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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.

Factors to Consider When Upgrading Your Home

If your family has been growing, you may find that you need more room in your home. Have you considered the possibility of upgrading your home as an option?

Although the thought of upgrading your home to a larger one can seem daunting, it is sometimes the best thing that can be done for your family. Here is a list of factors you should consider when you’re preparing to upgrade your home:

1. The Right Amount of Space

Before moving forward with upsizing your home, it is important to consider exactly what you need from your bigger home. Is it more bedrooms? More living space? More space for storage?

Regardless of the reasons, you want to ensure that the additional space will be used and there is room for your family to grow into the house.

2. A Layout You Love

The floor plan of a home can truly be the deciding factor for many home buyers. Although the layout can often be altered with renovations, you want to find a new home with a layout that is ideal for your family and their needs.

3. Money Matters

It is common for the majority of your money to be tied up in a particular property. Buying a home is probably the largest transaction that you will make in your entire life.

By selling your current home and upgrading to a new one, you have to consider the extra costs that come with it. Can you afford the new mortgage? Do you have enough for a downpayment on the new home? Make sure you consider these questions beforehand.

4. The Importance of Neighbourhood

If you are living in or near the city, it might be more difficult to find a home that will meet all of your needs in that particular neighbourhood. Or if you find one, it might come with a big price tag. You might have to move to a new neighbourhood with a more suburban feel. Do your research and figure out what neighbourhoods you want to live in and also where you can afford to live.

Family decides to upgrade to a new home

5. Supply and Demand

When you are deciding to upgrade, you have to figure out what your family needs in a home. Do you need a four bedroom home with the potential to add bedrooms in the basement? Or do you need a home with two living rooms, so that one can be your childrens’ playroom?

Regardless of why you need to upgrade, there is no wrong way to do it. Sometimes people look outside of their current neighbourhood, in order to get more bang for their buck. You have to do what is right for you. Most importantly, you don’t want to rush this process.

Make sure that you take your time and truly decide what is the best option for you and your family on a mental, emotional, and financial level. If you do this, then you will know when it is the right time for you to upgrade.

For more advice on deciding when to upgrade, contact the team of experts at the Paula Mitchell Group.

Ontario Hiking in Brampton, Georgetown & Caledon

The fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. With the changing colours on the trees, the leaves falling, and the crisp air, it is the perfect time of year to go on a hike!

Many might not know it, but there are a large number of trails all throughout Dufferin County, Halton Region, and Peel Region area of various levels of difficulty and terrain that can be explored. With some of these trails are paved, it makes for a great family activity to enjoy outdoors!

Brampton Hiking

Here are some of our top recommendations for hiking in Brampton:

Chinguacousy Trail

One of the most well-known trails in Brampton is the Chinguacousy Trail. Nearby there are a lot of other fun activities to do along with Chinguacousy Trail.

The most common attraction is the Donald M. Gordon Chinguacousy Park, which features 40 hectares of park space, including a greenhouse, petting zoo, skateboard park, running track, playground, and facilities for water play, skiing, curling, mini golf, tennis and much more.

Etobicoke Creek Trail

The Etobicoke Creek Trail is another favourite that is accessible to folks on both sides of Etobicoke Creek. This is a combination cycling and scenic trail that leads from Mississauga through the downtown area of Brampton and Caledon, where you can stop for refreshment.

Don Doan Trail

The Don Doan Trail goes through Professor’s Lake, which features a beach with a swimming area, water slide, beach volleyball courts, patio, playground, pathway for hiking, biking, and inline skating. The stunning views from the trails are well worth seeing. They feature benches along the way, and most are pet-friendly!

Georgetown Hiking

Georgetown has tons to offer in terms of hiking trails. Just west of Main Street in Georgetown, there is Remembrance Park, with beautiful floral gardens in memory of those who served, benches, and a fountain. Dominion Gardens Park contains many plants and during the summer.

Further down into Norval, there is the Lucy Maud Montgomery Gardens that has many heritage plants and the Willow Park Ecology Centre that has been transformed into a place where the public can view butterfly gardens and walking trails.

All in addition to the many trails that Georgetown offers. From shorter trails like the McNab Trail, Wildwood Trail, Jubilee Woodlot, and the Arborglen Trail to the longer Chris Walker Trail, Gellert Trail, or the Hungry Hollow Trail, there are so many options for everyone.

Caledon Hiking

If you are looking for a full day event, Caledon’s natural trails are superb! They are winding and offer many amenities added to make your hike more comfortable — considering many of them are upwards of 20 km! You don’t have to hike the full trail, but they do offer picnic areas and benches and parking near most of the trails.

The 55km of the Bruce Trail in Caledon is part of the oldest and longest marked footpath and provides the only continuous public access to the magnificent Niagara Escarpment.

The Caledon Trailway is a multi-use trail, ideal for walking, cycling, and horseback riding. It follows the path of an abandoned rail line and has beautiful views with ponds and wetlands. Other favourites include the Humber Valley Heritage Trail, The Grand Valley Trail and The Elora – Cataract Trail.

Ontario Hiking near Brampton, Caledon and Georgetown

Hiking Tips

If you are going for a hike with a family, especially if you are not an experienced hiker, here are some helpful tips:

  • Stay amongst the marked trails and paths
  • Research and learn the terrain and local weather conditions
  • Tell others where you are going and when you plan to return
  • Know your limitations.

It is important to remember that you can always postpone your hike and the trail will be there another day. Whether you are postponing as a result of weather or fatigue, it is always better to stay safe.

From the team at the Paula Mitchell Group, we wish you happy hiking for this fall season!

Paint Trends for Your Home in 2019

Although there are still three months left in 2018, the home design world has already begun to discuss home decor trends for 2019.

Here’s what is predicted by the experts in the world of colours and paint trends:

Lilac Grey

Different shades of grey have become a neutral paint colour in many homes and that is predicted to continue throughout 2019.

If you haven’t already tried looking for the perfect shade of grey for your home, you will quickly realize that there are a multitude of different shades that can often make the choice more complicated. The lilac grey shade is one that brings warmth to any room and highly recommended by trendsetters.

Muted Pastels

Muted Pastels are the perfect colour choice for gender neutral rooms and common areas, as they easily conceal marks and nicks. These shades complement bolder colours and accessories. They are also great colours for walls in your home, as you can change the accent colours seasonally or whenever you need a change.

Mustard Yellow

Mustard Yellow is a great way to add a pop of colour to any room. Although many feel painting a room yellow is risky, it brings a sense of warmth and happiness if it is used properly. Deep yellow or mustard is a great alternative to gold, as it makes the room feel rich or ostentatious.

New Blues

The blue colour tones are predicted to be a big design trend in 2019. There are a multitude of shades of blue including charcoal blue, ice blue, grey blue, green blue, dusky blue, and pastel blue. Blue is a great colour to pair with a variety of accent colours.

Green Blues pair perfectly with orange accents, as it packs a punch in a saturated green space.

Dusky Blue is intended to recall the colors of the ocean. The beachy shade used in this part of spectrum is great for highlighting homes with high ceilings.

Powder Blue is a great colour to use if you want to take a risk in a room. These traditionally summery shades feel sophisticated when grounded with dark wood floors and brass accents.

2019 Behr Colour of the Year: Blueprint

The Behr colour of the year is Blueprint. This colour 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.

Whether you decide to paint your walls, buy new accent pieces, or refinish something old, these colours are all the rage this year and the perfect way to bring your home to trend in 2019.

For more advice picking the right colours for your home, contact our team today!

Caledon Apple Picking: Pick Your Own Apples This Fall!

Fall has officially arrived. The air is crisp and the leaves are starting to fall. With the autumn season coming in, it’s time to get out and enjoy this gorgeous weather before it becomes cold and gloomy. What better way to enjoy fall with the family than going apple picking?

Apple picking is a wonderful family day trip for those looking to enjoy a fun outing in the country. If you have yet to try apples right from the tree, you’re in for a truly amazing experience. Few things beat picking sweet apples on a fine autumn day, so get your fall outfits ready, bring along your camera, and get ready for the perfect start to the fall season.

The Caledon, Halton, and Brampton area offers locals a wide variety of apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Here is a list of some of the most popular orchards and patches, which have various activities to enjoy while going apple picking and exploring pumpkin patches:

Downey’s Farm

Location: 13682 Heart Lake Road, Brampton, Ontario

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9AM to 5PM (7 days/week)

Cost: None ($5.00 minimum for apple picking)

Toddlers picking apples at orchard in Caledon

Downey’s Farm has been owned and operated by the Downey family since 1920. It originally began as a roadside corn stand and the Downey children used the money to buy their hockey equipment. Since then, it has been renovated to a farmer’s market and the family has even established an award-winning winery.

Downey’s Farm is just across the street from their well-known pumpkin patch. At the farm, you can find 13 popular varieties of apples for you and your family to enjoy, including:

  • McIntosh
  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Empire
  • Ambrosia
  • Golden Delicious
  • Jonagold
  • Mutsu
  • Northern Spy
  • Red Delicious
  • Red Fuji

The apple picking season is currently open and will remain open until early November. For this apple orchard there is no entrance fee, the farm just ask that a minimum of $5.00 worth of apples is picked per person.

Have a favourite type of apple? The Downey’s Farm website actually has a harvest calendar where you can plan the best time to go pick your favourites.

There is a lot to see and do at Downey’s Farm this time of year. Starting September 22 and running until October 31st, you can enjoy Downey’s Farm’s Annual Pumpkin Fest. There will be a multitude of activities for everyone in the family to enjoy at this event, including unlimited wagon rides, farm animals, puppet shows, an 8-acre corn maze, duck races, inflatables, face painting and much more.

Also one of the biggest attractions to this fest…the pumpkins themselves. With thousands of pumpkins at the farm, there is sure to be one there that is perfect for you and your home.

Albion Orchards

Location: 14800 Innis Lake Road, Caledon, ON

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10AM to 6PM | Saturday & Sunday, 10AM to 5PM | Closed Mondays

Cost: $18.00 fro 10 Ib. bags (max. 2 persons)

Albion Orchards was established in 1967 and is located in Caledon. It is listed on the Food Network and Chatelaine Magazine as one of the top apple orchards in Canada.

The most famous apples to pick are Paula Reds, which can be picked in the orchard or purchased in the country market. Other varieties of apples that can be picked at Albion Orchards include:

  • Spartan
  • McIntosh
  • Royal Gala
  • Empire
  • Golden Delicious
  • Golden Russet
  • Cortland
  • Crispin
  • Northern Spy
  • Red Delicious
  • Jonagold
  • Ida Red

Enjoy the fall colours along with the fall flavours when you visit Albion Orchards. Along with the many varieties of apples available for picking, there are many opportunities to make treasured family memories going apple picking.

For example, check out the pumpkin patch at Albion Orchards, which is open to the public beginning in October. There are hundreds of pumpkins to choose from in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Hand gently twisting apple to pick from a tree in Halton Hills

Apple Picking Tip:

When picking an apple right from the tree, you want to gently twist the apple and continuously turn it until it detaches from the tree itself. If the apple does not detach itself, then it’s probably not ready to be picked yet. Do not try to pull the apple off the tree, as this tends to damage the tree along with the remaining fruit on it.

Dixie Orchards

Location: 14309 Dixie Road, Caledon, Ontario

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10AM to 5PM (7 days/week)

Cost: $3.00 per person (ages 3 and up)

Dixie Orchards is a family owned and operated farm in southern Caledon. You can enjoy apple picking with the family from early September until the end of October.

The farm also offers a range of other activities including a country bakery, pick your own pumpkin, meet-and-greet with farm animals, corn maze and straw jump, and — you can’t forget — wagon rides through the orchards. Also, remember to visit the market during your visit to see what it has to offer. Some of Dixie Orchard’s specialty items include freshly baked pies, butter tarts, pure maple syrup, decorations, and honey.

Chudleigh’s Farm

Location: 9528 Regional Road 25, Halton Hills, Ontario

Hours: Monday to Friday, 10AM to 5PM | Saturday & Sunday, 10AM to 7:30PM

Cost: $15.00 per person | $52.00 per family of 4

Chudleigh’s Farm has been in operation since 1967 and they continue to invite people to visit their family farm year after year. Today, they have an 110,000 square foot bakery, just five minutes away from the family farm, where they bake desserts for customers from across North America.

This orchard has various types of apples, some of which have already been picked and are available for purchase, and others where you can pick your own. The farm offers an apple picking calendar to help you determine the best time of year to visit and the full range of apple types include:

  • Tydeman Reds
  • Sunrise
  • Gingergold
  • Wealthy
  • McIntosh
  • Silkin
  • Gala
  • Cortland
  • Kerr Mini’s
  • Empire
  • Honeycrisp
  • Red Delicious
  • Northern Spy
  • Russet
  • Golden Delicious
  • Creston
  • Ambrosia
  • Fuji
  • Granny Smith

Apple picking isn’t the only thing you can do at Chudleigh’s Farm. Enjoy a fun-filled day with a huge hay maze, sand pit, natural trail, farm animals, and pony rides. Your visit is sure to be one that everyone in your family will enjoy!

Wheelbarrow Orchards

Location: 8277 10 Sideroad, Milton, Ontario

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9AM to 5PM (7 days/week)

Cost: None ($23 for 10 lb. bag, $40 for 20 lb. bag)

Older couple going apple picking with truck in Brampton

Located in the town of Halton Hills, just north of Milton – Wheelbarrow Orchards & Harvest Goodies pride themselves on using mainly local, high-quality ingredients in their products. Their food reminds you of ripe fruit, sweet and juicy at the peak of harvest!

They also offer pick your own apples and have a detailed schedule for picking different types of apples. Their full selection of apples types for picking includes:

  • Ginger Gold
  • Sunrise
  • Jona Mac
  • Gala
  • McIntosh
  • Spartan
  • Cortland
  • Empire
  • McCoun
  • Golden Delicious
  • Mutsu
  • Red Delicious
  • Wealthy
  • Honey Crisp
  • Northern Spy

With this beautiful fall weather arriving, you should make sure to go outside and enjoy it before it is gone. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches are great places to take your kids and get them outside while still participating in fun festive activities. Read this blog for more tips on other fun fall activities in Halton Hills!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team at The Paula Mitchell Group.

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