So the holiday season has come and gone and it is a brand new year. With every New Year comes a chance to start all over again, leave the baggage of yesteryear behind, and look to the future with hope and a determination to clean up your life. At Niagara on the Lake Realty, we know that January is a perfect time to take a look at your life and work towards downsizing. De-cluttering your home and work space not only makes room for all those new things you got at Christmas, it helps you to break down and simplify your habits. Continue reading →
The full brunt of winter is here. If you have not taken the time to perform regular maintenance, you may be feeling it right now. Without yearly care for your home, drafts and inadequate insulation can make your teeth chatter and send your energy builds sky high.
This aspect becomes especially crucial when trying to sell your home. Buyers want to be convinced that their home will be comfortable. If they cannot make it through a viewing without shivering, it will be taken as a bad sign. Here are some ways to keep them warm. Continue reading →
So, the time has come and the annual Art by the Lighthouse show at the Niagara Pump house is on! I mentioned this last week and my wife, who is one of the organizers, advised me I was helping out again this year. The show usually takes place in the grounds of the Pump house and around 30 artists erect display tents in the grounds for all to come and see. This year, however, was slightly different. In addition, there were numerous local art galleries on the tour who opened their doors. A tour brochure with maps outlined the full extent of the event that was on for the full weekend so you could break down your visits to several each day. The show was a great success for the artists and also raised a good chunk of money to help fund the Pump house ( a registered charity).
During this weekend, there were a number of other events on in the area I would have liked to have gone too but time just did not allow. Canal Days at Port Colborne was one such event! I missed it last year too (for the same reason!) but will definitely make it next year. Thousands of people descend upon Port Colborne, a small canal-side community about half an hour away, to see the tall ships, listen to live music, have a few beers and a barbecue, and generally have a bit of a party!
Although I missed ‘Canal Days’, nothing was going to stop me from getting to the St. Catharines Ribfest at Montabello Park! This event, organized by the local Rotary, was on for three days and I am very pleased to report we made it to this on Saturday evening! Always very well attended, at least a dozen ‘ribbers’ showed off their grilling and sauce making skills. It is pretty hard to beat the combination of ribs, corn, fries, blooming onion, beer and live music on a Saturday night – though my waistline might disagree! The only downside this year, was the fact it poured with rain for about half an hour. Luckily, my wife and I had our food and were sat under the big tent, eating but others were not so lucky! If you have lined up for 30 minutes, waiting to order, you can’t let a drop of rain stop you!
Sunday, was a beautiful day and having helped out down at the Pumphouse again for a few hours, I went off to hold an Open House with NOTL real estate just up the road from 2-4pm. The town was crammed with visitors so there were lots of people dropping in.
After I had finished, it was back to the Pumphouse, help clear up after the show finished at 5pm then back home for a well deserved glass of wine and another barbecue.
You too could enjoy weekends like these if you are considering moving to the NOTL area. Just get in touch with me, Kevin Stokes, at Niagara Homes and I will help you make it happen.
As the weather heated up to the high 20s this past holiday weekend, it was clear to see everyone was in the long weekend mood, including myself!
The first event that was worthy of a visit was the Peller Food Trucks event. The name is self-explanatory but just to be clear, Peller Estates Winery turned over a section of their property for the weekend, and thirty food trucks turned up, providing a wide range of foods from oysters and champagne through to pizzas, southern fried chicken, Mexican, and loads more. Of course, Peller had a wine station and the line-ups were long to say the least! Parking was arranged on the Commons with buses laid on, efficiently ferrying the crowds back and forth. With live music and large crowds over the whole weekend, the event was a major success and I am sure there were many visitors with headaches the next morning. The event is sure to take place again next year. Visit Peller Estates for more up and coming events. You can trust that I will be on site for many future Peller Estates affairs.
Another long weekend event worth mentioning is the Virgil Stampede. Virgil is a village just outside Niagara on the Lake and each year, they hold their long weekend event. To be honest, I did not make it to the event itself but they have one of the best firework finales I have ever seen. Luckily for me, I have friends whose back yard faces directly onto the firework launch site so talk about a great view! From the comfort of my friend’s gazebo with wine in hand, it was definitely a great way to spend an evening. Interested in homes near the town of Virgil? Contact Niagara Homes and let’s see what we can do to put you in the heart of the stampede next year.
The above events are just a small sample of what you can expect from our fine community in the summer months ahead. Be sure to visit my Niagara Homes blog regularly over the weeks to come to catch an activity that piques the interests of you and/or your family. You’ll never want for “something to do” when moving to Niagara on the Lake, even if that “something” means kicking back and doing “nothing”.
I welcome you to contact me at Niagara Homes or call me directly anytime to start the relationship with a friendly, casual conversation about your move to the NOTL region – we’re happy to have you join us.
As spring bursts into life (slightly dampened by a higher than normal amount of rain over the past week or so), so do the number of Niagara on the Lake listings and incoming telephone calls. Having said that, the market was pretty good right through since January but there is no doubt that once the sun shines and the temperatures are in positive territory, things get lively!
As I drive around Niagara on the Lake and other parts of the Niagara Homes region, there is a hive of activity – lawns being cut, yards being tidied up, trees trimmed, painting & decorating vans in driveways, building work getting under way.
Of course, in addition to all this activity, there is a significant increase in the number of ‘For Sale’ signs being erected and, perhaps more importantly, more ‘Sold’ signs appearing as people make that decision to move into the area.
In spite of predictions of price drops or at least leveling off, my colleagues and I have noticed a steady rise in local prices. Of course there are Niagara homes that have been on the market for quite a while and there are those that have had price reductions, but overall, the trend is UP. Building lots that used to be in good supply are disappearing and there are fewer and fewer lots available as the amount of non-agricultural land is in limited supply.
As you might suspect, the number of people retiring to the area continues to rise and the sale of new development homes (particularly luxury bungalows on small lots) is very strong. The demand from GTA buyers for Niagara on the Lake real estate is helping to push prices slowly but steadily higher in the immediate area and this looks set to continue for some time to come.
If you are considering moving to the area, with Niagara on the Lake realty on your mind, and would like to explore the possibilities available to you, simply contact me at Niagara Homes for a casual conversation to start. I am only too happy to help you with your Niagara home search.
The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes family gatherings, big meals and celebration. Along with these things can come higher utility bills.
In order to keep those costs down and be friendlier to the environment, you want to use as little energy as possible. We at Niagara-on-the-Lake Realty would like to offer some great tricks and tips to keep in mind so that you can enjoy a more energy efficient holiday season. Continue reading →