By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker | Laura Stevens, Sales Representative

Which Neighbourhood Is Right For You And Your Family?

Which Neighbourhood Is Right For You And Your Family?

In the suburbs or in more rural areas, not all neighbourhoods are equal. They might not have the distinct personalities that those in larger cities do, but they’re all still unique in their own way. Deciding where to live is about so much more than simply buying a home in a specific spot. So how do you choose which neighbourhood you want to live in?   Nearby amenities   What’s nearby? Depending on the location and your lifestyle (and depending on whether you own a car), whether a neighbourhood is walkable could matter a little or a lot. Check out your future neighbourhood on www.walkscore.com to see how it rates in terms of walkability and proximity to necessities like ...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker | Laura Stevens, Sales Representative

Buying a Home or Cottage: Closing Costs

Buying a Home or Cottage: Closing Costs

Did you know that when you purchase a home, there are additional costs that may not be covered by your mortgage? These costs can include things like utilities, taxes and various fees that must be paid upon the closing of the transaction, and they’re more commonly called “closing costs”.   Some of these costs include:   Appraisal fees: Certain lenders may require that a home is appraised before they put up the money to purchase it, and there are sometimes additional charges to review the appraisal on the part of the lender.   Home Inspection: A home inspection is one of the most important costs you’ll pay when purchasing a home, because it’s almost...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker | Laura Stevens, Sales Representative

Resale Housing Market Forecast Update: CREA

Resale Housing Market Forecast Update: CREA

An updated resale housing market forecast is available from the Canadian Real Estate Association, who says that tightened supply across southern Ontario – including in cottage country – is going to result in more price growth for the region.   Across Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association forecasts sales to decline by 3 per cent, to 518,700 units for 2017, but this is similar to what was previously forecast with increases in Ontario offsetting decreases in British Columbia, which is expected to see the largest decrease in sales for 2017.   Due to supply shortages, Ontario’s home sales are expected to increase by under 1%, while Alberta is forecast to see the...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker | Laura Stevens, Sales Representative

Foreign Buyer Tax: Could Ontario Be Next?

Foreign Buyer Tax: Could Ontario Be Next?

Last year, a 15 per cent real estate tax on foreign buyers was enacted for Vancouver in an effort to cool the housing market. Now, as Ontario’s housing market heats up with no signs of stopping, a foreign buyer tax may be on the table.   Despite saying that Ontario would not follow in Vancouver’s footsteps, the Ontario Finance Minister has said that it could be a possibility explored as a next step.   Jason Mercer, the Director of Market Analysis for the Toronto Real Estate Board, said that, “We can’t lose sight of the fact that we have experienced a persistent decline in the inventory of homes available for sale in the GTA. This issue has been acknowledged ...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker | Laura Stevens, Sales Representative

Spring Is Almost Here! What You Need To Do To Get Ready

Spring Is Almost Here! What You Need To Do To Get Ready

The spring real estate market is known to be the busiest there is. If you want to make sure your home is at the top of its game when buyers come knocking, it makes the most sense to begin now. There are a few things you can do as soon as the weather warms up that will put you ahead:   Re-paint where necessary. Winter can do a number on your home's paint job if it was already so-so before the temperatures dropped. Make sure that there's no peeling paint on your home's exterior. If there is, it's time for a good re-painting. Check your roof. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, you can get a roof inspection done. Missing shingles or even a roof in minor disrep...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker | Laura Stevens, Sales Representative

The Fastest, Easiest and Cheapest Ways To Stage Your Home

The Fastest, Easiest and Cheapest Ways To Stage Your Home

Home staging is a vital part of the home selling process – and it’s much more than giving your home a thorough cleaning before prospective buyers show up. While a good cleaning – and perhaps even hiring outside professional help for this – should be at the top of your list, staging is really about making your current home feel like a potential home for buyers.   Here are four quick tips to make the most of your staging:   Consider a professional. Your real estate agent can help you stage your home to perfection, because they know what buyers are looking for.   Dress it up. If you do buy new furniture to make your home look more appealing, a new dining r...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker | Laura Stevens, Sales Representative

Common Electrical Issues Can Start Fires

Common Electrical Issues Can Start Fires

Every year in the province of Ontario, 15 per cent of 3,000 or so residential fires are started by common electrical issues. However, many fires caused by electrical issues can be prevented with routine checks and maintenance on the homeowner’s part – the majority of which takes just a few minutes at a time.   Be prepared   Proper fire safety is not something to mess around with or put off. Each floor of your home needs to have a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher. Be sure to change the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year – doing it when the clocks change is a good way to remember.    Fuses   Are fuse issues well-known in your househol...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Conserving Energy In Your Home And Indoor Air Quality

Conserving Energy In Your Home And Indoor Air Quality

Whenever the weather hits its most extreme, energy conservation comes to top of mind. This can happen in the summer, when homeowners want to keep their precious and expensive air conditioned cool air inside, or it can happen right now during the coldest time of the year – when homeowners want to keep that cold out.   The best way to increase the energy efficiency of your home is to ensure you don’t have any leaks – no drafty doors or windows. But while this increases your energy efficiency and allows you to keep your home at the ideal temperature no matter what the conditions outside, oversealing your home can also decrease your indoor air quality if you have a pre-exi...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rebate Now $4,000

Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rebate Now $4,000

The Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rebate for first-time home buyers has increased from $2,000 to $4,000, effective as of January 1, 2017. To qualify, home buyers must be at least 18 years of age and be purchasing their first home. They must also be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and the home must be their principal residence.   This means that no Land Transfer Tax is paid on the first $368,000 of the purchase price of a home.   Whether you’ll use the rebate to pay down your mortgage, renovate your bathroom, purchase new appliances or pay your closing costs, the rebate is sure to be great news for first-time home buyers.   If you meet the requirements for the Land ...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Almost Half of Ontario First-Time Buyers Could Be Delayed

Almost Half of Ontario First-Time Buyers Could Be Delayed

The latest edition of the semi-annual Ontario Home Ownership Index, released by the Ontario Real Estate Association, has revealed that the mortgage rules recently launched in October are putting a strain on first-time home buyers, because it requires buyers who have a down payment under 20% to qualify under a higher mortgage rate. According to the research, this could delay homeownership for almost half of Ontario first-time buyers.   “Our survey indicates that the new stress test will have a negative impact on first-time buyers’ ability to buy a home,” said the CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, Tim Hudak, in a press release. “It’s important to re...Read More