Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five Reasons Why You Should Retire in Niagara on the Lake

The day has finally come—the day where you can safely say that you can retire.  Now that you have reached this milestone, a whole new set of questions will arise, such as, “What can I do with all of your free time?” and “Where do I want to spend my golden years?”  There are many great retirement communities, but here are five reasons as to why you should retire with Niagara on the Lake real estate.

A Unique Climate Unlike Other Canadian Regions

Niagara on the Lake offers a warmer than average climate year round.  This is great news for anyone who is tired of long and cold snowy winters in the northern part of Canada or Ontario.  Niagara on the Lake gets more sunshine than many parts of Ontario.  A great added bonus is, due to its mild and warm temperatures, it is home to some of the finest wineries in all of Canada.

Golf, Theatre, Festivals and More!

There are plenty of activities year round in the Niagara region.  Niagara boasts some of the best golf courses in all of Ontario, and with the milder climates, you can perfect your golf game long into the fall season.  Niagara on the Lake is also home to the Shaw Festival Theatre that offers a wide variety of arts and entertainment.  The region also hosts many different festivals year round.  Most of these festivals are centered around wine – Niagara’s most famous export.

There are many great outdoor activities as well such as the Bruce trail and the Short Hills. There is always something to see and do in the picturesque community of Niagara on the Lake.

A Slower Pace for a Restful Mind

Anyone coming from the Greater Toronto Area will quickly appreciate the slower pace of Niagara on the Lake.  There are no traffic jams and no rush hour.  Niagara on the Lake offers a great quality of life while still offering amenities such as great shopping, great cuisine and easy access to the US border and airports.  Remember, you are only an hour from all of the culture and hustle bustle of Toronto and all that a big city offers.

Health Services

The Niagara on the Lake region also boasts great services that are important when choosing a retirement community.  The first and foremost being access to healthcare.  A new hospital has opened in St. Catharine’s, and there are many great health care practitioners and dentists in the Niagara region.  Besides great and accessible health care, Niagara on the Lake offers any other service that you would expect or need for your retired lifestyle.  This includes a great and modern community center and many different assisted living choices.

Affordability with Niagara on the Lake Real Estate

Even though the Niagara region is constantly recognized as one of the best spots in all of Canada to retire, the Niagara on the Lake real estate market is still surprisingly affordable.  Stop by our office today or contact us, and see for yourself some of the great options that may be right for you and your retirement goals.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Best Weekend Activities in the Niagara on the Lake Area

Niagara on the Lake is a great place to spend some of your holiday time.  With so many different activities and its proximity to the Greater Toronto region, it can serve as a lovely weekend getaway from all of the hustle and bustle of city life.  With summer fast approaching, activities abound in and around the area.  Here is a quick look at some of the best weekend activities this region has to offer, courtesy of Niagara on the Lake real estate.

Continue reading

Springtime in Niagara

There may be no better time to visit the Niagara region than in the springtime. The trees are in full bloom and the temperatures are very mild, but do you really need any more reasons to spend time in the area?  There are plenty of things to see and do in the Niagara region, so make sure to come on out and enjoy spring here!

The Home and Garden Show

This home and garden show is unique to the region as it showcases what are sure to be the must-haves for this summer’s balconies and outdoor living.  This is your chance to get some great ideas about how to finally landscape your backyard or how to properly install your own water features, as well as to talk directly to the experts who can answer your questions about any and all of your landscape concerns.

In addition to landscaping, there will be seminars on proper growing techniques for a variety of garden plants and flowers as well as a plant sale, which should allow you to get a head start on your garden this spring.

There will be activities for the whole family as well as a kid’s zone.  Be sure to check out all of the fun at the Niagara Home and Garden Show. For more information, please visit www.niagarahomeandgardenshow.ca.

After you have seen some of the unique ideas for both the inside and outside of your home, be sure to also look at some of the Niagara Homes real estate that boasts some of these great garden and home ideas, and see how these ideas have been applied to real-life settings.

Wineries

A visit to the Niagara region, home to some of the finest wines in Canada and perhaps even the world, would not be complete without visiting some of the wineries that surround the town. You will not want to miss your opportunity to see where these wines come from and how they are prepared.

Even though the physical distance from New Orleans is quite large, the spirit of Mardi Gras is alive and well in Niagara: come out for a Cajun-style celebration to help beat the winter blues at Reif Estate Winery.  For more information, contact the Niagara tourism branch or visit www.niagaraonthelake.com.

This winery is also hosting various wine tastings throughout the month which feature some of their rare and award winning wines.  Be sure to be part of this unique opportunity.

Once you have enjoyed some of the region’s finest wines, make sure to stroll through the picturesque town, view the spectacular Niagara homes, and perhaps enjoy some of the finest local culinary restaurants in all of Ontario.  Regardless of how you choose to spend your time in here, you cannot go wrong.  So come on out and enjoy spring Niagara-style!  We hope to see you soon!

Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s time to open up the windows and let in some of that sweet spring air.  Not only are the days longer and the temperatures warmer in the spring, but it’s also a great time to get all of those spring cleaning chores out of the way. Don’t worry though; you don’t have to necessarily figure out how to do it all on your own! Niagara Homes real estate agency would like to offer you the following spring cleaning tips to help you get your home into tiptop shape.

Clean Those Carpets!

Spring cleaning is more than just a tidy onceover; it should be treated as the opportunity to really get your home as clean as possible, and a great place to start is with your carpets.  Give them more than just a quick vacuuming (remember: no simple onceovers for spring cleaning)!  Instead, open up those windows and take full advantage of the warm spring air.

Hire a company or rent a steam cleaner, and really give your carpets a deep clean.  You really should try to steam clean your carpets twice a year, perhaps in the spring and late fall to keep them looking like new.  If you have rented your steam cleaner, take full advantage of it and clean your upholstery as well.

Mop Those Floors!

Once you have cleaned your carpets, take the spring cleaning into your kitchen and anywhere else where you may have linoleum or hardwood.  A proper mopping will not only prevent dirt from being tracked onto your newly cleaned carpets, but it will also provide a nice base to guard against all of the summer traffic.  Make sure to use some type of a scuff guard or buffing agent when you mop your floors to provide that extra layer of protection!

Scrub Those Windows!

How often do you clean your windows?  If you cannot answer that question, then now is definitely as good a time as any to clean them.  Take full advantage of the warm weather, and give your windows a good cleaning both inside and out.  They’ll be their cleanest when you use a non-streaking agent to make sure they are as spotless as possible.

Take Your Cleaning Outside!

Once you are satisfied with how the inside of your home looks, take your spring cleaning outside.  You’ll want to get your doormat as clean as possible, and remember, this mat is the first line of defense against the outdoors, so the cleaner it is means the less that dirt and other debris will be tracked into your home.

This is by no means an exhaustive spring cleaning list, but it does highlight some of the important areas that may have been neglected over the winter months.  Use these tips as a guideline to help get your home spic-and-span for summer.  Happy cleaning!

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Niagara Homes

Niagara Homes may be the most romantic place to celebrate Valentine’s Day in of all Canada.  The majestic winter scenery coupled with a spectacular backdrop and a quaint town feel make Niagara Homes a sure Valentine’s Day hit.  Here are a few of the many great activities to help make this Valentine’s Day your most romantic yet!

Get Outside

Any visit to the Niagara Homes region must include a stroll along the Niagara Parkway.  This is the perfect place to fall in love and share those romantic feelings as you walk in a virtual winter wonderland.  Make sure to bring a hot beverage and see why the Niagara Parkway is a must see in the Niagara region.

Wine, Wine, Wine

Regardless of the season, the wineries in the Niagara region are a must see.  There are many wineries in and around Niagara that will be catering specifically towards Valentine’s Day.  Pick your favourite and enjoy a nice local dinner paired with some of the finest wine in all of North America.  Make sure to visit the calendar page of the Niagara Homes website at www.niagaraonthelake.com for what individual wineries are offering.

Culinary Delights

You will not want to miss the Taste the Town Winters Tour held on February 14.  This is a walking tour that offers the opportunity to try some of the best local cuisine the region has to offer.  Not only will the tour offer great food, but it also provides a brief history of the town, and an opportunity to meet not only local business owners but also local chefs and other patrons who make the Niagara region a special place to call home.

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate, and Niagara Homes has paired wine and chocolate to offer you an unforgettable experience.  Make sure to join us for a Day of Wine and Chocolate on February 14. This event offers couples a unique opportunity to try up to 24 of the regions local wines.  Each of these wines has been perfectly paired with a chocolate infused dish to bring out the best flavours in each.  This is a unique, romantic experience and is exclusive to Niagara Homes!

Other Great Ideas

Besides great wineries and culinary festivals, Niagara Homes offers many other great Valentine’s Day experiences.  Try a couple’s spa day at one of the regions many great spas or enjoy a romantic candle lit dinner at one of the local restaurants.  While you are enjoying all that the town has to offer, make sure to take in the local neighbourhood feel, and come and see some of the beautiful Niagara homes in the region.  It is not only a fun place to visit, but it’s a beautiful place to call home.

Regardless of what is your idea of romance, Niagara Homes has you covered.  From great wineries to locally prepared cuisine, the Valentine’s Day in Niagara promises to be unforgettable.  We hope to see you here!

Sell Your House Like a Pro

When the time comes to move, your feelings may vary. Of course, house hunting is an exciting endeavor, but leaving your old home behind can be emotional. Not to mention, you have got to actually get it sold first. That can be very stressful, especially if this is your first time. Selling is very different than buying. When you buy a home, it seems as if you have the ball in your court. The decisions are yours to make, and in the end you walk away victorious with a property purchase. Selling Niagara homes might feel like you are the underdog, at the mercy of the market and shoppers who want a lot more than they are willing to give—but you are in much better shape that you might realize.

You can sell your house like a pro and be successful on the market by following a few simple steps. If you are getting ready to move in the near future, these tips will make that transition much easier.

  1. Follow the Trends

If you are able, spend some time keeping up with the local real estate trends so that you can place your home on the market during a spike. The spring months, March and April specifically, are widely considered the best time to place a home up for sale. This is the time when eager buyers are taking advantage of competitive prices and mild temperatures to get out there and find their perfect home. Of course, there is no wrong time to put a home on the market and other seasons also offer benefits to homeowners.

  1. Get a Local Agent

A local real estate agent can be your biggest asset. They will be able to assess the value of your home and help you to price it accordingly. Your agent will also have knowledge of the local market that you do not have, which will give you realistic expectations. Placing a home as “for sale by owner” can come with certain risks, such as financial or legal problems. During negotiations, your agent will be able to communicate your terms with potential buyers so that you sell your home for a fair price.

  1. Make Time for Staging

A well-staged home will sell quickly. Do your own research for tips that will help you to properly stage your house. This often includes removing your personal items from the site of potential buyers. decluttering spaces, repairing any damage or painting the walls a neutral color. If you do not have a new home, it might be a good idea to consider renting a storage unit so that you can remove items that damage the selling potential of the home.

Sell Your Home Successfully

Having a successful home selling experience will be much easier to achieve if you follow these simple steps. If you would like more information on the Niagara homes real estate market and how you can place your own property, visit our seller’s resources page and contact Kevin Stokes, a sales representative, today.

What Makes a Perfect Home Buying Experience?

There are excellent Niagara homes waiting patiently on the market for new, eager owners. The thought of owning one is exciting, and if you are busy shopping the area, you probably cannot wait to get your hands on a key. As great as the future looks, when you picture yourself living life at your next property, the home buying process can be very intimidating, especially if this is your first real estate purchase.

There are a lot of missteps that can be made that can turn your positive attitude into discouragement in a brief moment. Like all potential home buyers, you want the best experience that you could possibly have. That requires learning a few tricks and knowing exactly what it means to have the perfect home buying experience. Here are some easy tips that will make your hunt for a great home much easier.

  1. A Home that Meets Your Needs

Believe it or not, many property shoppers start looking for homes without knowing exactly what they are looking for. Sure, they might know that they want a nice condo or a single family house with room for a growing family, but they do not consider important aspects, such as storage closets or energy efficient appliances. Before you set out to find your perfect home, make sure that you know what perfect will look like. Make a list of all of your wants and needs, and match that list with a realistic budget plan. You will be armed with the knowledge to find the right property much quicker.

  1. Knowing Your Limits

You have got to have a budget when shopping for a property (and a realistic one at that). While you might know that you are able to afford a specific amount towards a mortgage each month, the total amount that the bank is willing to loan you will be a huge factor in your budget plan. Be sure to get pre-approved for a loan with your local lender so that you will know your limits. Also, do not overlook other major expenses, such as your homeowner’s insurance and monthly utilities.

  1. Having Your Dream Team

Many buyers eagerly begin their search for their perfect property on their own—and quickly decide that they need to hire a real estate agent. Start out with a good offense by building your home buying dream team and getting a local real estate agent. This agent will be armed with the knowledge of the market so that they can match you with potential properties that will meet your needs and wants. This will save you a lot of stress and time. Your agent will also be a huge asset during negotiations with the owners of the properties that you have selected to purchase. If you are a first time home buyer, this help is invaluable.

Finding Your Perfect Home

The happy ending to the perfect home buying experience is finding your perfect home. Niagara homes are waiting for you to view. If you would like more information on properties that are currently available, visit our buyer’s resources page and contact Kevin Stokes today.

Winter in Niagara

Although the summer months are what Niagara seems to be most remembered for, there is just something magical about winters in the region. Now that the holiday season has passed and all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, it is the ideal time to enjoy some of the beautiful winter events that the Niagara region is famous for, such as its unique wine tastings and the various winter festivities. Here is a quick look at some of the highlights of winter in the Niagara region.

Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions for Niagara Homes

2016 is only a moment away, and it is high time that you consider your New Year’s resolutions. You could simply go with the same, run of the mill hopes that everyone else repeats year after year, such as a weight loss goal, career advancement or the purchase of a new car. Though these are no small accomplishments and certainly worth acknowledgement after achieving, you could incorporate some special goals into the works this upcoming year. Having New Year’s resolutions for Niagara homes is a great way to hold yourself accountable until you get your property renovation and improvement jobs completed. Making these adjustments can help your home to sell more quickly and for a higher price when you place it on the market, or will make your space a place that you personally enjoy. Here are some New Year’s resolutions for Niagara Homes.

Continue reading

The Right Way to Paint Your Niagara Homes

Boring, old paint can date even the most functional and potentially beautiful of spaces. Though this is one of the simplest of fixes, many shoppers are intimidated by painting and turn away homes that might need a little work. Not everyone has the money to hire a professional crew to come out and tackle their painting projects, and doing it yourself might seem like a laughable idea. If you are looking to sell your home this year, or if you have purchased a home that needs some rooms repainted, you need to be let in on a well-kept secret—repainting a room is not nearly as difficult as it may seem. Choosing a new color is half of the battle; neutrals are all the rage these days, with greys and pastels leading the pack for most popular colour selections. Once you have an idea of your colour palette, follow these five easy steps for the right way to paint your Niagara homes to have a final product that is beautifully done.

Continue reading