Monday, July 24, 2017


A few simple precautions can secure your page against hackers.

Imagine if someone hacked into your Facebook account, changed your password and started posting inappropriate content.  You'd be forced to sit and watch your reputation go down the drain.

Here are a few ways to avoid a hack:

  1. ix38wq%Pc - Make sure you have a strong password with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.
  2. Play Hard to Get - Visit the Privacy section under Settings to limit who's able to view your profile details.
  3. Catch a Hacker Early - Select Settings and then Security and Logins and turn on get alerts about unrecognized logins.
  4. Extra Security - Visit Two-Factor Authentication in the Security and Logins section to choose an extra layer of security.
  5. Best Friends - Designate a few friends under Your Trusted Contacts that can help you get back into your account if you get locked out.

Facebook has various security features but they usually have to be manually activated.  Once done though, it’ll be much harder for a hacker to gain access to your account and much easier for you to regain control in the event it does happen.

Monday, July 17, 2017


Consider the pros and cons carefully before purchasing a condo.

Condos appeal to everyone from young urbanites who want to be in the heart of the action to seniors who just want to relax and enjoy their golden years playing tennis and relaxing by the pool.

Families are also starting to gravitate towards condos as they’re an affordable way to escape the suburbs and move to a vibrant downtown atmosphere where various amenities are only steps away.

Aside from being affordable, condos are low maintenance as you don't have to spend your weekends cutting the grass and cleaning the gutters.  They also offer enhanced security features which are perfect for those who like to travel.

Convenience however comes at a price in the form of condo fees which can be costly depending on the amenities offered by the complex.  That said, condos are often very affordable compared to single family homes, especially for those who are downsizing.

When you buy a condo, you don't own the land beneath you but instead share a common interest with others in the complex.  This means you'll be subject to rules and regulations that can dictate anything from the type of planters you’re allowed to display to the kinds of blinds you can hang.

Joint ownership also means you'll be in close contact with your fellow condo owners.  Some people love the sense of community offered by condos but for those who value their privacy, it can be a difficult adjustment.  Pets are another key consideration as Fido may not be welcome in some buildings.

If your real estate vision includes extensive renovations, condo living may not be for you as your options could be limited.  If however you'd rather spend your time chilling by the pool instead of painting shutters, the low maintenance factor may be just what you're after.  It's really a choice of freedom vs. freedom.

Monday, July 10, 2017


If your washing machine is giving off a musty smell, it’s time for a wash!

Washing the washing machine may seem strange but over time, soap scum and bacteria build up in front loading washing machines which creates a musty smell.

Start by cleaning the rubber door gasket with white vinegar and water.  Next, mix ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and add it to the detergent compartment, then pour 2 cups of vinegar in the drum and run an empty load at the hottest setting.

Clean your washing machine every month to keep it in tip top shape.  If you leave the door open between loads, promptly remove laundry as soon as the load has finished and don’t use too much detergent, you’ll help keep your washing machine fresh and clean.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

KWAR Market Update for June 2017

More listings meet continued buyer demand in June

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (July 5, 2017) –– For the first time this year home sales in June decelerated on a monthly basis. Last month’s 716 residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were down 3.2 percent compared to last year’s record breaking June.

This brings the total number of sales during the first half of the year to 3,834, an increase of 9.1 per cent compared to 2016.

“Home sales in June were very strong, and we’re on track to have another record breaking year of residential sales,” says James Craig, President of KWAR. “June is the fourth consecutive month home sales in the Kitchener-Waterloo area have exceeded 700 units. Historically sales in KW and area have only ever surpassed the 700 unit threshold in a single month three previous times.”

Home sales in June included 467 detached homes (down 4.3 per cent compared to June 2016), and 141 condominium units (down 5.4 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 53 semi-detached homes (up 15.2 percent) and 51 freehold townhouses (down 5.6 per cent).

“We definitely saw more supply coming on the market the past two months and that has helped to meet the strong home buyer demand,” said Mr. Craig.

REALTORS® listed 1,083 residential properties in K-W and area last month, a 28.7 per cent increase compared to June of 2016. It’s the second month in a row that the number of new listings put on the market has exceeded 1,000 units, demonstrating an unprecedented surge of supply. Nevertheless, inventory levels remain very low, sitting at near or less than one month of inventory as strong buyer demand endures in Waterloo region.

The average sales price of all residential sales increased 19.8 per cent to $465,772 compared to June 2016. Detached homes sold for an average price of $537,389 for an increase of 19.3 per cent, while the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $276,443 for an increase of 17.6 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $341,716 (up 23.2 per cent) and $380,660 (up 28.4 per cent) respectively.

Addressing the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) that the Ontario government announced on April 20, 2017, the president of the KWAR says it’s still too soon to know what if any impact it will have on the market. The province recently released its first data tracking sales in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) from April 24 and May 26 showing that 4.7 per cent of transactions that occurred may be subject to the NRST. “We don’t believe that foreign buyers were making a meaningful impact on Waterloo region’s real estate market,” says Mr. Craig. The NRST is a 15-per-cent tax on the residential property purchased by individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada or by foreign corporations and taxable trustees. Waterloo region is included in the GGH.

The KWAR cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing long term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a local REALTOR®. REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the
areas to probe and what to look for so that buyers get a complete picture of the property and community they’re considering.

Monday, July 3, 2017


Bring new life to your outdoor space by creating a peaceful paradise.

Imagine relaxing after a stressful day at work and unwinding on a backyard lounger while listening to the sound of flowing water.

Your backyard’s the perfect place to take a break from the hectic pace of everyday life, and the addition of a water feature will help transform your garden into an oasis of tranquility, give it a beautiful focal point and may well increase the value of your home.

Water features also create an environmentally friendly haven for wildlife such as frogs, birds and butterflies. There are a wide variety of solar powered fountains to choose from and by utilizing the sun's rays, you'll lower your electricity bills and won't get tangled up in cords.

Water attractions can be as simple or complex as your budget allows, ranging from a simple tabletop fountain to a full-scale babbling brook. Safety of course should be a concern if you have small children and if you plan on digging, make sure to contact the utility companies.

It's important to spend a bit of time during the planning stage to ensure your water feature will integrate with your landscape and environment and then once you’ve finished implementing your new water feature, find a comfortable seat, close your eyes and imagine yourself in paradise.

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