According to a recent study, the average homeowner pays more attention to kitchen stove safety than they do BBQ safety. But, the fact is, a BBQ mishap can be just as devastating. So, it pays to know the latest safety tips.

  • Keep BBQs at least 8 feet away from your house.
  • Check for venture tube blockages regularly. (Spiders are notorious for spinning webs in there.)
  • Clean the grill frequently to prevent flare ups. A grease fire on the grill can continue burning even after you’ve turned the BBQ off.
  • Don’t position your BBQ close to foliage, such as under a tree or next to shrubs.
  • Never BBQ in an enclosed area, such as a garage, even if the space is well ventilated.
  • Avoid leaving the grill unattended, especially when cooking greasy foods such as sausages, beef burgers or steaks.
  • Do not let children BBQ.

Finally, make sure your BBQ is turned completely off after use. It’s a good idea to double-check this when making the rounds and locking up your home for the night.

Experts say you should treat a BBQ as you would a camp fire — with care.

You might naturally assume that it is most important to talk to a Realtor when you’re selling or buying a home. But there are many other circumstances in which it makes sense to give me a call. Here are a few examples.

  1. When you’re at the “thinking about it” stage

If you’re just thinking about selling your home, and haven’t made a firm decision yet, you might feel uncomfortable calling a Realtor. Don’t be. In fact, I welcome your call. We can discuss what your current property will likely sell for on today’s market, and determine the type of home you qualify to buy. That way, you’ll have some clarity and be able to make a more informed decision.

  1. If you’re nervous about the selling process

If you haven’t sold a home before, you might be concerned about what’s involved in the process. You might even worry that putting your home on the market is going to be a lot of work and create a lot of turbulence for you and your family.

Fortunately, selling your home doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, a big part of my job as a Realtor is to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible.

So if you have concerns about selling your home, you should give me a call.

  1. If you have questions

You likely have questions about the local real estate scene from time to time. You might have questions like: “How much did that home around the corner sell for?”; “Is now a good time to make a move, or should I wait until the market changes?”; and, “How much is my current home worth?”

When you have questions like those, you don’t need to dig for answers on your own. You can give me a call. As an expert in the local market, I can give you the answers you need.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, August 3, 2017 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,921 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in July 2017. This result was down by 40.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis, led by the detached market segment – both in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions.
While sales were down, the number of new listings reported were only slightly (+5.1 per cent) above last year’s level.

“A recent release from the Ontario government confirmed TREB’s own research which found that foreign buyers represented a small proportion of overall home buying activity in the GTA. Clearly, the year-over-year decline we experienced in July had more to do with psychology, with would-be home buyers on the sidelines waiting to see how market conditions evolve,” said Mr. Syrianos.

“Summer market statistics are often not the best indicators of housing market conditions. We generally see an uptick in sales following Labour Day, as a greater cross-section of would-be buyers and sellers start to consider listing and/or purchasing a home. As we move through the fall, we should start to get a better sense of the impacts of the Fair Housing Plan and higher borrowing costs,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 18 per cent on a year-over-year basis. However, the Composite Benchmark was down by 4.6 per cent relative to June. Monthly MLS® HPI declines were driven more so by single-family home types. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by five per cent year-over-year to $746,218. “Home buyers benefitted from more choice in the market this July compared to the same time last year. This was reflected in home prices and home price growth. Looking forward, if we do see some would-be home buyers move off the sidelines and back into the market without a similar increase in new listings, we could see some of this newfound choice erode. The recent changes in the sales and price trends have masked the fact that housing supply remains an issue in the GTA,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

See full market statistics for July click here

Some people don’t give hallways much thought when painting and decorating. Instead, they focus on rooms.

The fact is, a great looking hallway can have the same, if not more, impact than the most eye-catching family room or bedroom, especially when you need to go through the hallway to get there!

Here are some painting tips that can bring a dull hallway to life:

  • Paint the hallway the reverse of the rooms around it. If the rooms are dark, use light colours in the hall. If the rooms feature simple colours, consider being more dramatic in your choice of hallway paint.
  • In a longer hallway, using two shades of the same colour on perpendicular walls can make the space seem less tunnel-like. (The darker shade goes on the shorter walls.)
  • Darker colours can work well if the space is well-lit and there are few, if any, shadows cast.
  • If you decide to paint the halls white, select an off-white or eggshell white. Avoid stark white as it will reflect light in a way that’s unpleasant.

One more tip: Pictures can go a long way in making a hallway look inviting, regardless of the wall colour.

Good luck with the painting!

Toronto’s Hot Housing Cooling Off?

Here is an interesting article an analysis by  Don Campbell, Senior Analyst at Real Estate Investment Network, discusses whether this calm can be expected to last.

Click here to watch his video analysis..

 

Imagine there’s a neighbourhood you’d love to live in someday, but, every time you drive through, you rarely, if ever, see a For Sale sign. It’s as if homes get gobbled up by buyers the moment they get listed.

It’s true, properties do tend to sell quickly in desirable, in-demand neighbourhoods. Does that mean you’re destined to either hope for a lucky break or miss out on ever living there?

Fortunately, no. There are practical things you can do to increase your chances of getting into that neighbourhood.

Your first step is to find out the kind of new home you can afford. You want to get your financial ducks in a row so when a listing does come up in the area, you’re able to respond quickly. Find out the average price range of homes in the neighbourhood. Then, if necessary, talk to your lender or mortgage broker.

The second step is to get your current property ready for sale. You don’t necessary need to list it now, but you want to be in a position to do so quickly, if necessary. You may need to clean up and declutter, get repairs done, and spruce up your home in other ways.

The third step is to talk to me.

You see, listings in popular neighbourhoods often move fast. By the time you see them advertised on the internet, they may be gone. I can closely monitor listings in that area for you, so the moment one comes up that meets your criteria, you can be alerted. This greatly increases your chances of getting that home.

So if there is a dream neighbourhood you’d love to get into, give me a call.

There has been a lot of emphasis lately on the importance of “going green”. That simply means being environmentally-responsible. You likely already recycle, use energy-efficient lights, and turn down your thermostat when no one is home.

Yet, most of us don’t think about the garden or flower bed when we “think green”.

We should. Here are a few practical things you can do to tend to outdoor plants — without negatively impacting the environment.

  • Pull weeds instead of using a weed killer.
  • Avoid strong pesticides. (Products that target only one or two types of insects tend to be less harsh.)
  • Don’t use flower bed ornaments (i.e. gnomes) that might bleed colour dye into the soil. (Ask your garden centre before you buy.)
  • Be careful not to leave hand spades, trowels, and other garden tools lying around, especially over winter. They can rust, which contaminates the soil.

These tips may seem minor, but if you want to be environmentally-conscious, every little bit helps!

Imagine buying a product from a store, taking it home, and then discovering there’s a problem with it. Disappointing, yes, but not a catastrophe. You can simply take it back for repair or exchange.

But, what if it’s moving day, and you discover there’s a problem with your new home? Whoa. A house isn’t so easily returned!

What are the most common problems encountered on moving day?

  • A delay in getting the keys.
  • The seller not having completely moved out.
  • An item expected to be included with the property is missing. (For example, the window blinds.)
  • Something needs repair that was not disclosed by the seller, nor did it come up during inspection. (For example, the dishwasher not working.)
  • Damage to the property caused by the seller. (For example, a heavy item dropped during the move and cracking a floor tile.)

Fortunately, these are rare events. In most cases, you can expect no serious issues when you move into your new home.

But, if something is wrong, you have options. So, call me immediately. In all likelihood, I will be able to quickly resolve the issue.

If it’s a serious matter, such as missing items, I may get your real estate lawyer involved to arrange for the return of the item(s) or compensation.

So don’t worry. Let the professionals handle it. You can just enjoy your new home!

When you suffer damage to, (or the loss of), your home or its contents, you expect your insurance company to help you out. And, most do a good job of doing just that.

Still, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your insurance advisor and find out what’s covered and what isn’t. You don’t want to discover that your policy will not cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by a flood in your laundry room.

Pay particular attention to coverage in the case of water damage. Some insurance policies don’t cover floods and sewer backup unless an additional rider is purchased.

Also, check liability limits. Ask your advisor to recommend an appropriate level. Finally, make sure you know exactly how much your home is insured for. Are you covered for the full replacement cost? Are you comfortable with that coverage or the actual cash value?

Having the right insurance gives you peace-of-mind and is an important part of enjoying your home.

Keep in mind that experts advise you to review your insurance with your advisor. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you understand your coverage fully.

By the way, if you’re looking for an insurance advisor, I’m well-connected in the local “home” industry. I may be able to give you a couple of names of good, reputable professionals. Give me a call.

Imagine finding the perfect home, only to discover there is serious interest from at least a dozen other buyers. It’s like scrambling for the last piece of cake at a buffet!

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help get the home you want, even in a highly competitive market. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Only view a few ideal properties at a time. If you see too many, and thus spread yourself too thin, you risk homes slipping through your fingers.
  • Be realistic about price. Focus on finding a great home that you can afford, rather than trying to find a bargain.
  • Consider homes that need some work. They get less interest than perfectly staged properties, yet can turn out to be a dream home.
  • Be prepared to make an offer with as few conditions as possible. An offer conditional on passing inspection is usually fine, but in a competitive situation, offers with other conditions will likely be turned down flat.
  • Make your decisions quickly. If there are likely to be other interested buyers, you want to get your offer in early.
  • Make the right offer. To win the deal, you want your offer to be as enticing as possible to the seller — especially when it comes to price.

Yes, it can be tough finding an ideal home in a hot market, but I can help. Give me a call and I’ll show you how.