Tag Archives: office listings

The Real Estate Market is Still Strong…despite what you hear on the news!

We just wanted to take the time to reach out regarding a lot of negativity in the news lately about the real estate market, interest rates and where things are heading.

Just this morning on the news we heard that April sales were down over 30% from last year and while last year’s market was an anomaly, we think it’s fair to say that the bad press is causing some of this down turn by portraying this as a “bad time to buy or sell”.

Yes, rates have been on the rise over the last year, however, did you know that you can still get interest rates as low as Prime (currently 3.45%) -.95% on a variable term or 3.29% for a 5 year fixed. These are still some great rates compared to what we’ve experienced in the past!

Even if you are not in the market to move, it may be a good time to refinance and consolidate some of those debts that may be eating into your monthly cash flow. Why continue to pay up to 20% interest on credit cards when you could borrow against the equity of your home and pay them off.

Market prices are starting to settle down, unemployment is at a 40 year low and rates are still good. Those are a few things to remain positive about.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your mortgage or the market in general, please let The Mash Team know and we will be happy to help. #cbrmr

Top 10 Damaged Items When Moving & How to Protect Them

Protect your precious belongings and make your move a smooth one!

 

If you are moving this season, we want to help you protect your precious belongings and make your move a smooth one!

Before you start to pack, make a game plan. Which of your items are fragile? What will you need to pack them? We’ve seen some folks pack themselves so, unfortunately, we know which household items are most likely to break and typically aren’t packed properly. We have compiled a list of the top 10 items damaged when moving. It’s surprising what items make the list. Not only have we complied the most breakable list, we’ve included tips on how to protect them properly so you can “break” this pattern.

1. Drinking Glasses

It is no surprise glasses are the #1 breakable. But, with simple steps you can ensure they arrive in one piece.

Protect: One of the key factors to keeping your glasses and wine glasses from breaking or getting crushed is using the proper box. Use a “dishpack” box that  has double thick walls for extra protection. Place a glass on packing paper horizontally. Grab a corner of the packing paper and roll the glass into the paper. Make sure to tuck the sides of the paper in, like you would do wrapping a burrito. Repeat 3-5 times (depending on thickness of glass) with more sheets of packing paper. Make sure to label your glass burrito: “Wine Glass” so it won’t get tossed aside with the packing paper during the unpacking process. Cushion the bottom of box with crumpled packing paper. Place the wrapped glasses vertically (yes, you read that correctly: VERTICALLY) in one layer in the box. They are much more secure vertically. After completing the first layer, place packing paper on top. Repeat these layers until the box is full. Fill all remaining space with crumpled packing paper.

2. Plates

The biggest moving crime — plates are often placed in boxes without enough packing paper. You don’t want to hear the dishes rattle in the box!

Protect: To keep plates from breaking, first wrap each plate in packing paper. Repeat 3-5 times with more sheets of packing paper until the plate is properly secured & cushioned. Label your little plate package: “Plate.” Again, use a secure dishpack box. Always, use plenty of tape on the bottom and tops of every moving box, just don’t use one strip of tape, use multiple strips and run the tape both directions to make sure that box is secure. Before placing any of the wrapped plates in the box, cushion the bottom of box with crippled packing paper. Then place the wrapped plates VERTICALLY in one layer in the box. After completing one layer, place packing paper on top. Repeat these layers until the box is full. Once the box is full, fill any remaining space with crumpled packing paper.

3. Artwork

Glass artwork often breaks because there is not enough cushioning in the moving box and the top of the box is left with a gap. The top of the box then collapses and the piece of art breaks.

Protect: To protect artwork from breaking use a picture box. Line the bottom of  the box with crumpled paper. Place the glass art in the box, then stuff front, back and along the top with paper and or eco-bubble wrap. You want to be sure the box is completed packed with paper (top, bottom and sides) with no air gaps.

4. Lamp Shades

Lamp shades are an awkward shape and large, making it difficult to pack. If not packed properly, they can easily be dented or torn.

Protect: Wrap the lamp shade in eco-bubble wrap, covering every inch. Then fill the interior cavity of the lamp shade with packing paper (do not use newspaper as the print may rub off onto your lamp shade). Fill the box with enough packing paper to keep the shade from shifting around inside. Do not place anything on top of the shade, not even soft items such as linens. Use only packing paper to secure the lamp shade from shifting.

5. Liquid Cleaning Supplies

Many times homeowners pack bottles of liquid cleaning supplies without sealing them properly. This causes leaks and damages things inside and outside of the box. Do not pack or move flammable supplies!

Protect: First, remove the cap from each bottle and place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening. Then tightly screw the cap back on. Use tape again to secure the cap to the bottle. Begin placing the cleaning products in a small book size box and check the weight as you go. You don’t want to pack the box too heavy. When the box is full and not too heavy, place packing paper all around the bottles to keep them from shifting. And, this is important, remember on every box be sure to use more than one strip of tape on the bottom and top of the box and run the tape in multiple directions. When a box is not taped properly, boxes can open at the bottom and spill on the floor. Always, label every box with its contents, room in the new home where the box should go and directional arrows pointing up. Repeat the label on each and every side of the box. You will hate us for this tip while you’re writing and rewriting the same thing over and over again and love us later when you have stacks of boxes and don’t have to turn boxes around to find out what’s what.

 6. Wine & Liquor Bottles:

Again these bottles can easily leak or break, and damage items in and outside of the box.

Protect: Use a divided/cell box you can get free from a specialty wine shop or liquor store, or purchase a cell kit from a moving store. Use smaller boxes so they are easy to lift and carry. Again, be sure you double and even triple tape the bottom of the box. If you’re packing opened bottles, ensure they are properly sealed by tightening the caps. Tape the caps on to the bottles. Roll each bottle in packing paper with 3-4 layers of paper. Secure the wrapping with tape and make sure there are no loose ends. Label the bottle: “Bordeaux.” Finally, place the bottle into the box. If there’s any space or gaps between the bottle and the divider, fill it with paper. Make sure the box is not too heavy.

7. Mirrors

The big mistake with mirrors is that people pack them in picture boxes without any eco-bubble around the mirror. If the front of the mirror faces the wall of the box without protection, it will break.

Protect: Use a flat box or have your movers pack the mirrors in a custom wood crate to provide extra protection. If you’re doing the packing, line the flat box with crushed packing paper to create a padded bed for the mirror. Wrap the mirror completely in multiple sheets of paper or eco-bubble. Tape the wrapping tightly around the mirror and place the mirror in the box. Fill any gaps with more crumpled paper. Only pack one mirror to a box.

8. Glass Pictures

Glass picture frames are easily broken if not packed in the right box. We want to keep those precious memories in one piece!

Protect: Use a picture box. Line the bottom of box with crumpled packing paper. Wrap each picture frame in packing paper or eco-bubble and pack each frame in the box vertically. Stuff packing paper in between each picture and on top, making sure nothing will shift.

9. Stereo & Audio Equipment:

The reason stereo and audio equipment gets damaged is folks stack a few components in the same box and they do not put any layers of padding in-between the pieces of equipment.

Protect: If possible, pack your stereo equipment in their original cartons. If you did not keep their original boxes, use a dishpak box. Remember, dishpaks are specially designed boxes to handle and protect fragile items. If you can’t find dishpaks, use double corrugated boxes. After double taping the bottom of the box in the both directions, pack the bottom of each box with crumbled packing paper for padding. Wrap each electronic component separately in eco-bubble. Pull the wrap over and tape it all together. Make sure the item is completely covered. Place it up right, vertically in the box. Repeat this process for the next big item then place it vertically in the box next to the first item. Do not stack! Stuff packing paper in open spaces and on top for extra cushion.

10. Books:

This one is a surprising one, but if books are packed improperly they can actually get damaged. When books are placed too tight together the edges get folded and covers get damaged. Also, if books are packed with too many air pockets/gaps inside the box they can shift during transportation and get damaged (smashed corners, wrinkled covers, etc).

Protect: Use a book box. Place books flat, horizontally and stack them with the heaviest books on the bottom and the paperback books on top. Be sure not to make the box too heavy. Pack paper on top and sides if there are any air gaps.

With these steps your move will be unbreakable! Remember, you can always do some of the packing yourself and leave the rest to the professionals. #cbrmr

Spring Into Action

Spring is peak home-buying time. If you’re in the market for a new home this season, get a jump on your competition by ticking off these tasks before even beginning the home-hunting process.

  • Obtain a copy of your credit report. It’s always wise to check your credit standing through one of the free credit-reporting services once a year, even if you’re not in the market for a loan, just to be sure the report is up-to-date and accurate. In the event it contains any errors or omissions (e.g., closed charge accounts that appear as available credit or repaid loans that show up as outstanding), you’ll want to get those mistakes cleared up before they slow things down when you do need a loan, or worse, ruin your chances of obtaining a loan altogether.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage. And make sure your real estate sales representative knows! By getting pre-approved, not only will your representative be able to target properties that fit your budget, you’ll know that financing won’t be a stumbling block when you do find that perfect home. Also, as a pre-approved buyer, you can offer sellers a quicker closing, which can give you the edge over competing buyers who have yet to secure their own loan approval.
  • Be available. Make sure your real estate sales representative knows the quickest way to contact you as properties meeting your criteria become available. And have a contingency plan ready for viewing properties at a moment’s notice — have a babysitter on speed-dial, for example.
  • Line up your crew. Your property purchase will likely necessitate securing the services of professionals, such as a home inspector and a lawyer. Have your team lined up ahead of time so that you don’t hinder the home-buying process by waiting until the last minute to recruit. Call The Mash Team first to get started. #cbrmr

Painting Perfection, For Less!

There’s nothing that can change and refresh the look of a room faster and as cost-effectively as a fresh coat of paint. While big jobs, high ceilings and tight deadlines may necessitate the services of a professional painter, there are many other instances that are conducive to a successful DIY experience.

Here are some tips to save the do-it-yourself painter both time and money!

  • Use flannel-backed vinyl tablecloths from the dollar store as drop sheets — they’re fairly durable, so they can typically be used multiple times. Place the tablecloths flannel-side up so that any paint drops landing on the tablecloth get absorbed cleanly.
  • Save time on messy roller pan cleanups by lining it with a plastic grocery bag (turn it inside out if there’s any paint drops on the bag). When you’re done painting, simply remove the bag by turning it inside out, and discard it cleanly.
  • Invest in high quality paintbrushes. Buy good brushes now, clean them properly and they will pay for themselves not only in the quality finish they’ll create, but in the number of times you’ll be able to re-use them.
  • Using the same brushes and rollers again the next day? In-between coats, simply wrap them in foil, then store in plastic bags overnight.
  • “Expensive” paint doesn’t necessarily mean “better” paint. Store brands can provide the same great quality as designer brands, without the steep price tag. Be sure to check out the “mis-tint” shelf at paint stores too. They often sell paint that was tinted to a shade not acceptable to a customer, so these otherwise perfect cans of paint are offered to the public for a fraction of the original retail price. #cbrmr

Aging in (Your) Place

With an estimated 11,000 North Americans turning 65 every day, it’s safe to assume that more and more conversations are turning to housing considerations that will accommodate the aging population.

As baby boomers approach and then reach their magical retirement age, a number that fluctuates dramatically depending on individual health and financial status, they’re starting to view their living arrangements through a different lense.

Is it time to downsize from a bigger house to one with fewer stairs, or perhaps into a condo? Or from a condo in a family building to another condo in a different area, with amenities more suited to your changing needs and interests? Should you sell your existing home and move into a retirement home? Or should you stay in your existing home and renovate it to allow you to age in place?

Aging in place refers to staying in the home of your choice, for as long as you are able to. This involves looking at your home with a critical eye, starting with the practicality of simply getting in and out of your front door easily and safely. Consider if the existing structure can be modified, and if so, if the cost and upheaval resulting from the renovations would even be worthwhile.

Here are some projects to consider, whether it makes sense to implement them in your existing home, look for them in a new home, or apply them in a new, downsized property:

  • Move the master bedroom to the first floor.
  • Add a bathroom to the first floor.
  • Add grab bars in the bathroom, along with a bench in the shower, and a higher toilet or an elevated toilet seat. A walk-in tub may also be an option.
  • Widen doors to allow for walkers and wheelchairs. Also consider width of hallways.
  • Replace stone/tile with carpet/wood.
  • For properties with stairs, install a lift chair/ stair glide system.
  • Add lever-style doorknobs.
  • Include more automation in the home, from a programmable or voice-activated lighting system and thermostat to smart fire detection and security systems. Install doorbells, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms that turn on lights when they’re activated, in case you don’t hear the alarms go off.
  • Modify storage with pull-out shelves, also referred to as roll-out, glide-out or slide-out shelves, that allow easier access to deeper spaces for clothing, food and other belongings.
  • Add extra lighting for increased visibility and security.

Of course, the outside of your home should take into account any current or possible future mobility issues, from the width of the front door, to the stairs going from the entrance to the street, to the need for railings and ramps, to the condition of the concrete or ground surface and accessibility to transportation from there.

If you can’t remodel your current home to allow you to age in place safely and comfortably, or if the cost and process of renovating to get to that point is prohibitive, it may be time to move. When discussing your decision with your real estate sales representative, be sure to be clear about your wants and needs for your next home.

Remember, for every homeowner needing to downsize, there’s a new family anxious to fill those rooms with another generation’s worth of adventures and memories. #cbrmr

Investing in Curb Appeal

Thinking of renovating your home, either for yourself or to add head-turning sales appeal for potential buyers? Consider your return on investment (ROI) before you get too far.

On average, Canadian homeowners plan to spend about $16,400 on their home renovations*, so it’s important to ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your home after your renovation project. If you’re simply looking to freshen it up in order to put it on the market, you’ll be looking at your projects in a whole different light than if you’re planning to stay in the house for a few more years.

While the Appraisal Institute of Canada notes that kitchen and bathroom renovations can receive a 75% to 100% ROI, they also suggest homeowners not underestimate the value of inexpensive upgrades, noting that light landscaping or gardening, a fresh coat of paint, modern lighting fictures, or even upgraded door handles can give a home an updated look and feel, without spending a lot of money.

The spring real estate rush is on, so if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you may want to focus first on renovation projects that reflect prominently on a home’s curb appeal, enticing potential buyers to want to see more. Quick and simple tasks like painting your front door, mowing the grass, giving the yard a good tidying up and arranging bright flowers in outdoor containers go far in creating impressive curb appeal. #cbrmr

Cool Reception to Spring Market

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) confirmed that both the number of home sales and the prices of sold homes plunged in March, as compared to results from one year earlier.

The average home price dropped from $915,126 in March 2017 to $784,558 this past March, while the number of sales dropped to 7,228, a 39.5 percent year-over-year decline from the March 2017 record of 11,954 residential transactions. Detached home sales, which generally represent the highest price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types.

TREB President Tim Syrianos explains, “The effects of the Fair Housing Plan, the new OSFI-mandated stress test and generally higher borrowing costs have prompted some buyers to put their purchasing decision on hold.”

Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis, adds, “Right now, when we are comparing home prices, we are comparing two starkly different periods of time: last year, when we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory levels ranging between two and three months. It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb back to last year’s peak. However, in the second half of the year, expect to see the annual rate of price growth improve compared to Q1, as sales increase relative to the below-average level of listings.”

Is it the right time for you to buy or sell? Please call today for the latest market activity in your specific area of interest.

OPEN HOUSE CANCELLED…Home Sold

Welcome to 128 Allworth Cres in Bowmanville.  Bright, open-concept 4 Bedroom Family home with stylish curb appeal, just minutes from the 401/407 in the historic town of Bowmanville. Ideal for  commuting and enjoying small-town living.  Home Features:  Crown Moulding , 9′ Ceilings and Hardwood flooring on the Main floor.  Family room with gas fireplace that will not cramp your style. Family sized Open Concept Eat-in Kitchen with Breakfast Bar, Built-in Dishwasher, upgraded cabinets and walk-out to yard. Spacious dining/living room with Gleaming hardwood floors.  Large master bedroom with 4pc ensuite including Glass Shower and Soaker Tub plus W/I closet. Secure family neighborhood that is walking distance to newer schools, parks, shopping and public transit. Just Listed for $550,000. #cbrmr

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Selling? Low-Cost Home Improvement Fixes that Make Your Home Shine

When selling a home, even tiny fixes can have a big impact. Fortunately many fixes can be done quickly and with a small budget.

Here are 10 of the best low- (or no-) cost home improvement fixes to make your house stand above the competition:

1. Address the Heart of the Home
In real estate, the kitchen is a main selling feature and can be a make or break deal for potential home buyers. If a new kitchen just isn’t in the cards, consider replacing smaller ticket items and de-cluttering. Low- and no-cost fixes for the kitchen include:

New cabinet hardware
New faucets
Installing a new backsplash
Storing countertop appliances to create more work space
Replacing dark valances with lighter fabric or removing them altogether

2. Update Switch Plate Covers
Switch plate and outlet covers are brittle, and can crack and yellow over time, resulting in a home that, no matter how well updated, still looks dated. New outlets and covers can be replaced in a snap for generally under five dollars, making it one of the lowest cost updates available. Consider flat switches that create a modern, streamlined silhouette and stick to white for a timeless look.

3. Beautify the Bathroom
An updated bathroom comes only second to kitchens in a buyer’s list of must-haves, so showing them a clean and uncluttered bathroom will score points with any potential buyer.

New flooring can give an otherwise tired bathroom a much needed facelift and create a newer looking bathroom overall. Coordinating linens, a new shower curtain, and thoroughly cleaned grout can top off this easy home improvement investment.

4. Address Storage
Storage is always a concern for buyers. Installing low-cost closet organizers to your existing space will increase storage and organization in your home. Add storage baskets to hide clutter and you will have beautiful storage spaces that will make any buyer envious.

5. Deep Clean for a Good Return
If your home contains wall to wall carpeting, clean carpets can make a world of difference to a buyer. Cleaning carpets can easily be completed in a weekend with a rental cleaning machine, and it creates a noticeably clean, odor free environment for buyers to tour.

6. Boost Curb Appeal
Nothing boosts curb appeal like a tidy yard. Trim and edge walkways, weed gardens, and trim shrubs for maximum impact. If you have a porch, consider potted, seasonal plants to bring the look together.

7. Improve the First Impression
As buyers approach your home, first impressions matter. Ensuring your entryway is clean and inviting with something as simple as a new mailbox or updated house numbers will make buyers feel welcome. Clean windows and doors for extra impact.

8. Add a Coat of Paint
Freshening up your living space with neutral colors will invite buyers to imagine their belongings in your home and will cover up any nicks, scratches, or dents your wall incurred over years of daily living.

9. Update Lighting
While not the lowest cost solution on our list, you will find that a new light fixture or two really breathes new life into key living spaces. If your budget is tight, look to kitchen, dining, and living rooms for the most bang for your buck.

10. Add Some Decor Pizzazz
Finally, a fresh look can be completed with nothing more than some colorful fabric. Inexpensive pillows and throws in a coordinating palette through your home will create a unified look that will have buyers hooked. #cbrmr

59 Aspen Park Way. Whitby

SEE IT AND FALL IN LOVE!

$475,000

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.

 

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