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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! ๐Ÿ› Diverse shopping ๐Ÿฝ Critically-acclaimed dining ๐Ÿ’… Top-notch services ๐ŸŽญ 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.

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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 ๐Ÿ”— 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 ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 1 | Elmira Maple Syrup Festival ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 8 | Easter Programming @ Kitchener Farmers’ Market ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 8 | Steckle Heritage Farm Easter Egg Hunt ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 11 | Harlem Globetrotters @ The Aud ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 15 | Kitchener Farmers’ Market ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 22 | Earth Day @ Kitchener Farmers’ Market ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 27-28 | Breithaupt Book Sale ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 27-29 | Zonta Film Festival ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 29 | Raffi in Concert at Centre in the square ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 29 | Kitchener Farmers’ Market ๐Ÿ”—
  • April 29 | Etsy Waterloo Region Spring Market ๐Ÿ”—

Things to do in May in Kitchener-Waterloo

  • May 3 | Neighbourhood Campfires in Waterloo ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 6 | Kitchener Farmers’ Market ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 6 | Wonderfully Made Spring Market ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 6 | Scrapfest ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 7 | Stars on Ice @ The Aud ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 10 | Art Market in Waterloo Public Square ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 13 | Mother’s Day Garden Party ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 13 | Girls Can Fly @ Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 13 | KW Gem and Mineral Show ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 26 | Art Market in Waterloo Public Square ๐Ÿ”—
  • May 27 | Retreat into Art & Nature: An Expressive Art Experience ๐Ÿ”—

Things to do in June in Kitchener-Waterloo

  • June 6 | PAW Patrol live! “Heroes Unite”@ The Aud๐Ÿ”—
  • June 10 | Open Streets in Uptown Waterloo๐Ÿ”—
  • June 15 | Movies in the Park in Waterloo Park ๐Ÿ”—
  • June 16 | Cambridge Celebration of the Arts ๐Ÿ”—
  • June 21 | National Indigenous Peoples Day @ Waterloo Public Square ๐Ÿ”—
  • June 29 | Movies in the Park in Waterloo Park ๐Ÿ”—
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. โ†’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. โ†’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. โ†’Explore a local museum
    Plan a visit to THE MUSEUM, The Waterloo Region Museum, Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery and more.
  4. โ†’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. โ†’Mini Putt
    Get out on the (mini) green at Bingemans, Max’s Golf Center, Wedges ‘N Woods Golf Academy, or iBowl.
  6. โ†’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. โ†’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. โ†’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. โ†’Go see the butterflies
    Visit the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory and discover 1000s of free-flying butterflies.
  10. โ†’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. โ†’Cheer on the Kitchener Rangers
    Get some seats at the Aud and cheer on the local team!
  12. โ†’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: ๐Ÿ”—https://www.sarahrichardsondesign.com/
๐Ÿ”—Get Inspired

Instagram: ๐Ÿ”—@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: ๐Ÿ”—leclairdecor.com | ๐Ÿ”—ldshoppe.com | ๐Ÿ”—ldcabin.com
๐Ÿ”—Blog

Instagram: ๐Ÿ”—@leclairdecor | ๐Ÿ”—@ldshoppe | ๐Ÿ”—@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: ๐Ÿ”—https://jillianharris.com/
Blog: ๐Ÿ”—At Home
Instagram: ๐Ÿ”—@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: ๐Ÿ”—https://www.styleathome.com/
๐Ÿ”—Decorating & Design section
Instagram: ๐Ÿ”—@styleathome

Nyla Free Designs Inc

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

Website: ๐Ÿ”—https://www.nylafreedesigns.com/
๐Ÿ”—Blog
Instagram: ๐Ÿ”—@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: ๐Ÿ”—https://alcornhome.com/
๐Ÿ”—Blog

Instagram: ๐Ÿ”—@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: ๐Ÿ”—https://www.samanthapynn.ca/
Instagram: ๐Ÿ”—@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 Concepciรณn 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 โ€“ use them as subtle accents to complement the entire look of your tree. Grouping picks together usingย floral wireย 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 styleโ€™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 โ€” no extraneous decoration to distract from the workmanship, thank you very much. โ€œTruth in Materials” was all-important to Arts and Crafts designers, who often made use of local sources. (Architecturally speaking, โ€œArts and Craftsโ€ 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. Itโ€™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
Photo source: hgtv.com

California Chic: The Style

California chic is bohoโ€™s younger cousin who moved from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree and has gone (almost) all out on the aesthetics of the high desert. Thereโ€™s an element of more traditional southwestern style (and of eclectic So Cal beach cities) in this newest form of Golden State casual living, but its palette is primarily pale blushes, weathered leather and organic neutrals.  

coastal design style bedroom
Photo source: hgtv.com

Coastal: The Style

Inspired by the ocean (naturally), coastal style evokes a light and breezy feel by way of airy fabrics for window treatments and emphasis on nautical or beach-themed accessories like lighthouses and seashells. Think of the classic Ralph Lauren-inspired palette of navy and white with gold accents as the most buttoned-up version of this look, and rough-and-tumble, slipcovered beach cottages as the version in comfy flip-flops, if you will.  

contemporary design style living room
Photo source: hgtv.com

Contemporary: The Style

Contemporary (which is not synonymous with modern, but weโ€™ll get to that later) design frequently features clean, sleek lines and swaths of solid colors โ€” predominantly muted neutrals or bold punches of brightness. Furniture in contemporary interiors tends to keep a low profile, and its often-metal frames and straight legs emphasize basic shapes and forms. Graphic elements in artwork or as accents are its crowning glories.  

eclectic design style living room
Photo source: hgtv.com

Eclectic: The Style

This catch-all style borrows liberally from all over the place (literally and figuratively), and its imaginative appeal lies in unexpected contrasts and the element of surprise (โ€œwho knew those pieces would make each other look even better?โ€) Donโ€™t conflate eclectic style with throwing anything and everything together, mind you: the key here is to use building blocks of design (color, pattern, texture, composition) to make spaces look cohesive.  

mediterranean design style living room
Photo source: hgtv.com

Mediterranean: The Style

Mediterranean interiors draw inspiration from coastal regions of Spain, Greece and Italy; they owe their palettes and spirit to the sea itself, the rustic villages you might find on its shores and the estates and palazzos that overlook them. Traditional Mediterranean furniture features ornately turned legs and feet; its hardware, in turn, is heavy and often burnished. Rough-hewn surfaces like raw stone walls and exposed beams rub shoulders with velvets, linens and florid patterns.  

midcentury modern design style living room
Photo source: hgtv.com

Midcentury Modern: The Style

Midcentury modern style made its first splash in the โ€˜50s and โ€˜60s, when Palm Springs was the weekend-home destination of choice for Los Angeles entertainment pros and Scandinavian designers and architects were spreading the gospel of simplicity, functionality and natural shapes in popular culture. Autumnal oranges, yellows, olive greens and chocolate browns make frequent appearances, as do barely-there glass walls. In 2020, you can find the latest generation of the look from designers like Jonathan Adler.  

modern design style living room
Photo source: hgtv.com

Modern: The Style

A clean, streamlined furniture and architecture style that dates back to the โ€˜30s, modern decor is rooted in the minimal, true use of materials and absence of decoration. It’s characterized by a neutral color palette, polished surfaces, strong geometric shapes and asymmetry.  

traditional design style dining room
Photo source: hgtv.com

Traditional: The Style

Eighteenth-century English, 19th-century neoclassic, French country and British Colonial revival furnishings come together in traditional interiors, where classic styling and symmetry reign supreme. A restrained traditional palette typically features mid-tone colors; fabric patterns and wall treatments can range from simple solids, stripes and plaids to florals and chinoiserie.  

transitional design style living room
Photo source: hgtv.com

Transitional: The Style

Per its name, the transitional look โ€” which dates back to the 1950s โ€” bridges traditional and contemporary design. It strikes a balance between historic pieces and furnishings with updated silhouettes and materials (Rome to chrome, as it were.) Past meets present without conflict in color schemes that are often neutral; luxury and comfort are the orders of the day.

Read more on HGTV.com for ways to incorporate these design styles (and more) into your home.  

Looking for more Home Decor blogs? Check these out:

Categories
Cindy Cody Team

Get To Know Debbie Stefan & Cindy Cody | Rapid Fire

We talk a lot about real estate (because we absolutely love it), but there’s a lot more to know about our team. Debbie Stefan and Cindy Cody sat down to answer a few rapid fire questions.

Get to know Debbie Stefan and Cindy Cody in this video.


More About Debbie Stefan


Sales Representative


Debbie was born and raised in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and has settled here with her husband and two children. Debbie actively volunteers with different community programs. After juggling travel and studies early on, she went on to become fully licensed in 1985 through the โ€œOntario Real Estate Association.โ€ Debbie has been serving Kitchener-Waterloo region since 1985 and celebrated 25 years in May 2010, has attained 100% club recognition, Re/Max Hall of Fame and the Platinum award!  โ€œI am committed to giving my clients the best service possible, by providing strict confidentiality of any real estate inquiries. I have built my business on TRUST, INTEGRITY & HONESTY and as a result am considered a high producer in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. I look forward to working with you.โ€


Visit our About Us page to learn more about each of our team members.


Do you have some rapid fire questions about the real estate market? We’d love to answer them.


Contact Us Today! sold@cindycody.ca
519-746-5136


Categories
Community Local News We Love Waterloo Region

Experience Downtown Kitchener’s Art Walk

Downtown Kitchener is bursting with creativity! You can see it as you walk around the vibrant downtown core. Through a collaboration between the Downtown Kitchener Business Improvement Association (DTK BIA) and the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG) the Downtown Kitchener Art Walk was born.

In March 2020, everything changed with the rise of COVID-19. In the midst of uncertain times, the Downtown Kitchener BIA wanted to give the community something beautiful and long-lasting, that would reignite a passion for the Downtown we all love. – A Field Guide to DTK’s Art Walk

Local artists have brought their craft to the walls of local businesses and throughout the downtown core, resulting in over 90 outdoor oversized installments of local art for everyone to enjoy.

Many of the pieces in the art walk have been a part of the downtown fabric for years โ€“ some as far back as the early 1900s. The recent launch aims to reintroduce these pieces to the public. You may be surprised at how many youโ€™ve passed by on your daily route. The Downtown Kitchener Art Walk gives the opportunity to get to know the artist and the story behind each sculpture, statue, and mural. – Explorewaterloo.ca

Cindy Cody Team - downtown kitchener art walk (2)

Ways To Enjoy Downtown Kitchener’s Art Walk

You may think you know the city, but this is a way to experience Downtown Kitchener from a new perspective! There are lots of ways to work an Art Walk into your life. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Take a solo tour
  • Make a date of it
  • Explore art with the family
  • Coffee and art with friends
  • Office team outing

“But how do I know where to walk?” you may be asking yourself.

  • A Field Guide To DTK’s Art WalkThe free Field Guide document is the perfect way to take yourself on a self-guided tour of the Art Walk. It showcases all the art installations and murals and will give you the history and intent of each piece.
  • A Stroll Walking Tour. Stroll offers private guided walking tours by local guides who know the neighbourhood.

Both of these options are a great way to discover new areas and art in the downtown core (even if you think you’ve already been everywhere).

Downtown Kitchener Art Walk Map

A Field Guide To DTK’s Art Walk

The DTK Art Walk Field Guide will give you an overview map of all the installations included on the Art Walk. It also includes an in-depth visual guide as you make your way through the city. For each art piece, you’ll find an image of the completed piece, the name of the artist, the location, type of medium, the year it was created as well as an informative description including information about the artist, process, intent and more.

Cindy Cody Team - downtown kitchener art walk
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