FOR BUYERS : Starbucks & The Link to Your Perfect Home

Everyone knows I love my Starbucks!!

Starbucks can do more than give you fuel for your day. Turns out that the presence of a popular franchise (or lack of) can tell you a lot about your future neighborhood. This is just one of the many tips that I can provide you as an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®). I have worked with many first-time homebuyers and would love to help you find your dream home! Please let me know if you have any questions.

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How to Start a Remodeling Project

When the itch to remodel hits you, create a plan that works. The first step in all remodeling projects, large or small, begins with careful planning to ensure you get the most out of your budget.

From designing many projects over the last decade on HGTV and with my firm I can confidently state that you really need to stay focused on your design style and direction. Being consistent and following your path will ensure your project is seamless and less stressful.

1. Begin with Inspiration

Even your favourite travel destination might inspire you to remodel. Create a stylebook and fill it with photos of your favourite kitchen, decor and artwork. I often have design sessions with clients who just want some ideas, inspiration and rough sketches. This is a great opportunity to hone your style and colour palette while picking your designer’s brain for reno tips.

2. Define Your Goals and Priorities

Think about what you want to achieve from your remodel. What are your goals? Create a list and prioritize all the projects to complete and any major repairs. No matter what size your reno is, you have to consider all the details – from plumbing and electrical to HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). If your renovation includes any of these elements, ensure that you have a game plan for relocation and contingency.

3. Create a Budget and Timeline

Determine the money you have to spend and define a timeline for completion. Knowing this will help you stay on budget and ensure you reach your goal without steering down a path you didn’t plan for. I always tell my clients to put aside 15% for a contingency fund, not to be confused with overspending, it is used for unpredictable construction costs. Make sure to work and consult with a designer, and invest in floor plans.

4. Find a Contractor

Interview at least five contractors, and look for ones that work regularly in your area. This will avoid having them travelling across the city to get to other job sites and possibly abandoning your project for days at a time to complete others.

5. Set Your Plan in Motion

Allow your vision to take shape by researching paint colours, furniture, lighting, accent pieces and anything else you would like to incorporate into the design of the space.  Sometimes, choosing the right decor can be overwhelming. I often get called-in to help make colour suggestions and the right choices to match your budget and vision. A short design consultation can take a lot of stress of your plate.


Toronto-based celebrity and award-winning designer Dvira Ovadia, principal of Dvira Interiors, is known for her appearances and design work on various HGTV shows. Dvira and her team uses their profound understanding of design to create stylishly smart spaces. Servicing clientele throughout Ontario and Greater Toronto Area.

www.spray-net.com  @DVIRAdesigner

Just Listed : 131 Skyview Springs Gardens NE

This ideal family home is in immaculate condition, freshly painted from top to bottom in warm, neutral tones. Fall in love with the open concept main floor plan featuring a tiled front foyer and rich hardwood floor throughout. There is an expansive front living room with lots of natural light.

The kitchen has been upgraded with stainless steel appliances and a center island great for hosting and entertaining. The back dining room is separate and set beside the beautiful kitchen for easy access to the large deck, great for the summer BBQs! A rear entry mudroom, spacious pantry and separate 2 piece powder room complete this level.

As you continue upstairs you’re met with two bedrooms and a full family bath. The large master bedroom boasts a 4 piece en-suite and a walk-in closet.

The basement is unspoiled and awaits your creative ideas (with two egress windows and roughed-in-plumbing). There is a 22’0″ x 19’10” poured concrete pad in the backyard for a future double detached garage along with a storage shed. All of this and situated on a quiet street close to everything!

SkyView Ranch offers its residents an amenity-rich community that combines vibrant urban streets with quiet country comfort, providing an optimal neighbourhood to raise a family.

For more details click here

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Home sales rebound in October

For the first time in two years, sales activity in October resembled normal levels. City-wide sales totaled 1,644 units, which is an increase of nearly 16 per cent over last year.

“The shift in sales activity this month is likely related to the new mortgage rule changes, inventory gains in the lower price ranges and further price adjustments,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The combination of all these factors may have encouraged some purchases to take advantage of the market conditions, particularly in the lower price ranges. However, with several factors at play, the monthly shift in demand may be temporary and will need to be monitored over the next several months.”

Sales activity rose across all product types in comparison to last year, but the largest gain in sales occurred in the detached sector at 18 per cent. There was a noticeable shift in sales activity by price range in October. In the detached market, homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000 saw the largest improvement in sales, while attached and apartment sales growth was mainly occurring in the lower price ranges.

“This year has been a challenge for many sellers,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “So when we have a rise in sales, it means more buyers got into the market and more sellers got out, which is a positive for consumers on both sides of the transaction.”

“Sales activity changed direction in October, but we need to see some consistency next month and the month after to call it a trend,” adds Stevenson. “For now it’s a nice building block.”

Despite the monthly rise, year-to-date sales activity in all sectors remained lower than last year’s levels and well below longer term trends. In fact, year-to-date sales activity has totaled 15,642 units, which is 6.3 per cent below last year’s levels.

While increased activity in the lower price ranges had a greater impact on the average and median price, benchmark prices once again edged down in October. The city-wide unadjusted benchmark price totaled $438,900, or 0.34 per cent below last month and four per cent below last year’s levels.

Since the start of the downturn, home prices have declined from a low of 3.8 per cent in the detached market to a high of 9.4 per cent in the apartment condominium sector. And, despite the rise in October sales, monthly prices continued to decline for most product types in the market.