Working with a contractor, in lieu of DIY, can be the difference between a successful home renovation or repair and a botched project. Yet, finding a contractor for your home can be easier said than done. You want to make sure the person you hire has adequate experience, can give you the best value for your buck, and communicates in a clear and transparent way. 

How can you ensure you’re making the right choice when hiring your next contractor? 

We’ve outlined 10 questions you should ask to make sure you’re finding the best person or company for the job, helping you avoid any unpleasant surprises that may affect your wallet and leave you dissatisfied.

Image via Pexels, Monica Silvestre

1. Ask yourself: How do I know a repair or renovation is…

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Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or the countryside, botanical gardens can be a wondrous, colourful, inspiring escape from routine views and commutes. 

What makes botanical gardens not just regular parks are the wide array of plant and flower families preserved for history, conservation, public viewing, and environmental studies. You can spend the day wandering through the gardens, then explore the city in which it lives. 

Canada is full of botanical gardens from coast to coast, each offering stunning views of water features, flowers, and stonework–the perfect setting to spur some imaginative ideas for your own garden. There’s no shortage of beauty to explore, but these are four botanical gardens you can start with.


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Photo by Linda McCann on Unsplash

In recent years, it’s likely you’ve heard the media, your colleagues and even politicians speak about “inflation.”

You also may have noticed prices for regular everyday items including food, gas, or larger purchases such as homes, furniture and vehicles have risen sharply since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up until a few months ago, when government officials and the media spoke about the current rise in inflation, they often defined it as “transitory”. Now, officials at the Bank of Canada are stating inflation may actually be more persistent, and have signaled the future path for Canadian interest rates may be a series of rate hikes to help bring inflation back down to within its target range of 1% to 3%.…

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As a first-time home buyer, you probably already know you’ll need a chunk of cash for a down payment. But lots of other costs can creep up when it’s time to jump into the real estate market, so it’s a good idea to save up for them and be ready for when the time comes to make an offer. Here’s how one first-time home buyer is navigating this exciting time.

Start budgeting early 

When Montrealer Kelly Wong decided last summer to buy a two-bedroom condo or small home on her own, she knew she had lots of homework to do, including figuring out what she could afford. 

TIP: Using an online tool like our Mortgage Payment Calculator can allow you to see what your mortgage expenses will look like.

Wong also teamed up with Jean-François Gionet,…

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Ways to Reduce Your House Insurance Premiums

House insurance is critical. However, it is an added cost that sometimes people forget about when purchasing a home. While it isn’t necessarily against the law in Canada to not have home insurance when you own a home, most if not all financial institutions and lenders will ask for proof of insurance before approving your mortgage and allowing you to close on your house.

Having home insurance is to your benefit. It can ease your mind, knowing that your insurance company will cover your losses in a disaster (with the right insurance coverage, of course), and you won’t have to spend a fortune replacing all your belongings. With that being said, there are two insurance terms that all homeowners need to be aware of: insurance…

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Here are 10 reasons to put your trust in a REALTOR® when buying or selling your property.

Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. 

The Multiple Listing System® is one of your REALTOR's biggest assets but not all properties that are for sale are actively advertised in the market.  Your REALTOR® can help you find all the properties that fit your search.

Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power.

With some basic information about your available savings, income, and current debt, your REALTOR® can refer you to lenders best suited to your needs. 

Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. 

There are two things you'll want to know: 

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Newfoundland and Labrador MLS® home sales surpass Q1 2021 totals; new listings return to historical average for this time of year

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The number of homes sold through the MLS® System of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of REALTORS® totaled 443 units in March 2022. This was down modestly by 2.9% (13 sales) from March 2021.

Home sales were 35.7% above the five-year average and 47.4% above the 10-year average for the month of March.

On a year-to-date basis, home sales totaled a record 1,138 units over the first three months of the year. This was an increase of 12% from the same period in 2021.

Residential activity in St. John’s was up modestly by 3.3% on a year-over-year basis in…

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Over the course of the pandemic, homeowners have been re-evaluating what they need most out of their property. For some, this has meant packing up and downsizing to a smaller city or community for greater living space, privacy, and a more relaxed pace of life.

Both statistically and anecdotally, we’ve witnessed buyers moving to the suburbs and other rural areas over the past two years. Small towns like Squamish, Wasaga Beach, Kingston, and Collingwood have been home to some of Canada’s fastest growing populations lately, a trend largely attributed to residents moving from urban centres in search of more affordable housing, according to a report from RBC Economics.

Why have buyers been moving to smaller cities?

Right now, there are two main…

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Buying a House with Bitcoin in Canada

We’ve all seen the headlines across the globe proclaiming the rise of cryptocurrency, and the pandemic has accelerated that growth, with many coins reaching all-time highs. Even mainstream investors are getting into the cryptocurrency game, adding bitcoin and other cryptos to their portfolios.

With more people invested in bitcoin, some real estate agents are hearing questions from their clients related to buying a house with bitcoin in Canada. It is an outside-the-box idea for many homebuyers, beyond the traditional banking and mortgage industries.

We will examine the possibility of buying a house in Canada with bitcoin, but first, a little introduction to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

What is Bitcoin?

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Thanks to social media platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram, there’s an almost infinite amount of DIY inspiration out there. However, before you tackle that built-in bookcase or refresh your home with paint, you should know the DIY world is full of common—but thankfully avoidable—mistakes. To help you navigate your next DIY project, we spoke with three local home-owning DIY pros about the most common mistakes that are made.

Image via @humpackhome on Instagram. 

Not doing enough research beforehand 

When renovating her home, Tobie (@tobesgoesdiy) says she didn’t do enough research on installing tongue and groove laminate flooring and ended up installing it backwards. Similarly, in one of her first tiling projects, Dalyn…

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