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How to Curate Art for Your Home

Saturday Sep 26th, 2020

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The right artwork can transform any room in a home, plus it has the unique ability to display the homeowner's personality, character, and energy. Because of that choosing the right pieces can feel a little overwhelming sometimes. Use the guidelines below to help you get started. Find a Statement Piece. One of the easiest ways to select art for a room is by starting with one central piece. This can be a meaningful item, photograph, colourful painting, or eclectic print. Once... [read more]

Naming Investment Account Beneficiaries - What to Consider

Wednesday Jul 15th, 2020

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Deciding who and how you name a beneficiary could have tax and estate implications. Beneficiaries can be designated when opening investment accounts such as RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, RESPs, etc…or the accounts and allocations can be listed in a will. It is important to know what the financial implications will be involved to minimize the taxes payable in the designation of beneficiary and ensure the final wishes are followed after the account holder’s... [read more]

Can You Take Advantage of a First-Time Home Buyer Program More than Once?

Tuesday Jun 9th, 2020

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Yes! You are considered a first-time homebuyer if: You have never purchased a home before or You have recently experienced a breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership or  You did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned in the last 4 years or  One individual in the couple has never owned a home   Question: We have been renting our home for the last 3 years. But, my spouse sold his house 3 years ago. Do I or my... [read more]

Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder - NOT

Monday Jun 1st, 2020

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It started by building the perfect squirrel proof bird feeder and ended with an appreciation for the cunning and physical abilities of squirrels. This video will change the way you look at those "pesky" squirrels. Enjoy! The obstable course was created by Mark Roder, a former NASA engineer. Source: Mark Roder Youtube channel [read more]

Own a Condo in Scarborough with 5% Down This Fall With Options for Homes!

Monday May 25th, 2020

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“The most powerful program in Canada - helps you realize your dream of owning a home.”1           If you have 5% saved, the Options Down Payment Loan can boost your down payment by 5, 10 or up to 15% and help you buy now. Down payment support is offered to anyone who wants to purchase a condo with Options for Homes and plans to live in their home. The maximum down payment loan is $150,000. Who is Options? Options is... [read more]

Take a Walk on the Kind Side

Tuesday May 19th, 2020

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In order to thank first responders, bring a cheer to someone in need or to give people purpose, painted stones have been popping up in every neighbourhood. Here are some stones I found on my walks:                                                                 [read more]

Facts to Consider When Renewing Your Mortgage - Covid Edition

Tuesday May 12th, 2020

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In response to our current pandemic reality the Bank of Canada has lowered its key lending rate to .25%. And, the big banks have dropped their prime lending rates by 1.5% affecting variable rate mortgages.  Bond yields have lowered as well, however fixed rate mortgages have not been affected yet. (as of May 6, 2020) How will this affect the interest rate available if you are looking to renew your mortgage? And, what are your options in the days of... [read more]

Mortgage Basics - How the Bank of Canada Affects Banking Rates

Tuesday May 12th, 2020

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How Banks Make Money? Banks borrow money at a slightly higher rate than the rate posted by the Bank of Canada. They in turn, lend money for a higher interest rate via mortgages and loans. The difference between the interest rate at which the bank borrows money and the amount they receive via client mortgage payments is profit. Bank of Canada Key lending "interest" rate (aka bank rate, overnight rate): is the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend one-day (or... [read more]

Can You Back Out of a Real Estate Deal Due to Covid-19?

Monday Apr 20th, 2020

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No! Many unforeseen issues can arise, between the time the seller signs the sales agreement to the closing date, due to Covid-19. Not the least of which is buyer’s remorse. But all issues are being worked out with ingenuity and co-operation by all parties. Relationships between tenants and landlords, buyers and sellers, and competing agents have all become more co-operative than ever before.1  “It really is down to a lot of open communication. It’s not... [read more]

Uplifting Stories During Covid-19.

Monday Mar 30th, 2020

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"We are writing history right now, and we hold the pen. We can be the heroes in this story!"                                                                                                                ... [read more]

Pets and the Coronavirus - Updated

Tuesday Mar 10th, 2020

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Updated April 18th, 2020 from previous article published on March 10th, 2020. In this emergency, pets and people need the support of each other. While a minority of pets can possibly catch the virus, there is no reason to believe, at present, that dogs and cats can infect humans. And there is no reason to remove an animal from a house, even if you test positive for the virus, unless you yourself are too sick to look after it.   The coronavirus should not be justification... [read more]

A HELOC or Reverse Mortgage - What's the Difference?

Wednesday Mar 4th, 2020

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A Heloc is a home equity line of credit. You can borrow money whenever you want, up to the credit limit using regular banking methods. This line of credit is secured by your home. You can apply for a HELOC at most banks or credit unions. You are required to pay the minimum interest payment on the amount withdrawn every month. The interest rate is variable based on the lender’s prime interest rate plus a percentage. Ex: a home equity line of credit can have an interest... [read more]

Should You Sell Your Home and Buy a Condo?

Monday Mar 2nd, 2020

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1. Why are you considering selling your home? 2. What are the alternatives to selling your home?  Podcast: Should Your Parents Sell Their House and Buy a Condo? by Andrew la Fleur   Reasons for selling your home It's time to downsize or rightsize from a senior's perspective     -Don’t need the space -Kids have moved out -Tired of the upkeep (housework) and responsibilities involved in home maintenance -Overwhelmed by the... [read more]

The Niagara Region - Attractive and Profitable

Tuesday Feb 18th, 2020

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In the last few years, we have seen a wave of growth hover over the Toronto area, then the Hamilton area and now is poised over the Niagara region. The area is more affordable than Toronto, allowing for an outstanding quality of life, with its parks, trails, recreational areas, 130 wineries and 30 golf course while providing a transit system which makes commuting a viable option. So, whether you're looking for a place to invest, retire or just a change of scenery, the... [read more]

Organizing tips for downsizing and decluttering

Tuesday Jan 14th, 2020

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Our homes can become filled with clutter from time to time. Therefore, purging items becomes necessary to feel less closed-in. This is a great task to be done in the winter. Organizing your home can be mentally beneficial; it indicates a renewal.  This also becomes essential as we get older when down-sizing homes. The more often you purge, the easier it becomes. 1. Organizational tools use space more effectively. Many of these tools can be fabricated or other... [read more]

What Makes Hamilton Great?

Wednesday Dec 11th, 2019

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Hamilton is a port city in the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario. Located on the south shore of Lake Ontario, with the Niagara Escarpment running through the middle of the city. Hamilton is broken down into areas such as Downtown, East, West, and Hamilton Mountain. And, is surrounded by cities such as Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, and Waterdown that enrich the experience of Hamilton. Hamilton activities are very diverse; from the arts expressed in music, theatre and various visual... [read more]

Mortgage Types - Ontario

Friday Nov 29th, 2019

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There are many different types of mortgages in Ontario. But, which one is right for you? Are you afraid of market changes and require a fixed rate to sleep at night? Do you have a fairly predictable income and want to follow a strict payment schedule? Or, do you require the ability to borrow and repay more money from time to time? Do you get regular bonuses and want to apply extra amounts to your payments to bring down your mortgage faster? Or, do you just want to pay the... [read more]

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Monday Nov 25th, 2019

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A mortgage pre-approval certificate states the maximum amount of money a lender is willing to loan you, based on your current income and credit history. It will specify a term, interest rate and mortgage amount. The pre-approval will be valid for a period of time and may have conditions that must be met. Why get pre-approved? It will save you time in the long-run; you will only look at the homes you can afford. You will have a reference point to decide on an offer for a house. You... [read more]

Open Houses – A Step-by-Step Guide to Viewing a Home and What Questions to Ask

Tuesday Nov 12th, 2019

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Visiting open houses is like going on a series of dates with prospective homes where you discover what features compliment your style and make you comfortable.  Your questions such as: can I see myself living here long term, or, will we be able to build a family in this home can be answered. If you are comfortable with the home and it checks off most of your wish list, taking the next step in making an offer will be natural. Open houses can help you... [read more]

What Makes Milton Great?

Tuesday Oct 29th, 2019

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Milton is prosperous, affordable, safe, easy to maneuver, has good weather and outdoor activities, plenty of amenities, and close to larger cities.1 It is one of the friendliest and safest cities in all of Ontario; a place to feel at home. Although Milton is Canada’s fastest growing community, with a population growth of 30% in the last five years, it holds onto its small-town roots.1 The Milton area has many Conservation Area parks, with hiking trails and locations for a wide... [read more]

Should I Pay Down My Mortgage or Invest?

Tuesday Oct 22nd, 2019

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Should you focus on paying the mortgage off and invest later or focus on investing while paying down the mortgage more gradually? Let's look at both scenarios while highlighting proven payment strategies: Focus on paying your mortgage first  Strategies to reduce your total borrowing costs: Use a mortgage broker to find a very competitive mortgage rate and terms for your situation.   Enroll in bi-weekly, accelerated payments to increase the... [read more]

Should I Renovate My Home?

Thursday Oct 17th, 2019

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The answer will vary depending on whether you’re renovating to sell your home or to more enjoy your home. It may also depend on your ability to co-ordinate the work needed.   Reasons to renovate: Upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials Time for a change Adding features to improve livability Attract buyers Many home owners would rather buy a home that has already been renovated than do it themselves. They find the idea of... [read more]

What Makes Oakville Great?

Wednesday Oct 16th, 2019

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Oakville sits along the north shore of Lake Ontario in Halton Region     It is halfway between Toronto and Hamilton and a 30-minute-drive from downtown Toronto.   Old Oakville has a quaint village feel, complete with trendy restaurants, great bars and specialty shops. There are also a few high-end boutiques, most of which are located along Lakeshore Boulevard. The area also boasts art galleries housed in historic... [read more]

Remodeling Your Home - A Survival Guide

Tuesday Oct 15th, 2019

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Remodeling your home can be very complex, stressful and expensive. Prior planning is essential to surviving the tasks. However, a bit of leeway may be needed as well. 1. Design and Planning a. Assessing Cost   Whether you have created a drawing on a notepad or paid for architectural drawings prior planning and communication is essential. The final cost will be easier to assess if the planning is more detailed. The final cost may be lower if you can perform some of the... [read more]

Focus on Kiva - When you uplift women, you uplift entire communities

Wednesday Oct 9th, 2019

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A non-profit organization helping women (people) around the world through lending to alleviate poverty.   Access to finance is a huge challenge for female entrepreneurs across the world. Two-thirds of the world’s unbanked populations are women—that makes for one billion women who do not have access to credit or financing options. Kiva provides a platform for individuals and organizations to lend to underserved communities.1   “Financial... [read more]

Help for Separated, Divorced and New Home Buyers

Wednesday Sep 25th, 2019

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   You are considered a first-time homebuyer if:  You have never purchased a home before or  You have recently experienced a breakdown of a marriage or common-law partnership or  You did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned in the last 4 years or  One individual in the couple has never owned a home   The Government of Canada has 2 programs aimed at helping you afford a... [read more]

What are the dirtiest items found in the home?

Monday Sep 23rd, 2019

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The dirtiest items surprisingly were not found in the bathroom but in the kitchen.    Guide to cleaning supplies:  for the best cleaning supplies click here or keep reading to the bottom of the blog Most items can either be thrown into the dishwasher for cleaning or hand washed with a mild bleach and water solution and rinsed thoroughly afterwards.   The items below were checked for yeast, mold, coliform bacteria (including salmonella and E. coli)... [read more]

What Makes Burlington Great?

Monday Sep 23rd, 2019

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View from Burlington beach   Burlington City Hall   Feel free to add to the list below: It's Right on the Lake View from Burlington beach   Whether you fancy a walk by the water or a sail around the bay, Lake Ontario makes Burlington a summertime playground It has a marina with an active boating community You can rent paddleboards and sunshades at Burlington Beach Rentals,  Burlington Beach Has a beautiful sandy... [read more]

Fall Clean-up

Tuesday Sep 17th, 2019

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While we still have a few warm days until the official start of fall it is time to think about our household seasonal chores list. Make it a family affair by delegating chores to the rest of the family.   You will find suggested duties below: Bedrooms   Tidy your bedroom first – it will make you feel better (you will have a tidy area of refuge) Remove and set aside items, outside the bedroom door, that do not belong   Place any items back in their... [read more]

First-Time Home Buyers Can Apply for Incentive Program In 5 Days

Wednesday Aug 28th, 2019

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The Federal government's incentive for first-time homebuyers will accept applications starting next Monday, Sept. 2, 2019.   This incentive aims to help first-time homebuyers without adding to their financial burdens. There are no additional monthly payments. Participants must meet minimum insured mortgage down payment requirements. The incentive is available to first-time homebuyers with qualified annual incomes of $120,000 or less. A participant’s insured mortgage... [read more]

Why Combining Real Estate Expertise With Financial Planning Is A Winning Combination - Brent Gleeson

Wednesday Aug 21st, 2019

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Brent Gleeson

Although my articles usually focus on business leadership and entrepreneurship, my experience in corporate America prior to joining the Navy SEAL teams and the master’s degree following my service are all in real estate finance, investment and development. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I also find it prudent to also stay apprised of the best ways to make your money work for you. It is human nature to want to be right, particularly when it is your job to be the expert. That... [read more]

Moving with Pets

Tuesday Aug 20th, 2019

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Even if a pet is even tempered and relaxed most of the time, a major change such as moving can temporarily change their personality. Try to minimize their exposure to the chaos of moving by planning for your pet before packing and moving day.  And pay more attention to reassure them along the way.   Pets can sense when we are stressed. To minimize our pets stress we need to manage ours as well. Make a plan and stretch it out over several days. Take... [read more]

Other Annoying Bugs - How to Recognize and Manage Them - Part 2

Monday Aug 12th, 2019

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Sowbugs and Pillbugs Armadillo-like Belong to the same class of animals as lobsters and shrimp Need moist conditions to survive likes to lie under rocks and debris Feed on decaying organic matter                               Sowbug                                             ... [read more]

Best Movie Message

Thursday Aug 8th, 2019

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                              Meet the Robinsons (Disney - 2007) My niece had the opportunity to work as a camp councilor for the YMCA last summer. She discovered that working in child care is not a path she will follow. Now she can try a different path. Meet the Robinsons should be required viewing at every grade school, high school and new parent course.  Failing a... [read more]

Other Annoying Bugs - How to Recognize and Manage Them - Part 1

Tuesday Aug 6th, 2019

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Earwigs Despite their scary appearance and reputation, earwigs are not directly harmful to humans. In fact, they are often beneficial, acting as scavengers of decaying matter and predators of insect larvae, slug eggs, aphids, and other garden pests.1 It is best to treat the infestation outside in order to manage any earwigs coming inside your home. While decaying organic matter forms the largest part of their diet, earwigs also feed on the tender shoots, leaves, and... [read more]

Investor-driven condos forecasted to fill housing gap through 2021

Thursday Jul 25th, 2019

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According to a report from Central 1 Credit Union, Ontario’s housing market is forecasted to grow through 2021, and that includes the need for investor-driven condos in downtown Toronto.   “In higher urban markets, condos should remain a viable investment vehicle because there are a lot of people coming in who will need a roof over their heads,” said Central 1’s regional economist, Edgard Navarrete, the report’s author.   “Population... [read more]

Canadian millennials want to date those with similar home dreams

Thursday Jul 25th, 2019

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Canadian millennials hoping to find a match on a dating app should clearly state their financial and homeownership goals.   That’s because around 4 in 10 respondents from that generation told a survey from HSBC that shared financial and property goals are more important than looks when choosing potential dates.   This desire is probably less to do with desperation in finding a partner and more to do with finding someone who can share the cost of homeownership; 61% of... [read more]

Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease - How to protect your family and pets

Tuesday Jul 23rd, 2019

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Blacklegged Deer Ticks May transmit Lyme disease (if infected) Are small and hard to see.  They attach themselves to humans and animals and feed on their blood.  Their bites are usually painless, so you may not know that you have been bitten. They can range in size depending on how long they have been feeding. 1 Adult female blacklegged tick at various stages of feeding. Photo: Government of Canada     Unfed adult... [read more]

What is the CHMC and How Can it Affect Me?

Tuesday Jul 23rd, 2019

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CHMC – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation   Was created by Parliament in 1946 to provide low-cost housing and affordable mortgages to World War II veterans returning home after the war.   It is owned by the Canadian government; however it operates like a private sector corporation. It is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.   The CMHC is a division of the Government of Canada that acts as... [read more]

Bees, Wasps, Yellow Jackets and Hornets Prevention and Control

Tuesday Jul 16th, 2019

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Bees, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are all considered pollinators and very important for the environment and our survival. They are directly or indirectly responsible for pollinating 1/3 of the products humans eat. Therefor a live and let live attitude would be preferred when dealing with pollinators. When they are outside pollinators should be allowed to come and go about their very important business.    Reactions to stings: If you are stung by a bee or wasp most... [read more]

Ant prevention and control

Monday Jul 15th, 2019

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For general pest prevention click here.   Ant specific prevention:     • Place pet food dishes in a shallow dish of water, ants can’t swim, so they won’t be able to get your pet’s food.      • Ants will not cross sticky barriers. Try placing two-sided tape around the legs of plant stands or duct tape facing up on the floor.     • Flood ant nests repeatedly with a garden hose to... [read more]

Pet Corner

Tuesday Jul 9th, 2019

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If you don't think your kids need a dog after seeing these pics, you must be a cat [read more]

Managing Pests in and around your home

Friday Jun 28th, 2019

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Managing Pests in and around your home

Prevention works best! ​ • Remove sources of food, water and shelter. • Store food in sealed plastic or glass containers ex: glass jars with rubber gaskets, or plastic containers with lids that snap tight.   • Rinse food containers before putting them in the garbage or recycling bins. Ex: rinse pop cans and food cans before storing them in your recycle bins • Keep kitchen countertops clean.   • Sweep or vacuum the floor... [read more]

Focus on Liberty Village

Wednesday Jun 26th, 2019

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Liberty Village is emerging as the go-to neighbourhood for young professionals in media, high-tech and design businesses working in Toronto. It is a 43-acre community, including residential, commercial and retail uses. It has become condo central, and is home to a mix of restaurants, cafes, fashion and home design suppliers, and fitness locations to serve the growing mix of residents. Watch video There is a gritty, urban feel and a unique vibrancy to Liberty Village, which... [read more]

Tips for How to Communicate With Your Cat

Tuesday Jun 4th, 2019

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Photo by Buenosia Carol

June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat-Month at the ONTARIOSPCA and Humane Soceiety, so we want to help ease your communication worries for when you bring that new furry friend home. Here are some tips for communicating with your cat, from our fact sheet, Adopting a Shelter Cat – What You Need to Know. Communicating with your cat Forming a bond with your new cat is one of the most exciting and interesting components of adoption. If your new cat or kitten doesn’t already have a name,... [read more]

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Monday Jun 3rd, 2019

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Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Showing your home is all about first impressions. The extra time you spend getting your home ready for sale will often increase your chances of receiving a higher offer. Therefore, before putting your home on the market go through your home to update, refresh and declutter. Here are steps you can follow. 1. Do your homework. a. What are homes selling for in your area?   b. How do these homes compare to yours? (Square footage, features and location)   Ex: Type of home,... [read more]

Kawhi Leonard Could Get A Free Penthouse If He Stays in Toronto

Monday May 27th, 2019

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Raptors fans are desperate to keep Kawhi Leonard but one fan has come forward with a sweet deal to get the NBA superstar to stay in the 6ix. Simon Mass, CEO of The Condo Store Realty Inc. is offering Leonard a multi-million dollar Toronto penthouse (for free) if he re-signs with the Raptors. READ: Milwaukee’s Housing Market Is Laughably More Affordable Than Toronto’s “We want to do what we can to ensure that our MVP stays in Toronto where he is loved... [read more]

Pre-Construction Condo Guide

Monday May 6th, 2019

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Pre-Construction Condo Guide Purchasing a pre-construction condo can save you money in the long run but make certain you know what you are getting into and that it is right for you. Advantages to buying a pre-construction condo: The home builder generally offers more competitive pricing in order to raise the funds needed to get the project going faster. The earlier you sign the more you will be offered ex: appliances, flooring, view (south etc.) New... [read more]

Georgetown's Most Amazing Dog!

Monday May 6th, 2019

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Georgetown's Most Amazing Dog

Rev, a Georgetown border collie, and his owner Maddisen Phelan are finalists in the World’s Most Amazing Dog Competition. Click on Image to view video. Source: CBC Toronto [read more]

Spring Pet tips you need to know

Thursday Apr 4th, 2019

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Spring has sprung! Pet tips you need to know   photo credit: The_Little_GSP 0230 Happy Spring Puppy via photopin (license) As tomorrow is the First Day of Spring, we want to make sure you are prepared for all this season has to offer your pets. Check out these great resources with information you need to know! Spring Pet Checkups - What you need to know! Spring is on it’s way! Well, we hope it is at least. With that comes more outdoor... [read more]

Canadian Spirit - Dennis Prager

Thursday Apr 4th, 2019

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Canadian Spirit

Goodness is about character - integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people. Dennis Prager [read more]

April House Cleaning Checklist

Thursday Apr 4th, 2019

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Spring House Cleaning Checklist

Some housecleaning and preventative maintenance tasks only need to be done once or twice a year. The problem is, we forget to do them once or twice a year.   To make it easier to stay on track, break down annual and seasonal tasks, and attack them with a monthly cleaning schedule. Nothing gets too backed up; and essential house cleaning eventually gets done.   Here is the April house cleaning checklist that works best for... [read more]

Be prepared for what is coming in 2019 by Mark Weisleder

Tuesday Apr 2nd, 2019

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Mark Weisleder

Watch the video As a result of recent announcements by the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments, change is coming to the real estate industry and real estate agents and their clients must be prepared in order to adapt and succeed in the coming year. Here are 5 things to know. 1. New Federal assistance for qualified first time buyers The Federal government, through CMHC, will be offering first time homebuyers with assistance for resale or new home... [read more]

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