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Whether you are moving to a smaller space or just trying to de-clutter, down-sizing can be overwhelming. There are often many bittersweet feelings - excitement for change but sadness over what you might need to let go of. Downsizing can force you to get rid of items that you may have clung to for a long time, but it is the perfect opportunity to remind yourself what you value most. If you can sort out the clutter, you can fill your space with the things you really love, making it truly feel like home. Here are 3 main steps to follow for downsizing without sacrificing what means the most to you.

1. Create A Plan

If you’re moving somewhere new, measure the size of your new rooms and storage areas. This will act as your guide for how much you can take with you. As you begin to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, do only one room at a time. Give yourself a week or two for this part. Moving is a big job and can be time consuming, and is much less overwhelming if not done all at once. Plan to do a room a day, and leave extra time so you aren’t rushed. Start with the furniture in each room - this will give you a better idea how much space you have left to fill. You don’t want to have to reshuffle everything if you can’t take that bookshelf with you.

2. Sort What You Own

Ask yourself - will you use it? If you haven’t used the item in a year and you always say “someday” when asking when the next time you will use or wear the item, it is time to put it in the donate/toss pile. Get rid of multiples. If you have multiple coffee pots, or several sets of china that you can only use one at a time, you don’t need to keep both. As you sort, follow a strict yes/no policy —no “maybes” allowed. Create a keep and toss pile, and force yourself to choose. If you aren’t completely sure, the item needs to go in the no pile.

Then you need to decide what to do with your “no” pile. You may not want or need these items anymore, but they may be useful to someone else. Special items can be passed on to family members, while furniture, clothing and other items in good condition can be sold or donated. Anything damaged or worn beyond repair should be recycled if possible or thrown away if necessary.

3. Preserve Your Memories

Gathering up your memories in one place will make them easier than ever to enjoy. Downsizing is an emotional process. You will discover items you haven’t seen in years, and you will have to decide what to do with them. Give yourself some time to reminisce, and then make a decision. Keep in mind your space limitations. Take with you what is truly valuable — only you can decide what you can’t do without.

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So now that you’re stuck indoors for the foreseeable future, you may be wondering how you are going to fill your time. If you have plans, or are just considering, putting your house on the market when this is all over, now is the best time to get it ready! What better way to pass the hours and be productive than preparing your house for sale? While some checklist items may be obvious, there may be a few to-do list boxes you aren’t sure you need to check. Here is a list for you to get your house ready for sale!

Start Outside

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere having nice spring weather right now, take advantage of being outdoors without breaking any local rules. In most cases, you are permitted to enjoy the sunshine on your own property, so now is the best time to spruce up the outside. If you have a power washer, clean your siding and any sidewalks or driveways attached to your home. Boost your curb appeal by mowing the lawn, touching up any landscaping work.

Make Any Repairs

Take care of whatever repairs you can that don’t require an unnecessary trip to the store. Swap out old lightbulbs, fix that window that keeps jamming shut, and patch up any dents or scrapes on your indoor walls.

Make Your Home Inviting

If you have any paint on hand, give your front door a fresh coat and add a new floor mat (ordered online!) to make your home feel approachable. If a potential buyer doesn’t feel welcome approaching your home, they likely won’t want to live in it.

Declutter Your Home

This is the best time to realize how much you actually use items in your home. If you’ve been stuck indoors for several weeks and you still haven’t used an item, add it to your donate or toss pile. Not only is this great to help prepare for sale, but it will help your mental health while you are stuck inside. Clearing clutter is extremely beneficial for many reasons, and it will make your move that much easier.

Clean & Organize Your Home

After you’ve decluttered, it is time to clean and organize. When someone tours your home, they want to feel like it can be theirs. If your home is scattered with items and there is barely room to walk around, it will be hard for them to picture themselves living there. Having your items cleaned and organized will also help you when it is time to pack and move on!

Eliminate Odors

You are probably craving fresh air anyway, so why not spend those sunny days with every window in the house wide open! This will help eliminate any residual odors you aren’t aware of and it can help keep air flowing while you are using chemical products to deep clean your home.



It has become very clear that the Coronavirus outbreak has definitely created a very new reality for all of us...at least temporarily.  We understand that everyone is dealing with many new challenges, whether personally, financially or professionally, and we want you to know... You are not alone.  

It's up to each and every one of us to do whatever we can to get through this, as quickly as possible, and we can only take comfort in knowing that things will get better.

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Coronavirus a global pandemic and less than a week later, Ontario declared a State of Emergency.  Social and physical distancing has forced us to spend time at home, away from friends and family, with only short trips to get essentials and walk the dog.  On a positive note, we have finally tackled some of the items on our "Honey-Do" list that we keep saying we just don't have time for.

Although Real Estate has been deemed an "Essential Service" it is NOT Business-as-Usual.   Our main focus right now is the Health and Safety of all of clients, customers, friends and families as well as the community in which we all live.   So when clients call us to ask about buying or selling a home right now, our recomendation is that if you don't need to move, don't.  

However, even during a global pandemic, there will always be Sellers who MUST sell, and Buyers who MUST buy.  If you have found yourself in this situation, we understand that you are probably feeling very overwhelmed.  Good information and advice are often the antidote to stress, especially during challenging times.    If you have found yourself in a position whereby you need to Buy or Sell now, we are still here for you.


So that leads to the question.... In the wake of a Global Pandemic, how can we "safely" Buy and/or Sell a home?

As Realtors® we simply need to work harder for our clients and step-up our game even more.  We need to manage expectations, protect the health and well being of our clients and stay on top of every detail of a purchase or sale especially with all the unexpected challenges a global pandemic can bring.  

Being able to walk a Buyer-Client through a home without stepping foot in the door can be a challenge, as can Listing and preparing a home for sale that you have never seen in person.  We are however up for the challenge.

For decades, people have been buying pre-construction homes from builders before subdivisions were even constructed.  They use floor plans, virtual and video tours, detailed descriptions, lists of upgrades and improvements, as well as eye-catching photos.  It's no different for us today.  

With the use of Video conferencing, we are able to conduct virtual "face-to-face" Home Buyer and Home Seller Consulations as well as all follow up meetings.  We can also communicate with current and past clients by video also.  

During these times of self-isolation and social distancing, a greater percentage of the population is at home, glued to their tv screens and scrolling through social media.  We have also seen a marked increase in the number of visitors to our website which means even though times are tough and uncertain, people are still searching (or dreaming) about their next home or cottage.  

Getting a home ready for sale in a typcial market is quite the process and a lot of work and you can only imagine the additional work involved now.  With the use of Video, we can have Home Sellers walk us through their homes so we can still provide staging suggestions, offer pricing strategies and discuss the entire selling process.  

We work closely with other carefully chosen professionals that can provide the tools we need to give buyers an "in-person" feeling while they are viewing potential homes for sale on line.  We need incredible photos, floor plans, detailed descriptions and I think it's crucial to be able to produce 360º Virtual Tours that Buyers can navigate themselves so they can truly see themselves walking through the property without physically setting foot inside, especially when it comes to owner and tenant occupied homes. 

Other tools that we use (and have been using for some time already) to help us maintain social distancing include Digital Signing, Wire Transfers for deposits and our Mortgage Broker and Lawyer partners that have also adopted a lot of the same digital / virtual technologies.   

So, although our main interactions with each other would be more "Virtual" for now, we can still provide the same great service you would expect with all the various tools and technology we have available while following the proper health and safey guidelines.   

When times are tough, we need to adapt and it's possible that some of these short-term solutions could turn out to be long-term alternatives for our industry.  

So again, if you dont' need to move ...PLEASE DON"T.   But if you do have an URGENT REAL ESTATE NEED, please reach out.  We are here to help and know we can help you in the SAFEST possible way.
Wash your hands, stay safe and remember, we are all in this together.


It's Cleanup Season

It’s April, and as we have all been told “April showers bring May Flowers”. Well March and April have been very unpredictable over the years…One day we see snow/frost and the next it’s seems like flowers and trees are showing signs of life. Even the birds are confused.  Well, regardless of what mother nature does, taking some time to do some spring cleanup in the yard is definitely on the to-do list. After all, first impressions and curb appeal are extremely important and always a top priority.

Here is a list of a few things to keep in mind when you finally get to business.
Remove burlap from trees and shrubs as the warmer weather approaches.
Check shrubs and start to prune away all the dead branches to make room for new growth.
Cut back your perennials and pull out the old annuals (if you haven’t already done so.
Stand back and check things out. Are the beds getting over grown? Is it time to thin the herd or does it look like you’ll need to fill some of the empty spots this year?
Start raking… pick up all the old dead leaves out of gardens and lawns
Take a look to see if any of your gutters are loose or leaking and make sure they are free of leaves and debris which may be clogging them.
Make sure your downspouts are still in tack and draining water away from the house and foundation… the last thing you want is water getting into the house and basement.
Check your shingles…Did any blow off during our horrible winter months? Have years of sun caused your shingles to crack, buckle or come loose? Check the flashing around skylights, vents and chimneys.
If you have wood trim on windows, railings, doors etc, now is the time to take a peek and make sure they are not rotting.
Talk a walk around the perimeter of your house…the grading should always slope away from the house to keep water from penetrating. If there are low spots make sure to bring in some soil to build up low spots. Chimney
Take a look to see if there are any loose bricks or flashing that may need attention. Foundation Almost every home has some stress or settling cracks in the foundation. Take a look and make sure if they are getting bigger or if there are any new cracks. You will want to address these right away.
Firewood If you are now done with wood for the year, now is the time to move it away from the home and store it in a nice dry location off the ground ready for next year.
Survey any exterior faucets and garden hoses for leaks. Many times over winter faucets can suffer damage from the freezing temperatures. Hopefully they were all turned off in the winter.
Air Conditioning
Time to take any covers off and have them serviced. You’ll want to have it serviced to ensure coils and filters are cleaned so it works nice and smoothly in the hot summer months.
Now might also be a good time to check the lawn mover and trimmers to ensure all your equipment is tuned up and ready to go.  
Would also be a grea time to check Bicycles for flat tires and chains that need to be oiled.

Keeping the exterior of your home in tip top shape will give friends and visitors a nice feeling when they come to visit and will also help keep resale values higher.