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5 Things to do Family Day Weekend in Brampton

With Family Day fast approaching (Monday, February 18), it is time to start deciding what to do with your family for the long weekend. Here is a list of five fun Family Day activities to do in Brampton:

1. Outdoor Skating

Enjoy Family Day at one of the many outdoor skating rinks in Brampton. Most of the outdoor rinks in Brampton are free of charge and open to the public most days of the week. However, since they are outdoors, they are also weather dependent. Ensure that you check the rink status on the City of Brampton website before heading out. Here is a list of the outdoor skating rinks you should check out:

Mount Pleasant

Enjoy a fun family outing at the outdoor rink in Mount Pleasant Village. This outdoor rink is smaller in size but perfect for skaters of any ability, especially those who are just learning how to skate.

Gore Meadows

The newest skating rink is Brampton is now open at Gore Meadows Community Centre. This outdoor ice rink is unique because it is covered, which means you won’t be exposed to any weather falling from the clouds. Ice skates and helmets are not available for rental at this location so make sure you bring your own!

skating on an outdoor rink

Gage Park Outdoor Skating Trail

In the heart of downtown Brampton is this outdoor skating trail perfect for families to enjoy. You can skate through the trees and scenery of Gage Park, and as an added bonus, it’s free! If you go in the evening there is a fire pit which is perfect for warming up during those frigid February evenings.

Chinguacousy Park Skate Trail

One of the newer Brampton outdoor skating rinks is located at Chinguacousy Park. The rink is designed in an irregular canal shape which allows skaters of all abilities to practice their skills. This rink is able to accommodate up to 500 skaters.

Don’t have skates or a helmet? Not a problem! At Gage Park and the Chinguacousy Park Skate Trail, you can rent these items from Thursday to Sunday.

2. Chinguacousy Park Fun

There is a lot more to do at Chinguacousy Park aside from skating. In the last few years, Brampton has done a lot of renovating and updating to its Chinguacousy Park. There is so much to do here all year long. This Family Day, get your family outside to explore what it has to offer. One of the most popular winter activities at Chinguacousy Park is skiing, snowboarding and tubing at Mount Chinguacousy, a great hill for beginners to learn on. Rental of skis, snowboards and equipment can be done at the rental shop.

3. Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA)

On February 18th, you can enjoy a fun-filled day with free activities inspired by PAMA’s winter exhibit: Ronald Boore – Black & White and North is Freedom. These activities include creating a winter polar bear scene, meeting local artist Mosa McNeilly, and a storytelling performance with Diane Brathwaite and Chris Whiteley.

If you can’t make it on February 18th, there are other family-friendly activities occurring all weekend long, including designing your own quilt pattern and storytelling with Sandra Whiting.

4. Aerosports Trampoline Park

Aerosports Trampoline Park is a great place to go to burn off a lot of energy. There is so much to do at this park for kids of all ages. Some of the fun features include dodgeball, a full arcade, climbing walls, open jumping, and climb and slide zone. As well as the largest warrior course in Canada, which tests your balance and strength on an obstacle course.

Little girls on a trampoline

5. Brampton Community Centres

Many Brampton Community Centres have public swimming or public skating for you and your family to enjoy. These are great activities for you and your family to enjoy that won’t break the bank.

You can also try checking out one of Brampton’s local libraries for some Family Day Learning. As an added bonus, if you go to the libraries at Mount Pleasant Village or Gore Meadows, there are also skating rinks to enjoy.

With all these fun family activities to enjoy, there’s no doubt you will be able to find a way to spend quality time with your family this Family Day long weekend. Let us know if you have any other favourite fun family activities you like to do this long weekend. Comment below!

Assessing the Canadian Real Estate Market 2019

 

“Employment is high, rates are low, and home prices are essentially flat. 2019 is shaping up to be a year of rare opportunities” – Phil Sopher, President and CEO, Royal LePage

With one month of 2019 in the books, changes have already been happening in the Canadian Real Estate market this year. The Canadian Real Estate market is constantly changing with the supply and demand needed for today’s buyers and sellers. If you are thinking of making moves in the 2019 market, here is some information you might find helpful when buying or selling this year:

What did home sales in the Real Estate Market look like in 2018?

Knowing what happened in the previous year and the previous quarter is important when trying to determine what might happen in the following quarters. At the beginning of 2019, Royal LePage released their House Price Survey which stated that healthy gains were made throughout Canada, especially in the fourth quarter of 2018. This is great news for buyers and sellers as the market is continuing to recover from the most significant housing correction since the financial crisis. According to the survey, “the price of a home in Canada increased 4.0 per cent year-over-year to $631,223 in the fourth quarter of 2018.” During the end of the fourth quarter, the Greater Toronto Area saw healthy home appreciation. Condominiums continued to see the highest rate of appreciation nationally when compared to the detached segment, rising 7.2 per cent year-over-year to $447,915.

Bank of Canada Announcement – January 2019

On January 9th, the Bank of Canada announced that there would be no change to their overnight rate, meaning that variable rate mortgages, lines of credit, and/or student loans that are based on the Bank’s Prime Rate will stay the same. But what does this mean for you as a homeowner or potential homeowner?

“Those with a variable rate mortgage can take a sigh of relief for now. The Bank of Canada held its overnight rate at their January 9th meeting. Many Economists expect there will be a slower pace on rate hikes and that spring to mid-year will be the more likely timing,” said Michelle Campbell, a local mortgage broker.

Campbell continued, “Although the 5-year bond yield would suggest a decrease in fixed rates, that hasn’t happened. The variable rates are almost 90% lower than fixed rates, depending on if you are purchasing, renewing or refinancing. CMHC reported that 31% of insured buyers chose a variable rate mortgage in the third quarter of 2018. Features of a variable rate mortgage include the ability to lock into a fixed rate at any time without a penalty, a 3-month interest penalty to break the mortgage before the term is up as well as the qualifying interest rate being much lower than that of a fixed rate.”

“With fixed rates holding steady, a variable rate mortgage is still a very attractive option,” concluded Campbell.

Expect to have more interest rates announcements in 2019. The announcement dates for this year are as followed: March 6, April 24, May 29, July 10, September 4, October 30, and December 4.

Canadian dollar with business diagram pen and calcualtor
What are the predictions for the 2019 Housing Market?

Although in real estate nothing is ever certain, there are still projections made each year as well as each quarter. Phil Sopher, president and CEO, Royal LePage stated, “Canada’s real estate market is beginning to emerge from the correction that began a year ago. The national real estate market is stable and should see modest price gains by the end of 2019.”

Although house prices and home sale volumes were soft and low last year, you can expect modestly better results in 2019 according to Sopher. It is projected that the modest home price appreciation to rise 1.2 per cent in Canada in 2019, which means if you looking to enter the real estate market, the time is now.

“A silver lining in this cloud of uncertainty is the opportunity for young families to enter the market,” said Sopher.

For more information on the Canadian Real Estate market and the projections for 2019, please contact one our agents or mortgage brokers today.

Design Trends for 2019

With a new year come new design patterns, everything from timeless pieces to fresh takes on old styles. For 2019, there are some fantastic home design trends that are predicted to make their way into many homes.

If you’re renovating or building a new home in 2019, we recommend that you look out for the following trends to include in your new home design:

Brass Decor

Goodbye stainless steel and hello brass! The year 2019 is predicted to be the year of brass accents throughout the home. Brass provides warmth and an alternative to the expected steel accents. Brass can also be paired with a variety of accents, colours, and metals.

Black and White Decor

Black and white furnishings are a truly timeless trend that doesn’t appear to be leaving the design world anytime soon. The visual contrast between black and white provides a sense of boldness and balance within any room of your home.

This colour palette also allows you to add and change accent colours seasonally or whenever you see fit. It is a versatile style that can suit a wide range of homes.

Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns have been a bold presence within the home design world for many years. They are no new trend, but they are expected to make comeback in 2019.

With these patterns, the choices are also predicted to be bolder and more colourful, instead of the classic greys and whites. Geometric patterns are good for every room of the home, including but not limited to bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Geometric patterns in design trends for 2019

Dramatic Neutrals

Neutral colour palettes will continue to be a trend in 2019. However, adding a pop of colour is one trend that’s expected to emerge in the new year.

This adaptation is a way to add a dramatic element to any space. For example, having an all grey palette with a pop of fuchsia pink for a little girl’s bedroom.

Natural Finishes

Indoor greenery has been a design trend for quite some time now. However, it is expected to become even bigger in 2019. The new year is predicted to be all about layering the natural elements with greenery. This can be faux greenery or real greenery.

Behr Colour of the Year

One design trend that happens annually is the Behr Colour of the Year. Every year, Behr has a Colour of the Year, which is expected to make its way into many homes in a variety of ways.

The Behr Colour of the Year for 2019 is Blueprint. This is a mid-tone blue, which is said to be universally appealing to homeowners as it is quite versatile. Blueprint is a paint colour that can be used in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or even used to paint accent pieces of furniture.

Behr has even created 4 different colour palettes to guide homeowners into integrating this colour into their home. You can access this resource on their website

Trends are trends because people have all agreed that it is the right direction. That being said, adding your own personal flare to your home is a trend that will never go away!

Caledon Winter Curb Appeal

Winter curb appeal can be quite difficult, compared to curb appeal in the fall or the spring. However, there are a variety of ways to make your home appealing to attract potential buyers — even during the winter months.

It is important to keep in mind that there are always people looking to buy a home regardless of the time of year. With job promotions, children moving out, new marriages, divorces, and countless other reasons, circumstances change during the year for lots of people.

If you are trying to sell a home, then the following tips can help you increase your home’s winter curb appeal.

1. You can never have too much light

In the winter months, the days are short and it gets dark before most people can get home.

Since real estate agents are typically meeting prospective clients after their workday ends, it is important to have good lighting. This includes lights along the outside walkway, on the porch, and even at the rear of the home.

Make sure the garage lights are working and, if you have any motion-sensor lights, then this is a good time to check or replace the bulbs.

2. Remove snow

If you live in a place that frequently gets a lot of snow, make sure your front walk and driveway are well shoveled before buyers arrive. Ensure any exterior steps are free of snow or ice, by placing down salt, in order to prevent slips or falls. Also, as an added touch, get rid of as many icicles hanging on gutters or the roof.

Man using snowblower to shovel snow in Caledon

3. Add colour

The winter months are filled with cloudy skies and dreary days. Adding some colour in key spots will help your home stand out from other sellers and hopefully help the home sell faster.

One great way to add colour is through potted plants. Since the winter is missing colour, a simple fix is to get some nice, bright pots and add some plants designed specifically for winter.

Species like juniper, blue holly, barberry, boxwood, and red-twig dogwood are able to stay green throughout the year. Placing some of these plants near the door and along the walkway will add to the instant appeal of the home.

4. Do a deep cleaning

Deep cleaning is a great way to make sure that your home looks its best to visitors and prospective buyers.

Do some pressure washing of the exterior walls and walkway, or hire someone to do it. This deep cleaning will reveal the true color of the home’s walls and make the driveway and walkway look fresher.

5. Trim trees and bushes around the house

Another smart idea is to look at the trees and bushes around the home and trim them in a pattern that will accent the home.

Bushes should be cut at the same height and stop just below windows to add more focus to the actual window. Tree branches need to be cut in a way that allows them to frame the window and draws the visitor’s eye to the home.

Home with good winter curb appeal in Caledon

6. Repair the fence and especially the gate

If your home has any type of gate, whether it is in front of the home or in the rear, take time to ensure the gate swings freely. Repair or replace the latch or hinges.

Make sure the gate is easy to open and close for an average adult, by oiling the hinges or removing snow and ice that’s in the way. Remove any vines or other clutter from the fence.

7. Scrub all the windows

In case a prospective buyer visits your home in the evening, it is a sure bet that grimy windows will be a big turn off. The dirt will be easier to see at night with the lights of the home shining out to the yard.

Take some time, invest some elbow grease and a good cleaning solution, and get rid of dirt, fingerprints, or anything else that is keeping your windows from sparkling.

8. Stop mud from getting into the home

In the winter months, filled with snow and rain, there is one constant: mud.

Instead of trying to rely on a doormat that will likely be overwhelmed in a matter of days, install a scraper for boots. These items are usually made of iron, in order to withstand the elements and can be easily cleaned.

Hopefully, this list has given you some ideas for ways that you can increase your home’s winter curb appeal. Regardless of the time of year, there are always good ways to sell your home. We hope that these suggestions will help entice a potential buyer to make an offer on your lovely home soon!

Factors to Consider When Preparing to Downsize

Have all or most of your kids moved out the house? Is retirement potentially in your near future? If so, then the possibility of downsizing may have come into question.

When the kids leave the nest, downsizing often feels like the natural choice as the abundance of space is not a necessity anymore. One of the benefits of downsizing is that you have to pay less for your home and have less rooms to clean each day, which means that you have more time to do things you love, such as golfing, shopping, or painting.

Here is a list of factors you should consider when you’re preparing to downsize your home:

1. Money Matters

It is common that a good majority of your money is tied up in a property. Buying a home can easily be one of the largest transactions you make in your life.

By selling your current home and downsizing to a smaller one, it allows you to free up some finances to make enjoying life a little easier. The money that is currently tied up in your home can be used for that Carribean cruise you always wanted to go on.

2. Identity Crisis

For many, the process of finding a property that has lesser value than their current home can be extremely difficult to navigate. Many people find that their home is something they are extremely proud of and attached to.

It can be difficult to see how you can be equally as proud of a home that is smaller and has less value on the market. However, it doesn’t matter how much your home is worth, it’s about what you do with the home that makes it special.

3. Clean Break

Downsizing means that you are going to have fewer rooms to sweep, vacuum, mop, scrub, dust, rearrange, paint, and fix.

The relief of not having to do as much housework and home maintenance in itself can be motivation enough to move. Another added bonus of less rooms to clean is that you will have more free time to do what you want to do, instead of having to stay home and clean the house.

Elderly couple in the process of downsizing in Georgetown

4. Be Our Guest

Entertaining friends and family regularly is important to many homeowners. When downsizing, many people become worried that they are not going to have the space to entertain and allow people to stay over as often, due to lack of space.

However, this is not the case in downsizing. You just have to be smart by using space saving furniture, such as a Murphy bed or a pullout couch. Another way to save space is by using one room for multiple purposes, or by ensuring that where your furniture is placed allows for openness within the space. This will help you to feel comfortable in a smaller home, but still suit all of your entertaining needs.

5. Do What is Right for You

You have to decide what size is right for you when downsizing your home.

For some, it may be okay to go from a 4 bedroom detached home to a 1 bedroom condo in a busy city. For others, they may downsize to a 3 bedroom semi-detached home.

There is no wrong way to downsize your home. Sometimes people look outside of their current neighbourhood, in order to get more bang for their buck. Sometimes people will look in a different community altogether. Regardless, you have to do what is right for you. Most importantly, you don’t want to rush this process.

You want to make sure that you take your time and truly decide what is the best option for you mentally, emotionally, and financially. You will know when it is the right time for you to downsize.

For help finding the right home when downsizing, contact the Paula Mitchell Group team today.

The Best Places to Eat in Caledon

Whether you are looking for new places to eat in Caledon or a new resident to the area, there are so many restaurants to enjoy within Caledon and the surrounding area.

Here is a list of some of our favourite restaurants and coffee shops within Caledon:

1. Butter and Cup – Bakery and Coffee Co.

This warm and inviting coffee house is located in the highly sought-after area of Southfields Village. This coffee shop is owned by a local resident and welcomes each customer as family. Serving organic, fair trade coffee and delicious baked goods, soups and sandwiches, this bakery and coffee shop is a great place to get a bite to eat.

It’s also a great place to get together with friends and catch up, or to disconnect for a while. The coffee house will often hold events including live music and read-alongs with local children’s authors.

2. Higher Ground Coffee Company

Enjoy a visit to the Higher Ground Coffee Company any evening of the week with great hot and cold beverages and plenty of board games. This coffee shop does a great job of making you feel warm and cozy.

Higher Ground serves local products on their lunch and baked goodies menu, as well as a variety of coffees and teas. This is a great spot to enjoy a coffee with some friends and catch up together while playing board games and relaxing on the couch.

3. Millcroft Inn and Spa

The Millcroft Inn and Spa is a great place to get away for a day or even a weekend without going too far. At the Millcroft Inn and Spa, you can enjoy fine dining with a great tasting meal right in Caledon.

When dining at the Millcroft, enjoy the view and sound of cascading waterfalls and greenery. The meals are creative and elegant, serving French classic cuisine with country flair. Enjoy a meal with the ones you love or ones you are catching up with and take in the beautiful scenery and spa facilities, all in the same location.

Fresh harvest vegetables at best place to eat in Caledon

4. Ray’s 3rd Generation Bistro and Bakery

We have no doubt that you’ll feel like you’re in the comfort of your own home when you walk into Ray’s 3rd Generation Bistro and Bakery. Ray’s is a family-owned and operated bistro, which has been around for many years in Caledon.

This generations-old bistro and bakery produce food from their classic family recipes and also serves local Ontario beer and wine. This is a great spot for a couple’s night out, large parties, or even private events. There are local musicians who frequently play in the bistro to provide live entertainment for the guests in the evenings.

5. Spirit Tree Estate Cidery

Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is a great place to be, whether you are looking for a night out or a day trip with friends and family. At this bistro, you can enjoy many local products off the bistro menu, including cheese boards, daily soups and salads, hot entrées and quiche. One of their most popular items is the wood fire pizza. You can indulge in it every Friday and Saturday night in the bistro, or call ahead and take it home.

Another unique aspect of this place is the cidery. Guests are able to come anytime and taste the award-winning ciders, or call ahead and book a tour of the cidery and see their world-class facilities right here in Caledon.

6. The Church Public Inn

The Church Public Inn is located in the quaint town of Palgrave. This restaurant was once a church, which was restored and renovated in 2013. The Church Public Inn is committed to serving farm fresh foods made from scratch. Their menu is unique and constantly changes based on what the local farmers harvest each and every day.

There are many hidden gem to find in Caledon, including a number of other charming restaurants and coffee shops. Try and go somewhere new and find a great place to hang out with friends, go on a date night, or just grab a good meal or coffee this summer.

What are some of your favourite places? Comment below and let us know about your top restaurants and coffee shops to visit in Caledon.

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