901 Victoria St N Kitchener, ON

cindycody

Categories
House & Home

How To Host the Best Outdoor Summer Party

Hosting an outdoor summer party can be a lot of fun for your family, friends and neighbours. With the right preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself and put on a memorable event. Whether it’s for a birthday, celebration, or just an excuse to get together with some of your favourite people, here are some tips to ensure your summer event is a success. (Keep reading to see some amazing photos to inspire your summer parties.)

Planning and Preparation

  1. Choose the Right Date and Time:
    • Check the weather forecast in advance.
    • Opt for a late afternoon or evening start to avoid the midday heat.
  2. Send Invites Early:
    • Use digital invitations for convenience and to track RSVPs easily.
    • Include details about attire, parking, and any special instructions.
    • Or if you’re being spontaneous, send a text with all the details.
    • Make sure you let people know if you need them to bring anything or not.
  3. Theme and Decor:
    • Pick a fun summer theme (e.g., tropical, garden party, picnic).
    • Use vibrant, summery colors for decorations and table settings.
    • Consider lighting options for the evening, such as fairy lights, lanterns, or torches.

Food and Drinks

  1. Menu Planning:
    • Serve light, refreshing foods like salads, grilled vegetables, and fruits.
    • Include a variety of grilled items, such as burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and vegetarian options.
    • Prepare some dishes ahead of time to minimize on-site cooking.
  2. Drinks:
    • Provide a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. If kids will be around, make sure any alcoholic drinks options (especially punches and unbottled drinks) are clearly labelled
    • Set up a drink station with iced tea, lemonade, and water to keep guests hydrated.
    • Consider having a signature cocktail or mocktail.
  3. Keep Food Safe:
    • Use coolers or ice packs to keep perishable foods cold.
    • Serve hot foods promptly and keep them covered when not being served.

Comfort and Safety

  1. Shade and Seating:
    • Provide ample shade with umbrellas, canopies, or tents.
    • Ensure there is enough seating for everyone, using a mix of chairs, benches, and blankets.
  2. Insect Control:
    • Set up citronella candles or torches to keep bugs away.
    • Have insect repellent available for guests to use.
  3. First Aid:
    • Have a basic first aid kit on hand for any minor injuries or issues.

Entertainment

  1. Music:
    • Create a summer playlist to set the mood.
    • Consider having live music or a DJ if you’re having a larger party and your budget allows.
  2. Games and Activities:
    • Set up lawn games like cornhole, badminton, or bocce ball.
    • Provide activities for kids if families are invited, such as a bubble station or water games.

Clean-Up

  1. Trash and Recycling:
    • Place clearly labeled bins for trash and recycling around the party area.
    • Use compostable or reusable plates, cups, and utensils to minimize waste.
  2. Post-Party Plan:
    • Recruit a few friends or family members to help with clean-up.
    • Have a system in place for handling leftover food, such as containers for guests to take home.

Back-Up Plan

  1. Have A Back-Up Plan in Mind
    • Sometimes the weather can be unpredictable. Whether it be an indoor option or a rain date, have a backup plan in mind.

By covering these bases, you’ll be well-prepared to host an enjoyable and memorable outdoor summer party.

Inspiration For Your Next Summer Party

Categories
Buying Real Estate

4 Things You Should Know Know About Property Taxes

If you’re a homeowner or aspiring to be one, you’re likely familiar with the excitement and sense of achievement that comes with owning a property. However, amidst the joy of acquiring a home, there are essential aspects that every homeowner should grasp to navigate the financial responsibilities effectively. Today, we’re diving into a crucial pillar of homeownership: property taxes.

Understanding your property taxes is fundamental for any homeowner. This financial component not only impact your expenses but can also play a role in your longer-term financial planning. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, learning about property taxes can save you from unexpected surprises and help you make sound financial decisions.

Today, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about property taxes, from the basics to more nuanced aspects.

So, whether you’re curious about how property taxes are calculated, want to understand all your payment options, or simply want to deepen your understanding of this essential financial matter, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!

What are property taxes?

Property taxes are mandatory payments you make each year as a property owner. They are paid to your municipal or provincial government. Property taxes collected by the governments in Kitchener and Waterloo, like in many other municipalities, are used to fund various local services and initiatives. Some common uses include:

  • Municipal services: The bulk of property tax revenue typically goes towards funding essential services provided by the local government, such as police and fire protection, waste management, road maintenance, snow removal, parks and recreation facilities, and public transit.
  • Infrastructure Maintenance and Development: Property taxes are used to maintain and develop infrastructure such as roads, bridges, sidewalks, and public buildings. This includes repairs, upgrades, and new construction projects to support the growing needs of the community.
  • Community Services: Funds may be allocated to support community programs and services, including libraries, community centers, cultural events, and social services aimed at supporting vulnerable populations within the community.
  • Education: A portion of property tax revenue may be transferred to local school boards to support the operation and maintenance of schools and educational programs in the area.
  • Debt Servicing: In some cases, property taxes may be used to service debt incurred by the municipality for capital projects or other initiatives.
  • Administration: A portion of property tax revenue is used to cover the administrative costs of running the local government, including salaries of employees, office expenses, and other

See how City of Kitchener breaks down the components of your tax bill here, and learn all about the City of Waterloo’s property tax here.

How are property taxes calculated?

The calculation of property taxes involves two key factors: the assessed value of the property and the tax rate set by the local municipality.

Assessment of Property Value: The assessment of a property’s value is usually performed by a local or provincial assessment body. This assessment considers the property’s size, age, location, and improvements or renovations. It’s important to note that the assessed value for tax purposes might differ from the property’s market value.

Municipal Tax Rates: Once the property’s value is assessed, the local municipality applies a tax rate to this value to determine the property tax. This rate is often expressed in mills (one mill equals $1 in property tax levied per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value). The rate varies depending on the municipality and the type of property.

In essence, the formula to calculate the property tax is Property Tax = Property Value Assessment x Municipal Tax Rate. For example, if a home is valued at $500,000 and the municipal tax rate is 0.5%, the homeowner would owe $2,500 in property taxes for the year.

remax.ca

How can property taxes affect real estate decisions?

Property taxes are a variable taken into account when determining a whether a homeowner can afford a home; it’s not just about the sale price of a property. Prospective buyers often scrutinize property tax rates when selecting a location, as these taxes directly affect the annual expense of homeownership. Opting for municipalities with lower tax rates can lower annual expenses for a homeowner.

Real estate investors also closely consider property taxes, as they directly influence the profitability of their investments. Elevated property taxes can diminish the net rental income, prompting investors to seek areas with lower tax rates to maximize returns or adjust rental prices accordingly.

Paying property taxes directly vs. through your mortgage lender

The Advantages of Paying Property Taxes Through Your Mortgage

Paying property taxes through your mortgage offers several advantages that can simplify your financial planning and homeownership experience. Here are some of the key benefits:

Simplified Budgeting – Combining your property taxes with your monthly mortgage payment simplifies your financial responsibilities. You make a single payment to your mortgage lender, who then disburses the funds to cover your mortgage principal, interest, and property taxes. Since your property taxes are spread out over the year, you can anticipate and budget for consistent monthly payments, making it easier to manage your finances and avoid unexpected lump-sum tax bills.

Elimination of Lump Sum Payments – Property taxes are typically assessed annually or semi-annually, resulting in substantial lump-sum payments for homeowners. By paying through your mortgage, you eliminate the need to come up with a large amount of money all at once. Without the burden of a significant tax bill looming, you can better allocate your resources to other financial priorities, such as home maintenance, savings, or investments.

Lower Risk of Tax Delinquency – Paying property taxes through your mortgage ensures that your taxes are paid on time. Mortgage lenders are responsible for making timely tax payments, reducing the risk of tax delinquency and potential penalties. With tax payments integrated into your mortgage, you can have peace of mind knowing that your property remains in good standing with local tax authorities, preventing any potential tax liens or legal complications.

The Drawbacks of Paying Property Taxes Through Your Mortgage

While paying property taxes through your mortgage offers convenience, it also comes with some drawbacks that you should consider before making this choice:

Higher Monthly Payments – When property taxes are added to your mortgage payment, your monthly housing costs will increase. This can strain your monthly budget, particularly if you’re on a tight financial plan. Lenders often require homeowners to maintain an escrow cushion, which is an extra amount added to your monthly payment to ensure they have enough funds to cover property taxes and insurance. This cushion can further increase your monthly expenses.

Loss of Control over Tax Payments – When property taxes are paid through your mortgage, you relinquish direct control over tax payments. Your mortgage lender handles the disbursement of tax funds, which means you may not know when and how they pay your property taxes. If there are discrepancies or issues with your property tax assessment, you may have limited ability to address them directly with the tax authority since your lender manages the payments on your behalf.

Potential Escrow Shortages – Property tax amounts can change from year to year due to factors such as reassessment or changes in local tax rates. Your lender may adjust your monthly payments to account for these fluctuations, potentially resulting in higher payments and escrow shortages. Escrow shortages can lead to unexpected increases in your monthly mortgage payments. These fluctuations can cause financial stress if you’re unprepared for the higher costs.

remax.ca

Learn more about the alternatives to paying property taxes through your mortgage.

Here are some other resources you may find helpful!

Categories
Community Local News

Local Athletes Heading to the 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Games

In the world of sports, there are few stages as prestigious and electrifying as the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This year, athletes from across the globe will gather in Paris to compete, showcasing not only their physical prowess but also the culmination of years of dedication, sacrifice, and unwavering determination. As the anticipation builds for the upcoming 2024 Games, communities around the world eagerly await the chance to witness their local heroes shine on the international stage.

In our own backyard, nestled within the fabric of our communities, lie extraordinary individuals whose stories of resilience and achievement inspire us all. These are the local athletes who have devoted countless hours to training, overcoming obstacles, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Now, as they prepare to represent their countries with pride, we stand ready to cheer them on and celebrate their remarkable journey.

Join us as we embark on a journey of inspiration and admiration, shining a spotlight on the remarkable athletes from our local communities who will be competing in the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

2024 Team Canada Athletes from Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area

As we count down the days to the opening ceremonies, let us come together as a community to rally behind these exceptional individuals from Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas, supporting them every step of the way as they chase their dreams and make history.

Local Athletes Heading to the Olympics

Natalie Achonwa | Basketball
Guelph, Ontario

Corey Conners | Golf
Listowel, Ontario

Ben Flanagan | Athletics
Kitchener, Ontario

Jessie Fleming | Soccer
London, Ontario

Tristan Jankovics | Swimming
Puslinch, Ontario

Alysha Newman | Athletics
Delware, Ontario

Maggie Mac Neil | Swimming
London, Ontario

Eric Peters | Archery
Kitchener, Ontario

Tyler Rorke | Cycling – Track
Baden, Ontario

Cordano Russell | Skateboarding
London, Ontario

Claire Scheffel | Artistic Swimming
Brantford, Ontario

Damian Warner | Athletics
London, Ontario

More to come as more athletes officially qualify for the Olympics!

See all Team Canada athletes here.

Local Athletes Heading to the Paralympics

Alec Elliot | Para Swimming
Kitchener, Ontario

The 2024 Paralypmic Games are taking place from August 28 to September 8.

Stay tuned to learn about this year’s Team Canada.

See all Team Canada paralympians here.

We’re extending our warmest wishes to Team Canada. As you embark on this incredible journey, we will be back home cheering you on!

Go Canada Go!

Categories
Buying Real Estate Community Selling Value

Neighbourhood Amenities Valued By Buyers


There are several neighborhood amenities that can significantly add to a home’s appeal. How valuable each neighbourhood amenity is will vary from buyer to buyer. Just as buyers have a specific wish list for home features, their specific lifestyle, wants, and needs will also impact how important different amenities are to them and how close they want to be.

As buyers are considering different neighbourhoods and picking their perfect location, here are some factors that may come into play.

Driving to amenities

Close proximity to certain key amenities may impact which neighbourhoods a buyer is interested in looking at. For example, some people will want quick access to major highways like the 401 and Highway 7/8, especially if they commute to work. Whereas buyers who work from home may value proximity to grocery stores, banks, and shopping plazas more.

Families will likely put high value on school zones and nearby parks.

Others may put emphasis on proximity to key locations that fuel their lifestyle, like golf courses, ski hills, community centre, and walking and biking trails.

Walking to amenities

Buyers could even be focused on amenities within the neighbourhood, or places they can walk to. For some, being able to walk to a downtown core is essential for visiting local restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs.

Sometimes a “Walk Score” is referenced in a property description to indicate how many amenities are within walking distance of an address. You can search Walk Scores here. You can also learn a transit score and how bikeable and address is.

Speaking of transit, some buyers are looking to specifically be walking (or biking) distance to public transit (the bus or the Ion), or easy access to GO stations.

Rural area amenities

For more rural areas, the biggest need is how far a family will be from their everyday needs and amenities like the grocery store. Buyers will consider their desired driving time. Typically we see that 10-15 minutes seems to be the sweet spot.

Every buyer has different needs so it’s important to highlight all types of amenities to a potential buyer who may be considering your home.

Saught-after Neighbourhood Amenities

Here are some more examples of amenities that buyers may have on their wish list:

  1. Quality Schools: Proximity to well-rated public or private schools is often a top consideration for families with children. Homes in neighborhoods with good schools may command higher prices.
  2. Parks and Green Spaces: Access to parks, playgrounds, trails, and other outdoor recreational areas can enhance a neighborhood’s appeal. Green spaces contribute to a sense of community and offer opportunities for leisure and exercise.
  3. Retail and Dining: Proximity to shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes can increase convenience and quality of life for residents. Walkable neighborhoods with diverse retail options tend to be more desirable.
  4. Public Transportation: Easy access to public transportation hubs such as subway stations, bus stops, or commuter rail lines can make a neighborhood more attractive, especially for urban dwellers who rely on public transit for commuting.
  5. Cultural and Entertainment Venues: Neighborhoods with theaters, museums, art galleries, music venues, and other cultural attractions often have a vibrant atmosphere and appeal to residents interested in arts and entertainment.
  6. Community Centers and Libraries: Facilities such as community centers, libraries, and recreational centers provide spaces for social gatherings, educational activities, and community events, contributing to a strong sense of community.
  7. Safety and Security: Low crime rates, well-lit streets, and active neighborhood watch programs can make residents feel safer and increase property values.
  8. Healthcare Facilities: Proximity to hospitals, clinics, urgent care centers, and other healthcare facilities can be a significant asset, particularly for families and seniors who prioritize access to medical services.
  9. Gyms and Fitness Centers: Access to gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, or sports facilities appeals to health-conscious individuals and families seeking opportunities for exercise and wellness activities.
  10. Dog Parks and Pet-Friendly Amenities: For pet owners, neighborhoods with dog parks, pet-friendly establishments, and nearby veterinary clinics are highly desirable.

These amenities can vary in importance depending on the preferences and priorities of potential buyers, but collectively they contribute to the overall desirability and value of a neighborhood.

You don’t need to navigate the real estate market alone

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or someone looking to sell, we can help you every step of the way.

sold@cindycody.ca | 519-746-5136

Categories
home improvements Home Maintenace House & Home

Household Problems You Should Tackle ASAP

When it comes to home maintenance, you may have a long list of items you want to tackle. From fresh coats of paint to tightening hardware, your list may range in the level of urgency required. Maintaining your home is a crucial part of homeownership, especially if you want to uphold your home’s value. Here are some household problems that you should mark “most urgent” and tackle right away.

Mold

It’s common to spot mold in damp areas of your home like the kitchen or bathroom every now and then. To help prevent this from happening in the first place, ensure you have proper ventilation in rooms that can get steamy and damp.

If you catch mold making a surprise appearance somewhere unexpected, your living room walls for example, it’s time to bring in the experts for a closer look. They’ll take a look and determine whether you can handle the cleanup solo or if it’s best to bring in a professional remediation crew. Better safe than sorry, right?

HVAC System Concerns

Your heating and cooling system may make a bit of noise here and there, but if you start hearing anything that sounds like banging or squealing, it’s time to take notice. Those loud, out-of-the-ordinary sounds could be a sign of trouble with some of the important mechanical components. Get your HVAC technician on the case pronto. You don’t want to leave the issue long in case it gets worse (and becomes a more expensive fix). Plus, you want to be comfortable in those hot or cold months.

Critters or wildlife

Wildlife Prevention

Wildlife getting a little too close for comfort around the exterior of your home (i.e. in your chimney, on a balcony, in the garage, eavestrough, or window wells) should be dealt with in a timely manner. The City of Toronto has a great list of recommendations to Wildlife Proof Your Home and Lawn to help you mitigate any furry friends moving in. For example:

Prevention Skirts for Skunks and Foxes

A “prevention skirt” encloses areas underneath patio decks and sheds and other places where animals may make a dens. To keep animals from burrowing under these sites, dig a trench around the base of the structure and use galvanized heavy wire screening as a prevention skirt.

The screening should go at least 20 to 30 cm. straight down and 20 to 30 cm., angled 90° outwards underground so the screen forms an “L” shape. Backfill the area with dirt. If you pile rocks or other items over this area against the structure, the animal can burrow around the wire mesh barrier.

toronto.ca
Handle Small Critters and Pests

Smaller critters may make their way into your home. If you see any signs of ants or mice, you’ll want to take action right away. Those little critters crawling around your home is a sign that you have openings in your home somewhere that need to be closed.

Inspect areas such as exhaust vents, condensate lines, pipes, ducts, utility access panels, and garage doors for evident gaps, indications of chewing or nesting, or torn screening. If you’re unsure about what you’re observing or lack confidence in your ability to address the issue, it’s a good idea to contact a professional exterminator. If you come across mouse or bird droppings, be extra cautious as they can pose health risks.

Damaged Roof

Speaking of keeping critters out…maintaining a solid exterior is the best way to keep unwanted creatures and the elements out of your home. Inspect your roof throughout the year to make sure you don’t have any damaged or missing shingles. If you do, it’s important to tend to the issue as soon as possible. The purpose of shingles is to protect the wood sheathing underneath from moisture, which can be a much bigger (and more expensive) problem than a damaged shingle.

You’ll also want to pay attention to your roofline to ensure it’s not starting to sag at all. If you live in an older home, a sagging roofline could be a sign that something is loose or rotten underneath. If you notice any potential sagging (or any issues you spot from your attic), you’ll want to deal with them right away.

Peeling Paint

When you notice the paint peeling off the outside of your house, it’s more than just an eyesore. Sun and water can sneak in and wreak havoc on the wood beneath. Here’s the game plan: grab your scraper and get rid of that peeling paint down to the bare wood. Then, apply primer and let it dry before adding a fresh coat of paint.

Now, when it comes to indoor peeling paint, if you’re seeing it flake off in rough squares like an alligator’s skin, it’s time to pay attention. That’s often a telltale sign of lead-based paint lurking underneath. If it’s a big area, it’s smart to chat with a pro about getting it safely removed.

Jittery Interior or Exterior Railings

Railings serve an important purpose: to provide stability (especially to young kids, elderly people, and those with liabilities). If you notice any of your railings have a wobble, you should look into the issue. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of tightening the attachment to the wall. If you’re not confident in your ability to secure the railing properly, bring in a professional as soon as you can.

Dripping Plumbing

Whether it’s a dripping faucet or a running toilet, little drips can add up. An issue like a running toilet will show up on your water bill.

Leaky Faucet

For a leaky faucet, be sure to turn the water off before you attempt to tighten anything under the sink. Here are some steps you can take if you’re going to attempt to fix a leaky faucet on your own.

Running toilet

A toilet could be running for a few reasons. Two common reasons are:

  1. The valve is not shutting off properly and the tank is constantly filling
  2. Ghost flushing: the toilet fills up and then without anyone using it, it fills up again a few minutes later

This article breaks down how you can fix these common running toilet problems your self.

If you’re not confident in fixing plumbing issue by yourself (or identifying the core issue), call a plumber to come check it out as soon as possible.

The importance of fixing these household problems ASAP

Getting on top of household issues pronto isn’t just about keeping things looking spick and span—it’s about safeguarding your home and your family. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a wonky electrical outlet, or a creaky floorboard, tackling these problems ASAP can prevent them from spiraling into bigger, costlier headaches down the line. Plus, addressing issues promptly can also help maintain the value of your home and ensure everyone’s safety and comfort. So, don’t procrastinate—get fixing, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained abode!

If you’re thinking about selling your home now or in the next few years, it’s especially important to stay on top of your home maintenance tasks. Not only the crucial issues we talked about today, but all the tasks that help make your home a comfortable, functional property.

Proper home maintenance allows potential buyers to see themselves living blissfully in your home, and to not be focused on potential fixes. If a buyer spots an issue with your home, it could make their mind wander to wonder what else is wrong with the property. Don’t give them a reason to not love your home!

If you have questions about getting your home ready to sell, or what you can do to improve the value of your property, don’t hesitate to reach out!

sold@cindycody.ca | 519-746-5136

Categories
Community Events

2024 Summer Events in KW | Summer Activity Guide

Get ready to make the most of the sunshine and warmth because the 2024 summer season in Kitchener-Waterloo is bursting with excitement! From vibrant festivals to serene outdoor adventures, this Summer Activity Guide is your key to unlocking the best events in Kitchener-Waterloo. Whether you’re a local looking for new experiences or a visitor eager to dive into the heart of the community, this guide will navigate you through the hottest happenings in the region. Let’s dive in and discover the unforgettable summer events that await in our community!

Here’s a list of events you can check out in July and August. Click on an event to learn more.

Things to do in July

Things to do in August

Looking for more to do this Summer?

Check out Cool Summer Activities in Kitchener-Waterloo & Beyond
and Local Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow To Stay Up-To-Date on Local Events, News & More.

Categories
House & Home

Game-Changing Organizing Tips to Kickstart Your Clutter-Free Journey

Are you craving a decluttered life? Whether you’re planning a move in the near future, or you’re just craving a little less chaos in your life, implementing some organizational systems can be the first step towards a clutter-free life. Here are some tips you can use to develop decluttering habits in your home.

Title: Your clutter-free journey starts here. 

An arrow pointing to a circle with 12 Game-changing organizing tips.

Tips include: Start with a Clear Vision, Designate a Hidden Donation Box, One in, One out Rule, Two-Minute Rule, Declutter Regularly, Designate Storage Areas, Utilize Vertical Space, Invest in Multi-functional Furniture, Create a Paper Management System, Digital Decluttering, Practice the 10-Minute Tidy, Be Mindful of Purchases.
  1. Start with a Clear Vision: Envision the kind of space you want to live in. Having a clear idea of your ideal living environment will help motivate you to declutter and organize effectively.
  2. Designate a Hidden Donation Box: This practice will prevent clutter from accumulating in your space and save you from the hassle of prolonged decluttering sessions later on. Keep the bin out of sight to avoid it becoming an eyesore, and periodically take its contents to a local donation center every few months or when the bin reaches capacity.
  3. One in, One out Rule: Implement a rule where for every new item brought into your home, one similar item must be donated, sold, or discarded. This helps prevent the accumulation of unnecessary belongings.
  4. Two-Minute Rule: The two-minute rule is straightforward: if a task can be completed or put away within two minutes, do it immediately. This applies to chores like washing and putting away dishes, hanging up clothes, and taking out the trash. By adopting this approach, you’ll notice how many small tasks can be swiftly tackled, reducing your daily stress levels. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more organized your home appears by the day’s end.
  5. Declutter Regularly: Set aside time each week or month for decluttering sessions. Regular maintenance is key to preventing clutter from piling up again.
  6. Designate Storage Areas: Assign specific places for different categories of items in your home. Labeling shelves, bins, and drawers can help everyone in the household know where things belong, making it easier to put items back in their proper place.
  7. Utilize Vertical Space: Maximize storage by utilizing vertical space with shelves, hooks, and organizers. This can free up floor space and make your home feel more spacious and organized.
  8. Invest in Multi-functional Furniture: Choose furniture pieces that offer storage solutions, such as ottomans with hidden compartments or beds with built-in drawers. This helps reduce clutter while maximizing functionality.
  9. Create a Paper Management System: Paper clutter can quickly accumulate. Implement a system for dealing with incoming mail and paperwork, such as sorting, filing, and shredding documents regularly.
  10. Digital Decluttering: Apply the same principles of decluttering to your digital life. Organize your digital files, emails, and apps to streamline your digital space and reduce digital overwhelm.
  11. Practice the 10-Minute Tidy: Set a timer for 10 minutes each day to quickly tidy up common areas of your home. This small daily habit can help maintain order and prevent clutter from getting out of control.
  12. Be Mindful of Purchases: Before making a purchase, consider whether the item is truly necessary and where it will fit in your home. Avoid impulse buys and focus on acquiring items that serve a purpose and bring value to your life.

By incorporating these organizing tips into your daily routine, you can create a clutter-free living environment that promotes peace of mind and enhances overall well-being.

Looking for more tips for creating an organized home?

Check out these resources

Thinking of making a move?

If you’re starting your decluttering journey with moving in mind, we can help. We’re here to offer you professional real estate advice. If you’re thinking about selling your home now or even in a year or two, we’d be happy to connect with you about your goals and what you can do to get your home ready to sell.

Categories
Community Local Business Local News

Aerospace Accelerator Program Launched in Region of Waterloo

Living in Waterloo Region offers a remarkable perk: easy access to flights spanning the nation and beyond. Thanks to the proximity of the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF), travel has become incredibly convenient for residents of the region.

In fact, the Region of Waterloo International Airport is one of the top 20 busiest airports in Canada, making it a hot spot for cutting-edge advancements in aerospace and aviation.

Aerospace entrepreneurs will now have a place to text, expand, and amplify their startups at the Accelerator Centre. Awarded as one of the world’s top 5 private business accelerators, the Accelerator Centre offers programs to help startups launch their ideas into reality via mentorship, access to funds, strategies to scale, and more.

Applications for the program are now closed, but we’re excited to see the great ideas that take flight from this program.

Accelerator Centre launches inaugural Aerospace Accelerator Program in collaboration with the Region of Waterloo and NAVBLUE
acceleratorcentre.com

Waterloo, ON — Accelerator Centre (AC) is pleased to announce the launch of its groundbreaking Aerospace Accelerator in collaboration with the Region of Waterloo and NAVBLUE. This innovative initiative aims to foster the growth and development of cutting-edge aerospace technologies while contributing to the economic and technological advancement of the region.

The Aerospace Accelerator will run out of the AC’s headquarters in Waterloo and be delivered through a combination of remote and in-person education, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The program will serve as a dynamic hub for startups, entrepreneurs, and established companies in the aerospace sector. The innovative program provides access to potential test facilities, mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to the investment community to accelerate the development of innovative aerospace solutions that align with the Region of Waterloo’s aviation and aerospace priorities.

Waterloo Region’s strong aviation and aerospace ecosystem is built on a reputation for top talent, exceptional research capacity and a legacy of manufacturing and tech innovation. The Region is home to a full-service airport (YKF) and is strategically located next to one of Canada’s largest aerospace clusters. With 100+ companies working in materials testing and development, component and aircraft manufacturing and software and sensor technology, Waterloo Region is a leader in aviation and aerospace.

NAVBLUE is a leading services company, wholly owned by Airbus, dedicated to Flight Operations solutions and services for airlines and aircraft operators, on the ground and onboard. NAVBLUE combines aircraft manufacturer expertise, flight operations know-how and agile development to enhance operational efficiency, optimize resources and increase productivity, for a safe and sustainable aviation. Entrepreneurs participating in the Aerospace Accelerator will benefit from NAVBLUE’s extensive industry expertise and global network of over 600 customers and 500 employees.

Read more.

More about the Accelerator Centre

“The Accelerator Centre is one of several startup incubators in the Waterloo region that can support graduate student entrepreneurs to turn their research into a startup. It provides entrepreneurs and new companies with access to coaching, mentoring, professional management advice, and even services, such as accounting, IP management, high-speed internet access and vital business networks.”
University of Waterloo

Categories
home improvements Home Maintenace House & Home Selling

Preparing Your Home For a Home Inspection

Hey there, homeowners! So, you’ve decided to put your beloved house on the market—exciting times ahead! (Learn more about the Kitchener-Waterloo Spring Market here!) But let’s talk about one of those less-than-exciting parts: the home inspection. We get it, it can feel daunting, but fret not! With a bit of preparation, you can breeze through it like a pro.

First off, let’s acknowledge a universal truth: no home is flawless. It’s totally normal to have some quirks or issues here and there. Potential buyers understand this too. They just want to know upfront about any major stuff that might need fixing down the line—kind of like how you’d want the scoop before buying your next dream home.

Here are some friendly tips to help you get ready for that home inspection:

  1. Tidy up: A clutter-free home not only makes a better impression but also allows the inspector to access every nook and cranny easily i.e. access to crawl spaces, attics and the basement. Plus, who doesn’t love a neat space?
  2. Fix the basics: Got any leaky faucets or loose doorknobs? Now’s the time to tackle those little maintenance tasks, like re-caulking any areas that are looking worn. They might seem minor, but they show that you’ve cared for your home.
  3. Organize documentation: Do you have receipts for recent repairs or renovations? Awesome! Gather those up—they could come in handy during the inspection. Some examples include: HVAC records, warranties, roof repairs, appliance installations, etc.
  4. Check your systems: Take a quick look at your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Make sure everything’s working smoothly, replace any filters that are dirty, and test that everything is in working order. If not, consider having a professional take a look before the inspection.
  5. Check safety features: This is a good time to double-check that your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detections, etc. are in good working order (fresh batteries) and haven’t expired.
  6. Trim up the exterior: Don’t forget to pay attention to the exterior of your home as well. Trim bushes and trees away from the home, clean out the gutters, and check the roof and siding for any potential need for repairs. Check that all your exterior light fixtures are working and that all paths are clear.
  7. Be honest: Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to disclosing any known issues with your home. It builds trust and saves everyone time and hassle in the long run.
  8. Leave the inspector to do their job: You may be tempted to stick around, but it’s a good idea to leave the home during the inspection.
    Typically, potential buyers prefer to be present during the inspection. They might feel uneasy about asking the inspector questions if you’re around. Take the opportunity to go do something for a few hours.

By taking these simple steps, you’ll not only make the inspection process smoother but also show potential buyers that your home has been well-cared for. So take a deep breath, put on your homeowner hat, and get ready to ace that inspection!

If you have any questions about preparing your home for your home inspection, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to offer you our advice.

Thinking of selling your home?

Here are some other blogs you might be interested in:

More of the advice you want

Need help? We’re here to offer you professional real estate advice. If you’re thinking about selling your home now or even in a year or two, we’d be happy to connect with you about your goals. We’ll take a look at your home and offer advice on what you can do to prepare your home for this real estate market.

Categories
Charity Community Events Industry Professionals Inspiration Local Business

Chamber of Commerce’s International Women’s Day Charity Breakfast & Female Founder of the Month

We were so thrilled to take part in the Greater Kitchener and Waterloo Chamber of Commerce’s International Women’s Day breakfast which raised money for the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo.

It was a lovely morning spent with strong and resilient women in the business community in Kitchener-Waterloo. We were so proud to have some many women from the Cindy Cody Team in attendance at such an inspiring event.

Members of the Cindy Cody Team at the Greater Kitchener and Waterloo Chamber of Commerce’s International Women’s Day breakfast.

More photos from the event

March Female Founder of the Month: Cindy Cody

Not only does the Chamber of Commerce put on great events and uplift the business community; it takes the time to celebrate individuals in Kitchener-Waterloo. In March, Cindy Cody was chosen to be the Female Founder of the Month.

Each month, The Chamber of Commerce announces a Female Founder and shares a video interview.

Cindy was able to share her story with the the Chamber of Commerce and their community. In it she talks about the business, highlights of her entrepreneurial journey, accomplishments, challenges, and much more.

Watch it here!

 

 

Categories
Moving Selling

Navigating the 2024 Spring Real Estate Market in Kitchener-Waterloo (and how to get your home ready)

As the snow melts away and the vibrant hues of spring start to paint the landscape, the real estate market in Kitchener-Waterloo awakens with renewed energy. The arrival of spring brings a flurry of activity to this thriving region, known for its dynamic blend of urban convenience and natural beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner, a first-time buyer, or an investor eyeing opportunities, navigating the real estate landscape in Kitchener-Waterloo demands insight, strategy, and a finger on the pulse of market trends.

Let’s explore some strategic steps you can take to make a move in the Kitchener-Waterloo real estate scene this spring. Whether you’re looking to plant roots in a new community, upgrade to your dream home, or capitalize on investment opportunities, this guide will serve as your compass in navigating the complexities of the 2024 spring real estate market in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Timing is everything

Timing is a crucial component in the spring market. If you’re thinking of selling your home, there’s a fine balance between taking some time to get your home ready to show and getting it on the market. Over the years, we’ve learned what that balance looks like (and we’re happy to guide you along the way).

That leads to our next strategy…

Call us sooner than you think

You may not be ready to move today, but if the thought has been on your mind, it’s the right time to call us. The spring market will happen quicker than most people think, so now is the perfect time to talk to us so we can discuss timing and help you have a great strategy.

Don’t wait for the flowers to bloom

Just because it’s called the “spring” market, doesn’t mean you need to wait for the warmer weather to list your home. A lot of people think they should wait for the spring weather before getting started, so it’s a great idea to beat the rush. The amount of inventory available will directly impact how much you can get for your home.

Understand the big 4 year forecast

The big 4 year forecast is a critical piece of information to help you determine when a movie is right for you. Not sure what we’re talking about? Ask us today!

We live and breathe the real estate market, so if you have any questions or concerns about the 2024 spring market, or how to navigate your way through the market, don’t hesitate to reach out!

sold@cindycody.ca
519-746-5136


Getting your home ready for the 2024 Spring Market

Whether you’re planning to list your property or simply want to elevate its appeal, this guide will walk you through the transformative process of getting your home ready to shine in the spring market.

  • Make a plan. Talk to us before you dive into your home preparation tasks. We can help you prioritize the areas that will benefit you most when you list your home.
  • Declutter and depersonalize. Start by decluttering each room, removing personal items, and excess furniture. This creates a sense of spaciousness and allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.
  • Pack as you go. When you’re diving into decluttering, you might as well box some of your items up instead of tucking them away.
  • Make repairs. If you have a list of repairs and touch-ups you’ve been putting off for years, now is the time to work your way through that list. Address any visible issues or repairs that could deter potential buyers. A well-maintained home signals to buyers that it has been cared for and is move-in ready.
  • Clean clean clean. Give your home a thorough cleaning, paying attention to often overlooked areas such as baseboards, light fixtures, and windows. A clean home conveys a sense of care and makes a positive impression on buyers.
  • Enhance curb appeal. First impressions matter. Spruce up your home’s exterior by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, planting flowers, and adding fresh mulch. Consider giving your front door a fresh coat of paint and adding a welcoming doormat.
  • Refresh paint and finishes. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in revitalizing your home’s appearance. Stick to neutral colors that appeal to a broad range of tastes and help create a blank canvas for buyers to imagine their own style.
  • Highlight outdoor living spaces. Showcase outdoor areas such as patios, decks, and gardens by adding comfortable seating, potted plants, and outdoor lighting. Create inviting spaces that encourage buyers to envision themselves enjoying outdoor living.

Categories
Community Fundraising

Movie Night Fundraiser for Food4Kids Waterloo Region

In a world where every act of kindness counts, small gestures can make a big impact. On April 21, 2024, we hosted a Movie Night in support of Food4Kids Waterloo Region.

Food4Kids Waterloo Region is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger in our community. Their mission is simple yet profound: to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry. With many families facing financial hardships, especially amidst the challenges of the past few years, the need for support has never been greater.

“It is estimated that at least 3,000 children in our community do not have access to the nourishment they need to thrive mentally, physically, or socially. School nutrition programs help, but these programs only exist during the weeks that children are attending school.”

Food4kidswr.ca

As advocates for change and believers in the power of collective action, we decided to do our part by organizing a Movie Night fundraiser. The concept was simple yet effective: gather friends, family, and neighbours for an evening of cinematic delight while raising funds and collecting food donations for Food4Kids Waterloo Region.

Many of our clients joined us in our efforts to support Food4Kids Waterloo Region by donating to Food4Kids and bringing non-perishable food items to our Movie Night.

Photos from Movie Night

Most needed food:

  • Canned soup
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Canned proteins (tuna, chicken)
  • Apple sauce
  • Canned beans
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Bear paws
  • Canned sauce
  • Pasta
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned vegetables
  • Kraft Dinner
  • Maple syrup
  • Pancake mix

Categories
Community Local Business

6 Local Dishes You Need To Taste in Waterloo Region

Welcome to a culinary journey through the vibrant and diverse flavors of Waterloo Region! This region is a melting pot of cultures, each contributing its unique twist to the local food scene. In this blog, we will explore six must-try dishes that showcase the rich tapestry of flavors that define Waterloo Region’s culinary landscape. From traditional favorites with a modern twist to innovative fusions that push the boundaries of taste, get ready to tantalize your taste buds with the best local dishes this region has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a casual diner, these culinary delights are sure to leave you craving for more. Join us on a gastronomic adventure as we uncover the hidden gems that make Waterloo Region a food lover’s paradise.

Andrew Coppolino, a local food writer, has lots to share about the delicious dishes that Waterloo Region restaurants have to offer. In his latest article for Explore Waterloo Region, he shares six restaurants that offer great shareable options and the dishes recommended by the chefs. Some of these restaurants even offer a tapas menu which is a great way to sample lots amazing dishes.

6 Local Dishes To Dig Into With Friends & Family

La Lola Authentic Taste of Spain
Tabla de Ibéricos (Iberian charcuterie) or any of the tapas dishes

Red House
Smoked salmon toast, grilled calamari or any of the tapas dishes

The Cambridge Mill
East coast oysters

The Mule
Birria foldies

The Ridge Social Eatery
Flatbread with seasonal toppings

Imperial Market and Eatery
Shared dip trio

Read the full article here.

Ready to dig deeper into the region’s vibrant culinary scene? Read these other articles by Andrew Coppolino

Categories
Home Decor home improvements House & Home

Home Office Features That Will Fuel Your Productivity

Welcome to the world of remote work, where your home office becomes the hub of creativity and productivity. Crafting a workspace that sparks inspiration and efficiency is key to a successful work-from-home experience. In this guide, we’ll explore a variety of home office features that go beyond the basics, transforming your designated work area into a haven of productivity. From ergonomic furniture to clever organizational hacks, we’ve got your back in creating a space that meets your professional needs and reflects your personal style. Get ready to elevate your remote work game and turn your home office into a powerhouse of efficiency and comfort!

Bring in the brightness

When you’re looking at the ideal space for your home office, one thing to consider is the lighting. If you have the space in your home to transform an extra bedroom into your office, that’s great! But if you need to get creative to carve out a workstation somewhere in your home, let the light guide you. Having a window nearby is your best-case scenario. Not only will the sunlight be a refreshing way to keep yourself energized through the day, natural light is a flattering source of light for your video calls.

Find a distraction-free zone

Working from home can come with its own set of challenges. A common challenge is trying to stay on task when your home life is at your fingertips. For this reason, it’s important to create a home office that keeps your focus on the task at hand, and removes too many tempting distractions. Setting up your office in a private area is your best bet for a productive work day. For example, working at the kitchen island is probably not a great idea since that’s likely where most of the hustle and bustle takes place throughout the day.

Get yourself ergonomic furniture

You may have a favourite chair to sit in while you hang out with your family, but that chair may not be ideal for your office (or your back). Find yourself an ergonomic desk, chair and computer accessories that will help you feel comfortable and focused throughout the work day.

Optimize your space

No matter how big or small your home office space is, it’s important that you make the best use of your space to meet all of your work needs. Make the most of of limited space by developing organization systems for all of your office essentials and processes to keep your desk decluttered. Clutter can be a real distraction so an organized desk is more likely to lead to an efficient work day.

Stay organized

As we mentioned, developing an organization system for all of your office essentials is an important part of maintaining a clear desk and a clear mind. Don’t let the cords get out of control. Here are a few desk organizational tips to help you out.

  • Tame the cable chaos by using cable organizers, clips, and ties.
  • Maximize vertical space with floating shelves and wall-mounted organizers to keep essential items close by but off your desk.
  • Use drawer organizers so every item has its spot at the end of the day.
  • Find a desk organizer to hold your frequently used items.
  • Take a minute once or twice a day to reset your desk. Do this at the end of the day so you start each morning with a decluttered desk.
  • Read How to declutter your home and maintain your system for more ideas.

Pull personal inspiration into your space

An office space doesn’t need to be boring. Take some time to design a home office that fuels your creativity. Pull in functional items that inspire you, infuse your personality in the space with decor that motivates you, and give yourself a work space that you look forward to getting to each day.

Categories
Cindy Cody Team

4 Things You May Not Know About the Cindy Cody Team

Welcome to the Cindy Cody Team, where passion meets expertise in the realm of real estate. As a dynamic and dedicated team, we take pride in transforming the journey of buying or selling a home into an unforgettable experience. Our collective commitment to excellence is fueled by a genuine love for the communities we serve, coupled with an unwavering dedication to providing personalized and professional services. With a wealth of knowledge and a forward-thinking approach, we navigate the ever-evolving real estate landscape to ensure our clients achieve their goals. For our team, every transaction is a partnership built on trust, transparency, and a shared vision for your real estate dream.

Here are 4 things you may not know about the Cindy Cody Team.

1. We are proud to live, work, and raise our families in the KW Region. We are firm believers in supporting local and all charitie.s

Our commitment extends beyond the confines of real estate; we believe in fostering a vibrant and thriving community! Embracing the ethos of giving back, we proudly support local businesses and charities that form the heart and soul of the areas we serve. By actively engaging with and promoting local businesses, we contribute to the economic vitality of our communities, recognizing that their success is integral to the overall prosperity of the neighborhoods we call home. Over the years we’ve had to much fun getting to know local businesses, making videos with them, sharing their stories, and giving away local goodies!

We are also passionate advocates for charitable initiatives, working to support organizations dedicated to making a positive impact. Through sponsorships, fundraising events, and volunteering efforts, we strive to be a catalyst for positive change, ensuring that the communities we are a part of flourish not only in the realm of real estate but in the collective well-being of all who call these places home.

Some of our recent support of organizations includes:

2. We have been proudly serving the KW Region for over 38 years with unparalleled service.

After all these years, we have vast knowledge of the KW area and market. Our community counts on us for accurate advice, and we love that. With our pulse on the market, we can help you make a strategy and determine when to act.

As a trusted brand, we have a proven record to stand behind. Our connections make a real difference for our sellers.

3. We are connected across Canada and if you are making a move out of the city or province let us know and we can connect you with someone we have high trust in.

Many buyers are moving to Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge from out-of-town and out-of-province. We bring these serious buyers to your home.

We are the exclusive agent in Kitchener-Waterloo through the Cross Canada Relocation Network (CCR), meaning we have a direct line to great real estate professionals across Canada. If you’re looking to make a move from KW, we can connect you with the right person, and when people are ready to relocate to KW, we get connected. Please connect us!

4. We are at the forefront of many investments so if you are thinking about investing or want to expand your portfolio, we can help!

We get calls from clients all the time who are interested in buying a second property as an investment. Investing in real estate can be a strategic and rewarding financial venture, and our team understands the significance of choosing the right investment property. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or looking to expand your portfolio for the first time, our team is dedicated to guiding you through the process with expertise and personalized attention.

From assessing potential rental yields and market trends to evaluating the long-term appreciation potential of a property, we offer insights that empower you to make informed decisions. Trust the Cindy Cody Team to be your partner in building a portfolio that stands the test of time.

Want to learn more about the Cindy Cody Team?

Read more about each of our team members here!

If you have any questions about how our team can help you reach your real estate goals, just reach out! We’re happy to connect.

Contact us.
sold@cindycody.ca
519-746-5136

Categories
Community Events

Kitchener-Waterloo Winter Activity Guide

Welcome to the Winter Wonderland of Kitchener-Waterloo, where the frosty air is filled with excitement and the landscape transforms into a snowy spectacle. As the temperature drops, our region comes alive with a myriad of winter activities that cater to every taste and age group. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking the thrill of snow sports, or a family in search of kid-friendly adventures, Kitchener-Waterloo has something special for you. Join us on a journey through this winter wonderland, where you’ll discover the best in snow sports, festive events, scenic escapes, culinary delights, and much more. Embrace the chilly embrace of winter, and let Kitchener-Waterloo be your guide to making the most of this enchanting season.

Kitchener-Waterloo Winter Activity Guide

Snow Sports Extravaganza: Embrace the Chill with Thrilling Adventures

Skiing and Snowboarding Escapades

Check out the full-filled experiences Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort has to offer. Hit the slopes for some local skiing, snowboarding and tubing, and then head inside for a little après ski!

Snowshoeing  & Cross-Country Skiing Trails

With lots of local trails running throughout the region, snowshoeing is a great way to explore the area. Grand River Conservation has a list of the conservation areas that offer cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (when conditions allow).

Sledding and Tobogganing Hotspots

Tobogganing is a classic family winter activity. Every family has their favourite hills to slide down. These are the locations that are inspected by the City of Kitchener.

Remember to practice safe sledding!

Frosty Festivities: Winter Wonderland Events for All Ages

Outdoor Ice Skating Spectaculars

Not only are there great outdoor ice rinks in Downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo, but with the help of many generous volunteers, Kitchener-Waterloo has a number of neighbourhood skating rinks you can enjoy as a family. 

Check out Skate Night Date Night every Wednesday in January and February in the Waterloo Public Square!

Winter Festivals

Discover the magic of Winter at Winterloo on February 17. There are so many fun activities for the family!

Culinary Delights: Seasonal Flavors to Savor

Comfort Food and Hot Drinks

With so many amazing local restaurants, cafes and bakeries, there’s no shortage of delicious winter flavours. Check with your favourite spots to find out what’s new on their menu, and visit your go-to cafe to find out what seasonal drinks they’re offering.

Winter-themed Culinary Events

  • January 27- Uptown Waterloo Comfort Foot Crawl
    Support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and indulge in comfort foods from Uptown Waterloo restaurants.
  • February-March – DTK Travelers Tour
    Each week, restaurants will showcase their unique cultural heritage and traditional dishes.

Nature’s Ice Sculptures: Discovering Frozen Landscapes

Snow & Ice Formations

Local snow sculptor, Matt Morris, literally brings the snow to life on his front lawn. Follow along on Instagram (or go for a stroll) to see his snowy creations, and learn how you can sculpt your own masterpiece. He’ll also be carving a giant snow sculpture during Winterloo.

Winter Hikes with Breathtaking Views

Explore all of the region’s parks and trails in the Winter. You may be familiar with your go-to Summer spots. So head out on a snow adventure and see how beautiful the region is under a snowy blanket.

Family Frolics: Kid-Friendly Winter Adventures

Snowman Building Contests

There’s lots of fun to be had without leaving your property. Get creative and host a snowman building contest.

Winter Wildlife Exploration

Whether you can see them or not, there are lots of critters scurrying around. Head outside and go on a hunt for their snowy pawprints

Cheer on the Rangers

Bundle up and head to the Aud to cheer on the Kitchener Rangers at one of their home games. 

Now get out there and enjoy the Winter in Kitchener-Waterloo!

Categories
House & Home

6 Kitchen Trends You Will Fall in Love With This Year | 2024 Kitchen Design Trends

As we step into the vibrant landscape of 2024, the world of kitchen design is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The heart of every home, the kitchen, is no longer just a space for cooking; it’s a hub for creativity, connection, and expression. Let’s explore the top kitchen design trends that are shaping the culinary spaces of today and tomorrow.

Open Shelving Reimagined

Photo source: decorilla.com

Say goodbye to traditional closed cabinets, and hello to the open shelving revolution! 2024 is all about showcasing your kitchen essentials with pride. Open shelving creates an airy, spacious feel and allows for easy access to your most-used items. Experiment with a mix of materials and textures to add personality to your kitchen while keeping everything within arm’s reach.

Smart Kitchens for Smart Living

Photo source: forbes.com

The rise of technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, and kitchens are no exception. Smart kitchen appliances and devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making cooking and meal preparation more convenient than ever. From voice-activated assistants to smart refrigerators that can suggest recipes based on available ingredients, the kitchen of 2024 is all about seamless integration of technology to enhance efficiency and functionality.

Biophilic Design

Photo source: canadianhomestyle.com

Bring the outdoors in with biophilic design, a trend that celebrates the connection between nature and living spaces. In 2024, kitchens are becoming greener, incorporating elements such as indoor plants, natural materials, and large windows to invite the beauty of nature into your culinary haven. The calming influence of biophilic design not only adds visual appeal but also contributes to a healthier and more relaxed atmosphere.

Bold Colors and Patterns

Photo source: houseandhome.com

Neutral tones are taking a backseat as bold colors and eye-catching patterns emerge as the stars of kitchen design. Vibrant hues like emerald green, deep blues, and rich terracottas are adorning cabinets and accent walls, injecting energy and personality into the heart of your home. Combine these bold colors with striking patterns, such as geometric tiles or floral wallpapers, to create a visually stunning and unforgettable kitchen space.

Multi-Functional Islands

Photo source: bhg.com

Kitchen islands have evolved beyond being just additional counter space. In 2024, they serve as the epicenter of the kitchen, offering multi-functional features. From built-in sinks and stovetops to hidden storage compartments and seating areas, kitchen islands are becoming versatile workstations that cater to various needs. This trend emphasizes the kitchen as a dynamic space that adapts to the diverse activities it hosts.

Sustainable Chic

Photo source: bhg.com

Environmental consciousness is not just a trend; it’s a way of life. In 2024, sustainable design takes center stage in kitchens across the globe. From eco-friendly materials to energy-efficient appliances, homeowners are embracing a greener approach to kitchen aesthetics. Recycled glass countertops, bamboo cabinetry, and energy-efficient lighting are becoming staples, allowing kitchens to be both stylish and environmentally responsible.

As we navigate the ever-evolving world of kitchen design in 2024, it’s clear that functionality, sustainability, and creativity are at the forefront of this transformative era. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or simply love to gather in the heart of your home, these trends offer exciting possibilities to elevate your kitchen into a stylish and functional space that reflects the spirit of the times. Embrace the future of kitchen design and turn your culinary haven into a masterpiece that resonates with your unique style and values.

Check out these blogs!

6 Simple Steps to Make Your Home Feel Lighter & Spacious

Designers Explain Ways Your Home Can Reflect Your Personal Style

Categories
Buying Real Estate Investing Market Update Selling

Navigating the 2024 Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market

As we step into the promising year of 2024, the real estate market in Kitchener-Waterloo continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for prospective buyers, sellers, and investors. Let’s delve into the current trends and key insights shaping the real estate landscape in this vibrant region.

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market: 2024 Trends & Insights

Market Overview

The Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market is set to start off strong with hopes of interest rate cuts.

“Experts are now predicting that we will likely see gradual rate cuts starting in Q2 of 2024 that will continue throughout year-end.” – Globalnews.ca

Kitchener-Waterloo has been a hotspot for real estate activity, thanks to its booming tech sector, reputable universities, and a robust economy. As of 2024, the market maintains its resilience, showcasing a balanced blend of urban development and suburban tranquility.

Home Prices and Affordability

Home prices have witnessed a steady increase in recent years, but affordability has been a concern for many potential homebuyers in the past few years. The demand for housing, particularly in sought-after neighborhoods, has contributed to a competitive market. Savvy buyers are exploring emerging areas that offer a mix of affordability and future growth potential.

Driven by concerns over rising inflation, multiple interest rate cuts are anticipated in 2024.

“The Bank of Canada’s projections have interest rates coming down “sometime” in 2024″Globalnews.ca

However, the overall higher interest rates will have an effect on the market as mortgages come up for renewal. It is projected in Waterloo Region that 1 in 4 homeowners up for renewal will not qualify for the payment and thus need to sell.

Inventory and Supply

While the demand for housing is high, challenges in inventory and supply persist. The limited availability of housing options in certain price ranges has created a competitive market, potentially leading to bidding wars. Sellers, on the other hand, may find this advantageous but must carefully navigate pricing strategies.

However, we may see many homes on the market in the Summer due to higher interest rates impacting mortgage renewal affordability.

Investment Opportunities

Investors are eyeing Kitchener-Waterloo as a lucrative destination for real estate investments. The region’s economic stability and potential for growth make it an attractive option. However, thorough research and strategic planning are crucial to identify the most promising investment opportunities, whether in residential, commercial, or rental properties.

Tech Sector Influence

Kitchener-Waterloo’s reputation as a tech hub continues to influence the real estate market. With major tech companies establishing or expanding their presence in the region, there’s a growing demand for housing from tech professionals. This has led to a surge in condominium developments and modern housing solutions catering to the preferences of the tech-savvy workforce.

Sustainable Living and Green Spaces

The emphasis on sustainable living and green spaces is a notable trend in the real estate market. Buyers are increasingly seeking environmentally friendly and energy-efficient homes. Developers are responding to this demand by incorporating sustainable features into new constructions and promoting eco-friendly communities.

Remove Work Impact

The rise of remote work has influenced homebuyers’ preferences, with an increased focus on homes that accommodate remote workspaces. The ability to work from anywhere has expanded the scope for individuals to consider suburban or rural areas without compromising career opportunities.

Let us help you unlock your real estate potential!

You don’t need to navigate the 2024 real estate market alone. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or someone looking to sell, we can help you every step of the way.

sold@cindycody.ca | 519-746-5136

Categories
Community Local News

What’s the Plan (and Budget) for Waterloo Region in 2024?

Waterloo Region is focused on the future. Its 2023-2027 Strategic Plan is designed to accommodate the region’s growth in the future. Titled Growing with Care, the plan’s focus is “supporting a long-term vision of a compassionate community that cares for all people, stewards the land for future generations and gives everyone the opportunity to live a good life”.

So what is Waterloo Region’s plan for 2024?

Let’s take a closer look at the 4 priority areas of the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan and budget and what is in store for 2024.

  • Homes For All: We will invest in affordable homes and economic opportunity for all that are part of inclusive and environmentally sustainable communities.
  • Climate Aligned Growth: As we grow, we will support a healthy environment where communities can thrive. Through intentional collaboration and creativity, we will support sustainable community growth.
  • Equitable Services and Opportunities: Through collaboration and innovative design, we will provide equitable, accessible services across Waterloo Region that support the social determinants of health, safety and complete communities as we grow.
  • Resilient and Future Ready Organization: The Region of Waterloo is a great place to work, where everyone is valued, feels they belong and where they have the supports and tools they need to do a great job. We will be prepared for the future by providing a safe space for bold ideas and experimentation, based on data and other ways of knowing.
engagewr.ca

Waterloo Region’s 2024 Budget

On December 13, 2023, the Budget Committee meeting and final budget approval took place. Here’s a summary of the approved budget in Waterloo Region.

  • 6.9% tax increase in 2024
    • Households will pay an average of $165 more per year
    • That is equivalent to $13.76 per month
  • $472 million for affordable housing, support for those experiencing homelessness, and investments to drive economic growth and opportunities
  • $316 million for paramedic services, children’s services, seniors’ services, youth programs and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region
  • $815 million for transit growth, safe water and waste management
  • $125 million for modernizing data and technology, employee wellbeing and ensuring long-term financial sustainability
  • $1.5 million in funding for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region (doubled from its previous funding of $744,000)
  • $228 million to go to Waterloo Regional Police Services
    CTV News Kitchener

Interested in learning more about the Region of Waterloo Plan and Budget 2024?

Here are some helpful resources:

● Explore this summary of the 2024 Plan and Budget.

● Visit the Region of Waterloo’s webpage on Budget and Financial Statements.

● Follow 2024 Plan and Budget updates and important links on Engage Waterloo Region.

Categories
Home Decor home improvements House & Home

How To Incorporate the 2024 Colours of the Year into Your Home


In the realm of design, fashion, and cultural expression, the “Colour of the Year” serves as a captivating and influential focal point, dictating trends and evoking a collective sense of aesthetic direction. Each year, renowned colour authorities and trendsetters unveil a hue that encapsulates the spirit of the times, reflecting societal moods, aspirations, and emerging themes.

These paint companies, along with design experts, try to predict the colours that we will want to incorporate into our homes. So let’s take a look at the 2024 colours of the year and how you can incorporate them into your home.

2024 PANTONE Colour of the Year: Peach Fuzz

PANTONE describes Peach Fuzz as:
“PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz captures our desire to nurture ourselves and others. It’s a velvety gentle peach tone whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul. In seeking a hue that echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection, we chose a color radiant with warmth and modern elegance. A shade that resonates with compassion, offers a tactile embrace, and effortlessly bridges the youthful with the timeless.”

Ways to incorporate Peach Fuzz into your home

  • Pull this colour into your living room with a rug. Ruggable has a collection inspired by the colour of the year.
  • Paint an accent wall
  • A feature piece of furniture (either painted or add fabric featuring the colour)
  • Wallpaper a section of a room
  • Add decorative accents (either shop with the colour in mind or take on a DIY project and paint your own unique accent pieces)

2024 Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year: Blue Nova

Cindy Cody Team - How To Incorporate the 2024 Colours of the Year in Your Home - Blue Nova

Benjamin Moore‘s colour of the year is Blue Nova, described as “violet and blue come together in this elevated, sumptuous hue”.

Ways to incorporate Blue Nova into your home

  • Paint a room in this rich colour
  • Wallpaper a section of a room with a pattern that features this colour
  • Paint kitchen or bathroom cabinets
  • Pull the colour into a room with window treatments
  • Paint shelving units for a dramatic way to display some of your favourite items
  • Add decorative accents or accessories
  • Match it with these colours for a professional look in your home

2024 BeautiTone Colour of the Year: Illumina

BeautiTone‘s colour of the year is Illumina – “This captivating shade brings joy and warmth to any space, creating an inviting atmosphere that will leave you feeling inspired. Indulge in the captivating allure of a soft and radiant yellow hue, which gracefully infuses your space with a warm and luminous embrace. With its gentle red undertones and radiant glow, this colour creates an enchanting ambiance that uplifts the spirit.”

Fun Fact! BeautiTone partnered with a Kitchener-Waterloo artist, Stephanie Boutari to help launch the Colour of the Year. Stephanie does amazing murals around the region.

Photo source: homehardware.com

Ways to incorporate Illumina into your home

  • Whether your style is minimalist, mid-century modern, maximalist, or coastal, painting a room with Illumina will fit into your personal style.
  • Find wallpaper that features this colour and install it in a section of your home, i.e. a power room accent wall.
  • Illumina fits right into this 2024 Colour Trends Collection, making it easy for you to create a complete look in any room.
Categories
Buying Real Estate Selling

Decoding Real Estate Language | 5 Key Terms Explained

Welcome to the dynamic world of real estate, where every transaction involves a unique blend of financial decisions, legal intricacies, and a dash of strategic negotiation. Whether you’re a seasoned investor, a first-time homebuyer, or simply curious about the fascinating realm of property dealings, understanding the language of real estate is an important place to start.

Today, we’re going to break down a few key real estate terms that you will probably come across on your real estate journey.

Whether you’re thinking about getting into the real estate market or you’re simply seeking to expand your vocabulary, here are some quick explanations of some common real estate concepts.

What is chattel?

Chattle is an item that isn’t permanently affixed to or an integral part of the property. Examples include furniture, appliances, and personal belongings. Unlike fixtures, which are attached to the property and considered to be part of it, chattel is distinct in that it can be removed without causing damage or altering the structure.

Why should you know what chattel is?

Understanding the distinction between chattels and features is crucial in real estate transactions. Understanding what is included in the sale of a home and the transfer of property is important in contractual agreements between buyers and sellers.

What is a cashback mortgage?

“Cashback mortgages are a type of mortgage that has gained popularity in Canada over the past few years. With a cashback mortgage, borrowers receive a lump sum cash payment from the lender at closing. This cash payment can be used for various purposes, such as covering closing costs, making home improvements, or paying off high-interest debt.” – remax.ca

Why should you know what a cashback mortgage is?

It’s always a good idea to know all of your financial options. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of a cashback mortgage here.

What is mortgage insurance?

Mortgage insurance is a safeguard that lenders require home buyers to acquire if their down payment is less than 20% of the sale price of a property. It’s put in place to mitigate the risk a financial institution takes on, i.e. in the event that a borrower defaults.

Why should you know what mortgage insurance is?

If you’re saving a down payment and/or planning on purchasing a home, this is something you’ll want to keep in mind for financial-planning purposes. Mortgage insurance may be a tool to protect lenders, but it also serves benefits for borrowers:

“From the borrower’s perspective, mortgage insurance allows them to access more favourable loan terms, including lower interest rates, even with a smaller down payment. It reduces the barriers to entry into the housing market, making homeownership a viable option for individuals who might otherwise struggle to accumulate a substantial down payment.” –remax.ca

Learn more about mortgage insurance and the types of mortgage insurance here.

What are pre-payment privileges?

Pre-payment privileges in a mortgage refer to the flexibility granted to borrowers, allowing them to make additional payments or pay off the entire mortgage principal before the scheduled term ends, often helping to reduce interest costs and shorten the overall loan period. These privileges vary among mortgage agreements and can include lump-sum payments, increased regular payments, or a combination of both.

Why should you know what pre-payment privileges are?

If you’re focused on becoming debt and mortgage-free, understanding what your pre-payment privileges are can help you in your financial planning, and knowing how much you can pre-pay can help you create a strategy for paying off your mortgage quicker. Learn more.

What are gifted down payments?

A gifted down payment is when someone (typically a family member) provides the funds needed for a buyer to meet the minimum down payment required to buy a home.

Why should you know what a gifted down payment is?

Understanding the option of gifting your children a downpayment (as an early inheritance, for example) is a big decision, but it’s also a decision that can be life-changing. You can help your children get into a great home sooner, your children can start building equity, and you can enjoy spending time together in the home. Learn more about the advantages of a gifted down payment, and how to gift a down payment.


If you ever have questions, we are here to help. Give us a call today!

519-746-5136
sold@cindycody.ca

Categories
Uncategorized

Money-Saving Tips For The Holiday Season


It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season, with lots of events, markets, shopping lists, meals to be made, parties to attend, outfits to buy, the list goes on and on. If you’re looking to make your shopping list and check it twice to ensure you’re spending smartly, these money-saving strategies can be helpful.

Money-saving tips for the holiday season

  1. Create a Budget:
    • Establish a realistic budget for holiday spending that includes gifts, decorations, food, and any other expenses.
    • Stick to your budget to avoid overspending.
  2. Make a Gift List:
    • Create a list of people you need to buy gifts for and brainstorm thoughtful yet budget-friendly gift ideas.
    • Consider homemade gifts or experiences rather than expensive store-bought items.
  3. Compare Prices:
    • Shop around and compare prices before making any purchases. Look for deals, discounts, and promotions.
    • Online shopping platforms often offer price comparison tools that can help you find the best deals.
  4. Take Advantage of Sales:
    • Keep an eye on holiday sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other promotions to score discounts on gifts and other items.
    • Consider shopping during off-peak hours to avoid crowds and take advantage of less-known sales.
  5. Use Cash Back and Rewards Programs:
    • If you have credit cards with cash back or rewards programs, use them to earn benefits on your holiday purchases.
    • Check if your credit card offers any special promotions or discounts during the holiday season.
  6. DIY Decorations:
    • Make your own holiday decorations instead of buying expensive ones. There are many creative and cost-effective DIY decoration ideas available online.
  7. Potluck Parties:
    • If you’re hosting a holiday gathering, consider having a potluck where each guest contributes a dish. This can significantly reduce your food expenses.
  8. Secret Santa or Gift Exchanges:
    • Instead of buying gifts for everyone in a large group, suggest a Secret Santa or gift exchange. This way, each person only has to buy one gift.
  9. Limit Holiday Travel Costs:
    • If possible, limit holiday travel expenses by planning ahead, being flexible with travel dates, and looking for deals on transportation and accommodation.
  10. Avoid Impulse Buying:
    • Stick to your shopping list and avoid impulse purchases. Take the time to think about whether a particular item is truly necessary.
  11. Use Coupons and Promo Codes:
    • Look for coupons, promo codes, and discounts before making online or in-store purchases. Many retailers offer special codes during the holiday season.
  12. Consider Secondhand Gifts:
    • Explore secondhand or thrift stores for unique and affordable gifts. You might find hidden gems at a fraction of the cost.
  13. Plan Ahead for Next Year:
    • Consider purchasing holiday items (decorations, wrapping paper, etc.) after the holidays when they are on clearance for the following year.

Remember, the holidays are about spending time with loved ones and expressing gratitude, not necessarily about expensive gifts or lavish decorations. Finding meaningful ways to celebrate without breaking the bank can make the season more enjoyable and less stressful.


More holiday blogs you may be interested in

Cindy Cody Team - A Step-By-Step Guide To Hosting the Best Holiday Party Ever & unique holiday theme ideas

A step-by-step guide to help you create a fantastic holiday party, plus a list of unique holiday party themes to inspire your next event.
Read more.

Kitchener-Waterloo Local Gift Giving Guide

From foodies and movie buffs to friends who are new to KW and family with a sweet tooth, here are some great gift ideas from KW businesses for some people who might be on your nice list.
Read more.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like A Pro

If you’re looking for some tips to decorate your Christmas tree like a professional, this is the advice you need.
Read more.

Cindy Cody Team - Finding the Perfect Gift For The Home Decor Lover In Your Life

Looking for the ideal present for that special someone who adores home decor? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with some fantastic gift ideas that will surely make their day.
Read more.

Categories
House & Home

A Step-By-Step Guide To Hosting the Best Holiday Party Ever

Hosting the best holiday party ever requires careful planning and attention to detail to ensure your guests have a memorable and enjoyable time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a fantastic holiday party, plus a list of unique holiday party themes to inspire your next event.

Holiday Party Planning Details

  1. Decide on the Theme: Choose a theme for your holiday party. It could be a traditional holiday theme, a winter wonderland, a costume party, or any other creative idea that suits your preferences and the preferences of your guests.
  2. Create a Guest List: Determine the number of guests you’d like to invite and create a guest list. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably.
  3. Send Invitations: Send out invitations well in advance, either through traditional paper invitations or digital invitations. Request RSVPs to get an accurate headcount.
  4. Plan Your Budget: Determine a budget for your party and allocate funds for various aspects, including decorations, food and drinks, entertainment, and party favors.
  5. Decorations: Decorate your home or venue to match the chosen theme. Consider using festive colors, lights, ornaments, and other decorations to create a festive atmosphere.
  6. Food and Drinks: Plan your menu based on the number of guests and dietary restrictions. You can offer a buffet, a potluck-style meal, or hire a caterer. Make sure to have a variety of dishes and drinks, including non-alcoholic options.
  7. Entertainment: Organize activities and entertainment to keep your guests engaged. This could include games, a holiday movie screening, a photo booth, or live music. Music and dancing are often a hit at holiday parties.
  8. Party Favours: Consider providing small party favours for your guests, such as holiday-themed cookies, ornaments, or other trinkets. These can serve as keepsakes and tokens of appreciation.
  9. Dress Code: Let your guests know the dress code on the invitation. You can specify formal, semi-formal, or casual attire, depending on your party’s style.
  10. Plan for Safety: If alcohol is being served, ensure that you have designated drivers or alternative transportation options for guests who may be drinking. Encourage responsible drinking.
  11. Accommodate Dietary Restrictions: Be aware of your guests’ dietary restrictions and provide alternative options for those with food allergies or preferences. You can include a note on your invitation asking guests to let you know if they have dietary restrictions.
  12. Timing and Schedule: Plan the start and end times for your party. Be sure to provide a clear schedule for activities and refreshments to keep the party flowing smoothly.
  13. Capture Memories: Consider having a photographer or a designated friend take photos throughout the event. Create a photo wall or album for guests to enjoy afterward.
  14. Keep the Ambiance Cozy: Ensure your venue is well-heated, and consider having a cozy seating area with blankets and pillows for guests to relax and chat.
  15. Be a Gracious Host: As the host, make an effort to greet and engage with your guests, ensuring everyone feels welcome and included.
  16. Follow Up: After the party, send thank-you notes (or a simple text message) to your guests to express your appreciation for their attendance and any gifts they may have brought.

Hosting the best holiday party ever involves creating a warm and festive atmosphere, providing delicious food and drinks, and offering entertainment that suits your guests’ preferences. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can ensure that your holiday party is a memorable and enjoyable experience for all who attend.

Unique Holiday Party Themes

If you’re looking to host a unique holiday party and want to break away from the traditional themes, here are some creative and unique holiday party theme ideas to consider:

  • Ugly Sweater Karaoke Party: Combine the classic ugly sweater party with karaoke. Guests can wear their most outlandish sweaters and take turns performing their favorite holiday songs or other hits. Prizes can be awarded for the ugliest sweater and the best karaoke performance.
  • Gingerbread House Decorating Contest: Provide gingerbread house kits and an array of decorating supplies. Have a friendly competition to see who can create the most creative and visually appealing gingerbread house.
  • Winter Wonderland Masquerade Ball: Host a formal masquerade ball with a winter wonderland theme. Guests can wear elegant attire and ornate masks while enjoying a beautifully decorated venue with snowflakes, icicles, and twinkling lights.
  • Around-the-World Holiday Feast: Celebrate the diversity of holiday traditions by featuring dishes from various countries. Guests can sample international holiday foods, learn about different customs, and enjoy a global culinary experience.
  • Pajama and Pancake Brunch: Invite your guests to wear their favorite holiday-themed pajamas and enjoy a cozy morning or afternoon brunch featuring a variety of pancakes, waffles, and toppings.
  • Holiday Movie Marathon: Set up a home theater or a cozy screening area and host a holiday movie marathon. Let your guests vote on which classic holiday films to watch, and provide plenty of popcorn, hot chocolate, and blankets.
  • White Elephant Gift Exchange: Make the gift exchange more entertaining by having a “re-gift” party. Encourage guests to bring items they no longer want, and the goal is to pick the quirkiest or funniest gifts to exchange.
  • Holiday Carnival: Transform your space into a holiday carnival with games like ring toss, a pie-eating contest, and a photo booth with festive props. Provide carnival treats like cotton candy, popcorn, and mini donuts.
  • Escape Room Holiday Challenge: Team up your guests and have them solve holiday-themed puzzles and riddles in an escape room setting. This is a great way to encourage collaboration and festive competition.
  • Winter Beach Party: Create a tropical oasis inside with beach-themed decorations, a sandcastle-building contest, and summer-inspired cocktails. It’s a fun way to escape the winter chill.
  • Secret Santa Scavenger Hunt: Organize a scavenger hunt where participants have to solve riddles and clues to find their Secret Santa gifts hidden throughout the venue.
  • Holiday Art and Craft Workshop: Provide art supplies and crafting materials for guests to create their own holiday-themed crafts, ornaments, or decorations. It’s a great way to spark creativity and take home unique souvenirs.
  • Vintage Christmas: Host a party with a nostalgic twist by recreating a vintage Christmas from a particular era, such as the 1950s or 1980s. Encourage guests to dress in period-appropriate attire and play music from that time.

Choose a theme that resonates with your personality and the preferences of your guests, and don’t forget to incorporate unique decorations, food, and activities to make your holiday party truly unforgettable.

Categories
Buying Real Estate

Gifting A Down Payment | Getting Into The Real Estate Market

Prospective homeowners have a number of things to get in order before making the purchase of their first home; finding a trusted and experienced real estate professional to work with, getting pre-approved for a mortgage, and saving a down payment, just to name a few.

Today, let’s talk about down payments.

A down payment defined: The initial payment made by the homebuyer when purchasing a house or property. It is a percentage of the total purchase price. The amount required as a down payment can vary.

When purchasing a home in Canada, the requirement set by the government is that you need to have a down payment that falls within the range of 5-20% of the purchase price. For context, in October 2023, the average sale price of a residential property in Kitchener-Waterloo was $767,848.

Saving 5-20% of the average sale price can be a long process for most young adults, so the act of presenting a downpayment as a gift (i.e. from parents to children) has become increasingly popular in recent years.

If you have dreams of leaving your children an inheritance in the traditional sense, you may want to think about a modification to your plan. Instead of leaving a lump sum in the future, consider the impact that money could have on your children’s lives earlier in their adulthood. Consider the idea of a cash gift as their down payment. This approach will not only grant them a solid financial foundation as they embark on their own journey in life and real estate, but it will also grant you the freedom to enjoy your wealth during your golden years.

Thinking about your golden years? Read more: 3 Genius Ways to Generate Retirement Income With Your Home

A gifted down payment defined: When a third-party, typically a family member, provides the funds needed to meet the minimum down payment required to purchase a home.

Why cash gifts are a smart idea for your family

Most of our largest lifetime out-of-pocket costs happen before the age of 40: attending postsecondary school, getting married, buying a home, and starting a family. All of these things cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that’s money most twentysomethings and thirtysomethings don’t have.

Usually the solution is to take on debt or delay saving for their own retirement, or both, in order to afford these adulthood milestones. But there is better way: help from mom and dad.

Instead of leaving your children a big inheritance, opt for large cash gifts to help them establish financial security early in life. Cash gifts before 40 can have a massive impact for setting your children up on solid financial footing, even if it means leaving them a smaller amount or no money later.

[C]ash gifts in Canada are tax-free, which means it’s better to give your child a $10,000 tax-free gift at 30 rather than leave them $100,000 taxable inheritance 30 or 40 years later. After all, it’s the same money: $10,000 invested in the stock market will grow to $100,000 in 30 years assuming an average rate of return of 8 per cent.

theglobeandmail.com

Advantages of gifting a down payment

By gifting your children money towards their down payment, you can help them expedite their saving timeline and enter the real estate market sooner than expected.

Something else that might be lost in the discussion surrounding gifted down payments is that borrowers could receive better mortgage terms. Sizable down payments typically result in lower loan-to-value ratios, meaning borrowers might be extended lower mortgage insurance premiums or better interest rates. In the end, recipients of gifted down payments will enjoy incredible savings over the life of the mortgage. 

Believe it or not, you can experience tax advantages with gifted down payments. They can be allocated to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for three months to obtain the tax benefits. That said, you must ensure that you maintain enough contribution room in your RRSP to facilitate the gifted sum. 

remax.ca

Another benefit that comes with gifting money to your children earlier in their adulthood is that you get to enjoy it with them. Helping your family financially and enabling them to get into the real estate market is one thing. But being able to spend time with them in their new home, a home where you can all make lasting memories together, is a priceless gift for everyone.

How to gift a down payment

One of the components of gifting a down payment in Canada is a gift letter. It is a document from the gift giver to the home buyer outlining the amount of money being gifted, the property to be purchased, and disclosing that the money is in fact a gift and not a loan. Many banks will have a version of a gift letter for you to use.

In many cases, the bank will also ask for proof of funds.

RE/MAX Canada provided some other things you can consider before making the decision to gift a down payment:

First, it would be wise to disclose these funds to the mortgage lender when applying for a mortgage. Generally, banks will request a gift letter outlining a few things: 

  • Amount of the gift. 
  • Relationship between the giver and receiver. 
  • A statement confirming that the money was a gift and not a loan. 

In addition, while a gifted down payment can reduce the strain of the home-buying process, you still need to determine if you can afford to purchase a residential property. 

Another thing that some prospective homeowners might need to realize is that the gift giver does not earn a stake in the unit. While this gift was integral to buying a detached house or condominium, it does not mean they are entitled to an ownership stake. To eliminate any possible confusion, be sure to consult with a real estate attorney to have this in writing. 

remax.ca

If you’re looking to help your children get into the real estate market, we’re here to offer our expertise. Contact us today!

Categories
Community Events Local Events

2023 Holiday Markets & Events in Waterloo Region

The holiday season is almost upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by attending some of the most exciting events of the year? From festive markets to dazzling light displays, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We’re sharing all the details on the best holiday events happening in Waterloo Region (and surrounding area). So grab a cup of hot cocoa, put on your favorite holiday sweater, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories!

🔔Holiday Parades

  • November 18 | KW Santa Claus Parade | Bring your letters to Santa for Canada Post to deliver, donate to the Food Bank of Waterloo, and help local Firefighters collecting for the Nights of Columbus Toy Drive.
  • November 18 | Cambridge Santa Claus Parade | Starting at 6:00pm, the parade will most onto Hespeler Road from Dunbar Road and will turn off Hespeler Road at Langs Drive.
  • November 25 | Elora Santa Claus Parade | Annual parade of lights.
  • December 2 | Elmira Santa Claus Parade | Downtown Elmira

🎁Festive Markets

🎄Light Displays

🕎The More the Merrier🎵

  • November 18 | Santa Pur-suit | Starts at 9:15, right before the KW Santa Claus Parade
  • November 23-December 31 | Cambridge Winterfest | A month long festival that features many great events the community has come to know and love.
  • November 24, 25, 30 & December 1, 2 | The Sounds of Christmas | A multi-performer musical journey through the many styles of Christmas music in support of Kidsability.
  • December 22 | Stars on Ice: A Special Holiday Performance | Elvis Stojko is hosting a holiday celebration with a guest lists that includes the best and most popular figure skaters in the world.
Categories
Home Decor House & Home Local Business

Finding the Perfect Gift For The Home Decor Lover In Your Life

Looking for the ideal present for that special someone who adores home decor? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with some fantastic gift ideas that will surely make their day. Whether they have a passion for stylish furniture, unique artwork, or trendy accessories, we’ve got something for every home decor lover out there. So, let’s dive in and find that perfect gift that will bring a smile to their face!

The great thing about home decor is that you can find special and unique pieces everywhere, making it a great way to support local businesses. Here are some great gift ideas for the home decor lover on your list.

  • A beautiful candle (that smells great too)
    Whether it’s poured into a lovely jar or a fun mold, candles are a great gift. They can add texture, atmosphere and warmth to any space.
  • A nice candle lighter, wick trimmer, and snuffer
    For the candle lover on your list, a set of candle accessories is a fun addition to their candle display.
  • A trendy candle holder
    Tall or short candle sticks are a nice gift. Pair them with a set of long candles, and your gift is good to go.
  • A stylish trivet
    A trivet is a great tool to prevent damage to any surface, so it’s not only practical but if you find a beautiful one, it can be a great gift that doesn’t need to be tucked away.
  • A unique serving tray
    Trays and plates come in all shapes, sizes, colours and materials. If you come across something that is especially lovely, we’re sure any of your friends would be thrilled to unwrap it.
  • Pretty napkins
    Whether paper or fabric, a beautiful set of napkins can be a great addition to a gift or as a gift on their own.
  • A beautiful throw
    If you have someone in your life who loves to be cozy, this is a great gift that also looks lovely draped over a sofa or chair.
  • A fun cushion
    It can be a bit tough to shop for someone else’s home, but with their personal style in mind, a nice cushion can be a fun gift to unwrap. If you want to play it safe, stick with something neutral.
  • A book on design
    Coffee table books can be a great part of decorating display. So why not get a book that speaks to your friend’s passion?
  • A consultation with a local design firm
    There are lots of local companies offering design services.
  • An interesting vase
    Pair it with some faux foliage, feathers or real flowers.
  • A flower frog or a unique plant holder
    If your decor lover is also a plant person, beautiful ways to display flowers and ferns will be a big hit.
  • Bookends
    This is where beauty meets function.
  • A gift card to a local home decor store
    If you’re not entirely sure what your friend or family member will love, give them the gift of shopping at a local business!

Local Gift Guides

Looking to source some more gifts from local businesses? Here are some gift guides to help direct you to small businesses in Kitchener-Waterloo.

A Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your Nice List | Foodies, Movie Buffs, New to KW, Homebodies, Beer & Cocktail Lover, Someone with a Sweet Tooth, Bookworm & more!

The Best Desserts To Pick Up | Surprise a friend with one of these delicious desserts. They’re sure to satisfy a sweet tooth!

Handmade Gift Ideas For Moms | Featuring local Etsy shops and unique gifts.

Categories
Buying Real Estate Condos Investing Selling

3 Genius Ways to Generate Retirement Income With Your Home

Imagine a life where you can kick back, relax, and bask in the glory of your golden years, all while being financially secure. It’s the dream, right? But here’s the thing: you don’t have to solely rely on your savings or government pension. There’s a secret weapon in your arsenal – your beloved home! Your humble abode can actually help you create a retirement pension fund. So let’s jump right into the ways you can use your home to build that dreamy retirement fund you’ve always fantasized about.

Generate extra income by renting out part of your home

If you have extra space in your home (a room or an in-law suite), consider leveraging it as a money-making opportunity. The additional income can help you cover your mortgage payments, property taxes or other expenses. With the additional income flowing in, you might find yourself with the means to fund your retirement or explore new investment opportunities.

Or, if you have a serious case of wanderlust and you’re planning on traveling during your retirement, think about renting out your entire home while you’re away. Not only will this provide you with a steady source of income, but it also means you can enjoy your retirement adventures without worrying about your empty house.

Invest the profits from a downsize

Downsizing doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. In fact, it can be a smart move to create a retirement pension fund. By selling your current home and moving to a smaller, more affordable property, you can unlock a significant amount of cash. And what do you do with that cash? Well, you can invest it in any number of ways to give yourself a steady stream of income during your golden years.

With a variety of property types available, the perfect fit for your portfolio will depend on your investment goals. That’s where we can help. Talk to us about the best kind of investment property for your specific situation.

Leverage your home equity to purchase a rental property

By leveraging the equity in your home to secure a loan or line of credit, you can become the proud owner of a rental property (a house or condo) that generates regular rental income. This can mean a steady stream of cash flow during retirement or as a supplement to your regular income. Plus, rental properties have the potential to appreciate in value over time, which can boost your overall wealth and leave a valuable asset for your family.

Read: 8 Reasons Why a Condo Is a Great Investment in Kitchener-Waterloo

Planning your next steps

Planning for your retirement is a big but exciting task. You’ve worked hard for your home and built up your home equity. Now you can leverage your nest egg to generate some additional income for your retirement. Imagine the peace of mind you could have in your golden years.

Make sure you do your research and consult with the right professionals (financial planner, real estate professional, etc.) to help guide you through some savvy financial decisions that can ultimately help you contribute to your pension fund.

If you have questions about downsizing or rental properties, we are here to help. Give us a call today!

519-746-5136
sold@cindycody.ca

Categories
Home Decor

Give Your Guests A Frightful Delight with Tasteful Halloween Decor

Get ready to spookify your space with the most tasteful Halloween decorations that will send shivers down your spine. These ideas will help you transform your home into a haunted haven that will impress even the most discerning ghosts and ghouls.

From eerie yet elegant candle holders that cast an enchanting glow to bewitching wreaths adorned with creepy crawlies, this inspiration board will add a touch of sophistication to your spooky celebrations.

Beauty Meets Spooky

Photo source: pinterest.com

Image your guests’ faces as they walk up to your haunted abode and are greeted by this stunning setup!

Add Creepy Details

Photo source: prettycollected.com

Add some simple details to an existing seasonal wreath. It will send shivers down your spine!

A Hauntingly Beautiful Entry Table

Rather than using the same old cliché decorations, go for some haunted vibes by setting a spooky scene that will leave everyone spellbound.

A Scary Touch To Your Table Setting

Photo source: sugarandcharm.com

Cute little ghost candlestick holders are an easy way to add some eerie elegance to your table setting.

Embrace the Dark Side

Photo source: agirlinnyc.com

Moody colours can be hauntingly beautiful.

Spooky Subtlety

Photo source: pinterest.com

You’ve worked hard to style your home, so look beyond the traditional Halloween decorations and find pieces that can tie into your existing decor scheme. Create an atmosphere that is both hauntingly beautiful and stylishly spooky.

Swap-In Some Chilling Surprises

Photo source: rebeccataig.com

Subtle touches like this will delight anyone who notices them! Swap out some of your non-seasonal details with spooky surprises.

Categories
Community Events

Celebrate the Harvest Season In Kitchener-Waterloo

Are you looking to really embrace the season with some festival fall activities? As the leaves turn golden and the air gets crisp, there’s no better time to indulge in some seasonal fun. From pumpkin carving to apple picking, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the harvest season in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Fall Events & Activities You Won’t Want To Miss

To help you make the most of the season, we’ve compiled a guide with seasonal activities in the area, fun projects you can do at home, and key event dates. Whatever your preference, there’s no shortage of ways to make the most of this time of year.

Seasonal Activities in Kitchener-Waterloo

There’s no shortage of things to do in the fall, but here’s a list of some local highlights that will help you make the most of the wonders of Autumn.

  • Hike or bike on one of the many local trails to see nature’s art gallery a.k.a. the lovely fall foliage.
  • Search for the perfect pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch. Here are some options in and around Waterloo Region:
    • Benjamin Tree Farm – This farm features a 15,000-square-foot playground for the kids, plus a market and more. *New for 2023* is the Frightening Forest Tractor Ride!
    • Snyder’s Farm – Pumpkins, campfires, baked goods & beyond. General admission includes: petting zoo, jumping pillow, jump pad, giant peddle cart track, private play ships, tree fort, hayride, haunted houses, corn maze & more!
    • Fall Harvest Farm – A huge selection of pumpkins, gourds & more.
    • Good Family Farm – They grow over 100 varieties of squash, pumpkins and gourds.
  • Apple picking at Downey’s Apple Farm.
  • Enjoy a 2-hour guided Country Tour by antique tractor and wagon through some of the region’s most beautiful farmland
  • If you’re looking for something a little spookier, Bingeman’s Screampark has 6 terrifying haunted attractions.
  • Visit one of the many local farmers markets for some seasonal treats.
  • Visit a Fall Fair! Here’s a great list of Fall Fairs across Ontario, featuring Fairs in Cambridge, Fergus and London.

Autumn Events

Indulge in harvest festivities this year. Here are a few dates you’ll want to add to your fall calendar.

  • Wellesley Apple Butter & Cheese Festival | September 30. List of events & activities here.
  • Thanksgiving Day Parade | October 9. See the route here
  • Oktoberfest | September 25-October 11. From concerts to Festhallen celebrations, there’s a whole calendar of events! Opening Ceremony and Keg Tapping Ceremony takes place on October 6.
  • St. Jacobs Pumpkin Parade | October 28. A great opportunity to wear costumes and get a free pumpkin. Details here.

Feeling Festive at Home

Embrace the cozy hygge vibes. Fall is an excellent season for creative crafts, cozy gatherings, and warm spiced treats. Here are some fun activities you can do at home!

  • Pumpkin carving
  • A cozy bonfire with friends
  • Get creative and make your own Halloween costumes
  • Hunt for the most beautiful leaves
  • Bake an apple or pumpkin pie
  • Try making your own hot spiced apple cider
  • Make butternut squash soup
  • Go on a nature scavenger hunt in the backyard
  • Bob for apples
  • Make candy or caramel apples
  • Cozy up by the fireplace
  • Stage your own family fall photo shoot

Looking for more Fall Fun outside of Kitchener-Waterloo?

Check out this blog for 10 Fantastic Fall Activities in Ontario

Cindy Cody Team - Fun Fall Activities For Your Family

Categories
Buying Real Estate

How To Pick The Perfect Location

“Location, location, location!” You’ve heard it before. In real estate, it’s a saying that means that there’s a lot of emphasis on where a property is located. A great location can make a property more desirable and valuable.

When you’re looking for your next home, you should also consider what your family values in terms of location. Think about things like amenities, walkability, and proximity to schools and work.

Consider these key factors in your search for the perfect location.

City or Country?

One of the first things you can decide on is the type of setting you’d like to live in. Does your family love lots of outdoor space, or do you live for the hustle and bustle of city living? Consider both your lifestyle and the cost of living in each scenario.

Neighbourhood Demographics

Your neighbourhood is a great place to make new friends, especially if you’re relocating from out of town. With that in mind, taking a little time to research neighbourhoods is a great way to learn about different areas. It’s also a fantastic idea to take a stroll in some of the neighbourhoods and get a sense of the place yourself. You can see who resides there and get a better understanding of the community. If you have a growing family, which neighbourhoods are popular with families? If you’re approaching retirement, which kind of community are you searching for?

Daily Routines & Commutes

Think about your day-to-day life. Is there a location that really enables you to have the most enjoyable life? For example, if you have a commute to work, is there a location that meets your needs and reduces your drive to work? Or is there a specific school you would prefer your children to attend? All of these factors can play a role in your decision-making process.

Your Social Circles

This may not be a daily “commute” but when choosing the perfect location for your next home, consider how far you want to be from your family and friends.

Crime Rates

If you’re not familiar with an area, checking out the crime rates in the neighbourhood you’re considering will give you a good idea of how safe you’ll feel compared to other areas.

Ask An Expert!

A real estate professional is a great resource for all things “location, location, location”. We live and breathe Kitchener-Waterloo real estate. Talk to us about your specific needs.

Happy house hunting!

Ready to start your house hunt?

We’re here to help. Talk to us about your needs and real estate goals today.

sold@cindycody | 519-746-5136

Categories
Buying Real Estate Home Decor home improvements House & Home

6 Simple Steps to Make Your Home Feel Lighter & Spacious

As your family grows, and each family member starts to accumulate their own belongings, you might find yourself getting a little tight for space in your home. To help you transform your living space into a roomy oasis, we’ve put together these simple tips. From clever storage solutions to strategic furniture placement, we’ve thought about how you can make the most of your space and make your home feel brighter and more spacious.

1. Declutter your spaces

We talk a lot about decluttering when someone is getting ready to sell their home. It’s the process of getting rid of things you don’t need or use anymore in order to create a more organized and peaceful living space. Well, you don’t need to sell your home to start decluttering. Your home will feel so much lighter in the end.

2. Choose functional furniture that fits!

If you live in an older home or have a less open-concept layout, you can really transform your spaces by choosing the right furniture. Swap out bulky furniture for more modern, sleep pieces. Not only will this give your space a fresh look, but it will also help create a better flow throughout the room. If you have items you’re not ready to part with, consider a coat of paint to lighten them up.

3. Discover the magic of mirrors

Did you know mirrors can actually make spaces look bigger? By strategically placing mirrors in a room, you can create the illusion of more space and light.

4. Light makes spaces look larger

It’s pretty amazing how lighting can make a room look bigger. By strategically placing lights and using different types of lighting, you can create the illusion of more space. If you’re feeling cramped in a particular room in your home, try experimenting with your lighting setup.

5. Make the most of your storage space

We’ve already talked about decluttering your spaces by getting rid of unused items. If you have things you’re not quite ready to part with, find a functional way to store them. By reducing clutter in your living spaces, your rooms will feel larger and more comfortable. Maximize your storage space for the items you want to use (but don’t want to see all the time). Ottomans and decorative boxes can provide functional storage in your living room, and you can leverage unused spaces around your home, like the space under your bed.

6. Embrace indoor-outdoor living

If you’re planning a big family get-together and need some extra room, don’t forget about your outdoor space! It can be a game-changer when you have a lot of people over. Why not create an awesome outdoor living room and dining area? And don’t forget to think about how your indoor and outdoor spaces flow together.

Looking to purchase a home with more space?

If you and your family are ready to upgrade to a bigger home, we’re here to help. Talk to us about your needs and real estate goals today.

sold@cindycody | 519-746-5136

Categories
Home Maintenace House & Home

Ways To Take Care of Your Home at the End of Summer

As much as we don’t want to admit it, the summer season is winding down. With a new season on its way, it’s the perfect opportunity to give your property some TLC.

We know you’ve been busy soaking up the sun, going on vacations, and hosting backyard BBQs, so it’s possible that you haven’t had the time to maintain certain areas of your home and property. Take some time to spruce things up before the leaves start falling.

End-of-Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Before the colder weather sets in, here are some ways you can take care of your home:

    • Store outdoor furniture and equipment properly to protect them from the elements.
    • Take a look at your deck or patio. Check for any damaged areas that need repair or resealing.
    • Clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent clogs and water damage.
    • Inspect your property for any pests who have decided to settle in
    • Check your roof for any damage or leaks and make repairs as needed.
    • Seal any cracks or gaps around windows and doors to keep the cold air out.
    • Inspect your heating system and replace filters if necessary.
    • It’s always a good idea to get into the routine of checking your smoke detectors.
    • Check that your hoses are all in working order (no holes or leaks).
    • Catch up on any landscaping you didn’t have time for in the summer months.
    • It’s not a pretty job, but take a few minutes to clean out your garbage, recycling and green bins.

      By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your home is in good shape and ready for the fall and winter months. Happy home maintenance!

      Thinking of Selling Your Home?

      We’re here to offer you professional real estate advice. If you’re thinking about selling your home now or even in a year or two, we’d be happy to connect with you about your goals. We’ll take a look at your home and offer advice on any upgrades that would add value to your home.

      Categories
      Community

      New & Improved Parks Projects in Kitchener-Waterloo

      There is no shortage of great parks in Kitchener-Waterloo, and if you’re an avid park-goer, you may have noticed some recent updates to some of the parks in the area.

      Here’s a look at some of the new and recently updated parks in Kitchener-Waterloo. Plus, continue reading to see how you can learn about the progress of other park projects and how you can get involved.

      Waterloo Park

      Waterloo Park has gone through quite the makeover. The Silver Lake renovation reconfigured the shoreline, build a boardwalk, and added a beachy area for families to hang out.

      The playground in Waterloo Park, Eby Farm Playground, was rebuilt and is now Waterloo’s first accessible playground.

      Alexandra Park

      An expansion of Alexandra Park (just steps away from Uptown Waterloo) was completed in June 2023. The updated park features a picnic area, plenty of seating, a lawn area, bike racks, lots of greenery, art, and a fun play area constructed from natural materials.

      More Innovative Playgrounds in Kitchener-Waterloo

      One of the companies bringing inspiring playgrounds to life in the area is Earth Scape Play. Here’s a list of one-of-a-kind playgrounds they have installed over the years. (Click on each name to see photos of the playgrounds).

      Westmount Sports Park, earthscapeplay.com

      Local Park Updates

      If you’re wondering about the progress of a park project near you, check out Engage Waterloo Region. You can see where each project is in its lifecycle, read updates, see design concepts and more. You can also get involved by sharing your ideas and feedback on a variety of issues, including Parks.

      Current featured projects you can view:

      Categories
      Home Decor House & Home

      6 Ways Your Home Can Reflect Your Personal Style

      A house is the building you live in, but a home is where your family comes together, is comfortable and it’s where you can be yourself.

      So how do you make a house a home?

      It’s easy! You just have to make it feel like ‘you’.

      Making small changes to reflect your (and your family’s) personal style can make all the difference. There’s no better feeling than walking through the front door and truly feeling at home.

      The Spruce interviewed designers to get their opinions on how you can make your home feel more like you. Here are some useful tips to help you bring your personality into your living space.

      1. Display Art You Love

      Why not create a mini gallery in your living room? “Art always makes a home feel more personal,” says Michelle Gage of Michelle Gage Interior Design. “You can collect pieces over time and while traveling or visiting local markets and galleries.”

      Don’t feel the need to opt for what’s trending; focus on works that speak to you. “Selecting something that feels so specific to your personal style always makes an impact,” Gage says. “Even more so, you can attach memories to your new favorite find.”

      Whitney Riter Gelinas of Wit Interiors agrees. “There is no ‘right’ type of art because it’s all about what the piece evokes for the viewer,” she says. “Foodie clients of ours recently had us frame menu’s from Chez Panisse and French Laundry so they could remember those meals for years to come.”

      thespruce.com

      2. Showcase Your Passions

      There are other creative ways to showcase a love of food and cooking within your home. “One of my passions is cooking, and I love to collect various salts and herbs and spices that I’ve found,” says Peti Lau of Peti Lau Inc. “I love to put them in cool ceramics, all different sizes and shapes, and that individualizes my kitchen.”

      Or perhaps you’re simply passionate about all of the humans and four-legged friends in your life. “Putting up photos—with matching frames in different sizes so they feel consistent—with pictures of your favorite humans or pets having adventures reminds of you great times with great people,” Lau says.

      thespruce.com

      3. Choose Paint Colours For You

      Whether you rent your space or own your home, you can easily use paint to transform the rooms of your choosing. “Paint is a great way to personalize a space,” Gelinas says. “The cost is low but the impact can be dramatic.”

      Think beyond coating the four walls. “Think outside the box—is there a feature wall that you could paint a bright color? A ceiling that could use a punch? We love using painters tape to define geometric patterns like stripes,” Gelinas says.

      Don’t be afraid to take risks. “Going for a bold paint or drape or accessories is easiest, but if you’re unsure of a bold tile that you really love or a cabinet color engage a designer to help you decide,” comments Isabella Patrick of Isabella Patrick Interior Design. “A lot of what we do for clients is support them while helping them get to the essence of what they love. If you can’t afford a designer, enlist a trusted friend to help you feel courageous in a bold move.”

      thespruce.com

      4. Shine with Intention

      Don’t feel wedded to bland, builder-grade lighting just because it’s already there. “Layer your lighting in every room,” suggests Jocelyn Polce of August Oliver Interiors. “Harsh overhead lighting can feel sterile and basic. Consider the uses of the space and the mood you want to create.”

      Use lighting as a way to add texture and whimsy to your space. “Add lamps with printed fabric shades to bring in a pattern, or pop a mini lamp on the kitchen counter on a tray for mood lighting,” Polce says

      thespruce.com

      5. Try Style-Forward Shopping (Instead of Price-First)

      Filling your home with pieces that you consider extra special will make any space feel more like your own. “If you’re desperate for a new sofa, and you rush to purchase one during a big sale you may end up with a great deal but a sofa that never quite fits your actual style,” Patrick says. “It is far better to spend that extra $500, pay full price, and love it.”

      In that same vein, don’t scoop up pieces just because they seem like a good deal, Patrick notes, adding, “The exception here is with antiques or vintage items that are smaller wares.”

      thespruce.com

      6. Design With Yourself In Mind

      Don’t hesitate to make design choices that please you, even if they’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. “The number one way to make your home feel like ‘you’ is to know and be confident in your own design aesthetic,” says Brandi Wilkins of Three Luxe Nine Interiors. “So often we lean into what’s trending rather than what we personally gravitate toward.”

      It’s possible to admire a trend or enjoy videos of it on TikTok without needing to emulate that style in your own space. This may mean going the old-fashioned route when planning out your space.

      “The internet and social media make it nearly impossible to be unaware of trends,” says Laura Hur of Lorla Studio. “Whether we intend to implement trends into our home or not, they are hard to avoid.”

      Hur encourages looking beyond the internet and social media, instead drawing inspiration from design books, travel, museums, and other similar resources.

      “When you do see a room on Instagram that really resonates with you, hone in on what it is about that room that you are drawn to,” she says. “Once you understand what it is you like, you can then implement the concept in your home in a more personal way, by using colors or brands that are more aligned with your personal style.”

      thespruce.com

      Find more home decor inspiration in these blogs

      Categories
      Selling

      4 Elements of an Offer To Pay Attention to (Beyond the Money)

      If you haven’t sold a home before, something you may not know is that there are a number of elements that go into a real estate offer. Yes, the price is a large element of any offer, but there are other things for sellers to consider when choosing which offer to accept.

      If the same five offers were presented to four different people, it’s not guaranteed that the same offer would be the most appealing to everyone.

      Depending on the seller’s motivations, goals and urgency, certain elements of an offer may hold more weight than others. For example, some factors, such as financing, could eventually become a barrier to closing the sale, and therefore might be something a seller wants to seriously consider before accepting an offer.

      So what else should sellers be looking at in an offer? Here’s a quick breakdown.

      What Sellers Should Look For in an Offer: 4 Factors Other Than Money To Consider

      Source: realtor.com

      1. Research your preferred financing method

      As a seller, you probably have an offer amount in mind that you would like the buyer to meet or exceed. But remember, a buyer needs to prove that he can afford to make the purchase—no matter what numbers are thrown around in an offer.

      2. Look for a larger earnest money deposit

      Next, you may want to pick an offer with a sizable earnest money deposit, also known as a good-faith deposit. This is a sum of money that a buyer entrusts to the seller’s brokerage firm to prove that he is serious about purchasing the home.

      3. Consider fewer contingencies

      In real estate, contingencies are benchmarks buyers set that need to be met for the transaction to continue moving forward. For example, many buyers will want to include an inspection contingency in the purchase contract. This means the buyer will need time to have your home inspected. And if any issues are found, a buyer might ask you to make repairs before he will close on the home.

      4. Opt for an ideal closing timeline

      Finally, consider your optimal timeline for heading to the settlement table. Moving out is a lot of work, especially if you’ve lived in the home you’re selling for a while. To that end, you’re going to want to ensure that you choose an offer with a closing date that suits your needs.

      Read more.

      Our team of experienced real estate professionals work hard to generate great offers for our sellers and help them to choose the best offer for their unique situation and needs.

      Have a question about selling your home? Talk to us today!

      Categories
      Community

      Cool Summer Activities in Kitchener-Waterloo & Beyond

      Finding cool things to do in the Summer is not a problem when you live in Kitchener-Waterloo. Not only are there always lots of great local events going on (festivals, concepts, markets & more), but there is so much to do just beyond the Region’s borders.

      Maybe you’ve heard of these events and activities, or maybe they’re new to you. But either way, there are endless options for you this Summer.

      Here are some unique activities in Kitchener-Waterloo and beyond. To help you out, we’ve sorted these awesome activities for:

      • Thrill-seekers
      • Foodies
      • Creatives
      • Everyone!

      Keep an eye out for the 📍to see activities that are in or close to Waterloo Region.

      Activities for Thrill-Seekers

      Activities for Foodies

      • 📍The Stratford Chocolate Trail is a self-guided tour that will introduce you to unique treats.
      • The Oxford Country Cheese Trail is a self-guided route. Follow the trail to check out factory tours with cheesemakers, museums, delicious menus and more.
      • The Apple Pie Trail is a trail that will take you through Southern Georgian Bay. It will help you discover lots of culinary, drinks and outdoor experiences in that region.
      • While we’re on the topic of tours, there’s also the Butter Tart Tour in the Kawarthas.

      Activities for Creatives

      Activities for Everyone!

      Want to learn more about local events and activities? Check out this blog!

      14 Local Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow To Stay Up-To-Date on Kitchener-Waterloo Events, News & More
      Categories
      Community

      Activities For Animal Lovers in Kitchener-Waterloo

      If you consider yourself an animal lover then you probably like to surround yourself with furry friends and wildlife as much as possible. Lucky for you, there are lots of animal-centric things to do in Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding area.

      Fun Things For Animal-Lovers To Do in Kitchener-Waterloo

      Visit the animals in Waterloo Park

      Within Waterloo Park is a mini zoo with miniature ponies, miniature donkeys, alpacas, and more! It’s a great place to go for a walk, play on the new playground, and say hi to some furry animals.

      Walk among the butterflies at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

      The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory features an indoor tropical garden with thousands of free-flying butterflies. Plus you can spend some time with (and listen to) exotic bird species from around the world.

      Socialize with goats at the Perth Farmhouse

      Nestled in New Hamburg is the Perth Farmhouse, a small farm with 9 goats. It offers a Goat Social, a 60-minute private experience where you have the opportunity to take the goats out in the pasture to run and play.

      Spend some time in a local dog park

      If you’re looking to surround yourself with some furry friends, check out a local dog park. You can take your dog for some off-leash exercise and mingle with other dogs and their humans.

      Support the Humane Society

      When you spend time at the Human Society of Kitchener-Waterloo & Stratford Perth, you’ll be in the company of other animal lovers. You can volunteer for a number of positions to support the organization and the animals, or you can attend one of the many events or programs offered (birthday parties, centre tours, paint night, paws in the park). Of course, you can also adopt an animal so you’ll always have a furry friend nearby.

      Categories
      Buying Real Estate

      Viewing A Newer Home vs. Viewing An Older Home

      Looking for a new home is exciting. When you step into a house for the first time, there are many things you might immediately notice: current decor, lighting, flooring, and you might pick up on the home’s energy. You might even form an opinion based on your first impression. But it’s important that you take a deeper look at the house to determine if it’s what you’re searching for.

      Your REALTOR® can help guide you through what to look for in the home, and may point out some things you didn’t notice.

      Should you approach your tour differently if you’re viewing an older home vs. a newer home?

      Over the years building codes have changed and building materials have evolved, so you may want to approach a newer home differently than an older home.

      How you view a home also depends on your real estate goals, i.e. Are you looking for a property for yourself or as an investment? Do you want to make updates or do you want something turnkey? What are the non-negotiable features you’re looking for?

      Here are a few things to look for and to consider when you view a property:

      Viewing an older home
      • Are there older architectural characteristics in the home that add charm?
      • How does the yard and landscaping compare to some of the newer homes you have viewed? (Consider the size of the lot and the mature landscaping that can come along with an older home).
      • Is the home deemed a historical property? This could impact renovations and plans to update.
      • What is the status of the plumbing and electrical?
      • Does the floor plan work with your lifestyle? Often, older homes have smaller rooms and smaller closets.
      • If you’re planning on renovating, can you see the potential in the home?
      Viewing a newer home
      • Does the floor plan work with your lifestyle? Many new homes contain open layouts. Think about how your family will use the space together.
      • If you’re looking for something move-in ready, can you see the potential in the home?
      • How energy efficient is the home?
      • If the new home is located in a new subdivision, does the location have nearby amenities that you’re looking for?

      Of course, there are many more things to consider as you tour a property. Be sure to talk to your REALTOR® about your real estate goals so they can help you find the right property.

      Have Questions About Finding A Home In This Market?
      We’re here to help!

      Contact us today
      sold@cindycody.ca


      Other articles you may be interested in:

      Navigating Retirement & Homeownership

      Have You Googled These Questions About Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate?

      When Should You Start The Conversation With A Real Estate Professional?

      Categories
      House & Home

      How To Create A Memorable Outdoor Movie Night

      Movie nights are a great family activity. It’s a fun way to spend time together, relax, and enjoy a new exciting movie, or an old family favourite. During the warm summer nights, why not step up your movie-watching experience and create an outdoor theatre?

      Setting up an outdoor movie night is a great way to create amazing family memories. Plus, the whole family can be involved in the planning! Here are some ideas to get you started:

      The Setup

      You can let your imagination run wild while planning your outdoor movie theatre setup. Maybe you want to set up a TV on the patio and sit around with some cozy blankets on your patio furniture. Or, maybe you’re thinking big, and want to set up a large screen and projector and lounge on a full yard of comfortable cushions and throws (more on the seating later).

      Photo source: lifebyleanna.com

      But remember, it’s not just about the screen; you want to be able to hear your movie too! Let’s take a look at some viewing and audio options for your backyard movie setup.

      Photo source: jordanseasyentertaining.com
      • Bring a television outside temporarily and set it up on a coffee table
      • Set up a projector and projector screen (or a white sheet – here’s a tutorial for an easy DIY outdoor movie screen)
      • If you’re casting from your phone, test your wifi in the backyard before you hit play!
      • Test the audio and setup external speakers if needed

      Other resources that can help you with your setup:

      The Seating

      Seating is all about personal preference: how comfortable you want to be and how much effort you want to put into it. You can always keep things simple and set up a few of your patio chairs, or you can create a comfy viewing area for your movie-goers. Here’s some inspiration to help you out.

      Photo source: blesserhouse.com
      Photo source: unetablebytania.com
      Photo source: pmqfortwo.com

      The Snacks

      What you snack on is up to your family. Everyone has their own favourite movie snack. But how you set your snacks up can make your outdoor movie night extra special.

      • Set up snacks inside and offer “take-out” boxes so everyone can build their own snack box for the big show
      • Create an outdoor concession bar so snacks and drinks are close by during the movie
      • Put all the snacks on a tray that can be easily passed around
      • Maybe family outdoor movie night calls for a popcorn machine?
      Photo source: unoriginalmom.com
      Photo souce: sugarandcharm.com
      Photo source: bhg.com
      Photo source: onecrazyhouse.com

      The Movie

      Obviously, the movie is the main event, so you’ll want to plan it and get everyone on board! Maybe you’re going to sit down for the latest blockbuster. Perhaps you’re going to dig into the archives and watch a classic film. The possibilities are literally endless!

      These days it’s easy to find and watch something new and exciting (no more loading the family into the car to head to a movie rental store, setting up the VCR, making sure you have all the cables…). Streaming services give you so many options to choose from.

      Plus, if you plan your movie out in advance, you can make it a theme! Tie your snacks and decorations (if you’re going above and beyond) into the theme of your movie. You could ever have a family dress-up night if you feel so inclined.

      Not sure where to start? Here are a few lists to give you some ideas.

      The Extras

      No, we don’t mean the people standing behind the actors. We’re talking about the little details that take your outdoor movie night to the next level. Some of these are great ideas if you’re hosting your outdoor movie night as a birthday party. Or maybe you just love the idea and want to make the night extra-special for your family.

      • Make and distribute tickets for the movie
      • Make a sign or two to label the areas of your “theatre”, i.e. a welcome sign, “Popcorn”, “Concession stand”, “Please turn off your mobile device”
      • Keep some bug spray nearby (consider setting your theatre up away from any bright light sources)
      • Try including the movie choice as part of the night’s activities. Everyone picks their choice and you find a fun way to draw or win your movie selection
      • A red carpet entrance
      • An outdoor popcorn machine
      • Cinema-themed decorations (or decorations inspired by your movie selection)

      Make sure the memory lasts. Take a family picture in your outdoor theatre!

      Enjoy the show!

      Categories
      Community

      15 Local Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow To Stay Up-To-Date on Kitchener-Waterloo Events, News & More

      Social media is a great way to stay connected with your community and to hear about local events. There are lots of account with dedicated creators sharing content unique to Kitchener-Waterloo. Whether you’re interested in local events, local businesses, great deals, fun activities, amazing people, and so much more, you’ll be able to find it! Here are some local Instagram accounts that are a great follow for anyone living in the KW area.

      @curatedkw

      “Waterloo Region’s top resource for food, deals & fun stuff”
      31.1K followers

      Curated KW posts local events (a rundown of weekly/ weekend events), updates about restaurant menus and places you should try, fun local activities and more.

      @kwfamous

      “All things KW”
      1171K followers

      This accounts coins itself as a place to learn about events and community shenanigans… plus they have their own merch honouring local establishments.

      @kwkiddos

      “Spotlighting events, deals, and activities for you and your kiddos around the KW area”
      2,623 followers

      This is a great resource if you find yourself constantly looking for family activity ideas. It highlights weekend events, parks & trails, camps and more.

      @thingstodosinkw

      “Things to do in Kitchener-Waterloo. Arts & Culture | Festivals | Events | Food | Nature”
      7,477 followers

      It’s right there in the title – find things to do in KW.

      @kwkrising

      “A bit of #KitchenerWaterloo (and world news) in your pocket”
      2,623 followers

      On this account’s feed, you’ll find curated local news headlines.

      @explorewaterlooregion

      “Official tourism organization for Waterloo Region”
      20.4K followers

      Local buzz, events, things to do in the Region… what more could you want? Learn about local news, businesses, people, and see some amazing photos of Waterloo Region.

      @dtkitchener

      “Highlighting the people, places and good stuff in #DowntownKitchener. This is our community: #DTKlove”
      27.6K followers

      This account shares all about the epicenter of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in Kitchener. Learn about events in downtown Kitchener, see highlighted downtown businesses, and discover unique features of the downtown core.

      @uptownwaterloo

      “Come on up! 🛍 Diverse shopping 🍽 Critically-acclaimed dining 💅 Top-notch services 🎭 Spectacular arts & culture and so much more!”
      22.1K followers

      This is the Uptown Waterloo BIA’s account, showcasing the fantastic festival programming in the Waterloo Public Square, plus highlighting the businesses and views in Uptown Waterloo.

      @create_waterloo

      “The City of Waterloo’s official Arts & Culture feed. Find out about public events, calls for artists & more!”
      9,173 followers

      This is a great account to follow if you’re interested in art, events, or are an artist.

      @regionofwaterloo

      “The official account of the Region Municipality of Waterloo. News, services and more from your Regional government”
      10.2K followers

      Hear it from the source! This official account shares news and programming you may be interested in as a resident of Waterloo Region.

      Other official government & city accounts you can follow include:

      Looking for more local accounts to follow? Here are some ideas to help you find accounts to follow.

      • Look up your favourite local events
      • Discover what your favourite organizations are posting about
      • Follow your favourite local businesses (Plus it’s a free way to support them. They’ll really appreciate it)
      • Follow local hashtags
      • Check out your Explore page

      Follow Us on Instagram!

      Follow @cindycodyteam for real estate tips, our latest listings, coming soon properties, market updates, events & more.

      Categories
      Uncategorized

      Ways To Save For A Family Vacation

      Family vacations are a great way to create lasting family memories and really bond as a family. Plus, you can explore new parts of the country, or even the world, and have some incredible experiences.

      Saving for a family vacation is like saving a down payment for your first time (but on a smaller scale). What do they both have in common? You start by making the decision to save money, and then you create a savings plan.

      For some people, taking a spending vacation is a way to kick-start their savings account. This is when you choose a specific amount of time and do your best to eliminate extra spending (or avoid spending on non-essential purchases).

      If you prefer to do your vacation spending throughout the year, here are some ways you can build your vacation savings. (These tips can also help you start to save a down payment over time if that is one of your financial goals).

      • Open a separate account for your vacation fund so you don’t accidentally spend your savings
      • With every paycheck, transfer a set amount to your savings account (you can even set this task up as an automatic transfer so you don’t have to remember to do it!)
      • When you’re getting rid of items from your home, list them on local buy/sell groups and put that money into your savings account
      • Shopping for something specific? Remember to do some research to see if the item is on sale anywhere. Apps like Reebee can help you easily search local flyers. And browser plugins like Honey can help you find online coupons.
      • Pay attention to where you spend your money every month. By reviewing your bank statements on a regular basis, you’re more likely to discover unnecessary spending habits. This may include automatic monthly subscriptions you completely forgot about.
      • Plan your meals on a weekly basis. By planning your meals ahead, you can ensure you have everything you need so you don’t quickly opt for take-out.
      • If you find yourself with a bit of extra money (an unexpected payment, money that went unspent in your chequing account, etc.) transfer a portion of it into your savings account. Every dollar counts!
      • Consider budget-friendly options for entertainment. Are you a big reader? Choose the library over buying new. Do you love movies? Is there something you can watch on a streaming platform you’re already paying for?

      Making little changes over time can help you save for a great family vacation. And now the fun part begins. Where are you going to go?

      Categories
      Moving Selling

      What To Leave Behind For The New Owners Of Your House

      As you pack up your house and get ready to move into your next home, you may find it helpful to follow a packing timeline or moving checklist to guide you through the process. But do you pack everything?

      How do you know what items to leave for the new homeowners?

      First, you want to take everything with you that isn’t either included in the purchase agreement, or important to stay with the home. Don’t leave items behind just because you don’t want them. Think about when you move into your next home. You wouldn’t want to be left with trash, odds and ends, or mystery items.

      To ensure you didn’t miss anything before you move out, do a room-by-room walk-through and check every cupboard and closet. Consider having a second person double-check as well.

      Here’s a guide to some of the items that you may leave in the house.

      Items included in the Purchase Agreement

      Anything that the buyers asked for, and was included in the purchase agreement, should be left behind. This may include appliances, light fixtures, window treatments, or any other specific items they requested.

      Replacement & maintenance items

      Something that may not be in writing, but is usually safe to leave behind is anything tied to the maintenance of appliances, such as warranty information and manuals. A nice way to leave these behind is by organizing them all in a neat pile or folder.

      If you have a small amount of extra or replacement supplies, you may consider leaving them as well. This may include a new furnace filter, a small number of replacement tiles that were leftover, extra cabinet hardware, a small amount of replacement stones or bricks for the backyard, etc.

      Some people also choose to leave extra paint behind for the new owners. In this case, it should be a small number of cans, and ensure you label them with the room and/or include a paint chip if you still have one. (You might consider having your REALTOR ask in advance if this is something the new homeowners want, as they may be planning on repainting anyway).

      A Welcoming Message

      This is by no means a necessary item, but as we all know, moving is an emotional time. As you hand over your house to a new family, you may want to write a short note or card letting them know how much you enjoyed the house and welcome them to their new home.

      If you’re preparing to move and you have any questions about items that should or shouldn’t be left with the home, don’t hesitate to ask us!

      Categories
      Buying Real Estate Investing Selling

      Navigating Retirement & Homeownership

      Transitioning into retirement is a big change in anyone’s life and it can cause you to re-evaluate your real estate goals. Both the decision to retire and what you choose to do with your current home are financial and lifestyle decisions – and important decisions that can impact how you choose to live your retired life.

      Many people approaching retirement choose to sell their larger home and move into a more manageable property. For some people, downsizing means moving into a condo, which means less time spent on property maintenance. For others, it means moving into a smaller home and taking the opportunity to get rid of excess items in their home.

      If you’re starting to plan your retirement and want advice on selling your home, strategic timing, or have questions about the real estate market, we are here to help. Contact us.

      Here is some more information on the different homeownership options you may have for your retirement.

      Retirement and Homeownership

      Source: baseline.home-wizard.com

      DOWNSIZING

      Downsizing involves selling (or renting out) your current home and buying a smaller home.

      There are many advantages to downsizing during retirement. A smaller home requires less maintenance, and can have lower taxes. It can also be better suited to reduced mobility that comes with aging, such as fewer stairs. Depending on how you finance the new home, downsizing can also reduce your monthly financial burden while on a fixed income.

      Downsizing does require the management of the sale of your home (or transitioning of it to a rental property). If your home has appreciated significantly in value, there could be tax implications associated with a large capital gain with your home sale. Versus renting in retirement, downsizing still includes homeowner risks for unexpected major home repairs, which can be challenging when on a fixed income in retirement.

      CASHOUT AND RENTING

      This retirement strategy includes selling (or renting out) your current home and electing not to purchase a new home, but instead renting a place to live.

      Depending on the financial situation of your current home (equity vs market value, remaining mortgage, etc.), selling your home and not re-investing in a new property can have a number of advantages. Freedom from home maintenance and not being responsible for property taxes are attractive aspects of renting. Plus, renting versus owning can make it easier to relocate in the future, as your lifestyle and needs continue to change during retirement.

      On the other hand, becoming a renter brings the uncertainty of rent increases, which can be difficult when on a fixed income. Transitioning to renting also involves having to rely on a landlord for maintenance issues.

      RELOCATING

      For some, retirement brings the opportunity to move to a new location that is more consistent with your new lifestyle needs and desires.

      Especially if your current location was chosen for the benefits of your children (school system, neighborhood, etc.), becoming an ’empty nester’ now affords you the opportunity to choose a location suited to your new priorities. This could be moving from the suburbs to be closer to the amenities of a more urban area, or relocating to the bliss of living in the countryside. A relocation can provide better weather conditions or access to important recreational settings. An important consideration for relocating can be improved proximity to family.

      Read more.

      Categories
      Local Business

      Easy Family Recipes with Ingredients From Local Businesses

      Coming up with delicious recipes for your family week-after-week can become repetitive. We found some easy family recipes that look so good! Plus we’re highlighting local businesses that carry some of the key ingredients so you can continue to support local!

      Classic Bolognese

      Korean BBQ Steak Bowls

      Corn Ribs

      No-Cook Charcuterie Board

      Baked Parmesan Garlic Salmon

      Categories
      Home Maintenace House & Home Selling

      Easy Ways To Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

      Let’s talk curb appeal for a minute. You’ve probably heard the term. It’s the first impression buyers get of a home when they see it from the street.

      Why is curb appeal important?

      That initial reaction a buyer has to a property can have a lasting impact.

      Not only is that first impression formed as they walk up to a property, but it can also be started before beginning their in-person home viewing. If you’re selling your home, think about how it will present itself in photos online.

      If you’re thinking of selling your home, we’d love to talk to you about your home’s curb appeal and how you can make a great first impression on buyers.

      If you’re not planning on moving anytime soon, curb appeal still applies. Think about when you invite friends and family over to your home. Create an inviting aesthetic for your guests, but also for yourself. How awesome is it to walk up to a beautiful home and know it’s yours!

      If you’re looking to make some improvements to your home’s curb appeal before buyers (and photographers) hit your driveway, here are some small changes that will make a big impact.

      Curb Appeal Improvements In Under 60-Minutes

      • Check that nothing in sight is visibly broken and that light fixtures are in working order
      • Close the garage door and tuck away any potential eyesores (garbage bins, yard tools, toys, etc.)
      • Clear the driveway of your cars
      • Wash the front windows (inside and out) and garage door windows if there are any
      • Sweep the driveway, walkway and front entrance of any debris, leaves, etc.
      • Tidy up the lawn and gardens
      • If anything is really worn out, such as a welcome mat, consider replacing it

      Put yourself in buyers’ shoes. Stand in front of your home and try to look at it with new eyes. Scan the property for any areas that could use sprucing up.

      Need more inspiration? Check out these Jaw-Dropping Curb Appeal Makeovers

      Get More Advice

      Need help? We’re here to offer you professional real estate advice. If you’re thinking about selling your home now or even in a year or two, we’d be happy to connect with you about your goals. We’ll take a look at your home and offer advice on any upgrades that would add value to your home.

      Categories
      Buying Real Estate Cindy Cody Team Selling

      Have You Googled These Questions About Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate?

      If you have questions about the Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market, selling a home in Kitchener-Waterloo, or anything about real estate in general, you’re probably not alone.

      We get questions all the time.

      But sometimes people are too shy to ask, so they take their questions to Google for answers.

      Today we’re taking a look at the top Googled questions about the Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market (and beyond).

      What are people Googling when it comes to the Kitchener real estate market?

      We used the “People also ask” feature of Google’s results to see the top Googled questions about Kitchener-Waterloo real estate. Here’s what we found:

      Houses for sale in Kitchener

      Many people are starting their home search on Google. They are searching for homes for sale around a specific price point.

      You can find the latest homes for sale in Kitchener here.

      Did you know a real estate professional can gather your specific criteria and notify you when properties that match become available? In fact, if you get in touch with us, we can let you know about properties even before they hit MLS.

      What is the average house price in Kitchener-Waterloo?

      Each month, the Waterloo Region Association of REALTORS reports key statistics from the previous month’s market activity, including average purchase prices. For example, in February 2023, the average sale price for all residential properties in Waterloo Region was $758,698.

      How much is a detached house in Waterloo?

      The WRAR monthly updates also break down the average sale prices by property type. For example, in February 2023, the average sale price of a detached home was $877,884.

      Is Kitchener-Waterloo a good place to invest in real estate?

      This is a great question! First, Kitchener-Waterloo is a vibrant and friendly community. KW is a fast-growing city, there are local education options, we have a thriving tech industry, a great Light-Rail Transit system, and there are great resale possibilities for residential or investment properties due to our proximity to the GTA.

      Still not convinced? We spent some time answering questions just like this one.

      What Are Top 5 Reasons to Invest in Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate?

      Why Is A Condo A Good Investment

      Real estate agent

      Some buyers and sellers aren’t quite sure where to start, so they use a generic search to find a real estate agent. There are lots of people who can help you sell your home, but you don’t want just anyone. Our recommendation is to work with a real estate professional who has the experience and the tools essential to help you achieve your real estate goals. For example, a network of local and out-of-town buyers, experience with the communities and strategies it takes to close a deal, and a trackrecord of trust and happy clients.

      The Cindy Cody Team is connected, respected and proven. Learn more about why that matters.

      RE/MAX Kitchener

      RE/MAX is a trusted real estate brand, so we’re happy to see it pop up as a top real estate Google search. “For over 20 years, RE/MAX has been the number one real estate organization in Canada, and continually has the number one market share in virtually every region”.

      Here’s something you might not know:

      Cindy Cody is part of a cross-Canada network of RE/MAX agents. Which means, if you’re ever thinking about relocating, we can connect you with a top agent. Just ask!

      If you have a question about real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo, we’re happy to be a resource for you. Contact us for all of your real estate needs!

      Categories
      Community Events

      2023 Spring Events in Kitchener-Waterloo

      After a snowy Winter, it’s so refreshing to get outside to enjoy all that our community has to offer. There’s lots going on in Kitchener-Waterloo this Spring. Here are a few things you can add to your Spring to do list!

      Click on the 🔗 to get more details about each event

      Things to do in April in Kitchener-Waterloo

      • March 31- April 1 | The 2023 KW Wine & Food Show 🔗
      • April 1 | Elmira Maple Syrup Festival 🔗
      • April 8 | Easter Programming @ Kitchener Farmers’ Market 🔗
      • April 8 | Steckle Heritage Farm Easter Egg Hunt 🔗
      • April 11 | Harlem Globetrotters @ The Aud 🔗
      • April 15 | Kitchener Farmers’ Market 🔗
      • April 22 | Earth Day @ Kitchener Farmers’ Market 🔗
      • April 27-28 | Breithaupt Book Sale 🔗
      • April 27-29 | Zonta Film Festival 🔗
      • April 29 | Raffi in Concert at Centre in the square 🔗
      • April 29 | Kitchener Farmers’ Market 🔗
      • April 29 | Etsy Waterloo Region Spring Market 🔗

      Things to do in May in Kitchener-Waterloo

      • May 3 | Neighbourhood Campfires in Waterloo 🔗
      • May 6 | Kitchener Farmers’ Market 🔗
      • May 6 | Wonderfully Made Spring Market 🔗
      • May 6 | Scrapfest 🔗
      • May 7 | Stars on Ice @ The Aud 🔗
      • May 10 | Art Market in Waterloo Public Square 🔗
      • May 13 | Mother’s Day Garden Party 🔗
      • May 13 | Girls Can Fly @ Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre 🔗
      • May 13 | KW Gem and Mineral Show 🔗
      • May 26 | Art Market in Waterloo Public Square 🔗
      • May 27 | Retreat into Art & Nature: An Expressive Art Experience 🔗

      Things to do in June in Kitchener-Waterloo

      • June 6 | PAW Patrol live! “Heroes Unite”@ The Aud🔗
      • June 10 | Open Streets in Uptown Waterloo🔗
      • June 15 | Movies in the Park in Waterloo Park 🔗
      • June 16 | Cambridge Celebration of the Arts 🔗
      • June 21 | National Indigenous Peoples Day @ Waterloo Public Square 🔗
      • June 29 | Movies in the Park in Waterloo Park 🔗
      Categories
      Home Maintenace House & Home

      Spring Cleaning Guide: How To Dispose Of Different Types of Waste

      It’s that time of year again! After a long winter indoors, it’s time to give your home the refresh it deserves. For some spring cleaning is just that; cleaning. But others take on decluttering tasks and spend time reorganizing their homes for the year ahead.

      If you’re in the latter category, you might find yourself with a number of items to get rid of. Here’s a quick guide to help you determine where and how to dispose of different types of waste (or non-waste items).

      Garbage and Recycling Items

      If most of your waste is smaller items that fit into your garbage and recycling bins, you should be able to rely on your regular garbage and recycling pickup. Here is a Region of Waterloo guide to help you determine how much waste you can put out for pick-up, the types of items you can include, and how to properly and safely bag your waste.

      Yard Waste

      If your spring cleaning extends into your yard, you’ll likely have a pile of yard waste to dispose of. Seasonal yard waste collection runs from late March until November or December. Acceptable items include: branches, leaves, pine cones and plant waste. Review this resource to learn how to prepare your yard waste, what is accepted, collection schedule and rules, and other details.

      Bulky Items

      If you have larger items that don’t fit in the Region’ of Waterloo’s approved garbage containers, mark your calendar for the bulky items collection days (every second week).

      Bulk items may include: appliances, rugs or carpets, scrap lumber, furniture, or mattresses.

      Use the Region’s Waste Whiz tool to determine how you can recycle of dispose of a specific item.

      If your items are too large or you have a large load of waste, look into the drop-off waste management sites.

      Clothing & Donation Items

      If your spring cleaning tasks include decluttering and getting rid of excess clothing, you’ll likely end up with a pile of items that aren’t waste. Don’t throw away any items that are still in good condition. There’s always someone who would appreciate them. This is the “Reuse” element of recycling!

      Consider selling or donating these items. Donated clothing can go to local drop-in centers, clothing donation bins, and second-hand stores.

      More Spring Cleaning Guides

      Here are some other helpful guides you may want to reference before or during your spring cleaning!

      You might also be interested in these resources

      Categories
      Community Local Events

      How To Stay Busy During March Break in Kitchener-Waterloo

      With March Break coming up, there’s no better time to start planning some activities to keep your family busy. There are many fun March Break camps in KW, plus lots of fun day activities you can find. Or, if you’d prefer to stay at home, we’ve got you covered as well.

      March Break Camps in Kitchener-Waterloo

      Click a camp on this list to learn more.

      Activities in the Region

      Over the years, we’ve compiled many lists of family activities in Waterloo Region. If you’re looking for some ideas to keep the family busy during March break, check out these blogs for some inspiration!

      Cindy Cody Team - 2023 Family Activities in Kitchener-Waterloo

      Activities at Home

      If your family would prefer to stay at home, there are lots of new activities you can try. Check out these resources!

      Categories
      Selling

      When Should You Start The Conversation With A Real Estate Professional

      For homeowners who are thinking about selling their home, a common question we get asked is about timing and when the best time is to have a real estate professional into their home. Cindy Cody and Debbie Stefan sat down to talk about their advice on the ideal timing and why it’s the best time to connect.

      When is the best time to invite a real estate agent into your home?

      Should you invite a REALTOR into your home before or after a renovation? When should you call a real estate agent to start the process?

      Cindy: I get asked that question a lot and the answer is always the same. As soon as you’re considering making a move – just considering making a move – give us a call. We always want both of you home because there are many new things in our industry you should know about. We discuss timing, which is actually a crucial part of our answer and when you should be selling. And obviously, we’d love to see the house and go over it with you. Sometimes you’ll have lots of questions. So anytime you’re considering making a move, give us a call and we’ll give you great advice.

      Other Blogs You Might Be Interested In:

      Categories
      House & Home

      How To Declutter Your Home & Maintain Your System

      Decluttering is a hot topic. It’s an important task for homeowners to do before selling their house, but it’s also something that can be beneficial for anyone. “Clutter” is the accumulation of items in your space; items you don’t use, and it’s you use but don’t have a space dedicated for them.

      Clutter can impact us in a number of ways. First, it can be a timewaster. Have you ever had to dig through a pile of papers to find something important? Second, and possibly most importantly, clutter can have an impact on a person’s mental health; it can be distracting to look at and cause some people to feel overwhelmed.

      Whatever your reason, spending some time decluttering your home can leave you feeling refreshed and organized. Here are a few tips to start you on your decluttering journey and some ideas around maintaining your organized home (a crucial step if you don’t want to undo all your hard work).

      The Initial Decluttering

      Start Small
      Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It can be overwhelming to think you have to declutter your entire home in one day. Take it room by room (or even smaller), and give each area of your own some dedicated time.

      Areas in your home you can declutter today

      • Your office or desk – This is a common clutter area. Take the time to look at all the items on your desk before you tuck them away. Do you have a pile of old sticky notes and lists? Try consolidating them in a digital to do list app.
      • Your closet – If you can’t tackle your closet all in one day, do one category at a time (pants, shirts, shoes, bags, etc.)
      • Your bathroom and medicine cabinet – We’re pretty confident you’ll have an expired item or two in your bathroom.
      • Linen closet – When was the last time you took inventory of your towels, sheets, pillow cases and blankets?
      • Kitchen – This is a huge space, but you can take it drawer by drawer. For example, how many one-use kitchen gadgets do you have? And when was the last time you used them?

      Give everything a home
      Decluttering can become a vicious cycle if you’re simply moving items from one counter to another spot. You’ll have the most success if every single item has a home. If it doesn’t have a home, think: Do I need this item? Where does it make sense for this item to live? When everything lives in a specific spot in your home, you’ll have a much easier (and quicker) time putting things away in the future.

      Get the clutter out of the house
      After all your hard work, the nicest thing you can do for yourself is to get the clutter out! Don’t pile it in the garage or in your trunk. Take the time to drive your donations to a donation center right away. You don’t want to make more work for yourself once to get to your garage, and you’d be surprised how some items can make their way back into your home.

      Maintaining the System

      Make it a routine
      If you’re worried the clutter is going to creep back into your life. Try incorporating some decluttering into your daily or weekly routine. For example, do you have a favourite weekly podcast? When it’s time to listen, spend that hour or so tidying up a main area of your home (and put the items back where they belong, rather than simply tucking them away for a quick fix).

      Find time for quick clean-ups
      It’s amazing when you realize that daily tasks don’t actually take as long as you think they do. In fact, a lot of us probably spend more time dreading certain chores. Find small patches of time in your day to keep the clutter away from busy areas of your home. For example, do your microwave your coffee? Spend 45 seconds tidying your kitchen counter while your coffee reheats.

      Communicate with your family
      There’s nothing more frustrating than when you spend a day organizing an area of your home and someone makes a mess. But here’s the thing: when you organized, say, your refrigerator. You categorized and created a system for all the items. Your family members may not see your system. One of the ways you can maintain your home is by communicating with your family members. Next time you’re all the kitchen, call them over and say “I put all of the condiments in the refrigerator door shelves. Can we try to put condiment bottles back there?”

      Label where necessary
      One way you can maintain organization and communicate with your family at the same time is by labeling specific shelves, boxes, bins, etc. You don’t need to go overboard and label your refrigerator shelves, but certain areas can really benefit. For example, bins can be used to contain specific types of toys and labelled so everyone knows what belongs in each bin.

      Happy decluttering!

      Categories
      House & Home Moving Selling

      What To Do Before You Make A Move | Getting Ready To Sell Your Home

      If you’re planning on selling your home, it’s never too early to start thinking about what needs to be done. When you step back and look at your home, there might be some obvious changes that need to be made, but there could also be some things that you won’t think of or notice.

      When we talk to people who are early in the thinking-of-selling position, there’s always one key piece of advice we offer: before you put any effort into getting your house ready, talk to a seasoned real estate professional. Why? A real estate professional with years of experience can have a keen eye for detail and come up with a customized list of the things you can do to get your home ready.

      Advice based on your specific home, your neighbourhood, the current market, industry trends and so much more can set you in the right direction so you’re able to get your home ready in an efficient and effective manner.

      5 Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home

      It’s never too early to start preparing your home for the market. Here are some tips to help you get it ready!

      1. Get Custom Advice

      Have an experienced real estate professional view your home and come up with a strategic plan to get the house ready.

      2. Declutter Your Home

      Take this time to go room-by-room, edit out unused items and start packing items you don’t use often.

      3. Implement Your Custom Plan

      Work your way down the list of strategic preparations provided by your real estate professional.

      4. Deep Clean

      Visit each area of your home and start doing a deep clean. If you start early, you can focus on a room per week.

      5. Depersonalize

      Pack up photos and specific items that don’t show off your home. Let the buyer picture themself in the home!

      Categories
      Community Local Events

      2023 Family Activities in Kitchener-Waterloo

      There’s nothing like spending quality family time together. We absolutely love finding fun activities to do with our families, and we’re sure you do too! Getting out of the house and spending time in the community is a great way to take advantage of all the events and activities KW has to offer. We all have our favourites, but sometimes it’s exciting to switch it up and try something new. Here are family activities in Kitchener-Waterloo that you can try out this year.

      1. →Try an Adventure or Escape Room
        Put your family to the test and see if you can work together to escape. Try Adventure Rooms, KW Escape or Escapeworx.
      2. →Visit a new park
        There’s no shortage of amazing parks in the region. Take a look at a list of parks, start visiting them and check them off the list. See how many you can visit this year!
      3. →Explore a local museum
        Plan a visit to THE MUSEUM, The Waterloo Region Museum, Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery and more.
      4. →Find a new treat at a local business
        It’s easy to get into a routine and consistently visit your favourite local business (which is amazing!). Try making the effort to visit some new businesses or shops you’ve never been in.
      5. →Mini Putt
        Get out on the (mini) green at Bingemans, Max’s Golf Center, Wedges ‘N Woods Golf Academy, or iBowl.
      6. →Stay cool at a splash pad
        When the summer heat hits, visit the splash pads in Kitchener (see the list here) and Waterloo (see the list here)
      7. →Shop at a market
        Get your grocery list and visit the St. Jacob’s farmers market or Kitchener Farmers Market. You’ll be able to find great food, treats, gifts and more
      8. →Hit the slopes
        Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, or tubing, you can do it all at Chicopee! Or find a local hill and bring your own toboggan!
      9. →Go see the butterflies
        Visit the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory and discover 1000s of free-flying butterflies.
      10. →See a live show
        Plan a special family outing to see a live performance at the Saint Jacob’s Playhouse (or any of the Drayton Entertainment theatres), or Center in the Square. Go listen to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, or find live music at pubs and local events across the region.
      11. →Cheer on the Kitchener Rangers
        Get some seats at the Aud and cheer on the local team!
      12. →Find a Local Event to attend
        Take a look at this Explore Waterloo Region calendar to find all sorts of upcoming events.

      Want More Family Activity Ideas?

      Here are some more great resources to check out for family activities in Kitchener-Waterloo.

      Categories
      Home Decor House & Home Inspiration

      Canadian Interior Designers You Should Follow

      Looking for inspiration for your next home design project? A great place to start is with professional home design and decorating blogs. In Canada, we have so many talented people who are passionate about decorating and design. Use this list of Canadian interior design and home decorating blogs, websites, and Instagram accounts to inspire your next home project.

      Here are the interior designers you should follow on Instagram (and beyond)

      Sarah Richardson

      Sarah Richardson has been a staple designer in the Canadian interior design scene for decades. Bringing her talents to the small screen, she’s appeared in and hosted several HGTV series.

      Website: 🔗https://www.sarahrichardsondesign.com/
      🔗Get Inspired

      Instagram: 🔗@sarahrichardsondesign

      Leclair Decor

      This Canadian husband and wife own an interior design firm, a retail store, and are in the process of launching a short-term rental cabin that they designed from scratch.

      Websites: 🔗leclairdecor.com | 🔗ldshoppe.com | 🔗ldcabin.com
      🔗Blog

      Instagram: 🔗@leclairdecor | 🔗@ldshoppe | 🔗@ldcabin

      Jillian Harris

      With a background in interior design (and reality television), Jillian Harris has turned her business into a full-fledged Influencer-Lifestyle-Brand. Visit her blog for decor inspiration, styling tips, her favourite paint colours and more.

      Website: 🔗https://jillianharris.com/
      Blog: 🔗At Home
      Instagram: 🔗@jillian.harris

      Style At Home

      Style At Home is a Canadian lifestyle and home decor magazine creating great content on interior design and home decorating projects. If you’re not a magazine subscriber, you can still get lots of great inspiration from their website and social media channels.

      Website: 🔗https://www.styleathome.com/
      🔗Decorating & Design section
      Instagram: 🔗@styleathome

      Nyla Free Designs Inc

      Based out of Calgary, this Canadian design company has a fresh and modern approach to interior design projects.

      Website: 🔗https://www.nylafreedesigns.com/
      🔗Blog
      Instagram: 🔗@nylafreedesigns

      Jo Alcorn

      Jo Alcorn is the Founder & Prinicpal Designer of Alcon Home Design & Build, a full-service design and build firm. She first showcased her design skills on HGTV Canada when she was featured on Designer Superstar.

      Website: 🔗https://alcornhome.com/
      🔗Blog

      Instagram: 🔗@jo_alcorn

      Samantha Pynn

      This is another great Canadian designer featured on HGTV. She’s known for her approachable, fresh and colourful style, she uses patterns and layers to create beautiful spaces.

      Website: 🔗https://www.samanthapynn.ca/
      Instagram: 🔗@samanthapynn

      More Canadian Interior Designers & Influencers To Check Out

      Click on a name to see more of their design work!

      Get More Inspiration From Our Blog

      Categories
      Local Business

      Kitchener-Waterloo Local Gift Giving Guide

      Here’s something you can feel good about this holiday season: giving great gifts and supporting local businesses. You can easily check off your gift list in Kitchener-Waterloo and spend some time browsing amazing small businesses. Not only will you be able to find lots of unique products, but you will be able to enjoy the hard work our local business owners have put into their shops to create amazing festive atmospheres.

      Here are some great gift ideas from KW businesses for some people who might be on your nice list:

      • Foodie
      • Movie Buff
      • New to KW
      • Homebody
      • Beer & Cocktail Lover
      • Sweet Tooth
      • Bookworm

      Local Gifts for A Foodie

      Local Gifts for A Movie Buff

      • Appolo Cinema merchandise like their Neon 90’s shirt. They also sell buttons, pins, mugs and more. Or grab a gift card!
      • Princess Cinema – Sponsor a seat for the movie lover in your life. You can dedicate a name and a message that will go on a brass-plated plaque.
      • Gifted carries stylish movie posters by Concepción Studios that will fit any home’s aesthetic.

      Local Gifts for Someone New To Town

      Local Gifts for A Homebody

      Local Gifts for A Beer & Cocktail Lover

      • Cocktail Simple Syrups UpMarket. Pair it with some of their beautiful glassware and bar accessories.
      • Give the gift of the Purple Teeth Thirsty Wine Club. Choose from a selection of frequencies, types of wine or packs.
      • Descendants Beer with some unique beer merch (buttons, candles, and bath bombs). You can even make your order a gift and they’ll wrap it and add a card.
      • A TWB Coop glass and their favourite beer to go with it.
      • Bottles, cans, merch and clothing from Counterpoint Brewing Co.
      • Short Finger Brewing Co. (Kitchener’s only Sci-Fi Punk Brewery) shirt, hat, toque, or other merchandise along with a bottle or two.

      Local Gifts for Someone With A Sweet Tooth

      Local Gifts for A Bookworm

      • Best the best fiction of the season, local author picks, 2022 biographies, travel books and beyond at Wordsworth Books.
      • Grab a preloved book for the reader in your life from KW Bookstore
      • Pair a book from a local bookstore with Bookish Things from Gifted (bookmarks, book-themed socks, pins, pizzles, mugs, and more)

      Happy Gift Giving!

      Categories
      House & Home

      Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like A Pro

      As holiday content starts to hit our screens, you’ll likely be seeing lots of new holiday decorating trends popping up. Food and decorating shows are all over TV with lots of tips to get your home ready for the holiday season, and creators are posting their festive photos and videos across social media.

      Don’t let their perfectly curated holiday scenes send you into a panic. Here’s a spoiler: their houses have been decorated for the holidays for months already.

      But if you’re looking for some tips to decorate your Christmas tree like a professional, we’ve pulled some tips to give you a hand.

      Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

      The Order of Events

      1. Grab your family
      2. Put on your favourite holiday soundtrack or movie
      3. Mix everyone a hot chocolate, eggnog or festive cocktail
      4. Find the perfect spot and position your tree (anchor it if necessary) Tip: If you’re using a tree collar, now is the time! Some collars are difficult to use after your tree is all done.
      5. Hang your lights first. Before you move on, step bake to make sure you haven’t missed any spots. Tip: If you squint your eyes you can see the general distribution of lights and see if there are any areas that need some more attention!
      6. Wrap the garland around the tree. Tip: If you’re going for a less busy look, consider a thinner garland, or someting beaded.
      7. Hang your ornaments. This is a great activity for the whole family. Everyone can put their favourite ornaments in prime positions. Tip: If you’ve positioned your tree in front of a window, don’t forget the back!
      8. Add your tree skirt (or tree collar)
      9. Put the topper on… well, the top!
      10. Sit back and admire your hard work.

      Give Your Artificial Tree A Fresh Dusting Of Snow

      If you have a beloved fake tree that you use every year, maybe you’re looking to add a dusting of “fresh” snow to your tree. Flocking, is when you add synthetic snow (or a material that creates the illusion) to create a winter wonderland on your tree.

      Pick A Theme For Your Tree

      Some people love to re-create the same Christmas tree year after year. The holidays are all about tradition after all! But if you want to switch things us, choose a new theme to try this year. You can work with the ornaments and decorations you already have, and even make some of your own.

      Can You Ever Have Too Many Lights?

      It’s all about being Merry & Bright, right? The lights are what make any Christmas tree glow (literally), so use these tips to ensure your tree is lit up in all its glory. Here’s a guide to help you choose the best lights, plus steps to help you light an artificial tree and a real tree.

      Create A Balanced Look

      If you’re really aiming for a designer look this year, there are a few things you can do. Once you have your theme, gather all your ornaments in advice. Choose colours and materials that will bring your vision to life. Here are a few pieces of advice from House Beautiful:

      Balance the decor

      Given the many Christmas tree decorations you’re likely to have, you have to ensure that everything is well-balanced and spread out to your liking. Arrange embellishments from the top of the tree and then work towards the bottom. This way, you can easily check your design as you dress up your tree.

      Cluster your baubles

      Balsam Hill’s design consultant, Brad Schmidt, recommends clustering three baubles of different sizes to add flair and visual appeal. You can either put the same pieces together or choose contrasting ones.

      Use tree picks

      Tree picks and floral sprays come in many forms, such as decorated branches, twigs, berries, or even pine cones – use them as subtle accents to complement the entire look of your tree. Grouping picks together using floral wire is a creative way to elevate the visual appeal of your tree without overpowering other decorations.

      Read more: 12 Secrets to Decorating your Christmas tree like a professional

      Happy Decorating!

      Categories
      Community Local Business

      The Best Desserts To Pick Up From Kitchener-Waterloo Businesses

      If you have a sweet tooth, then chance are you know some great local spot to stop by for a delicious treat (or two). From cool, creamy cones, to doughnuts and beyond, there are lots of local Kitchener-Waterloo businesses baking up goodies.

      We’re sure you have your go-to places when you get a craving for something sweet, and we do as well! We put our heads together to make a list of our favourite desserts in town.

      Not really craving something sweet? That’s okay. These businesses are great to keep in mind when you want to drop off a gift to friends, family or neighbours. Think holidays, housewarming, birthdays, or just because!

      Sweet Caroline’s Ice Cream & Treats

      Website: sweetcarolinesicecreamandtreats.com

      Location: 2057 Unit 1 Victoria St, N. Breslau

      If you’re craving some ice cream and cinnamon buns, the only place I go is Sweet Caroline’s! With over 50 flavours of ice cream, fresh baked cinnamon buns, and a million other treats, there’s something for everyone!

      Krista MacKay
       
       
       
       
       
      View this post on Instagram
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      A post shared by Carolyn Killen (@sweet_carolines_ice_cream)

      Sweet & Savoury Pie Company

      Website: justlovepie.ca

       Locations:
      263 Northfield Dr. East, Waterloo
      94 King Street South, Waterloo

      Whenever I’m in charge of dessert (or have a craving for something sweet), I always grab butter tarts from Sweet & Savoury Pie Co. They have the BEST pie crust.”

      Debbie Stefan

      Gluten Free By Suzie

      Website: glutenfreebysuzie.ca

       Location: 5 The Boardwalk #235, Kitchener

      It’s a small place in The Boardwalk plaza and they have fantastic desserts that are ready, plus cookies and breads. But you can also order special pies and cakes, breads, etc. They do have specials for Thanksgiving including gluten free stuffing that you can order to pick up. Everything I have gotten from there was fantastic and guests are always pleased!

      Linda Cooper
       
       
       
       
       
      View this post on Instagram
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      A post shared by Gluten Free by Suzie (@gluten_free_by_suzie)

      Seven Shores

      Website: sevenshores.ca

      Location: 10 Regina St N, Waterloo

      I would recommend Seven Shores in Waterloo. It’s a cooperatively owned Bakery Cafe with local breakfast, lunch, a patio and wifi!

      Renee Martin

       
       
       
       
       
      View this post on Instagram
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      A post shared by Seven Shores (@sevenshorescafe)

      More Local Businesses Serving Great Desserts

      There’s definitely no shortage of delicious desserts to serve your family. Here are some other local businesses to check out for your next craving.

      Categories
      Home Decor House & Home

      Home Design Styles Explained

      Have you ever looked at a beautifully-designed room and thought “I love that. What is the design style called?“. There are lots of terms used in interior design so we thought we’d share a helpful guide to break down home design styles.

      Understanding the names of the home design styles you love will help you in your search for home decor elements. Knowing the name of the style will help you describe what you’re looking for to others, search for furniture within that style, and to find inspiration online.

      Interior Designer, Natalie Myers, breaks down lots of popular interior design styles and provides a quick description of each style and where it originated.

      Design Styles Defined

      Source: hgtv.com

      art deco living room
      Photo source: hgtv.com

      Art Deco: The Style

      Le Corbusier gave Art Deco its name after the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1925, when more than 16 million visitors thronged to Paris to feast their eyes on delicate, streamlined and geometric designs that celebrated all things urban and modern. The oh-so-sleek style’s characteristic look-at-me finishes and city-chic takes on classical and exotic themes were a worldwide phenomenon in the Jazz Age.  

      arts and crafts design style kitchen
      Photo source: hgtv.com

      Arts and Crafts: The Style

      The Arts and Crafts movement (which enjoyed its first round of popularity here in America between 1910 and 1925) focused on the simplicity of form — no extraneous decoration to distract from the workmanship, thank you very much. “Truth in Materials” was all-important to Arts and Crafts designers, who often made use of local sources. (Architecturally speaking, “Arts and Crafts” can refer to Craftsman style, work by Frank Lloyd Wright and the bungalow style popularized in the early 20th century by Greene and Greene.)  

      bohemian design style living room
      Photo source: hgtv.com

      Bohemian: The Style

      As embodied by influencer/ Jungalow blogger / boho-chic expert Justina Blakeney, bohemian style revels in bold (and plentiful) layers of color, pattern and texture. It’s a gradual, free-spirited accumulation that builds up to an exclamation point (or 12) through rattan furniture, woven wall hangings, lush plants and vintage-inspired throws and pillows. Accordingly, it boasts a collected look, with furniture and decor acquired over time from thrift stores, antique shops and world travels.  

      california chic design style living room