Locals Love - Central York Fire Services Open House

Do you like to explore fire trucks and rescue vehicles? Do you enjoy coffee, donuts and hot dogs? Would you like to brush up on your fire safety knowledge, play games, and say hi to Sparky the Fire Dog? There's an event coming that's just right for you! 

Central York Fire Services is holding its annual Open House in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week. There will be games, prizes and fun for the whole family. Activities include morning coffee and donuts, BBQ hotdogs, Tim Horton Express Train, arts and crafts, fire safety wheel, vehicle rescue, fire trucks, prizes, games, "Sparky the Fire Dog", fire extinguisher demonstration, fire safety information and much more!

Details below:

Date: Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

Address: Station 4-5, 300 Earl Stewart Drive, Aurora

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

This popular event is sure to be fun for everyone. See you there!

Find out more HERE.


September Market Update

I can't believe that we are already in September and the leaves are starting to turn. This is a great time of year to get yourself ready for the changing seasons, clean up your flower beds and get those kids back to school or sent off to university.

As we head into the fall historically this is the time of year when we see a pick up in the real estate market for a few months before Christmas. The recent Bank of Canada announcement to hold the current Bank of Canada rate at 5% comes as the Canadian economy reported slow economic growth for the second quarter of 2023.

What does this mean for the real estate market? According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), higher borrowing costs, continued uncertainty about the economy and Bank of Canada decision making, and the constrained supply of listings resulted in fewer home sales in August 2023 compared to August 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales and average price edged lower. In the short term, we will likely continue to see some volatility in terms of sales and home prices, as Buyers and Sellers wait for more certainty on the direction of borrowing costs and the overall economy,” said TRREB President Paul Baron.

In the York Region area we are seeing an increase in inventory and numerous price reductions from Sellers that need to sell. Prices may continue to move downward in the next few months as inventory increases and Buyers have more choice.

The fall market is a great opportunity for Buyers that have been sitting on the sidelines, and bidding wars may be a thing of the past. We are definitely moving into a more balanced market. Sellers should not wait any longer if they plan to sell as prices may be less next year. If you are buying and selling then whatever the market is doing will not have a huge effect on you.

Enjoy the rest of the fine weather and please don't hesitate to reach out if you are thinking of buying or selling. We would be happy to discuss all of your options.

- Jill Renshaw, Broker

The next Bank of Canada rate decisions will be on Tuesday, October 23.


Should you Buy a Home on a Corner Lot?

Experts share the upsides and downsides of owning a home on a corner lot

Let’s say you’ve found your dream home, but its location isn’t what you expected. You might have been looking for something set back from the road or at the end of a cul-de-sac. Instead, you’re contemplating a corner lot property.

“Having a corner lot home has its advantages and challenges,” says Courtney Klosterman, home insights expert at Hippo, a home insurance group. “While bigger is often seen as a luxury these days, do your homework to assess the size of your yard and willingness to invest time and effort into home maintenance tasks.”

Here’s what real estate experts say you should keep in mind when buying a home on a corner lot.

What is a corner lot? 

A corner lot is a plot of land at the intersection of two roads. 

“A corner lot is one that is on two adjoining streets, typically the streets run in the front and one side of the lot or home,” says Sarah Martin, vice president of sales at Stone Martin Builders. 

These homes will have more sidewalks, more yard frontage, and more visibility than neighboring lots. You could find that your corner lots sit in the middle of a neighborhood or at the top of a very busy street. In short, there are a range of locations for corner lots, each with their pros and cons. 

But all corner lots sit at intersections, and we’ll explore the factors that make this a good or bad choice depending on your preferences.

Corner Lot Features to Consider

There are definitely pros and cons to owning a corner lot, depending on how you view certain aspects of homeownership. Here’s a quick overview of the most common considerations buyers make when considering these types of properties.

More Yardwork

More yard means more yardwork, which can be a con depending on your situation.

“Corner lots tend to have larger yards, which could mean more work to maintain landscaping, lawns, and other debris,” Klosterman says. “If service providers like gardeners aren’t an option for you, be prepared to take on the extra work.” 

Of course that means more to mow, but don’t forget the winter months.

“It’s always recommended to consider the year-long weather and storms in the area, and necessary activities to prevent problems, such as plowing snow and ice or protecting the home against flooding or high winds,” Klosterman says.

More Traffic

Given their location, corner lots see a lot more traffic, which can be a problem for some buyers.

“It depends on the neighborhood where the home is located as to how much more traffic that could mean,” Martin says. “In a quiet, residential neighborhood there may not be much traffic impact at all, being on a corner lot.”

But if you know the area has more traffic in general, the corner lot will highlight that.

“The extra traffic could mean more noise, more light from headlights shining into the home, and less privacy,” Martin says.

Dean Sinibaldi, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Main Street Properties, has seen that this increase in traffic also leads to more frequent crashes.

“I have personally witnessed multiple crashes at corner lots. I owned a home adjacent to a corner lot and have seen some fairly bad accidents due to drivers running stop signs of the intersecting streets,” he says.

If you’re unsure about how these factors might affect your home, check with your real estate agent.

“It’s important to talk to a home insurance provider like Hippo about the coverage and costs to insure a corner lot home. Depending on the location of the home, your annual premium for a home on a corner lot may cost more if the home is near a road or intersection,” Klosterman says.

Higher Visibility

Some buyers might be worried about the implications of higher visibility given a home’s corner location.

“Homes located on corner lots may be perceived as having higher risk for burglaries,” Martin says. “These homes have fewer neighbors surrounding them and are more accessible given access from two streets, but that also provides the homeowner with a bit more privacy.”

Still, you can mitigate those risks if you’re worried.

“Homeowners who have concerns might consider more lighting and security features to help ease their mind,” Martin adds.

More Attention

In addition to higher visibility to potential burglars, your corner lot will feature prominently in a neighborhood, and curb appeal (or lack thereof) will be more apparent.

“Some Realtors may agree ... corner lots are described as gateways to streets, cul-de-sacs, neighborhoods, and subject to more scrutiny. More often than not, [they’re also] held to a higher standard of appearance by the community HOA or neighborhood associations,” Sinibaldi says.

Of course, you might enjoy the limelight.

“At Stone Martin Builders, we find that those building a home on corner lots seem to like the creativity that the added yard space can offer when it comes to landscaping and gardening,” Martin says.

Additional Features of Corner Lots

Corner lots have a unique layout compared to other types of lots in a particular subdivision, Martin says. That could mean more options for layout and design of the property.

“Often homes on corner lots offer more design options than those that are built on a regular lot,” Martin says. “For example, corner lot homes could be designed with side-entry garages. This makes for great curb appeal, as the front of the home is not obscured by front-entry garages.”

Plus, the larger lot offers more opportunity for outdoor features the buyer can add later.

“The extra land space of a corner lot can also mean more options outside, such as room for a pool and play equipment for kids,” Martin says.

You might also find that your home’s interior is affected by its location.

“One additional pro of a corner lot parcel not touched on yet within this is, corner lots offer more natural light than the other lots because, in some cases, there are fewer neighbors’ homes blocking the sun due to the intersecting streets,” Sinibaldi says.

Resale Value of Corner Lots

Another major question you’ll likely have when buying any home is how it will fare when you go to resell in the future. When it comes to a corner lot, Sinibaldi said you have a good chance of selling easily.

“A corner lot is typically, always preferred in today’s market,” he says. “Corner lots in today’s housing market are typically highly sought after, due to the characteristics and the many benefits these pieces of real estate offer today's buyers.”

In fact, Sinibaldi says he has seen corner lots sell between 50% and 100% faster than other types of lots. He says that’s an interesting turn of events, given that corner lots used to be a lot harder to sell.

“In the ’90s, when developers first started building large-scale, cookie-cutter homes, the developers had a hard time selling corner lot homes. The developers were receiving negative feedback due to more street exposure, noise, less usable yard, and less privacy,” he says.

In order to combat the negative feedback, some developers decided to add a premium to these corner lots of $5,000 to $10,000, Sinibaldi says, which drew attention, and they began to sell.

That said, you’ll still want to decide whether a corner lot is right for you before buying. You shouldn’t simply purchase the home given its location on the street.


Home Staging for a Successful Sale

My clients sometimes ask me, "Why does my home need to be staged?" In fact, staging your home can be an asset in today's real estate market.

Staging a home before putting it up for sale has numerous benefits that can greatly increase the likelihood of a successful sale at a higher price point. By making strategic adjustments to a home's décor and layout, professional stagers create an environment that maximizes the home's positive features and minimizes its negative attributes. Here are some of the main benefits of home staging:

First and foremost, staged homes tend to sell faster than those that are not staged. This is because a staged home will make a great impression on potential buyers, allowing them to envision themselves living in that space. Buyers are more likely to make an offer on a home that feels welcoming, clean, and well-maintained. Additionally, staging helps to highlight key features of the property, such as spacious rooms or updated appliances, which can be easily overlooked otherwise.

In addition to selling faster, staged homes also tend to sell at a higher price point. By showcasing the home in the best possible light, staging adds perceived value to the property, which can prompt buyers to offer more for it. It is important to keep in mind that buyers will be comparing the home to others they have seen on the market, so staging can really make a difference in standing out from the competition.

Finally, staging a home can make the selling process less stressful for the homeowner. By working with a professional stager, the homeowner can benefit from their expertise in creating a welcoming, attractive environment that will appeal to buyers. This can take the pressure off the homeowner to figure out how to stage the home themselves and allow them to focus on other aspects of the sale, such as working with their agent or preparing for the move.

Overall, staging is a valuable tool that homeowners can use to improve the chances of a successful sale at a higher price point. With the help of a professional stager, even a modest home can be transformed into a showpiece that will leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

Kind regards,

- Jill


Reduce High Humidity at Home and Enjoy the Best of Summer

Here's What You Need To Know To Keep Cool This Summer

Having trouble sleeping? Finding your doors sticky? Do the rooms smell musty? If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you may have high humidity (or too much moisture) in your home.

First, a quick rundown of why high humidity in hot weather causes so much personal discomfort. When your body is too warm, it produces sweat to stay cool. The moisture evaporating off your skin removes heat and makes you feel better. However, if the air is humid and already saturated with moisture, your sweat can’t evaporate, leaving you with a very muggy feeling.

The ideal humidity level for your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. During the summer, managing humidity is especially important for indoor comfort because warm air holds a lot more moisture than cold air. In your daily life, you experience this change in humidity levels when you shower, cook with uncovered pots on the stove, or leave standing water in a tub or sink (i.e. take a bath or wash dishes). To find out the humidity level in your home, you can use a hygrometer purchased from most home improvement retailers.

Let’s talk about air conditioners. ACs reduce humidity by drawing warm indoor air through a cold evaporator coil and condenses the water vapor from the air. The condensation is similar to the water beads that form on a cold drink. The water collected is then removed through a drain.

So, what if you’ve got the air conditioner running but your home still feels unbearably humid? It’s most likely because you’ve got an incorrectly sized unit or your equipment needs servicing. Having the right size AC for the job is crucial. Think about it this way. If you had a tiny window in a large room, or a huge window in a tiny room, you either have the window open 24/7 or you’ll find yourself opening and closing it constantly to reach a comfortable temperature. Neither sized window would be very effective. If your AC is too large, it will run for shorter amounts of time and stop before the length of time needed to dehumidify your home. If it’s too small, it can’t remove enough heat or humidity to reach the desired temperature and therefore runs all the time. The best thing to do is to get an assessment from a professional HVAC specialist who can calculate the appropriate size AC your home needs.

Just like temperature, having the right humidity level at home is imperative to staying comfortable. Understanding what comfort feels like to you will help you identify which systems you need and how you can make your space more energy efficient.


Locals Love - TD Newmarket Music Series 2023

Bring the kids, bring your friends, it's time to enjoy the Concerts in the Park once again this year and they have a pretty exciting lineup. From July 6 - August 24, 2023 at Riverwalk Commons (200 Doug Duncan Dr.) Every Thursday evening there is a free tribute band concert and each concert will feature amazing local performers and a premier tribute band. 

Concert Dates: 

Thursday July 27 - The Liverpool 4 (Canada's tribute to The Beatles)

Thursday August 3 - The Natural Women Show (a tribute to Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Chaka Kahn)

Thursday August 10 - Epic Elton (a tribute to Elton John)

Thursday August 17 - George St. Kitts Band (Ultimate 80's pop – the best of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, Madonna and more!)

Thursday August 24 - Blushing Brides (The original tribute to the Rolling Stones)

These concerts are a lot of fun and to top it off, each Thursday there will be food and beverages available from some the local restaurants and breweries.

I hope to see you there! And, don't forget to bring your chair :)


Clear the Air with a New Furnace Filter

Breathe Easier By Doing This Simple Task

There are many tasks that need to be checked off your home maintenance list on a regular basis. Shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, and sweeping floors are just a few examples of basic home duties that help ensure your home is both functional and comfortable.

Another crucial home maintenance job that all homeowners should know about is changing the air filter in the furnace. Dust, dirt, hair, and other debris get trapped in the air filter. Over time, the filter can become clogged, restricting the flow of air through the filter and into the home. Not only does this reduce the air quality, but it also negatively impacts the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Use this guide to learn more about air filters and find out how often you should change your home's air filter.

What Is an Air Filter?

There are two common types of home air filters, including spun fiberglass and pleated paper. The filters are designed to trap dust, dirt, pet hair, lint, mold, bacteria, and other contaminants.

By filtering these contaminants, a furnace's filter improves the air quality within a home, making it easier to breathe. This is especially important in homes with individuals that suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions.

The easiest way to find an air filter that is suitable for your home is to locate the filter that is already installed. Check the sides of the existing air filter to find the dimensions, then head online or to a local home improvement store to find an air filter that matches the listed dimensions.

How Often Should You Change an Air Filter?

When an air filter has been in use for a long period of time, it gradually begins to restrict the air flow through the heating and cooling system. This reduces the efficiency of the system, leading to higher heating and cooling bills. If the filter remains unchanged, it can even shorten the life of the furnace or air conditioner, so it's important to include air filter replacement on your list of recurring home maintenance jobs.

When you purchase a new air filter, check the manufacturer's recommendations to get a basic idea of how frequently to change the filter. On average, you should change a fiberglass air filter about once every 30 days, while you can leave a pleated air filter for about three to six months before needing to replace it.

If you're installing the air filter in a vacation home, cottage, or other property that isn't commonly used, you can usually wait a bit longer to replace the filter. Wait up to three months to change a fiberglass air filter and nine to 12 months before changing a pleated air filter.

Just keep in mind that every home is different. What may be a suitable air filter replacement frequency for one home might not be the right choice for every home. To get a better understanding of when to replace an air filter, consider the size of the home, number of people, number of pets, and whether there is anyone that has severe allergies or that smokes inside the home.

Replace the air filter to restore airflow, improve heating and cooling efficiency, and increase the air quality throughout the home. If you change the air filter and these problems persist, it's recommended to contact a professional HVAC technician to help address the root of the issue.


Solar Panels Are a Big Draw for Gen Z House Hunters

A U.S. study shows that some 70% of Gen Zers say they'd go over budget for a house with green upgrades - and solar panels are near the top of their wish lists.

Members of Gen Z (those born between 1997 to 2012) and millennials (between 1981 and 1996) are 27% more likely than Baby Boomers to buy a green home, according to a new survey from Payless Power, which provides prepaid energy in Texas.

According to the survey of more than 1,000 respondents, sustainable-home shoppers are clamoring for energy-efficient appliances (with 54% of respondents calling them a top choice); solar panels or LEED/Energy Star certification (49%); LED lighting (46%); and energy-conserving insulation (46%).

While demand for green features is increasing, Payless Power CEO Brandon Young said most homes are priced using comparables that don't fully consider such improvements, "thus reducing the incentive to make the investments."

"I challenge the housing industry to rethink how homes are valued to give proper consideration to improvements that reduce energy consumption, dependency on fossil fuels and, ultimately, ongoing costs for power," Young said.

Looking at more than 70,000 properties nationwide on the real-estate listing site Redfin, Payless Power found that residences tagged with a "green home" designation went for an average of $828,955, 41% more than the $589,227 brought in by comparable homes without the designation.

In some cities, eco-friendly features draw an even greater premium: In Detroit, green homes sold for an average of $321,989, or 180% more than traditional residences. Prospective buyers are also seeing green in Chicago, Philadelphia and Montgomery, Alabama.


Gorgeous Ways to Decorate with String Lights

Light up the night with these savvy ways to use string lights in your outdoor space. 

Decorative string lights are one of the easiest updates you can bring to your porch or backyard. Patio light strings provide a cozy place to read a book in the summer and bring extra light to the party when the fire pit runs low. Plus, patio string lights set the mood and provide a little twinkle, rather than illuminate a space for functional reasons. Consider using them in conjunction with other outdoor light sources, such as candles on a dining table or pathway lights, to help keep people sure-footed. 

Decorative string lights also come in many different designs, including vintage-style Edison bulbs, sleek orbs, and even lanterns, so it's easy to find a strand (or several!) that fits your style. String lights are an inexpensive solution for giving dark patios a little extra twinkle. See all the different ways you can incorporate these fun outdoor light fixtures into your backyard. 

How to Hang Patio String Lights:
Before you can turn your backyard into a cozy oasis, you'll need to know how to hang outdoor string lights. First, look for battery-operated string lights or invest in a few extension cords if an outlet isn't within reach. Always be sure to use lights, extension cords, and other lighting equipment that is graded for outdoor use. When you're ready to hang string lights, drill screw eyes into a post, tree, or wall. Then, use small metal carabiners to attach the string of lights to the screw eyes. This will keep the lights from slipping off a simple hook in the event of wind or storms, and protect your patio from broken bulbs.

Choosing Outdoor String Lights:
There are dozens of varieties of outdoor string lights, so they aren't a one-size-fits-all decor item. When shopping for string lights, there are two main things to consider: Length and style. If you aren't sure how many strands you'll need, it's helpful to string a piece of yarn around the patio to get an exact measurement before you order anything. If you're lighting a small area, you might be able to use just one strand of long outdoor string lights. There are also many different styles of string lights, including clear bulbs, mini tin-can lights, and woven lanterns. There are also long-lasting LED versions so shop around to find a size and style that fits your space perfectly.

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Is It Time to Replace Your Windows?

Investing in new windows is a big decision. It’s a large investment, after all. But if your home’s windows are showing signs of age, the cost of replacing them will go a long way for both the efficiency and value of your home.

Here’s how to tell if your windows need replacing:

Uncomfortable Drafts and Poor Efficiency. Drafts may be more evident in the winter when you can feel cold air seeping through; however, drafty windows are also letting heat in during the summer.

Visible Damage. Damage to windows isn’t always as obvious as cracked glass. Check the window frames for signs of water damage, mold, condensation or cracks.

Difficult to Open. Opening your windows shouldn’t be a Herculean task. Levers and cranks should move with ease.

Noise Pollution. Windows can’t provide total silence, but excess noise may be a sign that your windows are lacking insulation.

Is your home in need of upgrades? I can connect you with trusted local companies to get the job done. Get in touch!

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Locals Love - Goodman's Fine Foods

The newest bakery on Main Street has officially opened its doors and wait until you try their yummy baked goods.

This trendy spot offers a counter full of freshly baked goods (you gotta try the babka!), gorgeous cheeses and charcuterie along with some beautiful retail. Oh, and don’t forget @metropolis.coffeebar is also opening with a new addition to this space.

Stop by and check out all of the yummy treats or pick up something special for family and friends!

Address:185 Main St. S., Newmarket

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.



Toronto's Real Estate Market continued to get busier in May. The April statistics noted that resales jumped 27 percent from March (seasonally adjusted). A 6.5% rise in new listings gave buyers more option to bid on, but new Sellers only met rebounding demand partway.

Demand is up and inventory is still very low. Demand-supply conditions tightened for a fifth-straight month and now look as firm as they were before the market's downturn. This helped push the price recovers upward.

The GTA's MLS Home Price Index rose for the second consecutive month by 2.4% month-over-month in April and Robert Hogue, assistant chief economist RBC Economics, expects further increases will likely follow if conditions remain this tight. Good news for Sellers that have been waiting for the market conditions to pick up.

Sellers hold the key to the market's trajectory, according to Hogue. Much will depend on the number of new listings this Spring and if listings increase then we may see more balanced market conditions.

At this point in May, it's a very active Seller's Market in most areas. Buyers on the other hand are realizing now that prices are increasing that now is the time to Buy before prices increase further. There is definitely a more optimistic and positive outlook for both Buyers and Sellers and the Spring Market is busier than ever.

It's a great time to sell your house now that market conditions have finally turned the corner. If you are thinking of selling then please don't hesitate to reach out to us for a market analysis and to find out about our proven Marketing Strategy.


Jill Renshaw