Tips on choosing art for your home

You’ve purchased a new home or condo, have moved in and now it’s time to decorate! It’s an exciting time and there is a lot to consider when choosing art for your space.

1)    Art can be appreciated in many forms including paintings, prints, posters, photography, sculptures, tapestries, maps and your children’s artwork.

2)    Consider your budget. Do you want to invest in a valuable original art piece that may continue to appreciate in value over time? Or, would you be satisfied with a print of a masterpiece or a vintage poster of a favourite film? Remember, framing can be pricey!

3)    Visit some galleries to discover the style of art you enjoy. The key is to choose what you love, what moves you, inspires you and brings you enjoyment when you gaze at the piece.

4)    Choose a piece that sets the mood for each room. You may want a playful abstract for a child’s room or a beautiful landscape oil painting for over a fireplace in the living room.

5)    Be a little daring. If you’ve chosen neutral colours for your walls and floors go bold on your walls and express yourself with colours, content and different textures.

6)    Try to meet the artist to learn about them, their style and techniques and what motivated their creation that you may be considering. I believe knowing at little bit about the artist brings more meaning to each chosen piece.

7)    A great place to meet artists in Toronto is at the Artist Project which is taking place April 13th-16th at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place.

I’ve curated a little bit of everything in my home from vintage movie posters to whimsical oils and prints to abstract art to original landscape oils. Bottom line - choose art that brings joy.


Open House Etiquette

We host open houses to promote our listings to as many potential buyers as possible. It’s also an opportunity for some who are thinking about selling their home to meet and “interview" us to see how we market our listings to their fullest potential, and learn about our services.

Open houses are generally conducted on Saturdays and/or Sundays from 2-4 p.m. However, depending on the circumstances, we also may host weekday evening events from 5-7 p.m.

Each and every one of our open houses are conducted in a friendly and professional manner. However, it’s important to note that we do run a tight ship and we do keep a close eye on visitors. To this point, we follow the advice provided by Joe Richer, Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He advises that it’s prudent to keep a log of all visitors who attend an open house. Most sellers feel more comfortable when they know who the strangers are that visited their home and that those with questionable motives are discouraged from entering.  With this protocol in place, we typically ask all visitors to show photo identification and complete a registration form which adds a level of security and comfort to the seller. We always explain why we are asking for identification and visitors can opt in or out (when signing the registration form) of receiving real estate information from us.

Some visitors refuse to provide photo identification. That is their right; however, it is also the seller’s right (via their salesperson) to refuse entry of anyone into their home who does not provide valid identification. We never like to turn anyone away and hope that all open house guests understand that we would do exactly the same thing if we hosted an open house to promote the sale of their home! Security and safety matters!

Interesting fact… I attended high school with a gal who was most unlikely to commit a crime. In 2006, and again in 2010, she and her husband were arrested and charged with theft. When police visited their GTA home they discovered over $500,000 in stolen goods, including items stolen from open houses! If you want to read the full story, let us know and we’ll send it to you.

As a rule of thumb, we generally allow two parties at a time into a home. This allows Dave and I to give our visitors our full attention. Therefore, visitors may encounter a sign at the door asking for your patience while we attend to other guests. We love to meet the neighbours (who may be just curious about home values), passers-by, potential buyers who have agents, and potential buyers who prefer to shop around by themselves.

Some kindly Do’s when you attend an open house.

*  please remove shoes

*  please provide photo ID for safety and security of the seller and the listing agent

*  please respect any requested Covid-19 protocols

*  please be prepared to be “softly” guided through the home

*  please be respectful to other guests

*  please ask us about the home and neighbourhood - we know the house and the hood!

Some kindly Don’ts

*  please comply with our (homeowner’s) house rules

*  please don’t take photos or videos without asking permission

*  please, keep your children with you, and don’t let them jump on beds or play with anything

*  please leave your pets at home


Essential Analytics - March 2023

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board has recently published its market report for March 2023. Let's take a closer look at some of the key metrics and our expert takeaways you need to know about:


How Does Mortgage Fraud Happen?

The scheme typically involves a number of shady individuals who scour public records for properties that do not have a mortgage registered and may be listed for rent. Imposters, using stolen identification, pose as tenants in order to rent the home. From there, other imposters use the stolen identities of the homeowners to either mortgage the home or sell it.

If a home is sold, it is sold quickly and, according to CBC investigations, the money received from the sale is moved through fraudulent bank accounts and then out of the country in the form of cryptocurrency or gold bullion. The same is true for fraudulent mortgage money.

Imagine receiving a monthly mortgage statement in the mail for a home for which you had no mortgage, or learning that your home has been sold without your knowledge! Victims of title fraud lose the right to mortgage their own home or sell the home until they re-establish their title rights through the courts, which can be a lengthy and costly process.

“Title” is known as legal ownership of a property. Title insurance can help protect homeowners from fraudulent claims on their property and typically covers legal fees that would be required to restore the true homeowner’s legal title. Title insurance also protects buyers who unwittingly purchase a home that has been fraudulently sold to them. In this scenario, although the buyers would not be entitled to the property, they should get their money back.

As Realtors® it boggles our minds how these criminal schemes happen. It is certainly brazen. 

On a personal note, my daughter narrowly escaped a fraud scheme when she found a flat to lease in London, UK. An imposter, posing as the owner of the Air BnB flat, attempted to lease it using forged identification, utility bills and passports! The forged documents looked real except for one minor flaw that was noticed by my daughter’s UK boyfriend and was reported to authorities. This can be a very quick and lucrative scheme as the fraudsters bank first and last month’s rent from the unsuspecting tenant, leave the Air BNB and move on to their next target. The owner of the Air BNB and the duped tenant know nothing of the scheme until the tenant shows up to occupy the unit which is unavailable for rent. The tenant is out of pocket for quite a sum of money, may have insufficient cash to cover the deposit on a replacement rental, and could have nowhere to live.

We are not experts on any of the above, and can only advise our BLOG readers to be vigilant in protecting their identities; to talk to their real estate lawyers about title insurance and be cautious as landlords or as tenants.

Please feel free to reach out to us any time if you think that we can assist you in any way with your real estate goals.


Top Paint Color Trends for 2023

It’s a new year and you may be thinking of a renovation or a refresh of your home. If you are considering selling and want to create an updated look without huge costs, a trending paint colour is a quick and simple option.

The right colour can make a big difference in your space. Tried-and-true white is still trending - I personally love Sherwin Williams “Origami White” and, preferring a monochromatic look, chose it for both my kitchen and walls in my condo. Soft greys are still trending - usually a safe choice and there are bolder colours trending in the top paint colours of 2023 such as Benjamin Moore’s “Raspberry Blush” or Sherwin William’s “Redend Point”. Would you go bold?

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

I have to admit, if I discover a bold coloured wall in a client’s home we are about to list for sale, I ponder, “should it be painted more neutral?” However, recently we listed a home with burnt orange coloured walls that gave the room a rustic, New Mexico look - cactus and all - and it worked to set the mood of the room and is right on trend this year with earthy, more natural tones.

Let us know which colours you would choose. We are interested in discovering what home owners are choosing to do with your space - are you a follower of trends or do you boldly roll with your own inspirations. It  must be difficult for some to buck the trends when every designer and real estate agent tells you to “paint in neutral tones” to appeal to the masses.

Viva la Paint - it can be transformative and defines the spaces we live in - the choice is yours!

If you don’t wish to tackle painting yourself, we’d be happy to provide references for trusted professionals.

Please reach out to us for more information or assistance.


Our Top Reasons To Live In Mississauga.

1)      Mississauga is rich in cultural diversity offering a wide range of neighbourhoods for all walks of life. No matter what stage of life you may be in, there’s something for everyone. You may chose to live by the water in trendy Port Credit or in upscale Lorne Park or near the bustling City Centre in a high rise condo like the iconic “Marilyns”.

2)      Location, Location, Location. Mississauga is home to Canada’s largest international airport, University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Living Arts Centre and recreational parks such as the Riverwood Conservancy and Erindale Park.

3)      Home buyers in Mississauga enjoy the benefit of paying only the Provincial Land Transfer Tax without the addition expense of the matching Toronto Land Transfer Tax that is levied on those who choose to buy a home in Toronto.

4)      Mississauga’s close proximity to Toronto is a bonus for those who commute to downtown for work, to see the Maple Leafs,  the Raptors or the Argos compete, or attend major concerts in the big city.

5)      Square One Mall, in the City Centre, is a shopping mecca with anchor stores such a Hudson Bay, Walmart and Holt Renfrew; restaurants including two of our favs - MADO, a Turkish cafe (try the Turkish delight) and Reds Square One (try the cookies and the tarts); movie theatres, hair salons and more.

Mississauga is a great place to live with vibrant communities offering a wide selection of housing, shopping and schools.

Call us today to tour our new exclusive Mississauga listing at 3208 Cedartree Crescent! 

3208 Cedartree Crescent is nestled within the family friendly neighbourhood of Applewood Hills. Enjoy the 6 kilometre trail maintained year round or take the kids to the playground - both right behind the house. The home is also close (walking distance) to shopping at Creekside Crossing (Walmart, Costco), Mobilia, LA fitness, schools and a quick drive to premium malls (Square One, Sherway Gardens), Go Station, golf and international airport.

Book your tour and come see this renovated home boasting stunning views of landscaped grounds, pool and parkland.

Call 416-985-1486 (Nancy) or 416-894-4079 (Dave).


Summer Dreaming

Now that we are in the midst of winter do you find yourself dreaming of summer? Are you considering purchasing a cottage or waterfront home? What do you like most? A secluded wooded lot? A sandy beach or a rocky shoreline like we see in the Muskokas?

We are fortunate to live in the GTA, where potential buyers have a variety of properties to choose from. The longest fresh water beach in the world lies just 1.5 hours north of Toronto boasting mostly sandy, shallow shores. The Muskokas, with stunning vistas within the Canadian Shield, are just 2.5 hours north of the city. Collingwood, just 1.5 hours north of Toronto is close to both water and the Blue Mountain ski hills.

The possibilities are endless and, waterfront, for many reasons, is a good investment. The benefits include improved air quality, gorgeous natural scenery, a more laid back life-style filled with serenity and improved mental and physical health aided by waterfront activities. We, personally, have enjoyed waterfront living for over 20 years and, speaking from our realtor’s perspective, we’ve seen the values of surrounding beachfront rise significantly over those years. 

Your initial considerations in looking for a recreational property may be your budget, how far how you want to drive to your vacation property and the type of property your prefer. We can help you figure out the rest.

There are many other things to consider. Places like Wasaga Beach and Collingwood offer city amenities such as city sewers and water, bike and ski trails, shops and services. The further up the Georgian Bay coastline towards Tiny Township and further up Highways 400 and 11 to the Muskokas, the properties tend to have wells and septic systems and you may have to drive for groceries.

No matter what your preferences are, this winter may be a good time to purchase waterfront property. Historically, sales tend to be slower in winter with fewer active buyers and less competition. We may see an even slower sales trend this year due to higher interest rates and costs of inflation. This leaves great opportunities for active buyers with purchasing power to snap up a waterfront home!

Although the number of listings are down, there are some great opportunities for you.

If you want to purchase a waterfront property give us a call and we’ll help you discover yours.


New legislation enacted to cool the housing market - Will it work?

As of January 1, 2023, two new government programs came into effect with the intent to cool the housing market and provide more affordable housing.

The first program is Toronto’s Vacant Home Tax which is an annual tax that will be levied on vacant residences. A property is considered vacant if it is not used as a principal residence, occupied by a permitted party or is left vacant for 6 months or more during the previous calendar year. Those residences subject to Vacant Home Tax will be taxed at a rate of 1% of the property’s 2022 Current Value Assessment (CVA).

The intent of the Vacant Home Tax is to increase the supply of housing by discouraging owners leaving any secondary residences that they own vacant, rather than leasing them. All residential property owners in Toronto will be required to declare the status of their property (s) annually, even if they live there. Residences should have received notice in the mail from Toronto revenue Services. The declaration must be submitted by February 2, 2023.

Will speculative real estate investors sell their vacant properties? In February 2021, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) released a report in which 40% of investors surveyed indicated that a Vacant Home Tax would prompt them to sell their investment properties. However, we have seen a strengthening in the rental market and higher rents, which may encourage investors to hold onto their properties throughout 2023 and wait for sales market prices to regain strength. Therefore, there may not be an influx of homes or condos listed for sale, and rent prices may continue to increase due to lack of affordable inventory to purchase - not the results many had hoped for. Foreign investors may just absorb the tax costs as part of doing business and live with the Vacant Home Tax just as every Toronto home purchaser has learned to live with the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, which is paid in addition to the Ontario Land Transfer Tax, as part of closing costs associated with choosing to live in the city.

The second program is the Federal Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act. This legislation will restrict anyone who is not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or foreign commercial business from purchasing a residential property for the next two years. This marks the start of the federal government’s attempt to cool speculative foreign purchasing that is believed to be responsible for driving up the housing prices across the country, particularly in larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

Restrictive measures have been utilized in the past with limited results. In April 2017, the Ontario government implemented the Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan (HFP), a comprehensive package which included measures intended to help more people find affordable homes, increase supply, protect buyers and renters and bring stability to the housing market. It included a 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on the prices of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) purchased by individuals who were not Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada or were foreign corporations. This was meant to discourage speculative purchasing by non-residents. The implementation of this plan did result in a reduction of foreign buyer purchases from approximately 5-10% in 2017 down to 1.8% by 2019, varying from region to region. In October 2022, the NRST increased to 25% to further discourage foreign buyers.

What overall impact did the FHP have on house sales and sales prices? TRREB postulated that the psychological effect associated with the FHP contributed to an 18% decline in home sales in 2017. There was, in fact, a flattening of home sales through 2017 with the average sale price for a home coming in at $750,000. However, that did not last long. The previous upward trend in prices returned in 2018 and accelerated during the pandemic in 2020, hitting an average peak price of approximately $1.2 million in early 2022. It took a huge turn of events such as the war in Ukraine, rising interest rates and inflation to stall the climb in prices. In December 2022, TRREB reported that the average home price was $1,079,000.

Given that the real estate market has already experienced a reduction in non-residential purchases, there may be very little further impact on the housing market as a whole. Also, we cannot lose sight of further implications that the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadian Act may have on our overall economic wellbeing. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) stated, “Parliamentarians that supported the introduction of these measures need to recognize they will have a detrimental impact of Canada’s reputation, labour market, economy and severely hinder our ability to attract global talent”.

These two new legislative measures may not significantly impact housing availability or affordability. Time will tell.

If you have further questions about any information discussed in our BLOG please reach out to us and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Three Tips for Moving to Mississauga

​​​You can't go wrong when buying Mississauga real estate because this city is the perfect balance of city life and suburbia. Mississauga is becoming a popular location for home buyers thanks to its easy waterfront access to the beautiful Lake Ontario, plenty of green space for recreational activities, and proximity to Toronto. Investing in a home in this beautiful Canadian city is a choice you won't regret.

Buying Mississauga Real Estate: Three Tips for Moving to Mississauga

1. Get to Know the Area

Even if you've visited the Mississauga area and are now planning on moving to this city, you're going to need to get to know the area so that when you want take-out or need to run to the grocery store, you know where you're going. Spend some time perusing the map on your phone, driving around the area, and locating some of the favourite local spots will help you be prepared, whether you want to go out on a date night or run errands.

Getting to know the area will be helpful both if you've already purchased a home or if you're still shopping. If you haven't bought a house yet, driving around the different areas of the city can help you get a better idea of the neighbourhoods, what the houses look like in person, and the proximity of your favourite neighbourhoods to your workplace, local recreational activities, shops, and grocery stores.

2. Find a Local Real Estate Agent

If you haven't found your Mississauga dream home, you're going to need someone who knows not just the area but the different neighbourhoods. The home buying process is so much easier when you can hand your wishlist over to a local, professional real estate agent who can do all the work for you. Then, all you have to do is visit the homes and choose your favourite.

3. Hire Professional Movers

When you finally close on your new home and are ready to move, make your life easier by hiring professional movers. A professional moving company can do as little or as much of the moving process as you want them to, and you can have them pack up everything in your home or just wrap and move the larger items.

When you trust your move to professional movers, you won't have to spend time wrapping up your leather couch or making sure that your table and chairs don't get damaged or dented. Whatever the case, hiring professional movers will save you time and stress so that you can focus on everything else that's going on in your life.

If you love the city of Mississauga and want to relocate to the area or even sell your current home and find a new home within the area, we can help. There are so many beautiful homes and neighbourhoods in this city that you can choose from. We'll help check off the items on your wishlist so that you can move into not just a house but a home. Call Nancy at 416-985-1486 or Dave at 416-894-4079 at so we can help you find your forever home.

4 Keys to Finding the Best Home for You and Your Family

Buying a home can be equally stressful and exciting, but it is always a venture that is worth undertaking. When looking into Toronto homes for sale, consider everything that would create an environment for you and your family to thrive. No detail is too small when you're looking for your forever home.

4 Keys to Finding the Best Toronto Homes for Sale for You and Your Family

1. Make a List of Must-Haves

Determine with your family what the non-negotiables are for your new space. Do you need an attached garage for those cold mornings? Is there a minimum number of bathrooms and bedrooms that your family needs? Do your in-laws need a guest room on the bottom floor when they visit because they have difficulty climbing stairs regularly?

Write down all of your must-haves and then decide if any of those items are negotiable and put those on a Would-Like-To-Have list. This second list will be items that would be nice to have in your new home but won't be deal-breakers if they are not included. No home will have absolutely everything you are hoping for, so it's important you know what you are willing to de-prioritise.

2. Get Pre-Approved

Shopping for a home really begins after you have been pre-approved for a loan. Before that happens, it's difficult to know what exactly the budget is that you are working with. It also helps make sure that when you find a home you love, you can act fast in putting in an offer and hopefully beat other families to the punch.

3. Consider Remodeling

Your family has unique needs, and the only way to make sure that everyone gets what they want is to design it yourself. If you find a home that is a size and layout that will work for you, consider taking on a remodel.

Seeing the potential in a home isn't always easy, but changing large items like the flooring, bathroom tile, and cabinets can make a big impact in turning a house into a dream home. Even changes as small as new lighting fixtures and paint colours will add your own personal style while giving the home an updated, fresh look.

4. Prioritise Location

Location is always important when purchasing a home, but when your family is involved then it becomes even more of a priority. Consider any commutes that parents may have for work and that children may have for school. Where will your family be spending most of their time when they aren't home? Does the location allow you to spend more time together?

Regardless of the type of home you are looking for, remember to first and foremost manage the expectations of both yourself and your family members. Our experts can help keep your feet on the ground while still letting you dream about what you hope your home will be. Call Nancy at 416-985-1486 or Dave at 416-894-4079 at and let our dynamic team help you find the perfect home for you and your family.

How to Choose the Best Toronto Realtors for Your Sale or Purchase

Finding a high-quality realtor in Toronto, GTA, or Etobicoke can be utterly overwhelming. If you're nervous about finding a great realtor to help you sell or purchase a home, read on to discover how you can find the best Toronto realtors. 


How to Choose the Best Toronto Realtors for Your Sale or Purchase

The Best Realtors Have the Best Teams

There's no better way to determine the quality of a realtor than to look at the professionals that surround them. An excellent realtor makes their team a priority and will align themselves with a highly skilled crew of industry professionals. From home staging consultants, videographers, and photographers, to lawyers, lenders, contractors, and beyond, a worthwhile realtor will always come with a great team and an unmatched wealth of industry resources.

Finding a Quality Realtor to Sell Your Home

Houses don't sell themselves - don't trust anyone who tells you that simply listing your home will result in the highest possible price. A top quality realtor will have a selling strategy, marketing tools, and more to help showcase your home to serious buyers. Make sure to ask any potential realtor questions about staging, marketing, pricing, and strategy - and check their website to see if they're confident using social media and online strategies for selling as well.

You can tell a lot about a potential realtor by looking at their online listings. Are they using professional photos? Do they have video tours, slide shows, and floor plans available? A great realtor will have a well-designed website showcasing their client's homes to a broad, quality market of buyers. Attending an open house hosted by an agent you're interested in working with will also give you an idea of the treatment your home will receive by a realtor!

Sourcing the Best Realtor to Purchase Your New Dream Home

When looking for a home, it's a great idea to find a realtor who regularly works in your desired neighbourhood. The expertise and experience a neighbourhood pro can deliver to you will save you headache and hassle. When your realtor really knows a neighbourhood, they will have a clear grasp of the values of its homes. This means you can easily assess which properties are suitably priced for your needs and budget before you even start searching for your new home.

Hire Experience and Expertise

Be suspicious of realtors who work part-time or who have second jobs; if you're serious about buying or selling your home (and you should be!), you want a realtor who is equally serious about their job. Look for full-time, full service agents with positive customer testimonials and proven sales experience. 
An excellent real estate agent aims to provide peace of mind to their clients by using the skills of their highly qualified team, vetted marketing strategies for making sales, and hands-on experience to deliver maximum client satisfaction. Are you looking for an experienced realtor to help you buy or sell a home in Toronto, GTA, or Etobicoke? Call Nancy at 416-985-1486 or Dave at 416-894-4079 at