All posts by Regina Gadacz

CIOT: SapienStone - New Stoneware Surfaces

CIOT: SapienStone – New Stoneware Surfaces

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CIOT: SapienStone – New Stoneware Surfaces

Elegance and Innovation in the Kitchen

Ciot is proud to announce the addition of SapienStone to its selection of stoneware surfaces. Made in Italy, SapienStone is designed specifically for kitchen counters, vanities, fireplaces, and interior design applications.

Available only through Ciot, SapienStone is a revolution in porcelain slabs for kitchen surfaces. With its exceptional technical properties, it can also be used as wall or floor covering to create a clean, uncluttered look. SapienStone slabs are available in nine colours ranging from classic to ultramodern, so you can design the perfect kitchen for elegant living.

The unique manufacturing process used for SapienStone creates veins in the body of the porcelain, making it look more like natural stone. You won’t find a more natural looking porcelain stoneware product on the market. SapienStone surfaces have the same veins as marble and other types of natural stone because the finishing process reaches deep down in the slab.

SapienStone porcelain stoneware | Bianco Lasa colour
SapienStone porcelain stoneware | Bianco Lasa colour

RESISTANCE AND DURABILITY

These new porcelain stoneware coverings are made of ceramic clay and mineral dyes that will not fade over time. The slabs are highly resistant to chemical products, scratches, heat, and light. You can cook—and eat—directly on your work surface since the chemical composition of SapienStone makes it not only very hygienic, but also heat resistant for pots and dishes right off the stove or fresh out of the oven. No special maintenance is required—a bit of dish soap is all it takes to keep these coverings in perfect shape.

SapienStone porcelain stoneware | Pietra Grey and Calacatta Statuario colours

A FOCUS ON ELEGANCE

SapienStone is designed to work well in kitchens and bathrooms, with colours that are perfectly in keeping with the latest colour trends. The slabs come in a variety of versatile shades, including white, beige, grey, and black.

With their unique technical properties and high quality finishing, these porcelain stoneware surfaces make a beautiful addition to any space. Add elegance and practicality to any workspace—residential or commercial— with SapienStone.

Founded in 1950, Ciot is a leading importer, distributor, retailer and transformer of marble, slate, onyx and ceramic tiles. The company, which offers a one-stop-shop concept, owns showrooms in Montreal, Quebec, Brossard, Toronto (3) and Detroit, as well as a business office in New York.

SOURCE AND CONTACT

Stéphanie Bénard, Marketing and Social Media Advisor

514.382.5180 Ext. 1246
ciotmarketing@ciot.com
ciot.com



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Frame your views to the world

Frame your views to the world

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Frame your views to the world

Sheers, drapes or blinds? There are plenty of options to choose from by way of window coverings. It’s an under-valued and overlooked home essential. Without them, a room looks and feels unfinished. But as much as we want to put fashion at the forefront, function takes precedence.

As a window covering designer, clients often ask me to explain what window covering options are best. My answer starts with a question: What is your goal?

The most-common reason people dress their windows is for privacy. Beyond that, are you aiming for darkness? Diffused daylight? A decorative touch? Once you figure out what your needs are, you can then tackle the task of choosing the right window treatment style for your space.

Here are four common types of window covering that each serve a specific purpose.

Black-out curtains: Need darkness during the day-time? These are a perfect choice for a baby’s room, or for shift workers who need some shut-eye during daytime (and daylight!) hours. A floor-to-ceiling curtain with a black-out back will block out most light and all views. Another bonus is that a heavy curtain, when closed, helps to insulate interiors, keeping rooms cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This heavy window covering is also a popular choice for a home theatre – for darkness and better acoustics!

Roller shades: These are ideal for the modern minimalist with a view, and a popular choice in condos and contemporary style homes. When rolled down, this window covering option is clean and crisp looking, and provides total privacy. Rolled up, it’s out of sight and out of mind, leaving you to enjoy your unobstructed vistas.

Sheers: Their light and airy appeal is a classic choice and ever the favourite. Sheers provide some low-level privacy that’s perfect for public spaces like a living or dining room, while inviting natural light and a hint of the outside view. TIP: A floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall white sheer will actually amplify the room’s natural light.

Panels: These are a great addition to any window, whether for practical or pretty purpose. Panels frame your windows and punctuate the views, while adding a pop of colour or pattern as desired. Functional panels need to be fuller with more fabric, but can be drawn closed for privacy and darkness. For decorative purposes, side panels require less material and are thus cheaper, but strictly ornamental.

Audrey Conrad Drapery Designer – Specialty House Manufacturing Ltd. are known for full service custom and ready made window covering designs.  For more than a decade they have been providing affordable stylish custom window design solutions throughout the GTA.

specialtyhouse.net



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Floor Heating Systems’ Pros and Cons

Floor Heating Systems’ Pros and Cons

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Floor Heating Systems’ Pros and Cons

Before you invest in anything in your home, it’s always smart to weigh up the pros and cons. Floor heating systems are generally preferred by modern homeowners because they provide an efficient and consistent source of warmth from the floor up heating the entire room. We know that there are so many misconceptions about this form of radiant heating that you may be left wondering whether it’s worth the extra cost and time. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the pros and cons of underfloor heating and help you to make an informed decision.

Why Radiant Floor Heating?

There are several reasons why radiant floor heating is a now a popular trend in modern homes.

  • Enjoy consistent warmth throughout the room

To begin with, with radiant heating, you can expect warmth to be evenly distributed throughout the room. The room is heated from the floor up so the warmth given is not only efficient but also consistent. You can choose between electric and water based heated floors. Electric systems use heated wires which are installed beneath the floor to provide warmth whereas the water-based systems use pipes which run hot water to generate heat.

  • Radiant heating is very efficient

If you compare how traditional radiators generate and distribute heat, you’ll realize that radiant heating is a more effective and efficient solution. This is because the traditional radiator will need to be heated to temperatures of up to 167 degrees in order to warm a room effectively whereas your heated floor system will run at a temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit and provide adequate warmth in a room. Therefore, you’re able to manage your utility bills and enjoy warmth in your home.

  • No more cold spots

With traditional radiators, you are assured that there will be cold spots in the room, unlike a heated floor that is designed to provide consistent heat across the room. Radiant heating ensures that there’s no cold air at certain spots which are far from the radiator. Sometimes, when running a traditional radiator, you may be forced to open the windows to get some fresh air when you’re next to it and it gets too hot. This only means that you’ll be wasting the energy and causing the traditional radiator to run more. Radiant heating is the perfect solution to evenly distribute warmth making sure there are no cold spots and the room doesn’t get stuffy.

  • Ease of installation and maintenance

When you invest in a radiant heating system, the installation process is as simple as you wouldn’t have imagined. You may even invest in a simple radiant sticky mat that you can install as a DIY project. Once the system is installed, you don’t need to spend time and money on additional maintenance. Most of the radiant heaters available today come with up to 30 years guarantee period. The radiant heating system comes with a thermostat which you can easily program to ensure the room gets adequate warmth. You can even switch it on and off during the day or at night when it’s cool.

  • Doesn’t mess your home’s design

Traditional radiators and heating systems that appear on the walls can instantly mess your design goals. If you’re keen on home design, floor heating will work perfectly for you since the modern radiators do not take up any space in your walls. Heated floors can be installed and remain conspicuous so you don’t have to worry about them messing your home’s design. You have the freedom to put any decorations or art on your walls without an unsightly radiator to snatch its beauty.

  • No need to change your floor type

Modern radiators are designed to work with virtually any type of floor covering. Whether you have a laminate, wooden, tiled, stone or carpet flooring in your home, you can always install underfloor heating without having to invest in a new flooring material.

  • Underfloor heating is safe

Traditional radiators can have hot surfaces which become a serious risk especially if you have kids and pets in your home. With modern underfloor heating, you don’t have to worry about such risks. The radiator is tucked out of the way and there’s no chance of it getting too hot and risking anyone’s wellbeing. All you need to do is to ensure that the underfloor heating is installed properly.

  • Doesn’t compromise air quality

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of traditional radiators is the fact that they run on high temperatures increasing discomfort due to reduced oxygen levels. This is not the case with underfloor heating. These modern radiant heating systems offer much better air quality and you can be guaranteed a comfortable and oxygen-rich atmosphere when the system is running.

Disadvantages of underfloor heating

Radiant floor heating also has its cons. A few drawbacks you should be aware of when you install underfloor heating include:

  • High cost of installation

Installing underfloor heating may cost you much more than the traditional radiators. First, there’s the cost of purchasing the system which may range anywhere between $10 and $20 per square foot. You may also need to pay an electrician to ensure the system is properly connected to your power supply. A water-based radiant floor heating system is usually only be installed during a construction or renovation project and it can be a bit more costly.

  • Installation time

Depending on the underfloor heating system you choose, it can take a while for the installation process to be completed. You may need to apply a self-levelling compound and wait for it to dry before installing the radiator. Water-based radiant heating systems can take up to a week to be installed.

  • Increase of floor height

With underfloor heating structures, expect the room’s floor height to slightly increase. You may even need to install insulation boards beneath the radiant heating system just to ensure the heat is properly directed. This means a further increase in floor height. In this case, you may want to consider other types of radiant heating that do not result in increased floor height such as the electric underfloor heating mats which are designed with thin cables.

With that said, it’s now entirely up to you to choose the most energy efficient, easy and reliable way to warm your home. An underfloor heating arrangement will also provide you with significant cost savings than any traditional radiator you can install in your home.

Nova Solutions Contact Info


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Quartex Surfaces presents Colour Rush

Quartex Surfaces presents Colour Rush

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Quartex Surfaces presents Colour Rush


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City of Toronto - Home Energy Loan Program

Stay Warm This Winter for Less

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Stay Warm This Winter for Less

Tired of a cold, drafty home and high energy bills – HELP is here!

Through the City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), you can get a low-interest loan to cover the cost of a new high-efficiency furnace, new windows, doors, insulation and more. And if you want to go the extra mile, the loan can also cover the cost of solar rooftop panels, solar hot water heaters, and geothermal heating and cooling!

The great thing about Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program, is that at the same time that you make your home more comfortable and reduce your energy bills, you’ll also be reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change.

Low-interest rates and great terms

In addition to offering low-interest rates (starting at 2%), and repayment terms of up to 15 years, you can repay the loan at any time without penalty. And if you sell your home and don’t want to pay off the loan, the new homeowner can assume the payments. Sound too good to be true? It’s not!

Save energy, money and more!

The results are impressive. On average, HELP participants::

  • reduce their home energy use by 30%;
  • save over $560 per year on their energy bills; and
  • receive additional incentives of up to $2,250 from utility companies such as Enbridge Gas and IESO.

You can get a loan of up to $75,000 for your improvements. The process begins with an easy online application. The HELP team will then connect you with a Registered Energy Advisor, help you access the incentives provided by the utility companies, and do what they can to make the process smooth and seamless.

Here’s what one HELP participant had to say about their experience retrofitting their Scarborough home:

We wanted to make our home more energy efficient and HELP was a fit for our needs. The renovations would add value to our property. It was an easy experience for us and we are very appreciative!”

The City’s HELP team is available to support you throughout the process. Ready to get started? Have a few questions? We’d love to hear from you.

Contact us at 416-392-1826 or learn more at toronto.ca/home-energy-loan.


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Builder Profile: Briarwood Homes

Builder Profile: Briarwood Homes

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Builder Profile: Briarwood Homes

by Catherine Daley

A personal commitment to quality

Sixty years ago, Enzo Di Giovanni’s family immigrated from Italy. With them, they brought hand-crafted construction techniques derived from a long legacy of home building. Di Giovanni’s relatives were masters in masonry and concrete, and those skills were passed down to him at a very young age. “I’ve lived most of my life on a construction site,” says Di Giovanni.

While it may be a slight exaggeration, it isn’t far from the truth. Di Giovanni has an extensive background in a number of trades as a result of being on site since his youth – and he’s learned to master the artistry that goes along with them. His passion is shared with everyone who works on each new home building project – from start to finish.

Briarwood Homes is now in their 28th year in Canada, and they have focused their expertise on the Southern Ontario area. “We’re all about developing, and building, all-encompassing communities,” says Di Giovanni. “They’re built to a master plan that often includes a full range of amenities and retail services, as well.”

Quality features and finishes are evident in every Briarwood home.
Quality features and finishes are evident in every Briarwood home.

It’s this forward-thinking philosophy that continues to put Briarwood on the top rung of the building industry ladder. They are developing more sustainable communities that are also environment-friendly. Green roofs are being incorporated on top of their high rise buildings, and rough-ins are included in garages to accommodate super-charged, electric vehicles. “It’s all about anticipating what our homebuyers are looking for today,” says Di Giovanni. “And what they might possibly need for generations to come.”

Our customers have come to expect hands-on attention and hand-picked options.

Extending from Kingston in the east, to the northern climes of Muskoka, as well as the south/western region of Fort Erie (and everything in between), Briarwood Homes has an extensive portfolio of high-, low- and mid-rise communities in Newmarket, Brampton, Milton, Angus, Sutton and Prince Edward County, to name a few.

The Briarwood team prepares for another new home community.
The Briarwood team prepares for another new home community.

New projects currently in production, or recently finished, include Pretty River in Collingwood, Fletcher’s Meadow in Brampton, Mill Street in Tottenham and Havelock Town Manors in Markham, as well as a limited edition of luxury towns on the water in Jackson’s Point.

An in-house designer is available to assist new home buyers with a selection of finishes and upgrades to best represent their personal style.

When Briarwood is designing a model home or a new condo lobby, they outsource the decorating to the best in the business. Nothing is left to chance.

Homebuyers appreciate the hands-on attention and unparalleled customer service that they’ve come to expect from Briarwood Homes, because they know that nothing will be overlooked. All departmental employees, along with the trades and manufacturers that Di Giovanni deals with, respect this level of commitment. Only the highest quality materials are sourced, and a wide selection of options are hand-picked. “It’s what our customers want,” says Di Giovanni.

While the CEO of Briarwood Homes, Enzo Di Giovanni, may have a bricks and mortar office located at the company’s head office in Richmond Hill, it’s more likely that his car is command central. “I’m completely hands-on,” says Di Giovanni. “I get personally involved – it’s in my DNA.”

briarwoodhomes.ca



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Briar Hill

Briar Hill

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Briar Hill

Live the lifestyle you deserve

There’s life as you now know it, and then there’s life as you will come to know it at Briar Hill. A grand vision has been realized within this established, active adult community in Alliston. Award-winning, condominium-style homes are located adjacent to the Nottawasaga Resort, where homeowners can take full advantage of a range of exciting amenities that will make every day feel like a getaway. This unique community satisfies the desires of vibrant, and active, homeowners who are looking for an all-encompassing lifestyle, along with the freedom to enjoy life to its fullest.

RESORT-STYLE LIVING

Briar Hill homeowners enjoy access to a comprehensive list of activities and amenities that would rival any all-inclusive vacation destination.

New homeowners are offered a one-year golf season pass to the resort’s award-winning golf courses. The resort provides plenty of fitness opportunities within their 70,000-square-foot fitness club, which features a fully equipped gym, an indoor pool with a sauna and whirlpool, racquetball courts, as well as an outdoor pool and six kilometres of walking trails. An on-site arena, with two NHL-size hockey rinks, hosts organized leagues throughout the year. The resort also features a lounge and two inviting restaurants – perfect for an evening out or entertaining guests.

Within the Briar Hill community, the bustling 16,000-square-foot community centre is a social hub where homeowners can participate in a range of daily events, enjoy a game of billiards or shuffleboard, or simply relax in the sunshine on the beautiful garden patio.

NEW RELEASE OF VISTA HOMESITES

The newest Vista release is highlighted by stunning views of the rolling countryside and the Nottawasaga Valley. Homeowners can choose from fully detached layouts, semi-detached bungalows, bungalows with lofts and townhomes. Prices start in the $500,000s for these beautifully designed and well-crafted homes that boast open-concept floorplans, as well as superior features and finishes. At Briar Hill, luxury is standard and many elements that are often considered premium upgrades, such as granite kitchen countertops, oak stairs and railing systems, are included in the home price.

Available with golf course, courtyard or ravine views, homeowners can choose from walkout elevations that lead to a private patio, or outstanding sightlines from a raised deck. There’s no need to worry about lawn care, exterior upkeep, window cleaning or the maintenance of common areas, as all of this is looked after and included in the low monthly maintenance fee.

The charming town of Alliston is within minutes of Briar Hill and offers a wealth of local amenities, as well as health and medical services, including a hospital. Located just 15 minutes from Highway 400, off of Highway 89, homeowners have easy access to both Toronto and cottage country.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Briar Hill Sales Office is located at 1A Briar Gate Way in Alliston, and is open daily. Call or visit the website for more information and business hours.

(705) 435-5503
BriarHillLiving.ca



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The Wellings Concept

The Wellings Concept

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The Wellings Concept

Where common sense and commonalities unite

According to recent statistics, there are more Canadians over the age of 55, than there are younger folk. As the population tables turn, Nautical Lands Group (NLG) is addressing the changing demographic with the Wellings concept.

This concept has not only been embraced by those who choose to live in a Wellings’ community, but it has also been recognized by Global Awards for creating outstanding housing alternatives for those who are over the age of 50.

For many, the responsibility of owning a home in terms of maintenance and expenses (as it relates to time and money), becomes more than they are willing to spend. Both of these assets would be better directed to doing things that they really want to do, and going to places that they’ve always dreamed of going to.

The Wellings of Picton is one of the communities by NLG, and is located in Prince Edward County, just minutes from downtown Picton. A total of 88 one- and two-bedroom apartments are offered at the Wellings, with rents starting in the mid $2,000s. These upscale apartment communities include a full kitchen, appliances, a walk-in shower and in-suite laundry, as well as a full-time concierge and management team.

At the centre of the community is the Atrium – a four-storey, 8,000-square foot area with natural light and full-size trees. The Atrium is, most-definitely, the residential hub, where residents socialize with neighbours in the dining room or games area, enjoy the theatre space or relax in more-intimate conversation areas.

Healthcare is provided by VON, and residents can make their own arrangements, as needed. In a Wellings’ community, personal preferences are chosen by each resident, and they only pay for the services that they want. “Each new community evolves as a result of the the previous one ,” says Kevin Pidgeon, president and COO of Nautical Lands Group. “We’re not just the designers, we’re the operators of the communities as well. We are a nimble company, always striving to bring a next-level experience to our residents.”

Prince Edward County has become a sought-after destination, offering a unique blend of peaceful calm, along with a vibrant village atmosphere. Just minutes from the town of Picton, the Wellings is ideally situated to take advantage of all that the county has to offer, including well-known wineries, beautiful beaches and the area’s other natural attributes. Pidgeon goes on to say, “When you’re building communities like the Wellings, which focus on comfort and convenience, as well as an a-la-carte living model, our residents have more choices, and more control, of their own expenses – and of their lifestyle.”

CONTACT INFORMATION

(613) 707.0431
wellingsofpicton.com

For a full list of communities visit nlgliving.com



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Benjamin Moore - 2018 Colour of the Year

Benjamin Moore Announces their Colour of the Year 2018

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Benjamin Moore Announces their Colour of the Year 2018

“Caliente AF290”, a vibrant, charismatic shade of red.

Strong, radiant and full of energy, Caliente AF-290 is total confidence. It is pleasing, passionate and makes people feel special, like ‘red carpet treatment’,” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Director of Strategic Design Intelligence. “Whether used as one note or on four walls, the spirited personality of red turns heads signaling surprise and adventure. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes.”

The colour leader also unveiled Colour Trends 2018, a curated palette of 23 highly influential hues that enliven any room by adding depth and energy. The palette incorporates a full spectrum of reds, from hints of blush to deep oxbloods, while ensuring seamless pairings with a carefully selected range of whites, neutrals, and complementary bold hues.

benjaminmoore.ca/colourtrends



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Shelter Cove

Shelter Cove

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Shelter Cove

Waterfront community on the shores of Lake Erie

Many of us have fantasies about getting away from it all – leaving the rat race behind, and living an exciting and meaningful life. We seek a lifestyle that is close to nature, along with the beauty, peace and serenity that goes with it. Shelter Cove, a gated waterfront community on the shores of Lake Erie, makes this dream a reality.

Shelter Cove’s list of perquisites is extensive, and it’s difficult to list them all. Because Shelter Cove is a gated community, access is controlled, thus ensuring privacy and security for the residents.

Homeowners at Shelter Cove have the privileged opportunity to experience nature in all its glory. It’s customary to see a magnificent bald eagle soaring through the sky, or a flock of wild turkeys browsing the edge of the woods. Deer regularly make their rounds throughout the community.

For those who are into boating, Shelter Cove is idyllic. It’s only a short walk from your home to your dock, and you can be on the lake in a matter of minutes. The name, Shelter Cove, relates to the natural harbour that it’s on, which means that the private, on-site marina is protected from the wave action of the lake – ensuring that your watercraft is also protected.

If you like fishing, then you likely know that Lake Erie is one of Ontario’s best lakes for sport fishing, with an abundance of walleye and perch.

Shelter Cove’s on-site amenities will include a 5,000-square foot, residents-only clubhouse, which is to be completed later this year. There’s also a large outdoor swimming pool, along with planned walking trails and residents’ garden plots, as well as provisions for boat and RV storage.

Shelter Cover offers a quality lifestyle with built-in financial benefits

At Shelter Cove, chores like grass cutting, leaf raking and snow shoveling are all looked after, as these are all included in the low $100 per month maintenance fee. In addition, residents enjoy the convenience of natural gas. It’s important to note that the community produces its own drinking water, sourced through reverse osmosis from an artesian well. Shelter Cove also has its very own state-of-the-art wastewater plant, so there are no septic tanks.

Amenities surrounding Shelter Cove include supermarkets, healthcare, golf courses and a variety of restaurants, as well as quaint boutiques, and service clubs in nearby Simcoe and Port Dover.

Because Shelter Cove is situated along the shores of Lake Erie, winters here are less severe, thus allowing for the growth of trees and plants not found in Hamilton or Toronto. This area is a part of the great Carolinian Forest.

The homes at Shelter Cove are priced from as little as $173,000 with leasehold tenure.

They’re referred to as manufactured homes, which means that they are built indoors under strict quality control, safe from the elements, ensuring that the building materials are not exposed to rain and, therefore, unlikely to warp. Built to the Ontario Building Code, the homes are exceptionally well insulated and come with high-efficiency gas furnaces to ensure that you’re comfortable and cosy all year long.

Leasehold tenure comes with substantial financial advantages, because residents don’t have the capital outlay of a serviced building lot, which can run as high as $150,000. Investing this money wisely has the potential of paying the annual cost of the lease, while the principal remains intact. For instance, if you sold a home in Hamilton for $504,000 and moved to Shelter Cove, you could take out a mortgage for $184,000, and then invest the proceeds from the sale of your home and have an average annual return of just over $31,000. After paying the mortgage, leasehold fees, taxes and maintenance fee, you’d be ahead by more than $13,000 per year. Visit the Shelter Cove Sales Office for accurate facts and figures as it relates to your particular scenario.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Shelter Cove Sales Office and Model Homes are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

1-866-416-8848
sheltercove.ca



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