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August Market Recap: ” Market Finishes Summer Season Strong!”. If you haven’t checked out our latest market report, click here!

What’s On in Toronto in September

If you think the city is jam-packed with events only in the summer, think again. As the temperatures cool and the leaves begin changing their beautiful colours, there’s no shortage of activities to help you usher in the fall.

Ready to see some stars? Set your sights on this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from Sept. 6 to 16! A-list celebrities will descend on the city for the prestigious movie festival, which is guaranteed to jump-start early Oscar buzz. More: Toronto International Film Festival

The Famous Canadian Beer Run & Festival returns on Sept. 15. Part run and part craft beer festival, the event will bring together thousands of runners as they participate in a scenic five-kilometre run or walk alongside stunning Lake Ontario. You’ll be greeted at the finish line by craft beer vendors, food trucks and live entertainment. More: The Famous Canadian Beer Run & Festival

Grab your breath mints and head on over to Wychwood Barns for the eighth annual Toronto Garlic Festival 2018 on Sept. 16! Get your fill of fresh garlic, taste flavourful garlic-inspired dishes and desserts, and buy one-of-a-kind garlic products at this fragrant food festival. More: Toronto Garlic Festival 2018

Queen West is known as one of the most vibrant, dynamic neighbourhoods in the city. You can celebrate the area’s art, culture and diversity at Queen West Art Crawl 2018 on Sept. 22 and 23. The two-day festival will showcase the community’s creativity in beautiful Trinity Bellwoods Park. More: Queen West Art Crawl 2018

Pay-What-You-Can Store Offers New Concept

The Junction’s Pay It Forward Grocery Store is the first of its kind in Toronto. Why? Because it encourages customers to take exactly what they need and pay only what they can, even if that means paying nothing at all.

The experimental store, which opened in June, has many of the staples of traditional grocery stores, like a bakery and a café. It is the brainchild of chef Jagger Gordon, who says he doesn’t expect to make a profit from the endeavour. His goal, instead, is twofold: He wants to feed the hungry and curb food waste.

“The concept behind the store is showcasing how Canadians can utilize the food that’s destined for landfills: perfectly edible food that shouldn’t be thrown out and can be filling the empty bellies of our citizens,” he said.

The grocery store is Gordon’s latest effort in his zero-waste and food security campaign, Feed It Forward. Last year, he introduced a pay-what-you-can restaurant that sold soup and sandwiches made from discarded produce. The restaurant was open for eight months, and while Gordon didn’t make a profit, he said everything “balanced out” at the end.

Sliding scale concepts are often applied to events, but there are fewer instances of the model being used for grocery stores. To keep things sustainable, Gordon said visitors to the store can take only a day’s worth of food or choose to receive a biweekly box of prepackaged food and recipes. He also relies heavily on volunteers and donated produce from supermarkets.

“This is about showcasing how it can be done. People will invest in this idea, whether it’s with me or someone else,” Gordon said.

Do You Need a Property Manager?

If you already own a rental property, or you’re looking to get into the business, the idea of having to deal with tenants and managing the property might be daunting.

But that’s where property managers step in.

A credible property manager will take over the responsibilities that rental owners might not want to handle. This could include surveying the market and area to determine a reasonable and competitive rate to charge for rent. Property managers can also help you sell a home by generating solid leads through a variety of channels, including social media, advertising, and the multiple listing service.

Once your property has caught the eye of prospective tenants, the property manager can help you vet the tenants to make sure any potential renters will be responsible and reliable. Once the tenants have been screened and approved and have moved in, property managers will even be able to protect you from potential lawsuits by staying up to date on your city’s laws, rules, and regulations to make sure you’re in the clear.

From there, they’ll be able to take over the less desirable parts of property management, like handling emergency repairs, creating monthly expenditure reports, taking care of important tax filings, and performing home visits. Given the wide range of services that property managers provide, you might now be wondering how much they charge. Fees vary widely depending on where you live, but most managers will charge one month’s rent to secure a tenant and then charge a monthly fee to manage the property.

As with all things related to buying and renting property, you’ll want to make sure you do your research before hiring a property manager. But once you find one that is experienced and dependable, you might be amazed by the peace of mind their services can bring.

Your real estate agent can assist by recommending a reputable company.

Ask an Expert a.k.a. Us!

Why hasn’t my home sold?

If you’re in a hot market, and your sign out front still doesn’t bear the much-desired “sold” banner, it’s probably for one of three reasons.

First and foremost is price. Have you priced it realistically? Work with a real estate agent who knows your area and can recommend a reasonable price based on comparable sales and your home’s condition.

The second common reason is condition. Is your kitchen outdated? Does your exterior need a paint job? If your home needs work, you should reflect this in the price or complete the necessary work.

The third factor relates to how you show your home. Remember, you want to make a dazzling first impression. Make sure your home is in top condition for showings. Turn on lights, open blinds, declutter, deodorize and vacate the premises during showings. Present buyers with a bright, clean, and inviting space they’ll fall in love with.

Lead image via BlogTO.

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