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Preparing Your Home for Sale

5 Essential Steps When Preparing Your Home For a Spring Sale

Mar 15, 2023 | Sellers

If you’ve ever sold a house before, you know the process is much more complicated than it sounds on paper. The longer you’ve lived in your home, the more challenging it becomes. It’s not just the precious memories and feelings of attachment that make it hard to pack up and leave. 

Over the years, it’s surprising how many items and belongings you collect. Every single thing in your house requires a decision. Do you keep it, throw it away, or give it to someone else? And the real estate market can change rapidly. Some of the rules that worked five years ago no longer apply. Where do you even begin?

As real estate agents, we deal with these complications and conflicting emotions every day. Luckily, there are proven guidelines to help make your transaction as smooth and seamless as possible. Let’s take a look at the essential steps of preparing your home just in time for the busy spring market.

Set Up an Initial Consultation

The first thing we do is provide an initial consultation to determine your desired outcomes. We’ll talk about your reasons for selling your home and what kind of timeline we are working within. You’ll also create a wishlist of what you want in your new home that fits your budget. 

The last thing you want is to be in a situation where you have sold your house but cannot afford your next move. At the end of your consultation, we will clearly understand what you want and need. For example:

  • Are you relying on the sale to move up to a different home or neighbourhood? 
  • Approximately how much is your home worth in the current market?
  • What features do you want your new house to have? 
  • Is there enough room in your budget to move forward with your plan?

Discussing these topics in advance and getting honest feedback allows you to set reasonable expectations and make informed decisions. 

What’s new in the Toronto real estate market in the last year? The posts below will bring you up to speed:

Customizing Your Plan of Action

Once you decide to proceed with the sale, it’s time to create an achievable plan and determine your timeline. The steps to a successful sale come down to preparation, presentation, pricing, marketing, and negotiations. The overall strategy may be similar for each listing. Still, each home has its unique character, and some customization is essential to get the best results. 

Every homeowner is also different. You might want to be involved in the entire process from start to finish. Or you may want to take a hands-off approach and let us take care of the details on your behalf. Either way works, as long as you get the results you are looking for.

Strategic updates to prepare your home for maximum impact in the market are a vital part of our strategy. How much time and money should you invest? It will depend on how motivated you are to sell your home quickly. It also depends on the house itself. If it is new or you have recently performed updates and renovations, there might be less work than you think.

Performing the Updates

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start making things happen. Depending on the market and the desirability of your neighbourhood, you don’t necessarily have to perform every task on the list. However, the steps below will give you an idea of where to start and keep you on track. 

Depersonalize and de-clutter. 

Now is the time to adopt a “minimalist mindset.” Remove all personal and family photos, diplomas, religious items, toys, and knick-knacks from tables and countertops. Pare down the essentials and consider selling or donating items you no longer need. Keep small appliances off kitchen counters, and be sure toiletries are not visible in the bathrooms. 

Remove furniture pieces that won’t be used with the staging design. Take art prints and picture frames off the walls unless we can incorporate into the design plan. What should you do with all of your remaining belongings in the meantime? You may decide to rent a storage unit until you’ve accepted an offer.

Complete repairs in the home as needed. 

Many improvements could help increase the appeal of your home without costing too much. A few examples are updating kitchen countertops, replacing bathroom mirrors, upgrading flooring from carpet to hardwood, and installing pot lights. Your real estate agent can help you determine the best improvements to provide the maximum return on your investment within the timeframe you’ve set.

Fresh paint throughout your home, ideally in one neutral tone. 

Grey walls are out. Off-white, white, and taupe tones in matte finish tend to get better results in the current market.

Update light fixtures. 

Ensure all lightbulbs are working and in the same colour. Replace outdated light fixtures with contemporary styles to fit the aesthetic of the home. Think of light fixtures as jewellery. When wearing a beautiful gown, a lovely necklace or earrings can complement the look perfectly!

Make arrangements for your pets. 

Visible signs of pets can reduce the perceived value of your home. A buyer may believe there is more wear and tear. Or worse, they may become too fearful of your pet to notice how perfect your home is for them. Your best action plan is to have a trusted friend or family member look after your furry companion during the selling process.

Deep clean your home throughout. 

Shine the interior and exterior windows, doors, and light fixtures. Wipe down doors, baseboards, and doorknobs. And don’t forget to look up! Are there any cobwebs tucked away in the corner of the ceilings? They must go! 

Increase Your curb appeal. 

Take a look at the landscaping in the front and backyards. Potential buyers will really be paying attention to your yard as the warmer weather arrives. Are they tidy, clear of debris, with a well-maintained lawn and garden? And how about your exterior doors? Take a quick look to see if they should be replaced or refreshed with new paint. Some seasonal spring decor might be just what you need to provide the final finishing touches!


Once your home is cleaned and in the best possible condition, we will arrange a staging consultation with our design team. The stager will make recommendations for minor improvements that would have the most significant impact. For example, we may decide to remove some of your existing furniture unless we can use it in the design. Remember that space sells, not stuff. 

Everyone has a distinct sense of style, but staging allows us to make your home appeal to the masses. We want a buyer to envision themselves in the home without being distracted by your personal belongings or photos. Staging often results in selling faster and for more money when prepared according to our process. Why does this matter? 

A buyer who walks through and thinks, “I must have this house,” means the battle is nearly won. When the staging is complete, we bring in our professional photographers to take beautiful photos and videos for our online and offline marketing. 

The greater the perceived value of your home, the more successful your sale will be. Here are even more decor and design ideas for you to try:


Your home is staged and beautiful, and ready for the market! Now, an effective marketing strategy will help all that time and effort pay off. We will work to position your home in a way that gains as much exposure as possible. Listing on the MLS® and multiple real estate boards is only the beginning. 

We will also feature your home on the landing page of our website and create custom brochures. Assertive social media marketing and other advertising venues help us attract attention from buyers all over the world. Somewhere out there, someone is looking for a property and price point just like yours! 

You can help by being as flexible as possible when buyers want to visit your home. Keep the lights on to make your house feel ‘ready and welcoming.’ Soft music playing in the background (like smooth jazz, for example) – can create an ambiance that sets your home far above competing listings! 

We leave no stone unturned to help you maximize the value of your home in any market. Do you have questions about our process or are you ready to get started? Reach out today at [email protected] or call 647-293-3785 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.

Our Top GTA March Break Activities

Mar 6, 2023 | 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

Ontario Science Centre – Children are in for a treat at this year’s March Break Camp! It’s time to learn about the incredible science behind their favourite superhero feats. We’re talking about bending light, combatting magnetic forces, defying gravity and discovering animal powers. Your child will be talking about this experience for months to come, if not years!

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! 

Imagine Dragons at Casa Loma – If you have an older child, this is a great way to flex their creative thinking during March Break! “Imagine Dragons” is an exciting opportunity to stretch the imagination and learn the basics of swordsmanship as taught by the knights!

Black Creek Pioneer Village – On March 13, Maple Syrup Day arrives at the Black Creek Pioneer Village. This one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure takes your children back in time to see how this sweet treat was made in the olden days!

Winter Stations at Woodbine Beach – Winter Stations is an international design competition where artists create dazzling displays along the beach. This year features five award-winning designs that will capture your imagination. What better way to instill an appreciation of art in your little ones? Best of all, admission is free!

The National Ballet of Canada: Cinderella – What happens when a magical fairy tale is reimagined through an exquisite ballet performance? It becomes a night to remember with your family, and the timing makes it the perfect March Break activity this year. Performances run from March 10 – March 19, 2023.

Mississauga March Break Activities 

Puppet Festival Mississauga– Enjoy this seven-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 19! 

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 March Break Camp – Do you want your child to get away from screen time? At the RBG, they will get outside and love every minute of it, all while making new friends and exploring the vast beauty of nature.

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 Walk 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.” With lifelike displays that tower up to 30 feet tall, you and your child can be assured of a roaring good time! The exhibit runs from March 11 to April 2, 2023.

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

Luxury Design for 2023

Luxury Design Trends for 2023

Mar 2, 2023 | Lifestyle

Every once in a while, it’s normal to feel the need for something different in your life. This feeling is particularly noticeable at the start of a new year when new goals and visions begin to take shape. Sometimes, a slight shift is all it takes. An updated wardrobe or a change in scenery can make you feel brand new. Other times, you crave something more transformational. Setting your sights on a new home is an exciting milestone that many people aspire to. Another worthy goal is to remodel and redesign the house you’re already living in.

If you’ve ever watched one of the home improvement shows on television, you know how impressive and achievable a total makeover can be. Whether you plan on a few simple decor changes or a complete transformation, the goal is the same – to learn to fall in love with the place you call home all over again.

To help you clarify and plan your vision, we brought in Karin Bennett, one of our top interior designers, to share her expertise. You’ll find her answers to some of your most pressing home design questions below:

Is there an overall design theme for 2023? If so, how is it different from the past?

Karin Bennett: This year, it’s all about paint. It wasn’t long ago that crisp, white walls were all the rage. But lately, we are seeing a deeper saturation of colour and some warmer neutrals showing up in designs.

Cold white walls are being replaced with warmer, creamy walls. We are also starting to see more warm saturated hues like navy and olive instead of grey and black.

Want to stay informed about what’s happening in the Toronto and west GTA real estate market? Keep up with the latest on our views in real estate, our latest blog posts with special guest features, upcoming property listings, VIP events and more via our monthly Newsletter. Sign up right here!

What are some of your favourite design trends this year?

Karin Bennett: There are so many to choose from! It’s hard to narrow it down to a few favourites. However, there are two recent trends that I’m absolutely hooked on.

Number one: Curves. You’ll see them in furniture designs and decor items like mirrors. Curves in decor just offer such a sexy and refined aesthetic.

Number two: I absolutely love statement kitchen counters with lots of veining. The veins in natural stone are so beautiful, and there are so many variants that no two counters ever look alike. The effect can be bold or subtle, depending on what the homeowner wants. It looks sharp in nearly any kitchen design but really stands out amidst a white background.

Are you searching for the perfect home to remodel and decorate? A few of our buyer resources below can help:

How difficult/involved are these trends to implement?

Karin Bennett: It depends on the depth and scope of the project. But if you’re planning a renovation, you can save time by implementing these designs simultaneously. Plus, many retailers are now offering curved pieces in furniture and decorative accessories which are easy to incorporate into your home.

Designing a home is one thing. But how can a homeowner keep up the look while living their day-to-day life, especially if there are children or pets in the house?

Karin Bennett: Great question! We like to design custom furnishings for our clients, and then we have fabrics treated in a very effective stain guard. Alternatively, many retailers also offer durable fabrics on their upholstery pieces.

And we always recommend going with the best quality paint as this will allow you to wipe down the walls, which is especially important when little hands are present.

What budget range should people expect if they want a redesign in their kitchen or bathroom?

Karin Bennett: Once again, it depends on the scope of the project and on how custom you want to go. In the GTA, a complete kitchen remodel could run from $75,000 to $100,000. A full bathroom renovation would range from $25,000 to $50,000. If you’re looking for minor updates, the cost may be less.

Do you have any simple decor tips that don’t require a significant overhaul?

Karin Bennett: Yes! There are plenty of small tricks that will make your decor pop. For example, investing in new decorative pillows will update your space instantly. For a modern look, go for larger pillows and mix patterns and solid fabrics. But the easiest and least expensive way to upgrade any room in your home is to paint!

Looking for even more home decor ideas? You’ve come to the right place!

How can homeowners integrate these designs in a way that will still be up to date even when the next trend comes?

Karin Bennett: We don’t even try. Trends come and go so fast that it’s nearly impossible to redesign your home every time something changes. Instead, select the pieces you want and don’t worry about mixing styles.

Design your space to your own tastes and for your own happiness, not to impress the style gurus. Our tagline is “love the space you live in” because, at the end of the day, it’s your home. Your opinion is the only one that counts.

Visit www.karinbennettdesigns.com or email [email protected] to find out more about their interior design services.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Toronto or the west GTA? You’ll want a trusted Realtor with a sharp pulse on the market and who is focused on your success. We are committed to providing personalized, concierge-style service tailored to your unique needs, as everyone deserves a luxury real estate experience. Contact the Tanya Crepulja Team at [email protected] or call 647-293-3785 for a complimentary consultation.

Find out what it’s like to work with our team by reading authentic reviews from clients we’ve worked with in the past right here.

All images courtesy of Karin Bennett Designs.

New real estate laws in 2023

New Laws In Real Estate for 2023: A Lawyer Weighs In

Jan 26, 2023 | Market News

In response to the housing crisis facing the nation over the past few years, the Canadian government has stepped in with new legislation intended to help bring supply and affordability back to the market. These rules came into effect on January 1, 2023, and could have several implications for real estate investors. 

To help you navigate this new legislation, we interviewed Crys Masterson of Masterson Law, a real estate lawyer serving the GTA. We’ll review what these policies actually mean, any exceptions that may exist, and what penalties you may face for breaking them.

Two-Year Ban on Foreign Buyers

First, we’ll discuss the most prominent legislation on everyone’s mind, the two-year ban on foreign investors. 

Who Does This New Law Affect?

Crys Masterson: This ban applies to non-Canadians living abroad or non-Canadians who are not permanent residents. However, some exceptions will be in place for international students and other temporary residents.

Could This Law Be Interpreted as Racist?

Crys Masterson: I don’t believe that would be the case because the law applies equally to someone from the United States as it would to someone from Asia. I would argue that the ban is less race-based than it is location-based. 

There are many different racialized communities living in Canada who are citizens or permanent residents and not subject to this ban. It does, however, disadvantage anyone who wants to make Canada their permanent home but hasn’t yet secured permanent residency. 

Are There Any Loopholes?

Crys Masterson: There will always be people who will use creative ways to get around legislation, but they often come with risks and limitations. For example, a non-Canadian could fund a purchase where a Canadian citizen holds the title. A side agreement would be in place stating that the Canadian citizen is holding the property in trust for the non-Canadian, with no beneficial interest belonging to the Canadian citizen. 

There are a few stumbling blocks to this arrangement. 

  1. It would likely need to be a cash purchase, which prices many people out of the opportunity.
  2. It could impact the borrowing power of the Canadian for other properties, including their own. 
  3. It leaves the non-Canadian to rely on a written agreement with no security, as the Canadian citizen could sell the property without the non-Canadian’s knowledge or permission. 
  4. If the underlying agreement were discovered, both parties could be subject to fines and may be required to sell the home. 
  5. Finally, if the lawyer processing the transaction discovered the underlying plan, they would not be able to register the transaction as it would violate the law society’s ethical mandates.

What Legal Exemptions Are in Place?

Crys Masterson: There are some exemptions for homes in municipalities with a core population of less than 10,000, recreational properties such as cottages, and some multi-unit dwellings. Similarly, some people are exempt, such as those with temporary work permits, refugee claimants, and international students who meet specific criteria.

How Will the Government Enforce This Ban?

Crys Masterson: The government will rely on real estate agents to screen buyers and

advise them of the ban prior to purchase. They’ll also rely on lawyers to identify violators during their intake and ID verification process. Finally, they’ll depend on whistle-blowers, as is the case with many regulations.

What Are the Penalties for Contravening This Law?

Crys Masterson:

The non-Canadian could face a fine of $10,000 and be required to sell the home. It’s important to remember that a Canadian resident who assists in violating the ban could face fines as well.

These new laws can actually make it easier for ethical, long-term investors to succeed in real estate! Here are some resources you may find helpful:

Anti-Flipping Rules for Residential Real Estate

The ban on foreign buyers is just one small step towards increasing the supply of houses for Canadian residents. The new year also signalled the start of an anti-flipping tax that could make it much less profitable to buy a property for short-term gain. 

Previously, any profits from flipping a house would be subject to capital gains, which meant only 50% of the profits were taxed. This new legislation states that 100% of the profits are now 100% taxable as business income. Once again, we talked to Crys Masterson to see who this law affects and how.

How Does This New Anti-Flipping Legislation Work?

Crys Masterson: A “flipped property” is a Canadian residential unit that a taxpayer owned for less than 365 consecutive days before selling the property. Since it’s intended to discourage flipping for a profit, there are exceptions for those whose personal situation may require them to sell their house sooner than they intended. These exemptions include:

  • Death of a taxpayer or related person
  • Disability or serious illness of a taxpayer or related person
  • Insolvency of the taxpayer
  • A new individual joining the taxpayer’s household
  • Breakdown of a relationship
  • Threat to personal safety
  • Relocation due to employment
  • Destruction or expropriation of the property. 

As with most taxes, the filing is voluntary. Still, the penalties for non-compliance are onerous – a 50% penalty on the taxes owing and accrued interest.

What Happen if Disputes Arise?

Crys Masterson: If you are ever unsure whether your sale would be considered a flipped property, you should consult a tax lawyer or accountant. In the event that the CRA assesses the tax and the individual wishes to dispute it, you should consult a tax lawyer.

How Can a Real Estate Lawyer Protect You?

Crys Masterson: A real estate lawyer can review the legislation to assess whether your sale falls within reach of the regulation. Based on that determination, the lawyer can advise you on how to proceed and whether you will need to consult other related professionals.

Information is critical to succeeding when buying, selling, or investing in real estate. Signing up for our newsletter is a fantastic way to stay up to date. 

Vacant Home Tax in Toronto

The demand for rental units and houses is higher in Toronto than nearly anywhere else in Canada. In response, the city has imposed a new tax of 1% of the home’s assessed value if it sits vacant for six months of the calendar year.

Once again, Crys Masterson weighs in on this new legislation.

How Will This Tax Be Enforced?

Crys Masterson: There is a positive obligation to declare, which means the city will likely examine and fine all those who fail to make a declaration. Failure to declare or making a false declaration can result in fines ranging from $250 to $10,000. 

The city will issue notice to anyone with a late declaration, and fines may result. The property may be deemed vacant, and the vacancy tax will apply. As well, the city is likely to rely on whistle-blowers to reclassify those who make a false declaration.

Are There Any Exemptions?

Crys Masterson: There are temporary exemptions for properties owned by an estate or an elder in care, properties undergoing renovations, occupancy for full-time employment, and where a court order prohibits occupancy.

Do you have any other questions about these new laws and how they may impact you when buying or selling a home? Consulting an experienced real estate lawyer is the best way to avoid fines and consequences for non-compliance. You can reach Crys Masterson at [email protected] or by calling 289-828-8878 email is You can also visit her website at  www.mastersonlaw.ca.

Is buying a new home one of your goals for 2023? If so, the following posts can help:

Real Estate Resolutions for 2023

Real Estate Resolutions for 2023

Jan 18, 2023 | Buyers

Another New Year has arrived, and many people are looking forward to a fresh start in 2023. January 1st has long been the time for new beginnings and a chance to set resolutions for the year ahead. Do your goals involve buying or selling a house? If so, it’s an excellent time to review the market and prepare for success accordingly. The last year was one for the record books, with the dramatic increase in market activity at the start of the year, followed by a distinct decline for the latter half of 2022. This shift may be shorter-lived than anticipated, providing countless reasons to feel optimistic about buying or selling real estate in 2023.

Will Balance and Stability Return to Real Estate?

Though 2022 started with a record-breaking housing boom, many homeowners nervously watched as property values dropped due to rising interest rates. At this point, the market is more balanced than it has been for a long time. However, a growing population amid the housing shortage could soon send us back into highly competitive conditions. But for now, there are plenty of opportunities for both buyers and sellers who plan ahead. It is the perfect time to set and begin working towards your real estate resolutions for 2023!

Resolutions for Buyers: Decide What You Want

It is an exciting time for buyers looking to purchase their first home, upgrade to a larger house, or add to their investment portfolio. New listings are down slightly. Still, more inventory is available now than at any point in the last two years. Buying now gives you the pick of the home you want at prices much lower than when the market peaked. The first step to turning this goal into a reality is to create a detailed vision of what you want. The following checklist will help you get the ball rolling:

  • What kind of home do you want? A bungalow, two-storey house, townhouse, or newly-built condo?
  • When do you want to move?
  • Where do you want to live?

The key to creating your vision for your dream home is to list the features you would love to have while staying flexible. Being clear but open-minded can help you find what you are looking for, or something even better!

Make a Plan for Your Existing Home

Do you currently own a home and are thinking about upgrading or downsizing? One of the first decisions is whether to sell that existing property first or wait until you find the right home. Alternatively, you could keep your existing house as an income property to rent out. A strong case can be made for all three options.

Sell your existing house first.

If you sell first, you don’t have to worry about how much you can afford for your next home or whether you will receive the funds on time. Financially, this is the safest option. However, it does place you on a time limit to find and secure your new home.

Buy your new house first.

Given the current temperature of the real estate market, we don’t typically recommend buying first. However, it can be a viable option if you have extra funds for a down payment without relying on the proceeds from your sale, and if the closing date for your new home will provide ample time to sell your current home. Generally speaking, there is less risk if selling first. You should also have a financial cushion to cover you if you end up carrying two mortgages until your existing home sale closes. 

Hold onto your house as an investment.

Even though housing prices have dropped in the GTA, they are still out of reach for many residents. As a result, the demand for rentals is unprecedented. Keeping your existing property allows you to benefit from further equity growth when housing values rebound. Plus, your rental income helps you cover most–or in some cases of your monthly costs, provided you have paid down a good portion of your home and carry a smaller mortgage.

Investing in real estate is a fantastic way to preserve and grow your wealth and is a worthy goal at any time. The articles below will help you get started:

Special Guidelines for First-Time Buyers

Buying your first home is one of life’s most exciting milestones and a great resolution to make for the new year! However, it’s a complex process requiring a deep commitment, which can be intimidating for anyone who has never owned a home before. A successful purchase will require focus and determination. The following guidelines will help make your goal a reality:

  • Determine your budget and allow for hidden costs, such as closing costs, utilities, insurance, and maintenance.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage before house hunting. This step lets you know how much financing you qualify for and provides a decisive edge when negotiating with sellers.
  • Look into government programs available for first-time buyers. Reaching the amount required for your down payment can be difficult when you don’t have equity in an existing home. However, the First Time Home Buyer Incentive, the Home Buyer’s Plan, and the Land Transfer Rebate can help.
  • Work with a local real estate agent to help uncover suitable listings and negotiate the best possible price on your behalf.

Resolutions for Sellers: Look Forward, not Back

Perhaps the best advice for sellers is to look forward to your potential opportunities rather than focusing on the past. Some homeowners regret not selling during the real estate peak last year. But in many ways, now is a better time to list your home. Even though you may earn less from your sale than the peak in 2022, you may also pay less for your new home. In addition, your equity in your current home shields you from the impact of higher interest rates.

But the best benefit by far is that finding your next home is much easier and less stressful in this balanced market. These new market conditions also allow you to place a condition on a home inspection, so you can address potential issues in a home upfront. In the long run, this could save you a lot of money and hassle. 

One of your resolutions may be to get an accurate estimate of how much your home is worth. We can help with a free home evaluation, which you can book right here.

Commit to the Best Results in the Current Market

In the current market, you should take no shortcuts when preparing your house for sale. You don’t have to overspend or undertake major projects that disrupt your life for months at a time. Some of the upgrades that offer the best return on investment are simple and can include:

  • A fresh coat of paint in a light neutral tone throughout
  • A complete, top-to-bottom clean and declutter 
  • New lighting fixtures
  • Updated kitchen backsplash and hardware
  • New silicone around showers and bathtubs

Home Staging for Maximum Results

Some homeowners may debate the merits of staging a house versus the time and effort it takes to do it right. However, the numbers do not lie, and proper staging has been proven to add to the average final selling price of a home. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of dollars on an interior designer while replacing every piece of furniture. However, you want to remove your personal footprint from the home so that buyers can imagine it from their perspective. Staging is so impactful when it comes to the final result that we include full home staging by some of the best home stagers in the GTA complimentary for our clients. We are happy to provide this for our clients as it elevates the appeal of a home, results in selling for more money and in less time, and is inclusive within our luxury level client service and marketing.

The more beautiful your home appears, the easier it will be to sell for more money. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Connect With a Local Realtor®

Perhaps the most powerful resolution you can make is to connect with a knowledgeable Realtor® who knows your area inside and out. Buying or selling a house is not a quick transaction, and you always want an expert by your side with your best interests at heart. A conversation you start today can be the catalyst for achieving your real estate goals this year.

Are you thinking about buying or selling a house this year and unsure where to start? We can help by providing you with valuable expertise and answering your questions. Reach out today at [email protected]ca or call 647-293-3785 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.

Buying a House in the Winter

Should You Buy a House in the Winter?

Dec 19, 2022 | Buyers

“Wait until the spring!” That’s what many people will tell you should you mention that you’re thinking about buying a new house in the winter. To a certain extent, the advice seems sound. Spring and fall tend to be the busiest months in real estate, where more people are selling, and there seem to be far more options. 

However, sometimes going against the crowd can present you with unseen opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have. There is a case for conducting your home search in the winter, challenges and all. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why these cold, snowy months might just be the perfect time to find your home.

Buyer’s Markets, Seller’s Markets, and Micro-Markets

No matter when you buy, a successful purchase begins with knowing how the real estate market works. If you’ve ever bought or sold a house, you know the terms “buyer’s market” and “seller’s market.”

  • A buyer’s market is where people trying to sell a home outnumber those looking to purchase. The buyer has the upper hand and can often ask for reductions in price and other concessions.
  • A seller’s market is where there are too many buyers for the available listings. When this happens, buyers compete fiercely. Bidding wars and multiple offer scenarios are common. 

It isn’t just seasonal. Like any commodity, housing prices are driven primarily by supply and demand. They are also affected by external economic conditions. For example, inflation significantly impacts the market, as do interest rates, as we saw in 2022. 

At the beginning of the year, we enjoyed historically low interest rates that triggered one of the busiest seller’s markets we have ever seen. Then we gradually switched more to a buyer’s market as the Bank of Canada began raising the rates.

Buyer’s and seller’s markets are simple concepts. However, here’s something else you should know about. Regardless of what is happening to the big picture, there is always a “market within a market.”

For example, even during the busiest seller’s market, buyers have opportunities within niche neighbourhoods. And since relatively few people search in the winter, that leaves plenty of options for those who are looking.

What is happening in the market today? Signing up for our newsletter is a fantastic way to stay up-to-date.

You’ll Face Less Competition As the Snow Falls

The best time to buy a house is when you don’t need to. When you are not in a rush, you can keep your eye out for an opportunity and wait as long as it takes for the perfect listing to come up. And you may be surprised at how often that happens in the winter because hardly anyone is searching. And yet, there are plenty of listings available! 

Visit an open house, and you’ll likely find them much less crowded than during the spring or fall. Sometimes, you may be the only prospective buyer looking at the home. If the right opportunity presents itself, you’re far less likely to encounter competition from other buyers. This means you don’t have to worry about multiple offer scenarios or bidding wars driving the house price above fair market value.

Here are some other benefits of house shopping during the off-season:

  • Prices are often lower than during the busier times.
  • Houses take longer to sell, so you don’t have to rush to place your offer.
  • There will be enough listings to find what you want, but not so many that you feel overwhelmed.
  • Sellers may be more open to negotiation and conditional offers.
  • It’s easier to spot flaws like drafty walls and poor insulation.

Perhaps best of all, you don’t have to spend your summer vacation looking at houses. By the warm weather rolls around again, you’ll be all moved in and settled!

Want even more resources to find and purchase your new home? The tools below will help:

Sellers Are Often Highly Motivated

Most homeowners know they will likely command a better price from their sale by selling in the spring or fall. If they choose to list their house in the winter, there’s usually a good reason. When the homeowner is selling due to a job relocation or a change in marital status, the transaction is not optional. 

The sellers are more likely to offer concessions to make the transaction happen and usually want to get the process over with quickly. As a buyer, you will still need to make a realistic offer. Even in this market, a homeowner isn’t likely to sell far below the appraised value. 

However, the combined effect of reduced competition and higher seller motivation can help make your purchase at the lowest price and best possible terms.

How do you know if your real estate agent can and will work to get the best terms for you? Check out our post “Realtor® Negotiation Red Flags You Don’t Want to Ignore.”

Contractors Are Less Busy

Unless you’re looking at a brand-new build, chances are you will want to make some repairs and updates to your new home. For example, you may want a kitchen makeover, new floors, or a bathroom remodel. At the very least, a fresh coat of paint in your choice of colour can help your new house feel like home faster. 

During peak times, contractors can be booked months in advance and finding the right person for the work you need can be difficult. Most contractors are in their slow period in the winter, and they may be willing to go the extra mile or offer a discount as an incentive.

Meticulous Planning Leads to a Successful House Hunt

A well-thought-out plan will always help you get the best results whenever you decide to buy. This is particularly true in the winter when inclement weather can make it challenging to visit houses for in-person viewings. The more laser-focused you become, the less likely you are to have to traipse through dozens of options before finding the right home just for you. Here is a simple roadmap to help build your strategy for a successful purchase.

Retain a Local, Experience Real Estate Agent

Nothing will alleviate your stress and increase your chances of finding a perfect home like working with the right real estate agent. It costs you nothing to have a knowledgeable expert by your side as the seller pays all commissions. A good agent will work day and night to uncover hard-to-find listings. How do you choose the best person to represent you? 

  • Research is the key. There are thousands of agents in the GTA. However, many have only worked in the busy seller’s market of the last few years. Very few have built the network that gives them access to premium listings or the skills to negotiate the best deal. 
  • Read their Google reviews. Unbiased ratings from previous clients will give you an idea of an agent’s track record. If they have provided exceptional service and obtained results for others, they will likely do so for you as well.
  • Talk to your agent virtually or in person before hiring them. Ask questions, and a lot of them! Their answers will give you an idea about how knowledgeable they are and what kind of service you can expect from them.

What kind of questions should you ask your Realtor®? Find out in our article right here.

Organize Your Finances

Buying a house is a massive financial commitment. Before your search can begin in earnest, you’ll want to analyze your resources and determine a range for your budget. How much you can afford for your new home comes down to the following:

  • How much financing you qualify for
  • The amount needed for your down payment
  • How much you can afford to pay monthly toward your mortgage
  • How much you have in savings and equity

Let’s start by looking at how much you will need for a down payment when buying a new house. 

  • For homes above the $1 million mark, you’ll have to factor in a 20% down payment. Those funds will have to be readily available, not tucked away in a locked-in investment account. For many first-time buyers, coming up with $200,000 in cash is challenging.
  • However, if your house is less than $1 million, you need 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% on the rest. For example, imagine the asking price is $800,000. Your down payment works out to $55,000 ($25,000 + $30,000).

With the difference in the down payment calculation, even a minimal price reduction makes a house far more affordable. It’s just one more reason buying in the winter could be the best decision you ever make!

Do you want an estimate of how much your new home will cost each month? Our Real Estate Calculator is a helpful tool.

Getting a Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval

Pre-qualification and pre-approval are two terms that cause confusion among buyers. How are they different?

A pre-qualification is a good first step for someone who is in the beginning stages of buying but not yet ready to pull the trigger. It’s easy to do, and no credit check is required. Many financial institutions allow you to apply on their website by filling in basic information about your income, debt, and assets.

You’ll get an idea of how much you can borrow, often within minutes after applying. However, a pre-qualification is only a rough estimate and shouldn’t be heavily relied upon to determine your budget.

A pre-approval is far more detailed. You’ll go through the mortgage application process, and the lender will take the time to evaluate your ability to repay. They will perform an extensive background check and look at your credit history. A response can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. The lender will then provide a certificate of pre-approval indicating how much you will be able to borrow.

With a pre-approval, you’re in a powerful position to negotiate with sellers because you can prove that you qualify for sufficient financing. 

Making Your Wish List

Now that you’ve done your background research, it’s time to move on to the fun part! You can begin dreaming about your new home and listing what features you want or need. The key is to be as detailed as possible while remaining flexible. Here’s an example of what your checklist might look like:

  • What neighbourhood do you want to live in?
  • How many bedrooms do you want?
  • How many bathrooms?
  • Is an open-concept layout better for your lifestyle, or do you prefer separate areas?
  • Do you want a house, condo, townhouse or semi-detached?
  • What size yard do you want?
  • Do you prefer an eat-in kitchen or a separate dining room?
  • What style best suits your needs? A bungalow with everything on one level or a spacious two-storey home?
  • Are you willing and able to handle repairs yourself, or do you need something move-in ready?
  • Is a driveway or garage important to you?

If you draw a blank on what features you want, your real estate agent will be happy to step in and help. This new house will be your home for many years, so it’s worth the time and effort to get it right the first time!

When buying a home, the first question is usually, “where?” Some of our community guides might help you choose the perfect location:

Deciding What to Do With Your Existing Home

If you currently own a home, you’ll have a decision to make. Should you sell your existing property first to ensure you have the funds for your purchase? Or are there benefits to securing a new house before letting go of your old one? Depending on the market and your risk tolerance, there is a case to be made for both.

Sell First

After weighing the options, many people decide to sell first. It means you have the cash in hand for your new purchase and know precisely how much you can afford to spend on your new home. It also erases the worry about your house not selling after you’ve committed to a purchase.

However, selling first can put you at a disadvantage in a busy market. You may find yourself under pressure to find a new house quickly when only a few listings are available. If the right home doesn’t come up, you may have to settle for something less than ideal or arrange temporary accommodations.

Buy First

Buying first can be financially rewarding, but there are also risks. If you commit to a purchase, you can be responsible for covering two mortgages if your current home takes longer than anticipated to sell. But in a fast-moving market where houses get scooped up quickly, this risk is minimal. 

The advantage is that holding on to your property means you continue building equity. Plus, your house may rise in value by the time you sell. When listings are few and far between, buying first gives you peace of mind knowing you have a place to call home after your transaction closes.

Once you purchase your new home, the next step is to decorate it and make it uniquely yours. The posts below will give you some inspiration:

Should You Keep Your House When You Move?

A few investment-minded homeowners have a third option to explore. What if you didn’t have to sell your existing home at all? Retaining ownership allows you to grow your equity faster as both properties rise in value.

If your home or condo is in a high-demand area, you can rent it out and use the income to cover all or a large part of your carrying costs.

Do you want to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of keeping your existing property? Check out our article, Should You Sell or Rent Your Condo When You Move?

Don’t let the frost or snow dissuade you from finding your perfect home in the winter! Whether you’re ready to start your search or just have a few questions, we are here to help. Reach out today at [email protected] or call 647-293-3785.

Top Ten Luxury Neighbourhoods in Toronto

Dec 1, 2022 | Toronto

There’s no place in the world quite like Toronto. Whether you’re a young professional, student, or active retiree, Toronto life offers everything you could ever want and more. World-class dining, an arts and entertainment scene that’s the envy of the nation, and top-notch education are just a few of the draws. 

Though the city is diverse and appealing for all walks of life, it is particularly attractive to anyone searching for an upscale lifestyle. With over 150 neighbourhoods in the city, how do you know what to pick for your next home? Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of our top ten luxury neighbourhoods in Toronto.

South Kingsway

South Kingsway is one of the most tasteful and affluent neighbourhoods in the GTA and is surrounded by scenic beauty on all sides. You’ve got Bloor Street to the south, Dundas Street to the north, Mimico Creek to the west, and the Humber River to the east.

As a mature neighbourhood, the landscaping is pristine and dotted with tall maple and oak trees. Even with all this lush greenery, you still have the best of Toronto’s amenities at your fingertips. South Kingsway offers easy access to shopping districts, playgrounds, and recreational centres. The stretch of restaurants and boutiques along Bloor West South draws many visitors and residents all year long. 

As you would expect from one of Toronto’s most upscale neighbourhoods, you will have access to premium education. Several public schools are in the area in addition to Kingsway College School, a private facility with a focus on academics, arts, athletics and citizenship.

Highlights of the area include some of Toronto’s most beautiful parks, including Home Smith Park, which has a trail that leads all the way to the Toronto waterfront. 

Real estate options include larger-than-average homes on supersized lots that are perfect for relaxing or entertaining. Large stone mansions lend the neighbourhood a peaceful and upscale English feel.

Discover more about the South Kingsway in our community guide right here. 

Do you want to know even more about the activities, amenities, and experiences you’ll find in Toronto? Here are some other posts you will love:

High Park–Swansea

Imagine living in the heart of a major city like Toronto but having so much green space around you that it feels like being in the scenic countryside. That’s what residents love about High Park and Swansea, where stunning hiking trails are right outside your front door. 

The cherry blossoms in the springtime are the talk of Toronto, but there is so much to love about this high-end neighbourhood. Sunnyside Beach is nearby and is a popular destination in the summer months.

Living next to Toronto’s largest park is a dream for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, birdwatching, or even meditating in the sun are just a few activities you can partake in. 

Incredibly, the residential areas of High Park and Swansea aren’t all about nature. They are also a goldmine of shopping and entertainment, with the boutiques and cafes in Bloor West Village within easy walking distance. In addition, a 1000-seat amphitheatre sits right in the heart of the park and hosts musical performances and live-action plays from artists from all over the world. 

For families who want the best education possible for their children, Swansea Junior & Senior Public School has a high Fraser ranking and is one of the most reputable public schools in the city.

You’ll find everything you need right in the neighbourhood, enough to make you feel like you never have to leave home. When you do want to get around, the central location and proximity to the Toronto transit system make your travels easy and convenient.

High Park–Swansea offers an eclectic mix of real estate options where you are sure to find the perfect place just for you! For some, that means settling down in a spacious Victorian, Edwardian, or Tudor-style home. For others, a modern condo provides the perfect blend of comfort and convenience.

Find out more about High Park-Swansea in our community guide right here.

Baby Point

When you drive up to the centuries-old stone gates that mark the entrance to Baby Point (pronounced “Babby Point”), you’ll know you’re entering one of the most exclusive and upscale neighbourhoods in Toronto’s west end. Quiet streets, stately residences and expansive lots make this a choice destination for affluent families, retirees, and professionals.

Named after French settler James Baby, Baby Point overlooks the Humber River and is one of the most scenic areas in the city. Though known for its peacefulness and tranquillity, you won’t have to go very far to enjoy the creature comforts of Toronto. Jane and Annette Streets are sprinkled with cafes, restaurants, and a host of specialty stores and boutiques. Whenever you crave excitement, you’ll find the hustle and bustle of Bloor West Village only minutes away.

The upscale and family-friendly neighbourhood of Baby Point is unsurprisingly close to some of the top public schools in the city, including Indian Road Crescent Junior School, Humberside Collegiate Institute, and Ursula Franklin Academy.

Baby Point is so exclusive that it even has its own club, which offers residents lawn bowling and other social activities. Most homes in the area are English Manors or Tudor styles constructed in the 1920s and 1930s and beautifully maintained. Listings in the area are rare, but opportunities do arise for those who diligently keep watch!

Find out more about Baby Point in our community guide right here.

Investing is one of the most effective ways to generate passive income and grow your wealth over time. Here are some resources to help you succeed:

The Annex

Many people may dream of making the Annex their home. However, only those with substantial resources can do so. This affluent neighbourhood has it all, stunning homes and scenery combined with the exciting entertainment, eclectic shopping, and nightlife Toronto is famous for.

Close to the University of Toronto, affluent students love the excitement the Annex offers, where venues like Lee’s Palace host frequent rock concerts and dance parties.

Highlights of the neighbourhood include the world-famous Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, both of which add a touch of culture and attract untold thousands of visitors to Toronto each year.

In addition to the university, you’ll also find several private educational institutions within minutes. Annex Montessori offers programs for children from 18 months to six years, and Guidepost Montessori is scheduled to open in the summer of 2023.

The streets in the Annex are lined with luxurious, well-kept Victorian, Queen Anne, and Richardsonian Romanesque houses with architectural detail that make the neighbourhood the envy of the city.

Read more about the Annex in our neighbourhood guide right here.


You know you have made it in life when your home is just outside Toronto’s gorgeous waterfront. Convenience and luxury combine to make the Harbourfront one of the most sought-after areas in the city. It doesn’t matter what the season is. Looking out your window to take in the stunning view of Lake Ontario will never get old.

Step outside, and an abundance of attractions and experiences await you. You can spend hours strolling the waterfront trail, stopping for refreshments like coffee and ice cream when you get tired. Or you can indulge in some of the finest shopping the city has to offer. The Harbourfront is also minutes away from famous landmarks like the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, and the Scotiabank Arena.

By far, the best highlight of the neighbourhood is the waterfront trail which stretches for miles in both directions. 

There’s a lot of excitement to pack into one highly-desirable area. As a result, most residential options are condos. Take your pick of some of the latest and greatest newly-built condos in Toronto, each offering spectacular views of the city!

Read more about the Harbourfront in our community guide right here.


Yorkville is by far one of the trendiest and most desirable neighbourhoods in Toronto. Here, luxury is all about lifestyle and being close to the action. If you’re young and adventurous with the financial resources to back you up, Yorkville is the place to be.

A quick drive takes you to impressive live venues like Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra Theatres, where you can take in legendary musicals and performances. When on the hunt for upscale restaurants, you’ll find an extensive array of dining options from casual to gourmet and everything in between.

Highlights of the neighbourhood include the exciting parade of events happening throughout the year. Notable examples are the Bloor-Yorkville Icefest, the Fleurs de Villes Femmes, and Summer Music in the Park.

Really, though, Yorkville is about the shopping and is home to the retail district that is so upscale it’s earned the nickname the “Mink Mile.” Even if your closet is full, there is always room for that one article of clothing or accessory with your name all over it!

Residents of Yorkville tend to be young and single without children. That said, you still have access to public facilities like Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School and private schools such as Royal St George College, which admits boys from grades 3 to 12.

Housing options in Yorkville consist mostly of high-end condos that allow you to live life to the fullest while enjoying every convenience. However, you will find some luxurious Victorians and other heritage homes hitting the market every now and then. 

Want to know more? You can find our neighbourhood guide right here.


Elegant homes and classic architecture come together to give Rosedale its reputation as one of the most fashionable districts in Toronto. It is also the home of many of Canada’s wealthiest residents. Beautiful parks and green spaces give you the feeling of being in a country paradise. All the while, some of Toronto’s best entertainment and shopping boutiques are just around the corner on Yonge at Summerhill. 

Without a doubt, the highlight of this prestigious neighbourhood is the scenic beauty provided by the natural ravines and breathtaking trails. If you’re a nature lover or fitness enthusiast looking for an upscale neighbourhood with the very best of everything, Rosedale might just be your dream come true.

If you have young children, you’ll be delighted to know that Rosedale is near many of Toronto’s top schools, including Rosedale Heights School of the Arts and Rosedale Public School. The Linden School is a progressive, private school for girls where the average class size is only 11 students.  

The real estate landscape consists of stunning Victorian, Georgian, and Tudor mansions, many of which are officially recognized by the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties. 

Discover more about Rosedale in our community guide right here.

Forest Hill (North and South)

An old bylaw mandates that all homes in Forest Hill be designed by an architect. As a result, the beauty of the mansions you’ll find in Forest Hill (both north and south) will take your breath away. As one of the older, established neighbourhoods, the streets are quiet, peaceful, and lined with trees and greenery.

Forest Hill isn’t just one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Toronto; it is one of the classiest. An enclave of shops and boutiques caters to residents’ every desire and gives the area a small-town feel.

However, you’ll know you’re in a world-class city by the convenience. Step away from the majestic natural beauty of Forest Hill, and you’ve got easy access to public transit and major highways taking you in any direction you need to go.

The highlight of this affluent neighbourhood is the Beltline Trail, a 9 km walking path that takes you through midtown Toronto. Walk, cycle, or jog through the affluent areas of Forest Hill, Rosedale, and Moore Park as you enjoy the spectacular displays of nature.

As you may expect, most homes in Forest Hill are beautiful stone mansions in various Georgian, Tudor, English Country Manor and French Colonial styles. However, the area is developing, and there are now several high-end condos available where you can enjoy the lush views from the comfort of your balcony.

Discover more about Forest Hill in our community guide right here.

The Bridle Path

Where do Canadian movie stars, celebrities, and ultra-successful business people go? More often than not, they put down roots in The Bridle Path, now known as “Millionaire’s Row.” In this opulent neighbourhood, you’ll live like the rich and famous do– in multi-million dollar mansions with indoor swimming pools and private movie theatres on lot sizes as large as four acres. 

Each luxurious home is more lavish than the next. This secluded neighbourhood is bordered by the Don River Valley and surrounded by lush green space. Very few roads provide access to the area, which only adds to the exclusive feel of The Bridle Path.

If you have the financial resources and are lucky enough to find an available listing here, your next-door neighbours will be some of the most famous celebrities in the world. Notable residents have included Celine Dion, Drake, and Prince. Even Mick Jagger once owned a mansion on The Bridle Path!

If you’re looking for an upscale shopping experience, Bayview Village is just 12 minutes away, with high-end retailers for clothing, gifts, gourmet food, and more all under one roof.

The Bridle Path is not accessible for cycling or walking, but the residents here don’t mind, as most of them have chauffeurs. Privacy, security, and every kind of luxury imaginable are the highlights of this extravagant neighbourhood.

Want to know more about the lavish lifestyle residents of The Bridle Path enjoy? Read more in our neighbourhood guide right here.

Looking for luxury that’s a little more attainable? Here are some tips to elevate your lifestyle now: 

Lawrence Park

Looking for a quiet, understated neighbourhood that still exudes luxury? Look no further than Lawrence Park, where you’ll find elegant English Cottage, Tudor Revival, and Colonial-style homes surrounded by rolling hills and peaceful green spaces.

Although once ranked as Canada’s wealthiest community, the residents of Lawrence Park typically enjoy a laidback lifestyle. Like many of Toronto’s upscale neighbourhoods, you’ll have peace and serenity when you need it and easy access to excitement when you want it.

For example, you’ll find everything you could ever need at the endless array of shops, restaurants, and boutiques along Avenue Road and Yonge Street. Other highlights of Lawrence Park include the Alexandra Muir Flower Gardens and Blythwood Ravine Park. Each provides a tranquil outdoor oasis just minutes away from your elegant home.

This family-oriented community is within easy walking distance of public transit. And when it comes to education, it’s one of the best neighbourhoods in all of Toronto. Blythwood Junior Public School and Lawrence Park Collegiate Secondary School are within minutes of each other, each boasting an impressive Fraser ranking.

Discover more about Lawrence Park in our neighbourhood guide right here.

Do you want to know more about the high-end neighbourhoods in the GTA? We are knowledgeable and experienced in luxury real estate and are happy to answer all of your questions. Reach out to us today by email or calling 647-293-3785 for a friendly consultation with no obligation.


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 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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.