{ Archive for the ‘real estate’ Category }

italian village for sale on ebay

Have you ever considered Ebay for your real estate enquiries? Maybe you should. I will now, at least.

Ebay Italy must have been experiencing some high volume traffic recently. After all, it’s not every day you can bid on an Italian alpine village for less than what a two-bedroom condo goes for in Toronto.


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places to go, people to see: modern home tour

Have you ever been out for a walk or a drive and chanced upon a stunning modern house? Looking more like pieces of art than houses, these dwellings are nestled all over Toronto, and this weekend you can get up close and personal. This Saturday, June 7, the second annual Toronto Modern Home Tour will grant participants an intimate glimpse of some of the best contemporary architecture and design in the city. The self-guided tour will include at least six homes and run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buy your ticket online here today or tomorrow for $30 US, or the day of at one of the homes on the list for $40 US. Kids younger than 12 get in free, so it’s a great opportunity to spend some quality time with the family without breaking the bank. Highlights include the award-winning home of artist Charles Pachter, located in Chinatown, designed by Stephen Teeple of Teeple Architects. Built in 2005, the home appears like a stack of transparent cubes – definitely not the dwelling for a messy person!

Teeple Architects

Courtesy of Teeple Architects

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around town: cabbagetown

Have you heard of Cabbagetown?? Located in Toronto’s East End, this historical community is minutes away from Yorkville, Leslieville and the heart of downtown. It is also where I call home!!! Since living here for the past 3 years my love affair for this neighbourhood has solidified, and I continue to look forward to learning more about the history surrounding this area as well as the growth and opportunity it promises!

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Design Inspiration: Florida

I recently spent some time in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and while I was there, I got to enjoy a boat cruise through Los Olas to see some of the biggest and most expensive homes in the city. The huge estates are owned by Fortune 500 CEOs, celebrities and socialites and were a real feast for the eyes! I thought I’d share a few of my favourites.

Here’s one of the more “quaint” homes I saw. I love the charming green shutters.


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6 things to avoid when renting an apartment

Do you rent? It’s been 8 years and I’ve had 12 apartments. Apparently that’s not enough because here I go again!

Apartment buildings lining the south side of E...

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Apartment renting
I’m still a renter. Don’t worry, I’m okay with it. I’ve had enough experience by now to know exactly what to look for. How to budget. What necessities I can’t live without. Which neighbourhoods I like. I’m a confident gal now.

The list
What’s become even more important is what I don’t want. Here’s my top 6 list of things to avoid when apartment hunting.

1 Carpet
It just loves holding onto dust, hair and dead skin. Not to mention sucking up stains.  Save yourself from the allergies or asthma and just avoid it. Some landlords will even remove it if you ask nicely. Or they will eventually. If you don’t rent it, that is.

2 Tiny ovens
As a renter, I’m not looking to invest in the latest appliances, so the ones in the apartment need to be up-to-date. Older apartments still have those ancient, half-sized ovens. Can’t fit a cookie sheet? Can’t rent it.

3 Single sinks
Ok, this isn’t an automatic deal breaker, but size does matter. I like to cook. This requires lots of pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. If it isn’t a double sink, it needs to be big.

4 Water damage
Sounds obvious, but the nightmares of ceilings falling and walls crumbling are real. So very real. Don’t let renovations and paint fool you.

5 Outlets
I embrace the age of technology. And you can’t be tech chic when the batteries are dead. Make sure you have enough outlets and that they’re in spots you can reach them once the room is arranged. Power cords running along floorboards is so not chic.

6 Middle of nowhere
I was raised in a city with public transportation. Convenient? Yes. Reliable? Not so much. I know how easy a delayed commute can ruin the start or end of my day, so I make it easy by being on a good, direct transit line. Not to mention nearby amenities. If I can’t walk to a grocery store or bank I’m probably not in the right spot.

Do you rent or own your home?

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prepping a house for sale and finding the perfect neutral paint

My mom is in the process of selling her house and as we prepare to put it on the market, we got some valuable advice from our real estate agent, Linda Turner with Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty.

While the house is in great shape, the one thing Linda emphasized was the need for us to remove all the artwork on the walls; my mom’s an art-lover and there are paintings everywhere. But Linda encouraged us to remove the art, not only to depersonalize the space but to cover up all those holes on the wall. This meant we had to paint the entire main level of the house. Big job but we got it done!

“A fresh coat of paint goes a long way as an inexpensive facelift, wowing buyers immediately upon entering your home,” says Linda. “Keep tones neutral as this will give your rooms a spacious feel. Having said that, if one large principle room has a vivid colour on a feature wall and is accented with bright white trims (including crown moulding, upgraded baseboards and possibly French doors), this could prove to be a fabulous, eye-catching focal point of your main floor.”

It is also a good idea to depersonalize your home of family photos and to keep artwork to a minimum, she says. “This is particularly important on staircase walls. You want prospective buyers to concentrate on and remember all the fine details of your home. Selecting just one or two paintings that truly complement a room’s decor will also enhance the spaciousness of the room,” says Linda.

So – we set to the task of removing the artwork on the walls, filling the holes, sanding and repainting. Our search for the perfect neutral led us to find Sico’s Icing Sugar (6092-11) and we couldn’t be happier with the results. I love the colour; it’s a warm and delicious white. I’ve made a mental note of the name and definitely plan to use it again, likely to repaint my mom’s new home when she finds it.

Prepping the dining room: We removed all the artwork, filled the holes left behind and painted over the existing taupe paint.

The final result: Fresh and clean, Sico’s Icing Sugar (6092-11) was a lovely choice!

It was a lot of work but Linda was right. All the rooms on the main level of the house now look fresher, cleaner and larger. We’re ready to put the house on the market and welcome prospective buyers.

Have you ever staged your home for sale? Got any tips to share?