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August Market Recap: “August Market Report: Summer Ends in the GTA with a Hot Market” If you haven’t checked out our latest market report, click here!

What’s On in Toronto This September

If the hubbub of summer typically winds down come September 1, Toronto doesn’t know about it. The kids may be back in school and the temperatures may be getting ready to drop, but the event calendar is still packed with all kinds of fun stuff, like these four happenings.

It’s that time of year again. The Toronto International Film Festival rolls into town from September 5 to 15, bringing with it a fresh crop of cinematic treats and a who’s who of top international talent. Don’t have tickets yet? Join the “rush” lineup at desired screenings for your chance at last-minute tickets. More: The Toronto International Film Festival

On at the Harbourfront Centre September 6 to 8, Veg Food Fest is “North America’s largest celebration of all things veg.” In addition to enjoying tasty eats and vendors selling natural products, clothing and more, visitors can take in presentations and workshops. More: Veg Food Fest

If stand-up comedy is more your speed, you’ll want to make your way to a Just For Laughs event. The annual festival of funny is on from September 19 to 29, with headliners like Carol Burnett and Marc Maron taking to stages across the city. More: Just For Laughs

Can’t make it to Munich this fall? Head to Ontario Place September 26 to 28 for Toronto Oktoberfest instead. Come for the beer and schnitzel, stay for the live music, dancing and good cheer, all under a massive Bavarian-style Festhalle tent. Lederhosen strongly recommended. More: Toronto Oktoberfest

Entrepreneurs Get Creative with Living Space

According to The Economist, Toronto is the best city in the world to live. According to urban planning consultancy firm Demographia, it is also one of the worst when it comes to cost of living, ranking number five among the most unaffordable cities in the world. But one creative entrepreneurial couple brilliantly solved the problem of finding adequate living space in downtown Toronto.

Everyone knows that living space in downtown Toronto takes big bucks, and budget constraints leave many Torontonians feeling boxed in. But in a recent Toronto Life article, columnist Iris Benaroia reports on Carl Cassell and Ana Silva, who sold their home in the suburbs to move in above Harlem Underground, the restaurant they own in the trendy Queen Street West neighbourhood.

To avoid the costs of standard construction, the couple opted for pre-fab, steel shipping containers. Deciding that three containers would do the trick, they expanded their living space from 650 to 3,400 square feet. It was merely a matter of getting the right permits and finding the right crane operator.

Re-purposed steel shipping containers seem to be the latest well-known secret for many creative space-makers, and there’s a whole new field of architecture dedicated to turning these green, sustainable structures into livable, lovable homes. Typically costing about $1,500 to $4,000 each, they are a fraction of the cost of constructing an addition and can even be pre-fit offsite.

Cassell and Silva made it happen by thinking outside the box. They love being so close to work, and with great fire and safety ratings, they’re poised to save on insurance too. Indeed, big steel boxes save dollars and make sense.

Finding the Perfect Hues for Your Home

How do you usually choose the colours for your walls? Many consider their favourite shades, or they try to match existing furniture or other décor. This is how some people like to do it, but did you know that there are optimal colours for each room type?

The next time you’re ready to splash a new colour on your surroundings, consider choosing a hue that suits the room’s purpose. Here are some guidelines you can use as you pick your paint.

Bedrooms: Green. This colour is typically associated with calmness and relaxation. Green in the bedroom can help you rest well after a hectic day.

Offices: Blue. This shade is a productivity booster. As a calming colour, it can help lower your heart rate so you can focus, yet it also stimulates energy so you can work hard.

Dining rooms: Red. The colour red is believed to make people hungry. It’s an exciting colour that whets the appetite, making it ideal for the dining room.

Kitchens: Yellow. When cooking, this bright, cheerful colour adds to the joys of food preparation. It also creates an inviting atmosphere for the heart of your home, where family and guests often gather.

Living rooms: White. By reflecting light, white makes a room appear larger. This hue also encourages relaxation. These qualities make it the perfect choice for lounge spaces.

Media rooms: Black. It sounds extreme, but consider the atmosphere of a movie theater. Black, or another dark shade, allows viewers to focus on the screen as the only light-coloured area of the room. The darkness also reduces reflections and improves viewing colour.

Thinking that some of these may be too bold? Is your kitchen white, and you want it to stay that way?

If these colours don’t appeal to you for paint selections, consider adding splashes of these shades in each room. Add red decorations around the dining table. Add some green throw pillows in your bedroom. You might be surprised at how well these accents enhance the ambiance of each space.

Ask an Expert a.k.a. Us!

Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?

This is a common strategy for sellers, and it doesn’t always go as planned. The results of this tactic are generally the opposite of what the sellers hope, unfortunately. Let us explain.

A home must be priced in the “strike zone” for buyers to make an offer. If your home is priced outside of this zone, you may not receive offers, and your home could sit on the market longer.

Since time on the market is the number one enemy for sellers, this is not a good situation. The longer a home remains on the market, the more buyers will wonder “What is wrong with this listing?”

To prevent your home from getting stale as it sits on the market, we need to price it just right. When you’re ready to list your home, we will complete a comparative market analysis (CMA) to evaluate what similar homes are selling for in your market.  We will then recommend a price that will get your home sold quickly, for as much as possible, based on current market demand.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about pricing or to schedule an appointment for an evaluation of your home.

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