Tag Archives: It Takes Experts To Buy and Sell a Home

59 Aspen Park Way. Whitby



Open house March 24  & 25. 2 pm – 4 pm

Upgraded home from top to bottom. Nothing to do, but move on in. Stylish kitchen with gas stove, hardwood floors, backsplash, and breakfast bar. Bright and Spacious Open concept living and Dining room, each with Gleaming Hardwood Floors, designer paint colors and Pot lights. Master Suite has walk-in closet and Updated Ensuite. Large and bright finished basement that walks-out to your private yard that perfect for entertaining. Located Conveniently for commuting. $475,000.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chill Continues Throughout Market

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) announced a drop in sales of almost 35 percent in February, as the average selling price fell more than 12 percent to $767,818.

Although there were more than 7 percent more new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in February 2018 over the same month in 2017, TREB President Tim Syrianos reported just 5,175 residential transactions in February 2018, compared to the record 7,955 sales reported in February 2017.

“When TREB released its Outlook for 2018, the forecast anticipated a slow start to the year compared to the historically high sales count reported in the winter and early spring of 2017. Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, and some have also had to re-evaluate their plans due to the new OFSI-mandated mortgage stress test guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs,” said Mr.Syrianos.

Price-wise, the apartment and townhouse market segments has annual benchmark price increases of 18.8 percent and 7.5 percent respectively, helping to support the TREB market area as a whole. In fact, Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis, adds he expects stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments.

Are you thinking of making a move this year? Please call today for the latest local market update and for assistance in navigating today’s ever-changing real estate market. #cbrmr

Spring Selling Checklist

With spring selling season around the corner, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyer expectations.

Guest post by Patti Stern

With the early spring selling season kicking off shortly after the new year, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyers’ expectations. Take advantage of being inside during the cold winter months with these quick fixes that will help your property stand out from the competition, boost its value and sell quickly.

Declutter & Organize

Start tackling one room at a time by packing up anything that will distract buyers from seeing the unique features of your property such as personal collections, family photos, newspapers, books and magazines. Rearrange and remove excessive furniture to simplify and make the room appear larger.

Make Basic Repairs & Updates

Make sure everything is in good working condition. Repair and replace broken light switches, bulbs, ceiling fans, door knobs, leaky faucets, shower heads, windows, thermostats, etc. Update lighting fixtures with contemporary styles and consider replacing older kitchen appliances with sleek, eco-friendly models to capture young buyer interest.

Refresh and Brighten With Paint

Remove wallpaper and cover bold wall colors with a fresh coat of neutral paint to set the perfect backdrop for simple, updated styling. Give older style kitchen cabinets or wood vanities an instant facelift by covering with bright white or dark espresso paint. Then pair with knobs and drawer handles in brushed nickel or satin brass for an elegant finishing touch.

Fresh Flooring

There is nothing that dates a room more that worn, soiled carpeting. Remove and/or replace carpeting to reveal hardwood flooring underneath to instantly brighten and make the room feel more spacious. There are also many budget-friendly, easy to install options on the market now for replacing damaged flooring such as laminate and vinyl that look and feel just like wood.

Add Storage Options

Today’s buyers are looking for plenty of storage. Added storage solutions such as built-in bookshelves, window seats with storage underneath, entry storage units, and extra closet hooks and rods are a practical way to attract immediate buyer attention.

Partner With a Pro

Consult with the Mash Team and we can recommend a professional stager who will have an objective eye and knowledge of what appeals to today’s sophisticated buyers. They will provide a range of solutions for enhancing your home showings by recommending everything from furniture placement to wall color to complementary modern accessories to add clean, welcoming style.

At First Glance

A positive or negative first impression makes all the difference when you’re showing your home, so make note of these tips to help you create the best initial reaction possible for potential homebuyers.

Show your home in its best light. Dark rooms strike the eye as being smaller than they really are, so maximize neutral light in your home by throwing open all your window coverings during the day. Also, make sure all your light fixtures are turned on, and consider (temporarily) switching out low-watt bulbs for some with higher wattage, to brighten rooms even more.

Tone it down. Bold colours are difficult for buyers to see past and busy pattterns are visually distracting, so tone down and neutralize: repaint those loud walls, tear up that busy carpet and tear down that dizzying wallpaper.

Kick clutter to the curb. Like darkness, clutter tricks the eye into thinking spaces are smaller than they are, and like loud colours and busy patterns, it’s distracting and hard to see past — not to mention it can cause buyers to wonder what else is being neglected in the home.

Create the illusion of more space. Open up your closets and have a look. Now remove half their contents. Do the closets look bigger to you? They will to buyers, as well. Another easy trick to visually open up spaces is to strategically place mirrors in small areas like foyers, hallways and anywhere they’ll reflect natural light.

Consider suggestions from your real estate sales representative, who has the experience of seeing what works in today’s marketplace! @cbrmr

Say “Bye” Before “Buy”

Moving homes is not only emotionally taxing, but the physical task of hauling all your belongings from one place to another is just downright exhuasting. Have a look at the following decluttering directions, whether you’re thinking of making a move soon, or simply want to get a jump of your spring-cleaning.

Recognize that going through your belongings and sorting them into “keep” versus “sell/donate/toss” piles always takes longer than you think it will. If you’re planning to sell items, whether via a garage sale or online, you’ll also need to give yourself time to not only set the items aside and price them properly, but (if selling online) coordinate pickups and deliveries too. Even if you’re planning to donate much of your extra furniture and belongings, some charities require a week or two notice to schedule pickups.

Besides items that won’t fit into your new place or that you simply won’t need in your new home, what else probably isn’t worth making the effort to move?

Consider your major appliances — your washer, dryer, fridge, stove and dishwasher. How old are they? Appliances are big, heavy and awkward to move, and may not be worth the cost to move if they’ve already given you a number of years of service. New appliances that can be delivered directly to your new home by the retailer make for an easier move and, with most of today’s models built to more energy efficient standards, you can probably justify the immediate upfront cost of new appliances with a future of lower long-term operating costs.

Furniture is also a major moving concern, so before you base the size of your moving truck on every last stick of it, have a good look around to contemplate what’s really worth brining with you. Many households still have their “starter” furniture floating around. While your older furniture may have some sentimental value, you may want to weigh in objectively about its remaining life, and in fact if it might even be worse for wear at the end of your move. The same goes for well-used furniture that blends with your current surroundings, but may look shabby or out of place in your new environment.

Take everything out of your closet, set aside the clothes and footwear you use the most, then purge or donate the items that either don’t fit anymore or that you simply don’t wear. The same goes for children’s toys that they’ve outgrown or don’t play with anymore. It’s not an easy task — it’s difficult getting rid of “pretty good” stuff — but by donating it you should feel good that somebody, somewhere, is going to liberate those items from a dark closet to enjoy and appreciate!

The benefits of downsizing your belongings are many, from simply having less to move — and therefore less to have to pay movers to move — to getting extra cash in your pocket to buy new things for your new place, to an emotional lightening of the pressures of moving! #cbrmr

Turn Up the Heat!

At this time of year, a warm home is a welcoming home. Take a few minutes now to ensure your toastiest heating options are also safe and energy efficient.

First of all, if you haven’t already, be sure to invest in an annual tune-up for your furnace and gas fireplace. Even if they appear to be working fine, be sure your furnace filter has been replaced recently, and recognize that a professional inspection and tune-up allows you to save money in the long run by ensuring more efficient heating, while preserving the life of your furnace. In addition, an annual checkup allows you the peace of mind knowing there are no potentially deadly gas or carbon monoxide leaks seeping into the house.

Programmable thermostats provide an easy way to ensure your home is only heated when you need it to be. Today’s options include wireless thermostats that allow you to control the heat in different rooms independently, so you’re not wasting your money heating an unoccupied area of the house.

Of course, regardless of what kind of heating system you have, if your house isn’t insulated properly and if you have air leaks around doors and windows, you’re just literally throwing money out the window. Consider having an energy audit conducted to find out where you should focus, to ensure long-term energy savings.

Also remember that good old-fashioned curtains can make a huge difference — throw open the curtains on sunny days to let sunshine naturally heat your home, and close them at night to block the chill.

Finally, remember that spring — and the warmer weather — is just around the corner! #cbrmr

Household Tip: Cleaning with Condiments

KETCHUP: Rub ketchup on your copper pots to make them gleam again; it’s acidity helps dissolve tarnish and stubborn spots.

MUSTARD: Mustard powder can actually be used as a deodorizer in containers that have acquired a smell from its previous contents, or pans that have cooked strong-smelling meals such as curry. To get the smell out, mix mustard powder and hot water together in the container, let it sit for half an hour, then wash out as usual.

MAYONNAISE: Use mayonnaise to rub unsightly water marks out of wooden furniture, and to remove sticky adhesives and glue from glass. Bring the shine back to large-leafed houseplants by wiping leaves with a mild soap and water mixture first, then using a paper towel to rub a dab of mayo into the tops of leaves.

VINEGAR: Vinegar has a huge cleaning capacity, from windows to floors, to getting stains off shower doors and disinfecting your cutting boards. Consider mixing vinegar with lemon juice to cut the pungent smell. $cbrmr

Take Inventory

Many of us are surrounded by so much “stuff” in our homes, day in and day out, that we barely even notice it anymore. And that’s a problem when it comes to trying to recall everything that’s missing after a home break-in, major fire or other home disaster. Take some time now to create a thorough home inventory so that if you ever need to itemize your missing or damaged belongings on an insurance claim, you’ll be sure to cover everything and receive your fair settlement faster.

Today’s technology makes taking inventory easier than ever; you may want to utilize an app that allows you to create an inventory spreadsheet to catalogue your belongings, and upload receipts for large items such as furniture and electronics.

If you don’t have time to create a written inventory of everything you own right now, you could at least create a video of your belongings by walking through each room and visually capturing it all, zooming in on makes, models and serial numbers as necessary, and narrating details as you go along. Once you record everything, and that means not only the big, expensive things but also smaller items that would still add up if you needed to replace them, store the digital inventory in the Cloud or off-site on an external hard drive, ideally in a safety deposit box if you have one.

Now that it’s on your mind, why not make an appointment to talk to an insurance professional for suggestions on how to create an efficient inventory list, and to help sort through what kinds of coverage you need to protect your home and belongings? #cbrmr

Retirement Resolutions

Is 2018 the year you or someone you know intends to retire? If so, a big part of that plan will likely involve some serious decisions about long-term housing.

Retiring from a paying job typically means an adjustment in your income, so here are some important points to think through before you take that important step:

Are you anticipating that you’ll be included in the 15 percent of Canadian seniors who still have an outstanding mortgage on their homes? If so, you need to recognize exactly how much extra money you’ll need in retirement in order to cover your housing costs.

If retirement is on the horizon but not yet imminent, you’ll want to work with a financial planner and mortgage professional to see what you can do to reduce or eliminate your mortgage debt before you retire. Bumping up your monthly payments now, while you’re still waiting, will help the debt disappear quicker. If you can reference to a lower interest rate but keep your monthly payments the same, you’ll also be able to chip away at your principal faster.

Consider if you still need your current space or if a smaller home would make more sense. A smaller space typically results in lower home operating expenses and less work to keep the household humming.

Please call The Mash Team to discuss all your downsizing options, whether that means a smaller house, a condo, or some other, more practical housing alternative to your current house. #CBRMR

Chilly Start to the New Year

Toronto’s real estate market received a cool reception in January, with an overall drop in sales and prices compared to the same month last year. The popularity of condos in the city, however, took some of the sting out of the overall price decline.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported a 4.1 percent year-over-year decrease in the average price for a Toronto home, to $736,783, as the number of sales fell 22 percent from last year’s record-setting pace. The average price of a detached home dropped 9.1 percent compared to January 2017, while the average price of condos — despite a drop in the number of sales — increased by 14.6 percent.

“It is not surprising that home prices in some market segments were flat to down in January compared to last year. At this time last year, we were in the midst of a housing price spike driven by exceptionally low inventory in the marketplace. It is likely that market conditions will support a return to positive price growth for many home types in the second half of 2018. The condominium apartment segment will be the driver of this price growth,” suggested Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

The market will continue to evolve as buyers adjust to the new, tougher mortgage guidelines, and as we fully enter the busiest time of the real estate season. Please call today for the latest local market updates! #cbrmr