Friday, 9 May 2014

Here are few gifts you should avoid on Mother's Day

I wanted to dedicate this weeks Blog to 
all the wonderful Mom’s out there! 

Cleaning Equipment

The last thing you want is Mom to feel like is that she is your maid.
 Don't put a damper on her day by reminding her of household chores.

Cooking Paraphernalia

Rather then giving her something she has to cook with why not suggest that you make dinner instead. Moms love cooking for you but they need to know that you see them as more than your personal chef.

Exercise Equipment
I don't think anyone's eyes every lit up after opening a thigh master.
 She may take this as a subtle hint that you think she is out of shape.

Gym Membership

A gym membership may send out a signal that suggests you think your mother is fat or needs to lose weight. Avoid this at all costs!

A New Pet

Think twice before you surprise her with a new pet. 
Who's going to feed it? Walk it? Train it?
 If the answer is mom, walk away.
 If you mom is an animal lover consider making a donation to the Toronto Humane Society.

A Gift Card

They're impersonal, and you run the risk of giving her one to a store she doesn't really like. 
Instead take her out shopping to her favorite boutique.
 She'll enjoy it and you'll actually spend time together.

Speaking from personal experience all a mom wants for Mother's Day 
is to spend time with her family!
What is the most unusual Mother's Day Gift you have ever given or received? 
We would love to hear from you!
Curious about what your home is worth? Give us a call; you will be pleasantly surprised at your home’s current value. Planning a renovation? We can advise you where you will get the most return on your investment.  Please accept this as your personal invite to call upon us with any of your real estate needs. We can be reached at 416 699 9292 or drop us an e-mail at

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Is Downsizing your home right for you?

The number of Zoomers choosing to downsize from their current homes to a more manageably sized one is on the rise. Many say continuing to maintain a large family home can be difficult –  both physically and financially

 Zoomers moving have so many options — from buying another house or condominium to moving into a rental accommodation, independent living community or continuing care retirement community.

Some of the Advantages to downsizing may include:

Being closer to friends or family
Lower home maintenance costs
Better access to services that support your needs
Having more amenities such as access to a pool, golf course or gym
Not having to shovel snow or mow the lawn
Increased social interaction with other 50-plus residents

Some of the factors to keep in mind when downsizing

Emotional considerations: 
Your Property value
Financial considerations
The condo lifestyle
Adult Living Communities

If you are considering downsizing your home, you should first examine your reasons for wanting to do it and ensure that your new environment will meet all of your needs. It is also important to speak with your family before making the decision. We recommend meeting with a Wafa & Jalila your local realtors to discuss what you’re looking for and whether what you want is affordable.
Curious about what your home is worth? Give us a call; you will be pleasantly surprised at your home’s current value. Planning a renovation? We can advise you where you will get the most return on your investment.  Please accept this as your personal invite to call upon us with any of your real estate needs. We can be reached at 416 699 9292 or drop us an e-mail at

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Construction Condo or Home

Buying a new construction home whether a condo, townhouse or detached is a bit different then buying a resale. 10 Mistakes to watch when buying a new build in Toronto. 

Mistake #1: They fall in love with the model home
Most people fall in love with the model, but you have to realize that everything you see in that model home is often an upgrade.  Upgrades are a major portion of a builder’s 10% to 20% profit margin.

Mistake #2: They trust the floor plan
Condo sales will often include balcony or terrace measurements as part of the total square footage. New home sales staff will provide square footage based on measurements of external walls. You can’t rely on their verbal assurances, on the floor models, or on the sale pitch or brochure.

Mistake #3: They don't get their lawyer review the contract
Whether you’re buying a new detached home or a condo, the purchase agreement is the legally binding document that spells out what you’re getting and the conditions of the sale. It’s full of fine print and legal-speak, and if you sign without legal representation, you risk being bound to terms you don’t understand or don’t want. 

Mistake #4: They don’t bother with an inspection
During the new home buying process there are two specific times when it’s important to have your home professionally inspected. The first is the pre-delivery inspection, a mandatory walk-through for all new homes under warranty. This inspection takes place with your builder shortly before you officially take possession of your home. The second inspection should be scheduled for about one month before your home warranty expires. In Ontario the first and broadest portion of your warranty expires 12 months after your possession date,

Mistake #5: They accept delays without a fight
The law is now clear and critical dates are now included as part of the purchase agreement and contract. If a builder misses these critical dates and requires an extension, a buyer can either agree, and seek compensation, or simply get out of the deal.  Seek legal advice whenever you’re presented with a request to delay a critical date

Mistake #6: They forget they are moving into a construction zone
Anyone considering a new condo or home purchase should take into consideration the impact of ongoing construction. It maybe noisy, everything is dusty and the air quality could be horrible. Combine that with the fact that the whole area is incomplete for quite a long time and that access points can open and close, depending on the phase, and you could have a recipe for long-term aggravation.

Mistake #7: They think they have a warranty—but they don’t
Buyers should be proactive and get their new home warranty in writing. They should also go online to determine if their builder is registered with a provincial regulator as a new home builder. This is particularly important for loft or condo conversions—residential units constructed inside an existing building shell. In such situations, new-build warranties often don’t apply.

Mistake #8: They’re not speedy with their warranty claims
To ensure you understand how long you have, carefully read the package you get during the pre-inspection, as there are different deadlines for different types of warranty claims.  Get a calendar and mark down those deadlines, and then make sure you get the claim in at least five days before the deadline.

Mistake #9: They’re ambushed by hidden closing costs
When you sign the agreement of purchase and sale for your new place, many of the closing costs are estimates. These costs often escalate as you approach your possession date.Try and pay close attention to the adjustments and get a cap on certain items and remove others.

Mistake #10: They don't hire their own Realtor to represent them
The Builder's sales agents are paid to represent the builder, regardless of what they may tell you. Many will use high pressure tactics to persuade you to sign the contract. Get your own agent to make sure you get the best price on your purchase

Buying or selling a home in the Greater Toronto Area can be expensive and come with many uncertainties. However, by hiring Wafa & Jalila as your Toronto Realtors,  they will watch out for your best interests and assist you in investing your money wisely.

To get your personal invite to all upcoming Great Toronto VIP New Pre-Construction events you won't find anywhere else Click Here

Friday, 7 March 2014

Top March Break Events in Toronto!

Not everyone can get away for March Break. Check out these cool and fun activities in Toronto and the GTA that will make you and your child jump for joy and chase away those winter blues.

The Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is Canada's premier zoo known for its interactive education and conservation activities. Want an easy way to turn your child’s frown into a smile? Visit the Toronto Zoo’s adorable baby polar bear cub and giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao. You can also get a temporary tattoo of the polar bear at the activity centre. Click here for a list of events.

The Royal Ontario Museum aka ROM

The Royal Ontario Museum or ROM has been bringing history and culture to Toronto since first opening its door in 1914. With traveling exhibitions and new pieces unveiled regularly, there is always something new to see during your visit to the ROM.  Click here for a list of events.

Ontario Science Centre

Family-friendly and completely interactive. The Ontario Science Centre offers an educational experience for families who like to learn and explore. Click here for a list of events.

Hockey Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dedicated to the history of ice hockey, it is both a museum and a hall of fame. A tribute to the Olympic Winter Games, covering both men's and women's competitions.  Click here for a list of events.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is the newest and most anticipated attraction in the heart of downtown Toronto, next to the CN Tower.As Canada’s largest indoor aquarium, they welcome you to the Waters of the World! Click here for a list of events.

Sugar Bush Maple Syrup Festival

The Maple Syrup Festival at Kortright Centre for Conservation & Bruces’ Mill Conservation Area features demonstrations, wagon rides, kids entertainment, family-friendly crafts, maple syrup samples and pancake breakfast. Click here for a list of events.

City of Toronto Programs

The City of Toronto is hosting free and low-cost programs for children and families at its recreation centres, parks facilities and museums. Click here for a list of events.

Wizard World Fun Park

The indoor fun park is back in town for March Break, and features arts and crafts, rides, concessions, and other activities for kids, including a special area geared to children under five. Click here for a list of events.

Curious about what your home is worth? Give us a call; you will be pleasantly surprised at your home’s current value. Planning a renovation? We can advise you where you will get the most return on your investment.  Please accept this as your personal invite to call upon us with any of your real estate needs. We can be reached at 416 699 9292 or drop us an e-mail at For your FREE VIP Tickets to the National Home Show Click here. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Getting the Most Money When Selling your Home

 Start with an Open Mind

Take a tour with a Realtor and get some outside opinions on what areas you should focus your dollars on and what’s needed to get the maximum offers. Too often investors/home owners become either too emotionally attached or not attached at all. I have worked with investors who were renovating a property and blew their budget on some obscenely expensive tile they “had to have” and had nothing left for furnishing the place. On the other hand I’ve worked with landlords who did not see the value in painting a place that had gone through 3 tenants! Looking at a property from a buyer’s perspective is key.
Maximize curb appeal

The outside should draw people inside. Neatly trimmed bushes, mulched beds, and weeded lawns all help make that crucial “first impression”. Freshly painted front doors with new mailboxes and house numbers are easy ways to create maximum impact without breaking the bank. Adding seasonal urns by the front door for some colour are another way to brighten up concrete steps or boring brick.

 Choose neutral colour tones

Bold colours are great for living, but not for selling. Light and Bright should be your motto! Stick with a warm, neutral palette like tans, taupes and greys. Avoid dark colours, especially in small spaces (like powder rooms). Keep the ceilings white to keep walls looking tall. Rule of thumb, if the walls haven’t been painted in over 2 years, now is the time!

Let there be light

Lighting plays a vital role and is often overlooked when getting a property ready for sale. Dark hallways, rooms with little natural light, basements and bathrooms should be addressed. A minimum of a 2-bulb overhead fixture with maximum watt bulbs can transform a dingy area.
Adding ambient lighting is essential especially in areas where there are no overhead outlets. Adding table lamps and floor lamps will help brighten up any room and help your property appear as “light-filled” as possible.

It’s all in the details

Replace all burnt out bulbs, touch up any nicks and dents in high traffic areas, replace torn screens and fix leaking faucets. Once the fix ups are done it’s time to focus on the pretty stuff. Fresh linens in the bathrooms, a bowl of fresh green apples on a kitchen island, fresh flowers on a dining table or in the entrance way.
Adding live or silk greenery to bathrooms and adding a new crisp bedding set to the Master all help create the impression of a well-cared for home.

This is the other main area that always increases the value of a home. It will ALWAYS cost you less to replace worn carpet or add new flooring then to leave it to the new home own.
Most buyers are looking for reasons to discount their offers. Flooring is one of the first things buyers see when they walk in. If their first thought is “I will need to replace these floors”, I guarantee they are discounting their offers $5000-$10000 for condos and $7000 – $15000 for houses. Doing the work yourself will cost you a fraction of that amount.

Highlight best use of the space

You may have liked to use the dining room as an office, but it should be shown with its intended purpose. Giving a room more than one function (i.e. guest room and office) is a great way to effectively show the space. In condos this becomes essential when space is at a premium.
Using small glass desks with a stool you can tuck in can creatively introduce a work space where one wouldn’t think possible. Adding a daybed to a den/office creates extra sleeping space. Determine what adds the most value to potential buyers in your neighbourhood and showcase the space accordingly.
                                                      Clean, clean, clean

This may seem like common sense, but unfortunately it’s still the one area owners tend to try and shortcut. This is the time to hire a professional cleaning company. Special attention should be placed on appliances, inside and outside of cupboards, baseboards and windows. Bathrooms should be scoured and if necessary use grout cleaner to get the tiles looking spotless!

Kitchens and bathrooms are the place to invest

If you have dated cabinetry, cracked and worn laminate counters, chipped or broken tiles, consider investing in repairing and upgrading these rooms.
If your budget is limited, changing cabinetry hardware to brushed nickel or silver knobs and handles will give it an immediate appeal. Consider painting cabinetry instead of replacing them. Depending on the price point of your property it is often worthwhile to install stone counters. This immediately adds value and is very durable for long term use. If stone is not in the budget, consider a “granite– like” laminate counter. Re-caulking around sinks and bathtubs is a simple improvement that can greatly improve the look of a bathroom.
Vacant properties sit, staged properties sell

Staged homes sell 2 – 3 times faster and up to 6 per cent more than unstaged ones. People perceive staged units that are well decorated as worth more. Professional stagers know how to highlight the features of the unit and distract from any “not so desirable” features.
If your budget is limited consider focusing on the main living areas and at least one bedroom. If you can’t borrow furniture and artwork, rental companies carry everything from furniture to linens. Just keep in mind that the goal is to show people how to use the space effectively.
Remember that 79 per cent of Toronto buyers have already viewed your property on the Toronto MLS (Muliple Listing Service); make sure that your property stands out among the competition! Staging is your key to getting noticed and getting SOLD.

Curious about what your home is worth in today's Toronto Real Estate Market? Give us a call; you will be pleasantly surprised at your home’s current value. Planning a renovation? We can advise you where you will get the most return on your investment.  Please accept this as your personal invite to call upon us with all of your real estate needs. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Winter Survival Guide

Winter is in full force.
There's nothing we can do about the weather,
 but here are some things you can do to make the cold winter months more bearable.

Learn how to wrap layers

Start with a tank top, a long sleeve thermal, a t-shirt, a flano (flannelette),
 a hoodie, a neck warmer & toque, then pull the hood over the toque,
 wrap a scarf around the 
hood & toque covering your mouth so only the eyes are showing. Then add the jacket. Pull the jacket hood over the neck warmer, toque, hoodie hood & scarf. Zip up jacket. Put on gloves. Now you are locked in

Stay active.

Winter in Canada offers a playground of endless activities to keep you
 from going stir crazy. So don’t just stay indoors for 6 months.
Besides the obvious snowboarding and skiing, try winter activities like snowshoeing,
 ice fishing, tobogganing, tubing, curling or ice skating.

Be careful on black ice (or any ice for that matter).

A lot of injuries happen during extreme winter sports like snowboarding,
but you need to be careful just walking back from the shops on sections of sidewalk
 that might be 6 inches of ice. Watch your step!

Have lots of friends and hug them all the time

Sharing body temperatures is a great way to stay warm
 and a good excuse to get to know someone better.


Soup is good during the long winter in Canada.
Make lots of it and share it with your friends.

Try Canada’s famous Fireball whiskey!

If you haven’t yet tried this local cinnamon whiskey,
 a few sips from a concealed hit flask and you’ll get a warm buzz building in your chest.
A staple item for any Canadian winter survival kit.


Watch as many hockey games as you could possibly fit in, once you get addicted you’ll never want winter to end.

Are you or someone you know Buying, Selling, Downsizing or Investing in the Greater Toronto Area? We are happy to assist with all your Toronto Real Estate needs.