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Showing posts from March, 2010

Tips for Bathroom Renovations

Built in Accessories: built-ins such as recessed soap dishes, medicine cabinets and even toilet roll holders can save space and streamline the look of the bathroom. Colour: To make a small bathroom look bigger, choose white-to-cream colour spectrum. Fixtures and Colour: Use white or cream coloured fixtures (i.e. toilet and bathtub) Dim Lighting for Mood: A dimmer switch can add mood to your bathroom Lighting: Enhance overhead lighting by adding Sconces around the mirror. Extra Pieces: If space permits, many home decorators recommend having one freestanding piece such as a decorative chair or cupboard as a design element. This "decorative" piece can serve a practical use as a place to store towels, soaps, or other small items. Hooks: Hooks are the easiest way to add "surface area" to a bathroom without actually adding real countertop surface area. Hooks can be used for everything from clothes to bathrobes to towels. Mirrors: Mirrors in bathrooms (not just above the s

Earth Hour March 27th 8:30 - 9:30pm

March 23, 2010 -- On March 27 the world will be celebrating Earth Hour by turning off the lights from 8:30 – 9:30pm local time. The Toronto Real Estate Board building will be dimmed during this time and the TREB Green Taskforce is encouraging EVERYONE to do the same. From its humble beginnings a few years ago, Earth Hour has grown into an event that is supported by millions of people worldwide. For more information on this initiative please visit

March MLS Mid-Month Report

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- 03/17/10 -- Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,353 sales through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) during the first two weeks of March. This represented a 70 per cent increase compared to the 2,562 sales recorded during the same period in 2009 when resale transactions had dipped markedly due to the recession. The mid-month sales total was also 16 per cent higher than the previous March mid- month high reached in 2006. "The spring-like weather in the first half of March brought the first green sprouts of the recurring spring market. Every year, monthly sales climb steadily through May," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Tom Lebour. "People are buying homes because they are confident in the current economic recovery and mortgage payments on the average priced home remain affordable." The average price for March mid-month transactions was $440,153 - a 20 per cent increase over 2009. New listings within the Toronto Real Estate Board bound

What they sold for in February 2010

Understanding Aluminum Wiring

Arshad Khan, Certified Home Inspector - Qualityspec Inc. Understanding Aluminum Wiring. Houses with aluminum wiring are generally safe and do not cause concern even on the insurance level. Most of the Insurance companies identified that your homes electrical panel is your main concern. If your home still has an older fuse type panel, it could be a major insurance, and safety risk. Fuse panels can be upgraded to breaker panels quite easily, and at a lower cost than rewiring an entire home. The main areas of concern with aluminum wiring are your homes connectors and receptacles. When aluminum wiring was first being installed, the same receptacles and connectors were used as for copper wire, but this does not work. The connections can become loose and overheat, possibly causing a fire. According to the mostly certified Licenced electricians that receptacles can be retied with copper tails, which is roughly a 1-2 day task to refit an entire home. This increases your homes safety and b

Understanding Knob & Tube

Arshad Khan, Certified Home Inspector - Qualityspec Inc . Knob & Tube wiring is a type of wiring which was in common use until the 1940's. More than 1.5 million homes across Canada were built with knob and tube wiring. It was an early form of electrical wiring that was used up to 1945. So, many homes still have it but is now considered too risky and dangerous to be insurable, and for your own safety, and home resale value it should be replaced with copper wiring. Knob & tube wiring is comprised of insulated wires clamped on two-piece porcelain knobs; positive and negative are carried separately. Hollow porcelain tubes carry the wires, through beams and other combustible materials. Modern electrical codes do not permit this type of wiring. It can present a hazard if tampered with, particularly at unenclosed, soldered-and-taped junctions. The unsheathed insulation is subject to deterioration, particularly where it is exposed, that is, not enclosed in a wall or ceiling. Worn

Careful Renos Can Increase Home Value

March 5, 2010. Toronto Star Article --Tom Lebour, President, Toronto Real Estate Board -- The Greater Toronto Area’s spring real estate market is just weeks away and many analysts anticipate that it will be a busy one. It is expected that the number of properties available for sale will increase as homeowners react favourably to recent months’ activity. It’s also likely that the market will have more homebuyers, prompted to make a purchase before the added costs of the Harmonized Sales Tax take effect on July 1st.If you’re planning on making a foray into the market this year, now could be the time to undertake improvements, which if carefully planned, can increase the value of your home considerably.Most of us know that kitchens, bathrooms and a fresh coat of paint inside and out, offer the best return on investment. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, you can expect to get back 75 to 100 per cent of what you put into kitchens and bathrooms. Painting can return 50 to 100 pe

Housing Activity Stronger in 2010

CMHC News Release, OTTAWA, March 2, 2010 — Housing starts rebounded in the second half of 2009 and will strengthen in 2010, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s first quarter Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition*. Following a total of 149,081 units in 2009, housing starts are expected to be in the range of 152,000 to 189,300 units in 2010, with a point forecast of 171,250 units. In 2011, housing starts will be in the range of 156,400 to 205,600 units, with a point forecast of 175,150 units. “Canadian housing markets will benefit from improving economic conditions and low mortgage rates,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC. “As well, measures recently announced by the Government of Canada to support the long-term stability of Canada's housing market will help moderate housing activity as some potential buyers will have to save a larger down payment or consider a less expensive home.” Mr. Dugan also noted that the existing home market has shifted from a buy

Some Simple Steps to Energy Efficiency

February 26, 2010 -- Tom Lebour,President of the Toronto Real Estate Board -- Toronto Star--- When it comes to character, you just can’t beat the charm of an older home. Newly constructed homes however, come with their own unique assets, one of the most noteworthy of which is energy efficiency.From the roof to the foundation, a number of innovative building practices often go into constructing today’s greenest homes.Roof shingles for example, are now available in recycled materials. Environmentally friendly spray foam insulation, which can help prevent dampness, keep out pollutants and contribute to structural strength, is even partially made with recycled materials.Roofs, walls and floors can be insulated as well with special structural panels that consist of two layers of board with insulating foam in between them. The forms that are used to mould a home’s poured concrete foundation can now also be found with insulating ability, and barriers that prevent dampness from rising into the

Nothing To Do But Move In!

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