The hustle and bustle of the holiday season means New Year’s Eve plans are often left to the last minute. Planning the 11th-hour party can feel like a race against the clock–it’s the final countdown, after all. But it’s really never too late to plan the last party of the year. These low-fuss party tricks will help you ring in the New Year with a bang.

Take RSVPs electronically

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Skip the tangly web of text threads and email chains in favour of e-invitations. Summon guests in style with customizable paperless postcards. Start the countdown to the countdown with a Midnight Clock e-vite. Or use a Flyer event page to tell invitees you’re putting on the Ritz–ideal for friends who aren’t on Facebook. These e-vites show…

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With more than 90% of Canadian children playing video games, it’s no surprise gaming has exploded from an entertainment pastime into a way of life. Many gamers love the culture and technology so much, they’ve dedicated space in their homes solely for video games! If you’ve considered fulfilling your kid’s or teen’s dream of having a dedicated gaming room, you’re in the right place. Let’s get inspired with some video gaming room ideas to create the perfect HQ for their battlestations.

Image Via ExplorerBob, Pixabay

Why a gaming room?

In-person social interactions have been greatly restricted due to the pandemic and—unsurprisingly—online gaming has helped fill this gap nicely, bringing kids together in a virtual environment. Video gaming has many…

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Combine excess moisture with a lack of air circulation and a biocompatible host and you have a recipe for mould. It’s not simply an insidious form of dirt that stands between you and a clean house, mould is also a potential health threat that triggers allergies, asthma, and other respiratory ailments. 

There are common places in the home where mould rears its smelly head—we’ll review these below—but let’s focus on the unexpected. Your home could be harbouring mould in spots you don’t suspect. Sarah McAllister of Go Clean Co previously shared with us the food and grease filter at the bottom of our dishwashers needs monthly love to avoid starting a mould cycle after the final rinse. 

Here are some logical but less-than-obvious mould havens that…

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Agent helping someone buy a house

Many people dream of having their own house at some point. Owning a home is an excellent way to build financial security and equity. And while renting gives you the freedom to move when you want, the urge to own often rises to the surface. But how do you know when you’re ready? Here are six signs that it’s time to buy a house.

Your Rent is Increasing… Again

Both buying and renting have their drawbacks, but one of the great grievances with renting in recent years is rising rental prices. These make it difficult to have enough for monthly costs and save for the future. Unlike paying rent, owning a house builds equity, and the monthly costs are cheaper in many areas, even with extra expenses like property taxes and…

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Canada's most affordable housing markets

For the first time since the early days of the COVID-19 public health crisis, residential property prices are coming down in the Canadian real estate market. Whether you call it a correction or a downturn, prospective homeowners might be finding housing affordability options across the country.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales tumbled 3.3 per cent month-over-month in November, and average prices declined 4.4 per cent year-over-year to $632,802. When the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Vancouver Area are removed from the equation, the national average price is slightly more than $500,000. This is way down from the peak of more than $800,000 earlier this year.

But while…

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After all the fun and merriment of the holiday season, the last thing any of us feel like doing is taking down our decorations. (That’s probably why you still see your neighbour’s lights strung up until spring!)

We get it. It’s a lot of work, but we’re here to make it easier with some inventive storage solutions making those tangled lights and broken ornaments a ghost of Christmas past. Here’s our pain-free guide to packing up.

Snap a pic

Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash

We promise this will make next year’s decorating 10 times easier. Before taking down all of your decorations, take a photo of all of your favourite setups. That way you can easily replicate the same look you love next year.

Ornament storage

Don’t splurge on expensive…

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 “Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

We hope the magic of Christmas fills every corner of your heart and home with joy — now and always.

The Magic of Christmas 

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Buying a House on a Single Income

Through the 21st century, the number of Canadians buying a home on a single income is steadily growing as more remain unmarried. Since single mortgage applicants rely on only one salary and one credit profile, it can be trickier to obtain a mortgage. However, there are many instances in which buying a house on a single income is the best thing to do, and it is possible to get a mortgage if you plan ahead and ensure that you are in a good financial position.

When Buying a House on a Single Income Makes Sense

There is no “right” time to buy a house, and it can be even more nerve-wracking to purchase a home on a single income. However, there are times when buying a place on a single income does make sense.

If you are…

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Chances are, most Canadians won’t be flying south this winter for a sun-soaked holiday so they may be looking for domestic vacation rental properties. If you own a cottage and are considering renting it out for the holiday season or the entire ski season, this is a great time to do so, says HGTV’s Income Property and cottage rental expert Scott McGillivray.

“Right now, more than ever, with international travel at a standstill, domestic vacation properties are at a premium,” says McGillivray. “It’s hard to ignore the size of the opportunity and the rental rates you can generate.”

However, if you’ve never played landlord before, you’ve got some homework to do first. We asked McGillivray for his best advice on how to protect your home, your stuff…

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