All posts by Regina Gadacz

BIG STYLE, SMALL SPACES: Go With The Flow

BIG STYLE, SMALL SPACES: Go With The Flow

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BIG STYLE, SMALL SPACES: Go With The Flow

A home should have a logical layout and good connection between spaces

The great secret to house design is careful planning right from the start, and this begins with deciding what kind of flow you want in your home. I know that may already sound like complicated business, but it is actually much easier to do than you think. By definition, good flow means a house that has a logical layout with a complimentary connection between spaces, meaning you have created a well thought-out home that functions exactly how you want it to. It’s really about how the house feels all the way from your front door to the backyard.

Is it comfortable, cozy, a good size and functional? Does it give you enough space to move easily from one room to the next?

This describes flow, and this is what you should think about:

  • The position of rooms and their relationship to each other.
  • The detail of how a room is laid out in terms of doors, windows and furniture, including “fitted” solutions such as flooring, kitchen finishes and cabinets, and bathrooms. These items should all have colour that is included in your overall scheme as they will certainly interact with the paint colours and sight lines to other rooms.

DESIGN

Think about your route through the whole house and each space, as these decisions will be reflected in the final plans. At this stage, always walk through your home numerous times to see how it feels.

LIMIT YOUR PALETTE

Rather than paint every room a different colour, my advice is to consider one beautiful neutral (I love a warm white) colour theme across the majority of your rooms. In saying that, be open to cherry-picking a couple of rooms in the house (i.e. a bedroom or den) where you can play with a bit of colour. Hues with similar tonal values tend to be your best bet, or even various shades of the same hue. Another great tip? Try before you buy.

The best way to avoid risk is to purchase a pint colour sample first and try it on for size. Paint your options on a board that you can move around the room for context or paint it directly on the wall and stand back.

Don’t forget wallpaper. It is making a huge comeback, and I’m currently obsessed with the return of grass cloth. I’m actually using it in a few rooms in my new Arizona home. It would look great in a powder room or library.

FURNISHINGS

Discover what your style is. Do you love Scandinavian? Modern, contemporary or traditional? You don’t want your house to be a mish-mash of all sorts of styles — it should be a story from beginning to end.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Evermore

Evermore

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Evermore

Introducing Tridel’s Newest Condominium Coming This Fall

More room to live. More room to play. More ways to celebrate with friends and family. More opportunities to connect.

Condominium living should inspire ways to live more, and that’s exactly what Tridel is offering at Evermore, its latest condominium in Etobicoke.

“Driven by this ‘more is more’ concept, Evermore offers larger suites with flexible designs that can be tailored to the needs of our homeowners,” says Tridel’s Jim Ritchie, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing. “Today’s buyers have been conditioned to believe that to purchase the condo of their dreams, sacrifices have to be made. That they can’t have it all. That size, amenities and lifestyle must be compromised for affordability. But we don’t agree. We think today’s buyers deserve it all, plus a little more.”

The amenity offerings, location of suite-mix types, and the floorplan layout designs at Evermore have each been carefully considered to allow for maximum versatility and usability by a diverse range of residents. Empty nesters, young families, and millennials were among the potential purchasers whose lifestyle choices influenced and impacted the design decisions at Evermore.

“We really examined how one suite layout could be customized in many different ways, depending on the person living in it, whether that be for more closet space, an at-home office, a craft room or a nursery,” notes Ritchie.

Considering the residents, Tridel has made design decisions like allowing for larger suite entryways (perfect for avid cyclists, passionate luggage-toting travellers, or parents with strollers), doubling the laundry area (for storage or extra space for linens) and the creation of multiple amenity spaces that appeal to specific building demographics, including a sound-proofed music room, a youth hub for teens to hang out with friends or do homework, a kid’s zone for young children, a fitness centre for the young at heart, and a rooftop terrace for residents who prefer more reasons to stay at home.

“At Evermore, there is something for everyone and through the thoughtfully-designed suites and amenities, we’re really hoping to inspire our residents to live a little more,” says Ritchie.

Visit the Presentation Centre, located at 3326 Bloor Street West. The Presentation Centre is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from noon to 5 p.m. weekends; closed Fridays.

416.620.1887

tridel.com


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Rosehaven Homes

Rosehaven Homes

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Rosehaven Homes

Lock-and-leave lifestyles

Home buyers are thrilled with the carefree condo, lock-and-leave lifestyle at two popular communities by Rosehaven Homes. It’s a straightforward concept – one that allows residents to lock their door, knowing that the upkeep of their property will be well looked after. Responsibilities, like cutting the grass, raking the leaves, and shovelling the snow are all taken care of, so that travel becomes a care-free pastime.

WATERFRONT LIVING IN GRIMSBY

Odyssey in Grimsby, artist's concept.
Odyssey in Grimsby, artist’s concept.

Scheduled to open this fall is Odyssey – a luxurious 20-storey condominium residence, along with an exclusive collection of condominium townhomes. Located in Grimsby and surrounded by shopping, dining and entertainment, Odyssey offers a picture-perfect lifestyle that’s modern and maintenance-free.

From the high rise condominium building, residents can enjoy expansive views of Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment. Spacious, open-concept interiors, in both the condos and townhomes, feature contemporary finishes that complement a range of personal styles.

Grimsby was recently named the best place to live in Niagara by MoneySense magazine. This town has a wonderful selection of restaurants, shopping, spas, recreation centres, art galleries and more. They have recently revitalized their waterfront, and residents of Odyssey have access to the Waterfront Trail. Natural attributes include tree-lined trails and waterfalls along the Niagara Escarpment and Centennial Park. And, close by is Niagara-on-the-Lake with renowned wineries, restaurants and the Shaw Festival.

Here, residents have easy access to the QEW. And come 2021, GO trains are expected to be running from Grimsby to Toronto’s Union Station.

AFFINITY IN BURLINGTON

Affinity in Burlington, artist's concept.
Affinity in Burlington, artist’s concept.

Construction is well underway at Affinity Condos, but there’s still time to secure your condominium in these popular mid rise buildings. A wide selection of one- and two-bedroom suites, plus those with a formal dining room, remain. Sizes range from 575 to 1,272 square feet.

Affinity consists of two six-storey, mid rise buildings, and each includes a fitness/yoga room, a party room with kitchen and a rooftop terrace.

Contemporary suites include wide-plank, laminate flooring throughout, as well as 12- x 24-inch imported porcelain floor tile in the bathrooms, quartz countertops in the kitchen and in the bathrooms, and nine-foot smooth ceilings. Five appliances, state-of-the-art roller blinds, in addition to an underground parking space and a storage unit, are also included.

Affinity is situated in an established residential neighbourhood in Burlington, close to waterfront parks and trails, as well as the GO train, Highway 403 and the QEW.

For those who are on the go, as well as empty-nesters, Affinity condominiums are especially appealing. Simply lock-and-leave for a happy-go-lucky lifestyle.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For Odyssey, register online. odysseylife.ca

Affinity’s Presentation Centre is located at 516 Plains Road East in Burlington. affinitycondo.com


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INDUSTRY EXPERT: Toronto's Future Now

INDUSTRY EXPERT: Toronto’s Future Now

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INDUSTRY EXPERT: Toronto’s Future Now

by David Wilkes

Facilitating renovations and custom-building in the GTA to increase housing supply

I am always glad when I notice renovation and custom-home building in our neighbourhoods. It not only benefits homeowners but when secondary suites are added, they can play a small yet important part in increasing our region’s housing supply. This is just another reason we should try to make the renovation and custom-home building process as easy as possible for homeowners.

Some people create secondary suites in their homes by finishing their basement or converting their attic. These spaces can then be used to house a family member—perhaps an elderly parent—or a tenant. Other homeowners in the GTA have a garage or another structure in their backyard that they can convert to a secondary unit.

Photography: Bigstock.com
Photography: Bigstock.com

OPTIMIZING URBAN SPACE

Sometimes, homeowners even have space on their lot for a second, small dwelling. These homes typically face onto public lanes—Toronto, for instance, has more than 2,400—and draw their water and electricity from the main house. Laneway housing, as this type of home is known, has many proponents in the GTA, our industry among them, because it has the potential to provide muchneeded affordable rental housing in established neighbourhoods.

LANEWAY HOUSING UPDATE

While a basement or attic renovation requires only a simple building permit, until recently, homeowners who wanted to build laneway housing had to go through a complicated approvals process. This is the reason Toronto has only a few laneway homes. Things are changing though. Recently, Toronto City Council voted in favour of allowing laneway houses.

Whether you are planning to refurbish a basement or add a laneway house, a RenoMark renovator is your best ally in navigating the process. This renovation professional will share with you his or her knowledge of the rules and regulations that apply in your case and the permits you need. He or she can even submit the application to the municipality on your behalf. Find a RenoMark renovator at renomark.ca.

PERMIT & APPROVAL PROCESS

Unfortunately, even with the help of a RenoMark renovator, the permit and approval process can take months for basic home additions and more than a year for larger renovations and custom homes. That is why BILD created a Standard of Service Excellence that municipalities can adopt. Under the Standard, municipalities would commit to reasonable turnaround times and specific timeframes, provide an online permitting portal for transparency and accountability, and improve service by building inspectors.

By adopting a Standard of Service Excellence for the permit and approval process, municipalities would not only make life easier for homeowners who are undertaking a renovation or building a custom home, they would also help speed up the building of the secondary units that help increase housing supply in our region.

David Wilkes is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, Facebook, BILD’s official blog, and bildgta.ca.


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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

Great Gulf wins prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year Award for the first time.

For the first time in OHBA history, Great Gulf won the prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year award from the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) during its awards gala in Ottawa on September 25, 2018. A finalist in the Builder of the Year category in years past, 2018 was Great Gulf’s year to shine.

An industry leader and innovator in energy efficient, high-quality new homes for more than 40 years, Great Gulf utilizes leading technology in their residential construction, such as the H+ME Technology panelization system and Tucker HiRise, an integrated platform to manage and coordinate the design and construction of buildings.

Great Gulf also has a long-standing tradition of serving the community with partners like The Daily Bread Food Bank and actively participates in fundraising initiatives to assist disenfranchised youth and families.

Great Gulf also supports the industry as a founding member of the Canadian Active House Alliance, volunteers on the BILD Board, as well as the OHBA/EnerQuality Technical Committee and Canada Green Building Council.

The 2018 Ontario Renovator of the Year award was merited by Ottawa-based OakWood. It is renowned for its technology-driven innovation, demonstrated in their partnership with Tesla MPOWER Powerwall for solar roofs, which stores solar energy for later use, thereby reducing reliance on the grid and lowering the electric bill. In addition, OakWood’s High Performance Initiative with Mike Holmes and The Holmes Group leverages additional design-build expertise, allowing OakWood to provide energy-efficient, sustainable services and products.

Fourth-generation and family-run, the company participates in ongoing support for local organizations and charitable causes, including the Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Algonquin College and several local sports teams.

This year there were a record 511 entries submitted to the awards program.

PRESTIGE AWARDS

Project of the Year Lowrise: Minto Communities for Glen Agar, Etobicoke (credit to: Montana Steele Advertising, NAK Design Group, RN Design Ltd.) Project of the Year High or Midrise North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: kg&a, The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

OHBA People’s Choice Award: Paradise Developments for High Point, Brampton (credit to: Ryan Design International)

Ontario Renovator of the Year: OakWood, Ottawa

Ontario Builder of the Year: Great Gulf, Toronto

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

Production Built Home (one storey): Silvergate Homes for Amuse by the Lake “The Beechwood,” Fort Erie (credit to: Aristocrat Floors of the World, Artcraft Kitchens)

Production Built Home (two storeys up to 2,500 SF): Marz Homes for South Coast Village “The Beachside,” Crystal Beach

Production Built Home (two to three storeys 2,501 SF and over): Georgian International Build for Braestone Estates “The Thoroughbred,” Oro-Medonte

Attached Multi-Unit Home: Granite Homes Guelph for Gallery Towns “Gallery Corner Model,” Guelph (credit to: AM Roofing Solutions, Ceramic Decor Centre, Sarmazian Brothers Ltd., Space Age Shelving)

Stacked Townhome Unit: Sorbara Group of Companies for The Way “Dreamway ,” Mississauga (credit to: Greybrook Realty Partners, Guthrie Muscovitch Architects, Metropia)

Custom Home (up to 3,000 SF): Art House Developments for Vaughan St, Ottawa

Custom Home (3,001-5,000 SF): Larco for Canal Terrace House, Ottawa (credit to: Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc.)

Custom Home (5,000 – 10,000 SF): Timberline Custom Homes for Stoney Cove Lake House, Stoney Lake

Midrise Building (4 – 10 storeys): Morley Hoppner for Schoolhouse Lofts, Ottawa (credit to: Hobin Architecture)

Highrise Building (11+ storeys): Mizrahi Developments for The One, Toronto High or Midrise Condo Suite (4+ storeys up to 800 SF): CentreCourt Developments and SmartCentres for Transit City, Vaughan (credit to: Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Figure3)

High or Midrise Condo Suite (4+ storeys 801 SF and over): Tridel for Via Bloor, Toronto (credit to: architects Alliance, The Brand Factory)

RENOVATION

Home Renovation (actual retail value up to $250,000): Accubuilt Construction for Maple Sugar Lane Renovation, Thornhill

Home Renovation ($250,001 – $500,000): Oke Woodsmith Building Systems Inc. for Small Cottage Bliss, Goderich

Home Renovation (over $500,001): Homes By Hendriks for The Butterfly Effect, Oakville (credit to: Amber Stairs & Railings Ltd., Aristocrat Floors of the World, Regional Doors & Hardware, Turkstra Lumber Co. Ltd.)

Kitchen Renovation: OakWood for The New Timeless, Ottawa

Bathroom Renovation: Amsted Design- Build for Ensuite Getaway, Ottawa

ROOM DESIGN

New Home Kitchen (up to 2,500 SF): Schuit Homes for Residence 7-Novokowsky, Ancaster

New Home Kitchen (2,501 SF and over): FarSight Homes for Sunset Ridge, Uxbridge (credit to: Builder Insight Group Inc., Colours & Concepts Inc.)

High or Midrise Condo Suite Kitchen: Mizrahi Developments for The One, Toronto

New Home Bathroom: Activa Holdings for The Greystone – Riverwood, Kitchener

IMAGE & ADVERTISING

Low Rise Project Video (1-3 storeys): Starward Homes for Parkview at River Mill, Cambridge

High or Midrise Project Video (4+ storeys): North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto

Social Media Campaign: Empire Communities for Love Design Live, Breslau (credit to: LuxStoryMedia)

Website: North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

Lowrise Ad Campaign (1-3 storeys): Empire Communities for Empire Legacy, Thorold (credit to: Pureblink)

High or Midrise Ad Campaign (4+ storeys): North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: kg&a, The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

Lowrise Project Logo Branding (1-3 storeys): Great Gulf for Arbor Peaks, Milton (credit to: Community)

High or Midrise Project Logo Branding (4+ storeys): Skale Developments Inc. for 1181, Toronto (credit to: The Brand Factory)

ON-SITE SALES PRESENTATION

New Home Sales Office (Up to 1,500 SF): Mountainview Homes (Niagara) for Timberwood, Fonthill (credit to: ADhoc Studio, Cambria Canada, PS Mediahouse)

New Home Sales Office (1,501 SF and over): DECO Homes for Richlands, Richmond Hill (credit to: Guidelines Advertising Inc.)

Design/Decor Centre: Sky Homes for Sky Homes Design Studio, Woodbridge (credit to: Cambria, Quality Sterling Group)

Model Home/Suite (up to 2,500 SF): Empire Communities for Empire Riverland 3 “Coastal Chic,” Breslau Model Home/Suite (2,501 SF and over): Reid’s Heritage Homes for Lora Bay Masters, Blue Mountains

Lowrise Project Sales Brochure (1-3 storeys): Marz Homes for Smithville Station, Niagara

High or Midrise Project Sales Brochure (4+ storeys): RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust for Kingly, Toronto (credit to: The Brand Factory)

ohba.ca


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Savvy condo purchase begins with the builder

Savvy condo purchase begins with the builder

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Savvy condo purchase begins with the builder

by Scott McLellan

Fall typically brings a flurry of new condo launches and if you’re a buyer contemplating getting into the market, the choices may seem overwhelming.

Let me help simplify the purchase decision process for you: Begin with the builder. The builder is vital to a project’s success. Choose the right one, and you can be reasonably assured that your future home or investment property will meet your expectations.

Seek out a builder who is experienced in condo development and construction. Research the builder’s history. Does the company have a proven track record and have the financial resources needed to fund a project from pre-construction sales through to occupancy? You want to have confidence when you put your deposit down on a condo unit that the building will get finished and you’ll be able to take occupancy a few years in the future – and not to be disappointed to learn down the road that your intended project has been cancelled.

Check out the builder’s sites and prior buildings. Remember the golden rule of real estate – location, location, location. This adage is as relevant today as it ever was with land prices soaring and prime sites hard to come by. The top builders tend to have the best sites in the most desirable neighbourhoods, on transit lines, close to shopping, restaurants and services. Condominiums on or in close proximity to transit, whether you are in downtown Toronto or in suburban locations such as Mississauga or Vaughan, make the best investments. They will have greater price appreciation and market appeal in the future than condo buildings in secondary locations.

See who is on the builder’s team. Does the builder use top architects and designers known for their excellent work? A beautiful building with superb interior design and well-planned suites will have more value, not just as an investment, but as a place you’ll enjoy living in and take pride of ownership in. A well-designed suite can pack a lot of efficiency into a compact space and maximize function. If you’re an investor buyer, you’ll be able to command higher rents and attract quality tenants.

Check out the level of finishes the builder offers as a standard. Everyone appreciates quality appointments such as stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, engineered hardwood floors and porcelain tile, and this add value to a suite. What amenities are offered? Is the builder offering amenities that are relevant to what you need and want? The best builders are on top of the trends, offering facilities such as outdoor landscaped terraces with barbecues and fire pits, lounges, theatre rooms, kitchens and party rooms for socializing with friends, and state-of-the-art fitness rooms. If you plan to raise a family in your condo, you may want a playroom in the building. If you work from home, a co-working space or a room to meet with clients could be on your wish list.

Investigate a builder’s track record. Do they complete their projects on schedule? What is their record with Tarion, the home warranty program? Have they had conciliations or claims against them? Obviously, you’ll want to choose a builder with an untarnished record and a reputation for delivering suites with zero deficiencies, along with excellent customer care.

If you begin your condo search with the builder and keep this advice in mind, odds are that you’ll find a suite you’ll be happy with and one that will provide financial benefits as it appreciates in value.

Scott McLellan is Senior Vice President at Plaza.

Plaza recently earned the Highrise Builder of the Year honour at Tarion’s annual Homeowners’ Choice Awards for excellence in customer service.


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HPG golf tournament helps fight homelessness

HPG golf tournament helps fight homelessness

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HPG golf tournament helps fight homelessness

HOMES Publishing Group’s 15th Annual Invitational Charity Golf Tournament at the Kings Riding Golf Course in King City on September 18 began with a shotgun start and finished with a $18,000 cheque presentation to Raising the Roof, with a 15-year of over $290,000.

The team from HOMES Publishing Group, from left, Josh Rosset, Jessica MacInnis, Frances Mangos, Sonia Presotto, Kim Barton, Michael Rosset, Trish Sutton, Melanie Attridge, Amanda Bell, Fay Splett and Tony Loria.
The team from HOMES Publishing Group, from left, Josh Rosset, Jessica MacInnis, Frances Mangos, Sonia Presotto, Kim Barton, Michael Rosset, Trish Sutton, Melanie Attridge, Amanda Bell, Fay Splett and Tony Loria.

The tournament was originally scheduled for August 21, but huge rain and wind storm forced postponement until September 18, 2018.

On behalf of the participants and tournament sponsor Enbridge, Michael Rosset, founder of HPG and the longest-serving board member of Raising the Roof, made the presentation to Raising the Roof’s CEO Michael Braithwaite, bringing the total raised through the annual event to $290,200. Since 1997, Raising the Roof has raised over $5 million for agencies working to reduce homelessness at the community level.

“We are grateful for the support of so many clients, suppliers and friends over the years, for such a worthy cause as youth homelessness,” Rosset said. “It is vital to find a solution with youth before the challenges become systemic and multi-generational. I also want to thank all our hard-working staff for executing such a fun, well-executed and successful event.”

Some of the tournament highlights include:

Winning Foursome

EnerQuality


Closest the Pin

Men: Jonathan Dalima, BILD

Women: Nicole Damianidis, Olympia Steel Buildings


Longest Drive

Men: Julian Scaini, Sun-Brite Drapery

Women: Nicole Damianidis, Olympia Steel Buildings


Closest to the Chair Sponsored by Sensational Signs

Men: Sheila Moffat

Women: Richard Luciani


Raywal Cabinets TV Contest Hole

Svanco Stepic, Ballantry Homes


Bradstone/StoneRox Contest Hole

Brendan Charters, Eurodale


Raising the Roof 50/50 Putting Contest

Raywal Cabinets (total amount raised $1,230 as Raywal Cabinets donated their 50/50 portion back to the charity


Fisher & Paykel Beat the Scott

Men: Matt Andrews, PMA Breathour Realty

Ladies: Shannon Bertuzzi, EnerQuality


SPONSORS

Tournament Sponsor

Enbridge


Corporate & Dinner Sponsor

Solisco Printers


Gold Sponsors

Empire Communities

Heathwood Homes

PMA Brethour Realty

Raywal Cabinets


Silver Sponsor

Stateview Homes


Bronze Sponsor

Hanstone Canada


Gold Hole Sponsors

Cassidy & Co, Brampton Brick, Hanstone, Brookfield, In2ition, Ryan Design International, Mark’s Choice, Fieldgate Homes, Rosehaven Homes, Toronto Home Shows, Uniform Custom Countertops, B First, Coughlan Homes, Bradstone/StoneRox, Mattamy Homes, Great Gulf, Reliance Home Comfort, Ballantry Homes, My Design Studio, Geranium Homes, TAG Vodka, Reliance Home Comfort, Raywal Cabinets, Madhouse Advertising Inc., Reno Run, Sensational Signs


Hole Contest Sponsors

Bradstone/Stonerox, Fisher & Paykel, Raywal Cabinets, Sensational Signs and TAG Vodka


Treats Sponsors

B First Realty, Democrat Homes, Hanstone Canada, In2ition, Lindvest, Madhouse Advertising, Reliance Home Comfort, Reno Run, Sun-Brite Drapery, TAG Vodka and Torlys


Cart Donations

Enbridge, EnerWuality, Euroline Appliances, MOEN, Raising the Roof

RaisingTheRoof.org

MyHomePage.ca



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A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

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A beach of a deal from Warren Buffett

In 1971, Warren Buffett bought a contemporary-style beach home in Laguna Beach for $150,000, long before prices on the Southern California Pacific Coast began to skyrocket. It’s now for sale for $7.9 million.

He has had the six-bedroom home listed for over a year at $11 million (U.S.), but recently cut the price by $3.1 million, now asking $7.9 million.

Known for his Midas touch in choosing investments, Buffett is equally well known for being a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to living like the billionaire he is. Never one to be led by societal advancements, he refrains from using popular technology and has no egotistical need to keep up with the Joneses or prove that his anything is bigger and better than his peers. Of course, with a worth of almost $85 billion, he has few peers. The only visible evidence of his largess is the private jet he purchased in 1989, only because it saved time in getting to his meetings.

One of the most unexpected things one would expect from a billionaire such as Buffett is that he would still be living in an average family home that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 in Omaha, Nebraska, the city where he was born. That’s not to say that he didn’t make one splurge in personal real estate. While married to his first wife, Susan Thompson, he did buy the beach house where the family of five would vacation and spend holidays. The house, which he purchased for $150,000, overlooks the Pacific and is only a short walk to the sandy beach. Now that it is no longer used, he put it on the market in early 2017 and is now ready to make a deal, reducing the price by $3.1 million.

Today, the house is located in a much more developed community than when he bought in. It is located in a gated community that sports multiple tennis courts, a swimming pool and beach volleyball courts, among other amenities. He and Susan enjoyed entertaining their friends at the house but found that there were so many that he also bought a house next door and built a stairway to connect the two. After Susan died in 2004, Warren rarely used the home and sold the connecting property in 2005. At 3,588 square feet, the Laguna Beach house is much different than Warren’s traditional Omaha home, which is worth about $600,000. His California home is very contemporary with six bedrooms and seven baths, big windows, sculptured ceilings and recessed lighting to spotlight the home’s modern art, a long fireplace and multiple built-ins. Two of the bedrooms have private entrances so guests can come and go without disturbing others. All rooms, including the large family room and decks, have ocean and beach views and the rock cliffs spilling onto the beach of Emerald Bay. Though Buffett will no longer be playing his uke on the deck or bridge with his friends, it is an excellent property for enjoying family and friends with plenty to do on one of California’s most popular beaches.

Newly priced at $7.9 million, the listing agent is Bill Dolby of Villa Real Estate, Emerald Bay, Calif.

Source: toptenrealestatedeals.com


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The Villages of Sally Creek

The Villages of Sally Creek

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The Villages of Sally Creek

The perfect place to call home

An all-encompassing lifestyle can be found at The Villages of Sally Creek. This master-planned community, by Sunlight Heritage Homes, is situated on 230 acres of rolling hills in Woodstock, and is easily accessible to the neighbouring cities of London, Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo.

The Villages of Sally Creek has been designed to include top-notch amenities, and thoughtful consideration has been given to a wide range of appealing interests that residents have the option of enjoying. The well-appointed community centre is definitely at the hub of the neighbourhood, and will eventually include an indoor pool, sauna, exercise facilities, and a greenhouse solarium. For exclusive use by residents, is the library, a games room, a computer lab, craft rooms and workshops. And, of course, the spectacular Sally Creek Golf Course opened in the fall of 2008. Meet friends at the Sally Creek Bistro for good food and good company.

QUALITY & LUXURY

Two distinct options are available at The Villages of Sally Creek. Bungalow/townhomes with a walk-out basement are priced from $409,900, and detached bungalow designs on 50-foot lots start at $446,900.

Contemporary brick and stone facades are augmented with architectural detailing. Interiors include nine-foot ceilings on the main floor, engineered hardwood flooring in the living and dining room, and granite countertops in the kitchen. In addition to these exceptional features, the homes at Sally Creek are priced some $200,000 less than comparable adult lifestyle communities.

Sunlight Heritage Homes has been building homes for more than 25 years, and are well- known for their dedication to quality and luxury. Open-concept designs can be personalized with wonderful finishing options that are available at Sunlight’s 2,000-square-foot Design Studio.

FURTHER AFIELD

Well-maintained nature paths are available in, and around, the Villages, and provide the consummate outlet for walking, biking and cross-country skiing – close to home.

In addition to the relaxation and social attributes available at The Villages of Sally Creek, the city of Woodstock also offers day-tripping destinations and entertainment options. The residents of The Villages of Sally Creek are close to a variety of medical care services, shopping and dining, as well as Highways 401 and 403. Explore Stratford, London, Paris, Cambridge and Kitchener/Waterloo – all within an easy half-hour drive.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Sales Office and Model Home are located at 301 Fairway Road in Woodstock.

226-289-1943
sunlighthomes.ca


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AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Constructive Construction

AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Constructive Construction

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AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Constructive Construction

by Craig Essery
Photography: Bigstock.com

Steps you can take to speed up your home reno project

Remodelling is always a big undertaking. Whether you’re redoing a single room or embarking on a full-home addition project, understanding the renovation process ahead of you and doing your part to prepare for any foreseeable obstacles is sure to save you time and headaches—many headaches.

PLAN SMART

Arguably, the most important stage in the reno process is the planning phase. As a homeowner ready to commit to renovating, it’s crucial that you have a clear vision of what you want to get out of your renovation, and that you do your research before hiring a contractor. Start with making a list of what it is that bothers you about your current home; take your time with this and really consider what you want to achieve from the renovation. Do you need more space? Do you want an open-concept layout? Do you need to plan for a growing family? Decide what features are, and are not, negotiable. Next, do your research before hiring anyone. You want to understand the process that’s ahead of you, and handpick the best company for the job based on what’s required for your home. Remember that experience brings efficiency, so it’s important to find a contractor who has plenty of experience working in your neighbourhood with your type of house. For projects requiring substantial design and project coordination, consider hiring a Design-Build company to service the job from start to finish. Design-Build companies tend to have all the trades and services you will need either vetted or in-house, making the process more efficient.

BE TRANSPARENT WITH FINANCES

Although it may seem like a given to have your finances fully in order before signing with your contractor, it’s more common than you’d expect for projects to come to a complete halt, after construction has already begun, due to a lack of finances. Being transparent and clear with your contractor and design partners, in terms of what your main objectives are, and what you’re willing to invest in order to achieve them, is extremely important. Transparency will give your contractor the information they need to ensure that your expectations are realistic for your budget.

MAKE TEMPORARY LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

Relocating your living quarters, be it to an entirely new location or just a different part of your house, is inevitable during a renovation. Talk with your contractor to determine the best plan of action and work together to make the best of that decision. If you decide to fully move out during construction, push the contractor to shorten the timeline slightly; if you decide to relocate to a different part of the house, determine where the best area is that won’t cause delays and jeopardize the project schedule.

AVOID MID-PROJECT CHANGES

Contractors provide homeowners with a project schedule prior to beginning any work on the home. After the design phase has been completed, your contractor will generally provide you with an updated schedule for the upcoming construction phase; however, any changes that are made after exiting the design phase will result in increased costs and an extension in the project timeline. Avoid mid-project changes and don’t exit the conceptual design phase until you’re 100 per cent sure you’re happy with the plans.

BE REALISTIC

Aside from cost, the main hesitation people have for remodelling their home is time. They envision themselves being victim to uncomfortable living conditions for months, or years, on end; and, while living conditions during a major reno varies from project to project, homeowners are right to be concerned about the lengthy period of time they’ll be subjected to these conditions. It almost always takes longer than expected to complete a renovation, so that’s why thorough planning and having realistic expectations will help mitigate the delays and frustrations that are bound to happen along the way. Depending on the size of the renovation, a typical home in Toronto will take a full year to complete from conceptual design to move in; and if it requires attention from the Committee of Adjustments, add another three to six months.

Specializing in home additions and major home renovations in old-Toronto neighbourhoods, Men At Work Design Build provides integrated engineering, design and professional construction services to help solve home space problems for Toronto families.

Craig Essery is a Renovation Consultant at the award-winning, two-time winner of the BILD Renovator of the Year award, 2012 & 2017, design-build firm.


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