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10 great reasons for using a REALTOR
Posted on Tue, 02 Dec 2014, 10:55:12 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.

10 Greatest Reason for using a REALTOR®


  1.      Working with a professional provides peace of mind.

REALTORS® adhere to a strict code of ethics, are insured and are committed to

ongoing education. They have intimate knowledge of sales and trends in the

local marketplace and their knowledge of contract law also ensures the paperwork

is handled correctly.

  1.     Get information on new listings first.

Not only do REALTORS® have access to a multiple listing service,

REALTORS® are also invited to exclusive "agent only" open houses that let them

find out what's on the market before anyone else.

  1.     Market that property!

Your REALTOR® will distribute information about your property to their

network of other agents, industry partners, preferred clients and the public. This is a

great help towards getting the word out that your home is for sale.

  1.     They know your competition.

When selling your home, your REALTOR® is the best person to provide

you with up-to-date information on the marketplace. From their experience doing

hundreds of transactions, they know the price and features of competing properties.

  1.     Find the right property for your specific needs.

REALTORS® can help source locations and homes that are

specific to your needs. They also know where schools, hospitals and amenities are

located, and can advise on neighbourhood discrepancies.

  1.     Help you to evaluate a property.

REALTORS® know which inspections should be conducted on potential

purchases including checks for termites, dry rot, and asbestos. They can also help

you gain access to important information such as the title and sales history of the

property. If issues are contained in the title report, a REALTOR® can assist you

to resolve them before problems arise.

  1.     Negotiating: Secure the best price for your home. REALTORS® are

expert negotiators, and their experience can equate to thousands of dollars in

your pocket. Along with helping you get the best price, they can assist with date

of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, famishing’s or equipment. The

help of a REALTOR® will maximize your return and give you peace of mind.

  1.     Get the best information on financing options. A REALTOR®

can help you understand the various financing options available and refer you

to a qualified lender or mortgage professional/broker.

  1.     Know what government programs can help. Your REALTOR® knows the

most current incentives and rebates that help homebuyers. Government offerings

on land transfer taxes, home buyer's tax credits and buyer's plans for first-time

homeowners can help save thousands of dollars.

  1. Help you work with the best partners. Finding the right

real estate lawyer, property inspector, tradesmen, movers and other service

providers can be time consuming. A REALTOR® will have a list of people that

they can recommend, saving you time and worry.


Content provided by Genworth Canada.

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Second Unit Licence
Posted on Fri, 17 Jan 2014, 01:39:38 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.

Great news for Mississauga home owners!!!


As of January 2, 2014 you can legally rent your basement apartments, as long as you possess a Second Unit Licence. 


The second unit is defined as a self-contained unit within a detached, semi-detached house or townhouse.  Property owners are responsible for making sure their units are up to Ontario Fire and Building Code standards, as well as City regulations and other licensing requirements. 


When applying for your Second Unit Licence, you may have to obtain document from:

*             Planning and Building

*             Building Inspections

*              Fire Inspections

*             Electrical Safety Authority

For more information on obtaining a Second Unit Licence call 905-615-4311 or 3-1-1 if you are within the city limits. 


You can also visit for more information.


Have a great weekend.


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Why List Now?
Posted on Tue, 07 Jan 2014, 11:00:02 AM  in Home selling tips

If you are planning to downsize or upgrade your home this year now is the time to make the move.  There is a high demand for homes in your neighbourhood; however, there is not enough supply to meet that demand.  Looking at the numbers from the Market Watch, new listings are down by 3.9% compared to last year.  Another worrisome number for the buyers is the number of active listings, which has went down by 13.8% compared to last year.  If you are planning to sell, avoid the spring market, where you might have to compete with many other sellers out there and act now.  With the lack of listings, this move will maximize your profit.  Remember, always hire a professional to take you through this challenging, but at the same time very exciting process of selling your home.

Chris Zborowski

For more information call Realtor Brothers at 647-388-8147.

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Home Ownership & Reno
Thursday, 12 September 2013, 09:30:26 AM

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Finding The Right Neighbourhood For You
Thursday, 12 September 2013, 09:26:11 AM

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013, 04:16:30 PM



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Home Improvement Costs!
Thursday, 25 July 2013, 03:02:08 PM

The following costs are intended as ballpark estimates for repairs and/or improvements to a typical three bedroom home. Our experience has shown that actual contractor quotations can vary by as much as 300%. Naturally, the quality of workmanship and materials will influence costs. The complexity of the job, accessibility and even economic conditions can also alter actual costs.

Roofing / Flashings / Chimneys

Install conventional asphalt shingles over existing shingles

$2.00 – $4.00 per sq.ft.

Strip and reshingle with conventional asphalt shingles

$2.75- $5.50 per sq.ft.

Strip and reshingle with premium quality asphalt shingles

$5.00 - $10.00 per sq .ft.

Strip and re-roof with cedar shingles

$9.00 - $18.00 per sq .ft.

Strip and replace built-up tar and gravel roof

$10.00 - $20.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000)

Strip and replace single-ply membrane

$10.00 - $20.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000)

Reflash typical skylight or chimney

$500.00 - $1000.00

Rebuild typical chimney above roof line

$25.00 - $50.00 per row of bricks (min. $400)

Rebuild typical single flue chimney above roof line

$200.00 – $400.00 per lin.ft. (min. $1000)


Install galvanized or aluminum gutters and downspouts

$5.00 - $10.00 per lin.ft. (min. $500)

Install aluminum soffits and fascia

$8.00 – $16.00 per lin.ft.

Install aluminum or vinyl siding

$6.00 - $12.00 per sq.ft.

Repoint exterior wall (soft mortar)

$3.00 - 6.00 per sq.ft. (min. $500)

Repoint exterior wall (hard mortar)

$5.00 - $10.00 per sq.ft. (min. $500)

Parge foundation walls

$3.00 - $6.00 per sq.ft.

Dampproof foundation walls and install weeping tile

$150.00 - $300.00 per lin.ft. (min. $3000)

Install a deck

$25.00 - $50.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000)

Resurface existing asphalt driveway

$2.00 – $4.00 per sq.ft.

Install interlocking brick driveway

$8.00 - $16.00 per sq.ft.

Rebuild exterior basement stairwell

$5000.00 and up

Build detached garage

$70.00 - $140.00 per sq.ft.

Build retaining wall (wood)

$20.00 - $40.00 per sq.ft. (min. $500)

Build retaining wall (concrete)

$30.00 - $60.00 per sq.ft. (min $500)

Painting (trim only)

$2000.00 - $4000.00 and up

Painting (trim and wall surfaces)

$5000.00 and up


Underpin one corner of house

$5000.00 and up

Underpin or add foundations

$300.00 and up per lin.ft. (min. $3000)

Lower basement floor by underpinning and/or bench footings

$150.00 - $300.00 per lin.ft. (min. $5000)

Replace deteriorating sill beam with concrete

$60.00 and up per lin.ft. (min. $2000)

Install basement support post with proper foundation

$800.00 - $1600.00

Perform chemical treatment for termites

$2000.00 and up

Repair minor crack in poured concrete foundation

$400.00 - $800.00


Upgrade electrical service to 100 amps (including new panel)

$1200.00 - $3000.00

Upgrade electrical service to 100 amps (if suitably sized panel already exists)

$800.00 - $1600.00

Upgrade electrical service to 200 amps

$1700.00 - $3500.00

Install new circuit breaker panel

$700.00 - $1400.00

Replace circuit breaker (20 amp or less)

$100.00 - $200.00

Add 120 volt circuit (microwave, freezer, etc.)

$150.00 - $300.00

Add 240 volt circuit (dryer, stove, etc.)

$300.00 - $600.00

Add conventional receptacle

$200.00 - $400.00

Replace conventional receptacle with ground fault circuit receptacle

$70.00 -$140.00

Replace conventional receptacle with aluminum compatible type (CO/ALR)(assuming several are required)

$60.00 - $120.00 ea.

Upgrade entire house with aluminum compatible receptacles, connectors, etc.

$1000.00 - $2000.00

Rewire electrical outlet with reversed polarity (assuming electrician already there)

$5.00 - $10.00 ea.

Replace knob & tube wiring with conventional wiring (per room)

$1000.00 - $2000.00


Install mid-efficiency forced-air furnace

$2500.00 – $5000.00

Install high-efficiency forced-air furnace

$3500.00 – $7000.00

Install humidifier

$300.00 – $600.00

Install electronic air filter

$800.00 – $1600.00

Install mid-efficiency boiler

$3500.00 – $7000.00

Install high-efficiency boiler

$6000.00 – $12000.00

Install circulating pump

$400.00 – $600.00

Install chimney liner for gas appliance

$500.00 – $1000.00

Install chimney liner for oil appliance

$700.00 – $1800.00

Install programmable thermostat

$200.00 – $400.00

Replace indoor oil tank

$1200.00 – $2500.00

Remove oil tank from basement

$600.00 and up

Remove abandoned underground oil tank

$10000.00 and up

Replace radiator valve

$300.00 – $600.00

Add electric baseboard heater

$250.00 – $500.00

Convert from hot water heating to forced-air (bungalow)

$10000.00 – $20000.00

Convert from hot water heating to forced-air (two storey)

$15000.00 – $30000.00

Clean ductwork

$300.00 – $600.00

Cooling / Heat Pumps

Add central air conditioning on existing forced-air system

$3000.00 and up

Add heat pump to forced-air system

$4000.00 – $8000.00

Replace heat pump or air conditioning condenser

$1200.00 – $2500.00

Install independent air conditioning system

$10000.00 – $20000.00

Install ductless air conditioning system

$3000.00 – $7000.00


Insulate open attic to modern standards

$0.80 – $1.60 per sq.ft.

Blow insulation into flat roof, cathedral ceiling or wall cavity

$2.00 – $4.00 per sq.ft.

Improve attic ventilation

$30.00 – $60.00 per vent


Replace galvanized piping with copper (two storey with one bathroom)

$2500.00 – $5000.00

Replace water line to house

$2000.00 and up

Replace toilet

$500.00 and up

Replace basin, including faucets

$750.00 and up

Replace bathtub, including ceramic tile and faucets

$2500.00 and up

Install whirlpool bath, including faucets

$3500.00 and up

Retile bathtub enclosure

$1000.00 – $2000.00

Replace leaking shower stall pan

$1000.00 – $2000.00

Rebuild tile shower stall

$2500.00 – $5000.00

Replace laundry tubs

$400.00 – $800.00

Remodel four-piece bathroom completely

$6000.00 – $50000.00

Connect waste plumbing system to municipal sewers

$5000.00 and up

Install submersible pump

$1000.00 and up

Install suction or jet pump

$700.00 and up

Install modest basement bathroom

$6000.00 and up


Add drywall over plaster

$4.00 – $8.00 per sq.ft.

Sand and refinish hardwood floors

$2.00 – $4.00 per sq.ft.

Install replacement windows

$40.00 – $120.00 per sq.ft.

Install storm window

$200.00 – $400.00

Install masonry fireplace (if flue already roughed-in)

$3000.00 and up

Install zero-clearance fireplace (including chimney)

$3500.00 and up

Install glass doors on fireplace

$300.00 and up

Install skylight


Remodel kitchen completely

$10,000.00 -$110000.00

Install gas fireplace

$3500.00 and up

 Source: Carson Dunlop

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Mould, mould everywhere
Thursday, 25 July 2013, 02:52:30 PM


By Matthew Brewer


The weather is a constant source of conversation in Canada and a bone of contention. Every spring we see flooding occur across the country. The Prairies encounter flooding frequently during the spring and every fall, Eastern Canada gets hammered with tropical storms and hurricanes. After all of these events we have to deal with the after-effects: mould.

Mould is everywhere. The small spores are floating in the air you’re breathing even as you read this. It’s a ubiquitous part of nature. These microscopic spores float through the air, landing on surfaces. If the conditions are not favourable for growth, nothing happens. But when they land on a surface with the right conditions – dampness and a suitable food source, such as wood or other organic material – a problem will soon occur.

When a spore lands on a suitable surface it begins to grow roots, stem and finally a head, which produces many spores in as little as 12 hours, given the right conditions. These spores are caught by air currents and can then spread.

The spores are small – a typical mould spore is only around three to 40 microns in diameter. To understand just how small this is, consider that human hairs measure between 30 and 120 microns in diameter.

Spores can travel very easily, seeking new places to grow. Sometimes they travel throughout a building using the ventilation system or natural air movement and spread, settling on surfaces, waiting for the opportunity to grow. Others don’t travel far, if the air movement isn’t favourable. In these cases, you can have large colonies growing in a relatively confined area in a short period of time. Each plant produces many spores, which create more growth, which creates more spores…and it goes on until either the food is gone or the conditions change.

Mould causes various issues, both for the building and for the occupants. It uses the building structure as food, which can cause staining or structural damage. The odours of mould growth can become quite unpleasant – the smell is usually a good indicator of when there is a problem. Simply put: if you see or smell mould, you have mould.

In recent years the term “black mould” has permeated the media and society. When I did building assessments, I would often be asked if the mould that was present was black mould. My reply has often been, “If it isn’t black mould, would you still want it?” In building structures, no mould growth should be considered acceptable, no matter the colour. While stachybotrys is black and one of the types with greater recognized risks, having any visible mould is a clear indication that a problem condition exists and should be fixed.

When our health is brought into the picture, things get even more challenging. Some people have sensitivities to mould and can react from the toxins given off by some types – even mould that has died. The spores of some types of mould can cause allergic responses in more sensitive people, including those with bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory conditions. If viable (live) mould is airborne and inhaled by occupants with compromised immune systems, those people can be at increased risk from life-threatening infections. In general, most of the population only notices the odours from mould growth and takes issue with the esthetic aspect.

How do we prevent it from growing? The simplest method is to keep it from entering in the first place. Barring that, the next step is to remove the moisture from the area. When flooding or water infiltration occurs, it’s key to get the water removed as quickly as possible. The longer the moisture sets, the further it can penetrate, making removal more difficult and giving mould a better chance to take hold and create more damage.

When significant growth or water infiltration is suspected, it is strongly recommended that a qualified consultant be brought in. An experienced consultant can determine where the moisture may be coming into the building, as well as find both visible and hidden areas of growth.

If mould has been allowed to grow, how do you get it out? After the moisture source has been found and removed, cleaning should be determined based on the size of the area. If it is a small area, less than 1 m2 (10 square feet), it can often be scrubbed with household cleaners, if it is only a surface growth. Simple cleaning products such as trisodium phosphate (TSP) can be purchased at many stores, or other mould-specific cleaning products can also be used. While bleach is often used, it isn’t recommended due to the damage that the mould can do to the underlying material, as well as the potential for reacting with any toxins and respiratory risks to the users.

If it appears that the mould is thick, has exceeded one square meter or has compromised the material, it is strongly suggested that a professional mould remediation company do the work. It can quickly become a large project requiring specialized equipment and training.

The remediation crew brought in to clean should be expected to follow industry guidelines. A valuable resource is the Canadian construction industry’s publication CCA-82, Mould guidelines for the Canadian construction industry. It offers professionals with information that can be used to do professional cleaning. Another resource is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

For many property maintenance or other professionals who may encounter mould, having an awareness course is always beneficial. These courses are readily available across Canada, and also are available online.

Matthew Brewer is an occupational hygienist. He offers online awareness training in hazardous building materials, such as mould, asbestos and lead through his company, Hazman Environmental Training Services.

Source REM Online.

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Homes in GTA see big price gain
Thursday, 18 July 2013, 10:12:00 AM

 Average prices for a single detached home in these high-end areas are up a whopping 12.7 per cent from last year

By: Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew Business Reporter, Published on Thu Jul 18 2013 in Toronto Star

Toronto has another $1 million neighbourhood.

The average price for single detached homes in Don Mills, Parkwoods-Donalda, and Victoria Village rose to $1.1 million in the first six months of 2013, a report by Remax Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc. shows.

That’s up a whopping 12.7 per cent from the average price of $980,000 for the same period last year.

These high-end areas sit between Eglinton Avenue to Highway 401, from Don Mills Road to Victoria Park Avenue. Small bungalows start in the $600,000 range.

“At the end of the day, the Toronto real estate market continues to be healthy. This health is expected to continue,” Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president, regional director, Remax Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said in an interview.

The Remax report uses January to June data from the Toronto Real Estate Board to compare sales activity in 35 districts across the Greater Toronto Area to the year-earlier period.

The average price for all types of housing, (that includes condos, semis, townhouses, and detached) rose 3 per cent compared to the 2012 period. It stands at $522,000, according to the statistics.

The west-end reported a year-to-date increase of nearly 6 per cent and the average price now hovers at nearly $692,000. Keesdale, Eglinton West, and Weston-Pellam Park saw the biggest gain, 10.2 per cent, with average prices rising to $457,000, the Remax report found.

The average price is $580,300 in the east end, which also saw an average increase of 6 per cent. The sharpest increase, 8.8 per cent, was in Birch Cliff, Oakridge, Hunt Club, and Cliffside, where the price for an average single detached home now sits at nearly $579,600.

Home buyers are still feeling confident in the state of the economy as low lending rates continue. As well, population growth in the GTA continues, Sandhu said. “All of those things are creating this healthy demand and you’re seeing it reflected in the prices.”

There were approximately 46,000 transactions in the first six months of this year. That’s down by about 8 per cent from January to June of 2012, which was a record period as buyers rushed into the market ahead of tighter lending restrictions, Sandhu said.

Sales activity is expected to pick up in the second half of this year, he added.

Would-be buyers who were sidelined by stricter requirements “are now starting to make their way back into the market. They’ve saved more or they’ve resolved to buy a little less house,” Sandhu said.

Year-over-year price increases for 2013 are expected to remain in the low single digits, Sandhu said.

“This is a return to a healthier market. These low single digit increases can be sustainable in the long run with increases in employment and salary levels. In the past, we had years with low double digit increases. Those are not sustainable.”


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Toronto weather: Suffering from Toronto's heat wave? Well, not quite
Wednesday, 17 July 2013, 12:53:12 PM
While there's no internationally accepted meaning, most define a heat wave as three or more days of temperatures over 32 C. It’s hot, but Toronto hasn’t yet seen a heat wave – at least, according to the traditional definition. While there’s no internationally accepted meaning, most define a heat wave as three or more days of temperatures over 32 C, said Dave Phillips, climatologist with Environment Canada. “It is not a heat wave, from that definition,” he said. This temperature was picked because 32 C equals 90 F. “90 degrees feels a lot more like you could cook bacon and eggs on the sidewalk.” Tuesday’s temperature peaked at 32.7 C, and Phillips believes it will get just as hot Wednesday and Thursday. VideoDefying gravity with a human-powered helicopter Defying gravity with a human-powered helicopter Flood power out The Day after Toronto's Rain Storm Etobicoke flooding “My sense is we may be in the midst of one, but it really just started yesterday,” he said. But the problem with hot temperatures is the cumulative effect. “Having four days of temperatures at 31 is much more debilitating than one day at 32,” he said. It was already 26 C at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Phillips said when the temperatures don’t go down below 20 C at night is usually when people start to get sick from the heat. “What we have seen, that to me, is quite significant is the fact we’ve had three days in a row of temperatures above 20,” he said. “That to me, in some days, is the new heat wave.” A heat alert was issued for Toronto on Monday, and was upgraded to an extreme heat alert Tuesday, which continues. During the extreme heat alert, the city has opened cooling centres, and outdoor public pools will stay open until 11:45 p.m. Source: Toronto Star - Online Edition
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