Category Archives: Blog

A Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Home

The trees in bloom mixed with the warm weather and longer days make spring in Niagara a special time.  Spring is also a great time to get to those cleaning tasks that you have been putting off.  Make sure to take full advantage of this season and give your home a proper spring cleaning.

As the premier Niagara on the Lake realtor, I would like to offer you this spring cleaning checklist.


Your kitchen may be the busiest room in your home and is always in need of a thorough cleaning.


A proper spring cleaning addresses more than your usual weekly clean.

Here are some cleaning suggestions for your kitchen.

  • Clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator and freezer. Make sure to wipe out the drawers and discard any freezer burnt food.
  • Polish the stainless steel in your kitchen. Use the proper cleaner to remove fingerprints and smudges, so that your stainless steel sparkles.
  • Degrease and clean the elements on the stove.
  • Clean your oven.
  • Wash and vacuum cabinets, drawers and shelving in the kitchen.
  • Mop the floors and scrub down the counters and island tops.


Once you have finished in the kitchen, shift your attention to your bathroom.  Keep in mind that you want to do a deep cleaning of this room, so take your time and be thorough.

  • Scrub the toilet, sinks, faucet and bathtub with the proper cleaners and a disinfectant.
  • Polish and clean the walls, ceiling and floor.
  • Clean the mirrors and windows in the bathroom.
  • Scrub tile surfaces with the proper cleaners as well as an anti-mold cleaning agent.
  • Clean the shower doors and apply a waterproof agent such as Rain X to prevent any water streaking or soap scum from sticking to the doors.
  • Wash rugs and towels or cloths in the bathroom.

Bedroom, Family Room and Living Room

Typically, your bedroom and living rooms are tidied weekly, if not daily (especially if you have young children) so these rooms should be relatively easy to clean.

  • Dust surfaces including ceiling fans, bookcases and shelves.
  • Vacuum and steam clean carpets, if applicable
  • Vacuum and steam clean upholstery.
  • Wash linens, throw pillows and bedding.


The Entire House

There are other cleaning jobs that may not apply directly to the previously mentioned rooms, but are important pieces included in a thorough spring cleaning.  These include:

  • Sweep and mop floors in your home. Apply a sealant or protective layer to flooring when you are mopping.
  • Remove and wash window screens in your home with warm water and a gentle detergent.
  • Wipe down walls and baseboards with warm water and a gentle detergent. Dry with a soft, clean towel.

These cleaning suggestions will have your home looking like new in no time.  A spring cleaning is not only an important aspect of a clean and healthy living space, it is also a great head start if you have been thinking about putting your home on the real estate market.  A clean home is a great first step when it comes to showing your home and ultimately selling it.  If you would like to know more about how to take advantage of the red-hot Niagara on the Lake real estate market, contact me today.




Tips for Buying in the Spring

Typically, the spring season offers buyers a larger choice and selection of homes, so if you have been looking to get into the Niagara on the Lake real estate market, now is the time.  I would like to share the following tips that will find you your Niagara dream home this spring.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

When you are looking for that perfect home, it is so important that you find a neighbourhood specialist.  A great understanding of the local real estate market and knowledge of the town and its distinct neighbourhoods cannot be over-stated.  Make sure that your real estate agent:

  • Specializes in the area and has sold other homes similar to what that you are looking to buy.
  • Is well respected and liked by other real estate agents – this will open up a large number of properties to you.
  • Has a great sales record can be recommended by other buyers.
  • Is friendly, professional and hardworking.

Get Pre-approved

Before you decide to go house hunting, sit down with a local bank or lender and see how much you will be pre-approved for.  There is nothing more frustrating when you find your perfect home only to find out that it is too far out of your price range.

Find a mortgage number that you are comfortable with and make sure to not over extend yourself, so that you are house poor.  You want to enjoy your new home, not be stressed out each month by trying to make a payment that you can barely afford.

Be Prepared

Although the spring real estate market brings a larger choice and selection of homes, it can also bring a wider group of potential buyers, which translates into a more competitive market.  Make sure that if you find a property that you like, you are prepared to put in an offer and are prepared to pay list price for that home.  Try not to get hung up on the asking price, but rather focus on what the home is worth to you.

Here’s the Deal:

If you find your dream house at a price that you can afford it will not matter if you pay a few thousand dollars more or less for that home over the course of 25 years.

Focus on the Home

When you are buying a home, make sure to focus on the home and not the sale or the owner.  It is of no importance whether the home is a foreclosure, a short sale or being sold by the original owner.  Rather focus on the location of the home and how that home will serve your needs.

Niagara on the Lake spring real estate market is the perfect time and place for you to find your dream home.  If you would like to see some of the new listings that are available or are interested in living in the Niagara on the Lake area, contact me today.



5 Tips for Selling Your Home in the New Year

Now that the holiday season is behind us and you have made all of your 2018 New Year’s resolutions, it is time to get back into a routine and begin to plan for the months ahead.  If part of your 2018 includes selling your home, we at Niagara on the Lake Realty would like to offer you these important tips that can ensure a quick sale at a high price.

Find the Right Agent

The most important part of selling your home is finding the right real estate agent.  Some of the qualities that you will want in your agent include:

  • Honest and hard working.
  • Has intimate knowledge of the area and understands the local housing market.
  • Is flexible and always has your best interests in mind.
  • Understands the internet and how to use this as a selling and marketing tool to attract a wide range of potential buyers.

Set a Date

Once you have found the right agent, it is time to sit down with them and plan when you want to put your home on the market, when your open houses will be and when you would like to have your home sold by.  This process may become even more important and complicated if you are buying a new home at the same time.


The more planning and time you give yourself, the less stressful the entire home selling process will be, so make sure to include a very flexible timeline in your selling plans.

Repair and Replace

Now that you have a firm date in mind and have found the perfect real estate agent, it is time to look at the overall condition of your home and see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced.

Here’s the Deal:

It is important that before you show your home, you have everything in perfect working order.  In the real estate world the old adage is true – you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

A poor showing can hurt your bottom line and keep your home on the market longer than you may like.

Less is more

While you are fixing and replacing any broken or well-worn items in your home, make sure to also de-clutter and organize your belongings.  The one positive about moving and selling your home is that it gives you the opportunity to take stock on what you need and what you either can give away, throw away or sell.

A well organized and de-cluttered home is also important when it comes to showing your home.  Buyers want to see open-spaces and have the opportunity to envision where their personal belongings will fit into these spaces.  A cluttered home will not only impede this process, it may also slow down the overall selling process.

Stage It to Sell

After you have organized your belongings, it is time to stage your home to sell it.  Make sure to remove personal items from each room and put all non-essential items and belongings either in storage or pack them away for your impending move.

If you would like any help or advice with staging, I would love to help.

By following these New Year’s home selling tips, you should be able to sell your home quickly and at a high price.  If you would like to see other comparable homes on the Niagara on the Lake real estate market or would like to see how I can help sell your home, please contact me today.



Tips for Winterizing your Home

Although the first official day of winter is still a few weeks away, everyone can agree that the winter season is underway.  It is time to get out the wool, scarves, gloves and toques and put those winter tires on your car.  It is also time to turn up the thermostat in your home, and unless your home has been properly winterized, this could mean huge costs in heating and wasted energy.

As the premier real estate agent for Niagara on the Lake, I would like to share the following tips on how you can thoroughly winterize your home and keep heating costs down.

Check for Drafts

Drafts can waste anywhere from 5% – 30% of your home’s heat and can quickly chill even the warmest rooms.  Before the first cold snap, take your time and thoroughly check your home for drafts.  The most common places where drafts can be found are:

  • Under doors
  • Around window frames
  • Around the foundations of your home

Fortunately, drafts are quite easily fixed.  For drafts around windows or in window frames, consider using either weather stripping or if the window is not used or in an out of the way spot, consider taping it over with a clear plastic film.

For drafts under doors or between foundations, place towels or rolled up material to stop the incoming cold air.  You can also think about using a door sweep to provide a more permanent fixture for drafts under doors; especially if you use that door quite often.

Tune-up your Heating System

Just like your car, your furnace will need some maintenance from time to time.  A properly maintained furnace can save you up to 5% in heating costs.  To get your furnace running smoothly it may just need a new filter so have a look.  Remember, a quick filter replacement or an annual furnace maintenance is a lot cheaper than having to replace your furnace.


If you do have to replace your heating system, look for an energy efficient model and apply for the tax credits that are offered.

Check your Thermostat

If you do not have a programmable thermostat, now is the time.  A digital, programmable thermostat can save you anywhere from 1% – 3% on your annual heating bill.  The thermostat will pay for itself in the first year alone, so why not make the switch?

By going to a programmable thermostat, you can regulate the heat in individual rooms and only heat the rooms that are being used for the time that those rooms are being used.

Winter in Niagara on the Lake

Winter in Niagara on the Lake is a special time of year and you want a cozy, warm and comfortable home to enjoy all that this season has to offer.  If you would like any other strategies on how to winterize your home or would like to see some of the exciting new properties that are available, please feel free to contact me.  I would love to show you why winter is one of my favourite seasons in Niagara on the Lake.


Preparing Your Home for the Fall

Fall is one of the most spectacular season in Niagara on the Lake.  The colours of the leaves combined with beautiful sunny weather and crisp mornings all make fall a special time of year.  Fall is also a great time to take advantage of the mild temperatures and do some much needed prep work on your home.

Here are some tips from the premier Niagara on the Lake realty team to help get your home in tip-top shape this fall.


Many of the fall preparations that should be done to your home are on the exterior.  Make sure to pick a few gorgeous, warm fall days, head outside and get your home fall ready.

Your focus should be on the eavestroughs and gutters.  It is important that these are free of leaves and other debris to allow for proper drainage.  Clogged gutters can quickly lead to pooling water, flooding or water damage, so make sure they are thoroughly cleaned as to avoid them plugging with the first big fall storm.

While you are up on your ladder inspecting and cleaning your gutters, take the time to inspect your roof as well.

Here are some tips on what you will want to look for while you are up there:

  • Inspect all of the shingles on your roof and make sure none are curling or broken. Usually, shingles should last anywhere from 15-20 years before needing replacement, but it is a good idea to inspect them annually.
  • Look at the flashing between the gutters and shingles to make sure that it is uniform and flat with no damaged pieces. Proper flashing means a watertight seal between your roof and gutters.
  • Take the time to look at all seals and caulking around any vents on your roof. If the sealing looks damaged, replace it.

Finally, get out and rake your yard.  Not only do fallen leaves and other debris look unsightly, they can also pose a safety risk as well as a flooding problem if they clog storm sewers.  Dispose of the leaves in proper recycling bags.


Not all of your home’s fall preparation is outside.  There are some very important jobs to do to prepare the interior of your home for fall and the upcoming winter months.

The most important indoor fall preparation tip involves weatherproofing all windows and doors in your home.  Improperly sealed windows and doors are the number one energy waster.  You will want to stop all cold air from entering your home before the chill of winter arrives.

Make sure to inspect the weather stripping on all doors and windows.  If the weather stripping is cracked or brittle, replace it.  Make sure that the new weather stripping is thick enough to provide a proper seal.

Here’s the deal:

For doors, sometime weather stripping isn’t enough, in this case, consider using a door sweep to seal the space at the bottom of the door and keep out that cold weather.

It is also a good idea to ensure that your smoke alarms as well as your carbon monoxide detector are working properly.  Replace any faulty alarms or replace the batteries as needed.

Niagara on the Lake in the Fall

Just one look outside your window or a drive through the picturesque scenery in and around Niagara on the Lake will show you what a special time fall really is in the area and why the region is such a coveted place to call home.  If you would like to see any of the gorgeous homes that are for sale in the area, please call today.  I would love to show you Niagara on the Lake in the fall.

Happy family with agent realtor near new house.

Millennials: The Next Generation of Home Buyers

The largest percentage of home buyers these days are Millennials.  This is a new generation of couples and families who are looking for features and qualities in homes that are quite different than your traditional home buyer.  To make your home more appealing to this large audience, Niagara on the Lake Realty would like to offer the following guidelines to show you what Millennials are looking for in a home.

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts

The traditional home buyer loved to think of all the possibilities in a potential home.  A new coat of paint, a quick interior redecoration, or perhaps even a renovation, were all part of the home buying process.

Well, with Millennials all of that is out the window.  Millennials are looking for a move-in ready home.  They have no interest in renovating or changing the colours on the wall.  To make your home more appealing to the Millennial set, I highly recommend that you show your home with a fresh coat of paint and a move-in ready look.

In addition to a move-in ready home, Millennials are looking for a modern feel to their home.  This means an open concept floor plan.  Believe it or not the two most important rooms to Millennials are the bathroom and the kitchen.

Besides an open-concept layout in the kitchen, other modern features that appeal to the Millennial set include:

  • Granite counter tops.
  • Stainless steel appliances and fixtures.
  • A kitchen island.
  • Sleek looking cabinetry.

Here’s the deal:

If you have been thinking about a renovation in your home, I suggest that you spend your money in either the kitchen or the bathroom.  Not only will these changes attract a new set of clients to your next open house, they may also increase the final sale price of your home.

Go Online

A strong online profile is another key to attracting Millennial buyers.  More than 90% of home buyers start their home search online.  This means that without a strong online home profile, you will be missing out on a huge percentage of possible buyers.

Make sure that your online portfolio includes bright, clear photos of your home as well as a brief video of your home that showcases each room in your house.  The entire rationale behind a strong online profile is to bring people to the next open house or to arrange private showings.

Location, Location, Location

The location of a home can be more important than either the modernity, square footage or even the home’s layout.  Many Millennials are looking for homes with access to green spaces, parks and high walkability scores.  Make sure to feature your home’s proximity to major landmarks such as community centres, downtown and trails to peak interest in your home.

Luckily, Niagara on the Lake is one of the most spectacular places in the province and its location is a huge selling feature.  If you would like more information about any of the listings in this special part of Ontario, please contact me today.  I look forward to working with you soon.

3 Tips for Selling a Waterfront Property

When it comes to selling your home, there are always many factors that need to be considered.  Factors such as timing the market, finding the right buyer, getting full asking price and many more.  In the case of unique homes such as waterfront homes, these factors become even more important.

As the top realtor for Niagara on the Lake, I have sold many waterfront homes.  I understand this market and how to find the right buyer for your home.  I would like to offer you these three tips to get full market value for your distinctive home and turn that for sale sign into a sold sign.
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Canada Day in Niagara-on-the-Lake

As we all know, the 1st of July is a very special day. Not just because it is the height of summer and all the flowers and leaves are out. Not just because the sun (usually) is out and the smell of BBQ is in the air – though these are all good reasons to celebrate! No, it is because 1st of July is Canada Day! All over the country, people will celebrate this important day in the Canadian calendar and no other place celebrates this day better than Niagara-on-the-Lake!

For quite a few years now, the main Canada Day events in NOTL have been organised by Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Club and the Friends of Fort George. For those who don’t know, Fort George is the historic fort on the edge of town that was at the centre of the war of 1812.

This year, Rotary Club got more involved than ever before and will eventually run the entire event. As a member of the Rotary Club, I along with all other members, partners and many volunteers have been involved with helping to run the Canada Day events in town.

As dawn breaks, many of us turn up at Simcoe Park opposite the famous Prince of Wales Hotel to help set up tents, barbecues, griddles, tables, chairs, flags, fences, ice cream stand, coffee and tea making facilities, and the many other things that need to be lay out before the crowds arrive. Roping off parking spaces for deliveries of hot dogs, rolls, burgers, drinks, etc.

This is a BIG fundraiser for Rotary Club as the crowds start to arrive early in the morning and the griddles are heated up, ready to start turning out hundreds of pancakes, maple syrup and sausages for breakfasts. The coffee/tea station is ready to go and the team are working hard to keep up with demand as the line-up grows.

In the background, there is music, bag pipes in the distance, Salvation Army Band, the Simcoe Park Bandstand sets up for some bands arriving later. On the other side of the park, there is a classic car display. The usual crowds who visit Niagara-on-the-Lake on a typical summer’s day, pale into insignificance compared to the crowd we have on Canada Day!

By then, it is around 12:00 and we switch from cooking breakfasts to starting the lunch shift. Burgers and hotdogs are unwrapped and the barbecues are ready to go. Once again, the line- up gets bigger as we work harder and harder to keep up. Ice cream sales are way up as the heat of the day increases. Bottles of water are selling out fast!

About mid-afternoon, the parade begins and the Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake makes his way along Queen Street in the back of a convertible, waving at the crowds lining the street as the procession moves into Simcoe Park.

Every year, there is a huge cake, baked by a well-known local bakery that takes its place in the parade. At the end of the route, a big group of people is just waiting for their slice of the cake if there is any room after the breakfast and lunch!

As the afternoon turns to early evening and the crowds start to disburse, heading home or back to their B&Bs, we begin the task of packing up all stuff once more. That is it for another year. Next year, Canada Day will be even bigger and better than this year. It always is.

Niagara on the Lake Realty

The Benefits of Having a Buyer’s Agent

In the United States, the concept of a “buyer’s agent” is commonplace when it comes to purchasing real estate. However, here in Canada, the idea is relatively new. A buyer’s agent can be beneficial to house seekers, as a realtor becomes a personal shopper to a buyer. They can negotiate a house in order to get the best possible pricing and terms.

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