Posts Tagged by Draft
CLOSE-OUT FALL Courtesy of Rona
- Winterize yard tools and store them until spring when they can be maintained before the weather warms.
- Spray, wipe, and clean soil and grass clippings off of lawn mower, string trimmer, hedge trimmer, and other yard power tools to prevent rust formation.
- Use a brush, putty knife, and water to clean blades. Remember to remove the spark plug before beginning work.
- Scrub rust spots off of the equipment with a wire brush and spray the area with rust-inhibiting enamel.
- Drain the oil and gasoline tanks. Continue reading “Fall and Winter Home Checklist Checklist — Courtesy of Rona” »
My front porch has been an embarrassment since we bought this house in 2008. But because we had other renovation projects, I decided to leave this, and the driveway -which is easily damaged by construction waste-bins- as the last of heavy-materials work to be tackled. Also, I have some great guys whom I really trust and I wanted them to do the work when they had time, if possible. (read on below)
Pictures tell a thousand words, but to describe the old concrete slab serving as the front door landing as ‘hideous’, is an understatement. My neighbour tells me the home owner had probably built the landing about 40 years ago, by himself, and that he remembers shaking his head at the project, even then. It was a lop-sided, poorly constructed 3 inch slab of concrete and gravel on top of one unsupported, rotten sheet of 8-plywood. I feared it was a sarcophagus, and was delighted to find that the only dead things inside were the remnants of a wasps nest, an old milk bottle circa 1960, and women’s plastic sandals.
When Fernando and Alberto called me a few weeks ago to tell me they had a week to do the job, I ran out to http://www.beavervalleystone.com/ to choose the stone materials and arrange for delivery. When the men arrived with their helper, Christiano, the next day, they began the site preparation (carefully removing some perennials) and demolition. I was rarely so happy to see something disappear. We were not sure if we would be able to salvage any of the existing structure, but it quickly became apparent that the landing had been built on a hope and a prayer, not a stable sub-frost foundation. So the construction started with a big-dig to secure proper footings.
I love watching building projects in all its phases. My sister-in-law recently said I was more like a man that way (I am not even sure that is true – but I enjoy it more than most people). But I actually think I just like watching the creative process, and construction of any kind is creative, practical and relevant to our lives. Certainly watching these guys work with the stone and seeing how organized, skilled and incredibly hard-working they are confirmed that. I think we tend to undervalue the people who work in trades until we really need a good one, and then we are deeply grateful for their precision and professionalism. I still have wrought iron railing to order, and if you know anyone to refer – please let me know!
My long suffering lawyer is waiting patiently for me and John to revise our Wills. This is a reminder of why!
By Paul Russell | Wed Jul 14 2010
It’s important to update your will after you have a baby. (edit: and after you buy a house!)
Many Canadians haven’t taken the most basic estate planning step which is writing a Will. They should. Without a Will, your estate doesn’t automatically go to your spouse and children, but ends up being distributed according to the rules of your province. Continue reading “Estate Planning — Planning for the inevitable.” »
I wonder how my clients, prospective clients, friends, advocates, and my family would feel if I told them I had never read the conflict of interest guidelines related to my work as a real estate sales representative? How would your employers feel if you decided that your volunteer work was more important than your paid job as Mayor for 2 hours every day throughout the summer football season.
I am sorry to get bent out of shape again about Rob Ford, but really, how would the world work if we all operated like that? How would it be if I just decided that ignorance was a good defense? I could try this:
“Hey, Client X. How is your summer going? I am doing a really good job selling your house while you are at your cottage. I had a great idea to help people out who had nowhere to go on this hot day. I thought it would be OK if I just used your keys to let myself in and have a party by Continue reading “Political Football” »
September 6, 2012 — Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 6,418 sales through the TorontoMLS system in August 2012, representing a year-over-decline of almost 12.5 per cent compared to 7,330 sales reported in August 2011. The number of new listings reported in August was down by 5.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2011. Continue reading “Low-Rise Home Sales Drive August Price Growth” »
It is almost embarrassing to admit to you that I got into this career by starting out making a bunch of mistakes, but here goes. When we moved to Ottawa in the 1990’s,
I looked at many houses, and finally fell in love with a house that was ‘For Sale by Owner (FSBO) or “Fiz-bo”. It was an old Victorian farm house in Alta Vista with a huge lot, and it defined charm.
Over a picnic table, and a cold bottle of white wine on a hot summer night, we had my cousin, a lawyer, prepare an Offer. We negotiated directly with the seller, who was a great person and became a friend. We were lucky, but we overpaid for the house because we didn’t really know the comparable prices. I renovated the kitchen and a bathroom, and after 3 years we sold the farm house and moved for a better school district. The next house required a complete gutting, a substantial three-story addition, entirely new electrical and mechanical systems, finishes, bathrooms and a kitchen. I was the general contractor on the project, I loved doing it, and I learned a lot.
My marketing was better than this!
When we planned our move back to Toronto, I thought for sure I could sell the house. I wanted to be FSBO. Sell it by myself. Hey, I mean, I watched HGTV regularly, studied courses in Architectural Technology, was experienced in marketing, sales and negotiations, and I knew the location of every plug and pipe. I knew about staging and making things look big and pretty. De-clutter. Paint. Hang a Mirror. Move your kid’s train set. Wasn’t that all there was to it? Easy-peasy, right?
I had a couple of local agents come in. I told them the truth about my intentions to sell the house myself – and asked for their advice. “Your bathroom counter is ‘disappointing’ “. Snap. New marble. “You have too many books.” Bang. Out came the boxes and in came the packers.
I painted, de-cluttered, fixed things; re-built the front porch in the dead of winter (with the worst snow on record in years), staged the rooms, arranged for great professional pictures, bought flowers, baked cookies, put up a proper For Sale sign, made features sheets (even now I think it was a good presentation), and arranged for the survey.
July 5, 2012 — Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 9,422 home sales through the TorontoMLS system in June 2012. The number of transactions was down by 5.4 per cent in comparison to June 2011. The year-over-year decline was largest in the City of Toronto, where sales were down by 13 per cent compared to June 2011. Sales in the rest of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) market area were comparable to a year ago.
“Buyers continue Continue reading “Low-Rise Home Types Drive June Price Growth” »
For a few years I served on the Board of Directors of a Canadian charity called the Natural Step Canada, which dedicates itself to helping people and organizations work towards a sustainable future. That’s a simple way of saying what they do, but it’s actually very complex.
June 5, 2012 — Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 10,850 transactions through the TorontoMLS system in May 2012 – an 11 per cent increase over the 9,766 sales in May 2011. Sales growth was strongest in the ‘905’ regions surrounding the City of Toronto.“Sales growth in the ‘905’ area code was stronger than growth in the City of Toronto across all major home types. Continue reading “Strong Sales and Price Growth in May” »
Courtesy of: HGTV.ca
By: Paula Margulis
Now that the snow has melted and seasonal debris has been wiped clean, does your sweet abode look a little worse for wear? It may be time to give your home’s exterior some TLC. Improving your home’s curb appeal can increase its value and help you enjoy the property in the warmer weather to come.
Aside from serving as an element of safety and security, lighting can also add great charm to your home and landscaping. Accent lights can highlight your home’s best assets and there are myriad styles on offer to help you achieve the look you want.
Renewal for Patient Recovery
My friends Cynthia Webb, Vice President Leadership Gifts, and Catherine Nugent, Senior Redevelopment Officer, Bridgepoint Health Foundation, recently invited me to tour the new Bridgepoint Hospital and the Don Jail, which is part of the Bridgepoint campus redevelopment. The Hospital specializes in complex care and complex rehabilitation, including medical, physical, occupational, and spiritual recovery. My mother-in-law, Mary, had two extended stints at the current facility, and I was eager to see the new buildings and learn about the leading-edge ideas that have gone into the site plan and building design.
You may have seen the new building going up while driving on the Don Valley Parkway or Bayview extension. Continue reading “My tour of the new Bridgepoint Hospital and the Don Jail” »
May 3, 2012 — Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 10,350 transactions through the TorontoMLS system in April 2012. This level of sales was 18 per cent higher than the 8,778 firm deals reported in April 2011. The strongest sales growth was reported in the single-detached market segment, with transactions of this home type up by 22 per cent compared to a year ago.
“Interest in single-detached homes has been very high, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. Growth in single-detached listings has not kept up with demand, which means competition between buyers in this market segment increased. With this in mind, it was no surprise that the strongest annual price increase was also experienced in the single-detached segment,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President, Richard Silver.
The average price for April 2012 transactions was $517,556 – up 8.5 per cent Continue reading “Market Remains Tight with Sales Up in April” »
I get really quite ticked off at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford using the St. Clair West street car project as an example of everything that goes wrong in the City, because it is not true, but the message can become the reality. St. Clair West is in pretty good shape, and it is attracting some good new businesses and restaurants. It does not help businesses to have the Mayor using it as his personal punching board. It is the Mayor’s job to promote the City and all that it stands for. Warts and all. That means accepting that Toronto has a history, a legacy and events and people and neighbourhoods and cultures that he may not know or like or understand. It means he doesn’t get to re-design everything in his own image. Pride Day. Light Rail. Bikes. Vegan. People who disagree with him. People who think democracy and consultation matters. Journalists who ask questions about elected officials and what they do in their spare time. Its called “public life” for a reason, Rob. You live in public, and you represent all the public.
My own experience with the waiters at Catch was better than this, and the food is great!
By Joanne Kates, Globe & Mail, April 27, 2012
Thanks to my insistence on that old-fashioned thing called service in restaurants, I am often accused of being an aging spoiled brat. If it’s old-fashioned to expect some hospitality with my dinner, then call me outdated. How about a warm welcome, friendly waitstaff who know what they’re serving and can deliver it with a smile and a modicum of grace? Is all that uncool?
Absent that amenity, the best food in the world is not so much fun.
Witness dinner at Catch, the hot new sustainable seafood restaurant where Filippo’s used to be, on St. Clair West, across the street from the Rushton. (Frank Pronesti, who owns the Rushton and was one of the original partners at Ferro, also owns this place.) Catch’s kitchen is top-notch. Continue reading “Sustainable Catch is more than a flash in the pan” »