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4 tips for dealing with your insurance company if you get a leaky roof

Wednesday Aug 07th, 2019

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Water is the new fire in insurance. Water leakage and flooding can quickly spread throughout a house. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, insurance companies are now paying more for water damage than fire damage. To prevent getting stuck in a stressful claim situation, it’s important to know how your insurance covers water damage.  Now, here are a few things to keep in mind if a leak springs in your home. Insurance companies will send an adjuster: The... [read more]

3 ways to create a chic and cozy living room

Thursday Jul 18th, 2019

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The living room is a primary gathering spot for relaxing and entertaining with family and friends. Create a contemporary and cozy space for lounging that is chic yet livable. Sharon Grech, Benjamin Moore colour and design expert, shares three ways to create the ultimate space.  Create rhythm. Living rooms are often open to other areas of the home, which can make it challenging to select a colour palette that will work with adjacent rooms. Using different shades of the same colour... [read more]

Make an easy home inventory list for insurance

Friday Jul 12th, 2019

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home insurance tips

Your home is where you store your most valuable possessions – from jewelry to furniture, to electronics like laptops. Ensuring these things are protected requires home insurance. Start by looking for the best deal for your needs on a site like LowestRates.ca, which quickly and easily compares the insurance market for you. Once you’re insured, it’s important that you create an inventory list of what you have in your home. In addition to traditional valuables, you should... [read more]

Decluttering your home: 5 tips and tricks

Friday Jun 14th, 2019

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Organizing or decluttering your home can lighten up the look of your space, as well as your mood. But knowing where to start can sometimes be overwhelming. What items should stay? What should go?  Where do they go? If you are already feeling overwhelmed, a garage sale may be too much. Discarding items in the trash may bring on feelings of guilt. But donating those unwanted items to a reputable charitable organization can be just the right way to clean out your home and do some... [read more]

Buying a home as a family

Thursday May 02nd, 2019

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Canadians who purchase a home with family or parental involvement continues to gain popularity while purchasing a home with a spouse or partner has shown a steady decline over the past few years. According to the 2019 RBC home ownership poll, a family purchase is now nearly as popular sole ownership. The family purchase approach to buying a home is especially popular with the millennial set. While funding as a family provides an opportunity for those who may not be in the financial... [read more]

Scott's Top Places To Move: 5 Up And Coming Towns

Friday Apr 26th, 2019

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Where to move

When people think of moving, they often think about where they could move to get the best bang for their dollar. I don't blame them. My wife and I have spent much of last year visiting Ontario towns and cities looking for our next place to call home. With the rising prices in many metropolitan areas, price is definitely a consideration but it's not the only one.    The average sales price in Mississauga is approximately $800,000 and considering the lifestyle... [read more]

How to reseed bare spots in your lawn

Monday Apr 22nd, 2019

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Bare spots happen on almost every lawn. They can be caused by heavy foot traffic or rough winter weather. Whatever the reason, if the spot is larger than a foot wide, it's important to patch it. Otherwise, weeds will quickly fill the space, or a deep rut can develop if the soil erodes without grass to hold it in place. Fortunately, fixing bare spots is easy. Here are some tips from The Home Depot Canada to help you get started. Choose your seeds. A good rule of thumb is to... [read more]

Do you own a boat? Learn new obligations starting summer 2019

Sunday Apr 14th, 2019

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If you own a commercial vessel or a fishing or recreational boat, there are certain rules to follow, such as obtaining your boating license or registering your vessel. This season, you also need to be aware of new prohibitions and responsibilities. In the summer of 2019, the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act comes into force, under the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. It’s designed to address the growing problem of wrecked, abandoned or... [read more]

Property flipping? Know how it can affect your tax return

Tuesday Mar 26th, 2019

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Buying and selling property as a way to make a profit can be a smart move as long as you do your research and know how to report it at tax time. When you buy property with the main intention of selling for a profit, you are engaged in the business of property flipping. This often means you buy a property, take possession, and do some renovations. After the property is improved, you sell it and any profits become part of your income. You may choose to live in the property while making... [read more]

Sold a home? Know your tax obligations

Sunday Mar 10th, 2019

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If you’ve recently sold a home, there are some things you need to know at this time of year. When you sell your own home (or principal residence) you usually don’t have to pay tax on any profit from the sale. But what you might not know is that even if you are entitled to the principal residence exemption, you need to report the sale on your income tax and benefit return. This became mandatory in 2016. It is also important to remember that on your tax return, you need to... [read more]

Do you know what kind of condo you’re buying?

Thursday Feb 28th, 2019

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Condominiums can come in all shapes and sizes. But it’s important to know that not all condos are created equal when it comes to warranty coverage. Whether you’re buying a condominium townhouse, loft-style two-bedroom or a high-rise studio, they are all classified as condominiums if you own your unit while at the same time share access (and the associated fees) for facilities ranging from pools and parking garages to elevators and driveways, otherwise known as common... [read more]

Buying a new home? What to know about the warranty

Friday Feb 08th, 2019

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Have you purchased a new home or condo from a registered builder? Good news – your new home comes with a warranty backstopped by Tarion, Ontario’s new home warranty provider. In case you have any issues with your home, it’s important to know what the warranty covers. Here’s everything you need to know: Deposit protection. If you put down a deposit when you signed the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, those funds are protected if anything goes wrong. Deposits on... [read more]

How to transform dated kitchen cabinets with paint

Monday Jan 14th, 2019

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Old kitchen and bathroom cabinets are like fashion — what looked good in 1977 doesn’t necessarily look so hot now. Fortunately, painting cabinet doors, drawer faces and face frames is a simple and economical way to transform your kitchen or bathroom. Use these tips from Harrowsmith magazine to get started. 1. Select paint. Real, solid wood and painted composite wood, such as medium density fibreboard (MDF), can both be painted with high-end latex primer followed... [read more]

3 ways to enjoy your backyard year-round

Thursday Jan 10th, 2019

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Backyard Entertainment

Just because we live in the Great White North doesn’t mean we should limit our time enjoying our outdoor space to just three months of the year. Although winter may feel like it will never end, looking for ways to maximize our time outside even before the snow starts to melt is always a good idea. Here are some ways to get your backyard ready for spring and get a full-years-worth out of your space at the same time, regardless of its size: Indoor setups outside. Optimized... [read more]

Canadians want to retire at 63 – will you be ready?

Friday Jan 04th, 2019

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If you want to stop working with plenty of time left to enjoy retirement, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, most of us who are “flexforce” workers – gig workers, job jumpers and postponed professionals – feel that the magical age to stop working is around 63. Whatever your dream retirement age is, it's important to remember that life can throw unexpected curves that steer you off course. That’s why it’s important to have a... [read more]

Affording the retirement you want

Friday Dec 28th, 2018

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Saving For Retirement

  Whether retiring is part of your five-year plan or something of a longer-term dream, it’s never too early or late to start thinking about how to pay for the lifestyle you want. In fact, the number one financial concern that Canadians have is saving for retirement. According to a recent survey by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, 59 per cent of Canadians believe they are either not on track or don’t know if they are on track to retire. To steer yourself... [read more]

3 plant-based holiday smoothies

Monday Dec 10th, 2018

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  Whether you’re looking to indulge in a festive holiday treat or need a quick solution to fill up before a late-night dinner party, holiday smoothies are a great option that can be whipped up in no time. Check out the recipes and benefits of each below. Plant-based “eggnog” smoothie. Enjoy the same taste as conventional eggnog without the added sugars. This version is made fresh with spices, fruit and vegetables to provide you with an extra boost. Simply... [read more]

Popular Winter Recreational Regions

Friday Nov 30th, 2018

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In Collingwood, median property prices continued to increase in 2018. Detached property home prices rose 6.3 per cent year-over-year to $549,900. Properties in the condominium segment experienced an uptick in value as well, rising 5.4 per cent year-over-year to $407,700, demonstrating a steady demand for recreational properties in the region. “Torontonians, and those living west of the city in Cambridge, Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo, make up the largest buyer segment in... [read more]

5 questions to ask when house hunting

Sunday Nov 18th, 2018

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Whether you’re moving into your first home or your fifth, it can be daunting trying to find the best place to live. But you can make the experience smoother and less stressful by doing your research and knowing which questions to ask. Here are some key questions renters and buyers alike can benefit from asking: How long will I live here? Maybe you’re moving because you got a promotion, or are planning on starting or growing your family in the near future. Make a list... [read more]

3 tips to master indoor renovations this winter

Tuesday Nov 13th, 2018

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Prepping Your Home For Sale

While many of us hesitate to begin a home makeover during the colder months, this can actually be a great time of year to tackle a project. All you need is some research and planning.  For starters, you’re much more likely to find a contractor who’s available for hire in the winter, since many people choose to do home projects during the more popular warmer periods. Second, renovating your home during... [read more]

Top 4 barriers to home ownership

Tuesday Oct 23rd, 2018

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(NC) For thousands of Ontario’s aspiring home buyers, the dream of home ownership is getting harder to achieve. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) partnered with Nanos Research to learn more about the challenges facing young Ontarians and future homeowners trying to get into the market. Here’s what they found: 1. Close to 50 per cent of buyers can’t save enough for a down payment. Housing prices are increasing, but household income is not growing at the same... [read more]

3 tips for aspiring home buyers

Thursday Oct 18th, 2018

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(NC) As the seasons change and the leaves begin to change colour, it means one thing for real estate — the next wave of home buying is on its way. According to a recent Ryerson University report, this year alone, potentially 50,000 new millennials in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will be entering the market. To help you prepare, here are three tips to consider before buying a home: Make a list of your wants and needs. It’s easy to confuse your wants with... [read more]

Keep more money in your pocket for retirement

Thursday Sep 27th, 2018

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If you’re retired, you know that every dollar counts. And whether you need the money for a long trip or for a rainy day, it’s important to stretch every dollar. Here are some ways to keep more cash in the bank during your golden years. DIY household chores. When you work nine to five, you have less time to mow the lawn and clean the house, and might have hired someone instead. But now you can squeeze in a mini workout and save money by doing these tasks yourself. For... [read more]

Small makeovers, big style impact

Thursday Sep 27th, 2018

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Sometimes you want to create a major change in your home, but don’t want to shell out for an expensive renovation. Fortunately, you can use these tips to makeover any space. Kitchen. Instantly make this room look sophisticated and transformed with a new backsplash. Since it’s a relatively small surface area, you can splurge on more luxurious tiles to create the aesthetic of your dreams, whether it’s sleek and modern or rustic and country. Finish off the room by... [read more]

How to help your savings last through retirement

Tuesday Sep 11th, 2018

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For many retirees, it can be a challenge to shift mindsets from saving and investing during working years to spending it in retirement. But learning to plan and pace your spending can go a long way toward ensuring your retirement savings will last through your lifetime. Here are a few tips to get started:   Revisit your budget. As your circumstances change, so will your budget. There are items you may no longer need to purchase, such as commuter passes, workweek lunches or a... [read more]

What to do if your condo isn’t move-in ready

Friday Aug 17th, 2018

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When you purchase a pre-construction condominium, you expect your home will look just like the sales brochure promised. Unfortunately, some owners end up moving into buildings that are still under construction and into units that are missing their carefully chosen finishes or lacking features needed to make them comfortable. Owners who find themselves in these situations are understandably frustrated and disappointed – and they want to know how this can happen. It’s... [read more]

The first-time homebuyer's path to homeownership

Thursday Jul 12th, 2018

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First-time homebuyers know it is important to weigh their options before embarking on the Canadian dream of owning a home but many do not know where to start. Here are the milestones potential homebuyers pass to make sure they are making the right purchase.   Determine your net worth. Take your assets (cash, investments, savings, vehicles and other items you own) and subtract your liabilities (car loans, lines of credit, overdrafts and credit cards). A positive number is a good sign... [read more]

What to do if your condo is cancelled

Saturday Jul 07th, 2018

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As the market for detached homes has slowed, the demand for condos has continued to grow as people see them as a more affordable option.  While there seems to be no shortage of willing condo buyers, there is a shortage of pre-construction units available for sale. Unfortunately, this is due in part to development projects taking longer than expected, or some being cancelled altogether. There are many different reasons why some developments never get built. For example, the builders... [read more]

Increase resale value with new countertops

Wednesday Jun 20th, 2018

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Want a quick way to boost what your home is worth? According to a recent survey conducted by Houzz, countertops are the top upgraded feature in most homes and the material most likely to be splurged on. There are several materials to consider when replacing your countertop. Here, The Home Depot shares insights that will help you decide which style is the best for your lifestyle. Consider these tips not only when you are looking to sell your house, but also when you are searching for a new... [read more]

Why is my house so hot?

Tuesday Jun 12th, 2018

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If you’ve ever noticed that it feels much cooler at the cottage or rural areas than at home in the city, you’re not wrong. Thanks to the urban heat island effect, cities tend to have much hotter temperatures than the surrounding countryside. Research shows that the annual average temperature of cities with a million or more people can be as little as 1ºC warmer and as much as 12ºC warmer than nearby areas. This is because the concrete, brick and asphalt that make... [read more]

Choosing the best material for your fence

Thursday Jun 07th, 2018

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A new fence can beautify your yard and add value to your home. Whether you’re building a fence to add charm to your backyard or create a place for your family to gather, know that different types of fences provide different levels of safety, privacy and style. Here are some tips from Steve Trescher, director of merchandising building materials at the Home Depot Canada, on which materials to consider when starting your fence project. Wood. Pressure-treated wood and cedar are... [read more]

Expert-approved tips to bring the indoors out

Friday Jun 01st, 2018

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Homeowners looking to take advantage of summer weather want to extend their living space beyond their four walls. Whether working with an urban patio or an expansive backyard, setting up al fresco living is easier than you think. Design expert Kimberley Seldon and the Electrical Safety Authority share tips to take your outdoor space from builder basic to extraordinaire. Designing a living room-style space outside gives you more room to entertain guests or casually watch television under... [read more]

Essential summer home improvement tips

Monday May 07th, 2018

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Last year we saw record rainfall in many parts of Canada over the warmer months. Before the first summer storm hits this year, take some time to protect your property against flooding. Protect doors and windows. Put weather protection sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors. Install flood shields or barriers for basement windows and doors, making sure the tops of the shields extend above ground level. Safeguard water systems. Install backwater valves... [read more]

Perfect your perennial garden this spring

Tuesday May 01st, 2018

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Repairing your garden after an extreme winter can take some time and effort. But consistency is key to keeping your blooms fresh and full year after year. Mark Beaty, live goods merchant at The Home Depot Canada, shares tips on how to prepare your garden and help your perennials thrive. Preliminary cleanup. Fluctuating temperatures, frost and salt can all damage your garden throughout the winter, so you want to act quickly to help your plants recover. Once the ground has thawed, clean... [read more]

What's in a healthy lawn?

Monday Apr 16th, 2018

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A healthy lawn does more than just please the eye — it provides a whole range of environmental, social and economic benefits. Trees, shrubs and turf help remove smoke, dust and other pollutants from the air and keep people healthy. Experts also tell us that having just one healthy tree on the front lawn removes the same amount of carbon dioxide from the air that's emitted from driving a car 17,700 kilometres. Lawns also produce oxygen: 2,500 square feet of turf releases enough... [read more]

Why a finished basement is worth the wait

Monday Apr 09th, 2018

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Moving into a newly built home is exciting. Once the boxes are unpacked, most owners want to put their own personal stamp on the space, starting with the unfinished basement. But there are good reasons why it's better to put the dream of a perfect game room, man cave or music room on hold for at least a year after moving in.   Almost all new homes in Ontario come with a new home warranty that lasts seven years. The warranty coverage for the first year is the most comprehensive... [read more]

Stress management tips for the sandwich generation

Tuesday Apr 03rd, 2018

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It can be challenging to juggle your time to meet the concurrent needs of children and aging parents who all require your attention and care. There are some things you can do to achieve a better balance of work and caring responsibilities. Learn more about the illness or condition. If you're supporting a relative with a chronic illness, or a condition like dementia, speak to their doctor or a healthcare professional to find strategies that can help you care for them. You can also... [read more]

Simple spring ideas add seasonal touches to your home

Wednesday Mar 14th, 2018

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A new season is here, and that means it's time to give your living spaces an update. Refresh your home with a few strategic elements that can take you from winter to wow. Surprise with unexpected florals. Flowers during springtime are not exactly a groundbreaking idea, but you can add a twist by incorporating them in creative ways. Think removable wallpaper or a reupholstered statement armchair with pretty, punchy or playful florals. Fresh flowers are never a miss, and you can make... [read more]

Add value and style to your home

Tuesday Mar 06th, 2018

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Updating your home can make the space more livable and beautiful. But giving your home a refresh can also boost your property value. Here are some ideas to consider for your next improvement project, big or small. Layer the lighting. The secret to making a room look like it came straight out of a magazine is layered lighting. Set the tone with ambient lighting at every height. Try experimenting with wall-mounted sconces, pendants, chandeliers or foot lamps for a brighter space and... [read more]

GTA REALTORS® Release February Stats

Tuesday Mar 06th, 2018

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March 6, 2018 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,175 residential transactions through TREB's MLS® System in February 2018. This result was down 34.9 percent compared to the record 7,955 sales reported in February 2017. The number of new listings entered into TREB's MLS® System totaled 10,520, a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the 9,801 new listings entered in February 2017. However, the level... [read more]

Top tips to create an ideal income suite

Friday Feb 16th, 2018

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From the condominium craze to the rise of multigenerational living, the climbing cost of homeownership across Canada continues to spawn new trends. The transformation of basements into rental suites is a big one that can help offset mortgage costs. There are plenty of advantages, as well as some important considerations to ensure the best result. Do your homework. Check zoning, bylaws and adhere to your local building code. As with any new construction or renovation, building permits... [read more]

Should you rent or buy a house for your student?

Thursday Feb 15th, 2018

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With high school students across the country deciding on their post-secondary education right now, where they will live while at school should play an important part in the decision. Given that more than two-thirds of post-secondary students plan to live away from home during their studies and parents often foot the bill, have you considered how much it will cost? While many rent, some parents opt to invest by purchasing a home for their kids to live in while away. But when does this... [read more]

Spring cleaning tips to organize your home and life

Wednesday Feb 14th, 2018

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The end of winter and beginning of spring signal new beginnings, so use this time to breathe new life and freshen up the spaces and things you use every day. Here are some ideas to get started.   For your living space. Get ready for spring and summer by decluttering the most commonly used areas in your home. Recycle or donate things you no longer need, and use shelving, baskets and decorative storage containers to tidy the items you do need on hand while eliminating visual clutter.... [read more]

Transform your tiny home with these tips

Monday Feb 12th, 2018

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Many homeowners want to freshen up their homes with a series of renovations, but must get creative with their use of small spaces. It's a common dilemma, especially with the uptick in condo living in recent years. Here are some tips for your tiny home reno: Maximize your organization. When planning a small home renovation, using your space efficiently should be top of mind. Whether you are making space to store shoes in a non-existent foyer or reorganizing the kitchen to create a... [read more]

Genius small bathroom makeover ideas

Saturday Feb 10th, 2018

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Looking for your next reno project? Consider transforming your bathroom — the most renovated room in 2017 — with a few strategic upgrades so you can enjoy a relaxing oasis and boost your property's resale value. Whether you're looking to refresh your ensuite or a powder room, use these tricks to make the most of every square foot. Savvy storage solutions. Maximize limited space by incorporating streamlined and efficient organizing and storage options. Think floating... [read more]

Your first home may not be your forever home

Friday Feb 09th, 2018

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Home ownership is a goal for most of us, and millennials appear to be the most optimistic group. According to an RBC poll, two in five millennials said they intend to buy a home in the next two years. But the cost of home ownership and things like regulatory changes can make saving for a downpayment more difficult and, for many, put the dream of home ownership out of reach. Sometimes, however, first-time buyers may not be looking at all their options. A little flexibility and compromise can... [read more]

Moving on up: Should you buy or sell first?

Wednesday Feb 07th, 2018

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In Canada's evolving real estate markets, both buying and selling a home are very personal decisions. Add buying and selling at the same time, and the process becomes even trickier. The path up the property ladder is different for everyone and which to do first depends on your unique circumstances. “Buying and selling a home at the same time is no small endeavour and involves extensive research and a clear understanding of all the steps involved,” explains Nicole Wells,... [read more]

How To Avoid Real Estate Fraud

Tuesday Feb 06th, 2018

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As housing prices climb in many markets across the country, real estate fraud can become a much more enticing prospect for scammers. While it's one of the lesser known kinds of fraud in Canada, its impact can be devastating. There are two types of real estate fraud that may result in financial losses — title fraud and foreclosure fraud. Title fraud happens when a fraudster steals the title to a home — usually after stealing the owner's identity — then sells the... [read more]

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