Welcome to 2018! Coming out of the crazy 2017 real estate market, you might be wondering what 2018 has in store for us, and what you should do. Here’s your 2018 Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Forecast.
2018 Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Forecast
- 2017 was a wonderful year for sellers
- The 2018 real estate market looks like it’s going to be a strong market
- International buyers could have an impact on prices and the market
- The front half of 2018 looks very healthy. If you’re looking for a Summer closing, now is a great time to start having conversations about your plan
Find out what your home is worth in 2018
From my team and family to yours, Merry Christmas.
It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is here! Kitchener-Waterloo really gets into the holiday spirit with holiday events, twinkling lights and festive window displays. Every family gets to create their own holiday traditions and build a lifetime of memories. Here are a few of our favourite holiday memories in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Enjoying the Lights
Seeing the first Christmas lights of the season is a surefire way to get into the holiday spirit. As the weeks go on, the lights get bigger and better. We love to walk through Victoria Park to see the lights every year. It’s a great family activity and you can stop by the Boathouse for a hot chocolate.
We also love love love the lights in Waterloo Park. During the day it’s fun to visit the animals, then as the sun goes down, the park lights up with all sorts of characters.
When the snow is falling, the air gets brisk and our families are in the mood for some fun, we always head to a skating rink. Uptown Waterloo and Kitchener City Hall are the best! It’s so fun to skate around and watch what’s going on in the vibrant downtown cores. Plus, it’s a bonus when the food trucks show up. We’ve definitely made some great family memories on days like that.
A German Christmas
Oktoberfest is such a fun time in Kitchener-Waterloo – dancing, the German food, music, games and the parade!.. and it doesn’t end in October. Visiting the Christkindl Market at Kitchener City Hall is a fun way to embrace the culture and get some holiday shopping done.
Here Comes Santa Claus
Of course, we can’t forget when the big man himself comes to town. Every year Santa Claus joins us in Kitchener-Waterloo for the Santa Claus Parade. We’ll always remember bundling the kids up in their snowsuits, sitting streetside with their little mittens holding onto letters to Santa.
Not only do we love to give our families new Christmas PJs each year, we also love to wrap up a few pairs to donate. Many families have this “Christmas PJ” tradition, so it’s nice to share it with others who will really appreciate the pajamas.
We mean this in the best way possible. It’s so fun to drive over to a family member’s house, swing the front door open and be met with Christmas excitement! Those first steps into any home are filled with delicious smells, lots of hugs and so much holiday spirit.
Everyone has their own holiday decorating strategy. For some, it’s based on tradition and using the same ornaments and pieces year after year. Unpacking your favourite Christmas pieces triggers holiday nostalgia.
For others, it’s exciting to add new, modern pieces to your tree or hang a new piece of holiday art. It’s hard to resist all the beautiful decorations in the stores each year.
Whether you’re looking to keep up with tradition or add some new sparkle to your home, we’ve got some great ideas to help you out. Take a look at our 2017 Christmas decorating guide.
2017 Christmas Decorating Guide
A holiday wreath is the perfect addition to any front door. It’s a welcoming gesture…and sometimes jingles. There are so many festive options for wreaths, from greenery to metallics.
Tip: a fresh wreath is an excellent gift idea. Heading to a holiday party? Show up with a wreath and your host is sure to be happy!
The Christmas tree is the focal point of the holiday season. In Kitchener-Waterloo we’re super lucky to be surrounded by lots of Christmas tree farms to choose from. Here are a few to get you started.
If you’re not heading out to a farm to cut your own tree down, you can still find lots of fresh trees in town (there’s nothing wrong with picking up a tree in the parking lot as you get your groceries). Here are 12 things you need to know if you’re buying a real Christmas Tree.
Regardless of where your tree comes from, the important part is spending the time to decorate it with family. So bring your tree up from the basement or in from the roof of the car and get ready to trim that tree! Here’s some fun inspiration for your tree this year:
Table Settings & Centrepieces
Sitting down to a delicious holiday meal is something most people look forward to all year, so take some time create a beautitful table setting. Add a variety of materials and create a layered table, use candles to add some height, or keep it simple with a few accent pieces and colours. Check out these table settings to get some ideas.
Decorations don’t have to come from a store. Making your own ornaments and decorations is a fun festive activity. These ideas are great for the kids to try out.
Tip: Have the kids make ornaments for your family. They make great gifts!
Here are some more ideas if you’ve got a creative hand!
Instructions for making your very own Lighted Burlap Garland.
If you’re in a decorating mood, don’t stop at the front door. Show your holiday cheer outside. Many people put up Christmas lights, and light show displays are becoming increasingly popular. Add lights to accent pieces outside, such as hanging baskets or porch pillars, and add a splash of colour (such as red and green plaid) to your outdoor displays. Here are some great ideas to jazz up your outdoor scene this holiday season.
When it comes to pricing your house right, there are a few things you need to know.
In this market, it’s crucial to price your house right! A year or two ago, there were different strategies used to price and sell a home.
Before, the strategy was to price a home a little above what it was worth, leaving room for negotiation if it was needed.
Things have really changed. Prices have changed drastically over the past twelve months and the pricing strategy has changed.
With the ways things are operating in the real estate market right now, it’s so crucial that a home is priced right.
Talk to us about how to price your home right!
Looking for more information? Here are some helpful videos
Previously, we talked about how important it is to support or local businesses, and how they bring a diversity and innovation to our cities. Our last blog post listed our favourite businesses in Uptown Waterloo. Today we’re talking about out top spots in Downtown Kitchener.
45 King St. W, Kitchener
This is the best restaurant in town. Great food and a fantastic atmosphere. It’s describe as “clean eating with fresh, local ingredients. This is not fine dining. This is modern dining.”
Grand Trunk Saloon
30 Ontario St. S, Kitchener
It’s really cool how the Grand Trunk Saloon has taken bits of history and combined Cajun cuisine with local foods and ideas. It’s a great place for soul food and has one of the best mixology menus out there. It’s a super creative place with a changing menu and a funky atmosphere. Try it. You’ll have a great night!
10 King St. W, Kitchener
This is the perfect place to go with the kids. It has lots of activities! With new exhibitions popping up all the time, it’s a great spot for an educational day out with the family. Plus, the events calendar is full of great fun!
Rhapsody Barrel Bar
179 King St. W, Kitchener
This is a great spot for music and dining in Downtown Kitchener. There’s a full calendar of live music at all times and it has an amazing atmosphere. If you haven’t been, you have to check it out.
Shayne’s Hair & Skin Care Inc.
112 Queen St. S, Kitchener
Yep, that’s right. My hair dresser is second best to none! Highly trained from Vidal Sassoon in California, Lucy is a colour master. She provides incredible customer care and service. Go ahead and book an appointment, you will thank me! – Debbie.
Walper Tobacco and Gifts
15 King St. W, Kitchener
Walper Tobacco is the oldest tobacco shop in Canada, selling premium quality cigars, gifts and more. It’s a hidden gem for special gift giving. From chocolate to Berger lamps and great shaving accessories; it’s not just a men’s store…but certainly a great spot to hit up when you’re searching for a gift for any special man in your life.
Uptown Waterloo has been going through a transformation with the installation of the LRT. Now, more than ever, it’s a great idea to support local businesses in Kitchener-Waterloo. Here are some of our favourite businesses in Uptown Waterloo.
Sablétine Fine Pastries
203 King St. S, Waterloo
Sabéline is a local French pastry shop. The food is delicious. You have to go in for their quiche of the day (we had a great one with caramelized onions and other goodies), with a great salad. It’s very fresh and the prices are great. We highly recommend it for lunch or picking up some yummy pastries.
181 Park St., Waterloo
There’s no better place to pick up a gift. Gifted has the cutest and most unique selection of home accents, jewellery and more. Sick of showing up at a birthday with the same card as other guests? Grab one from gifted. They have so many fun (and local) products.
The Waters Spa
75 King St. S. (Willis Way), Waterloo
Nestled right in Uptown is a relaxing urban spa retreat. It’s a super convenient location with great services and friendly staff. Go for an amazing massage. It’s also great for spa parties with the girls!
191 King St S. Suite 107, Waterloo
Mark Nunes is a clothier and tailer located under the Bauer Lofts. It’s a great spot for quality garments and stellar service.
150 Caroline St. S, Waterloo
If you haven’t been, you’re missing out on fine, fresh foods. Vincenzo’s has an amazing selection of gourmet foods, ready-made dishes and so so so much more. It’s great if you’re looking for something specific, or just want to browse around and let your culinary senses be inspired.
Uptown Pubs & More
Uptown Waterloo has a great selection of pubs and more for beer lovers. Innovation and a love of the craft have brought lots of selection to Waterloo.
100 King St. S, Waterloo
Abe Erb Brewing Company
15 King St. S, Unit 2B, Waterloo
59 King St. N, Upper Level, Waterloo
Beertown Public House
75 King St. S, Unit 37, Waterloo
Duke of Wellington
33 Erb St. W, Lower Level, Waterloo
Gold Crown Brewery
71 King St. W, Waterloo
44 King St. S, Waterloo
Stark & Perri
56 King St. N, Waterloo
The Pub On King
77 King St. N, Waterloo
White Rabbit Public House
47 King St. N, Waterloo
I’ve talked about the importance of having strong connections in this industry. It’s crucial that I bring that type of value to my clients. For anyone who is considering working with a REALTOR® to sell their home, the number one question I would ask is “what connections do you have that will benefit this sale?”.
Since I understand the importance of connections, I put a lot of emphasis on building out my network. This type of business development is what separates top performers in the real estate industry. 30 years of experience in the Kitchener-Waterloo area has given me many strong local connections, my work and networking with RE/MAX has provided me with powerful national connections, and now I’m focused on my global connections.
This year my focus was on building global connections to better serve my clients and gain exposure to even more buyers. I am now connected with elite real estate agents across the world through NAC. As the only REALTOR® in our area in the group, I have exclusive access to top agents, discussions about marketing strategies that are working in other parts of the world, and connections to international buyers and sellers.
Our local real estate market has really been impacted and influenced by out-of-town buyers, including out-of-country transactions. Taking the step to join this international network is something my clients appreciate and can see the value in.
Want to learn more about how this can help you? Let’s talk.
There’s nothing quite as beautiful and comforting as a harvest table with seasonal gourds, rich autumn colours and space for all your favourite people….plus some scrumptious food! These Thanksgiving tables will give your guests even more to be Thankful for. Take a look at the this Thanksgiving table decor inspiration.
Click on a photo to start viewing the gallery.
It’s hard to believe it, but we’re getting to the end of the year. 2017 has seen a vibrant Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market so far. Sellers had excellent opportunities in the markets, investors got some great properties.
What’s going to happen next year?
It’s still a great time to invest. But if you’re looking to stay in your property for another 5 years, you can stay put for now. If you’re thinking of selling in the next year or two, it’s a great idea to put yourself in a good position now. We’d love to sit down and talk with you this year, see your home, and make a plan for next year. Alternatively, give us a call early in the new year and we can get the ball rolling.
It’s always important to start the conversation early, and get some recommendations regarding updates to your home and property.
Give us a call today ➡️ (519) 746-5136
There are so many great activities for families in Kitchener-Waterloo. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, babysitter, friend…or a kid yourself, here are some ideas to get you started.
- Look outside. Our community is a beautiful playground. Skiing, swimming, going to the park, playing catch, riding bikes, camping, water sliding, flying kites, skating, building a snowman and so much more. No matter the season, you can step outside and have a great time with the kids.
- The best activities for kids are the ones where you can really connect with each other and spend quality time together. The Waterloo Region Museum or The Museum in downtown Kitchener are great examples. They always have fun exhibits. Recently there was a great dinosaur exhibit that the kids loved!
- Kawanis Park is a great place to take the kids or grandkids. It has a reasonable entrance fee which gets you an all-day pass. Swimming (shallow enough for the little ones and deep enough for the bigger kids), playground, grassy play spaces, and access to great walking trails for exploring. There’s a snack bar, or you can pack a cooler for the day. It’s a great family place.
- Local frozen yogurt spots are a favourite of lots of kids we know. They get the chance to make their own fun yogurt creations with multiple flavours and lots of toppings.
- Everyone loves going to the movies. Heading to one of the many theatres offers lots of movie selection. Plus in the Summer there are community outdoor screenings in the park which makes for a memorable movie-going experience.
- Waterloo Park splash pad is a great way to stay cool in the hot Summer months.
- We’re lucky to live in a community that has so many trails and great outdoor spaces. Going for a family hike on the trails is a fun way to get exercise and explore new areas.
- In the Winter, skating is a great activity. Local community centres offer public skating and when the weather is right, Victoria Park is the perfect outdoor skating rink.
- Swimming at any of the local community centres or pools is a family favourite. It’s fun plus everyone gets some exercise. Win-win.
- Visiting Waterloo.ca or Kitchener.ca is a good place to look for more ideas. Both cities update their websites with local events and ideas all the time.
- Another resource you can use is our community calendar. We update it every month with fun family-friendly local events.
Have you been thinking about downsizing?
The idea of downsizing comes up when the kids have grown up, moved out and we’re left with more space than we really need. Or sometimes it comes up when a family member or parent is thinking of selling the home and moving.
This can be a confusing time. Sometimes we think “we’re not sure where we’re going” or “is this the right time?”. It’s an interesting transitional period to be in, because there’s no real rush.
The best piece of advice I can give you, if any of these thoughts have crossed your mind, is to reach out to myself or one of the team members and have a discussion. Taking a few minutes to sit down with one of us can help clarify some of the decisions you need to make. There are a lot of components to go over, and that’s why we’re here. We want to give you all the information you need to help make the situation make more sense and determine what is right for you.
The benefit of downsizing is that you can move at your own pace; there’s no rush. Our goal is to give you everything you need to decide what you next step is.
Have a question?
Give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to help you out.
Whenever I attend a networking event I always expect to see familiar faces, meet new friends and strengthen my connections. What I didn’t expect from this year’s RE/MAX National Convention in Vegas was to be so blown away and truly impacted by the powerful and inspiring speakers.
Learn how I connected with the global RE/MAX team
One of the people I was especially inspired by was Erik Weihenmayer. I completely understand now how he’s so successful at what he does. Erik is an athlete, adventurer, author, activist motivational speaker, and on May 25, 2001 “became the only blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everst. In 2008 he climbed Carstensz Pyramid of the island of Papua New Guinea, completing the Seven Summits, the highest point on every continent” (Touchthetop.com).
Listening to Erik speak was both emotional and motivating. I learned a lot about teams and what it takes to accomplish hard tasks. Erik’s pledge of having “no barriers is for everyone, and the pledge is the first step towards living the life you have imagined” (Touchthetop.com). He’s inspired groups of people who get together and accomplish extreme activities despite any impediments they may have.
One story in particular stuck with me. Erik spoke of a man who used his life was artificial limbs to inspire his own business; building prosthetics with chips and sensors to enhance artificial limb technology.
Think about it. What does it take to get the hard stuff done? This attitude can be applied to any situation or business; you just need to be able to see the positive side and develop opportunities.
Canada’s 150th birthday has had us reflecting a lot on our experiences in the country. We all agree Kitchener-Waterloo is an amazing place to live. Lately we’ve been talking about the traveling we’ve done across the country, and we got on the topic of other places that feel like home. Here’s a sneak peak into the conversation we had.
The Collingwood and Blue Mountains area. It feels like home because it’s not too far away from Kitchener-Waterloo and it has the same friendly people. Access to great outdoor activities are everywhere, giving anyone the opportunity to appreciate the sceneries and offerings of the great Canadian outdoors.
British Columbia feels like home, even love I live in KW. I spent a lot of time out West when I was growing up visiting family, and in the early years of my marriage – my husband and I loved to ski the mountains out West in B.C. and in the Summer time we went house boating. There are breathtaking mountains. We would love to retire out West some day!
That’s a hard question to answer. There really is no other place that feels like home for me. There are still a lot of cities I haven’t visited, so I’m sure that could change.
Lake Muskoka – We have kids and grandkids there and look forward to every moment spent in the clear lakes and beautiful countryside.
I love Port Elgin, Ontario. It is a fantastic community on the beaches on Lake Huron. Lots of fun to visit in the Summer or Winter.
For me, the other place that I call home is Goderich and the areas north of there along Lake Huron. I lived and went to high school there for part of my teenage years!
Love love love Quebec! It has such a diverse European feeling to it. It feels like you’re in a different country…but with a Canadian flare.
More blogs from our Canada 150 Series
We asked our team to think about why we love Canada so much. We all have roots here, but our love seems to be deeper. Talking about Canada brought up themes of peace, unity, freedom and beauty. Here are just a few reasons we love this nation.
Our freedom. Our ability to treat each other nicely, no matter the background. We all come together and share what it’s like being Canadian. It’s not just a place; it’s a unity.
I love Canada for the way we embrace freedom and acceptance for all cultures and religions.
Canada is the best place to live in the world. We are welcoming and inclusive in this country. A real cultural mosaic and I love the way we are here.
Love Canada! We really do live in the best place in the world – its beauty, its vastness, its peace, its freedom and its diversity. We get to experience all cultures in a safe environment. Did I mention the trees!?! Wow, the trees – Maple forest trees are like no other in the world!
The peace we enjoy and the melding of cultures.
We are inclusive, welcoming and generally open-minded. I feel proud of our outlook on the world and our efforts as a peaceful nation.
Lots of diverse and friendly peopled.
More blogs from our Canada 150 Series
With Canada’s 150th birthday coming up, we wanted to take some time to really reflect on what we love about our county. Over the Summer we’ll be posting a few blogs about this great nation.
If you’re thinking about exploring the country with your family this Summer then this is great information for you. Based on our vacations, here’s what our team had to say:
Where do you recommend families travel within Canada?
It’s hard to pick just one place. British Columbia, Lake Louise, Kelowna, The Blue Mountains, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Every place has different scenery, different highlights, and different people – all beautiful Canadians!
I highly recommend Algonquin Park! It’s the most beautiful park anywhere, hands down. The raw rugged, untouched nature draws people from all over the world to experience camping like no other. Real camping with portaging! Plus the rugged beauty is breathtaking. You can really renew and rejuvenate yourself in nature. Some of the largest wine pine trees in the world are amazing to see. The trails are invigorating in any degree of difficulty (some easy, some more challenging). And there are no city lights. At night you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. And the stars…wow!
Ottawa. I love Ottawa for our heritage. We plan on going this year to enjoy the 150th birthday celebrations. They always put on a great show at the Parliament Buildings and it should be even more awesome this year.
This is a big question! The East coast is beautiful – the people are so warm and friendly. I went West last year and the Rockies are beyond anything I can compare them to. Right here in Ontario, I would say Muskoka region is one of my favourites.
I took my family to Ottawa this past Summer and it was a fantastic trip. We visited during the Canada Day celebrations and we had an amazing time visiting museums, eating on patios and walking the whole city.
The Georgian Bay region is a great destination that offers some of the world class beaches and outdoor adventure…right at our doorstep.
In the Summer we love to visit the Pinery with the family in Grand Bend, and Great Wolf Lodge in the Winter (although it can be a bit expensive, it’s a great experience).
More blogs from our Canada 150 Series
There are two things that help drive me and my business; connecting with other people and finding inspiration and new strategies to expand my business.
For a number of years, I’ve been involved with Strategic Coach, a program that allows me to do both. For any business owner, Strategic Coach is a wonderful program full of resources, tools, and new ways to shape your mindset. It’s really helped me focus in on what’s important in my business and find great strategies to eliminate wasted time and energy.
If you’re like me and you have big goals, this could be a perfect fit for you.
I’ve been involved in the 10x Ambition Program with Dan Sullivan (Dan is the founder and creator of Strategic Coach) which is a results-driven program. You don’t have to focus solely on business results; it can be applied to any area of your life.
If you’re interested in learning more about Strategic Coach, I’d love to tell you more about my experience.
One of the benefits of having such a great team of real estate professionals is that there’s no shortage of expertise. We asked everyone to provide their single best piece of advice for someone who’s toying with the idea of selling their home. Here’s what they had to say…
The Single Best Piece Of Advice x6
Get it going! A lot of people linger too long to put the house up. To achieve the most money for a home, you need as many buyers seeing your property as possible. Now is the time!
It’s Spring time and what a great time to sell your existing home and make a change that you have been wanting to do for some time now. Your property shows the very best in May with green grass and flowers and everyone out there has Spring fever. What are you waiting for? Let’s do it!
Now is the time if you have children. You will be sold and moved during the Summer in time for the children to go back to school.
Freshen up your yard and gardens – take a look at your home from the street. Does your door need a coat of paint? Or maybe just a good washing? Most of us drive up and go inside through our garage, and never walk through our front doors. Make a good and welcoming first impression!
Trust a good REALTOR® to guide you through the process. Remember, well-known REALTORS® and teams got that way by helping people from beginning to end. The future of my business depends on what I do for you today.
May is when people think about buying real estate, so it’s a good time for sellers.
Need more advice? Give us a call. We’d love to help you out. 519-746-5136
There are two things I’m passionate about: building a successful career in real estate, and empowering other women to reach their full potential.
Earlier this year I was honoured to participate in a panel discussion about women in real estate; an event that bridged my two passions.
The focus of this event was mentoring and providing insight and guidance to the next generation of leaders in our industry. It’s really important to me to share the knowledge I’ve learned over my career and help develop successful new leaders who can continue building strong businesses.
I look forward to seeing what “The Next Generation Of Women Leaders” will create.
Earlier this year I flew off to Vegas for the 2017 RE/MAX National Convention. It was an inspiring few days of connecting with top agents across North America and beyond, sharing powerful ideas, and spreading the word about our high-end listings.
It was great to connect with Ivan Sher, who handles high-end listings in Vegas. Ivan spoke to the Cross-Canada Referral (CCR) group I’m a part of to strengthen our ability to relocate our clients across Canada.
My key takeaway from Ivan was that it’s “all about contacts”. He has people coming across the globe to guy high-end real estate in Vegas. We’re finding it’s the same in Kitchener-Waterloo; it’s more strategic to have a REALTOR® who is globally connected like I am. Attending national and international networking events like this is so important to me because it means making and maintaining global connections to help get the word out about my client’s homes.
While I was in Vegas, I also made it a priority to connect with Broker-Owners from across the globe.
There was so much to take in, including inspirational speaks who really touched me and reminded me how important perseverance and dedication is.
Stay tuned for more on these inspiring people.
Part of what makes a community thrive is its ability to come together to make great things happen. In Kitchener-Waterloo there are so many people dedicated to giving back, helping others and working to make our community the best that it can be. We wanted to take a minute to recognize the people and organizations who really make a difference.
KW Habilitation does amazing work for children, adults and their families. There are programs to add life skills and enrich lives. Giving support to the families is also vital and in turn it encourages full and productive lifestyles. I attend their annual fundraising and support a table with Ellen Leffler on the team. Our guests donate generously and everyone has a good night. – Linda
Kitchener-Waterloo Human Society
I’ve always admired the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society. I’m a sucker for animals. I have such compassion for the animals and admiration for the people who work there (because it would be such a difficult job). – Kat
oneROOF Youth Services
I like oneROOF Youth Services. It really helps kids who are on the street. oneROOF Youth Services provides safety, support and overall well-being to youth, age 12-25 who are at-risk of homelessness in Waterloo Region. Most of these kids have no choice but to go on the street because their home life is too volatile for them. If there is violence or substance abuse, they see the street as a safer option. It’s very sad but true. These kids are smart and when they are given the opportunity for someone to believe in them they can create a future for themselves. They need people to care and get them into safe living conditions with nutritious food so they can think clearly. oneROOF has made an amazing commitment to help maintain their health and safety. – Debbie
The Ride To Conquer Cancer
I admire The Ride To Conquer Cancer as my team leader (Cindy Cody) and several of my friends participate or have participated in it and have raised a lot of money for cancer research. – Jonathan
Taste Local! Taste Fresh!
This is a great event that takes place every year at Steckle Farm. Taste Local! Taste Fresh! pairs local farmers with local restaurants. It’s a great opportunity to meet the farmers who grow your food and to taste amazing food creations prepared by top chefs from the region. In Kitchener-Waterloo we’re so fortunate to be surrounded by the farms that grow a lot of our food. This emphasis on growing, buying and eating local food sets our region apart. – Ellen
As a team, we decided to introduce a new initiative in our community. This resulted in the birth of Cody Bear. We encourage families and all members of the community to nominate a youth they know who has achieved something notable and outstanding in their community. We have donated funding towards a playground in the Laurelwood Waterloo neighbourhood as one example of our vision for change and community improvement. We are very proud of this and look forward to the future. – David
I really admire people out in our communities doing what’s necessary always. They don’t necessarily fall into one organization. They just use their skills and help! Whether it’s cleaning up garbage, using their professional skills, showing love and support to our elderly and speaking to people in a way that helps them know they matter and are loved. – Cindy
But What About Renovations?
A question I get a lot is “Cindy, is it worth renovating?” Renovations always have a lot of question marks floating around. “Should I do this? Should I do that?”
The best piece of advice I can give you is this: If you’re thinking of moving in the next year or two, and you’re considering doing anything to the house, please have me over for a coffee. Tell me what you’re thinking of doing, and we can discuss if it’s the best move to make.
A lot of things could be done to a home, there are some things that should be done, and there are many things that people waste money on if they’re thinking of making a move. It’s important to make a plan and talk to a professional before you invest money into a home you’re thinking of selling. Some people are not able to recoup the money they’ve put into the renovations, which is why this first step is so important.
If you’re thinking “should I do this?”, give me a call.
Local businesses help drive our economy, give us a diverse variety of places to shop and eat, and add character and quality to our community. Here are our favourite businesses in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Central Fresh Market
Central Fresh Market is a locally owned and operated market with a great selection. “Selling only the highest quality fresh meats, farm fresh produce and competitively prices brand name grocery products, spanning over 50 years in the heart of Kitchener-Waterloo”. Learn more about Central Fresh Market and it’s history in Kitchner-Waterloo here.
City Café Bakery
City Café Bakery is one of our favourites because we can stop by for a coffee and grab a number of delicious treats to go with it. Not to mention they have delicious wood-fired pizza! With a number of locations, it’s convenient to always be close to a great cup of coffee. What gives these cafés such charm is their honour system for self-paying. They’ve have faith in humanity and really value the honesty of their customers. This unique value has created such a sense of community
With quality restaurants all over Waterloo Region, the Charcoal Group is a wonderful company to support. Once you visit one of its restaurants, you’ll understand why these restaurants are so successful. It’s a quality you don’t find in large chains, and part of why we love Charcoal Steakhouse, Martini’s, Dels, Wildcraft Grill & Bar, The Bauer Kitchener, The Bauer Bakery & Cafe, Beertown, Sociable and Moose Winooski’s. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it with the Charcoal Group.
The Healthy Haven
The Healthy Haven is “Kitchener-Waterloo’s definitive source for the best food and nutrition.” In one convenient location, you can find David’s Gourmet, The Healthy Butcher, Fiddleheads and Kara’s Smart Foods. We love that gourmet and nutrition come together to offer us quality products that we can feel good about.
Masters ‘N Hounds
Let’s be honest; we all consider our furry friends a part of our family. So it’s wonderful to have a local business focused on our pets. Masters ‘N Hounds has a great selection of quality pet food as well as every supply you need to keep them happy. This “pet store in the country” is in Ayr, which means it has space, not only a great pet store but for a dog park as well!
Nougat Bakery and Delicatessen
For those of us who like to indulge, Nougat Bakery and Delicatessen is a favourite local business. With locations in Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo, it’s always easy to stop by and pick up some delicious treats. With a focus on “fresh, quality foods offering customers European flavours and atmosphere”, you just know everything is going to be great. You can pick up their breads and pastries, coffee and lunch options, and exceptional desserts. We love how fresh everything is and even though it takes us a few minutes to decide between all the decadent desserts, we’re always pleased.
Everyone should have a trusted tailor. One of the local tailors we love is Skytop Tailors in the Stanley Park Mall. A great place to go to take care of your family’s sewing an alternation needs.
If you’re searching for impeccable food, look no further. Vincenzo’s is Waterloo’s source for authentic Italian Canadian foods. It’s been around for over 4 decades and continues to offer quality foods. We love weaving through the aisles looking at the amazing selection for new products to try. One of the great things about Vincenzo’s is no matter how often you shop there, you’ll always find something new. There are so many great gourmet food choices, cheese, meats, deli seafood, and an awesome hot table.
When the real estate market is as hot as it is now, it’s important for sellers to make strategic decisions to get the most for their home.
The time to sell is now. Our city is in growth mode. This is causing sellers to get much more money now than they would normally get. But it won’t necessarily last forever. This first quarter of 2017 is a critical time for sellers. Once Spring comes along there will be more inventory on the market, giving sellers less power.
If you’re strongly considering a move, the first step to take is to give us a call and have us over to see your home and talk about your goals as a seller. We can assess whether your house is ready and discuss timing.
If you’ve been thinking about selling, you don’t need to rush into buying a home right away. There are options to help sellers take advantage of this market. With buyers in the market, we are likely to achieve long closing dates, which is ideal in this type of market.
The second option after selling is the possibility of renting a home. Doing this will give you breathing room to really decide what you want and to have the time to make a purchase. We find many people are using this process successfully. This is an excellent option especially if you’re strongly motivated by making money on this move. It could be the difference of $50,000 to $100,000 more. So a short-term rental is a great buffer while you side back and wait for the right property to buy.
With our vibrant city in gear to grow, many people are looking to re-locate to Kitchener-Waterloo. Sell now means maximizing your investment. The other benefit of selling before you buy is being in a strong negotiating position as a buyer. If you sell your home and find a short-term rental, you can wait for your perfect home to become available and you can negotiate as a buyer without the pressure of having to sell your home.
If you’re ready to make a move in this market, give us a call.
Why Isn’t My Neighbour’s House Selling?
This is a common question. It’s often followed by “what’s wrong with the home?”
Often my answer is that there may be nothing wrong with the home. The problem lies in the selling strategy. It’s not enough to put a home on the market and wait for it to sell. It takes strategy, great communication skills, and knowledge of the real estate market to sell a home. Placing a for sale sign on the front yard and “hoping” is not enough.
One of the reasons I sell homes is that I focus on speaking with agents who have buyers. Throughout my career, I’ve developed some great language that encourages sales, and I have absolutely no problem lending that to a buyer’s agent to get them interested in a home I’m selling, and actually get an offer.
It takes a lot more than “hope” to sell a home. You have to be proactive and strategic!
If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, I’d love to answer any questions you may have. Or if you know someone who is having trouble selling their home, share this blog with them.
Why is it so important for your REALTOR® to have a great network of connections? Find out here.
When your house is for sale, what should your REALTOR® be doing behind-the-scenes? Learn about behind-the-scenes strategies.
We’re so fortunate to live in Kitchener-Waterloo. We get to live full lives in a great community. As real estate professionals, we get to welcome new people to the community and tell them how great it is. Here is why we love Kitchener-Waterloo so much:
- The people are so friendly and genuinely happy. Everyone is welcoming, whether you’re an old friend or a new neighbour.
- The growth we have seen from being a small city to becoming a big city. It’s been great for local businesses and the economy.
- Our diversity. The people are what make a community, and it’s so important to be among people with different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. It has created such a unique and wonderful place to live.
- The farmers’ markets! Between Kitchener, Waterloo and St. Jacob’s farmers’ markets, all of your fresh food needs will be met!
- The region is close to so many things to do. There are plenty of activities within the region, but being right by the 401 means we all have access to so much more. It’s easy to go anywhere.
- The universities bring bright and talented minds to our area!
- It’s city living with all the options, but with the friendly feeling of a small town.
- You can have a great night out with so many options for restaurants and activities, and it’s not so big that you’re going to get stuck in traffic.
These are only some of the fantastic reasons to love Kitchener-Waterloo. Why do you love living here? Visit our Facebook page and let us know!
Happy New Year!
It’s going to be a very exciting year in real estate here in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, just like last year.
Starting a new year is the perfect time to think about your real estate goals. So let’s start this year off by talking about investing.
Lately, many of our clients have been reaching out to talk about an investment strategy. If the thought has crossed your mind at one point or another, it’s a great idea to give us a call so we can sit down and get some ideas rolling.
Talking with a real estate professional is the best way to figure out what you’re really thinking about doing. We can help you clarify your thoughts and put a plan into motion.
Our expeience with investment properties allows us to give you some insight towards what type of tenant you’d like living in your investment property and how to go about finding that tenant. Finding your ideal tenant starts with finding the right property.
It’s a great time to add an investment property to your portfolio so let’s get started!
Why You Should Buy An Investment Property Now
- The LRT is going in and property values are on the rise
- Interest rates are low
- The best time to think about your future is the present
One of our favourite things about the holidays is visiting friends and family, and enjoying the effort they’ve put into decorating their homes. In the winter, the fireplace becomes and important focal point of the living room, providing heart, creating a warm atmosphere and acting as any entryway to a certain jolly fellow. The fireplace is also a great space to decorate this time of year. Here are some lovely mantels to give you some decorating inspiration this month.
Cool Winter Mantel
Bold and Beautiful
Visions of Simplicity
Peace on the Mantel
Cheerful Christmas Mantel
It’s A Bright Christmas
When you decide to start saving a down payment for your first home, the best thing to do is to create a savings plan – how much you’re going to save each month based on your income and expenses.
Determining the amount of disposable income you have each month will help you carve out your saving timeline. But what if you could reach that goal quicker?
Once you decide to start saving, make the commitment to save rather than spend and take a spending vacation. It’s easy to whittle away a few dollars here and there on little things. So here are a few tips to help you avoid spending.
1. Create a time frame for your spending vacation – what’s a realistic amount of time for you to spend nothing (aside from your expenses)? Maybe you set it for a weekend, a week, or maybe you’re going to try this for an extended amount of time. Keep yourself motivated by stamping your calendar each day you don’t spend. This will help you visualize your progress!
2. In any case, once you’ve picked your time frame, write it down. Then give yourself a few rules for exceptions, i.e. if certain circumstances come up, you’re allowed to spend.
3. Before you start, fill your car up with gas, make sure you have groceries in the house, and pay any upcoming bills. Now you’re ready to start.
4. There are many ways you can enjoy your life without spending money. Here’s a list to give you some inspiration:
- Explore your neighbourhood or city on foot. Walking and running is great exercise plus you never know what you’ll discover.
- Find a new trail or park. Grab some friends, pack your lunch and head out for a hike.
- Catch up with friends. You don’t have to meet out. Inviting friends over for coffee is much more cost-effective, plus it will give you a little extra motivation to tidy your house.
- Delve into a new book. If you don’t already have one, get a friend to recommend and lend their favourite book. Or head to the library a pick up a few books you’ve been meaning to read.
- Stay in an watch a movie. Another great reason to invite friends over. Watch an old DVD for some nostalgia, or find something new on Netflix (in any given group of people at least one person will have a Netflix account).
- Learn something new! Between library books, the internet (and of course we’re specifically talking about YouTube), you’ll have so many tutorials available to you. What have you always wanted to learn to do?
- Dive into a home organization project. Take this time to focus on organizing your belongings, maybe donating the things you don’t use, or just giving your place a good clean.
5. Once your spending vacation is over make sure you transfer your savings into a separate account. With this strategy, the hope is that you won’t completely revert to your old spending habits when the vacation is over, but you’ll be more mindful of where your money is going and how much you could be saving.
Let’s Talk About The Spring Market
Lately, I’ve had so many people say “Cindy, we’re thinking of selling in the Spring.”
What I always say to that is: one of the important features of a Spring market is there will be a lot of competition for sellers. Right now, most people aren’t thinking about the Spring. We still have the Winter months to get through, so it seems so far away. But by the time the snow comes, then begins to melt, we’ll be in the Spring market.
As soon as the ground thaws and flowers start popping up, for sale signs will start popping up as well. Once there are too many signs up and houses for sale, the value of homes will start to decrease. As a seller, competition isn’t the best thing for you when we’re trying to maximize the money you get for your home.
A lot of these conversions have come up this Fall because the year has been so hot. People have been getting great money for their properties.
If you’re thinking of moving in the next 12 to 18 months, now is the perfect time to start the conversation. We can sit down and have a discussion about your plan and your goals.
Let’s talk! Give me a call today.
Take a look at the What Would Cindy Say to get valuable information and answers to other questions you may have.
Watch: How is a deal negotiated?
Watch: Should I buy or sell first?
It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year already, but the Kitchener Santa Claus Parade is just around the corner. This year is especially exciting for us because our whole team, including Cody Bear™ will be in the parade! We will be marching alongside Cody Bear™ who will be cruising in a jeep. Be sure to keep an eye out for us and wave!
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 10:30am start time
Location: See below for the parade route
Start staging area: begins intersection of Ottawa St. and King St. in Kitchener and extends to Cedar St.
First parade segment: Cedar St. to Victoria St.
Second parade segment: east on Victoria to Weber.
Third parade segment: north on Weber to Erb St.
End staging area: between Erb St. and Bridgeport Rd.
More details are available on the Lions Club of Kitchener Website.
We don’t need any convincing. We’re already here and we LOVE it. But we thought about what we would tell someone who was thinking of making the move to Waterloo Region and here’s what we came up with:
Why You Should Move To Waterloo Region
- Our community is clean, growing, vibrant and multi-faceted.
- We have a great real estate market, with good value and great investment opportunities.
- This is a diverse, safe city with small town friendliness.
- Strong market! Plus two universities, a collage and an innovative tech hub.
- There are so many things to do, but it’s still a small, friendly and economically stable. Plus, both it’s people and businesses offer diversity.
- It offers everything, with a small town feel. This diverse community has a great economy and top universities, but still managed to maintain it’s small town flavour.
- Great housing options, plus you can live here and still have great access to major cities and airports.
- So much is going on here. We are growing but are still small enough to feel connected to the community.
We love it!
Looking more great reasons to move to Waterloo Region? Take a look at
Then visit our Community Page to discover more!
Let’s talk about the great outdoors in K-W! In any season, there are many places to explore with the family. That’s one of the great things about this wonderful community of ours. We sat down and made a list of our absolute favourite outdoor activities in K-W. Take a look!
From day trips, to beginning trails, hiking is something everyone in the Region can enjoy. There are plenty of trails to choose from, and always something new to discover. Hiking is a great outdoor activity for any family, because it’s the perfect way to spend some quality time together and to get out for some fresh air and exercise. If you haven’t explored the trail system, here are some maps and resources to get you started.
“The Region of Waterloo owns 17 woodland properties. They are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including regionally significant species of plants, birds, amphibians and reptiles. These areas are great places to walk, watch birds and other wildlife, cross-country ski and mountain bike.
The Regional Forests open to the public all have walking trails.” — Region of Waterloo
In Waterloo Region, we’re fortunate to be home to Chicopee — perfect for skiing, snowboarding, tubing, (and mountain biking in the warmer months). Skiing in the perfect combination of nature and exercise and a great Winter activity. What many people may not know is that Chicopee is a not-for-profit organization.
In the Winter, it’s so convenient to pack the family in the car and head out for a day of snow, sun and fresh air. What we love most about skiing is that it’s something the whole family can do together; rushing down the powdering slopes, and catching up on the chair lift. Discover more about Chicopee here.
For anyone who is looking for a more calming outdoor activity (or frustrating, if you’re an avid golfer), explore the golf courses in the Region has to offer. We love the smell of the fresh cut greens in the early mornings as the sun is peaking up, playing a quick round in the twilight hours when the air starts to cool down. It’s a great activity if you’re looking to spend some quality time with a few people, or to get out by yourself and enjoy your surroundings.
St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market
At the market, you may be venturing in and out of the buildings, but you can shop for delicious produce outdoors and be inspired by local vendors. We absolutely love exploring what all the vendors have to offer. Each time we visit, it’s a little bit different, but it’s always fun.
Learn more about Canada’s largest year-round farmers’ market.
Visit our Facebook page and let us know about your favourite outdoor activities in K-W
When families decide it’s time to relocate, it’s often because of work or to be closer to family. Moving can be an eventful time of your life and relocating can add a little something extra to the experience. Moving somewhere new is exciting. You’ll get to explore new neighbourhoods and businesses, meet new people, and create new memories with your family.
If you think a relocation is on the horizon, the best thing you can do is reach out to me as soon as possible. I’m connected to amazing agents across the country (and beyond) who can make your relocation stress-free. The connections I’ve made with other real estate professionals are something I really value. I’ve taken the time to connect with them personally, so I can trust that I’m referring you to someone great.
If you have a certain town or even neighbourhood in mind, let me connect you with an expert in that area. You’ll benefit from their knowledge and learn more about pricing in that particular market, the area that is the best fit for your family’s needs and anything else you’re curious about.
Thinking about relocating? Let me know how I can help
Or, if you already have any idea about where you’re heading, fill out the form below and I can put you in touch with a trusted real estate professional in that market.
If you haven’t heard of it, Buzzfeed is a social news and entertainment company that produces more online content than we can keep up with. One of the great things about it is it’s creativity. Whether you’re looking for something funny, a helpful video or a tutorial, it’s a great place to get some inspiration. Here’s a helpful article we found titled “42 Storage Ideas That Will Organize Your Entire House“.
Some of these are ideas you may have thought of on your own, but we guarantee some of them will surprise you. Take a look at the room-by-room list. (Take a look at the original Buzzfeed article to see the images).
- Install an appliance lift that goes right into the cabinet
- Store your pans side-out racks
- Install a dish-drying cabinet directly above the sink
- Make sure of the space in front of your sink with false front drawers
- Store your foil and plastic wrap in a mounted magazine rack
- Put a fold-out ironing board in a spare drawer
- Use pull-out drawers for all your bread and root veggies
- Use hooks to hold your measuring spoons inside the cabinet
- Use a thin shelf to maximize pantry storage
- Keep your baking supplies and dry goods in a wall-mounted cabinet
- Store towels on a second shower curtain rod
- Contain your hair tools in a pull-out shelf
- Store all your shower products in shower curtain pockets
- Use a magnetic strip to hold bobby pins and tweezers
- Add vertical shelving to keep the area around your sink tidy
- Tuck a skinny shelf into any unused bathroom space
- Install an in-wall cabinet for your toilet necessities
- Install pull-out hampers in a bathroom or laundry room
- Store your dog bed under your platform bed
- Use a picture ledge next to or behind your bed for phone and glasses
- Keep shoes tucked away in an ottoman
- Keep your TV hidden
- Utilize the space behind a full-length mirror to store jewelery
- Keep your belts organized with paper towel holders
- Use small shelves to organize your shirts
- Organize and display your shoes
- Keep Legos or tiny toys in a draw-string storage bag
- Use a pegboard to store odd-shaped toys
- Keep clothes sorted by outfit in a labeled dresser
- Store books on shallow shelves behind a door
- Store toys or blocks by colour
- Create a stuffed animal “zoo” for storage
- Keep your printer in a secret drawer
- Keep any camera lenses safe and organized in a lens rack
- Turn a chest or bench into an elaborate filing cabinet
- Organize cords with a cord hub
- Store bikes horizontally along the ceiling
- Keep heavy-duty tapes in a dispenser
- Keep garbage bags on a roll for easy access
- Keep sports balls in a vertical organizer
- Make a mini garage for kid-sized cars
- Install a pegboard system to store tools
Did you find these storage ideas helpful? Visit our Facebook page and let us know if any of these worked for you, or if you have other awesome storage solutions.
We love exploring Waterloo Region for new places to eat, fun activities, and spots to make great memories. Lucky for us, the options are endless. When it comes to planning a date night, we’re always looking for a nice location, great atmosphere and some romance doesn’t hurt 😉 .
Here are our favourite places to go for date night
Their website says it best: “The Lasting Luxury”. Langdon Hall is a great escape from the busy day-to-day. Escape with that special someone and experience elegant dining, luxurious suites, and a lavish spa. If your date nights so go well, it’s also the perfect location for a wedding!
A perfect date night spot if you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere and delicious dining. “It’s the place to be social, to relax, to share some great appetizers and serious refreshment.” We’re definitely into the serious refreshment! With daily features and creative cooking, Martini’s is a prime date night spot in Kitchener.
Waterloo’s Wildcraft Grill and Bar offers guests a premium casual dining experience. It’s atmosphere is a combination of “upbeat urban with a comfortable suburban approachability.” That sounds like the perfect recipe for a great date: upbeat and comfortable. Be sure to get a table at Wildcraft for your next date night.
Explore Something New
Another great Waterloo Region date night idea is exploring the region. Whether you’re looking to sit down and have a meal, try something adventurous, or just spend some quality time together, you’ll be able to find it here. The most important part of a date is creating an experience, bonding and enjoying each other’s company. Set out to try something new on your next date!
You might also be interested in the Top Romantic Places In Waterloo Region.
More Waterloo Region Top Lists
This episode of What Would Cindy Say is all about the baby boomers. If you’re in the early stages of retirement, or it’s quickly approaching, take a minute to see what Cindy has to say about retiring and real estate.
Retiring & Real Estate
Retirement can bring up lots of questions; how do you adjust to this new phase of your life? Should you downsize? Should you invest your savings in real estate?
I would love to help you find the answers to these questions. We can talk about timing and when the right time for your downsize is, discuss the value of your home and what your next steps are.
Baby boomers are entering the retirement phase of their lives, which is an exciting time with endless opportunities. Are you thinking about relocating? Let’s talk about all of your options!
Not sure if you’re ready to sell? Download the ‘Are You Ready To Sell’ Worksheet today and give yourself some answers!
Take a look at the What Would Cindy Say to get valuable information and answers to other questions you may have.
Watch: How is a deal negotiated?
Watch: Should I buy or sell first?
For sale by owner (FSBO) companies aid the process of selling real estate without representation by a registered real estate agent. Often sellers will explore this option with the intent of saving a few dollars, but what is the real cost of taking this route? Here are 5 things for sale by owner companies don’t want you to know.
They don’t have a governed code of ethics to abide by.
CREA is the Canadian Real Estate Association which holds all real estate professionals to a strict code of ethics. This means that REALTORS® are liable if they don’t follow these guidelines, which have been put in place to protect you, the client.
Your home won’t appear on the MLS® system.
Every visit realtor.ca to browse properties? Well yours will be missing if you choose to take the FSBO route. Every day thousands of people search for homes via MLS®, but a home can only be listed in the system by a licensed REALTOR. This is a key piece of the selling strategy: getting your home in front of as many buyers as possible.
No real estate license = no real estate advice
What you may not realize is that a lot of these companies are not licensed to trade real estate. They also aren’t permitted to give out real estate advice, such as pricing a home.
You will have a lot of work to do
Selling your home through a FSBO company will still leave you with a heafty fee (which may be an upfront charge, rather than paying when a transaction occurs). But that fee doesn’t mean you get to sit back and watch your home sell. Without a real estate license, these companies can’t technically represent you and sell your home. Which means you will be doing most of the work. Do you know how to negotiate the sale of your home? Host open houses? Fill out all the paperwork?
The benefit of working with a licensed REALTOR® is that they will handle all the details. Your REALTOR® will be hustling behind-the-scenes to make sure the selling process is stress-free for you.
“Private Sale” has some baggage
From a buyer’s perspective, it can be a little unsettling to walk into a private sale. First, often the sellers are home during viewings. Imagine trying to visualize your family in a home…while there’s another family following you around. It’s a little difficult. It can also lead to questions and concerns. “What aren’t they using a REALTOR®?” “Is there something we should know about the house?” “How do we ask that?”.
There are lots of DIY projects to be done once you sell your house and move into your new home. Don’t make selling one of them.
How do you decide which home improvements to take on? One way to look at it is to think about which improvements are going to add the most value to your home. We’ve put together a list of home improvements that will help to increase your home’s value without breaking the bank.
Value-Adding Home Improvements
Crown moulding is a lovely touch to any home. You can take this on as a DIY project or consult with a contractor to get the work done. This is a feature that potential buyers can really appreciate when they view a home. In fact, it could make the difference between your home and another when it comes down to it.
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way. The right colour can liven up the atmosphere, create the illusion of more space and modernize the room. If you’re thinking about selling, consider updating the paint in your home. Tip: if you’re painting to sell, use neutral colours on the walls.
A great ceiling fan may go unnoticed at first glance, but a dated ceiling fan can draw all the attention away from a great space. Replace old ceiling fans with newer, more modern and efficient models.
Home improvements are both inside and outside of the house. What’s more important than the front door? It’s the first thing visitors and potential buyers see when they walk up to your house, making it the focal point of their first impression. The front door contributes to overall curb appeal as well. Updating the front door can mean replacing the whole unit, or just a fresh coat of paint.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Adding energy efficient appliances is one of the more costly home improvements up front, but it adds value in the long run. Energy efficient appliances can help lower your bills, saving you money. And when potential buyers view your home, it’s a feature that will set your home apart from other properties on the market.
Planting trees is the perfect way to improve your outdoor space. Shrubs and trees not only create a natural setting on your property, but they can be used to create more privacy as well.
Focus on Air Quality
Air quality isn’t something you can see, but it’s important to think about. Your home’s air quality can be impacted by carpets, filters, and air conditioner or furnace. If you live in an older home with carpet, consider replacing the carpet or installing hardwood floors.
One of the easiest home improvements on the list is updating hardware. Think about your kitchen cabinets, door knobs and hinges. Replacing old hardware with new pieces is a great way to add a fresh look to your home.
If you’re thinking about making improvements to your home and have questions about prioritizing projects, give us a call. We’d love to take a look at your home and let know where you can add the most value. —Contact Us—
It’s Your Chance To Go To The Movies With Cody Bear™
Cody Bear™ can’t wait for Saturday, August 20 because that is Outdoor Movie Night in Breslau. What better way to enjoy a movie with the family than to sit under the stars….with a big fuzzy blue bear. Come out to the movies with Cody Bear™.
Grab your family and some blankets and get ready to enjoy the Peanuts Movie (2015) on the big screen. This is the perfect movie for the whole family. It’s a fun introduction to Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang for the little ones, and a new take on an old cartoon classic for the adults.
Plus, what’s cooler than getting to say that you went to the movies with Cody Bear™?
Outdoor Movie Night is presented by the Breslau Recreation Association.
Date: Saturday, August 20 (rain or shine)
Time: 8:30pm (movie begins at dusk)
Location: Breslau Community Centre (100 Andover Dr., Breslau)
Movie: The Peanuts Movie
$5 per family
See you there!
Watch Episode Seven of What Would Cindy Say: Behind the Scenes
Is there any magic involved in selling a house? Not quite.
When you’re house hits the market, I’m busy at work! It’s not magic with wands and potions, but it does involve a few of my strategies. It’s important to me that my sellers understand how valuable my connections are. Behind the scenes, I spend time making extra calls to my network to let everyone know about the homes I’m selling and to create urgency.
It’s these behind the scenes activities that sellers might not be able to see, but they are crucial. If you’re thinking about selling your home, I want you to know that I make the “magic” happen.
Want to know more about what I do behind the scenes? Reach out to email@example.com and let’s chat!
Learn more about the importance of connections in real estate in episode four of What Would Cindy Say.
What Would Cindy Say Episodes
Take a look at the What Would Cindy Say to get valuable information and answers to other questions you may have.
Watch: How is a deal negotiated?
Watch: Should I buy or sell first?
Access to great park and trails, delicious restaurants, the BEST farmers’ market, and innovative businesses. These are only some of the great aspects of Waterloo Region. On top of everything, the region is home to some amazing events and festivals. We sat down to talk about how lucky we are to live here and the conversation led to our the best events in Waterloo Region. Here’s what we had to say about our favourite local events:
Kitchener Blues Festival
When it is: August 4-7, 2016
Why we love it: First of all it’s a convergence of great music and great people. So you can’t go wrong with that! The Kitchener Blues Festival attracts musicians from all over and brings smooth tunes for people of all ages. The festival is perfect for the whole family because it’s free plus it offers a children’s stage with performances catered to the kids (contributions are accepted, of course, if you’d like to support the festival). It kicks off this week, so we’ll see you there!
Elmira Maple Syrup Festival
When it is: April 2017
Why we love it: Just when the snow has melted, and spring is about to bloom, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival will set up for fun events, delicious food and a great place for the community to be. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out! Think about sweet syrup and the smell of maple in the air. We love this event because not only can we snack on yummy treats, but there are lots of unique events. One of the newer events is the Pancake Mile (eat a pancake, run a quarter mile, repeat 4 times). It’s a delicious way for the family to get out and experience our community. To learn more about the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, visit the website.
When it is: October 7-15, 2016
Why we love it: Outside of Munich, Kitchener is home to the largest Oktoberfest. Canada’s greatest Bavarian festival is a celebration of culture, food, drink and community. Venues set up all over the region and host Oktoberfest experiences for those in Waterloo Region and everyone who travels to participate in the festivities. We love experience the traditions, tasting German cuisine and maybe even putting on a lederhosen or a drindl. Plus it’s great to see the community come together and volunteer to put on such a great event year after year. Fun, food, games, beer and our friends is the perfect formula to a great Oktoberfest outing.
Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival
When it is: July 15-17, 2016
Why we love it: Incredible talent comes to Waterloo Region for the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival. It’s amazing to have so many talented performers right in our city. Having accessible jazz music is a great way to broaden the cultural experiences available to Waterloo Region. We also love this festival because it gets people out and about visiting local business in Uptown Waterloo.
Waterloo Busker Carnival
When it is: August 25-28, 2016
Why we love it: Talk about talent! Buskers from all over the globe come to Waterloo to show off their unique talents. If you haven’t been, this is a great event to take the kids. Watch as performers entertain crowds of people with their many talents including stunts, acrobatics, juggling, devil sticks, swords, fire, comedy, art and so so so much more. Visit the Waterloo Busker Carnival website to find out who this year’s performers will be and where they’re travelling from.
What are your favourite events in Waterloo Region. Visit our Facebook page and let us know!
Join us in rewarding the youth of Waterloo Region with the Cody Bear™ Ambassador Award.
Shaping Youth Into Community Leaders
We’re so excited to have Cody Bear™ as a part of our team! Cody Bear™ has joined us to help bring joy to Waterloo Region and to show our children that it’s fun to give back to the community.
Along with giving great hugs and high fives, Cody Bear™ will be recognizing positive-change minded children in Waterloo Region and awarding them with the Cody Bear™ Ambassador Award.
Each month this award will be presented to a child age 4-17 who has demonstrated great leadership and a sense of pride in our community. This program is designed to shape our children into community ambassadors and continue making Waterloo Region a great place to live and grow up.
Residents of Waterloo Region are encouraged to nominate a deserving child for the Cody Bear™ Ambassador Award. We’re looking for kids who are committed to giving back to their community, which may include:
- Participating in community initiatives
- Making a difference at school
- Being environmentally conscious
- Creative fundraising intiatives
- Taking pride in helping others
- Demonstrating great teamwork skills
- Leading by example!
Cody Bear™ Ambassador Award recipients will be presented with this prestigious award by Cody Bear™ in front of their class or family.
Be sure to check back on our website for upcoming events Cody Bear™ will be attending, great ideas for ways you can make positive change in Waterloo Region, and to nominate someone for the Cody Bear™ Ambassador Award
Watch episode six of What Would Cindy Say: Buy or sell first?
Should I buy or sell first?
This is a question I get asked all the time.
In the last thirty years, I’ve seen a lot of different situations where this question has come up. If this question has been on your mind, give me a call. I’d love to share with you my process.
Answering the “buy first or sell first question” comes down to determining which step to take first to get the most benefit financially.
Other Questions You May Have
Watch: How is a deal negotiated?
Grabbing a cup of coffee is one of the simplest pleasures in life. It’s so comforting to stop by your favourite café and start your morning off right with a delicious cup of hot coffee. If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee, an inviting cafe atmosphere or are just looking for a new shop to visit, we’ve got you covered. Here are our favourite coffee shops in Waterloo Region.
City Café Bakery
Location: You’ll have 4 locations to pick from!
175 West Ave., Kitchener
499 Lancaster St. W, Kitchener
50 Ottawa St. S, Kitchener
172 King St. E, Kitchener
Why we love it: City Café Bakery is one of our favourites because we can stop by for a coffee and grab a number of delicious treats to go with it. Not to mention they have delicious wood-fired pizza! With a number of locations, it’s convenient to always be close to a great cup of coffee. What gives these cafés such charm is their honour system for self-paying. They’ve have faith in humanity and really value the honesty of their customers. This unique value has created such a sense of community.
Café O Roaster & Bakery
Location: 901 Victoria St. N, Unit 9, Kitchener
Why we love it: This is definitely one of our favourite places to grab a cup of coffee in town. We especially love it because it shares a parking lot with our offices! But aside from the convenience, this is a fantastic café! Their coffee hits the spot. Café O specializes in espresso-based coffee as well as coffee roasting, so they roast their own beans which is an A+ in our books. Plus they offer a variety of decadent snacks, cakes and pastries and delicious options for lunch. We love it because we can grab coffee and lunch on the go, or stay in to eat in their charming café
The Boat House
Location: 57 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener (Victoria Park)
Why we love it: This isn’t exactly a coffee shop, but if you’re looking for the best view while you sip on your java, you’ve got to check out The Boat House. The Boat House is a live music venue at Victoria Park. It’s a place to enjoy great food, a few drinks and some fantastic music. But if you’re setting up a coffee date, it has the perfect patio overlooking Victoria Park Lake.
Celebrate Canada Day with Waterloo Region! With so many celebrations taking place in our community, you’ll find something perfect for your family. See the list of Canada Celebrations taking place July 1.
Celebrate Canada Day in Waterloo
Canada Day at UWaterloo
Location: Columnia Fields/ Columbia Lake
Time: 4:00pm – 11:00pm
Hosted by the University of Waterloo, this event is run by volunteer students. Event includes: family activities, live enetertainment, food fair and beer garden, fireworks around 10:00pm
Entertainment for all Ages
For more formation visit the event Website
Canada Day Celebrations with Five Rings Taekwondo
Time: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Location:550 Parkside Dr., Waterloo
Come celebrate Canada Day with Five Rings Taekwondo. Fun for the whole family which includes a petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy castles, carnival games and prizes, BBQ, bake sale, raffles, Taekwondo demonstrations, free classes running all day. All proceeds raised are to help fund our amazing Taekwondo competitive team represent Waterloo in future national tournaments.
Learn more about the Canada Day Carnival here.
Celebrate Canada Day in Kitchener
Canada Day in DTK
Time: 4:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: Downtown Kitchener
Visit Downtown Kitchener for a Canada Day like no other! Live music featuring THE GLORIOUS SONS and performances by local bands and touring Canadian bands (Matt Weidinger with Cheryl Lescom and Gary Cain Band, Modern Space, Kiki Rowe and Joceln Alice).
This event offers beer gardens, and a food market with downtown Kitchener’s best food and drink. Then enjoy fireworks off the roof of City Hall!
For the full schedule and more information, visit the website.
Then the Canada Day celebration continues on Saturday at the Kitchener Market. Learn more here.
Canada Day at Waterloo Region Museum
Time: 9:30am – 5:00pm
Locations: Waterloo Region Museum (Doon)
Free admission gives you access to the museum and the living history village for the fun family events. This includes: musical entertainment and fun games (croquet and horseshoes)
Waterloo Region Museum’s volunteer Heritage Singers will be performing in the Freeport Church from 11-12:30 and 1:30-3:00
BBQ lunch will be available for purchase, or you can bring your own picnic.
For more information, visit the website.
Canada Day Long Weekend at Bingemans Big Splash
Time: ALL WEEKEND!
Buy a 2 day pass and get the third day for free ($55.90) Canada Day long weekend only.
To purchase passes visit the website.
Canada Day Celebration at Joseph Snider Haus
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Joseph Snider Haus
The House that Joseph built turns 200 this Summer. Stop by for the celebration. Cake at 1:00 and a Commemorative aerial photo at 2:00. Special guests include: Woodworker Russ Pound, Archaeologist Eva MacDonald and Culinary Historian Carolyn Blackstock
Visit the website to see the full schedule.
Celebrate Canada Day at Woodside National Historic Site
Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Woodside National Historic Site, Kitchener
Fun with games and activities at the boyhood home of Canada’s 10th Prime Minister. Citizenship & Immigration’s Canada Day citizenship ceremony at 2:00.
Free site admission.
Learn more about this event here.
Celebrate Canada Day in Cambridge
Time: 1:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: Riverside Park, Cambridge
The Canada Day parade starts at 1:00pm at the corners of King and Bishop Streets in Preston. This year’s parade Marshall is Fitz ‘The Whip’ Vanderpool! Plus there are activities for the whole family including a children’s area with lots of fun, live entertainment, PWA Pro Wrestling, singing of the National Anthem and then FIREWORKS!
Learn more about this event here.
Celebrate Canada Day in Cambridge with Calvary
Location: 127 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge
This celebration includes fun games, carnival treats, music, jumping castle, special prize and giveaways & more. Then enjoy a MASSIVE firework display!
For more information, visit the website.
Canada Day Celebration at McDougall Cottage
Time: Noon – 5:00pm
Location: McDougall Cottage
Join the celebration wtih refreshments, crafts, tours, treats and more.
Admission by donation
For more information, visit the websitee.
Friday Night Movies Under The Stars at Shade’s Mill
Time: 9:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: Shade’s Mill (Avenue Road, Cambridge)
Sit back and watch a movie under the stars. July 1 will be a screening of Transformers. Enjoy the outdoor flick in the new outdoor ampitheatre at Shade’s Mills Park.
Movie is free with park admission.
Learn more about this event and see other Friday night movies here.
More Canada Day Celebrations
Canada Day Train Excursion
Time: 1:00pm- 4:00pm
Location: St. Jacob’s Market Station to Elmira
Take a ride on the railway at 1:00pm on Canada Day. The train departs from Market Station in St. Jacob’s and takes a journey on a round trip to Elmira.
Note: This is a 2-3 hour event, including photography and video opportunities.
Free for children under 2
For tickets and more information, please visit the website.
New Hamburg Canada Day Celebrations
Time: 10:30am – 11:00pm
Location: W. J. Scott Park, New Hamburg
Canada Day Brunch, Classic Car Open House, Optimist Food Tent, Activities for the kids all day including bouncy castles, face painting and games, beverage tent, Erick Traplin shows, New Hamburg Citizen’s Band, Ceremonial Walk & Parade, Centre Stage Dance Group, Duck Race, Dirty Old Men perform and Fireworks.
See the full schedule here.
Your bedroom is your personal space for relaxing, unwinding from the chaos of day-to-day life, and where you end up at the end of every day. It should reflect your style and be perfect by your standards. Lately, we’ve been noticing that people are adding their personal touch to headboards. The headboard is no longer a basic frame used on hold your mattress up and keep your pillow from falling behind the bed. Make your headboard a statement piece!
These headboards are some of the most creative we’ve come across.
Creative Headboards You Can Make Yourself
DIY High End Upholstery
You can make your own tufted upholstered headboard using pegboard. Find out how to make this yourself here. Using a dark grey fabric means any colours you pick for your bedding or wall won’t clash. This headboard has a classic look that you won’t get sick of.
Above & Beyond
If you’re happy with the headboard you have now, you can work on extending your style beyond the board. Create a personalized wall gallery behind your bed using your favourite photos, quotes and art.
Recycle & Relax
Upcycle old window frames to create a unique and vintage-inspired headboard. Gone are the days when headboards had to be confined. Use the wall space you have to create a visual centerpiece in your bedroom.
Think Outside The Box
Traditionally, headboards are rectangular (or close to it) pieces of wood, but you don’t have to stick with tradition. Explore the idea of laying shapes and textures to create a new age headboard. For example, this headboard is made out of wood oars. It’s a perfect example of adding your personality to your bedroom. Take a look at this and many other awesome headboard ideas here.
If you want a DIY headboard solution but aren’t looking for a large piece, try something a little more subtle. Install a long shelf above your bed to create the illusion of a frame. Try using a colour that adds contrast and doesn’t blend in with your wall colour. Then arrange your favourite photos and decor accents. This DIY project will add height to the room without filling the wall.
Do you have a great headboard idea? Let us know! Visit our Facebook page and let us know what creative headboards you’ve come across (or even have!)
How important is timing in real estate? Watch the video and find out!
The Importance of Timing
One of the most important aspects of selling your home is timing! There is a fine balance between taking some time to get your home ready to show and getting it on the market. This balance is what I’ve spent years perfecting.
Timing is driven by the current market. My experience and understanding of the real estate market can be a valuable asset to any seller. Truly understanding what market we’re in is all part of the selling strategy.
Often sellers have questions about timing: Is it the right time to sell? How long should we take to get our home ready? When should we list our home?
These are the questions I answer everyday. If you have a question about timing, give me a call!
Learn more about the What Would Cindy Say video series.
Watch past episodes:
One of the best things about Waterloo Region is that it’s the perfect place to raise a family. Family Life in Waterloo Region is enhanced by all the opportunities for outdoor adventure, meeting amazing people, and attending great local events and festivals. Recently, we were talking about our favourite things to do with our family, so we thought we’d let you in on our conversation. Here are our favourite places to go as a family in Waterloo Region.
Family Life in Waterloo Region: Top Places To Go
This is definitely a family hot spot. Bingemans is a one-stop shop for excitement, play and did we say excitement? Bingemans has something to offer all year round: Big Splash in the Summer, Scream Park in the Fall, and FunWorx any time your family needs it. Plus, when the younger family members have gone to bed, Bingemans is an eventful place to be during Oktoberfest.
This Waterloo Region staple has something for the whole family. It’s great because we can have an exciting family outing without the commute.
St. Jacob’s Market
No Waterloo Region top list is complete without mention of the St. Jacob’s Market. People come from far and wide year-round to shop fresh produce, delicious treats and heart meats. We’re lucky enough to have the market in our back yard. The kids will love checking out all the vendors, especially those offering yummy snacks. With lots to see, your family will love spending the morning picking up local foods. It’s an exciting place to be on a Saturday morning and is a great way to kick off any weekend.
Donkeys, llamas, pygmy goats and a peacock… need we say more? Waterloo park is the perfect spot for a day out with the family, so pack a picnic and head over. The park has a variety of activities including playground, splash pad, walking trails, tennis, and of course, Eby Farmstead. Eby Farmstead is home to a variety of animals, giving kids the chance to get a close look at the furry friends. The park has lots of green space, so it’s a great place to throw a Frisbee or play catch.
Want to know more? There’s a great piece about the history of Waterloo Park published by the City of Waterloo.
The best way to truly enjoy any place is by getting outside and exploring. Waterloo Region is home to beautiful conservation areas, plus a short drive to even more natural places to explore. Laurel Creek Conservation Area is a popular place to take the family for outdoor fun, swimming and go hiking. Cambridge is home to Shade Mill’s Conservation Area and the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail.
What we love about these conservation areas is that we get to spend quality time with our families outside. We can go to the beach or walk the trails. Hiking is a great way for the family to stay healthy together, and enjoy nature and open space. Some of us even have a rule: no cell phones! We only want to hear the chirps of the birds. No matter how many times we’ve been out exploring Waterloo Region, we always find something new.
Just a short drive away, we have also have quick access to Conservation Areas in Guelph, Rockwood and Elora. Great spots for the family to explore cool caves and see great views.
The trail system makes for a great family outing. Whether we’re on our way for lunch, to the park, or just want to get some exercise, we love hitting the trails which connect the whole city. This is a great activity for families because you can customize your walk depending how far you want to go. See the full map of trails in Waterloo Region here.
When the sun comes out and the grass is green, there is no better place to be than on the golf course. With a variety of courses available, families can head out to tee off regardless of their skill level…there’s also the driving range; a perfect activity for getting started. We have great courses in Waterloo Region, including Dundee Country Club, Rebel Creek Golf Club and Conestoga Golf Club.
To the Slopes
We’ve listed a lot of fun family activities to do in the region, but we can’t forget about skiing. Once the snow falls we’re ready to gear up and hit the slopes. Thankfully we have Chicopee close by! It’s a fun activity that everyone in the family can take part in. If your family isn’t confident in your skiing ability, Chicopee offers great week-day deals for discounted rentals and lessons!
Let us know what your family loves to do in Waterloo Region. We’re always ready to explore something new. Message us on our Facebook page and let us know!
One thing we absolutely love about Waterloo Region is the variety of great restaurants. We’ve tasted many local hot spots and the one thing we’ve noticed is the quality. You can really taste the passion and fresh ingredients that go into each dish. We’ve thought long and hard about it and come up with our list of our favourite restaurants in Waterloo Region. Here’s the best of the best:
This was a top pick for more than one of our team members. With 3 locations in Waterloo Region, you’ll have no trouble testing this place out.
36 Northfield Dr. East, Unit 1,
500 Fairway Rd. S,
10 Pinebush Rd., Unit 3,
Cuisine: Thai & Vietnamese
Why it makes our mouths water: Quick service so we get the enjoy the food quickly, reasonably priced which makes it a great place to take the whole family, and healthy meal options.
See the menu here.
This is just one of the many delicious restaurants owned by the Charcoal Group.
Location: 2980 King St. E, Kitchener
Cuisine: Casual Dining, American, Canadian
Why it makes our mouths water: The menu has a variety of choices, it’s always great food and we love that it’s locally owned. The atmosphere is very inviting and it’s consistent and fun. This is a great place for events, business, family, or casual dinner.
See the menu here.
Sole Restaurant and Wine Bar
An exceptional Uptown Waterloo choice. Dining in a 150 year old Seagram’s building creates a unique atmosphere and makes Sole a great choice for dinner.
Location: 83 Erb St. W, Waterloo
Why it makes our mouths water: Sole has a great menu; everything from pizzas to charcuterie boards, perfect pasta and mouth-watering daily specials. We already mentioned it, but dining in a historic Waterloo building creates an atmosphere like no other! We also appreciate the selection of premium beers, scotch and wine.
See the menu here.
If you’re looking for a nice place to celebrate a special occasion, or just looking to treat yourself, Langdon Hall is the place to dine. It’s a hotel, spa and delicious restaurant. Add a little luxury to your life at Langdon Hall.
Location: 1 Langdon Dr., Cambridge
Cuisine: Canadian, French, Contemporary
Why it makes our mouths water: The food is inspired by the seasons which means fresh, local ingredients. In fact wild produce is grown right on the property. The combination of fresh ingredients, creativity and ambiance creates a memorable dining experience.
See the menu here.
You won’t get a more spectacular view than the one you’ll have at the Cambridge Mill. It’s popular venue for weddings, events and family celebrations, and their Sunday brunch keeps us coming back.
Location: 130 Water St., Cambridge
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Why it makes our mouths water: With any meal, you’ll taste the quality. Delicious menu selections including craft cut steaks, fresh vegetables, and daily features (like Buck-a-shuck on Thursdays). The extensive brunch is something you need to experience. Cambridge Mill is a great place for dinner, after-work drinks or a romantic evening.
See the menu here.
This is not your average neighbourhood restaurant. It’s the new place in town, but it’s already making its mark. Award-winning Chef, Jonathan Gushue (previously of Langdon Hall), has brought his culinary inventiveness to downtown Kitchener.
Location: 45 King St., Kitchener
Why it makes our mouths water: We’ve been drawn in by the top chef! We love the atmosphere (and the modern European food, of course!). It’s a new piece of old Kitchener history. The building was built in the late 1800s and has maintained it’s charm. And let’s not forget ‘The Berlin’ is an ode to the city’s roots.
See the menu here.
Location: 1500 Weber St. E, Kitchener
Why it makes our mouths water: The pad thai is absolutely stunning, made with fresh ingredients, and customizable spice levels. Each dish features delicious flavours and beautiful presentation (you eat with your eyes first, right!). The staff are very friendly and we love that they look like they’re happy to see us each time we walk in.
See the menu here.
We’d love to hear what what your favourite restaurants are in Waterloo Region. Message us on Facebook to let us know!
On the latest episode of What Would Cindy Say, I talk about the importance of Connections in the real estate industry. Take a look!
The Importance of Connections
Choosing the right REALTOR® is the most important decision you can make in the process of selling your home. Choosing a friend or family member isn’t always the most strategic move.
When it comes to selling your home, one of the largest transactions you’ll make in your life, it’s important to work with a REALTOR® who can offer you value.
In this case, value comes in the form of connections. In my 30 years of experience in the real estate industry in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, I’ve built up valuable relationships with buyers, sellers and other REALTORS®, giving me the connections I need to get homes sold.
Valuable relationships and great strategy get the best results.
Give me a call today and let’s talk about selling your home.
We’ve all done it; turned on the TV to watch a couple buy their first home, search for a fixer-upper, sell their home, and work their way from renovation nightmare to dream home happy ending. But do you ever sit back to think about what the differences are between reality TV vs. REAL estate?
House Hunting Shows
TV shows are showing you properties that not everyone gets to see. In some cases, they are extravagant and way out of the buyers price range…sometimes the homes won’t even be for sale! This isn’t a realistic depiction of house hunting. In the real world, your REALTOR® will take you to view homes that are within your budget, meet your personalized criteria, and are actually for sale and hot on the market!
Staging Homes vs. Home staging
TV is scripted, so a lot of what you see isn’t really happening. Homes may be staged, just like some sellers stage their homes. The difference? The home on TV might not even be for sale! The purpose of a TV show is to tell a story, and take the viewer on a journey that will wrap up in 22 minutes. (takes longer than you think)
The other thing to note is that not all homes in the real world are staged. If you’re getting ready to go on your first house hunt, don’t expect every home to look prim and proper like they do on the screen. This is real life, with real people, living their real lives in their real home. You may have to use your imagination to picture your family living in the home.
If you’re selling your house, the approach you have to staging your home will depend on the selling strategy you have with your REALTOR®. Connecting with an experienced REALTOR® should be your first step.
Most TV shows are a solid 22 minutes of content. That 22 minutes skews our perceptions of real estate processes. Whether it’s buying, selling, or a renovation, don’t set your expectations based on what you’ve seen on television. And remember, tv shows are always going for the happy ending. In REAL estate there’s a happy ending, but it may not happen as quickly. Realistic real estate transactions include inspections, reaching out to important connections, and negotiation strategies. It takes time!
Your Favourite TV host vs. a Trusted REALTOR®
Often, because of the time restrictions (plus leaving a little room for entertainment value) the process of buying or selling a home on television is really simplified. Don’t let be fooled by this. A real estate transaction is a legally-binding transaction with hundreds of details to consider. Rather than listening your favourite TV host, talk to an experienced REALTOR® about what you can expect from the process.
In the case of home renovation shows, often the host isn’t even involved in the renovations. TV hosts are hired to be a personality and narrate a story, whereas busy worker bees will pull long hours to make the renovations happen behind-the-scenes. In some cases, the quality of these renovations have been revealed…and not in good light. Take a look at this recent story about a couple who were less than impressed with their whirlwind experience.
Your REALTOR® is the best resource you’ll have.
How Reality TV can help?
Real Estate TV shows do offer a small lens into the world of real estate, and for some people, it’s their first look into that world. We’ll give it that. Although it might be a skewed version of the real estate industry and every day processes, these TV shows do expose both buyers and sellers to a few insights.
For example, sellers can learn that putting some effort into fixing their home up before it hits the market can really help. Decluttering and a fresh coat of paint can make quite a difference.
Buyers will learn the concept of making a wish list; a list of all the ideal features they’d like their home to have. This is a great way for buyers to work through what they really want, rather than walking aimlessly through homes, which can be overwhelming.
Why REAL estate is better than Reality TV
The main benefit of living in the REAL estate world rather than the Reality TV world is that it’s your world. In the real world, you can speak with a REALTOR® about your unique situation and you are 100% a part of the decision-making process. But most importantly, you’re not gazing into the foyer of a staged home setup by a TV crew. You will be able to sit back comfortably in your own home where you can make memories and personalize your real estate experience.
We polled our team to find out what everyone is excited about in Waterloo Region. We’ve all got our eye on something exciting.
Here are the top developments we’re keeping our eye on in Waterloo Region.
There’s a new condominium coming to the Innovation District in Kitchener. Located at 100 Victoria Street South, right in the down town core, this condo is a huge deal. It’s putting us on the map for high rise housing, adding a super cool and trendy housing option in the region. This Momentum project is changing the face of our downtown to a friendly environment and it’s walking distance from everywhere you want to be.
Learn more about One Hundred here. plus see 100 Reasons Why You Want To live At One Hundred.
Of course, the Light Rail Transit made the list. For half of us, this is the most exciting development happening in Waterloo Region.
It says it right in the title “Eye On”–we’re definitely keeping our Eye On the ION.
“Set to begin service in 2017, ION is a visionary plan that will shape the community for the future by bringing Light Rail Transit (LRT) to Waterloo Region in two stages.” – rideION.ca
Some of the reason’s we’re keeping our eye on this project are:
“It will be good to see how we develop our downtown”
“It’s big and exciting news in Kitchener-Waterloo”
“We’re looking forward to the end of the construction and hopefully it will lead to more city growth”
“This has such a huge impact on our local economy and is the driving force to development and land values. It’s also attracting new business, which is great.”
For more information, check out “ION: the story so far”
Downtown Kitchener Business Development
With all the talk about ION, we’re definitely keeping our eye on Downtown Kitchener. It’s been changing in a very good way. We’re excited to see more activity down there, more small businesses and more great restaurants in the downtown core.
Plus, with the new developments, increased activity in downtown Kitchener and new transit systems, we’re excited to see what the tech industry will bring. Sophisticated innovations and brilliant companies have been making downtown Kitchener their home, so it will definitely be interesting to see what comes next.
Waterloo Airport Expansion
The expansion of the Waterloo is exciting because it may mean more reasons to travel!
“The Region of Waterloo International Airport is a full service airport capable of attracting airline service and aviation-related businesses. The Airport’s current plan, adopted by Regional Council in 2000, laid the foundation for the development of the Airport into the world-class facility we have today. The development contemplated in the 2000 Master Plan has now been completed. The Master Plan is being developed to provide a set of recommendations for future development at the Region of Waterloo International Airport over the next 20 years (2013 – 2032)” – waterlooairport.ca
With these new plans in place, we’re hoping we’ll be able to use our local airport more.
This year I’m really focused on giving back. On June 11 and 12, I will be setting out on my bike in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day 200km ride. This will be my third year, so I’m excited to beat my records–both fundraising and on the bike!
I really believe that cancer can be beaten and that research will get us there. Money raised through the ride will go towards research efforts, treatment advances, education and new standards of care at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The best way I can help–my way to beat cancer–is raising money for research.
After speaking with a lot of people, and experiencing my boyfriend going through his cancer treatment, I’ve learned a lot about the differences between treatments now versus what people had to go through many years ago. We can see how the advancements have made such a difference for people and the outcomes for their lives as well.
Training for the ride
The biggest thing is getting my legs ready and just getting the miles in. I’m working on getting my muscles used to riding longer distances, getting ready to spend more active time out on the road–climbing hills, etc. Preparing myself is two-fold. The biggest part is getting my body ready. Being mentally prepared is also important. Mentally you can push yourself to squeeze extra miles out of yourself, but it won’t get you 100k each day. I learned a lot from last year because I didn’t train enough. This year I’m going to be ready!
Over the next few months I will be focused on training and fundraising. With training, I stay focused by understanding that this is a weekly thing. I’ve combined training with my regular healthy regiment; rather than doing multiple activities to stay fit, I’m using riding as my regular fitness component.
Focusing on fundraising is equally important. We are given a minimum requirement of $2,500 to fundraise, but for me, I honestly have to raise as much as I can. This is my opportunity to give back.
The more I fundraise, the more I can give back.
Photos from past rides
Investing: What Would Cindy Say?
Have you ever thought about investing in real estate in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area?
I absolutely love investing in real estate, and I’d love to introduce you to your first investment property. It’s a great feeling to drive by the properties you own, and know that someone else is paying the home off for you. Getting the right property at the right price is key. There are some properties I really favour more than others.
If you’ve been thinking about purchasing an investment property, give us a call. With over 30 years of experience investing in real estate in this area, my team and I will be happy to share our knowledge with you.
We can find a property that works the best for your investment style and get you started.
It’s a great time to start. Give us a call today.
Watch other “What Would Cindy Say” lessons on our YouTube channel.
It’s that time of year again: Spring cleaning. We come out of hibernation and dig out the cleaning supplies to give our homes a good scrub. It can take some time, but it feels so good to get your home in a clean state.
But what if you’re moving? It’s tempting to skip out on the Spring cleaning when you’re going to be moving out of your home soon, but don’t do it. Think about the new home you’re going to be moving into…don’t you want it to be spick and span when you get there?
Of course you do!
The same goes for your home’s buyer. Cleaning your home for the new owner is good etiquette. Here are some tips for keeping your house clean at various stages in the selling process.
Cleaning Your Home For Selling
Preparing to put your house on the market involves cleaning and decluttering. Remove excess decor items and photos, and keep things simple. Before you get started, the first task on your cleaning list should be to speak with your REALTOR® about the areas to focus on in your home. Their advice will keep you focused.
When it comes to cleaning, make sure ceiling fans and light fixtures are dusted, carpets and floors have been mopped and vacuumed, and windows are without smudges. This phase is all about depersonalizing and appealing to buyers.
Add extra cleaning detail like cleaning out the refrigerator and moving furniture around to get all the dust bunnies. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning your entire home, break it down room-by-room. Ensure your bathrooms have had a deep clean and are tidy. Tip: use half of a lemon to remove stains on your shower hardware.
The garage can be a daunting task. Again, before you do anything, talk to your REALTOR® about the garage and what you should do when you’re preparing to sell your home.
Cleaning Your Home for Walk-Throughs
Once a deal has been put together, your buyer will have the chance to do a walk-through or two. You’ll likely be in the process of packing, but it’s still important that your home is in good condition.
Tip: Wipe a dryer sheet along baseboard to prevent dust from building up. You’ll save yourself some dusting time later on.
The Final Cleaning
In this final stage, don’t leave anything behind. All items (and garbage) should be removed from the house. There is no magic cleaning crew that is going to come in after you and make the house shine, so put real effort in here. If there’s a bag of clothes you don’t want, or a small piece of furniture, take it to a donation centre, don’t leave it behind. Unless it was noted in the agreement, it shouldn’t be in the house when the buyers arrive.
Tip: There are many donation services that will pick donation boxes up at your house. If you’re strapped for time, this is a great option.
Wipe out the cupboards, dust the windowsills, sweep out any dirt that may have been dragged in during the moving process, and make sure all garbage is out of the house. Double-check all the closets and storage areas before you leave.
Give the new owners a fresh start to life in their new house, and enjoy yours in your new home.
Episode Two “Negotiating: What Would Cindy Say?”
As a buyer or seller, you have a lot on your mind.
As a buyer, you’re running through the items on your wish list, finding a home that meets all your criteria, crunching numbers to find the real potential in a property, and keeping in mind the best thing for your family.
Once you find the perfect property for you and your family, don’t fixate on a specific number. As an experienced REALTOR® it’s my job to represent you and your best interests and negotiate a deal that gets you what you want.
And as a seller, you want to make sure you get the best deal for your house.
With 30 years of experience negotiating real estate deals in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area, I know what needs to happen to get a deal done.
Successful negotiating two things to me: I get a great deal put together for you and you are happy.
There is more to a negotiation than price. Negotiations include closing dates and details, contingencies and terms of the agreement.
This is the stage in a home transaction where a REALTOR® is invaluable. Experienced advice at every step can usually get a great deal together, and quite often put money in your pocket or get ideal closing dates for your family.
Actually, I truly love negotiating a great deal for my clients. There’s nothing better than telling a happy family that their offer has been accepted.
If you’re thinking about moving home. I’d love to hear what you’re planning and discuss how I can help.
What else would Cindy say?
Take a look at my video series.
As moving day approaches, follow this guide to keep your packing and moving tasks on track.
As your moving day approaches, keep yourself organized with this moving day countdown. Here are a few helpful reminders:
Eight Weeks To Moving Day
- Start a list of everything that needs to get done and approximately what the deadline is. You can add those deadlines to this list.
- Begin getting rid of any items that aren’t going to be moving with you. Start a donation box.
Six Weeks To Moving Day
- Book any transportation you need: plan tickets if you’re moving far, a moving truck if you’re moving locally, or book the moving service. It’s a great idea to book the moving service as soon as you know your moving date.
Four Weeks To Moving Day
- Collect all your packing materials: boxes, tape, permanent markers, etc. Tip: If you know anyone who works at a store, you may be able to ask for some of their shipment boxes.
- Start packing ay items you won’t need in the next month: seasonal clothing, collectables, decorative accents and dishware, etc.
- Notify your bank, credit card companies, inurance company, doctor, dentist, employers and schools to have your address updated or your records forwarded.
Three Weeks To Moving Day
- Start packing more frequently-used items. Try to label boxes by room and keep like items together (you’ll thank yourself when it comes time to unpack).
- If you’re planning on taking time off from work for the move, confirm the dates with your boss. Or arrange for that time if you haven’t already done so.
- Arrange for someone to look after the kids and pets during the move. It’s a great family event, but you’re going to want to be focused. Plus, going to the park is much more exciting than a move for children!
Two Weeks To Moving Day
- Full force packing! Keep a few things aside that you’re going to need, and pack everything else. Check every drawer and cupboard.
- Keep all your valuables in a safe place. Consider a safety deposit box for any valuable jewelery. Keep important documents in a folder (to stay with you). Important documents may include: passports, birth certificates, closing papers, health cards, etc.
- Arrange to have your utilities disconnected and connected at your new home (gas, electricity, water, internet, cable, etc.). Request that your utilities are disconnected the day after you move… just in case. There’s no sense risking the water being shut off while you’re still moving out.
- Drop off donation boxes at a local spot, or arrange for the boxes to be picked up so they don’t accidentally come with you.
One Week To Moving Day – It’s so close!
- Pack essentials for your first few nights in your new home: clothes for work and school, toiletries, fun activities, medications, etc.
- Defrost and clean out your freezer and refrigerator. Give it a good scrub and leave it in the condition you’d expect the fridge in your new home to be.
- Confirm dates and times with movers, babysitters and anyone else who will be involved with your moving day
- Pack anything that hasn’t been packed yet that you won’t need in the next few days. Seal and label boxes when they’re ready to be moved.
- Do a walk-through and create a list of any last minute things that need to be done, including sweeping and leaving the house clean for the new owners.
- It’s finally here! Make sure you have your overnight bag with you. Put it in your car so it doesn’t get lost in the moving truck
- Help direct movers and make sure you know everything that is being packed (preparing a checklist ahead of time might be helpful for this. Breakdown the list by room).
- Do a final walk-through and say goodbye to the house and prepare for life in your new home!
Strategy: What Would Cindy Say?
I’ve been working in real estate for 30 years in the Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge area, and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learned a thing or two. I’d love to share with you.
Check our blog for monthly tips in our “What would Cindy say” series.
Take a look at Lesson one.
In 30 years, I’ve definitely found a lot of ways to get serious buyers into a homes. But more importantly, it takes skill, strategy and know-how to get them to make an offer.
I love to offer my sellers those three things: skill, strategy and know-how.
Your home is one of your largest investments. It’s interesting how some people in the Kitchener-Waterloo area choose their REALTOR®. Many sellers are leaving money and hard earned quality on the table, so I thought I would share a few thoughts:
I’ve found that some sellers look for low commission rates or are taken in by gimmicks. Others use a family friend without asking questions about achieving top dollar in today’s market. Sellers need to be aware that the market is constantly changing.
Sometimes buyers walk into an open house, make an offer and ask the open house REALTOR® to list thier home. The problem with hiring a REALTOR® on the spot is you don’t get the chance to ask the pertinent questions.
When there is a back up property for sale, top REALTORS® often get more money for the same house than others. Sometimes much more.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” applies.
A great REALTOR® can usually get more money for sellers. In other words, sellers who try to save a bit on commission, will actually net less. A top REALTOR® works to attract more buyers, providing better options for the seller.
Attracting serious buyers and putting solid deals together is a strategic task. A non-strategic REALTOR® will let the seller and buyer go back and forth, waiting to find out if the deal comes together or falls apart.
It’s interesting that I actually get phone calls from other REALTORS® asking for advice on how they may salvage a deal. Even good REALTORS® who care can still lack in the areas that really matter.
Hiring with best REALTOR® for the job will ensure you have critical connections and expertise on your side. This is the best chance you will have at achieving a top sale in any market.
Contact me today.
If you’re not heading away for a romantic long weekend getaway, there are still lots of opportunities for romance in Waterloo Region. Find the perfect backdrop for your Valentine’s day. Whether you’re looking for a new place to explore together, have a few photos taken, or maybe ask that special question, these spots in Waterloo region will bring the romance.
Waterloo Town Square
This time of year it’s the perfect combination of Uptown vibrance and Winter Wonderland. With the ice rink and twinkling lights at night, this is a great spot for a Valentine’s Day date. Glide around the uptown rink, then take a stroll up King St. to one of the great cafes for a hot chocolate, or to your favourite restaurant for a glass of vino.
Situated just outside of Waterloo in West Montrose is the West Montrose Covered Bridge, also popularly knowng as the “kissing bridge”. The name itself oozes romance. The bright red structure stretches over the Grand River and is a great backdrop for photos any time of the year. What makes this bridge so special is that it’s the last reminaing covered bridge of its kind (built by John and Benjamin Bear in 1881). And is it called the kissing bridge? The nickname came about because couples can walk through the bridge and be out of sight. Definitely ones of the most romantic places around.
There are so many beautiful areas of Waterloo Park–the fields, the gardens, the boardwalk, the zoo. The boardwalk is a romantic area, with a little gazebo and a bench perfect for two people overlooking the water. Grab a tea from Uptown and sit on the water’s edge.
If you’re looking for a natural setting, Snyder’s Flats is a great option. 4.5 km of trail make it the ideal spot for outdoorsy couples who love to run and walk. Bundle up and go for a walk this Valentine’s Day.
As the oldest park in Kitchener, Victoria Park is a Waterloo Region staple. It’s a popular spot for local events and is conveniently located steps from Downtown Kitchener. Shelters and benches provide lots of seating options, access to the Iron Horse Trail makes it the perfect destination after a walk, and the historical clock tower is a sight to see. Take your skates for an evening of skating under the stars, then head over to the Boathouse for dinner and live music.
St. Jacobs is a well-known spot in Waterloo Region. Think of all the possibilities for a romantic date. Visit the St. Jacob’s Farmers market Saturday morning for fresh and local food (ideal if you’re going to be cooking a Valentine’s Day dinner together), and don’t forget about the downtown stretch of St. Jacob’s. Spend the day browsing local shops for uninique gifts, local treats, and antiques. You don’t have to travel far to have a great long weekend.
Your Special Place
There are so many romantic spots in Waterloo Region, but nothing packs on the romance quite like a walk down Memory Lane. If you’re looking for the ultimate spot to have a romantic moment, think about the great times you’ve had in Waterloo Region and find that one perfect place you remember being together. Nostalgia is a powerful feeling. The scene where you first met, had your first date, or first uttered those three special words will be romantic to you.
Family Day in Waterloo Region is packed full of fun with so many great activities going on all weekend.
Waterloo Region Museum – Daily activities for kids & New “In the Dark” exhibit.
The Museum – Exhibits include: Crafty Creation: Love Bugs, Star Lab SHow: Stars of the Ice Age, Science + You: Healthy Hearts, Guided Tour of LIGHT Illuminated, Pixel Stick Photo-Op, Noche en la Habana
Friday, February 12
10:15-12:15 Public Skating at Activia -Alumni (free)
Saturday, February 13
1:00 – 2:50 Public Skating at Lion’s Arena (paid)
7:00 Xtreme Ice Racing at The Aud
Sunday, Februrary 14 – Valentine’s Day
1:00 – 4:00 Mill Courtland Community Centre Winter Fair
2:00 – 3:20 Public Skating at Grand River Arena (paid)
2:30 – 4:00 Public Skating at Lions Arena (paid- includes free hot chocolate)
Check out our Valentine’s Day blog: The Top Romantic Spots in Waterloo Region
Monday, February 15- Family Day
10:00 – 1:00 BBQ & Board Games at Kingsdale Community Centre
10:00 – 2:00 Fun For all ages at Forest Heights Community Center
10:00 – 4:00 Family Day Open House at the KW Granite Club
10:00 – 5:00 Outdoor Survival & Tracking Skills at Joseph Snider Hau
10:00 – 5:00 Special Family Day programming at The Museum. Special discounts on pricing. Programs: Craft Creations: Family Trees (All Day); Science + You: Healthy Hearts (11:30 & 2:30), Family Hack Jam (10:00 – 4:00)
10:30 – 12:30 Free Public Skating at The Aud – Dom Cardillo
12:00 – 3:00 Fun & Wagon Rides at Williamsburg Community Centre Balloon
12:30 – 4:00 Fun Family Day Swim at Stanley Park Community Centre at Lyle Hallman Pool
1:00 – 3:00 Free Public Skating at Lion’s Arena
1:00 – 3:30 Winter Fun Day at Victoria Hills Community Centre
1:00 – 4:00 Family Day at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
1:00 – 4:00 Family Skate & Indoor Activities at Centreville Chicopee Community Centre
1:30 – 3:30 Free Public Skating at The Aud – Kiwanis
2:00 – 4:00 Fmmily Skate & indoor Activities at Bridgeport Community Centre
2:30 – 3:15 Five the Magician at Ideal Exchange
3:00 – 7:00 Skating Party at Country Hills Community Centre
5:00 – 7:00 Movie & Pizza at Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre
Enjoy the weekend and have some Family Day Fun!
We love getting to know the businesses that make our community what it is. Recently we stopped by Walper Tobacco Shop, which holds particular historical significance.
Walper Tobacco Shop is one of Kitchener’s founding businesses. It’s located in the heart of Downtown Kitchener at King St. and Queen St. You may know that the store first opened in 1981 (because it’s proudly displayed on the sign), but did you know that back then, Kitchener was still going by it’s former name, “Berlin”?
Over the years there have been many owners of the historical shop. Peter Cable, the current owner, took over the shop in 2010 from his father who previously owner the shop since 1970.
If you’re looking for cigars, pipes, or great gift ideas, you’re going to want to check out Walper Tabacco Shop.
Great Selection. Great Products. Great Service.
Take a look at our video to learn more.
Buying your first home is a big deal. All of a sudden you’re making one of the largest purchases of your life, and entering a whole new realm of information and processes. It’s a very exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. Having never bought a home before, first time home buyers tend to make a few mistakes. Here are 10 first time home buyer mistakes that you can avoid.
1. Not Knowing What You Can Afford
Some first time home buyers jump into the house hunt without knowing how much they can realistically spend. Take the time to crunch the numbers yourself and break down your monthly expenses, including every little thing you spend money on. You don’t want to strap yourself by committing all of your income to your monthly payments. Find a number that you are comfortable with.
2. Not Budgeting For Additional Expenses
Often, first time home buyers are excited to find their dream home that they forget to budget money additional expenses. Expenses like property taxes, insurance payments, and inevitable home repairs. Even if you don’t have immediate plans for renovations, keep in mind that as a home owner, things come up unexpectedly.
3. Falling in Love at First Sight
If you’ve never been on the hunt for a home before, it can be an overwhelming experience. It’s lots of fun to look at homes and picture your family living in them, but some first time home owners fall victim to love at first sight. Be sure when you love a house, you’re not in love with the home staging, but rather, you love how your family can turn a building into a home.
4. Not Being Able to Visualize
This mistake occurs with first time home buyers as well as families who have purchased many homes over the years. Remember when you’re touring potential properties, you’re not going to be living in it as is. You can change the colour of the falls, move your furniture in, rearrange the layout and make it your own. It’s a mistake when people on the house hunt walk in a home and rule it out because they can’t see past the colour of the kitchen. As a first time home buyer, you’ll likely have a wish list, but you may have to make some of those wishes come to life. Be able to visualize the changes you can make to a home will let you see its real potential.
5. Opting Out of the Home Inspection
Would you ever get married without getting to know your partner’s personality? Well foregoing a home inspection is the same. You’re committing to something, without really knowing much about it beyond the surface. If you’re worried requesting a home inspection will impact your offer, then speak with your REALTOR®. Opting out of the home inspector could lead to unforeseen issues with the property, leaving you and your bank account vulnerable.
6. Not Understanding the Market You’re In
As a first time home buyer, there’s a lot to learn. But one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is understanding what type of market you’re in. Is it a buyer’s market, or a seller’s market? This will have an impact on your offer and negotiation strategies. Consulting with an experienced REALTOR® is the best way to truly understand the market.
7. Trusting A Verbal Agreement
This mistake can potentially cause heart break in a first time home buyer. A deal isn’t a deal until it’s signed. A seller may verbally accept your offer, and have second thoughts after a night’s sleep. Save your celebrations until the paperwork has been completed.
8. Forgetting About the Future
Buying your first home is exciting. You’re thinking about your new life in a new home. But what about 10 years from now? Take some time to research the neighbourhood you’re interested in to find out if there are more development plans for the area. Take a look at home trends and consult your REALTOR® about home value trends in the area. Your due diligence can help you avoid this first time home buyers’ mistake.
9. Not Hiring an Experienced REALTOR®
This may be the biggest mistake of them all. First time home buyers are new to the market, new to a transaction of this scale, and probably have a million questions. Hiring an experienced REALTOR® to be on your team will give you the comfort of knowing someone is looking out for your best interests. This first time home buyer mistake usually stems from the buyer wanting to save money, but the experience a strategic REALTOR® brings is much more valuable.
10. Forgetting About Negotiations
Negotiations. That’s just what they are. First time home buyers are allowed to negotiate to get what they want. You don’t have to sit back and accept the deal as it is. Having a REALTOR® on your side is extremely valuable when it comes to negotiating with the sellers and their REALTOR®.
There are lots of people who can help you sell your home, but you don’t want just anyone. There are certain things, like experience, that can really set REALTORS® apart. Before you hire a REALTOR®, review these 6 Reasons why hiring the right REALTOR® matters.
More of why hiring the right REALTOR® matters
1. More money for your property
The RIGHT REALTOR® knows what works and when prime selling time is to achieve the most money.
2. Confidence that you WILL move
The whole point of listing your home is so you can sell it and move. With the right experience and strategies, the RIGHT REALTOR® will give you peace of mind.
3. More Options
The right REALTOR® has years of experience negotiating. Getting you want you want, such as your ideal closing date, sets the right REALTOR® apart.
4. Knowing someone has your back
It’s important that you are at ease in the selling process. Understanding that your REALTOR® has your best interests in mind will give you the assurance you need through this life-changing process.
5. Advice & guidance based on experience
The RIGHT REALTOR® is part of your team. Providing advice and guidance to help you make smart decisions is a valuable asset and the key to the best result.
6. More Connections & Gain Larger Property exposure
As a seller, you want a REALTOR® with a large network of buyers, locally and out of town. The right one for you is someone who can bring serious buyers through your front door.
This morning I got up and looked out my window, and I thought “Wow, I can’t believe it’s January”. The snow is finally here and it’s a reminder of how quickly the seasons come and go.
Living in Kitchener-Waterloo for a lifetime, Winters sure haven’t changed. This year marks my 30th anniversary; that’s 30 Winters that have come and gone while I’ve been selling real estate. The one thing I can tell everyone is that now is a great time to sell your home.
The market in January is hot and we are still seeing multiple offers on some properties.
People ask me why?..especially this time of year. I explain to them it’s all about supply and demand, and there is low inventory now. That’s usually the case for this time of year.
Just like the weather, market news can be confusing. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call.
One thing I do find is that in busy selling seasons, there always seem to be extra homes to choose from. With Spring around the corner, my suggestion is: if you’re thinking about selling, now is the time to get the ball rolling, before everyone else does.
Picture this: it’s a nice sunny Spring day, and your street is full of great homes, all with ‘for sale’ signs lined up in a row. Wouldn’t you like yours to say ‘Sold’ by then?
If your answer is yes, then give me a call. Choose a top REALTOR® you trust, get good advice and things will go smoothly.
It’s that time of year again; the time when we get to be thankful for the people we have around us. The holidays are such a special time of year, so we thought we’d take a moment to talk about what the holidays mean to us.
Watch our holiday video to find out what Christmas means to each of us.
Happy Holidays from our team
Visit our Facebook page and let us know what the holidays mean to you.
Your home is where you’re most comfortable and where you should feel the most safe. Keeping your home safe should be a priority. It will help protect you, your family, and your belongings. Here are some measures you can take to ensure you are keeping your home safe and secure.
Leave an Outside Light On
Not only will this show activity at your house, but it’s safe for you; you won’t have to worry about tripping over steps or struggling to find your keys.
Keep Valuable Items Out of Sight
We all get comfortable leaving our keys and wallet in the front hall, but consider tucking them away. It takes seconds to open a door and grab a wallet, so thieves looking for a quick score will take this approach. The same goes for laptops and tablets; these electronics are small enough to grab on the go.
Think about tucking valueables away in drawers or in a closet. Anything that is very valuable should be secured in a safe somewhere in your home.
Add Timers to Indoor Lights
Timers will ensure the lights in your home are turned on daily, even when you’re not home. This type of activity shows movement in your home, and is helpful for your family. No more stumbling down the hallway to find a light once the sun has gone down.
Reinforce Sliding Doors
Using a metal or wood rod to reinforce sliding doors will prevent someone from being able to knock it open. Often sliding doors are at the back of a home, giving burglars more shelter to work.
Lock Your Shed
Don’t make it easy for someone to access your shed and outdoor tools, especially if your shed is tucked away in the backyard. Any secluded area makes it easy for someone to take their time accessing your shed and going through your things. Adding a lock with deter a burglar from a quick steal.
Trim Bushes and Trees
Overgrow plants, especially around entrances to your home (windows and doors) can be dangerous. They can act as shelter for anyone trying to get in your home, and they make for good hiding spots. Maintain your shrubs and bushes so all entrances are clear. This maintenance also gives off the message that you take care of your home and are aware of your surroundings.
Keep Track of Your Keys
We’ve all seen the trick: stash a spare key under a doormat or rock. Don’t do this. If you know the trick, everyone else knows the trick. If you want to have a spare key around, give it to a trusted friend of neighbour. This way you can access a key if you’re locked out, and it’s kept in a safe location.
Similarly, it’s important to keep track of all your spare keys (but don’t label the keys with your address). Keep a list of everyone who has a copy, and if a key goes missing be sure to change your locks. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Check Smoke and CO Detectors
Often we wait until the alarm goes off to check the detectors in our homes. Make an effort to check them on a regular basis. Make sure they are still connected and working, that the batteries are fresh, and note the expiry date. Detectors don’t last forever.
The Government of Canada released a press release this morning announcing “changes to the rules for government-backed mortgage insurance to contain risks in the housing market and reduce taxpayer exposire and support long-term stability”. (Department of Finance)
Beginning February 15, 2016 the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages will be 10% on the portion of the price of a home exceeding $500,000. Previously, the downpayment on this portion of the cost of a home was 5%.
This update will only affect mortgages obtained February 15, 2016 and onward. It is an effort by the Government of Canada to require a more proporionate down payment compared to the cost of a home.
For example: a $750,000 home would require:
5% down payment on $500,000 $25,000
10% down payment on $250,000 $25,000
Total Down Payment on Purchase Price: $50,000
Learn more about the upcoming changes on the Department of Canada website.
Ion is on it’s way!
The new light rail and bus rapid transit system is being implemented to enhance Grand River Transit. Ion service is set to begin in 2017.
Waterloo Region has been undergoing construction which has caused some dismay in the short term. But we’re taking a look at the long-term.
Ion is great for the local housing market. It will create more ease for communters (both local and GTA commuters), putting Waterloo Region on the map for great public transportation technology, adding to our existing tech reputation.
This public transportation system will contribute to the region’s development, and support our future population.
The value of homes in the services areas are increasing and will continue to rise once service is in effect. Homes in these locations will be perfect for families trying to keep their transportation costs down.
They will have a faster, more efficient way to access work and to travel across the city as a family.
This new step in public transportation gives more people the chance to be less car-dependent. With environemntal conciousness being such a topical issue, it’s no wonder residents of Kitchener and Waterloo are excited about a new way to reduce their carbon footprint.
Learn more about www.rideion.ca. For an update on Ion Construction and projected activities, watch the video and hear from Director of Rapid Transit at the Region of Waterloo, Darshpreet Bhatti:
We took a trip to St. Agatha to speak with Mike and Amy, the owners of Angie’s Country Kitchen. Watch to find out more about the history of Angie’s, the building, and their famous food.
Sitting just outside of Waterloo in St. Agatha, Angie’s Country Kitchen is a great local spot for great food and quality family time. They focus on homemade country inspired foods in their dining room as well as on their catering menu. If you have a busy family event or a wedding coming up, why not bring in Angie’s Country Kitchen to take care of the food for you. They have over 40 years of experience in the catering business.
It’s a delicious decision!
Their home cooked menu includes fresh baking (breads and dessers), local craft brews, breakfast, lunch, delicious bbq, and dinner.
To see their full menu and to learn more about Angie’s Country Kitchen, visit their website: www.angieseats.com
“Angie’s has extensive experience catering. We have catered to many “tent” style outdoor weddings right down to refurbished barns. Wherever your function, Angie’s can professionally design your menu, set your location and deliver home cooked delicious food with your budget in mind.” -angieseats.com
This year marks the 19th Annual Christkindl Market, Kitchener’s very own Festival of German Christmas. The 4-day event runs from December 3 -6 in downtown Kitchener (visit www.christkindl.ca for hours).
This is a great event for the entire family with entertainment, vendors, history & folklore, and much more! Our team stopped by to speak with Monica Reid about this year’s event. Take a look!
“Christkindl Market was brought to Kitchener’s City Hall by founder Tony Bergmeier. It was designed to breathe life into the core of downtown Kitchener. Today, over 35,000 visitors from across North America come to experience our award-winning festival.” -christkindl.ca
Kitchener’s Christkinl Market has received many awards including:
- Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario
- Top 50 Festivals & Events
- Top 10 Events & Best New Festival
- Ontario Volunteer Service Award Winner 2013
Click here to learn more about these awards.
Whether we want to admit it or not, Winter is on it’s way. We’ve been lucky to have such beautiful weather the past few weeks, but it’s only a matter of time until the snow is here for good. We want to ensure you and your home are ready for the winter so we’ve put together a few helpful tips to get you started getting your home ready for Winter.
Window & Doors
Inspect door frames and window frames for cracks, and take a look at the weatherstripping. If any glass is cracked or broken, be sure to repair it before we’re in the thick of winter.
Make sure the heat stays in and the cold air stays outside. Not only will this keep you more comfortable in the winter, but it will help reduce your energy bills.
Secure your home
Mitigating the risk of anything damaging happening in the winter is the best way to avoid a large bill AND avoid stress. Check for any drafty areas in your home. Again, anywhere there’s a draft, you’re going to be throwing money at the utility companies.
Replace screen windows with storm windows or plexiglass to insulate better.
Outside, clear out your eavestroughs and make sure any storm water drainage systems are pointing away from your house. It’s a good idea to check back on this when the snow is melting as well. The last thing you need on a sunny day is a flooded basement.
We all love cuddling up next to a fire on a cold winter evening. Inspect your fireplace for drafts, and clean out any existing soot. If you want to be extra nice to yourself, set up some kindling and logs so the first fire is ready to go!
Take a few minutes this weekend to give your house a once over, then you can sit back, relax, and have a worry-free winter.
“Make it Kitchener”. This is the new economic development strategy slogan which Kitchener has adopted. Giving the city a purpose, a direction, and a plan.
Kitchener’s new economic development strategy is focused on attracting businesses. Over the next five years work will be done to carve the city into a vibrant place with an urban vibe that any business will want to be a part of, and where people will want to live and enjoy.
Creating this atmosphere will help local businesses because Kitchener will appeal to employees as a place that they want to live and stay, benefiting business with long-term talent.
Part of this vibrant community will come from an emphasis on the arts and positioning Kitchener as a place where the arts can thrive, bringing diversity and entertainment.
Our team understands the importance of being connected. It’s important in our business and in our community. Kitchener will be a place where businesses can be connected and have the ability to grow.
Manufacturing businesses play a key role in the strategy. Existing cutting-edge companies have been making a name for themselves by bringing innovative technology to the region. These companies have such potential and are a key part of the economic development strategy, having the potential to increase employment opportunities.
Kitchener aims to support these manufacturing companies and well as the arts to create a balanced, appealing city.
The final strategy is awaiting approval, but we look forward to the growth and vibrancy Kitchener has to offer.
Santa is a busy guy this time of year, from parades to photos, to getting ready for his big night. We’re so happy he’s taking some time to spend with us here in Waterloo Region.
Take a look at our Santa Tracker. We know all the stops the jolly ol’ fellow is making in Waterloo Region
1. KW Santa Claus Parade – November 21 10:30am. The parade route runs from Ottawa & King in Kitchener to Weber & Erb in Waterloo.
2. KW Santa Claus Parade – Route end at Weber & Erb in Waterloo
3. Cambridge Santa Claus Parade – November 21 6:00pm. Route starts at Hespeler & Dunbar. Parade extends down Hespeler to Langs Dr./ Sheldon Dr.
4. Conestoga Mall – November 23 – December 23. Get your photo taken with Santa. Plus, Sunday, November 29 from 5:30-7:30 bring your furry friend for a photo with Santa.
5. Fairview Park Mall – November 21 – December 24. Visit for photos with Santa in front of Hudson’s Bay.
6. Cambridge Shopping Centre – November 19. Santa will arrive in style on a Zamboni. Get your photo taken with Santa through December.
7. Skate with Santa – December 10 6:10 – 7:30. Free skate with Santa at Cambridge Ice Centre
Enjoy the holiday season!
A Step Above
We, on the Cindy Cody Team, do whatever it takes to accomplish awesome results for our clients and focus on creating experiences that build strong relationships!
Our goal is to make sure our clients get more of what really matters.
Experience counts – We can offer more
Having a full service team of extremely experienced partners, matters. With over 150 years of combined Real Estate experience in the Kitchener – Waterloo and surrounding area we pride ourselves in obtaining the A1 properties for our buyers and getting our sellers successful offers and more options.
We are proud to explain to people considering our services how we work differently. It takes more than putting properties on the market to get awesome results. Our sold signs are proof and our track record as to making things happen!
Being connected is our core, keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the business day to day is extremely important to both our buyers and our sellers. They count on us. We are connected extensively throughout KItchener-Waterloo and Cambridge as well to many top producers from cities across Canada. This offers us the unique ability to access real, relocating buyers on a consistent basis, giving our clients the edge.
We value the connections we make with our clients, building more than just business relationships. Relationships that build, year after year – creating win-win in our busy worlds.
And we love OUR COMMUNITY! We live, raise our families and have fun here. We breathe the Kitchener – Waterloo region, it’s uniques areas, neighbourhood and local businesses.
Each of us has chosen this career because it is something we are passionate about. We are able to really connect with our clients and make a difference in their lives. We’re passionate about working to create a great experience for each of our clients and help them reach their goals.
Learn more about each of our team members here.