Monday, July 24, 2017

Amazing Backyard Ideas

A little time creating a special area in your backyard not only makes your yard more enjoyable for you but, stepping out a back door can increase interest in your home from potential buyers when it comes time to sell.

A backyard makeover doesn't necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg.  There are some simple and inexpensive touches that can take the backyard from just a yard to a place of pleasure.

Here are a few ideas that I came across that shows how a little creativity without a huge budget can add a nice touch to a backyard.

Backyard Lighting

Rope lighting is more than for the Christmas season.  Strategically placed around your deck or yard, rope lighting adds an incredible mood to your outdoors.

Lighting is a key ingredient to create the mood you want and future potential buyers will love. Be sure to take some pictures of your yard with the outdoor lighting in place in the evening and leave the pictures for potential buyers who might only see your home during daytime showings. It's alway a good idea to keep a file of pictures of your outdoor setting when it is at its best, in case you decide to sell your home during a season when your outdoor creativity isn't visible.

Create A Focal Point

Let your imagination go wild.  Even an old watering can and a string of lights can give a boring backyard a creative focal point.  

A Corner Paradise

Take a corner of your yard and create a little paradise.  Even a small yard with a corner patio area can really make a boring yard come alive. Who wouldn't enjoy an area like this to entertain family and friends or just a place like this to enjoy a quiet morning coffee all to yourself?

Glow In The Dark Paint

With a brush and a little Glow-In-the-Dark paint, your walkway can take on an entirely different look when darkness arrives.

Backyard Firepit

If regulations allow for a wood fire pit, this can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the great outdoors in the summer.

If a wood burning fire pit is not allowed in your area check into gas/propane units.  A large selection is available and one is available to fit almost any budget.

Show Your Creative Side 

Let your mind go wild and create a yard that becomes an oasis.  Your backyard can be one of the most enjoyable areas for you and it can add appeal and value when it comes time to sell.

If you know someone who would appreciate the services I provide for Sellers and Buyers, contact me with their name and I will follow up.  Your referral is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Prime Rate Increase Means Loan Rate Increases

Canada's Five Major Banks Boost Rates

The Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank and CIBC all announced prime rate hikes today.  The increase in the prime rate will be to 2.95 per cent from 2.7 per cent, effective Thursday, July 13th. 

The prime lending rate is the rate that banks use to set interest rates for variable-rate mortgages and other loans.

Prime Rate

The prime rate increase follows a rate hike from the central bank.  The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate for the first time in seven years today to 0.75 per cent from 0.5 per cent.  

What's Next

Some forecasters believe there could be another Bank of Canada increase in the fourth quarter this year and marginal increases in 2018.  

To get a clear understanding of what the change means to you, consult with your lender to better plan for your best strategy for establishing a new mortgage and renewing a mortgage in the near future.   

Contact me and I would be happy to supply you with several lender names if you are considering a purchase or are contemplating a change with your current mortgage.

If you know someone who would appreciate the services I provide for Sellers and Buyers, contact me with their name and I will follow up.  Your referral is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Habitat For Humanity Building In Orillia

Habitat For Humanity Facebook Page

The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project

As part of  Canada’s 150th celebrations, Habitat For Humanity in every province and territory is participating in Habitat Canada’s biggest build project ever! The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

Through the help and dedication of community volunteers, future Habitat homeowners will be in celebration for one special week across the country and Orillia is one such location.

Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North 

From July 9 to 14 Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is inviting the community to find out more about how Habitat is bringing communities together to build strength, stability, and independence through affordable homeownership.

July 12th Orillia Project Launch

On July 12, join Habitat team members, volunteers, sponsors and families for a groundbreaking event at Habitat's newest project, 499 Bay Street, in Orillia. Come and celebrate Canada's 150th and be a part of making history with Habitat for Humanity in the Orillia area.

Local Businesses and City of Orillia Help

At a special meeting held in June recognition was given to the Orillia area Chapter Committees, volunteers and the first four sponsors which were unveiled including The City of Orillia, Shelswell and Sons,  Walker Industries, and Muskoka Sign and Graphics!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Solar paint breakthrough

Paint an energy harvester

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne are working to make paint an energy harvester. 

From comes the word that the paint takes in water vapor much like humidity-absorbing packets of silica gel, but goes even further. 

The new material (synthetic molybdenum-sulphide) also acts as a semiconductor and water-splitting catalyst, meaning that it takes water molecules and separates them into oxygen and hydrogen, which becomes a clean fuel source.

Not quite there yet

The paint isn't quite ready for the market as there are still some things to work out in the way of harvesting the energy, but researchers are saying in the next couple years this will be a source of clean energy for us.   

Monday, June 5, 2017

Best colours for your home

In a 2017 paint colour analysis some very interesting results were uncovered on what a paint colour can do to increase the selling price of a home.  

Here are a few snapshots from the Zillow's study.

Two colours that add up to $5,400 to the value of a home.

Powder Blue


A bathroom painted in powder blue or a periwinkle shade increased the selling price of an average home by $5,400.  These bathroom colour options were the highest sales premium shades of all colours analyzed.
Kitchens showcasing powder blue or periwinkle shades also showed a strong increase in the perceived value of a home. 

Greige can add up to $3,496 to the value of a home.


For exteriors, neutral tones, such as ‘greige,’ sold for $3,496 more than comparable homes in a different colour.

These front door colours add $1,514 to the value of a home.

Dark Navy Blue

Slate Gray

Homes with front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for an extra $1,514.

Over using white could lower the value by as much as $4,035.

Be cautious of over using white.  Apparently many buyers dislike having no colour present.   Homes that had no colour whatsoever with only plain white walls sold for an average of $4,035 less.   

Accent pieces can beautifully improve the appeal of plain white walls, but for a vacant home with no furnishings the white walls can work against increasing the perceived value of a home.

The colour of the year.


With all the colours that come and go as hot sellers, the one that is in for this year is Greenery chosen as the Colour of the Year for 2017.

Colour Blind

I'm going to be honest with you.  I'm one of the many colour blind men out there, so when I take you through a home I'll rely on your eyesight for the colours and you can rely on me to be always open and honest with all the information I'll provide you with during your search for a home.

Get Jack

If you have a question about the local real estate market contact me.  If I don't have the answer I'll get it for you.  


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Very, very hot for the kitchen

What's Trending

Although new flooring, appliances, countertops, cabinets, sinks, and faucets are all in demand when renovating a kitchen there is something else that is getting a lot of attention. 

LED Lighting

LED lighting is not just hot, but according to blogger Clare Trapasso, LED lighting is very, very hot for kitchen renovations.

Get More 

Get the full story by clicking - Remodeling Your Kitchen? The Most Popular Appliances, Finishes, and Flooring.

Get Jack 
If you have a question concerning the local real estate market don't hesitate to contact me. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Make your backyard something special

Old shed to focal point of fun

Find somewhere else for the lawnmower, rakes and shovels and let your creativity go wild with an incredible change to your old shed.  The Bar Shed, Pub Shed, Wine Shed  (whatever you decide to call it) can transform the average outdoor living space into the talk of the neighbourhood.

Party place or peaceful getaway

Shed creations are not just for man cave enthusiasts. An old shed can be decked out to create a great private getaway to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Not as expensive as you might think

A storage shed suddenly comes alive with a paint job and by cutting in a new entertainment window.

Mood lighting

Add some special lighting for late night gatherings and suddenly even the smallest garden shed becomes a strong focal point for summer fun.


Get more ideas and  tips here for giving your old shed a real lift.

Added value

When a home and yard feel inviting to buyers it adds real value to the property and a growing number of homeowners are rethinking what can be done with an old shed.

Get Jack

If you have anything you would like to discuss concerning buying or selling in real estate, contact me here for a free and confidential review of the marketplace and answers to questions concerning your future plans.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Important and often forgotten

It doesn't matter whether your home is 1,000 sq .ft. or 5,000 sq. ft., there is one thing that is often ignored by sellers that creates a negative feeling for potential buyers. By not decluttering closets you create a feeling of a lack of space.  

Yes, buyers open closet doors and the sight of too many clothes crammed into a single closet instantly gives a buyer a feeling of an overall lack of storage space in the entire home. 

It won't cost you a dime, only a little time.


Decluttering closets by packing away unused clothing is another step in the right direction to secure offers from potential buyers.      

If you haven't worn something in a long time, perhaps it's time to sell it, give it away or at least pack it away.  Also, with spring here remove all clothing that won't be used until next fall/winter.  This will not only make your closet look sufficient in size to potential buyers, but you're one step closer to a smooth moving day by starting your packing now.   

Coming to grips with the stuff we keep


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Check your well water

Higher than average risk of contaminants for wells

With high water levels over the past month it's important to have your water checked. Right now Public Health Ontario warns that there is a higher than average risk of contaminants for wells.

Public Health Ontario encourages all residents on private wells to have water tested at least weekly while flood and rain water levels are high to ensure water does not contain the bacterial indicators of contamination. 

What to do to protect yourself

If your water tests as contaminated or you suspect there is contamination before you can confirm the quality of water through a test, you are encouraged to boil your water before consuming it in any way (including use in food preparation, brushing teeth, etc.) or use bottled water or water from a municipal supply if available.

Use the proper test kit for samples

Water tests for Ontario residents with a private well are free of charge, but use the proper test kit which is available at Ontario Public health labs.  The Orillia Public Health Lab is located at 750 Memorial Avenue and serves Simcoe County, Muskoka, Nipissing, and Parry Sound.  Get more details about Public Health Ontario water tests.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

3 simple things to do to save you hundreds of dollars.

Cold vs hot water

You can save around $115 per year by washing clothes in cold water. Another laundry saving tip is to only run the washer when you have a full load.  Try the cold water setting.  You might be surprised that you don't need the hot water after all.

Take shorter showers

Hot water costs money. If you and others in your family can cut your yearly shower time by just a minute for each shower, you could save more than $30 for the year.

Change or clean your furnace filter

Frequently changing the air filter on your furnace can increase the efficiency of the unit by up to 50 per cent.  How often should you change it?  Here's a short video to provide you with valuable advice.

Get Jack 

If you're thinking of selling let's talk.  I would be happy to discuss tips on selling that can perhaps put thousand more in the bank for you.  If you're looking to buy and have a question on the marketplace or would be interested in receiving new listings fast, then let's talk.  Contact me.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Should you do something with the floors?

Creating a WOW factor in a home goes along way to providing a faster sale for the seller and normally a higher selling price.  Flooring (or at least good looking flooring) can be one of the things to create the wow factor. 

Expense or great investment?

Hardwood without a doubt is what most home buyers are looking for, so this is an area to give careful consideration to if planning for a future sale. Installing hardwood or even some of the great looking laminate flooring on the market, is often what flippers do to get the highest return for their investment. Home owners should also consider this when it comes time to sell.

Older homes often have rough looking hardwood or hardwood floors covered by carpet.  Buyers often look for this opportunity of hidden value in a home, but sellers should also recognize the hidden value they have by sometimes restoring the old hardwood floors before selling.

The bonus of refinishing hardwood 

It is amazing how many times I've been with buyers and we end up lifting floor registers to take a peak at what's under the carpet.  When hardwood is spotted under the carpet the word from a buyer's mouth is often, WOW!  Take the time to have a professional look at your tired looking or hidden hardwood floors and get a quote on refinishing.  Refinishing your old hardwood floors might be one of the best investment to make.

Be an informed seller.

Flooring can be expensive, but it should also be looked at as an investment with a potential huge return.  I would be happy to discuss a listing price for your home with or without refinishing your old hardwood floors or perhaps what installing new flooring could do to change the listing and potential selling price. 
Be an informed seller.  Talk is cheap (in fact it's free) so GetJack and  let's talk!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sellers need to think like buyers

When it comes time to sell your home it's important as the seller to think like the buyer. 

Stumbling blocks at inspection time.

If you were the buyer wouldn't you want to know the furnace is in good working order,  the windows are good and the roof doesn't need work?  These are the areas that quite often become the stumbling block once a home inspection has been completed. 

If you are going to receive top dollar for your home then the big ticket items must also be a reflection of the price you expect to receive for your home. 

One thing to do that won't cost you a fortune.

There are many things that can be done that won't cost an arm and a leg, but if taken care of can help in the sale of your home.   One question sellers often ask is; "should I give the place a fresh coat of paint?"  The answer to that question is most often, yes. 

If you as the seller are wondering about the need of painting the place, there is a strong possibility that the buyer is going to see the need even more than you do.  Even though a buyer might turn around and repaint rooms as soon as they move in, there is still a huge benefit for the seller to add a fresh coat of paint, in neutral tones, to the main rooms of the home.

A fresh coat of paint will assist in making the home look like it has been maintained and it will look cleaner.  Both are important reasons that confirm that investing in a little paint is a good thing to get the price a seller is hoping for.

There are many other simple things you can do to make your home stand out from other homes on the market and I will post more tips in the coming weeks.

Free home analysis

I would be happy to discuss with you some specific suggestions for your home with a free home analysis.  GetJack for more details or with any questions.

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 rent increase guideline 1.5%


Ontario 2017 Rent Increase Guideline  


The 2017 rent increase guideline is 1.5 per cent and applies to most private residential rental accommodation covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. The guideline is the most a landlord can increase the rent without applying to the LTB.
The guideline is not applicable to:
  • Vacant residential units
  • Residential units first occupied on or after November 1, 1991
  • Social housing units
  • Nursing homes 
  • Commercial property
There is no limit to how much a landlord can increase the rent each year for these units.
Timing of rent increases: In most cases, the rent for a unit can be increased when 12 months have passed since a tenant either first moved in or since the tenant’s last rent increase. A tenant must be given proper written notice of a rent increase at least 90 days before the rent increase is to take effect.
Calculation of the guideline: The rent increase guideline is calculated under the Residential Tenancies Act  and is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is calculated monthly by Statistics Canada. The 2017 guideline is calculated by averaging the percentage increase in the Ontario Consumer Price Index during the previous 12 months from June 2015 to May 2016. By law, the rent increase guideline cannot be more than 2.5 per cent, even if the CPI increase is higher.
Sample rent increase calculation: The monthly rent of an apartment is $1,000 beginning June 1, 2016. With proper written 90 days’ notice to the tenant, the landlord could increase the rent 12 months later on June 1, 2017. 
This is the calculation for the rent increase:
  • The guideline for 2017 is 1.5 %
  • A rent increase of 1.5 % on $1,000 = $15.00
  • Therefore, the new rent on June 1, 2017 could be up to $1,015.00 ($1,000 + $15.00)
Above guideline increases: Landlords can apply to the LTB for an increase above the guideline for any of the following reasons:
  1. Their municipal taxes or utilities costs have increased by more than the guideline plus 50 per cent. (For example, if the guideline is 1.5 %, the costs must have increased by more than 2.25 %)
  2. They incurred operating costs related to security services.
  3. They incurred eligible capital expenditures.
The guideline and rent deposits: Every year, the landlord must pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit. The interest rate is the same as the rent increase guideline. For more information on rent deposits, see the Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act.  

Previous Rent Increase Guidelines

Guideline (%)

Contact the Landlord and Tenant Board

Call us:
Toll free: 1-888-332-3234
Toronto area: 416-645-8080
TTY: Bell Relay Service at 1-800-268-9242

Visit our website at
Visit your local LTB office. For office locations visit our website.

June 17, 2016