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Ernie Ward


Spring officially arrives in Canada on Monday, March 20. For many adventurers this is the perfect time to get away from the bustle and to strike out exploring – and Canada is the perfect country to do it in. The weather is crisp but comfortable, the normal tourist sites will be lightly visited, and the open road beckons. These are just a handful of destinations for springtime travellers. Victoria, British Columbia is a unique mix of Old World and modern. Its downtown core is reminiscent of Jolly Old England, thanks to the iconic Empress Hotel and other architectural landmarks. You can enjoy the outdoors from the expansive city-owned Beacon Hill Park, with its purple crocuses and pink cherry blossoms to the world-famous Butchart Gardens, a 55-acre floral wonderland where blooms from across the globe are showcased. Banff, Alberta warms to spring by celebrating its excessive natural wonders. For snow sport enthusiasts its slopes remain meccas of delight long

after other sites have been shuttered for the season. As the spring thaw begins you can paddle the snow rimmed lakes in the Rockies, enjoy the sight of wandering wildlife or people watch from any number of restaurants or taverns throughout town. Québec City, Québec is a city that revels in spring, eager as it is to turn the chill of winter into a fading memory. Visitors at this time of year shouldn’t pack all their winter clothing away as the snows have been known to stretch into April. That said this historic city has beautiful architecture to enjoy, and classically Québec events to experience such as the yearly sugaring-off season. This is where residents venture to the cabane à sucre (sugar shack) of their choice for lively French-Canadian folk music and hearty dishes that locals top with maple syrup. The city is also famed for its fine dining, multiple museums and natural wonders such as Montmorency Falls or Canyon Sainte-Anne when winter run-off brings the falls to their fullest.

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Ernie Ward


• Make sure the windows and doorway are washed. • Replace house numbers if obscured or missing. Interior: The interior of the home must be pristine for a home staging effort to produce the results you’d like. Obviously, the top to bottom cleaning of a home is usually the first important step when organizing a home staging. It is recommended by many that it’s worth the cost to hire a professional cleaning company to give your home the sprucing up it needs. After that, pretend for a moment that you are a new visitor to your property. Step outside, open the door and walk in. First, consider scents and sounds. Oil squeaky doors, fix the rattle of the furnace cover, remove pet litterboxes that may create an odor, etc. Next take in the visual appearance of your home including clutter, personal belongings, family photos and the like. A prospective buyer wants to imagine their possessions in your house, something they cannot do if the home is stuffed with your items. Decluttering, including removing excessive furniture, is yet another way to make the most of your home staging effort.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s a worthwhile undertaking to carry out a little home staging before prospective buyers begin to tour your dwelling. Whether doing it yourself, or hiring a professional home stager, home staging is all about making your property look the best it possibly can – with the goal of selling for the most money in the shortest amount of time. Here are a few things that can be done to get the best results from your home staging effort. Exterior: When a prospective buyer arrives, their first sight is your home’s exterior. Make certain that first impression is a good one. It’s an old expression, that people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the reality is that they do. A cluttered or unkept exterior is a real turn off for many. Don’t lose the sale before it even begins – clean up by enhancing your property’s curb appeal. Some suggestions include: • Power-wash the home’s siding. • Clear the gutters of accumulated material. • Mow the lawn and remove leaves or dead branches.

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Ernie Ward


any room. Millwork may also include decorative products, such as mantels and door casings. As a bonus millwork products are easily installed using either nails, screws or even glues – a simple home improvement idea that can quickly transform the appearance of a room. Restoring a Floor : Few things add warmth and a feeling of home to a property like wood – especially a wooden floor. But if your home is of an older generation its wooden floors may have become dull or even distressed in appearance after years of hard use. Fortunately, wood is the sort of material that can be brought back to its former glory with a little effort and elbow grease. By using a product that is specifically designed for wooden floors hardwood flooring can be restored to much of its original luster. Once enhanced, a yearly polishing is recommended to keep the gleam you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Whether to enhance a home’s potential for sale, or simply to allow for greater use and enjoyment, home improvement is a big part of owning a property. While some major undertakings such as redoing a kitchen or bathroom can be very expensive, not every home improvement project has to cost an arm and a leg – and here are a few. Storage: Who doesn’t want to get the most out of their living space? One way to do that is to add to the available storage. Most rooms have underused areas, such as corners or a vacant wall. With the right materials (and sufficient imagination) these blank spots can be transformed into shelving, cupboards and other storage areas. Millwork: The addition of millwork, decorative wooden elements added to corners or along wall edges, adds character and an elegant richness to

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Finishings: One of the most obvious indicators of a luxury home is the quality of the finishings used throughout. Marble countertops, commercial grade appliances, gold fixtures, exotic lighting, extensive security systems, vast customised closets, wine cellars, theatre rooms, etc. Basically, any finishings that go beyond what is normally provided in a typical home might elevate a property to this most exalted of status. Privacy: Normally a luxury home is also blessed with more than average amounts of privacy. This can come in the sheer size of the property – a city lot is a world away from an estate encompassing dozens or hundreds of acres. This attainment of complete privacy can be provided by any number of means other than expansive lands. Large gardens, high walls, densely treed perimeters or security monitored gated entrances are staple signatures of what is universally viewed as a luxury home. Regardless of the definition, a luxury home is viewed as the top tier of all housing styles. They are for many homeowners quite literally the sort of things that dreams are made of.

Dwellings come in a variety of styles, but there is a very special class of home referred to as a ‘luxury home’ that stands above all others. What exactly is a luxury home, and what makes them so special? There is no simple definition, but there are few features that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. Location: Location, location, location: is a special property constructed in a very coveted spot such as a secluded lake, on the heights overlooking a cityscape, on a mountaintop or other distinctive vantage point? The definition of luxury could also be connected to the lifestyle convenience of the site. A home at the first tee of a prestigious golf course, or abutting an exclusive club, school or historic location might also turn an ordinary property into a luxury home. Price: Obviously price is another. A $1 million property in a neighbourhood of $500,000 homes will stand out, and for many it would automatically assume the luxury home mantle. In some urban areas of Canada, a $1 million home might be considered typical. In such a setting a property would have to run in the multiple millions to be viewed as extraordinary. Home prices therefore depend at least in part on where the property is located, and what the local marketplace is like.

Experience the Difference that comes with Experience

Ernie Ward




AVG. SALE PRICE Single Family Dwelling $1,921,486

AVG. SALE PRICE Condo/Townhouse $807,667

AVG. SALE PRICE Single Family Dwelling $1,543,866

AVG. SALE PRICE Condo/Townhouse $803,277





GTA REALTORS® Release, March 3, 2023 - February sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were down substantially from the pre-rate hike levels of early 2022. However, the number of new listings also dropped substantially year-over-year. The result was that the average selling price and MLS® HPI continued to level off after trending lower through the spring and summer of last year. “It has been almost a year since the Bank of Canada started raising interest rates. Home prices have dropped over the last year from the record peak in February 2022, mitigating the impact of higher borrowing costs. Many homebuyers have also decided to purchase a lower priced home to help offset higher borrowing costs. The share of home purchases below one million dollars is up substantially compared to this time last year,” said Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President Paul Baron. “New listings continued to drop year-over-year in the GTA. Recently released Ipsos polling suggests buying intentions have picked up for 2023. This increased demand will run up against a constrained supply of listings and lead to increased competition between buyers. This will eventually lead to renewed price growth in many segments of the market, especially those catering to first-time buyers facing increased rental costs,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer. Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board | Market values stated are of the average of Toronto and surrounding region. Individual home market values will vary and are affected by factors such as location, size, interior and exterior condition. Please call to get an up-to-date evaluation of your home.

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