09.9.20 | For Sellers

Decluttering To Sell Your Home: Our Top 5 Tips

Selling your home is all about taking a step forward in your life’s journey. While you may be eager to make your next move—and get the highest possible return on your investment—there are a few major tasks you’ll have to tackle first. Without a doubt, one of the most challenging is decluttering your property to stage, show, and sell it.

If you’re preparing to put your home on the market, here are five tips to paring down your possessions first…

1) Start Early

Even the most organized family can start to feel like time is the enemy once they start decluttering. From junk mail to winter wear, you’ll probably find that there’s a lot more to go through than you thought. That’s why it’s important to get started before you start to feel the crunch.

The first step is creating a sorting system (many sellers find that categories like “keep,” “toss,” and “donate” are helpful). Next up, figure out where you want to make donations—and call ahead to avoid any unforeseen hassles.

2) Let Go

If you have a tendency to hold onto things past their expiration date, you’re not alone. Most homeowners keep duplicate kitchenware, worn-out furniture, and clothing that’s two sizes too small—all with the misguided notion that it will come in handy someday. Usually, it won’t.

Don’t make the mistake of carting possessions you’ll never use to your next home. As a general rule, if it’s been out of commission for at least a year, you’ll never miss it.

While it’s always okay to hold onto items with sentimental value, try to imagine where they’ll live in your next home. Whether it’s on a photo wall or atop the coffee table, you should have a designated place in mind for everything.

3) Focus on Selling

One of the trickiest things about decluttering before you sell is knowing not only what you want to keep, but what buyers will want to see when they tour your home. This is where an agent with selling expertise and an eye for detail can be helpful.

An experienced professional will know which items enhance your property as part of a cohesive aesthetic. On the flip side, they’ll also be able to tell you which ones should go (even if it’s just into storage for a short time).

If your agent suggests packing away an old armchair or piece of artwork, try not to take it personally. They’re simply ensuring that your property will appeal to as many buyers as possible!

4) Make Time

Decluttering can take weeks of sustained effort, so make sure you schedule it into your family calendar. An hour or two every couple of days can help you tackle the job piece-by-piece—without being overly disruptive to your lives.

Choose times when everyone will be home, whether that’s before dinner or on Sunday afternoon. While longer time blocks may be daunting for your kids (and you), breaking it down into fifteen-minute intervals followed by short breaks can help everyone feel good about what they accomplished.

5) Create a Routine

There’s a reason why homes need to be cleaned often. Unfortunately, clutter has a way of sneaking back into our lives—even after we’ve put in the effort to get rid of it. From old magazines and overfilled coin trays to loose toys and craft supplies, things will pile up quickly if you don’t have a plan to stay on top of them.

To keep your home in show-ready shape, mentally commit yourself to putting items back where they belong when you’re done with them. This can be especially challenging if you have kids, but there are steps you can take to help them stay motivated (like offering small rewards if they keep their rooms clean).

Decluttering a home before a big move is a challenge, and it can even feel downright impossible. The key is to take it one step at a time, celebrate your progress, and listen to your agent’s advice when it comes to home preparations!

Are you ready to start the process of selling your home? Reach out today to get started!

08.24.20 | For Buyers

Your Quick Guide to Living in Milton

Milton has long been known as one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. Why are so many home buyers flocking here? It could have something to do with the picture-perfect mix of homes, or the area’s natural beauty. It could also be Milton’s ultra-convenient amenities, or its friendly sense of community. The truth is, there are so many reasons to move to this corner of the world—and every new resident has their own!

Learn why Milton just might be the perfect place for your family in our guide to the town…

Milton at a Glance

If you’re looking to put down roots in a quiet, family-friendly community, Milton might be the ideal fit. First off, there’s the quality of local education. There are some top-notch learning environments in this town, including Anne J MacArthur Public School and Guardian Angels Catholic School (both of which receive high rankings from the reputable Fraser Institute).

Along with fantastic local schools, Milton is home to impressive library branches, a fascinating museum, a well-attended farmers market, and a handful of must-attend events (like the Downtown Milton Street Festival). 

Town amenities

One of the best things about living in Milton is the convenient lifestyle it offers. Whether you’re looking to furnish a home office, buy some fashionable new duds, or simply stock up on supplies, the conveniences you need are just a short drive away.

In the downtown business district, you’ll find everything from ice cream shops to hair salons to jewellery stores. The Milton Mall, which boasts a variety of well-known retailers, is another popular option. At some point, you should also visit the outlets, which offer everything from high-end luxury to day-to-day essentials (you’ll find many of them along Steeles Avenue).

When it comes to dining out, you won’t be disappointed. Milton’s restaurants offer consistently tasty fare—and plenty of atmosphere. Standouts include Pasqualino’s (for from-scratch Italian dishes made with seasonal ingredients),, the Green Eatery (for flavourful vegan), and Luigi’s Lasagna and Pizzeria (when only comfort food will do!)

Outdoor spaces

Milton residents are blessed with easy access to some pretty incredible outdoor spaces. A fifteen-minute drive away, you’ll find Crawford Lake Conservation Area, home to 232 hectares of pristine forests and waterfront. Hilton Falls Conservation Area is about the same distance from town. This stunning jewel in Halton Region boasts attractive trails and magical waterfalls.

Other places to get up close and personal with nature include Kelso Conservation Area and Rattlesnake Point. If you’re looking to get outdoors but want to stay closer to home, visit one of the many green spaces here in Milton (such as McDougall, Livingston, or Coxe Boulevard Parks, among others).

Getting around

Quick access to the 401 and 407 allows Milton residents to travel with ease. Between the two of these highways, you can connect to the GTA, Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, London, Kitchener, and many other communities in this part of Ontario.

If you’re not a motorist, you’re still in luck. Whether you need to get around Halton Region or go further (to Toronto, Hamilton, or elsewhere), Go Transit can get you there. Head to the local station on Main Street East to catch a ride, and check out the map to see the many places served by this convenient commuter train line.

Milton real estate

If you decide to buy a home here, you’ll find plenty of options. From the historic houses of Old Milton to the shiny new-builds in Harrison, there are many well-appointed living spaces to choose from. If you’re looking for something at a lower price point (or you simply don’t need all the space that a single-family home has to offer), consider a local condo or townhouse.

Typically, single-family homes in Milton are above $700,000. It’s true that the average price is rising, and many beautiful local properties now hover around the $1 million mark. That said, your money will still go much further in Milton than it does in markets like Toronto or Vancouver—which is worth keeping in mind if your family could use some extra space to spread out. When you’re ready to find the right home, neighbourhood, and price, a knowledgeable local agent can help at every step.

Is it time to find your ideal home in Milton? Reach out learn more about the local market—and how we can help!

Home Buyer Mistakes

08.7.20 | For Buyers

5 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes To Avoid

There’s nothing quite like buying a home for the first time. It’s an almost indescribable excitement, joy, and pride that you’ll feel when you set foot in a place that’s truly your own. Of course, there are a few steps you’ll have to take before you can get there—and on the journey, there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. Fortunately, knowing what not to do can help ensure that the process is smooth and successful.

If you’re purchasing a home for the first time, here are five mistakes you should avoid…

1) Forgoing pre-approval

One of the biggest missteps many home buyers make is forgoing pre-approval. Taking this first step towards securing a mortgage is simple—and the benefits it can provide are well worth the effort.

During the process, a lender will look closely at your finances to determine how much they’ll likely offer you. While pre-approval isn’t an absolute guarantee that you’ll be fully approved, it is enough to show most sellers you’re a credible buyer who’s ready to make a home purchase!

2) Being unrealistic

You deserve to find your dream home. We’re talking about a place where you can imagine spending some of the happiest moments of your life. A living space like that should just feel right—but it won’t be absolutely perfect.

The truth is, flawless homes don’t exist. Unfortunately, some buyers don’t know that until it’s too late. They pass over beautiful properties capable of meeting their needs because they’re waiting for absolute perfection. Your best bet is to look for a place that checks all of your most important boxes, while giving you that “at home” feeling.

3) Overlooking serious flaws

Some features are easy to fall in love with, like an incredible layout or beautiful architectural details. While it makes sense to factor these “pros” into your purchase decision, it’s not a good idea to ignore any major issues a home might have because of them.

From mould growth to a shoddy foundation, some potential problems deserve your attention. No matter how much you adore a home, make sure you investigate any suspected red flags.

4) Not protecting yourself

Purchasing a home isn’t something you do every day, which is why most buyers don’t know what their due diligence should entail. In most circumstances, it will include a thorough inspection—and possibly the right set of conditions added to your purchase agreement.

In the simplest terms, a home-buying condition is a requirement that must be fulfilled for your purchase to be finalized. For example, a financing condition states that you don’t have to complete your transaction if your mortgage falls through. Your agent can help you take steps like this to reduce the potential risk associated with your purchase.

5) Underestimating costs

A home is the biggest investment most buyers will ever make. Given the price tag involved, it’s not surprising that many forget to factor in (comparatively) smaller expenses. The problem is, they have a way of adding up.

To pave the way for a smooth purchase, leave plenty of room in your budget for ongoing homeownership expenses. You should also make sure you understand the closing costs involved—such as legal fees and land transfer tax.

Buying a home for the first time may seem daunting, and it’s natural to worry about making mistakes. The good news is, an experienced agent can provide the guidance you need to make a smooth, low-stress, and all-around successful purchase.

Are ready to start the search for your first home? Reach out today to get started!

April GTA Real Estate

05.28.20 | For Buyers

April 2020 Market Statistics

Do you have questions about the GTA real estate market? Reach out to learn more about your local market—and how we can help!

How Much Would Your Home Sell For Today?

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04.15.20 | For Sellers

Real Estate sales during COVID-19

What’s happening in April so far?

As you can see from the chart, the sales have dropped off dramatically, this has happened in steps, with fewer and fewer sales as more closures were put into place due to COVID-19 and things changed.

Real Estate was deemed essential, so we are continuing to work remotely for our clients who need housing, but we are not business as usual. Many things have been put into place to embrace social distancing and remote home sales but only for those that really need to buy or sell.

We were in the middle of a very busy hot spring market when COVID hit. Now, it’s like a big pause has been put on buying and selling.

So far prices have not taken a big hit. Keep following us for regular updates.

Until then…

04.13.20 | For Buyers

Support your favourite local restaurant

Let’s eat together, Milton

During this period of uncertainty, we ask you to consider supporting our local restaurants.

Whether it’s ordering a meal or purchasing gift cards to be used at a later date, your help is truly appreciated.

We’ve put together a list of local restaurants, hours, and how to get food from them.

Eddieo’s Pourhouse & Kitchen

Take out & Delivery within a 5km radius
Thursday – Sunday: 12:00 -7:00 pm
289-878-7489

Casa Americo Italian Bistro & Restaurant

Curbside pickup & Delivery
(289) 878-4945

Rad Brothers Sports Bar & Taphouse

Pickup & Delivery
Friday – Saturday: 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Place orders by email: Theradbrothers@gmail.com
(905) 875-1119

Pasqualino

DOORDASH delivery & Curbside pickup
11.30am to 9.00pm
(905) 693-1992

Potabello’s Italian Bistro

CURB-SIDE PICKUP& DELIVERY
Tuesday – Sunday: 4:00pm-8:30pm
Monday: CLOSED
(905) 878-1933

Troy’s Diner

Pickup & Delivery
Online Delivery: Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats & Door Dash
Daily: 10:00 am – 7:00 PM
(905) 878-8783

Risposta Bistro

Curbside pickup & Delivery
(905) 854-1234

La Toscana Ristorante

Curbside pickup
(905) 693-8345

Ivy Arms

Pick-Up + Skip the Dishes Delivery
Monday – Wednesday: 12pm – 9pm
Thursday – Sunday: 11:30am – 10pm
(905) 876-4899

Ned Devine’s

Delivery and Pickup exclusively through SkipTheDishes.
Thursday – Sunday: 4:00 -9:00 pm

Bryden’s Pub

Curbside pickup
(905) 693-0113

St. Louis Bar & Grill

Pick-Up & Delivery
Monday – Saturday: 3:30pm – 9:30pm
Sunday: 3:30am – 8:30pm

Make Cafe & Catering

Delivery
Text to order 289-971-7006

Luigi’s Lasagna & Pizzeria

Pickup & Delivery
Skip the dishes & Uber Eats
(905) 864-9442

Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill

Pickup & Delivery
Skip the Dishes

(905) 864 9779

Wings Up

Pickup & Delivery
(905) 876-1414

Firehouse Sub

Takeout & Delivery
Delivery through SkipTheDishes, UberEats and DoorDash.
(905) 636-1434

Halifax Original Donair

Curbside Pick-Up
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
905-878-0406

Louie’s Diner

Takeout & Pickup
Monday – Saturday: 7:00am – 2:00pm
(905) 693-0404

Lone Star Texas Grill

Pickup & Delivery through SkipTheDishes
(289) 270-0919

The Grand Chalet

Curbside Pick-Up
Tuesday – Sunday: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
(905) 878-7934

The Bistro on Main

Pickup & Delivery
Wednesday – Sunday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM
(905) 693-0100

Main Street Italian Eatery

Takeout & Pickup
Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
(905) 878-2938

The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro

Online order for Pickup & Delivery with Skip the Dishes
Daily: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
(905) 875-0700

Lunch Box Cafe

Pickup & Delivery
Monday – Friday: 9:00AM – 2:00PM
Email orders to lunchboxcafe@clnh.on.ca

Door 3090 Catering and Events

Takeout & Pickup
Daily: 11:30 am – 7:30 pm
Email inquiries and orders to Info@Door3090Catering.com

La Rose Specialty Foods & Fine Italian Bakery

Curbside Pickup, Delivery & Uber Eats
Email orders to info@larosebakery.com
Daily: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Royal Garden Hakka Chinese & Thai Cuisine

Pickup & Delivery
(905) 636 0044

Paramount Fine Foods

Curbside Pickup & Delivery
(289) 851-8883

Koozina Mediterranean Cuisine

Pickup & Delivery
Online Delivery: Skip the Dishes & Uber Eats
(905) 693-6367

04.8.20 | For Buyers

What we are doing to keep our clients safe?

While real estate is deemed essential, it is not business as usual, we are taking extra measures to keep our clients and ourselves safe.

Our team is all working remotely. We are here to help our clients who need to buy, sell or rent during this difficult time in many different ways.

We offer virtual consultations, video meetings, matterport videos for our listings, HD videography and photography, digital floor plans, virtual showings, FaceTime showings and digital signatures.

Our top concern is our client’s needs and everyone’s safety at this time.

Feel free to reach out to our team if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help you at this time.

Stay safe and stay home.

03.16.20 | For Buyers

February 2020 Market Statistics

Interested In Discovering Your Home's Value?

We can help. Simply fill out the information below.

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01.29.20 | For Buyers

Buying Real Estate? Great! Before You Do…

There’s no denying that Canadians value the idea of buying real estate. In spite of all the housing policies and promises, bubble rumours, speculation and trepidation, 51 percent of Canadians are still planning to purchase a home in the next five years. This number is up from 36 percent at the same time last year.

Homeownership is a great way to build future wealth, but it’s not for everyone. Ultimately, buying a home is a very personal decision that depends on a number of factors, such as your financial fitness, your future plans and your overall comfort level. The good news is, professional real estate agents, mortgage brokers and real estate lawyers are there to advise you before you dive in.

To help get you thinking about whether homeownership is right for you, here are five important questions to ask yourself.

Can I afford to buy real estate?

Buying real estate involves up-front costs, which can include things like your deposit, downpayment, home inspection and appraisal fees, property insurance, Land Transfer Tax, title insurance, legal fees and moving expenses.

Then, there are your ongoing costs that include property tax, regular maintenance, condo fees and utilities. If you’re saving some money up-front by buying a fixer-upper, also factor in renovation costs.

Do I have too much debt?

When buying real estate, most people will take on a mortgage. Lenders evaluate your costs versus income to determine your qualification. Your Gross Debt Service ratio is your housing costs (mortgage principal and interest + property taxes + heat) divided by your pre-tax income. The result should be 32 percent or less.

Then, lenders look at your Total Debt Service ratio: all debt (GDS + car payments + alimony + other loans) divided by your pre-tax income. This should be less than 40 percent.

Click HERE to calculate your GDS and TDS.

Am I secure in my job?

Think about this honestly. Is business bustling? Is the industry on an upward or downward trend? Are you comfortable with the financial commitment of homeownership?

Speak to your supervisor to get some additional insight. Mortgage lenders like to see stable employment, and you’ll need to provide proof of income in the form of an employment letter or current pay stub, your position and length of employment, and if you’re self-employed, Notices of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for the past two years.

Click HERE to find out what else mortgage lenders look for.

Am I sticking around?

Buying real estate has historically proven to be a good long-term investment. Ask your parents how much they paid for their home 30 years ago, and compare that to the home’s value today. On the other hand, a quick sale can mean financial losses if the home’s appreciation doesn’t surpass closing costs, which are estimated at 1.5 to five percent of a home’s value.

Typically, the magic number to stay in the home before putting it back on the market is five years – hence the five-year plan.

Do I even want to own a home?

People buy homes for a slew of different reasons. Homeownership is a method of forced savings for retirement and future generations, while also fulfilling the basic need of providing you shelter. It’s also a great source of pride for many.

It’s a place to live, but also the lifestyle that comes with it. What does “liveability” mean to you? Picture yourself in five years. Do you plan to relocate at some point? Where will you work? What’s your family structure? Then, consider how homeownership fits into that vision.

11.13.19 | For Buyers

Ontario Government Strengthens Trust in Real Estate Services

The Ontario government is updating the province’s real estate rules for the first time in nearly 20 years in a move it says improves consumer protection and gives the real estate industry regulator more latitude to immediately sanction or fine agents and brokers who violate the profession’s ethics and regulations

The 2002 Real Estate Business Brokers Act (REBBA) is being renamed The Trust in Real Estate Services Act. The bill will provide homebuyers and sellers with more information and more choices.

Between January and March 2019, almost 7,000 consumers and real estate professionals responded to an online government survey and consultation paper about potential changes to the act. The Trust in Real Estate Services Act, if passed by the legislature would address the need for a stronger and more ethical business environment, to protect consumers when making their biggest purchase.

“The real estate market in Ontario, and quite frankly across Canada, has seen enormous changes since the act was first passed 20 years ago,” she said. “Economically real estate is booming. Between 2005 and 2015, the total value of all residential properties more than doubled in Ontario.”

“This will make Ontario a leader again when it comes to having faith in your real estate professional,” said Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

Under the revamped legislation, home sellers would have the option of disclosing competing offers in a multiple buyer situation.

The current rules require selling agents to tell all potential purchasers how many offers have been submitted for a property but they cannot disclose the monetary or other conditions of those offers.

The government is also changing the language around transactions where the buyer and seller is represented by the same brokerage — a practice commonly called double-ending.

The word “customer” will be eliminated from the forms and language used in those transactions. A consumer will either be a client to whom a fiduciary duty is owed or they are self-represented.

The idea is to make it clear that while the same brokerage can provide information to both parties of that transaction, it can really only represent and work in the best interest of either the buyer or the seller.

RECO will also be able to immediately levy administrative fines to agents and brokers for relatively minor infractions such as breaking advertising rules or failing to provide a monthly reconciliation of accounts held in trust by the brokerage. Its ability to issue fines or order education for rule-breaking agents and brokers will be expanded and streamlined to allow RECO to sanction those violators more quickly.

“That’s a big thing for us. Today if we want to revoke somebody (take away their registration) we usually go to provincial offences court and then we would use that to get the charges for bad conduct and then we go to licence appeal tribunal,” he said.

Brokers will still be able to appeal but it will be a single-step process through the provincial Licence Appeal Tribunal.

Giving RECO the power to act quickly to revoke the licenses of realtors “for more egregious violations of the code of ethics — taking advantage of consumers,” will result in higher professional standards, Hudak said.

The association that represents 86,000 agents, brokers and brokerages says the modernized real estate legislation will allow agents to incorporate so that they can defer some of their income and better ride out the highs and lows in the business cycle.