Nothing embodies summertime in Canada more than hanging out on your deck, grilling, sipping cold drinks, and making memories with family and friends.

Like other areas of your home, your deck does need to be cared for regularly to ensure it lasts long enough to keep the good times rolling season after season. Keeping your deck in tip-top condition is another way to maintain curb appeal—just ask a REALTOR®! 

In addition to keeping your deck free from dirt and debris, you should consider painting or staining it. The added layer of product protects your deck from moisture, mould, bugs, sun, and other harsh elements. Changing the colour of the wood is also an easy way to revitalize your deck without a total overhaul.

Let’s look at how you can…

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DIY Kitchen Renovation

Of all the rooms in your home, you are probably spending the most time in the kitchen. Whether as the place where you prepare meals each day or as an entertaining space, a lot can be done to improve it and to get the most out of this space. The good news is there are lots of DIY kitchen renovation projects that will make a significant impact without breaking the bank. The other good news is that kitchen upgrades are one of the best things you can do to increase your home’s resale value.

The ideas listed below won’t cost a bundle but may bring you closer to the kitchen you have always wanted. Read on to find inspiration for projects to improve the heart of your home.

DIY Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Refacing Cabinets

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Advantages of Putting 20% Down on Your Home

Is it possible to have a down payment strategy in today’s sizzling Canadian real estate market? From the Prairies to Atlantic Canada, it is clear that all kinds of residential properties are rising in value. And while there are obvious advantages of putting 20% down on your home, current conditions are posing challenges to many homebuyers.

When you factor in higher interest rates, rampant price inflation, and accelerating price growth for single-family homes and condominium units alike, it can be a challenge for prospective homebuyers to find a place.

One of the biggest hurdles for buyers to overcome is the down payment.

According to the federal government’s rules, homebuyers need a minimum of five per cent down…

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If your family home lacks space but you don’t want to move, you’ll be joining thousands of other Canadians who have chosen to renovate their properties. Whether you’re adding an extension, overhauling your kitchen, or knocking down walls to create better flow, you can likely count on one thing: you’re about to embark on an expensive project. Don’t fret if your dreams are bigger than your budget—there are a lot of ways to finance home renovations. While it may be tempting to borrow money, just remember you’ll have to pay that loan back, so be sure to make a plan that factors in the potential of further interest rate increases. Here’s how you can pay for upgrades to your property.

1. Take out a personal loan or borrow from family and friends 

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Rising interest rates and housing market

The Bank of Canada (BoC) has said it will be use its monetary policy to tamp down inflation, which currently sits at a 30-year high, joining the chorus of central banks worldwide trying to grapple with the rapidly escalating cost of living. So far this year, the BoC has already moved forward with rising interest rates three times, and Governor Tiff Macklem is preparing the financial market for more quantitative tightening in upcoming policy meetings.

But while the objective is to garner a stranglehold on a surging consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI), rate hikes will lead to financial pain for borrowers, investors and homebuyers.

Indeed, the Canadian real estate market is seeing the effects of a…

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During those beautiful summer nights, it doesn’t matter where you are in Canada, you want to be outside. It’s natural, and let’s face it, the past few years have driven many to upgrade their own backyard retreats, so you’ve got a good reason to be out and about in your own space. 

Upcycling and repurpose trends show no sign of abating, and we’ve already seen signs of the backyard undergoing radical redesigns, adding features like pizza ovens, outdoor kitchens, and bars. Why not extend that idea and bring your home theatre outside? What says summer better than a drive-in (or walk-in) movie night? In the  spirit of the popular staycation trend, let’s look at how you can set up a backyard movie night. 

The scale is up to you. It can be as simple as…

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How Does Your Credit Score Affect Your Mortgage Interest Rate

It takes credit to build credit ­– most of us have heard this at some point in our early years of adulthood. Some of us heard it when we got our first credit card; others when they went to apply for a loan of some type and realized they didn’t have a credit score. The crux is that while it takes credit to build credit, it also takes credit to destroy credit. So, what exactly is “credit” when it comes to finances, and how does your credit score affect your mortgage interest rate?

Credit is essentially a numbering system that gauges how likely you are to repay borrowed money. The higher your score, the ‘safer’ you seem to lenders, and the lower your score, the ‘riskier’ you are.

The first step to building your credit is to…

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REALTORS® have been conducting open houses for decades. They’re an opportunity for real estate professionals to grow their business, network with other agents, and meet with potential buyers. But over the years, open house culture has shifted. 

Open houses used to be simple—a real estate professional would promote the event, have visitors sign-in, offer brochures and marketing materials, and chat and mingle with potential buyers, agents, and visitors. Now, REALTORS® have adapted to the changing expectations of clients and created open houses that are more of a social event, providing benefits to everyone in attendance. 

Photo by Zac Gudakov on Unsplash

The benefits of open houses

In a competitive market, an open house is an opportunity…

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The Canadian housing market hasn’t seen a home sales situation like this since the summer of 2020.

National home sales dropped by 12.6% between March and April and actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was down 25.7% from the record highs we saw in April 2021, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Sales were down in 80% of Canadian markets in April 2022, save for Montreal, Halifax-Dartmouth and Victoria, B.C.

Why are home sales down?

“Housing markets in many parts of Canada have cooled off pretty sharply over the last two months, in line with a jump in interest rates and buyer fatigue,” said Jill Oudil, Chair of CREA. “For buyers, this slowdown could mean more time to consider options in the market. For…

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