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What to Look Out For When Buying Pre-Construction

What to Look Out For When Buying Pre-Construction

Nov 18, 2022 | Buyers

It’s easy to let your imagination soar when you think about buying a pre-construction home or condo. You have many reasons to feel enthusiastic and optimistic. Just think of it. Once your project is complete, you’ll have a spectacular, brand-new house that you can’t wait to show off to your friends! Your new place has the latest and greatest technology, and the idea of being the first person to live in the property is exciting. 

It’s true; there are many benefits to buying pre-construction, especially if you can get in early. However, before you head to your local developer or sign any contracts, there are a few points to consider to protect yourself and ensure your dream doesn’t slip through your fingers.

What Is the Builder’s Reputation?

A builder’s track record is one of the most critical things to consider when choosing a pre-construction project. The best place to start your background research is by checking the Home Construction Regulatory Authority website. You can enter the builder’s name to find out how many other projects they have completed. A quick background check will also tell you if any claims have been filed against them through the Tarion New Home Warranty.

Afterwards, try to visit one of their finished projects in person, where you can see the quality of their work for yourself.

Research the Neighbourhood

Researching your new neighbourhood will give you an excellent idea of whether you’re getting a fair price. How does the purchase price of your pre-construction suite compare with other homes in the area? Knowing what amenities and the vibe you want in your new neighbourhood will be a significant factor in your decision. Pre-construction neighbourhoods are often up-and-coming and will not have much in the way of landscaping or green spaces at first. You will have to use your imagination and visualize what it will look like as it develops.


Where should you buy your pre-construction project? There are so many fantastic places to consider all over the GTA! Some of our other posts might give you some inspiration:


What Is the Future Resale Value?

When buying any property, you want to keep its resale value in mind. Take a look not just at the final price but the cost per square foot compared to other projects in the area. A pre-construction unit in an exclusive location or with a more iconic build is more likely to hold value even if the overall market softens.  

Want to keep up to date with the real estate market in the GTA? Sign up for our newsletter right here

What Standard Finishes Are Included in Your Purchase?

When visiting a model home, the builder often includes all of the upgrades rather than the standard finishes. It can be confusing to understand what you’re actually getting once all is said and done. Another thing to consider is that most upgrades are not included in the mortgage and must be paid in cash upfront.

If you have to sign up for a lot of upgrades because the base model is poor quality, it is better to keep looking. A pre-construction project with better standard finishes may cost more initially but is still more affordable because it is covered in your mortgage. 

What Is Your Intended Use of the Property?

Do you intend to live in the home yourself? Or are you purchasing the property as an investment to rent out? If you are investing, you’ll want to do a careful cost/profit analysis to ensure you can carry the property for the long term.

Look at how much similar properties in the neighbourhood are renting for. If it is enough to cover your monthly payments with some left over for emergencies, you may have found the perfect investment vehicle.

However, you might think twice if you find that your investment will be cash flow negative. Sometimes, the equity gains make it worthwhile, depending on the market and your ability to cover the monthly costs. 


What does it take to become a successful investor in the GTA? Knowledge is a start. These posts below will point you in the right direction:


Is the Layout Well Designed?

Nothing is worse than a poorly designed condo where the layout is so bad that your sofa is facing your kitchen stove, or there is no bedroom window! It can happen if you’re not careful, even in a new build. A well-designed layout is critical, as is having ample natural light in your home.

Before committing to your purchase, check the design and measure every room to ensure that you can comfortably furnish the space. You will have access to the floor plan, which can help you visualize your area once the unit is completed. 

A Real Estate Lawyer With Pre-Construction Experience is Critical!

In Ontario, you have a 10-day cooling-off period where you can rescind your purchase agreement without penalty. This gives you time to have your lawyer scrutinize the builder’s Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS), so there are no unpleasant surprises upon your closing date. 

Closing costs on a pre-construction property are greater than a resale home and can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. 

For example, the municipality will charge a builder developmental and levy fee to enhance the city’s growth. The builder will then pass that charge on to you. Your lawyer can help determine whether or not this fee will be capped, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. 

Is the HST Included?

Unlike resale properties, pre-construction homes are subject to HST. Some developers will build it into the price. Still, taxes can get complex, and it’s best to consult with your real estate lawyer or accountant. In addition, you may be eligible for an HST rebate that can help offset some of your closing costs.

What Is Your Timeline?

Flexibility is of the essence when buying pre-construction, especially for your own use. The builder will give you an expected move-in date, but delays are common. Consider how this will impact you if you are counting on the unit to be ready by a certain time. It’s always a smart idea to allow for a buffer and have a backup plan in case you need to arrange for temporary accommodations. 

Are Assignments Allowed?

An assignment means you can sell your contract to another buyer at the current market value if your plans change. This will allow you to recoup your deposit and potentially earn a profit on your investment. Before signing your agreement, we recommend finding out whether there is a provision in the Builder APS that allows for assignment sales.

Curious about how assignments work? You can read more about them in our article right here.

The Advantages of Buying Pre-Construction

One of the most significant benefits of buying pre-construction is that your deposit payments are tiered over time. Like any real estate purchase, the builder will want 20% of the purchase price as a down payment. However, you don’t need to have it all at once. 

For example, you may need as little as $5000 on signing, with another 5% due in 30 days and the final balance in 180 days. Sometimes, the last 5% isn’t due until your occupancy date, which could be years from your original purchase. In any case, the ability to spread your payments out makes your purchase far more accessible than a resale home.

 A pre-construction property can prove to be a worthy and profitable investment as the value nearly always increases by the time the project is complete. Usually, pre-construction is more expensive than a resale initially. However, remember that you are paying for the future value, which typically means you will come out ahead. 

Brand new homes are valued higher than older residences, especially when investing in an exclusive and desirable area.

The Importance of a Knowledgeable Realtor®

Buying any property can be complex, but pre-construction comes with an entirely different set of challenges. We take a strategic approach in helping clients with pre-construction and provide honest and concise guidance based on what you wish to buy, location and price point. 

When buying as an investment, we help you determine what will have the most future appeal to prospective tenants and the highest resale value. 

When buying for yourself, we discuss your needs and wants in detail to help ensure your new home will serve you well for years to come.

Are you thinking about buying a pre-construction project? We want you to feel confident knowing that you’ve purchased from a reputable builder and will advise you as though we were personally buying the property for ourselves. If you’re ready to get started or have questions, feel free to reach out to us today by email or calling 647-293-3785.

 

How Toronto Compares to International Cities

Oct 26, 2022 | Toronto

Toronto has long been considered one of the top places to live, not just in Canada but in the world. The quality of life, dining scene, arts, music and culture are incomparable.


Last month, Toronto’s reputation got an even bigger boost when it became the first Canadian city to be featured in the Michelin Guides. This prestigious publication is based out of France and awards stars of excellence to select restaurants and hotels throughout the world.


Earning these awards is no easy feat. A single star is a tremendous honour. Two or more stars place a restaurant on the global stage. At this point, twelve Toronto restaurants have received one star, and one has received two. The award-winning dining scene alone is worth a trip to Toronto, but it is far from the only reason. 

Here are a few other ways our beloved home stands out amongst other international cities.

Want to stay current on the GTA real estate market? Sign up for our newsletter right here.

Cultural Attractions

Toronto’s diversity and culture helped it rank in Time Out’s Best Cities in the World. The city hosts countless festivals and events throughout the year, including: 

  • Caribana
  • The Canadian National Exhibition
  • The TD Salsa Festival
  • Nuit Blanche Toronto
  • The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
  • Beaches International Jazz Festival
  • Pride Toronto
  • Honda Indy
  • Taste of the Danforth 
  • Rogers Cup Tennis
  • Toronto Christmas Market
  • Toronto International Film Festival

If you’re not into festivals, there is still an abundance of cultural activities to enjoy. Historic museums like Casaloma and Spadina House provide a glimpse into the city’s fascinating history.

The Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery Ontario are among our most famous attractions, but you can also explore the Gardiner Museum, the Museum of Inuit Art, and the Canadian Air and Space Museum. Toronto offers a spectacular combination of entertainment and education!

In the summer, art lovers come out in droves to celebrate the Toronto International Art Fair and the Queen West Art Crawl. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition gathers 500 visual artists and craftspeople and is a fantastic opportunity to find one-of-a-kind art pieces.

And let’s not forget about the annual Toronto International Film Festival. Every September, there’s a chance to rub elbows with big-name celebrities or indie movie producers and mingle with thousands of movie fans.


Thinking of investing in the GTA? These resources can help you hit the ground running:


Live Entertainment

The live shows and plays in downtown Toronto are enough to give New York a run for its money, with longstanding musical performances that draw thousands of people every year. Interesting fact: The Royal Alexandra Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theatre in North America!

Live music features everything from local artists at Music at the Park to world-famous superstars selling out the Air Canada Centre.

Like Vegas, Toronto never sleeps. You can find a live music performance almost every day of the year, from moody jazz performances to rowdy dance numbers at one of the many vibrant nightclubs throughout the city.

A Nature Paradise Right in the City

In a city the size of Toronto, you can hardly expect to find a lot of natural beauty, but you will. From the dazzling cherry blossoms of High Park in the Spring to the gorgeous hiking trails surrounding Grenadier Pond, the chance to get away from it all is only ever a few moments away. The abundance of green space that exists right in the heart of the big city is one of the things that make Toronto unique. 

Here are a few of the beautiful places you can go when you want to experience some peaceful tranquillity:

  • Toronto Music Garden, on the waterfront near Queen’s Quay
  • Evergreen Brick Works, along the Don Valley River in the east End
  • Trinity Bellwoods Park, on Queen St West
  • Allan Gardens, right downtown on Jarvis Street

Access to Highly Rated Education

The education sector is one of Toronto’s top employers, with more than 100,000 people working in the network of public, secondary and post-secondary institutions. This access to highly rated education makes Toronto popular for families with children. Some of the highest-rated public schools include:

  • Rosewood Public School
  • Blythewood Public School
  • Old Orchard Public School
  • Earl Haig Secondary School
  • Ursula Franklin Academy

What about post-secondary education? Toronto has some of the most respected institutions in the world, including Ryerson University, York University, and the University of Toronto is highly regarded as the top university in the nation. 

Humber College ranks within the top 50 research colleges, and George Brown is frequently considered in the top 40 colleges in Canada.

Which Toronto area is right for your family? Find out more in our neighbourhood guides right here.

Business Development and Technology

Toronto is well-known for its culture, but its innovation and technological advancements are what genuinely set it apart from anywhere else in the world. According to CBRE Group, Toronto has more tech workers than Chicago, LA, or Washington, and the sector is growing faster than anywhere in the U.S. 

The Toronto-Waterloo Corridor supports over 5,200 business startups in fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity and virtual reality. Plus, tech giants like Uber, Intel, LG and Samsung have set up headquarters in the city, providing innovation and countless high-paying careers.

How did our city become such a significant player in global technology? Startups flock to Canada, particularly Toronto, because of our stable government, access to healthcare, excellent education, and thriving economy.

There are so many things to love about Toronto that it is no wonder why more than 2.8 million Canadians call it home, with thousands more flocking here every year.

A Guide to Our Trendiest Neighborhoods

St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market is one of the top attractions in Toronto and is known for having some of the oldest and architecturally distinct buildings. If you’re in the neighbourhood, the Distillery District is a must-see attraction. The cobblestone streets are lined with trendy shops, independent cafes and restaurants, and it is also the location of the Toronto Christmas Market. Of course, we can’t forget about the iconic St. Lawrence Market featuring 120 vendors under one roof.

Yorkville

Yorkville is an upscale neighbourhood known for its incredible shopping and dining opportunities. Bloor St has earned the nickname “Mink Mile” for its collection of designer shops. When you need to relax and unwind, Yorkville is also home to the city’s best hotels and spas and, of course, real estate. Many of Toronto’s top events occur in this neighbourhood throughout the year, including Hot Docs, the Peach Party at Sassafras, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. 

Find out more about Yorkville in our community guide right here.

West Queen West 

West Queen West recently found its way into Vogue magazine as one of the 15 Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World. Why was this area chosen for the honour? The plethora of indie patisseries and hidden-in-plain-sight art galleries helped to do the trick. The neighbourhood is also home to some of the trendiest clothing shops and labels in the city. Art lovers come from miles around to appreciate Graffiti Alley, which showcases the talents of Toronto’s many underrated street artists.

Want to know more about West Queen West? Find out more in our community guide right here.

Ossington Ave Strip 

If West Queen West is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the entire world, Ossington Ave is one of the coolest streets. The UK publication Time Out has given it that distinct honour, primarily due to the fantastic restaurants, live music and vibrant nightlife between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West.  

The Ossington Ave Strip is located in the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood. Find out more in our community guide right here.


Are you considering a move to one of the best cities in the world? We are happy to help you find the perfect home for you. Reach out today at [email protected] or 647-293-3785 with any questions you have.

Fall activities in Mississauga

Amazing Fall Activities to Enjoy with Your Loved Ones in Mississauga

Oct 13, 2022 | Mississauga

As hard as it may be to say goodbye to warm weather, Mississauga has many exciting activities to look forward to in the Fall. Already, the leaves are starting to put on a spectacular display. You can’t help but feel the festivity in the air as you wander down the tree-lined streets or through one of Mississauga’s many beautiful parks. Just think of all of the fun adventures that you can enjoy with your family in the next few weeks. Here are some of our favourite things to do when Autumn arrives.

Visit a Farmer’s Market

What could be better than fresh baked goods, locally grown produce, and decorative pumpkins and gourds? Mississauga has several farmer’s markets throughout the year, and they’re a great way to ensure the quality of your meals while supporting local farmers and other vendors. Here are some of the markets that are still running late into the Fall:

  • Lion’s Farmer’s Market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. until October 30 at 3 Robert Speck Parkway.
  • Lakeview Farmer’s Market offers an indoor and outdoor market, making it a fantastic place to spend a rainy afternoon. It’s open every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. until November 27 at 1352 Lakeshore Rd East.
  • The Streetsville Hello Local Fall Market is back, and you can feel the excitement in the crisp Fall air. Here’s your chance to pick up some one-of-a-kind items that are handmade by local vendors and artists. There will be plenty to eat and drink, including delicious fresh-baked goods and cotton candy. Talented buskers and a kids’ craft booth will help keep everyone entertained. This free, must-attend event takes place from October 15 to October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Streetsville Village Square.

Want to keep up to date with the Mississauga real estate market? Join our newsletter right here.

Take a Heritage Walking Tour

As a world-class city, Mississauga offers the best in modern conveniences and amenities. But did you know that it also has a rich and intriguing history dating back to the 1700s? One of the best ways to explore our past is with a walking tour through our most celebrated neighbourhoods.

Heritage Mississauga offers several self-guided tours you can enjoy at any time. Why not take the tour as the leaves begin to change? Here are a few areas you will never look at the same way again:

  • Clarkson
  • Cooksville
  • Lakeview
  • Dixie
  • Erindale
  • Meadowvale
  • Streetsville

Do you want more detail about the neighbourhoods of Mississauga? You’ll find all of our community guides right here.

Take a Hike

What’s the best way to get some fresh air, laughter and exercise while enjoying the best of Mississauga’s scenery? Try visiting one of our many hiking trails when you want the ideal combination of peacefulness and excitement. An afternoon hike is perfect for all ages, whether you want a fun place for children to run and play or a romantic afternoon with your significant other. No matter how you look at it, Mississauga’s trails do not disappoint. Where can you go? These are some of our must-visit paths and trails.

  • Riverdale Trail
  • Culham Trail
  • UTM Nature Trail
  • Sawmill Valley
  • Glen Erin Trail
  • Waterfront Trail

Watch the Salmon Run

When hitting the trails in Mississauga, you might just catch sight of the salmon making their final journey up the Credit River. You can view this incredible natural phenomenon in several places, including along the Culham Trail, the Riverwood Conservancy Trail to Streetsville, and Hewick Meadows Park at Credit Point Drive.

Besides countless hiking trails, Mississauga also has some of the most beautiful parks in the GTA. Read more about our favourites right here.

Family Fun Halloween Events

Fall is the season for all things pumpkin-related, not just pumpkin-spiced lattes. This is also the season when the ghouls and goblins come out to play, and Halloween parties are in full force. Here are a few spooktastic events your children are sure to love.

Spooktacular Scavenger Hunt in Streetsville

This fun, annual activity is a great way to get children outdoors and into the Halloween spirit! The local shops in the Streetsville BIA will have spooky decals on display. Can you find them all? If so, enter your finished scavenger hunt sheets for a chance to win one of 50 cool prizes. The hunt begins on October 17, and the map will be available for download on October 16.

Pumpkin Carvin’ Fun in Cooksville

On Saturday, October 22, Cooksville is hosting a free pumpkin carving party at 33 Hillcrest Ave. It’s spooky, good-natured fun for children of all ages. Young-at-heart adults are also welcome to join in the event. Did we mention that there will be goody bags and prizes? 

Halloweekend Roller Skate 

Here’s a unique way to celebrate a weekend of all things creepy and spooky! Glide and dance to the latest Halloween tunes at Celebration Square from October 28 to October 29. When you need a break, stop by the amphitheatre for storytime or hit up the Street Eats Market for a delectable snack at the Poutine Festival.

Halloween in Clarkson Village

This year, the children’s Halloween event of the season happens on Saturday, October 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m in Clarkson Village. Local businesses along the Lakeshore come together to provide a day children will remember. 

The fun, festive and spooky activities include trick or treating in costume, bouncy castles, games and more. It’s a great practice run for the main event!


Have you got Mississauga on your mind for your next home? Here are some other posts you may find interesting:


Halloween in the ‘Ville (Streetsville)

In partnership with Styleworthy Studio, the Village of Streetsville presents a Halloween Bash no one will want to miss. Children are welcome to dress up in their favourite costumes for a fun-packed afternoon of kids’ crafts, pumpkin decorating (while supplies last), and trick-or-treating. The party lasts from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. on October 30 at 8 Maiden Lane. At 6:00, the whole family can sit back and enjoy a family-friendly Halloween movie together.

Halloween Spooky at Illumi

Prepare to be dazzled by millions of brilliant light displays that bring life to 13 brand-new worlds. Illumi is open from September to January to celebrate all of the holidays. In October, they are hosting a spooky Halloween special that will delight and overwhelm your senses. The display provides over 600,000 square feet of festive magic. That’s the equivalent of 10 football fields!

Are you planning a move in the Fall? There are so many reasons to consider relocating to Mississauga, and we’d love to show you around. Reach out today by email or call 647-293-3785 and we can get started.

Getting Started As A Real Estate Investor

How To Get Started As A Real Estate Investor

Sep 19, 2022 | Investors

The changing real estate market has many would-be investors feeling a little nervous. This is normal as news headlines talk incessantly about a possible economic slowdown. However, savvy investors don’t rely on headlines, and they rarely follow the crowd. Instead, they follow the data and often do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. 

The smartest investors are not reckless, but they are willing to take calculated risks. 

Fortunately, many tools are available to help you, and you don’t need a lot of experience to succeed. What you do need is a plan. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Understanding How Financing Works

The upfront cost of investing in real estate is a deterrent for many people. That said, buying property can be one of the most stable and profitable investments you can ever make. Like anything, the sooner you break into the market, the sooner you can begin building your equity as property values rise. 

Understanding how to finance your purchase is critical to your success.

Before looking at properties, we suggest visiting a trusted mortgage professional to review your options and help you obtain a pre-approval.


Do you want more information on how to invest during a changing market? Here are some additional resources to help you:


Take Stock of Your Current Resources

Here are three significant expenses to keep in mind when looking at investment possibilities:

  1. Your deposit and down payment. For non-primary residences, you must have 20% ready for your down payment. When a seller accepts your offer, you immediately pay a deposit with 5% of the purchase price a typical amount, and the remainder due when the property closes.
  2. Closing costs. Once the sale is complete, your closing costs can add 3 to 5% to your total selling price. These include legal and administrative fees, land transfer taxes, title insurance, property appraisal fee from the lender and home inspection cost should you decide to have one. Note: When buying a house in Toronto, expect your land transfer taxes to be higher because there is both a municipal and a provincial tax. 
  3. Your monthly carrying costs. Every month, you will have to make your mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes and cover the cost of maintaining the property. You’ll also want to have some savings available in case it takes longer than you realize to find the right tenant for your property.

Real Estate is a Long-Term Investment

It can be challenging to earn short-term profits when investing in real estate. The ability to collect enough rent to leave you with a profit every month is the best-case scenario. 

Other times, your monthly income will just cover the mortgage. You won’t see an immediate payoff, but you’ll grow your net worth as your property rises in value. 

In the worst-case scenario, you may have to take a loss for the short term.

The BRRRR Investment Method

BRRRR is an investment acronym that stands for “buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat.” It’s similar to flipping houses in that you’re looking for properties that need attention. 

However, unlike flipping a property, you’re not going to sell it for a fast profit. Instead, you’ll keep it as a long-term investment and rent it out to cover the mortgage payments. Instead of selling, you’ll cash out by refinancing so that you can purchase your next property.

Buy: The key to making it work is finding an undervalued property where you can fix it up under budget.

Rehab: You increase the resale value and appeal to potential tenants by making significant repairs and upgrades to the home. When rehabbing a property, you must make your calculations carefully to ensure your investment is profitable and that you don’t get in over your head financially.

Rent: The monthly rent payments should cover all or most of your monthly expenses. You’ll want to vet your tenants carefully to ensure a positive, long-term relationship.

Refinance: Instead of selling the property like a house flipper, you cash out by refinancing. 

Repeat: Once you’ve successfully refinanced your purchase, you repeat the whole process from the beginning.

The BRRR method does involve some risk. However, it can be an extremely lucrative long-term investment with the proper guidance. As always, you should consult a real estate professional with a successful track record with investors.

How do you know if your real estate agent is up to the task? Find out more right here.

Where Should You Invest?

Toronto attracts many investors because there is a giant pool of potential tenants. High property prices mean more people are looking to rent as they are unable to afford to buy a house in Toronto.

One of the best places to invest is in Mississauga, which is Toronto’s closest neighbour. The University of Toronto has a campus here, and a lucrative career market attracts many people to the area. Here are a few of the neighbourhoods to watch out for:

Lakeview

Recent and upcoming developments have turned Lakeview into one of the most highly sought-after neighbourhoods in Mississauga. Larger than average lot sizes and relaxed zoning laws allow you to rebuild small bungalows into modern, spacious homes. It’s a beautiful area and is highly convenient for commuters. Close proximity to Toronto and the Lakeshore Go Line makes this a prime area to invest in.

Find out more about Lakeview in our community guide right here.

Lisgar 

Relatively low price points make this neighbourhood ideal for a first-time investor. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking these lower prices mean the area is hard to rent out. Lisgar is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods for tenants and is especially attractive to commuters. In addition, the many parks and green spaces give Lisgar great appeal to anyone who loves the outdoors.

Find out more about Lisgar in our community guide right here.

City Center

The City Centre is the heart of Mississauga! This is where you’ll find all of the hottest new condominiums, Square One Shopping Centre, Celebration Square and numerous other attractions in the area. The City Centre will also be home to the Hurontario LRT (Hazel McCallion Line), which is scheduled to open in Fall 2024. Once completed, this development will connect commuters from Brampton through Mississauga to Port Credit. 

An influx of new company headquarters and business start-ups is attracting many single professionals, young families and downsizers. Any rental in this neighbourhood is sure to get snapped up quickly.

Find out more about the City Center in our community guide right here.

Meadowvale 

The houses in Meadowvale tend to be smaller and more affordable than in other neighbourhoods in Mississauga. It’s also known for its high-quality schools, convenient shopping, and abundance of outdoor activities and sports. With many head offices in the area, new residents have plenty of career opportunities. 

Find out more about Meadowvale in our community guide right here.

 


Do you have questions about the BRRRR method or investing in Toronto, Mississauga or the west GTA? We are happy to help you get started. Reach out to us at [email protected] or 647-293-3785

Your Mississauga Back To School Guide

Your Mississauga Back To School Guide

Aug 31, 2022 | Mississauga

It’s almost that time of year again. It’s hard to believe that another summer is winding down, and school is just around the corner. Every child is different, and some are giddy with excitement at the thought of seeing their teachers and classmates again. 

They’re eager to learn new things and ready for sports team tryouts and fun games at recess. Others, however, may feel nervous about the prospect of meeting new people and adjusting to a new routine. 

In any case, nearly everyone is at least a little wistful that the carefree days of summer are coming to an end. No matter what state of mind your child is in, you can help by creating a plan for back to school that they can look forward to.

How to Create Your Plan

A happy and peaceful return to school begins with establishing or re-establishing a routine. If your child has become accustomed to late night movies and sleepovers, it’s time to start readjusting the sleep schedule. Setting the alarm a few minutes earlier now can make the morning far more manageable when the big day arrives.

Before school starts, have a chat with your child about their goals for the year. Talking about all the fun extra-curricular activities can help reluctant children look forward to returning to school. 

They might try out for the basketball team, the drama club, or band practice. Sit down together to list everything they are interested in and narrow it down to the top activities they want to participate in.

Will your child be attending a new school? If so, practice the route a few times back and forth so they know where to go and how long it will take. This simple activity can erase a lot of the stress for both you and your child.


Mississauga has many features and amenities that make it a fantastic place for families. Here are a few you might want to know about:


Back To School Shopping

Back-to-school shopping with Mom or Dad could be the highlight of the season for many children. It isn’t all about getting new stuff. Spending the day together gives you a chance to catch up and bond with your child before the busy school year starts. 

Think of it this way: They’ll never remember the brand name of the shoes you bought for them in the second grade, but they’ll remember their special time with you forever.

Do you need some inspiration for back-to-school fashion? Check out a few of the influencers on Instagram or Pinterest, and you’ll find dozens of fun, creative ideas. 

However, before taking on any major projects, you might want to check with your school board to see if there is a dress code. For example, many schools have rules against spaghetti straps and ripped jeans. 

Clothes aren’t the only thing to watch out for. Colourful backpacks and creative accessories can also make returning to school more fun and stylish. For example, we can’t get enough of these Bentgo lunch boxes!

The Top West Toronto Schools

The GTA is a diverse, world-class city that also has some of the best schools in Ontario. The Peel District School Board has more than 250 elementary and secondary schools. The Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board oversees 148 facilities. In addition, you have many highly rated private schools to choose from.


Are you looking for a high-quality school for your child? Here are some of our best recommendations:


There Is Still Time To Enjoy Summer

The end of summer may feel sad, but it isn’t over yet! Even after school starts, there will be plenty of warm weather to enjoy on afternoons and weekends. You can still go on hikes or visit one of Mississauga’s many fantastic parks. You may even have one last beach day on a hot Saturday afternoon!

Are you looking for some exciting events coming up to enjoy with your child in September? Here are a few ideas:

  • Visit the giant outdoor maze at GYGO (near Square One Mall) from September 2 to September 5.
  • Check out Family Fun Day at the Royal Botanical Gardens on September 24. Children will enjoy a hike through the woods as they learn about the rocks and minerals that make up the forest floor. Best of all, they’ll make their own paint using natural ingredients!
  • Delight your sweet tooth at the Mississauga Butter Tart Festival on September 24 at Streetsville Village Square.

Even as the cold weather approaches, there will be many fun experiences to keep your child moving forward. Just think of all of the things you will get to do together:

  • Attending Fall fairs and other events coming up
  • Dressing up for Halloween costume parties and trick or treating
  • Enjoying hot chocolate and sweet treats at a cafe
  • Strolling up and down the waterfront
  • And, of course, winter is around the corner, along with activities like skating, tobogganing and snow tubing.

There is much to be excited about with the coming of every new season. With this approach, back to school becomes a fresh start for both your child and you.

Is there a move coming up in the Fall? An experienced local real estate agent can help you determine the best neighbourhood for your family. Reach out to us today and we are happy to answer any questions you have. 

 

The Best Parks In Mississauga

The Best Parks In Mississauga

Aug 2, 2022 | Mississauga

When it comes to parks and beautiful green spaces, Mississauga may beat out even Toronto. With over 500 parks sprinkled throughout the city, it’s easy to find space to relax and enjoy quality time with your friends and family. Playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields and breathtaking gardens are everywhere. There are even leash-free zones that let your dog join in the fun. 

Whether you want to relax and unwind or enjoy a heart-pumping game of tag or soccer, Mississauga is the place to be. You’ll even find spectacular works of public art as you stroll through the greenery. 

There are so many fun, beautiful parks around that it’s hard to choose a favourite. However, here are a few of our top contenders.

Streetsville Memorial Park

Where can you find a soccer field, baseball diamond, hiking trails with views of the Credit River, a playground and an outdoor pool all in one place? Head on over to Streetsville Memorial Park, located at 355 Church St, adjacent to Vic Johnston’s Community Centre – the only community-operated, not-for-profit community centre in Mississauga, widely known across the city for its hockey programs.

This park is the highlight of the summer but is beautiful all year round. There is always something to do. There are nature trails, expansive flat grassy areas and a few riverside spots where you can relax as you watch the ducks & geese float on the water, or admire the wildflowers in the spring. Many people come to see the salmon migrate up the river at the end of the summer/beginning of the fall season (however fishing is not permitted).  Streetsville Memorial Park is also best known to many as the home of one of Mississauga’s most loved events, the Bread and Honey Festival. 

Curious about Streetsville? Learn more in our neighbourhood guide here.


Want to know more about Mississauga and what it’s like to live here? These articles will give you some ideas:


Erindale Park

As the largest park in Mississauga, Erindale has everything you need to get out and enjoy nature. There’s a playground and hiking trail with breathtaking creekside views. But it’s especially fun in the winter. Why? The toboggan hill is easily one of the top five in the city, and there’s no greater rush than flying down on your sled. 

There will be no more complaining about how cold it is outside! Bundle up and hit the hills with your crazy carpet in hand. The park is located at 1695 Dundas St W, and there is plenty of parking around.

Curious about Erindale? Learn more in our neighbourhood guide here.

Port Credit Memorial Park

Take a drive over to 40 Lakeshore Rd East, and you’ll arrive at Port Credit Memorial Park. It’s right on the waterfront with a recently-updated and expansive children’s playground, picnic areas, a skate park and trails to hike and cycle on, and the marina is close by. During peaceful times you may catch a glimpse of swans and ducks floating serenely on the water.

What a beautiful escape from hectic city life! There are benches all around where you can sit and enjoy the scenery and the sight of the people passing by. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, and it’s also the scene for some of Mississauga’s exciting events, including the Summer Concert Series and the Lights & Ice Winterfest.

Curious about Port Credit? Find out more in our neighbourhood guide right here!

Mattamy Sports Park

This massive 57-acre park has it all! It’s adjacent to Churchill Meadows Community Centre, which offers an aquatic centre, a library, a gymnasium and warm water therapeutic pool and even a teaching kitchen. The outdoor park offers two massive soccer fields and an indoor dome, hiking trails, a multi-purpose court, a skatepark, a splash pad, and outdoor fitness equipment. Mattamy Sports Park is truly for anyone of all ages! The playground is amazing, and children will spend many happy hours running, climbing, spinning and jumping. The park is located at 5320 Ninth Line, and parking is readily available.

Want to know more about Churchill Meadows? Check out our neighbourhood guide right here.

Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens

It may sound like something out of a spelling bee, but Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens looks like it’s straight out of a dream. The azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom in May and June, but you’ll find other perennials and shrubs to treat your eyes all summer long.

There are few places in the city that are more peaceful and scenic, and you can spend hours exploring the garden and waterfront trails. The gardens are located at 666 Lakeshore Rd W. Admission is free, and parking is easily accessible. If you need a change in scenery, Richard’s Memorial Park provides incredible waterfront views and is just up the road. It’s an excellent alternative to Jack Darling Park, which gets quite busy at times.

Want to know more about what Lorne Park offers? You can find our neighbourhood guide right here.

Kariya Park

Would you love to be transported to another country without the hassle of packing or getting on a plane? Then don’t miss these Japanese-style gardens in downtown Mississauga (near Square One). 

The park is named after Mississauga’s sister city in Japan. And yes, you’ll be interested to know that there is a Mississauga Park in Japan in the city of Kariya!

The best times to visit are in late April and early May, when the cherry blossoms and magnolia blooms provide a mesmerizing feast for your eyes. Kariya Park is always clean and well maintained and allows you to find peace and tranquillity in the middle of a hectic day. There are no long trails to wander on, making it more suitable for lazing about. 

Kariya Park is located in the City Centre in the heart of Mississauga. Find out more about the neighbourhood right here.

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area

Are you looking for somewhere scenic to spend a memorable afternoon with your loved ones? Look no further than the trails and wetlands at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area, located at 1180 Lakeshore West.

Keep your eyes open and your camera ready. Wildlife sightings are common, including rabbits, deer, foxes, beavers, and all kinds of birds. You may even catch sight of a turtle basking in the sun.

This park is a popular destination in the spring and summer, but is beautiful at any time of the year. The raised boardwalk trail is perfect for winter hikes, where you can see the land covered in glistening white snow without trampling through the mud. The burst of colour in the Fall will take your breath away. 

Curious about the Clarkson neighbourhood? Find out more right here.

Lake Aquitaine Park

Who would have thought such a peaceful oasis could exist amidst the bustle of the busy city? You’ll find beautiful trails, outdoor workout stations, a children’s splash pad and even a fishing pond. If you’re out for exercise and a brisk walk, you can finish the loop in about an hour. Or you can take time to smell the wildflowers as you wile away the afternoon.

Ready to start this nature adventure? Set your GPS to Aquitaine Avenue in Mississauga.

Want to know more about Meadowvale? Check out our neighbourhood guide right here.

Lakefront Promenade Park

Lakefront Promenade Park is located in Lakeview, which is currently undergoing a massive revitalization by the city. It boasts the largest splash pad in Mississauga, where children and the young at heart can run around and cool off. There’s a playground for the little ones, a waterfront boardwalk, and a leash-free zone means your dog can come along for the ride. 

Covered picnic tables make it easy to rest and recharge with snacks and refreshments. Before you go, make sure you try skipping some stones along the rocky beach to see who can throw the farthest! 

Plenty of parking and year-round restroom facilities make it easy to visit Lakeside Park as often as your family desires.

Could Mississauga be the right place for your family? Check out our new listings here or reach out to learn more about your real estate options. 

 

Is the Mississauga Real Estate Market Still Safe for Investors?

Jul 14, 2022 | Investors

Is buying an investment property in Mississauga still a good idea now that the market has softened slightly? All the stats suggest that buyers and investors are feeling a bit nervous. Real estate transactions are down all over the GTA, month over month and year over year. There were 7283 property sales in May compared with 8008 the month before. In June, there were only 6474 sales reported. 

What is going on?

Rising interest rates and inflation have many potential buyers and investors putting their plans on hold. However, for the right person, now is the ideal time to invest, and Mississauga is the perfect place to do it.

Seasons Are Back In The Real Estate Market

Some buyers may feel gun-shy now that the market has slowed down, but that’s only in comparison to the craziness of last year. One thing that analysts can agree on is that seasonality appears to be making a comeback in real estate. 2021 was an anomaly that you probably shouldn’t use to evaluate any purchasing or selling decisions.

Like every industry, real estate has busy and slow times, and conditions are starting to normalize. 

There is always a lull in the summertime as people are spending time outdoors and not thinking about moving.  Once the Fall arrives, we can expect things to pick up quite a bit. As an investor, the time to act is now, while competition is down and prices have stabilized.


A changing market doesn’t have to be scary. Here are some other resources to see you through:


Mississauga Housing Prices Are Down

When you compare the average listing price now to a few months ago, the numbers may still look pretty high. Where are all these price drops that you’re hearing about? The difference isn’t in the listing price as much as in the final price you pay for a property.

There are fewer multiple offer scenarios, and bidding wars are almost extinct. In February, if a house was listed at $1 million, you might end up paying hundreds of thousands over asking if you wanted to beat out the other buyers. Now, the house might be listed slightly lower. Still, it provides a much better indication of what you will actually pay. 

There has been a lot of speculation over what will happen next. Some buyers are still waiting on the sidelines hoping for a massive price correction. However, there is no way to determine when housing prices will bottom out. 

The only thing that is certain is that real estate values tend to rise over time. Historically, real estate is still one of the best ways to grow wealth based on the appreciation in home values, even in a more balanced market with moderate price growth. It is better performing and less volatile than stocks/bonds, and far better than earning practically nothing by having your money sit in a bank account.

Who Should Invest In Mississauga Real Estate Right Now?

The current market rewards investors who buy and hold for the long term. Even with the higher interest rates, it is an excellent time to buy an income property. However, it may not be the best time for flippers and others hoping for a fast return. Prices are unpredictable, and it’s rare to find a property undervalued enough that you can sell it at a profit a few months later.  

If you have a high debt load or your finances are insecure, you also may want to hold off on any significant decisions like investing in real estate. Without a financial cushion, you may struggle to cover your monthly payments during the short term or when your property is vacant.

However, anyone who is in a position to buy should do so.  If you have some equity behind you and you’re ready to play the long game, you couldn’t ask for a better time to dive in.

With so many people looking to rent in the GTA, you will have no difficulty finding a tenant. Some rental properties are even receiving multiple offers because there is so little vacancy, and a detached home can go for as much as $4,000 to $5,000 per month. As real estate prices go down, it will be easier to create a positive cash flow with your income property.

Why Mississauga Is A Fantastic Investment

Mississauga isn’t just popular because of its proximity to Toronto. It has an appeal all of its own, and people are flocking to the city from all over. Many Toronto residents are tired of exorbitant rents and cramped living spaces and are turning their attention to its neighbour, Mississauga.

There is also a lot of appeal to people from smaller towns and rural areas who want a taste of big city life. What is so great about living in Mississauga? Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • It’s busy and full of excitement, but far less crowded than Toronto. Mississauga is also more affordable than Toronto.
  • Mississauga rents are almost at par with Toronto, but provide much better value for your money without compromising what the city has to offer.
  • There are great restaurants and plenty of entertainment options.
  • The shopping is second to none. 
  • You’ll find safe neighbourhoods, strong communities, and excellent schools.
  • Mississauga has one of the hottest career markets in the country.
  • Mississauga is Toronto’s immediate neighbour to the west and commuting into the city is easy, whether via Hwy 401, QEW, 427 or the GO train. You can get anywhere in the GTA quickly, including Oakville/Burlington in under 20 mins, 30 mins to Vaughan,  or 40 minutes to Hamilton.
  • Easy access to the gorgeous waterfront and refreshing beaches of Lake Ontario.

With so many perks, it’s easy to see why rental units don’t stay vacant for long!


There are so many ways to grow your portfolio in the current market! Here are a few other creative options to think about:


How To Get Started As A Mississauga Investor

Interest rates are higher than they were at the beginning of the year, but are still relatively low. Now that housing prices are also down, you can’t ask for a better time to invest. How do you get started?

The first step is a careful analysis of your financial resources. If you have a lot of equity in your current home, the easiest way to finance your purchase could be with a second mortgage or home equity loan. Talk to your financial institution or a mortgage broker to see how much you can qualify for.

Mississauga offers a diverse range of housing options for your portfolio. As fewer people are buying homes, there will be more people looking to rent. Condos are an ideal option for a first-time investor. Single-family homes, duplexes, semi-detached and townhouses are also in high demand in the rental market.

Looking for the safest option to get started as an investor? Consider buying a home with a secondary suite. You can live in one unit and rent out the other. The income you generate may cover most or all of your mortgage. Best of all, your equity will grow as the property rises in value over the years.

Do you want to talk more about investments? It’s a topic we live for, and we’re always happy to help! Reach out to us right here.

Why Trust A Mississauga Real Estate Agent During A Shifting Market?

Jul 4, 2022 | Mississauga

Buying and selling real estate in Mississauga has become a whole new ballgame. A few short months ago, the real estate market was on fire, and it looked like the skyrocketing housing prices would never stop. However, higher interest rates and soaring inflation soon changed everything.

What began as a slight cooling back in March has become a nearly balanced market today. Let’s take a look at how much conditions have changed.

  • In February, the average price of a house reached $1,225,339, according to the Mississauga Real Estate Board. That’s a gain of 23.5% from February 2021.
  • In May, housing prices dropped to an average of $1,148,784, a significant decrease but still up 8% from this time last year.

In this article, we’ll drill down to see how this changing market impacts sellers and buyers. Things aren’t as simple as prices going down, which makes working with a local Mississauga real estate professional more important than ever.

What The Changing Market Means for Sellers

As a homeowner, you may worry that your home is losing value. However, this is only a problem if you intend to sell quickly for a profit. 

If you have owned your home for a long time, there is no need for concern. The market may have dropped month over month, but housing prices are still higher than they were last year.

Even if you missed the peak in January and February, you would still earn a large return on your investment by selling now. As a homeowner, your equity protects you from short-term fluctuations in the market.

It may be true that you will earn less now than you would have a few months ago. But remember, your new house will also cost you less, so you didn’t miss out at all. 


Want to make your house seem more luxurious to buyers? Here are some ideas to start with:


Selling A House Successfully In The Current Market

Setting realistic expectations is the first step if you want your best chance of success. Selling a home now is different than it was a few months ago. There is no getting around that. Here are a few things you should keep in mind before putting your house on the market.

  1. Your house will probably take longer to sell. At the height of the housing boom, every listing was scooped up within days. Homes now sit on the market for an average of 12 days or more. If it takes longer than you thought to sell, it is nothing to get worried or upset over.
  2. Being thorough will pay off. You will get the best results by taking no shortcuts and doing everything you can to increase the value of your house. Even something as simple as thoroughly decluttering and cleaning can help earn more from your sale.
  3. A local Mississauga real estate agent can guide you through every step. What matters to buyers can change over time and from one neighbourhood to the next. An expensive renovation that used to add value to your home can now hurt your sale. Other updates will have a nominal cost but will pay huge dividends when it comes time to accept offers. A local real estate agent is up to date and can help you maximize your results.

A Team of Professionals By Your Side

An experienced real estate professional with a long track record of success will always have a network of trusted professionals to help you with every aspect of the transaction. 

You’ll have marketing and negotiating experts to help you maximize your sale. In addition, you’ll have access to the best real estate lawyers and mortgage brokers in the business.  

The best part about working with an experienced local agent is that someone is always there to help you whenever you need it. From start to finish, you will never feel alone.

What A Changing Market Means For Buyers

This is the best opportunity for buyers that we have seen in years. You have more listings to choose from, and prices are finally coming down. For the first time in a long time, you can afford to take your time and look at multiple houses. You can focus on what you want rather than snapping up one of the few listings available. There will be fewer bidding wars, and you actually have room to negotiate. Buyers no longer have to bid well over the listing price to land their dream homes. You pay close to the list price, maybe even a little less. 


Looking for more advice on buying a home in this market? Here are some other posts to guide you:


Why Do Buyers Need a Mississauga Real Estate Agent? 

Conditions are better now, but in some ways, buying has become more complicated. Real estate negotiations can get dicey, especially during a changing market. Emotions are running high, and some homeowners simply don’t want to accept that their house has decreased in value.

Costs are down, but interest rates are up, making financing more challenging.

Your Realtor® can help you navigate through all of this. You will have skilled negotiators and financial experts by your side to help you qualify for a mortgage with the best possible interest rate and terms. 

When buying a house without the help of an agent, you may be tempted to overpay in the hopes that the seller will accept your offer. But real estate transactions are far more nuanced. Your agent will work hard to uncover new listings for you that you may not have found on your own. In addition, they will work with the seller to find their hidden motivation.

For example, it isn’t always about getting the highest price. 

  • Sometimes the seller needs to move quickly because something has changed in their life, and they want to move on to the next step without a hassle.
  • Removing a single condition from your offer may be all it takes to close the deal.
  • Being flexible about the closing date can help you stand out from other buyers. 
  • A skilled real estate professional takes most of the stress away from buying or selling, giving you the highest chances of success.

The Tanya Crepulja Team has worked in Mississauga since 2008. We are here for you if you have questions about buying or selling in the current market. You can reach out to us right here.

 

Questions to Ask Your Realtor®

Jun 30, 2022 | Sellers

A real estate agent is your single best resource when buying or selling property. We do much more than just ensuring that all the paperwork and contracts are in order. Your home is your greatest asset, and we represent you at every turn. Whether buying or selling, we negotiate on your behalf and look out for your interests at all times. With a good Realtor® by your side, most of the stress of the transaction disappears, and you can look forward to enjoying your next exciting step.

The key is to find an agent who will work hard to exceed all of your expectations. 

Asking strategic questions is a great way to start! 

How Do You Choose A Realtor®?

Before hiring anyone, you can research online to see if their values align with yours. Top-notch skills are important, but personality, integrity, empathy, and striving to exceed expectations can matter even more. Ideally, you want to find someone in your area with many positive reviews from previous clients they have worked with. 

Once you get it narrowed down to your top contenders, you can schedule a face-to-face or online meeting to find out more. 

These are the questions you should ask any Realtor® before hiring them to represent you.

What is your track record of success?

Ask how many clients they have worked with in your area, and how many resulted in a successful transaction. Real estate moves quickly, and you need someone with a high success rate.

What sets you apart from other agents working in the local market? 

Over the last two years, the real estate industry has been on fire. As a result, many new agents have jumped into the market, expecting that selling homes will be easy. Some even work part-time as agents while working full-time in a different field. If you want a successful transaction, look for someone with experience through all kinds of markets, up and down.

What is your marketing plan to sell my home?

Selling a home in today’s market is different from 10 years ago. Most buyers begin their search online and won’t even call for a showing until they’ve thoroughly researched their options. Your real estate agent should have a plan to reach these savvy buyers. 

Posting your listing on the MLS® is a start. However, your agent should also have a vast online network and significant social media presence to expose your home to the widest pool of buyers. 


Want to know more about how to successfully sell your home? Here are a few other resources to help:


What do you include in your services?

There’s more to real estate than buying and selling. A full-service Realtor® will handle everything for you to make your transaction go smoothly. This includes helping with cleaning and decluttering, arranging for repairs and updates, staging and working with lawyers and mortgage brokers on your behalf.

Will I be working with you directly or with a junior agent on the team?

Many real estate companies rely on a senior representative as the face of their business. However, you may not end up working with them at all. Once you’ve signed your listing agreement, they may pass you over to a junior agent with minimal experience.

When selling, what are your listing statistics compared to the average in the neighbourhood?

When selling your home, you want the best possible results to move forward to the next stage of your life. An agent with a solid track record for selling property above the average listing prices will give you the boost you need for your next goal.

When buying, will you invest the time to understand my needs and present me with the best options for properties that suit my criteria?

Your Realtor® shouldn’t just answer this question with a resounding, “Yes.” They should also ask you many questions to determine what you want and need. During the interview, ask about their plan for how they will help you find the ideal home. This involves excellent listening skills, empathy and a commitment to serving your needs.

How available are you to show properties for sale?

The biggest complaint about real estate agents is that they aren’t available enough. Buying a house isn’t always something that happens during working hours from Monday to Friday. Is your agent willing to show you homes in the evenings or even on weekends? You want someone who will be there for you through thick and thin, especially during a competitive market.

How technologically savvy are you?

If your agent doesn’t have a website or know how to use email, you might be at a disadvantage with other buyers or sellers. The market moves quickly, and many listings on the MLS® never even make it to print. Your agent should be current and understand the technology.

What type of updates will you provide me with?

There’s nothing worse than silence when you’re in the middle of the most important transaction of your life. Your agent should keep you informed at all times, even when there’s no news – or bad news.

Want more tips on how to buy even in a competitive market? You can read our Buyer’s Guide right here.

I don’t want to feel like just a transaction. What type of client care do you provide?

The best real estate agents are passionate and genuinely care for their clients. Your agent should be able to tell you all about the neighbourhoods, recommend high-quality contractors and even provide advice on home decor and style.

Does the Realtor have a solid reputation and work collaboratively with other agents?

In the modern market, networking skills alone can mean the difference between mediocre and outstanding results. When selling, your Realtor® can connect with other agents to line up a buyer already interested in your area. When buying, these connections can give you access to homes that haven’t even hit the MLS yet.

Are you familiar with the good neighbourhoods for families within my search area?

Working in different areas can give your agent perspective and help you get the best value when searching for your next home. Regardless of location, a keen understanding of the local market is essential. A good agent can analyze and interpret reports and market trends, both from experience and data.

Want to know more about some of the best areas in the GTA? Check out our Neighborhood Guides here.

Is your brokerage full service? 

Some real estate agents will scream from the rooftops that they’ve got the lowest commission around. However, you want to be careful. Many companies only provide the bare minimum and leave you to do all of the heavy lifting to get your home ready for sale.

Do you work with a trusted team of service professionals that you can recommend?

Success is a team effort, and real estate is no different. Your agent can take almost everything off your shoulders, but you still need a mortgage broker, home inspector and a lawyer. You may need a trusted contractor to do some work before selling or moving into your new home. Ask your agent what kind of recommendations they can make. If they don’t have any, they may not have the greatest network.

What makes you a skilled negotiator?

Negotiation is critical to success in any transaction. When selling, a skilled negotiator can help you command top dollar. When buying, they can find ways to appeal to a seller without necessarily paying more.

Will your real estate agent get the best results for you? Here’s a good way to find out: Realtor® Red Flags You Don’t Want To Ignore. 

What numbers do you have to back up your promises?

Every agent claims to be the best, but do they have the numbers to back it up? Ask your Realtor® what awards they have won and when. Look for superb results over the course of several years so you know the agent can perform in any market. 

Do you want to work with a Realtor® that is consistently in the Top 10 for Keller Williams across Canada? Find out more about the Tanya Crepulja Team here. 

 

What Is An Assignment Sale?

Jun 10, 2022 | Investors

What Is An Assignment Sale?

Assignment sales are becoming more prevalent with all of the new construction going on in the province, particularly in the GTA. What does it mean?

Imagine you purchased a property that hasn’t been constructed yet. It could take years before you move in, and your life could change significantly in the meantime. What happens if you no longer want or need the home or condo that you’ve committed to purchasing? 

That’s Where Selling On Assignment Comes In

An assignment of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale with a builder is when the existing Purchaser (referred to as the Assignor) decides to sell their right to purchase the subject property to someone else (a new Buyer, referred to as the Assignee) before they close on the purchase with the builder.

It’s a transferring of the rights to fulfill the contractual obligation with the builder from the Assignor to the Assignee who will be the new purchaser and subsequent owner of the property.  An assignment sale takes place before the title (ownership) has been transferred.

Why Assignment Sales Can Be Tricky

Most builders won’t allow an assignment unless the build is nearing completion or even in the occupancy period. It varies on what the builder’s rules are pertaining to assignments, if they allow them at all. 

You can find out by reading the original builder purchase agreement and checking in regarding any updates as to whether they’re ready to allow assignments to take place. 


Any kind of real estate transaction can get complicated, but knowledge of the market will help you. Here are some of our other topics you might want to know about:


When selling an assignment, the Assignor seeks to recover the deposits they’ve paid to the builder, which is typically 20% of the original purchase price on the builder’s agreement. Plus, they will be owed the difference between their original purchase price and the current market price.

In an ideal scenario for the Assignor (original purchaser), the full payment of funds owing from the Assignee (new purchaser) is usually due upon the assignment closing date. This is the completion date of the purchase between the Assignor and the Assignee. It could be within 30 – 60 days from the accepted offer or until the builder provides the approval to assign and the appropriate documents are completed between the parties to the transaction (Builder, Assignor and Assignee) to transfer the purchase of the property to the Assignee.

The assignment closing date is not the occupancy date or the builder closing. It’s a separate agreement between the two parties for the assignment purchase.

A Simplified Breakdown of an Assignment Sale:

  • The original purchase price was $450,000
  • The Assignor paid a 20% deposit to the builder, which is $90,000
  • Over time, the value of the property has grown and the parties have agreed to a current market value purchase price of $580,000, an increase of $130,000 from the original purchase ($580,000 minus $450,000)
  • The Assignor wants the recoup their original deposit, $90,000, plus the difference in value, $130,000.
  • The total amount of funds owing to the Assignor from the Assignee in consideration of the Assignment agreement is $220,000
  • The Assignee is required to close on the purchase with the Builder based on the original purchase price, which is separate from what they would owe the Assignor to buy the property from them under an assignment agreement 

When Do You Have to Pay?

As with purchasing any property, few people have the available capital to pay everything upfront. 

Sometimes, the Assignor may agree to receive a partial payment upon the assignment closing date. The remainder is then due on the final closing and can potentially be rolled into the Assignee’s mortgage. 

If the Assignee has the funds and agrees to pay upfront, the Assignor in some cases may allow for some negotiation on the assignment purchase price. Since the Assignor no longer has to worry about receiving payment, less risk is involved. 

What Are the Pros of Buying on Assignment?

  • It allows you to buy a brand new product in an otherwise sold-out development 
  • You can obtain the property at ‘today’s market price’ before housing prices increase 
  • Some Assignors may be motivated to sell for personal reasons, which could mean getting a better purchase price

What Are the Cons of Buying on Assignment?

  • The closing costs are higher. When you buy on assignment, you take over all terms in the original purchase agreement. You’re now responsible for the builder’s closing costs, including developmental charges, levies and other miscellaneous fees, which can amount in the thousands. This is in addition to the Land Transfer Tax and real estate lawyer fees which can be a bit higher for an assignment sale as it requires the lawyer to review the original builder purchase agreement in addition to advising on the assignment agreement which is more complex then a standard resale purchase and sale. When you buy resale, you pay the land transfer tax and the real estate lawyer’s fees for a standard real estate purchase. Closing costs cannot go into the mortgage, so you need the cash upfront. 
  • You may have to pay HST on the purchase. Sometimes, the builder includes the HST in the purchase price and applies for the rebate on your behalf. However, you are not eligible for an HST rebate unless the purchase will be your principal residence. Taxes can get complicated, and you should consult with a lawyer and accountant to protect yourself.
  • You typically will require more money for the purchase upfront because of the amount the Assignor is looking to recoup.
  • Not all lenders will approve the mortgage financing based on the new purchase price for an assignment purchase, although today most of the major banks do. You will need a mortgage pre-approval specifically for the assignment purchase and as per the terms that the builder requires for the length of time the mortgage approval is valid, which is typically a longer period than a typical mortgage pre-approval
  • Your choices are limited when buying on assignment. You can not choose the floor height, exposure, or preferred floor plan layout. 
  • You do not get to choose the finishes. You have to accept whatever colour palette and style of finishes the Assignor selected. However, the builder often has a design team who would have had a few preselected colour pallette options for the original purchaser to have chosen, so you’ll know that the finishes will complement each other and not be unappealing otherwise 

Once you’ve bought your condo, one of the first things you’ll want to do is decorate and make it your own. Here is a simple idea to get you started!

Who Should Buy On Assignment? 

In our opinion, an assignment is good for those who have enough cash to make this type of purchase without financial strain. Buying an assignment may allow you to get a pre-construction property that may otherwise be unavailable. 

You’ll also likely get a better price than what the market value may be by the time the build has been completed and is registered.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling on assignment, it’s important not to try to do it alone. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, buying or selling on assignment could work well given your personal circumstances. Your best resource is to have a Realtor and lawyer who are knowledgeable about pre-construction and assignments.

Do you have more questions about buying or selling on assignment or real estate in general? You can set up a meeting with us here, and we can point you in the right direction. 

 

Top Luxury Kitchen Features For Your Home

May 18, 2022 | Lifestyle

You often hear the kitchen referred to as the “heart of the home.” There are many reasons for this. A lifetime of fond memories are created in the kitchen, from family dinners and celebrations to hosting a wine tasting event with your friends.

It’s the one room that brings everyone together, and where we spend the most time. It only makes sense that you want your kitchen to be as stylish, comfortable and functional as possible. Investing in a showstopper kitchen will also serve you well when it comes time to sell your home, as the #1 item on a Buyer’s wish list is to have an amazing kitchen.

When designing your kitchen, take a clutter-free approach so that small appliances and other items are out of the line of sight. Unless it is part of the decor, your countertops and table should be clear of everything.


Want more design and decor ideas for your whole house? Here are some other articles to help you turn your home into an oasis:


What are these top kitchen features we simply can’t live without?

Top of the Line, Upscale Appliances

Gagganeau, Miele, Sub Zero, Wolf, Thermador, and Bertazzoni are some of the brands we covet. We’re talking not only luxurious but functional. Do you want to go bold?  Try a 48” SubZero side by side stainless steel integrated fridge and freezer combination. Or check out panel-ready appliances that are built into the cabinetry for a sleek, minimalist and seamless yet functional look. 

We love clever details like a refrigerator with a push mechanism to open the door with a slight touch. And who wouldn’t love standout appliances like a Bertazzoni freestanding gas range and double oven? Made in Italy, this appliance is a showstopper. Another must-have is a built-in coffee machine, which not only looks beautiful as it is functional. As an added bonus, it frees up your counter space

Kitchen Islands

A kitchen island is a must-have. It is an attractive, stylish way to add storage space, counter space and extra seating. This is also where you could have an integrated wine cooler and a built-in microwave to keep the sightlines clean and clutter-free elsewhere in the kitchen. 

As the island is a focal point, you can also consider a custom, two-tier option with a seating area in lieu of having a separate kitchen breakfast table. 

The kitchen island is where you can feature a beautiful stone surface with a waterfall edge. 

How big should your kitchen be to accommodate an island? You should be able to move around comfortably even with all of the chairs pulled out. 

If you have your heart set on an island, but your space is too small, consider a custom-built one as these can be made to fit small spaces like condo kitchens. If you’re on a tight budget you can go with a kitchen cart on wheels. 

Stylish pieces can be found online or in furniture stores. Best of all, you get the extra storage space without making your kitchen appear cramped. 

Marble or Quartz Countertops

Every home improvement show touts the value of stone countertops. What is the big deal, and are they worth it? If you want a high-end, luxury kitchen, they’re worth every penny. 

Both provide an upscale look with an absolutely stunning finish and a deep range of colours. What is the difference? 

Marble countertops are 100% natural, and as a result, no two slabs are the same. 

Quartz is manufactured, which means you can customize the design to a degree. How do you decide between the two?

It will depend on your lifestyle. Marble is considerably more expensive and requires greater care to keep from stains setting in. It is absolutely stunning and splurge-worthy, especially if you go with a unique style and carry it through to the backsplash for a cohesive look in the kitchen.

Quartz is a popular option as it’s affordable in comparison and requires less maintenance. Fortunately, today’s quartz manufacturing brands like Caesarstone and Cambria have a wide selection of styles that mimic the look of marble but at a fraction of the cost. Quartz is less porous than marble, making it extremely stain-resistant. 

High-End Cabinets

It goes without saying that your kitchen will appear more luxurious when you have less clutter. Cabinets don’t just allow you to store your utensils and gadgets out of sight. 

You can also create space to hide your recycling and trash so that your garbage can doesn’t accidentally become the centrepiece of the room. 

Well-designed cabinets add a sense of style and upscale atmosphere to your kitchen. Look for deep or sky-high models that offer plenty of space. We love the look of flat-panel cabinets, and a soft-closing mechanism is a must.  

Finishing touches include brass handles and knobs offset by an attractive backsplash.

Are you interested to know what your home is worth in the current market? You may be pleasantly surprised! You can book a free home evaluation right here.

Walk-in Pantry

High-end homes nearly always feature a walk-in pantry, and for a good reason. It gives you plenty of space to store food items and other appliances such as your blender and toaster out of sight while being easily accessible whenever you need them

Consider adding a coffee and tea station in the walk-in pantry if you don’t go with an integrated option built into the cabinetry. 

Custom Range Hood 

Talk about the perfect blend of style and function! A custom range hood adds a touch of class and luxury to your kitchen while improving ventilation and air quality. 

A custom design means getting exactly what you want without having to sacrifice your decor. You have endless designs to choose from, only limited by your imagination. You can match your range hood perfectly to your cabinets or in a way that complements your other colours.

Another benefit to a custom-built range hood is it can be shaped and sized perfectly to fit into any kitchen. Done right, it will look like a work of art!

Are you looking to buy a house that already has your perfect dream kitchen? We provide a personalized buying experience to match you with the ideal home for you. Find out more about our process here.

 

Simple Ways to Elevate Your Home Decor

May 4, 2022 | Lifestyle

Your home is a place of comfort, safety and joy, but it can be so much more. You should feel a sense of luxury and satisfaction every time you open the door. Some people will invest in significant renovations to create a more lavish living experience. If you have room in your budget, this is a great option. However, there are countless ways to elevate your home without breaking the bank and can result in your house looking magazine-worthy.

How do you attain this high-end feel even if you have a shoestring budget? Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.

Begin With a Blank Slate

The first step in upgrading your home decor is often to start with a blank slate. If you have a lot of clutter in the house, your carefully chosen decor items will get lost in the chaos. Thorough cleaning and decluttering will help you design your vision for your home. Donate or discard as much as you can. Everything else should either become part of your decor or be stored away out of sight. This might be a great opportunity for a beautiful cabinet! Once your home is clean from top to bottom, you can move on to the next stage. 


Want to take your commitment to luxury in the home even further? Here are some other ideas you have to try!


What Does Luxury Mean to You?

To create a truly luxurious atmosphere in your home, you must first decide what “luxury” means to you. Everyone is different. What seems elegant to one person can appear chaotic to someone else. Your home decor should reflect your personality and character. 

Do you want to have a more inspiring atmosphere surrounded by art and beauty? Do you want a warm, fun place to entertain your friends and loved ones, full of excitement, laughter and lively conversation? Or do you prefer a more peaceful, serene environment that you can look forward to unwind in at the end of the day?

Once you know what you want your home to represent, you can choose your theme and decor accordingly.

Create Your Canvas

You may not think of your wall colour as part of your decor. However, it is the canvas and the foundation of everything else you decide to do. For the best results, stay with white or a hint of taupe. Monochromatic styling with one cohesive and neutral colour palette can feel very luxurious and keep your surroundings fresh and crisp. Think of a classic Parisian style that you can build upon. 

When your canvas is complete, your design will stand out beautifully.

Decide on a Theme

Before you visit your local home store to buy your decor pieces, you should first decide on a consistent theme. Why? Your theme is the glue that holds your entire design together. It’s what stops the effect from appearing unfinished or disorganized. 

Creating an air of luxury throughout your home is typically a subtle effect. It isn’t about filling your space with conversation pieces (unless you’re going for a maximalist theme). How do you decide on an idea? Think of how much time and work you’re willing to devote to your home design. If you keep it simple, it will be easier to maintain. If you love decorating and don’t mind spending the time arranging and rearranging, then you can afford to be more creative.

Do you need some inspiration to help choose your theme? Here are some timeless style ideas to get you started:

Midcentury Modern

This theme is simple and functional. Think clean lines, walnut-toned woods, and architectural elements. You don’t need many decor items to be effective, but everything in your home should be beautiful and functional. Glass soap bottles, decorative bowls, and attractive but comfortable furnishings are excellent ways to start. The goal is to remain as clutter-free as possible. If you want to splurge here you can opt for designer pieces that have stood the test of time like an Eames armchair.  If the designer piece is too pricey, you can find ‘knock-off’ versions for a fraction of the price.

Eclectic

If your personality is spirited and slightly chaotic, an eclectic theme might be for you. It’s whimsical and playful, full of colour and texture, and a combination of old and new. Be careful not to overdo it, however. If you buy a brightly coloured area rug with a busy pattern, tone it down with neutral colours elsewhere.

Modern Industrial

The modern industrial style works beautifully if you have an older home or a loft. The theme emphasizes the inherent architecture of the building more than anything else. Decor items should be sparse, and natural materials like wood or metal will complement the beauty of your home.

Bohemian

The Bohemian theme is inspired by multiple eras. It’s perfect for those who love collecting decor items that don’t necessarily match perfectly. Rich colours and vibrant patterns add variety and visual interest to your home without overwhelming the senses. Decorate until your heart’s content with pillows, oversized cushions, plants and flowers. Light up the room with string lights and cozy it up with throw blankets strewn on the furniture. The Bohemian theme allows for a little bit of clutter and a whole lot of personality.

Art is one of the best decor items you can buy, no matter what theme you choose.
And did you know that art is also a great investment tool?

Simple Decor Ideas For Any Budget

Once you’ve decided on a theme, you can plan your shopping trip to find your perfect decor items. There are countless subtle ways to elevate your style and create a more luxurious feel throughout your home.

  • Styling with coffee table and books. Some of our favourites are Tom Ford, Architectural Digest at 100: A Century of Style, and Live Beautiful.
  • Sculptural decorative/accent pieces for shelves or tabletops like those in marble, or wood. Here’s an example if you’re looking for inspiration!  Homesense is also a great place to find decorative objects on a budget.
  • Textiles: pillows, an accent throw – Layering pillows on a sofa or bed elevates the look of any room. You can even change them depending on the season to keep your style up to date. For example, linen and natural cotton are great for the summer months. When the weather cools down, switch to more plush and cozy fabrics.
  • Invest in art that can be a conversation piece in a room.
  • High-quality bedroom linens will not only feel luxurious to sleep in, but the quality will last for years. Frette bedding is one of our favourites.
  • Plush white towels in the bathrooms. Look for those that are Turkish cotton as they are of excellent quality and create a spa-like feel.
  • Fresh cut flowers add instant colour, beauty and fragrance to any room.
  • Luxury scented candles look beautiful and add a touch of atmosphere and scent. Jo Malone and Diptyque are two of our favourite suppliers for unique, high-end designs and fragrances.
  • Amber glass soap bottles throughout your home combine functionality with an air of subtle elegance in your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Curated shelves strategically placed and organized allow you to keep your favourite belongings without ever looking cluttered.
  • Attractive light fixtures are an excellent way to add design, atmosphere and elegance to every room.

Luxe tip: If you want to provide a more luxurious feel without a hint of clutter, try a drop of eucalyptus oil in the shower. The heat from the water vaporizes the oil, and the fresh, spa-like scent will linger for hours! 

Want to talk more about real estate or how to add value to your home?
You can get in touch with us right here.

 

How to Use Your Mortgage to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Apr 11, 2022 | Investors

For many homeowners, the concept of paying off their mortgage as soon as possible is a lifelong dream. In a world of managing monthly bills and other seemingly endless expenses, eliminating your largest monthly payment can feel like you’ve achieved financial freedom. 

Though living life mortgage-free can have plenty of benefits, financial planning within your mortgage also has its upsides

We spoke with mortgage coach Emily Miszk about the advantages of paying off your mortgage early and ways you can use your mortgage to grow your wealth long-term. 

Why Do Some Homeowners Pursue a Mortgage-Free Lifestyle?

“The primary factor in deciding to pay off your mortgage early is ultimately psychological,” says Emily. To put it simply, managing debt and finances can be very stressful for Canadians. Having one less monthly payment to worry about (let alone your largest one) can offer homeowners peace of mind. 

Emily notes, “There’s a lot of pride that comes with being debt-free. Paying off any kind of debt often comes with a lot of celebration – and it should!” Eliminating debt takes a lot of hard work and is absolutely worth being proud of. Many homeowners even have parties celebrating their final mortgage payments.  

Peace of mind is priceless. But when it comes to your mortgage, you may prefer to use it strategically and grow your wealth depending on your unique situation. 

The Pros of Paying off Your Mortgage Quickly

Paying off your mortgage early has its financial benefits too. If you have consistent income, eliminating a large monthly expense means having extra cash flow each month to put into investments or emergency savings. 

There are essentially two ways you can pay off your mortgage quickly:

  1. Opt for a shorter amortization period when you are first applying for the mortgage. The pro here is that you will pay less interest on the loan and your mortgage will be paid faster. However, your payments will be higher. 
  2. Pay off the mortgage early. If your financial situation changes or if you simply want to pay the mortgage off early, you can absolutely do so. However, Emily notes that paying it off early could cause you to incur fees or financial penalties from your lender.

Depending on where you are in your mortgage, these fees may outweigh the savings. Your financial planner can help you calculate these differences in order to help you in your decision. 

Short Term Benefits of a Mortgage

While paying it off quickly has its benefits, there are still plenty of ways to find peace of mind and financial success within your mortgage. According to Emily, “In 2022, having a mortgage isn’t a bad thing. Economic factors have changed drastically over the past few decades.” 

Think of this way: Back in the 1980s, mortgage interest rates were in the double digits, that could be like using a credit card to buy a house today. Although home prices were significantly cheaper, it made the most sense for homebuyers in those days to pay off their mortgages as quickly as possible to reduce the interest they paid. 

Today, with interest rates at a record-low, and home prices at record highs, it might make more sense to invest your money elsewhere since the cost of borrowing is negligible. However, it’s all up to you and your unique financial goals. 

Financial Planning

“A mortgage is more than just a rate and dates of payment. In fact, your mortgage should play a large role in your overall financial planning,” Emily says. 

For example, homeowners can borrow against the equity in their home (the difference between your home’s market value and what is left owing on your mortgage) to fund the purchase of investment properties, pay for home repairs and renovations, or even bolster your income in an emergency. 

“A great financial advisor can help you make the most out of your investments alongside your mortgage,” advises Emily.

Paying off your mortgage and building equity in your home can help you grow your portfolio with real estate investing. Want to learn more about investing in real estate? Check out these resources. 



The Bottom Line

Living debt-free is a dream for many Canadians, but not all debt is equal. In some cases, your mortgage debt can actually work for you and help you build further generational wealth. 

A mortgage-free life and successfully managing your debt both have their advantages. Like any big step in life, getting an expert opinion before making a final decision is always a safe bet. 

If you have concerns about your mortgage or feel ready to pay it off early, Emily recommends you speak to multiple professionals before making a decision. Your broker, financial planner and realtor can each offer unique value and insight about managing your mortgage debt.   

Curious about making changes to your mortgage? As a Mississauga real estate expert, I can offer personalized support and help you make the best choice. Get in touch.

Our Guide to Investing in Local Art

Apr 5, 2022 | Investors

When you think of buying investments, your mind probably goes to real estate or the stock market. You probably don’t think of art. According to Forbes, the pandemic spurred more innovation and risk-taking in the past 18 months than in the last ten years. Art is quickly gaining popularity as an investment tool, for four reasons:

To create stability. The value of art is entirely independent of stocks, bonds and other commodities. Diversifying your portfolio by adding art is one way to add stability during uncertain times.

To have something tangible. Some investors like having something real that they can see, touch and hold.

To fill your home with beauty. While art can be a tremendous investment that could potentially grow in monetary value, the real reason for buying it is because it resonates with you on a deep, emotional level. If a piece makes you happy or brings you comfort, your investment has already paid off, no matter what happens in the market.

To support artists and culture. Art is a priceless part of our culture. Every time you buy a painting, sculpture or carving, you’re helping to create a heritage for future generations to appreciate and cherish. 


Investing in art is a must-have addition to your overall strategy, but real estate remains the safest and most profitable way to grow your wealth. Here are some of our other posts on the topic:


The Keys to Successful Investing in Art

If you’re buying art for its beauty and to support local artists, you can never go wrong. The value of a beautiful work goes far beyond its monetary worth. However, when investing for the purpose of growing your portfolio, there is always going to be some element of risk. How do you balance your love of art with keeping your portfolio as healthy as possible? 

These tips will help you manage and maintain your portfolio to give yourself the best chance of success. 

Research 

As with any investment, it’s essential to investigate thoroughly before investing significant money into a piece of art. Questions to ask yourself include:

Who is the artist? The secret is to find an up-and-coming artist whose work will likely increase in value over time. 

Does the artist have any previous works that have succeeded in the marketplace? While past performance is never an indication of future value, it is a good sign of future potential.

Invest for the Long-Term

It’s important not to get caught up in the excitement of the latest craze when choosing any sort of investment. For example, you may have heard of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) selling for ridiculous amounts of money, sometimes for millions of dollars. 

And, of course, everyone has heard a story where someone bought a piece of art at a garage sale that turned out to be worth a fortune. Stories like these are fun, but hoping for a short-term gain on an art investment is like hoping to win the lottery.

Investing for the long term is a much wiser strategy and far more likely to pay off in the future.

Understand the Risks

Every investment vehicle involves risk, and art is no different. You can manage this risk by understanding your tolerance and diversifying your portfolio accordingly. If you buy a sculpture from an unknown artist, balance it out by investing in a blue-chip piece from an established name.

Invest in Art as Part of Your Strategy

Investment in art is a great addition to your portfolio, but should never be a standalone strategy. It’s always better to diversify by adding other tools to grow and protect your wealth. While we always recommend talking to a financial expert, it’s well-advised to balance your portfolio with a mix of investment tools to ensure your success in the long term.

Of course, the best reason to invest in art is that it speaks to you on a deep level. Here’s how to create the perfect gallery wall to display your best finds.

Now that you know why art is a great investment, let’s take a look at some of our favourite galleries who are supporting many of our local artists.

Kefi Art Gallery

Founder Liza Zhurkovskaya created this virtual art gallery primarily to promote female Canadian artists. For more than seven years, Liza worked directly with clients to help them buy and commission art and has brought hundreds of artworks to the public eye.

In 2020, she started the Kefi Art Gallery to contribute to Toronto culture and help people surround themselves with the beauty of art during the pandemic lockdowns. 

You could spend hours browsing the works of hundreds of Canadian and international artists. Whether you want the perfect piece to invest in or simply to decorate your house with beautiful originals, Kefi Art Gallery is the place to start.

Art Gallery of Burlington

The Art Gallery of Burlington is a hidden gem that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. There are always fun and educational events and workshops to introduce the whole family to the love of art. Right now, there are workshops to teach you how to draw, sculpt, or even create your own digital avatar. 

Current exhibitions include “Constellations,” a gallery by Joanna Strong and “Recognition” by Vita Plume. 

There is also an onsite shop where you can browse the works of many Canadian artists to add to your collection.

Trias Gallery

As if the waterfront in the Bronte Village area wasn’t beautiful enough, now it is home to the Trias Gallery. The founder, Indira, is a painter herself who started the gallery to bring recognition and respect to artists everywhere.

You’ll never find the same piece twice, but you’ll always discover a wide range of artwork available from over 100 established and emerging artists. Displays include bronze and Inuit carvings, traditional and contemporary paintings and even wearable art. 

Crescent Hill

Crescent Hill is the premier art gallery in Mississauga, and it’s easy to see why. There are 5600 square feet devoted to showcasing the brilliance of Canadian artists. With such an expansive collection, you are sure to find something that speaks to you. The gallery offers many unique services to ensure that you love your new artwork.

Artist flowchart: Do you want to find the perfect painting but don’t know where to start? This virtual tool lets you figure out precisely what you’re looking for with a few mouse clicks.

Virtual installations: You can see how your chosen work will look in your home before you buy. Simply send the dimensions of your space, and Crescent Hill will create a virtual mockup.

In-home trials: The virtual mockup gives you a good idea of how your painting will look, but it’s impossible to gauge the size, texture or lighting accurately. The ultimate solution is an in-home trial, where the gallery allows you to display your artwork for a few days to make sure it is perfect.

Do you want to know more about ways to invest in art or real estate? We are always happy to talk. Reach out to us here.

 

Featured image provided by Kefi Art Gallery and created by Fabrizio Sclocco

Our Top GTA March Break Activities

Mar 10, 2022 | Toronto

March Break is coming up fast. Are you prepared? We’ve curated a list of some of our favourite March Break activities across Toronto. Here are a few worth checking out:

Toronto March Break Activities

Bug Lab – If your kids are obsessed with insects, this is the perfect opportunity to pique their interest while letting them explore and learn! Bug Lab is a traveling exhibition from New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. The exhibit is an interactive way to learn about the “brilliance of bugs.” 

Ripley’s Aquarium – This venue is a must-see if you’re looking to explore the magic of the ocean! Either head downtown for a day trip or take a staycation at one of the city’s finest hotels and head over to the aquarium for some wondrous learning and fun! 

Casa Loma Escape Series – If you have an older child, this is a great way to flex their creative thinking during March Break! The Dragon’s Song is an exciting opportunity to stretch the imagination and embark on a quest to save dragons from extinction!

Mississauga March Break Activities 

Bridges Festival – Enjoy this three-day puppetry festival at the start of March Break! Designed to promote puppetry from around the world and celebrate it as one of the oldest art forms. Check out the shows, workshops, and panels to learn more about this fascinating craft!

Skate on the Square – Spring is right around the corner and time is running out to enjoy skating at Celebration Square! This is a free activity that’s fun for the whole family. Get your last laps in at the skating rink before it closes for the season on March 20! 

Oakville and Burlington March Break Activities

Aerosports – This massive indoor jungle gym is the perfect place to let loose during March Break! Let the kids run free to jump, climb, and explore throughout the park. Aerosports has even added two new features including a Ninja Warrior Zone and a Climb and Slide Kid Zone! 

City of Oakville Drop-In Programs – If you attended any of the fabulous drop-in programs for Family Day, you’re already aware of how great the City of Oakville is for community events! Check out the community calendar to find the latest Oakville March Break events near you. 

Royal Botanical Gardens Under the Canopy – This incredible immersive exhibit will take you across the globe to look at some of the most beautiful rainforests in the world. Captivating and interesting, the exhibit aims to educate and impress the importance of rainforest conservation to our planet. 

Other Activities Across the GTA

Mount Chinguacousy – Weather permitting, Mount Chinguacousy in Brampton offers a variety of activities including skiing, snowboarding, and tubing! They offer rentals and lessons as well! Keep an eye on the weather before heading out! 

Dinosaur Drive-Thru – Explore Canada’s Dinosaur Park from the comfort of your car at the Dinosaur Drive-Thru! This year the park is bigger and better than ever with over 50 dinosaurs of “Jurassic Size” if you have a Dino-Fan in your family, this is a must-see running from March 11 – April 3. 

From our family to yours, we hope you have a safe, relaxing, and fun March Break! 

Should You Sell or Rent Your First Condo When You Move?

Mar 9, 2022 | Investors

Buying your first condo is a thrilling milestone to be celebrated and remembered for a lifetime. There is no rite of passage into adulthood like moving into a place that is 100% your own. However, as time goes on and you become more established in your career, you may want to upgrade to a larger space. As exciting as your first condo is, it was always a stepping stone and never meant to be your forever home. It can be hard to let it go, but perhaps you don’t have to.

Many people are using their starter home to get into the market as an investor. Instead of selling, you rent it out when you move away. Financially, there can be a lot of benefits to this strategy. The longer you hold on to a property, the more your equity will grow. The rental income you receive can help offset the cost of your monthly mortgage payments.

Is the time right for you to invest?

As sentimental as you may feel about your home, the decision of what to do next can’t be emotional. Your next step needs to be logical and strategic. 

Here are some steps to take right now to help you make the right choice for yourself:

Obtain a mortgage pre-approval. The first step is to find out if you have access to enough financing to allow you to buy a new property and hold on to your condo. Housing prices are high everywhere, especially in Toronto proper. You may need the cash from selling your condo to fund your new house.

Do you have a down payment available for a new purchase? Or are you relying on your equity in your condo as leverage? If you have significant equity, you might be able to get away with a smaller down payment. However, you’ll want to ensure you have enough cash flow to get you through the first few years.

Do you have enough cash in the bank to manage both properties? High property values make it hard to collect enough rental income to carry a second mortgage. During the pandemic, the government froze rent amounts, which meant you couldn’t charge more even as your own costs increased. While that is changing now, high mortgage payments mean there still may not be enough rental income to cover the monthly expenses. Keeping your condo is likely a good investment if you have enough liquid cash available. Your equity gains will likely surpass the deficit of your carrying costs. 

What condition is the building in? Is it modern and up to date, or is it at an age where the finishes have become outdated and rundown? How high are the maintenance fees relative to the newer condos? Is the building managed well, and are major repairs handled quickly? Your answers to these questions will indicate how likely you can find a tenant for your unit. Once a condo reaches the 8 – 15 year age mark, it might be better to sell in favour of a newer product. The exception is if it’s a very well-managed building that will increase in value as time goes on. 

Are you ready to become a landlord? A tenant will typically not care for the unit nearly as well as an owner would. As a result, there will be wear and tear, and you will require more frequent maintenance and repairs.


Want to know more about selling or investing in the GTA? Here are some other helpful reads: 


The above factors can help you determine whether or not the building is a sound investment worth holding onto. If so, there are still advantages and disadvantages to selling or renting. Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Selling the Condo – the Pros

If you decide to sell the condo, you’ll have a significant sum to afford the down payment on your next home. If you’ve always dreamed of living in Toronto proper, the proceeds from your sale might give you the financial boost you need.

You won’t have to worry about the headaches of being a landlord. You won’t have to vet tenants or chase them down for rent if they don’t pay. 

There will be less financial strain because you won’t have two mortgages to cover and less risk of losing one or both of your properties if you’re forced to default on the loan. 

The Cons of Selling

Selling your condo now may make it harder to get into a real estate investment later as prices continue to climb. You will also miss out on the equity you would have built by owning two homes instead of one. 

Renting the Condo – the Pros

As property prices increase, more people are looking to rent, which means you will almost certainly be able to find tenants for your unit.  Your equity will grow faster when you own multiple properties. The higher prices go, the more equity you will build.

Plus, you will always have the option if you ever want your condo back. 

The Cons of Renting Your Condo

Not everyone is cut out to be a landlord, and owning an investment property is more work than you might think.

You will need greater financial stability as it can take time to find the right tenant, and the rental income may not cover your costs completely. This means you may have less disposable income for the lifestyle you want to enjoy.

If you decide to sell your condo later, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on a portion of the profit you make. As of right now, your primary residence is exempt from this tax.

Should you sell your condo or hang onto it? 

Only you can decide based on your situation and your long-term goals. Overall, real estate is one of the safest and most profitable investments you can make. An experienced and licensed Realtor® can provide further information to help you decide if the time is right for you. 

Whether you’re interested in selling or investing in real estate, we’re here for you! Get in touch to learn more about the Toronto real estate market. 

How to Build the Perfect Gallery Wall

Mar 4, 2022 | Lifestyle

If you have recently moved into a new home, one of the first things you want to do is find ways to make it feel like your own. The finest, most subtle details can make any house feel more luxurious, no matter the square footage.

With the right decor, you can give old homes a modern flair or make a new build warm and inviting, as though you’ve lived there for years.

There are few better ways to update your home than with art.

Art as an investment

When you think of investing to build your nest egg, beautiful paintings may be the last thing on your mind. However, according to publications like The Motley Fool and Forbes, art can be a more stable long-term investment than stocks or bonds.

You can reduce the risk of buying art by sticking with two core principles.

  1. Invest in” Blue Chip” art. A “blue chip” artist is one whose works sell consistently. These pieces will likely rise in value. At worst, they will retain value and are unlikely to depreciate. While some famous blue-chip masterpieces can go for millions of dollars, you can often find up-and-coming artists for reasonable prices.
  2. Buy art because you love it. Sticking with pieces you love will always pay the greatest dividend: a sense of breathtaking joy every time you step into the room. When you buy art for your own enjoyment, you don’t have to worry about the price tag. Beautiful reprints and stunning originals by artists at street festivals can make your room look spectacular.

What is the best way to display all this artwork? A gallery wall is a curated display of prints, paintings or drawings and is a timeless way to group your most spectacular pieces. 

With that in mind, here are seven tips to help you start building your own perfect gallery wall.

1. Decide on your focal point

Even the most beautiful pieces can lose interest when randomly thrown together. A high-quality gallery wall has a hidden structure holding it all together. Start with your favourite painting as your focal point and build everything else around it.

2. Sort your pieces by size and shape

The point of a gallery wall isn’t to be perfectly symmetrical. However, it does have to have structure. Combine the large pieces with the smaller ones in an attractive pattern to capture attention. Experiment by laying out your design on the floor before hanging anything on the wall. When you get it right, your arrangement is a work of art in and of itself!

3. Decide on a colour scheme

Any designer will tell you: colours matter! Specific colours go well together, and others simply clash. Each piece of art should blend in and complement every other work.

If something looks out of place, it can ruin the effect of the whole wall.

This doesn’t mean you have to do away with any artwork you cherish. If you love something that doesn’t work on your gallery wall, you can always use it in another room. Maybe you can even start a smaller gallery somewhere else!

4. Mix it up, but stay classy 

Use different shapes vertical prints, horizontal prints, wood frames, black frames, white frames, no frames. A variety of shapes and styles makes your gallery more attractive.

Just make sure you don’t go too crazy. Overkill will spoil the effect and make your wall look sloppy.

Do you have a friend with an eye for design? Ask them to take a look and offer their feedback. 

5. Measure twice, nail once

In construction, there’s a saying, “measure twice and cut once.” The same principle applies when building your gallery wall.

Measure everything so you know how to arrange them before you start nailing holes in the wall. You can even pencil in lightly where each piece will go and erase the marks once your gallery is finished.

6. Make it personal 

Now that you’ve sourced your art, decided on a theme and mapped out your display, there is just one thing missing: Something of yours! Adding one or two personal pieces will give your wall a uniqueness no one else can match.

You can make your wall personal even if you think you don’t have an artistic bone in your body.

Try watching a tutorial on Youtube and following along, or grab an art book from the library. You’ll be surprised what you can do when you put your mind to it. 

Or you could go out with friends to a “Paint Nite,” If all else fails, you can create your own “abstract” work of art. 

7. Be brave, be proud and showcase your masterpiece! 

And don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Add a nice frame and give it a spot on the wall. You never know; your friends may admire your hidden talent when they see your creation.

If you feel that you absolutely cannot add your own art, a child’s drawing or a printed photo will add a touch of personality.

Adding a gallery wall is a fun way to give an air of sophistication and atmosphere to your home that you can enjoy for many years. Every time you walk into the room, you’ll feel your spirit brighten. And who knows? One day, one of those pieces may become the next Picasso!


Want more ideas to decorate your home in style? Here are some of our other guides to help:


 

Realtor® Negotiation Red Flags You Don’t Want to Ignore

Realtor® Negotiation Red Flags You Don’t Want to Ignore

Feb 3, 2022 | Buyers

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to solicit clients under contract.

Have you ever noticed a red flag either in your personal or professional life? Maybe it’s something that someone has said to you that has given you pause, or an action someone has taken or some type of process that a business has that just doesn’t sit well. 

Oftentimes, a “red flag” can be translated into a gut feeling (AKA your intuition). When we look back on a situation–with 20/20 hindsight–it often becomes clear that those gut feelings you had were actually red flags and signs that you should not have proceeded with the aforementioned deal or relationship. 

Well, in real estate, one of the biggest “red flags” we’ve come across is agents overpromising and underdelivering. We notice it a lot when it comes to negotiating. 

 

So here are our top Realtor® negotiation red flags you can’t afford to ignore. If your agent is showing any of these signs, run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction! 

They are Not Transparent

A Realtor’s® number one priority is to act on behalf of their client and advocate for them to get the best results possible. For Sellers, this usually means a quick sale at a high price with the best possible marketing and results. For Buyers, this means finding a beautiful home at a great price in an ideal neighbourhood based on the clients’ needs. Both client relationships require sage guidance and support throughout the process, from start to the closing date (and beyond!)

Additionally, buying or selling a home is a huge transaction and your future is on the line. A good Realtor® will understand the weight of these decisions and want to ensure that you know exactly what’s going on at every stage. 

If your Realtor® is unresponsive, takes days to get back to you, or fails to explain the rationale behind specific negotiation or sales tactics, it could be a huge red flag. 

Not only does this behaviour feel dismissive, but it can be nerve-wracking and confusing to be left in the dark. A great Realtor® should make you feel at ease and confident. You should trust their decisions and they should always keep you abreast of the latest developments. Even if the update is, “I don’t have an update yet.” It’s essential to have full, transparent communication with your agent. 


Finding the right Realtor to work with is an important first step on your real estate journey. Read a few of our other resources to help find a suitable Realtor for your specific needs: 


They Procrastinate

In addition to advocating for your best interests, a Realtor’s® goal is to facilitate the sale of your home with ease and speed. This doesn’t mean accepting the first offer that comes in just to get the sale over with, but it does mean taking action quickly when it is required, and for them to prioritize the urgency and importance of a potential offer negotiation.

For example, as a Seller, you need to be confident that your Realtor® is promptly responding to interested Buyers, and to feel confident that your Realtor® is following up and keeping tabs on showing feedback via communicating with the Buyer agents, any offers received, and negotiations so nothing falls through the cracks. 

The best Realtors® are the ones who make themselves available to you. Regardless of how many existing clients they have, you should be made to feel like you’re a VIP. Selling real estate is not a typical Monday-Friday job, and if your Realtor® doesn’t understand that they might need to do a little work on their off-hours, they might not be the right fit for you. 

They Advertise Big Discounts

Everyone loves a great deal. But when it comes to buying or selling real estate, a big discount or ‘cash back’ incentive could actually spell trouble. The bottom line is that hiring a discount Realtor® will give you discount results. 

A discount Realtor® will not invest in the same high-quality property staging, photography, videography, well-written advertising copy, brochures, etc. The simple is fact is that their overhead is too low. They invest minimal time in serving the client, resulting in a less-than-ideal client experience. 

If the agent isn’t able to negotiate a standard commission fee, how can you be confident that they can negotiate the best outcome for the sale of your home? 

Agents that advertise incentives or big discounts for Buyers are also often less experienced. In most cases, the Seller is responsible for paying Buyer Agent commission, so there is really no benefit to the Buyer to get a discount on services since they are not technically the ones paying. 

An agent who offers considerable discounts or flashy schemes to attract clients often also has a less-than-stellar reputation. They likely have sub-par negotiation skills and might not understand the market nuances the way a high-performing agent would. 

In the long run, saving on commission costs is not beneficial because you probably won’t maximize the sale the same way you would with a high-quality agent who charges a standard commission. 

They Make Promises Without Seeing Your Home 

Quality Realtors® put a lot of stock into their market experience and comparable market analysis (CMA). They look at similar properties and similar sales in your neighbourhood to help create a price and action plan in preparing your home for sale that will attract Buyers while ensuring you get the best possible price for your home. 

However, it’s not all about market research. A great Realtor® needs to do some legwork. They need to visit your home and learn as much about the property as possible before making any type of recommendations. 

At the very least you should have a video call as a preliminary meeting before an in-person one if you’re still in the interviewing or planning stages. It’s always best however to (safely) meet in person as getting acquainted and learning more about the Realtor®, their track record of success and personality type makes a huge difference. In addition, the advice that a great Realtor® gives to prepare your home for sale can amount to tens of thousands of dollars more on the sold price.

If a Realtor® is willing to price your home sight unseen, this might be a red flag. How can they negotiate effectively and truly advocate for the sale of your home without seeing it in person? 

But there’s more to just looking at a home when determining its price. The real estate market as a whole has a lot to do with our advice. We publish a market report on our blog every month. You can read past market reports here. 

They are Too Stubborn

The dilemma with real estate is that with every transaction, two parties are trying to get the best outcome for themselves. This means that your Realtor® almost always needs to be open to negotiations. Otherwise, you will be walking away from a lot of probably really great offers. 

In addition to being salespeople, confidants, advocates, and friends; Realtors® are also problem solvers. If your agent is not open to the idea of negotiating or does not help you find viable compromises and solutions to your problems, this is another red flag that could mean trouble down the road. 

So How to Find a Negotiator Who Fits? 

Finding a Realtor® is more than just choosing the person who has signs all over the neighbourhood. It’s more than just going with the person who your sister-in-law recommends, or with the person who has the most money to spend on fancy ads and billboards. It’s about finding an agent that fits your unique situation. 

Once you find a Realtor® who understands your goals, has experience with your unique property type or neighbourhood, takes a personalized and intuitive approach to serving their clients and presents you with an excellent game plan to achieve your goal, then you should ensure they meet a few important negotiating criteria to ensure your best interests are protected during the transaction. 

Some items to note include: 

  • The Realtor® is responsive to your input and does a great job of explaining the nuance of pricing, accepting/making offers, etc. 
  • They hold some sort of negotiation certification such as the Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE), proving that they are well-versed and accredited in negotiation processes. 
  • The Realtor® is honest and does not make sweeping generalizations or promises when selling a home that seem way out of line and far too high above your expectations, and will provide honest advice when buying a home in regards to market valuation, any potential concerns or pitfalls about the property, neighbourhood, etc 
  • You have seen proof whether by speaking to others, reading testimonials, or doing your own research that the agent delivers and can do the things they say they can. 
  • The Realtor® is detailed and transparent in all contracts and communications. 

Whether buying or selling, working with a Realtor® who is experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate about the negotiation process only serves to benefit you in the long run. Not only will your real estate experience be more efficient and seamless, but you’ll also see faster sales and better outcomes no matter what your goals are. 

Get the most up-to-date real estate news and market information when you subscribe to our monthly newsletter right here. 

Benefits of Working with a Local Mississauga Realtor®

Benefits of Working with a Local Mississauga Real Estate Team

Dec 13, 2021 | Mississauga

If you’re planning to relocate to the Mississauga area from elsewhere, you might be tempted to work with an agent in your current community. After all, everything is digital now, right? We’ve become so used to Zoom meetings and virtual tours that in-person meetings are starting to feel rarer.  

This might seem like sound logic on the surface, but the reality is a lot more nuanced and complicated. And for buyers looking to move to a new community, the best idea is actually working with a local agent in the area they are hoping to move to. 

Here are some of the biggest benefits of working with a local Mississauga real estate team..

They Have Local Community Knowledge

Are you looking for the best schools? Wondering which neighbourhoods have the best coffee shops or transit access? Are you interested in finding a neighbourhood where your kids will have similarly-aged playmates around? There is no way that a remote agent from further away knows about the minute details that make a neighbourhood truly unique. 

In Mississauga and the surrounding areas, we have a ton of micro-markets and smaller neighbourhoods that each have their own style, amenities, and positive attributes. 

A local Mississauga real estate agent lives and breathes the community. They know the best places to grab a delicious latte, they know the perfect pizza place to start your pizza night tradition in your new home. They are intrinsically aware of the local school districts, transit, safety, convenience, and recreational amenities that are so important to cultivating a great quality of life in your new home. 


Get to know Mississauga better with some of our blogs and community guides here:


They Have Local Market Knowledge

In addition to the unique community knowledge a local agent possesses, there’s also the local real estate market knowledge. It’s easy to paint an area with a wide brush and assume that the real estate market in Burlington is the same as it is in Mississauga, for example. 

However, that’s not exactly the case. A local agent is going to be hyper-focused on the specific differences between local markets to provide the most informed and up-to-date information possible. 

The market is constantly changing and every month we get clues to how the local real estate market is performing. This impacts every part of your transaction. 

For example, if inventory in Mississauga is low (like it is currently), your agent will advise you differently on how to handle the buying process. They will inform you of the unique micro-markets you’re looking at and will ensure you are fully prepared for the buying process in this specific niche market. 

Their local knowledge runs deep and their consistent research and only helps to inform their insight into what you should expect from the transaction. 

Looking for the most up-to-date local market information? We publish the monthly data for Toronto and the West GTA on our blog every month. Check them out here

They Intimately Know the Buyers and Sellers in the Area

At the heart of real estate are real families putting down real roots in a community. A remote agent won’t have the same relationship with people in the community that a local agent would have. 

This benefits you in a multitude of ways. For example, a local agent knows the behaviour of people in their community. They have standing relationships with them. Relationships they can leverage into things like off-market listings, getting you a first look at a property that is not yet listed. 

Additionally, with their intimate knowledge of the local buyers and sellers in the area, a local agent has the skills and tools to negotiate better because they know exactly what these individuals value and what they are looking for from their own perspective. 

They Have Their Fingers on the Pulse of Local Developments

If you are planning to purchase a new construction in a new city or area, you will want to work with a local agent. In most cases, local agents have existing relationships with the builders and property managers in their communities. 

This means they know exactly what is coming in terms of new developments, even before VIP announcements are made or ground-breaking ceremonies are held. 

In addition to knowing when and where the new condo developments are starting, a local Mississauga agent can also advise you on other developments. 

Let’s say you buy a beautiful condo with a breathtaking view, but two years later you discover a brand-new tower is going up right in front of your stunning vista. A local agent who knows what’s going on in their city will be able to advise you against such investments. 

The GTA is great for new developments. Want to learn more about some of the most exciting new construction projects coming to the area? Read our blog about it here. 

They Live, Work, and Play in the Area

When you work with a local real estate agent, you can bet that they know the area like the back of their hand. In most cases, they live, work, and play in the community and have a deep history with the surrounding region as well. 

For example, here at The Tanya Crepulja Team, we may live in Mississauga, but in the past, we’ve owned properties in Burlington, and Toronto and we know these areas based on lifestyle and experience of living and successfully working in each for years. This results in a unique relationship with the surrounding area that we use to help our clients relocate and find their perfect home.

Looking to get a local advantage with a trusted Mississauga Realtor®? Sign up for our newsletter and get access to exclusive local market information, real estate advice, and more! Get insider access right here.

8 Holiday Markets in the GTA to Visit this Season

8 Holiday Markets in the GTA to Visit this Season

Dec 6, 2021 | Community Events

They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s easy to see why. From warm cups of cocoa around the fireplace to baking festive cookies and family home decorating sessions, there are so many seasonal activities to enjoy. 

Without a doubt, one of our favourites has to be visiting local holiday markets. The good news is, whether you’re in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, or Toronto, there’s no shortage of these fun events to check out.

Here are 8 holiday markets that are worthy of your attention…

1) Mississauga Festival of Trees

This new Mississauga holiday event is a must-see for kids and adults alike and is sure to become an instant classic in the community. Taking place at the historic Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga, you can expect artisan and culinary markets, contemporary tree and woodpile art installations, and more. 

The festival is meant to celebrate the “joy of the winter season.” You also won’t want to miss the entertainment, public workshops, and fantastic ambience permeating the venue. The Festival of Trees is taking place from December 9-12 and tickets can be purchased here

2) The Kerr Village BIA Holiday Market

Oakville residents will love this holiday market, which is now in its 27th year. On Friday, December 3rd, or Thursday the 4th, you can find the event at Westwood Park. First off, there’s the tree-lighting ceremony. The Kerr Village BIA planted a Christmas tree to prepare for the big moment—and it’s bound to be magical.

Of course, the main event is the pop-up market, where you can start crossing people off your holiday list! Enjoy some live music while you’re there, or (if you have little ones) meet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves on Saturday afternoon.


Looking for the right family-friendly neighbourhood to call home? Schools are likely a top consideration. Check out some of the best local places for your children to get an education below.


3) Polar Winter Festival

This is certainly not your average holiday market! Polar Winter Festival is more of an experience than anything else. Located in Bandshell Park just off the Gardiner Expressway, this stunning display of Christmas magic offers something for everyone. 

For the kids, there is the opportunity to have their picture taken with the real-life Santa or Elsa from Frozen, and for the grown-ups there’s a fantastic artisan marketplace and the Hotel X Toronto Lounge with delectable cocktails. 

The park is truly transformed into a winter wonderland and you don’t want to miss it! Polar Winter Festival runs from November 25-December 26 and you can grab tickets right here

Interested in learning more about some of our favourite neighbourhoods? Check out our in-depth community guides here.

4) The Distillery Winter Village 

If you live in the GTA, chances are you’re aware of the Christmas Market in the Distillery District. It’s one of the liveliest annual events in one of Toronto’s most exciting communities—but this year, it’s going to look a little bit different. 

Cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture are a wonderful backdrop for the Distillery Winter Village. From the moment you arrive, you’ll also see a beautifully-lit, 55-foot Christmas tree. Along with enjoying the scenery, visitors can shop at the eight on-site vendor cabins, which will be selling a wonderful selection of local and artisanal gifts. 

We also suggest arriving hungry, because there’s going to be a lot of food—from the area’s restaurants to its 12 food cabins. From tacos to doughnuts to savoury jerk chicken, there’s a little something for everyone. 

The Distillery Winter Village is open from November 18th to December 31st, and you can purchase tickets for $8 right here. 

5) Outdoor Holiday Market 

Every Saturday in November and December, Burlington residents can enjoy the Outdoor Holiday Market. There’s something special about a handmade gift—and the items you’ll find from local makers and artisans at this must-attend event. 

Check out over 125 small businesses at the Outdoor Holiday Market, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 460 Pearl Street. 

6) Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic

From now until December 31, the Bloor-Yorkville BIA is lighting up the neighbourhood with beautiful displays of holiday cheer. Visitors can stroll the neighbourhood and enjoy shopping, dining, and the area’s cultural art and attractions all while taking in the captivating Christmas light decorations lining the streets. 

Make sure you check out the Urban Campfire Benches along Bloor West, these are permanent fixtures that light up to resemble a campfire when in use–only adding to the magic of the season while providing a great option for selfies! 

You can learn more about Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic right here.

7) The Burlington Holiday Market

This all-new event is one of the must-attend holiday markets for Burlington residents and visitors alike. Taking inspiration from traditional European Christmas Markets with a Canadiana spin, The Burlington Holiday Market is taking place from December 9-12 this year. 

Featuring concerts, choirs, interactive features, a HERO’s lounge, and advent-style art displays, you don’t want to miss this brand-new Burlington tradition in the marking. 

Learn more about The Burlington Holiday Market here

8) Light Up the Square

Mississauga’s second new holiday event kicked off on November 20 and is running until January 2, 2022. Visit Celebration Square from 9-10pm to see the stunning artwork and snap a pic in front of the 40-foot Christmas tree! 

While you’re there you can enjoy tasty treats from the various food vendors, skate on the city’s biggest outdoor rink, or relax in the outdoor heated patio. 

The best part? This all-ages event is completely free! Learn more about Light Up the Square here

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