colder months

Prepare your home for the colder months
Fall is the best season, while the weather is still somewhat reliable, to prepare your home for the cold winter months ahead. Start at the top and work down to make sure all areas of your home are ready. Here are some important things to consider completing before the winter months. Roof.  Inspect your roof from the ground, or preferably, hire a professional, and check for damaged or missing shingles, or worn or curling edges. Repair or replace your roofing materials as needed. For steel roofing, this is the time to check that all ice guards are in place and undamaged. If your home is prone to ice...
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How to Ensure a Healthy Home In Shoulder Seasons

How to Ensure a Healthy Home In Shoulder Seasons
What should be done to maintain a healthy home in a Shoulder season? Shoulder seasons are typically in the early spring or late fall, when mechanical heating or cooling is not required. We can consider this a bonus as savings can be realized on our gas or electrical bills. In order to ensure a healthy home we also have to provide ventilation. Opening windows and providing a cross breeze may be enough to make things comfortable and maintain inexpensive ventilation, but extra ventilation may be required to keep fresh air circulating through the home. Leaving your furnace fan in the on position all the...
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6 renovations that could destroy your home’s resale value

6 renovations that could destroy your home’s resale value
While few homeowners recoup the full cost of home, renovations, updated bathrooms and kitchens, plus other improvements, can help you sell your home more quickly, and for more money. The added bonus is if you do the renovations while you live in the home, you get to enjoy the renovated spaces for at least a little while before it goes on the market. This is an American article but the basic principles still hold true for Canada. But some renovations can actually damage your home’s value. These supposed improvements not only add nothing to your bottom line, they may make your home less attractive...
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8 Ways to Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

8 Ways to Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning
Even if you have an AC, reducing your need for it will save both energy and money. 1. Close your windows. It may seem counter-intuitive, but on hot summer days, opening the windows will often make your home warmer, not cooler. When night falls, if the air outside is cooler than inside, open windows wide, particularly those oriented toward prevailing winds so you can take advantage of cross ventilation. This will allow cool night air to circulate, and prevent a good deal of the sun’s heat from reaching indoors. Be sure to close them – along with blinds and shades – before the sun hits...
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Just Listed: 5793 Yonge Street; Suite 707

Just Listed: 5793 Yonge Street; Suite 707
Welcome to suite 707, a chic, bright and spacious residence in the heart of Newtonbrook. 5793 Yonge Street boasts incredible amenities including a fantastic indoor swimming pool, 24 hour concierge, fully equipped fitness room, mini theatre, guest suites and parking, a wonderful party room, games room, billiards room and much more. You are conveniently located near Mel Lastman’s Square, the Finch subway, Yonge Street shopping, great restaurants and all conveniences. You also have easy access to Hwy 401. This stunning home has a modern open concept kitchen with a double sink, dishwasher,...
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What the U.S. interest rate turning point means to Canadians

What the U.S. interest rate turning point means to Canadians
Disentangling from the low-interest rate trap of the past 6½ years will be a slow and delicate process. Many of us are getting the house in order now. After 80 months of central bank interest rates at or near zero, the low cost of borrowing shows signs of coming to an end. The U.S. Federal Reserve ended a two-day policy meeting with Chair Janet Yellen giving notice of the first American interest rate hikes in almost a decade. Yellen said if the American recovery continues rates with rise this year. Eventually, it will drag us along, though for now our central bank has no similar plan. Economists...
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What to Look For When Buying a Home

What to Look For When Buying a Home
Buying a home is big investment for most of us. This investment is not only the money, but also an investment in the wealth and health of your family and relationships. These Feng Shui tips will ensure you buy the right home. One of the most important guidelines is to avoid houses or buildings that face the following compass directions. These are called voidlines in Feng Shui. Very Inauspicious: 22.5°, 67.5°, 112.5°, 157.5°, 202.5°, 247.5°, 292.5°, 337.5°. The shape of the home and property are most favourable when they are shaped more like a square or triangle.  When the home or property...
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5 Ways to Avoid Buying The Wrong House

5 Ways to Avoid Buying The Wrong House
1.  Research your seller and the neighbourhood Make sure you are close to public transit. What schools are in the area and is there a waiting list to get in? Check out the police websites to study crime statistics in neighbourhoods. Walk any neighbourhood you are interested in and talk to people. By speaking to people, you can not only get a sense of the friendliness of the community, but also as to whether there are any surprises that no one is going to advertise, such as a former grow house, or the neighbour from hell. See if there are any basement apartments in the area if that is...
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Should You Worry About Real Estate Market Fluctuations?

Should You Worry About Real Estate Market Fluctuations?
You turn on the television and watch a news story about housing prices going down. Then you receive a flyer in the mail about a property around the corner that sold for a decent price. Next you read a newspaper article about the housing market on the upswing again. It’s a little like being on a roller-coaster ride! Unfortunately the ride isn’t much fun if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home. In fact, it can be very confusing and frustrating. You just don’t know if “now” is the right time to make a move. In reality, the housing market has been fluctuating for decades. Yet, people...
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