Friday, 29 May 2015

What to Expect From Your REALTOR?

Buying home

The REALTOR Commitment

You’re trusting a REALTOR® with your most valuable possession, your home. REALTORS® take this responsibility very seriously. Here’s what we promise you.

Your REALTOR® is highly trained.

REALTOR® training is so rigorous that candidates often fail the pre-registration courses. Those who do pass must master a long, diverse list of subjects ranging from housing construction to family law.

Your REALTOR® is continuously trained.

We keep pace with the times. All Licensed REALTORS® must take continuing education courses to make sure their knowledge on subjects like legal issues and technology are up to date.

Your REALTOR® does everything by the book.

A licensed REALTOR® must be registered under provincial laws that govern exactly how real estate can and cannot be traded. These regulations are your legal guarantee of professional behavior.

Your REALTOR® is an ethical businessperson.

REALTORS® must adhere to the extensive Code of Ethics of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Several provinces have additional Codes of Ethics governing the behavior of real estate professionals. Your interests must always be put first.

Your dealings with a REALTOR® are insured.

For your peace of mind, provincial regulators sponsor consumer protection programs that may require, for instance, that REALTORS® maintain Errors and Omissions Insurance. Often deposits consumers make in real estate transactions are also insured under these programs.

Opportunity for recourse.

Should you have concerns about the professional behavior of a REALTOR®, provincial regulators and your local real estate board or association take these matters very seriously and work quickly to resolve any issues.

Your REALTOR ® has access to the real estate board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

The MLS system is the single most powerful tool for buying and selling a home. It is a complex information-sharing and cooperative marketing network created by REALTORS® to help consumers buy and sell homes.

Selling home

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What to Expect From Your REALTOR

REALTORS® help you get the most for your home and they remove stress and confusion from the process. Here are just some of the advantages.

Your REALTOR® Explains the Process

A REALTOR® will not take it for granted that you know all the ins and outs of the buying process. Instead, he or she will provide you with a detailed explanation of what to expect so you are fully informed throughout this complex decision-making process.

REALTORS® Assess Your Needs

One of the first questions a REALTOR® will ask is, ‘Why are you moving?’ A REALTOR® will also explore any time constraints you might have (perhaps imposed by the need to relocate for employment), your financial situation and any future plans.  They need a detailed picture of your wants and needs in order to serve you better.

A Plan to Find Your Dream Home

A REALTOR® will help you recognize what you’re looking for in a new home. An outdoor pool? A double-car garage? A fenced-in yard? A particular building design? What about the neighbourhood? Proximity to schools or work? A REALTOR® will compare your needs, wants and budget with what is available on the market and make recommendations that save your time and effort.Your Agent will also accompany you to view houses and help you assess their suitability and price. As an expert on a property, a REALTOR® can provide facts on the neighborhood, the cost of utilities, the condition of the home’s features, and so on. In other words, he or she will work with you to achieve your dream.

Access to Properties for Sale

Multiple Listing Service® or MLS® is an exclusive service accessible only through a REALTOR® and it can be a valuable home-searching tool. Through MLS®, the details of a wide variety of listed properties are made available to the REALTOR® you work with. That can save you a tremendous amount of time and effort in your pursuit for the right home.

REALTORS® are Skilled Negotiators

REALTORS® are experienced in arranging fair deals. Your Agent will assist in negotiating an offer, acting as a mediator to resolve potential conflicts between you and the seller, and draw up a legally binding agreement.

Honesty and Integrity

Most real estate professionals in Ontario are members of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and only members of OREA can call themselves REALTORS®. When you work with a REALTOR®, you can expect not only strict adherence to provincial laws, but also adherence to a Code of Ethics. And that code is very important to you because it assures you will receive the highest level of service, honesty and integrity.

Legal know-how? They know how.

A mishandled document can ruin a sale, or lead to legal action. Your REALTOR® has the experience to recognize potential problems early and the resources to help you find solutions and get the process back on track quickly.

Negotiation Skills – To keep the deal on track.

REALTORS® are indispensable when it comes to bargaining with sellers. Tempers can flare and heels can dig on. Your REALTOR® is an expert at smoothing things out.
Source:  OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association)

Saturday, 23 May 2015

How to maintain your concrete paver driveway


(NC) An interlock driveway or walkway can add distinct curb appeal and elegance to an otherwise dull outside of your home. This is typically the first element that anyone sees when visiting or passing by your house; therefore, it's important to maintain and keep it in top condition.
If there is a valid argument against selecting properly installed interlocking concrete pavers, it is that the jointing sand used to stabilize the pavers creates ongoing and frustrating maintenance issues. It erodes with the onset of wind and rain. It is fertile ground for airborne weed seeds and an inviting home for nearby ant colonies.
This is especially true with the popular high-end, tumbled pavers with irregular edges and rounded corners.
Larger spaces between pavers mean a greater chance that sand will wash away. However, there are several simple solutions that maintain your interlock pavers and allow hardscape projects to withstand the test of time.
Invented by Techniseal polymeric jointing sand is a high-tech mix of graded sand and binder. Activated by water at installation, the polymer molecules form a strong yet flexible bond with the sand. Polymeric sand prevents erosion caused by sweeping, wind, rain, and even pressure washing. It also inhibits weed growth and resists insect infestation; leaving pavers clean at all times.
Representing, on average, less than four percent of the overall cost of a paver installation, polymeric jointing sand is an effective solution when it comes to erosion control, weed inhibition, insect resistance and overall surface response to movement.
For homeowners looking to do their own DIY maintenance updates, installation is easy. Just sweep the polymeric sand into the empty joints like regular sand, compact it and wet it. This results in years of enjoyment of your new or existing pavers without the hassle of spraying weeds, re-sweeping sand or cleaning it up where you wish it wasn't.
Effective maintenance also means no cracking or heaving in the spring. Available in both tan and grey, polymeric sand can even enhance the aesthetic appeal of your paver projects.
With a quality polymeric sand, you can expect zero maintenance on your pavers as well as peaceful and relaxing summer days for several years. More information on paver joint maintenance is available at

Wednesday, 20 May 2015



When I bought this property along Richmond Street
West, just east of Bathurst, I immediately had an
idea for a building. I didn't want to do an all glass
contemporary structure, instead I envisioned a
more historic themed building that could have
been comfortable here 100 years ago. I’ve added a
contemporary edge to the building to make it look
appropriate for 2014 and beyond. For inspiration,
I looked to the Meat Packing District of Manhattan
where a good number of older buildings are left to
tell the historic record.
I am calling it The Harlowe, I think it’s the most
beautiful name and it suits something that cares
about the past but wants to be of today.
- Brad J. Lamb
The Harlowe represents something
truly rare in housing today; timeless
beauty with a sense of crafted quality.
It’s obvious that The Harlowe has a
true understanding of history because
she reflects it in her style. While she
is heavily influenced by a time gone
by, she is thoroughly modern. Coming
home to The Harlowe means walking
past the elegant terrace bistro shaded
by her massive suspended awning.
Her lobby is steeped in craftsmanship,
strength, and history reflected in red
brick, blackened metals and woods. A
fireplace warms her lobby and provides
your guests a feeling of welcome. Each
apartment has been lovingly designed
with you in mind, all of your concerns
are taken care of. The Harlowe is large
enough to make her mark, yet perfectly
intimate to allow you to feel part of
something very special.
Just 220 fortunate people will know
The Harlowe and call her home. She is
just minutes to both the high streets of
King West and Queen West, where your
every single desire can be fulfilled.


THE HARLOWE has a walk Score of 99/100 and Transit score of 100/100.The location is walker's paradise which means daily errands don't require a car.

Building Features:

Executive Concierge, Outdoor Lounge,Area Complete With Fireplaces and BBQ,Outdoor Dining Area,Party Room With Magnificent Lounge Area

Deposit Structure:

$5,000 on signing
Balance of 5% in 30 days
5% in 120 days
5% in 210 days
Zero on Occupancy

Occupancy commencing: October 2017

Parking:$40,900 (Available for suites 637 sqft and larger

Locker: $4,000

Maintenance: Approximately $0.55 per Sq ft

Hydro Metered Separately, Water Included

Taxes:Estimated at approximately 1% of purchase price

Price includes HST




Call me: 647-760-7061 OR to book an appointment.


Friday, 15 May 2015

Poll: Canadians spending $$$ on renovating over moving



Are you planning on moving into your dream home, or spending money to renovate your current home? Survey says: renovate! A CIBC poll released this month indicates Canadian homeowners will spend an average of $17,000 this year on home renovations. One Toronto resident tells us why she’s one of the renovators like the many surveyed for the poll.

Highlights of the Poll

  • While projected budgets are down, the number of homeowners planning to renovate has remained high at 42 per cent this year in line with 40 per cent last year;
  • $17,142 is the average amount that Canadian homeowners plan to spend this year;
  • Basic home maintenance (64 per cent) such as paintingflooringgeneral repairs and replacing appliances is the top planned renovation, followed by outdoor landscaping (32 per cent), upgrading bathrooms (29 per cent) and kitchens (28 per cent).
The percentage of Canadians who say they plan to invest in renovations in their home in the next 12 months:
The amount Canadian homeowners plan to spend on renovations by dollar range:
Nothing4%  –
$1 to $4,99919%14%
$5,000 to $9,99923%20%
$10,000 to $14,99916%15%
$15,000 to $24,99914%18%
$25,000 or more16%18%
Budgeting is one of the most important aspects of a home renovation. Here’s what Scott McGillivray, host of HGTV’s Income Property show, has to say:

Why renovate in the first place?

McGillivray says many homeowners are choosing to renovate rather than buying a new home in an effort to get the home they want.
“I find that more and more people right across Canada are looking for creative solutions to add more space so that they don’t have to move,” he says.
Not only that, but with housing prices consistently on the rise, renovating seems like a more affordable choice.
Kulbinder Saran Caldwell, a columnist and life coach in the city of Toronto, reached out to us to share her story on why she plans to renovate her home instead of move.
Caldwell and her family live at Davenport Road and Christie Street. Although they love the house they live in, she and her husband thought about purchasing a detached home. High prices are preventing that, she says.
“The detached is definitely $1 million right now,” she says of the real estate market. “A semi-detached is $700,000.”
Caldwell recalls a conversation she had with a friend about the price of homes and was under the impression that $700,000 was steep for a semi-detached. (Side note: I would think the same!).
“She said it’s going to probably sell for $900,000 and it did,” says Caldwell. “It’s just wild.”
The idea of moving came to mind this spring season when Caldwell’s husband pulled his motorcycle out of storage for riding season. Since the couple doesn’t have a driveway, he has to park it on Davenport Rd.
“His motorcycle has been hit over and over again,” she says. “We really would love some place that had a garage, but now that we realize we can’t pay the million dollars, we’re thinking about renovations in the house.”
The first item on the list: the bathroom. While the family that lived in the home prior to them did a lot of renovations, one of the rooms that was neglected was the bathroom. “During our cold winters, the pipes froze. When I would flush the toilet, water would come out of the sink. It was just really bad for practical purposes!”
Caldwell says they’d like to add more insulation in the bathroom and upgrade the floors to heated flooring. “I think that would make a big impact for us.”
While it’s a three-bedroom home, Caldwell says one of the bedrooms was converted into a walk-in-closet and office space. “We would like to turn it back into a third bedroom in some form of a practical guest room,” she says, adding there is a guest bedroom in the basement, but it’s not equipped with a functional bathroom.
The home renovations don’t stop there. Caldwell’s property backs onto a ravine and she’d like to build a space for entertainingoutdoors.
If you’re among the same school of thought as Caldwell (renovating over moving), check out our directory of home service professionals! We have dozens of professionals in the following home improvement categories:

What are homeowners planning to renovate?

  1. Bathrooms: Modernizing a bathroom – adding new fixtures, a low-flow toilet, space-saving cabinets, new tile or adding a master bedroom ensuite can all add value, often at a reasonable cost.
  2. Kitchens: Upgrading cabinetry, countertops or appliances, or enlarging a small or poorly laid out kitchen can add a premium to a home’s value.
  3. Finished basements: A finished basement can add space in your home by one-third.
  4. Flooring: Ripping out old carpets or refinishing a hardwood floor can be a selling point.
Here’s an overview of the top planned home renovations Canadian homeowners plan to undertake:
Basic home maintenance (painting, flooring, general repairs, replacing appliances)64%
Landscaping (including outdoor deck)32%
Bathroom renovations29%
Kitchen renovations28%
Replacing windows or doors20%
Home repairs due to weather damage this past year13%

Renovating & Home Value

The added benefit of what Caldwell and her husband are doing is by spending money upgrading and improving their home, they’ll add value to the property. And it looks like they’re doing the right renovations that are sure to increase value, according to McGillivray. Here’s his take on the right renovations for an adequate return on investment:
It’s important to carefully consider which renovations will add and hurt home value.
  • Swimming pools;
  • Skylights.
While these might add the “wow factor” to your home, they won’t drive up the selling price as a new kitchen or bathroom would, says McGillivray.
“You don’t want to build a $150,000 custom kitchen in a $200,000 home. You have to be realistic about your needs, and where money is best spent.”
Are you ready to renovate your home? We have an extensive directory of home service professionals, including general contractorselectricianskitchen and bathroom renovation specialists. Scroll through customer reviews and image galleries. Get inspired and hire the right professional for your renovation!
If you are thinking of selling your home in Greater Toronto Areacall me for free home evaluation!

Product Feature: Your ultimate guide to marble


Think marble is only for the kitchen, the bathroom, or the outrageously wealthy? Think again! For modern marble, there are few if any rules about how to use it. Follow my tips for how to work with this sought-after material and get a rock-solid look for your next renovation.

On a budget? Use it in small quantities

Marble can be one of the most budget-busting materials, but the unique, luxe appeal can really enrich a room, or even a whole home. To satisfy your craving for marble on a budget, consider using it for a bathroom vanity top or backsplash (especially in a powder room), where the amount of material needed will be relatively low compared to a full kitchen counter.
Tip: Alternately, consider applying a marble backsplash to just a small area:
  • The space between the range and rangehood;
  • A single wall;
  • Short backsplash a few inches tall.
Then, use sleek white subway tiles for the remaining walls, and the precious stone will be the star of the show.
Let the tile experts show you what you can do with the many colour options available!

Water Under the Bridge

Although most marble tile is naturally porous, and must be properly sealed (more on that in a minute), you can safely use it in wet areas when prepared correctly. The larger concern for most natural stones is the tendency to absorb oil-based stains, so avoid storing oily products directly on the marble. In the shower, this where a niche lined in a contrast tile saves the day.

Warning: clean up spills on marble quickly!

But don’t overreact by using household cleaners. Mild soap and water will typically do the trick.
For accidental oil stains, mix the following together:
  • Water
  • Gentle stone cleanser
  • Flour
Keep your marble sparkling clean with these useful tips. It’s only 5 minutes and even explains exactly what you need!

Sealing the Deal

Most forms of stone require a sealant to prevent moisture from creeping in, and this is typically applied by the installer. Always check with your stone supplier for their installation and maintenance recommendations, and ask to keep some of the sealing product: reapplying a few times after installation will often make sure it’s thoroughly absorbed (following supplied directions). The tile contractors you work with can help you out with this!

Are you getting the whole picture?

Sealant can affect the exact look of a stone, often making the final look a touch darker and richer – in a positive way. Make sure the samples you review when choosing a material are already sealed, so you have a more accurate picture of the final effect—or in a pinch, simulate a sealed look by getting the tiles wet.

Seamless Beauty

If you are ready to embrace wall-to-wall marble, over-sized tiles is the best way to achieve a seamless, haute couture look. Offset the tiles in a simple brick layout (with a 1/2 to 1/3 offset) and the stone surface will appear to blend into one singular and powerful statement.
The finishing touch: I always recommend choosing a less expensive—but authentic—stone, or tiling only a few walls of a bathroom, over accepting a faux stone finish. Simply fill empty walls with a slab-mirror and clean paint, and the beauty of a true stone tile will elevate the look of your space.

Get Busy

On the opposite end of the size spectrum, a marble mosaic creates a unique look by breaking up the graining for a more dynamic effect. Pale marble varieties like calacatta with soft grey veining will look richer this way without getting too busy, perfect for an elegant bathroom floor or feminine backsplash.
Tip: As Danielle from Sarana Tile points out, “If you have a small space, you may not be able to see the whole pattern” with large tile formats. This is why simpler mosaics like a chic hexagon or classic herringbone work well for tight bathroom floors and short backsplashes, with an easy elegance that works every time.
Final Quick Tips
  1. Sealed marble can be kitchen safe, but for a budget friendly look use it in a compact powder room for a big effect.
  2. Clean marble gently using water and soap, and absorb oil stains rather than bleaching.
  3. Your marble should be sealed thoroughly—including when looking at samples.
  4. Large tiles with matching grout create a seamless look for the ultimate luxe statement.
  5. Marble mosaic doubles the grain effect and fits a compact surface perfectly.
Ready to get renovating? Take a look at our list of tile contractors. Scroll through image galleries and start imagining marble in your home. It doesn’t have to be a big project; a touch of marble can transform any room!
About the Author: Yanic Simard is principal designer at Toronto Interior Design Group and TV design expert on Cityline.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Prevent pests with effective S.P.R.I.N.G cleaning tips

(NC) Before rushing outdoors to break cabin fever after this historically cold winter, don't go too far. Experts tell us that a little spring cleaning can go a long way when it comes to pest control.
“With this year's bitter winter, it's possible that more pests than normal will be in search of the shelter, food and water homes offer,” says Alice Sinia, PhD, a resident entomologist for leading pest control company, Orkin Canada. “As temperatures rise, pests become more active, so homeowners should take the necessary steps while cleaning to help protect their homes against possible infestations.”
Spring is the perfect time for pests to exit their hiding spots and become more visible. To prepare for this says Sinia, establish an integrated pest management (IPM) approach toward pest control. IPM incorporates proactive techniques such as exclusion, sanitation and home maintenance to help keep pests out of your home.
The following tips – motivated by SPRING – will help to keep your home pest-free:
Screen and Seal: Inspect for potential entry points. Structural deterioration may have occurred during the harsh winter conditions so those spots may have to be screened or sealed. Install or repair window screens and seal any cracks and crevices with steel mesh and caulking to prevent easy access to the inside.
• Property Clean-up: Dense landscaping can provide cover and harbourage points for pests. Clean out gutters and trim vegetation near the home to eliminate hiding places and identify any access points.
• Relationship: Build a relationship with a pest management provider (unlike pests, they won't bite says Sinia). A reliable provider is a good partner in pest management and will take the time to create a customized IPM program for your home.
• Inspection: As temperatures increase above 15 degrees Celsius, inspect your home for spring pests such as spiders, ants, centipedes and cockroaches. If you have any sightings of these pests, you could have a larger infestation. Immediately contact your pest management provider.
• Nix clutter: Nix the clutter that has built up over the winter months. Old cardboard boxes, containers and unused equipment piled up in basements and garages can create harbourage for pests. Consider replacing all cardboard boxes with plastic storage bins. Pay attention to clothes piled in closets and storage rooms as these areas are a common hiding spot.
• Go Green: By taking preventative measures to manage pest risks, you reduce not only pest pressures, but also the potential for treatments in and around your home. Simple spring cleaning chores like dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning out closets can help reduce pests in and around your home.
Your local pest management provider can help you get started on a customized program.

Tips for ensuring your homes safety

(NC) Homeowners have a lot to consider when thinking about their homes safety. Electrical safety is an important aspect of homes structure that homeowners need to keep top of mind. May is Electrical Safety Month and Hydro One wants to encourage homeowners to make electrical safety inside their homes part of their routine home checklist.
Just because electrical wires are not exposed in your home doesn't mean electrical safety should be forgotten. Here is a list of things to check off your list this spring:
• Keep electrical cords away from heat and water as they can both damage the insulation and create a shock hazard.
• When you're changing a light bulb, be sure to turn off the switch or circuit.
• Put safety caps on any unused electrical outlets, especially if there are young children in the house.
• Inspect cords and plugs. Make this part of your routine prior to using a tool or an appliance. Replace electrical cords that have cut, broken or cracked insulation and remember to pull the plug, not the cord to extend the life of the cord itself.
• Avoid octopus outlets! Clusters of wires and plugs can be a fire hazard along with using extension cords as permanent wiring. These products were never meant to be used that way so consider up-dating the wiring in your home.
• If you're in the market for a new home this spring, an electrical inspection should be high on your list prior to signing on the dotted line. Not only do you want to ensure that the home is safe but you also want to know upfront if up-dates to the home's wiring are required to bring it up to code.
Customers can get more information on the programs mentioned above along with additional energy savings tips by visiting


Saturday, 9 May 2015

City of Toronto Interactive Zoning By-law Map

City of Toronto Interactive Zoning By-law Map

The City of Toronto enacted a new zoning by-law in May 2013. Fortunately, there are many great tools available on the City’s website ( to help you find the zoning of an area or of a specific address. There are links to help you understand how the City Planners measure grade, the height of buildings, roof height, setback, lot coverage, and the floor space index. The main page also has links for Frequently Asked Questions and for contacting the City’s Planning Department. If you want to read or download the Zoning By-law, you may do so by clicking on the PDF link in the centre of the page.

In this five minute tutorial you will learn how to access the City of Toronto’s interactive Zoning By-law Map, search for a property, understand the zoning label associated with that area of the city, and search for specific information in the By-law.

Watch this video to get valuable information regarding Zoning.

Yes, even resale homes can come with a warranty

(NC) Are you looking to buy – or have you just bought – a resale house or condominium unit that is less than seven years old? If so, there...