Jeff O’leary is the Village Guru. Keeping Real Estate Real! Is a series of real estate video blogs that get to teh root of the issue. Topics vary but can include anything from loaction, to what’s in the news, to anything worht talking about real estate related.

The Mississauga Housing Market Update

If you’ve been receiving my newsletters for some time, or follow me on social media you may have noticed that I normally avoid writing Mississauga Housing Market Updates because most of the ‘information’ out there is sensational and click bait, designed to attract attention rather than give a balanced picture of the housing market in the GTA. However, since I find myself being asked this question on a daily basis, I thought I would make an exception this time because I think we are nearing the end of a buying window that if you are thinking of moving, you still have a chance to take advantage of.

Article Continues Below

The Background

Before answering the question, I want to frame the situation with what happened last year because it’s what happened in April 2017 that is still driving today’s news headlines.

Back in April 2017, the Ontario Government announced their ‘Fair Housing Plan’ in an attempt to cool a red hot real estate market. The change that had the most significant effect on the market was the ‘Non Resident Speculation Tax’ that added a 15% tax for all non-residents purchasing residential real estate in the Golden Horseshoe.

Just like in Vancouver the year before, this change had a deep psychological effect on buyers and caused home sales to drop substantially for the next 6 months. In fact, over the next 3 months we witnessed an 8% drop in prices overall, with larger detached homes being hit the hardest with a 15% drop in prices. This is exactly opposite to what occurred in areas not affected by the fair housing plan, which continued to see large price increases.

Home prices over the past 2 years in Mississauga

This chart shows the average price increase for all home types in Mississauga. While the numbers may vary slightly in other areas in the GTA, the trend is the same. The actual price drop occurred from April to October 2017

While the media was having a field day with doom and gloom reports over the 6 months following in the introduction of the Fair Housing Plan, something interesting happened that wasn’t being talked about- the market actually bottomed out around October and then prices started slowly go back up. Since October of 2017 we have seen prices rise slowly but steadily.

The Market Today

Based on the information I see, the market should be booming right now, but instead there’s reservation among buyers. Some homes are still selling very quickly and sometimes even in bidding wars, while others are selling slowly.

Part of this has to do with new government regulations on mortgages, but most of it has to do with the psychological effect of the way the housing market is reported on in the media. In order to keep things simple, most media analysts simply compare year over year prices on a monthly basis and this distorts the truth.

Sensational headlines like this article from the Toronto Star are high on fear and low on facts. This article compares February 2018 to February 2017 and ignores the fact that house prices in Toronto were actually up almost 2% between January and February 2018.

Allow me to share an example with you. On the following page is a chart comparing month to month prices of 2017 and 2018.  As you can see, since the beginning of the year prices have been ‘down’ when comparing year over year because what happened in the first 4 months of 2017 was over heated. However, following the current trend sometime in June or July the month over month will cross over again and home prices will ‘magically’ be higher again.

Mississauga home price comparison 2017 to 2018

The blue line shows average home price in 2017 and the orange line shows average and estimated price for 2018.

Based off of the numbers, I will predict that sometime in the summer (June – Aug) when the orange line again goes higher than the blue line meaning this year’s prices are again higher than the previous year, we will see a sharp increase in sales barring any unforeseen economic events.

Based on studying the numbers, and the fact that I’ve been through a sharp psychological drop like this before in 2008, I predict that we are going to see a busier than normal fall market. Buyers that held off over the past year and are sick of skyrocketing rental rates will re-enter the market causing prices to rise again. I say this not out of blind optimism because I am a Real Estate Broker (because I am actually enjoying a slower market) but out of the reality of supply and demand.

What the Fair Housing Act failed to address is that there’s still a shortage of housing in the GTA, and the population continues to grow.

By now you may be wondering, who is this market good for?

Who is The Village Guru? Article Continues Below

1. Move Up Buyers

If you’re thinking of moving up to a larger home, the next few months represent a great opportunity. Since larger homes are selling more slowly compared the last few year there is still an opportunity to get a deal on a larger home while enjoying a strong market in the entry level segment. People often talk about buying low and selling high and now is the chance to do so but this opprotunity won’t last for much longer.

2. Fixer Upper Buyers

This market is great for buyers looking to buy a big house and fix it up because most investors are sitting on the sidelines right now and the typical home buyer is looking for a ‘turn-key’ property and willing to pay a premium for it. This means you can get a good deal on something that needs work right now.


I hope you enjoyed this article and to be fair, this is a complex subject so I’m always happy to discuss this further if you have any questions. Real Estate is a long term investment and over the next year you will see the blip that was last year disappear as market forces prevail over government intervention.

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home seller mistake

Avoid Lost Time, Money & Opportunity

It has been such a long time since the GTA has been in a balanced market that it feels very unnerving to many sellers. Homes don’t sell first day on market anymore, and buyers can afford to wait, watch, and see what the market is doing. Many people are calling this a buyer’s market, but it’s not, there are still plenty of homes that are selling. The difference is, some homes are selling well, and some homes are taking over 100 days to sell or completely expire. If you need to sell this year, I’m quite sure you want to be in the “selling well” category. The best way to do this is to avoid the number one home seller mistake.

Not to downplay my role as your Real Estate Broker, because I have a myriad of skills such as staging, marketing, pricing, and negotiating that are critical to your sale. These skills: 1) bring buyers to your home and 2) close successfully on an offer. But there is a middle part – call it 1.5) – when the buyer has come to view your home, and they must decide if they want your home. That quick & distinctive moment of decision, well, I can do nothing about. As the home seller, this moment is 100% yours to influence.

How to Avoid the Number One Home Seller Mistake:

Price Your Home To Reflect it’s Condition!


Why Updated Homes Sell & Dated Homes Don’t

When selling your home, it is critical to note that the percentage of buyers who are willing to take on repairs or renovations is vanishing. Stats used to say 80% of buyers are looking for a turn key home, but in the last 3 years, our experience puts that number between 90-95%. With all of my listings, I call for feedback – which can be very hard to get from buyer agents – and the ones willing to take the time to let me know what they think, it’s always some variation of the same issue: the finishes in the home aren’t updated/there’s to much work to be done to the home. So why are home buyers so picky these days?

In Canada, we all know about the government interventions of 2017 to try to cool the market, both with the foreign home buyer’s tax and allowing the banks to implement stress-test financing, which often reduced the amount of money a buyer could borrow. Foreign buyers with tons of cash are now looking to invest their money elsewhere, and those left in the GTA are faced with high priced homes and tight mortgage rules. Added to the fact that many GTA’ers carry a high debt ratio and high cost of living, there’s just no money left for home improvement. It used to be quite easy and common for owners to take equity out on a mortgage re-fi or line of credit, so long as house prices were skyrocketing. But now that the market has levelled out, banks are much more conservative.

The last kick in the pants is the elimination of many individual home flippers who now have to report all of their “primary” home purchases in a year. the CRA cracked down on those trying to skirt capitol gains tax by claiming 2-3 flip properties as personal residences each year. I’m not against this measure, but it certainly effected the market. So all of these factors combined together mean that homes in need of work/renovation are sorely unwanted by the vast majority of the market.

An updated home will appeal to 90-95% of the market, and a home in need of repair/upgrades only attracts 5-10% of the market

Home Seller Mistake

What Buyers Want

No matter what is up for sale, be it a home, a shoe, a tv show, or a car, the lion share of effort and preparation is determining what their target buyer wants, and then creating a product that meets that demand. Companies spend millions doing research, focus groups, test markets, etc, to make sure they are selling something that buyers will actually buy.

As a home seller, the single greatest truth you can learn, is to identify what buyers in your market want. NOT why you love your home. Not what you think matters. Not what you think is valuable to you. What does the BUYER want??

In todays market, specifically in the GTA, many buyers will forego an extra 10 feet of backyard to get a granite countertop and a beautiful kitchen. Buyers want hardwood floors throughout the house, over a big storage room or cold cellar. Yes, everyone wants size, but the trend that we are seeing is that younger buyers will forego size for quality finishes. Practical items such as a 50 year roof are not equivalent to an updated interior space. This may be a painful truth, but it’s the truth all the same. I don’t agree with it personally, I love me a big backyard and a blank canvas to decorate to my taste, but the sellers who succeed at real estate are those who can identify buyer wants & demands and then ensure that their home delivers.


What to Do?

You always have choices no matter what the situation, and those who are most successful always look at the options logically, with as little emotion as possible.

Choice A – No Updates

If you know your home is likely not meeting buyer’s expectations, and you don’t want to or can’t put money into your home to update it, your best option is to price it at the LOWER end of FAIR MARKET VALUE. Yes, I said lower end and yes, I said fair market value. I’m not suggesting “giving the house away” as so many sellers fear. It’s important to logically and critically recognize the market value of your home given the lack of buyer demand for an outdated home and the work that needs to be done.

Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer, and imagine walking into a home that needs a lot of work and the price does not reflect this. Will you say, “that’s ok, let’s put in an offer $80,000 below asking, I’m sure they’ll understand!” ….That never happens. Buyers and buyer agents assume you are unreasonable and won’t waste their time; they’ll move on and keep looking. And you get no offers to even work with. Your best chance for a sale is to clearly show you are reasonable and motivated.

Its also critical that your agent show you comparable homes, data and calculations to demonstrate to you what fair market value is. This is never a specific number, but a PRICE RANGE. There is always a subjective component because every buyer will have a different valuation on the cost of a new kitchen or updated floors. Focus on the sold data and what it shows you about what buyers will and will not pay for.

Even after pricing fairly for your home, this likely won’t be a fast and seamless sale. You still need to be on the market long enough to find the 5-15% of buyers who will even consider buying your home. This takes time and it’s critical that your expectations are in the right place so that you don’t get frustrated, angry, confused, etc when you don’t get an offer after the first weekend.

Choice B – Invest in Updates

******This does not necessarily increase the value of your home, but protects the current market price of your home, without having to discount it. *****

If you want to price on the HIGHER end of FAIR MARKET VALUE, you must have a home that gives buyers the ideal lifestyle that they are longing for. When prices are so high, expectations rise exponentially along with it. Even though so many “typical family homes” homes are priced between $800,000-$1,000,000, expectations for these homes are anything BUT typical. Mentally and emotionally, this is still a massive number to most buyers, and so your million dollar home must feel “worth it” before a buyer will want to buy your home.

If you want to price on the high end of market value, it’s critical that your home is updated with the ideal buyer lifestyle.

What is the Ideal Buyer Lifestyle?

In different levels of home, this means different things. No matter what level of home you have, this always means NEUTRAL. Any fixture of the home: doors, trim, flooring, counters, tiles – all the things no one likes to replace, should be neutral. If you have hunter green tiles, dusty rose carpets, or baby blue counters, I can guarantee to you – buyers won’t like it. Now, to give buyers a little forgiveness, they will usually absorb one not-too-big-not-too-scary-not-too-costly project such as painting, or installing some hardwood floors, or upgrading bathroom counters. But please look at your home with a cold, critical eye, and if there’s 3 or more items that need cosmetic updates, it’s time to acknowledge that your home is not offering the “Ideal Buyer Lifestyle”. It’s harsh. It might not be what you would do as a buyer. But for the majority of buyers (this is who you want to target) this is the truth you have to face.

1) The Entry Level Condo/Townhome

All buyers want the same clean and modern style. In the entry level market, they don’t expect all high end materials, but they certainly do want “the look”.

Wood Flooring: You can choose a high quality laminate that looks as much like wood as possible. You can get random length strips that look very much like the real thing. Think longevity, go for classics, not trends. Match existing wood in your home to create a seamless look. If your staircase is honey oak, carry that colour throughout and build your style from there. If you can start from scratch, always choose a classic mid-tone walnut that has never gone out of style for the past 200 years.

Home Seller Mistake

Wall Tile: chose the most expensive white tile you can afford. If it is ceramic, choose a subway tile that has also been a classic for 100 years. You can choose elongated, hand-crafted, beveled, etc. But stick to white to build a solid foundation.

Home Seller Mistake

Floor Tile: Choose a floor tile that blends with the wood floors of your home, so that the tone of floor is consistent throughout. Its a great trick to make a smaller home feel bigger. If you have walnut floors, then you can choose a warm grey, or a cool brown, ideally something “not-too-anything” but a good background neutral to build on. Avoid strong patterns or anything too linear, too rustic, too modern, too anything. Do not make the tile floor a focal point.

Home Seller Mistake

Counters: Here is one area that if you can wheel and deal some stone, you will absolutely THRILL your buyer. (Thrilling is a good thing). Find little businesses in industrial strip malls in Brampton, Vaughan or Stoney Creek. It’s worth the drive as you can save thousands. But it comes with the caveat that your kitchen cabinets must be good condition and layout. Do not use stone to try to mask an old kitchen; this literally pisses buyers off. Don’t do it, no matter how tempted you are. They know it’s an old kitchen and no one wants to throw a brand new stone counter in the trash to renovate an old kitchen.

2 other great options are laminate without the kick-back or butcher block (Again, industrial strip mall countertop stores will provide you the best prices). If you have a good contractor, IKEA has the BEST wood-look laminate that we’ve used several times.

home seller mistake

Carpet: None. No where. No buyer wants carpet anymore because there’s constant thoughts of old pet hair, pet stains, allergens, dirt, etc. Make your home more saleable by removing any carpet you have.

Every Home is Different. Contact The Village Guru and Have our Designer Create a Customized Plan for Your Home That Meets Your Goals and Budget

2) The Family Home

These buyers want high style that they feel they’ve worked hard to deserve. Now days, the “average size 3 bed home” can cost well over $800,000 – and buyers are still thinking, what for??!! Yes, most of the value is in the land, not the home itself, but even for the average family buyer, they  want to see some substance and and improved lifestyle if they are going to move. These buyers often have kids, pets, and a busy life. They are looking for durable finishes that will look great with minimal maintenance.

Wood Flooring: The desired flooring is wood, either engineered or solid. There’s other options in the stores like bamboo, cork, etc, but they just never gained mainstream traction. You get the best bang for your buck with wood. If you have wood floors already, you’re only half way to the equation. Is it blond, maple, black ebony, or pickled grey? Does it have a gloss coat on it so shiny that you can almost see your reflection? These trend colours and finishes – I truly wish were never even sold in stores – mean that our picky buyer is already feeling a bit disappointed and is trying to grapple with the cost of updating the wood. Most buyers can’t stand the idea of the dust, dirt and disruption of re-sanding floors. So if you are buying new, or willing to update what you have, there is one major rule:

  1. AVOID ALL TREND COLOURS AND FINISHES. For anything that you want to have lasting, universal, timeless appeal, this is where you must stick to classics. Just because it’s for sale, doesn’t mean its something you should buy.
    1. COLOUR: Middle of the road, mid-tone, american-walnut type shade of colour. Not too dark, not too light, not too red, yellow or orange or grey. Just a nice simple mid tone brown. This has and never will go out of vogue.
    2. FINISH: Avoid too much distressing, or too much gloss. One is too rustic and the other is too formal. Some detail is good, but keep it simple and as flat a finish as you can. A flat finish hides dents much better and will look better for much much longer.
Home seller mistake

IDEAL – Matte, Mid-Tone Wood

home seller mistake

AVOID – High Gloss & Red/Orange/Yellow Tones


Wall & Floor Tile: Try to get out of the world of ceramics and into the porcelain and marble range. If you must use ceramic, keep it to wall tiles, and budget for porcelain for the floors.

Accent with marble as much as you can, whether its a small powder room floor, a shower floor or the kitchen backsplash. It will be unexpected and 100% desirable to buyers. Stick to white marbles like Calacatta, Venatino, Statuario, or Cararra, and you can get a simple subway pattern marble for $10 per square foot at outlet tile stores.

home seller mistake

Kitchen & Bath Cabinets: In this level of home, expectations about the kitchen and bath rise substantially. White shaker cabinets are the no-fail classic that appeals to the broadest range of buyers. If your cabinets are in good working condition but a dated wood colour, it is 100% worth the effort to paint them white. Wood is only a value add if it looks high quality and updated. If your cabinets look like they are from the late 90’s, the wood is not helping you sell the home. The key here is to have them professionally sprayed with a lacquer paint from a company who specialized in cabinet refinishing. This will give you the highest possible quality finish outside of a factory finish, and buyers will appreciate a modern looking kitchen and bath.

home seller mistake

Counters: In this level of home, laminate counters become a fast disappointment. Good shape or not, they are not what buyers are willing to pay a high price for. I have a friend, he will call 50 stores if he has to, to find the best price for whatever he is looking for. I usually find this quite exhausting, but if this level of effort is what brings a stone counter in budget for you, be like my friend. Go hunt that counter down, it’s out there. Anything in the mid-low $30’s installed is a good place to start. If you find stone installed in the $20’s, please call me immediately. I need to know.


Carpet: If the only negative in your home is a few patches of carpet, it won’t be a deal breaker. But yes, the less carpet, the better for you.

  • In the basement, you can choose wood-look vinyl which is water resistant and highly durable. It also bends to the shape of a not-perfectly-poured concrete floor.
  • On the main floor, any carpet will kill your sale price. Even a high quality laminate is better than carpet, but not by much. The key is to make all the floors on your main floor as unified in colour and style as possible, so choose whatever is in your budget that will give you a seamless, unified, classic, look.
  • On the upper floor, if the carpet in the bedrooms is in very good condition and good quality, it can be acceptable to some buyers. If it is a mis-mash of different colours and is worn out, then it will be a negative on the buyer’s list.

Every Home is Different. Contact The Village Guru and Have our Designer Create a Customized Plan for Your Home That Meets Your Goals and Budget

3) High-End Home (Premium Neighbourhoods, $1.5 million+)

There is no middle ground with a premium home. It is either well taken care of, with high quality finishes, or it’s ready for a complete overhaul. Going half way with a high end home is money wasted, so either do nothing at all and price it to generously reflect the reno work needed, or work with a design team (preferably us) to create a gorgeous show home for the least possible money. Now, in this calibre of home, least possible money can still be $50,000+, depending on what needs addressing. It’s a big decision, and it’s very important to research/plan your strategy based on market conditions and your stress tolerance.

Kitchens: Here is where the big, all-or-nothing question begins, because if you’re dealing with a kitchen, you’re also often dealing with flooring which runs through a large portion of your main floor. I have seen too many luxury homes with dated hall/kitchen tile and the buyer just thinks, what an absolute nightmare it would be to jack-hammer it all out and start over!?! And they know that means the kitchen is getting pulled too. So, you’re either all in, or all out, but don’t waste some money only solving half a buyer’s problem. You won’t get your money back. If you want more guidance around your specific situation, always call us to learn what we would do to get you a top quality – COMPLETE – look for the best possible price.


Wood Flooring: Solid wood is the expectation, even thought many professionals argue the better technical qualities of engineered. The idea that the floor can be refinished 4 times and last 100 years is highly appealing to quality buyers. For the main floor, choose solid hardwood because this is where you live the most and traffic is the heaviest. If you want to switch to engineered on other levels, you can certainly do this, as long as the colour is the same throughout. Again, stick to the ever-classic walnut tone, matte finish that is not too dark, not too light. If you already have wood that can be refinished, this is a great opportunity to erase out any dated orange, yellow or red floors that have fallen out of fashion.

Floor Tile: If your home is so large that you can afford to highlight different zones or areas, you can contrast your wood floors with a light porcelain or stone tile. It’s always good to show off large spaces. Choose large scale 24×24 or 18×24 size tiles, in classic patterns, to give a modern look and emphasize how much space you have. It looks modern because the 12×12 and 12×24 tiles have become a signpost of the 1980’s-2000’s. For any spaces that do feel tight, keep the flooring consistent in colour to visually expand the area.

Mechanics: In all other levels of home, buyers will want new windows, roof and furnace but currently we see, as an industry, that buyers are choosing finished interior space over new mechanicals to get the home they want. But for high end homes in this market, buyers expect both. They expect that if you can afford to own a high end home, you can afford to maintain it as well. Both sides of the coin are critical; don’t spend money to update the interior if your mechanicals are at the end of their life.

Every Home is Different. Contact The Village Guru and Have our Designer Create a Customized Plan for Your Home That Meets Your Goals and Budget


If you have read this far, I hope it’s because you realize how important an updated home is to the vast majority of buyers. Again, if you can’t update your home, it’s not a problem at all, but you do have to price your home very attractively to buyers in order to generate interest. That is a hard thing for most sellers to accept, so I often price these homes aggressively to give my sellers the chance to see if there is any market interest. In 99% of the cases, buyers come (that’s my job, to bring buyers to the home) but they don’t offer, because the price is higher than the buyer’s opinion of the value. And once we reduce the price to the lower end of fair market value, these homes get offers, and they do sell. No other industry follows the law of economics more accurately; a sale occurs where supply (sellers) meet demand (buyers).

home seller mistake

If you do want to update your home before selling, it is for the express understanding that you are protecting the current value of your home. Gone are the days of 2017 where a staged home would command 50k, 80k, 100k over asking price. The purpose is not to raise your asking price, it’s to NOT HAVE TO reduce your asking price as in the first scenario. Making this decision is more than just whether you have the money to do it, but what is your tolerance for disruption, problem solving and uncertainty? We do calculations to see what your house is worth if it’s upgraded, and we give you a design savvy plan to get you the look for the least possible money. (If you won’t see a 200% return, we usually don’t think it’s worth the added stress and reno mess.)

We work side by side with you from day one – you are never left on your own and ignored until you’re ready to sell. It’s the extra hours of design advice, support and service, combined with expert real estate services, that sets us apart from every other broker in the market. You deserve full-spectrum, wrap around-service from day 1 to closing day. See Our Service Fees and Packages Here

Contact The Village Guru Today to get More Service, More Expertise, More Strategy, and A Better Sales Experience. Because “Sold” Just Isn’t Good Enough 

  • The Village Guru
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Luxury Home for Sale 19 Corvinelli Drive Brooklin34

The Best of Town & Country in Brooklin Village

Status: FOR SALE, MLS #E4049601 Click Here for link to

See More Photos Below Features & Amenities

19 Corvinelli Drive Features & Amenities

Small town charm & modern amenities; you can have it all! If you are looking for a large, modern, executive home, combined with the charm of village life, then 19 Corvinelli is made for you. The quiet family street, named after the builder Corvinelli, is a well-known boutique builder who created niche communities with a style that respects the history of the area. This elite neighbourhood is anything but “builder suburban” and this street offers wide lots, mature trees and a quiet path to walk your dog, meet your neighbours, or watch your children play outside.

Just walking distance to downtown Brooklin, you can enjoy the many independent restaurants and shops along the historic main street. Downtown Brooklin is a designated heritage conservation district, and it feels very much like you are worlds apart from nearby Whitby. Enjoy the many festivals including the Spring Fair, Farmers Market, Music in the Park, Harvest Festival and Christmas in the Village, just to name a few. Brooklin boasts some top rated schools, due to a strong local community and parent involvement. You and your family can enjoy the many leagues and activities offered at the Brooklin Community Centre and Library, and at the Luther Vipond Arena. If you are looking to immerse yourself in a community, there are a wide variety of leagues to join and people to meet.

19 Corvinelli “Columbus” model is one of the largest boutique homes on the street. Enjoy over 3500 square feet above ground and over 1399 additional square feet of finished space in the basement. This home’s size makes it ideal for entertaining and living. The open concept design, numerous large windows and high ceilings ensure each room is bright and spacious. With 9 foot ceilings on the main floor and 8 foot ceilings in the 2nd floor and basement, the home has a grand, elegant design. With 5 bathrooms, and 4+1 large bedrooms, everyone has their own space to relax and unwind at the end of the day. The oversize master retreat easily accommodates a California King size bed, with more space for a private sitting area. The master suite also features a spacious and bright ensuite and large walk in closet. With four large windows, this master is a serene and peaceful retreat.

The main floor boasts hardwood floors in all the principle areas, and a wide design which enables large windows on all sides to flood the rooms with light. The modern classic kitchen has a timeless style; its open concept design is ideal for entertaining multiple guests, without ever feeling left out of the action. With 2 living areas (plus the basement media area) your family can enjoy time together or have the space to enjoy their own activities. The wide, private backyard is an ideal outdoor living room, with no neighbours directly facing onto the yard. Relax, entertain, bbq, and enjoy every minute of good weather.

Life is easy with incredible storage and function at every turn. The 3 car tandem garage, with garage door to the backyard means you can store your boat or off-road vehicles with ease. The highly functional mudroom off the garage will keep your gear tucked out of sight and stored properly. The private, main floor office keep your work organized and efficient, and out of site when it’s family time. The basement has a large storage room plus a 20 foot cold cellar. On the second floor, the large laundry room means you will never have to lug laundry up and down the stairs ever again. The multiple linen closets and large bedroom closets will keep your family neat and organized to keep your family life rolling with ease.

This elegant home is move-in ready and will give you the quality lifestyle you deserve

19 Corvinelli Floor Plans

luxury home east Toronto

luxury home east Toronto

luxury home east Toronto

19 Corvinelli Drive Features & Amenities

Contact The Village Guru for Your Private Showing

Find out more about selling your home in Mississauga and how we work to protect your interests.

Fairmeadow Crescent Mississauga

Welcome to 7054 Fairmeadow Crescent, a bright, spacious freehold end unit townhome that feels like a semi-detached. This 3 bed, 3 bath home is flooded with light and well designed. Enjoy top schools, walking distance to the grocery store and plaza, and a short drive to the Lisgar GO Station.

Jeffrey O'Leary poses with a cheque for $10,000 donated to the Eden Food Bank

Fool’s Night 2018 – For Eden Food For Change

On Saturday April 7th, over 100 of Mississauga’s finest people met for the 3rd annual Fool’s Night event hosted by the Rotary Club of Mississauga-Meadowvale. This year, the goal was to raise funds for Eden Food For Change, a local Food bank serving western Mississauga. Over $15,000 was donated by the Rotary Club of Mississauga-Meadowvale and the Streetsville Legion, on top of additional funds raised through a silent auction supported by local businesses in the community.

This year we had a number of local comedians and a live band perform. The event was hosted at the Streetsville Legion and there was a ton of great comfort food prepared by the Eden Food bank Chef. There was also a silent auction with all proceeds going to the Eden Food bank.

Fool's Night, the rotary club of mississauga-meadowvale

The live band kept the part rocking!

Stephanie and I had a lot of fun, and we can’t wait for next year’s event!

Jeff O'Leary at the Rotary Club of Mississauga-Meadowvale Fool's Night Event

A ‘Jeffanie’ selfie!

Special thanks goes out to:

Former Member of Parliament (Streetsville) and current Director of Government Relations for the Mississauga Board of Trade, Brad Butt for all the hard work in organizing the event.

Rotary Club of Meadowvale member David O’Hearn and his band for rocking the show!

About Eden Food For Change

Eden Food for Change is committed to increasing access to good food in a dignified manner, developing food skills to encourage healthy eating and empowering the community through education, outreach and advocacy. The Eden Food Bank primarily serves the communities western Mississauga, including Meadowvale, Streetsville, Lisgar, Churchill Meadows, Central Erin Mills and Erin Mills.

Find out more on how to donate or volunteer by visiting

About Rotary

Ever been a part of a club? A community? With people who want to make a difference to a bigger cause than just themselves. A place where the people attend for a greater good?

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

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Locally, there are 7 Rotary Clubs in Mississauga, where members meet on a regular basis to donate their time, volunteer and make a difference in our local community and the world at large. Rotarians also like to have fun, and make connections in the community. If Rotary is something that interests you feel free to contact me.

Real Estate Fees

Real Estate Fees Explained

Real estate fees and commission rates are the most commonly asked questions by home sellers and buyers. Everyone wants to know what it’s going to cost them to buy or sell, and understandably so. So, it’s probably  a little frustrating that all you can find online are vague references and an invitation to call a salesperson (yay, that’s SO fun) to get a specific answer. There are 2 reasons for vague information about real estate fees and commissions:

  1. What most people don’t know is that the real estate industry is HIGHLY regulated, but not in the way you might think. The priority of the governing body is to ensure that agents don’t collude together or appear to be anti-competitive. How this started, I don’t know, but now that the GTA has over 40,000 agents, it seems like an odd priority. For anyone who knows anything about economics, you might know how impossible it is for 40,000 individual businesses to collude. However, the intention is to protect the public interest, so agents are in NO WAY allowed to speak about real estate fees or commissions as if there is any industry standard or set price. Every agent is allowed to set their own prices, and they certainly do.


  1. Agents also don’t want to talk about real estate fees or commissions until they have met you. Think of every sales technique you know, and they are often all at play. If you are serious, you should be willing to meet, and then the agent has a good chance to sign you to a contract while you are a captive audience. What many agents are missing is the fact that public expectations are changing in the face of the Internet and the information age. Most people want the power to gather information in advance, to consider their options before calling or meeting anyone. To deny people this expectation causes nothing but frustration.

So I will do my best to shed as much light on this as I can, showing a wide array of real estate commission options available to you, to be clear that there is no industry standard. Just like any other highly competitive industry, you will see a wide range of choices.


1. Flat Fee Services


Flat fee services have risen in popularity in the last 10 years, as the Internet and have become the main vehicles for finding buyers. These services were initially designed to attract FSBO’s – people who were inclined to sell their own home – but wanted to have their house show up on If you felt your house looked great, you were confident about the process and just wanted help to market your home and write up the contract, this was the ideal solution. Here’s a good article from the American Powerhouse Zillow, which very well might be breaking into the Canadian market in the near future.




What surprised me, is when I went to some of the well known flat fee sites, they don’t have prices on their website. Even these companies are now requiring you call in to get pricing information. Given that price is their main advantage, I was shocked not to see it on the front page. I have nothing but anecdotal information about Flat Fees, so it may not be current. I didn’t want to pretend to be a home seller to gather information, so feel free to share with me any experience you’ve had with a flat fee company. What I think I can reasonably assume is that they will have tiered fee levels, depending on your market and how much support they provide you.


What to Watch Out For:


The devil is always in the details – this is true for EVERY realtor and broker, not just flat fee. Make sure you get a detailed, WRITTEN list of services you will receive for the package you are considering, as this is the only way to compare with other options. “Internet Marketing”, “Home Staging”, “Communication”, “Support” are all very general words that can be interpreted 1000 different ways.


  1. Ask how you will be represented. Do you get an agent available by phone or in person? How often do they meet with you? If you prefer the agent to be arms-length, this will not be a concern for you


  1. How does the agent get paid? An agent can make a lot more money selling real estate on commission, its true, so why are these agents choosing to work for this lower-pay option??? What is their skill level? How do you ensure they will do the best job for you? If you feel there is no high-skill level required from an agent, this will not be a concern for you


  1. Do you do the negotiating on your own behalf with support from the agent, or will they do the negotiating for you? How skilled are they to negotiate? How well do they know you to advise you on strategy, or do you set the strategy and they are back-end support? If you feel your negotiating skills are strong, and don’t need much support or guidance, this will not be a concern for you.


Flat Fee service can be great for sellers who are confident in their own skills to navigate the process, so this is not to dissuade people from using Flat Fee. The only thing that concerns me on these Flat Fee websites, is when you see that golden, magical phrase:


Get the same high quality service for less money!!


With any purchase in your life, be it appliances, produce, clothes, cars, et cetera, when is this ever true? A Civic costs much less than a Mercedes, and that’s fine, but don’t try to say they are the same quality. If you want a Civic because it meets your needs, then absolutely get a Civic, but be completely knowledgeable and realistic about what you’re buying. On the flip side, a higher price does not guarantee quality, and some “elite services” can certainly turn out to be total duds…..continue reading on to learn more about that.


2. Commission Services


I’m going to tell you the same precautionary tale for commission agents as I did for flat fee brokers: be wary of what you get for the price. Another reason I believe that flat fee became so popular – to use our analogy again – is that many commission agents claimed to be selling you the Mercedes. But then the client realizes that they were paying for Mercedes, but only got a Civic. That is frustrating indeed. So the onus is on commission agents to prove that their fees warrant their level of skill and services.


The reason you would choose a commission over flat fee is because you are looking for hands-on service & communication, combined with skilled advice, strategy and marketing. You agree with the concept that commission can motivate agents to get you the highest possible sale price, because the more money you make, the more the agent makes too. In this sense, you should be looking for a collaborative relationship, because you know you want more guidance, advice, strategy, and support to get through the sales process. If the up-front fee is your dominant consideration, and you don’t believe that personal & strategic service from an agent can get the best results, then Flat Fee just might make the most sense for you.




Agents offer a wide range of commissions, the majority between 3-6%, based on your situation and what services you want. But some agents may charge even less or more than this, depending on the house, the location, and the needs of the client.



  • If the seller has agreed to pay a commission to the buying agent, and that commission is equal to or greater than your agent’s agreed upon fee (that s/he must disclose to you), then as the buyer, you will pay nothing. The seller will have paid the full cost of the buyer commission.
  • If the seller offers a buyer’s commission that is lower than your agents agreed upon fee (that s/he must disclose to you) then they may ask you to pay the difference if that is the house you end up buying.
  • The buying agent may offer alternate solutions depending on the situation. In most cases, most buyers don’t have to pay anything to the buyer agent for their services.
  • Because a lot of buyers see using a buyer agent as “free”, they often tend to relax their standards quite a bit when choosing a buyer agent, which is not without risk. A buyer agent must have an incredible amount of local knowledge, local experience, be highly analytical, and have good communication and negotiation skills. It’s very easy to overpay for a home or miss buying a great home because the agent wasn’t able to communicate with you or research properly. Never accept a buyer agent who acts as a door opener or a tour guide, because you need much more strategy than this to make a smart buy. Learn the 3 Critical Skills your buyer agent MUST have 



  • To be competitive, many agents break their commission fee up into 2 parts: a seller fee and a buyer fee. So whenever you see 1%*, 1.5%*, 2.0%*, 2.5%* and so on, the * usually means PLUS the buyer commission.
  • You can choose the percentage you pay to the listing agent, and also the percentage you pay to the buyer agent.
  • I can’t think of one scenario where it is in the seller’s interest to pay the listing agent MORE than the buying agent.
    • Equal pay to both agents makes good sense in a balanced market.
    • In a buyers market, paying a higher buying commission can increase the likelihood of attracting more buyers to your home over all of your competition. It’s just human nature to want to be paid more, and your home might be able to attract more showings, more demand, and better offers. You may decide to pay both agents equally because in a buyers market, your listing agent will have to incur extra marketing expenses in order to get your home sold.
    • In a sellers market, buying agents are spending a lot of extra time with each client because houses are selling fast. They need to go to more house showings per client, and are likely researching, writing offers, and losing on several properties before they are able to win in a multiple offer. Hours per client can double or triple, so to see they will be paid less is a very frustrating situation. If they have to tell their clients that the seller is not covering their agreed-upon commission, the buyer may decide to pass on your house and try for another one, which damages the demand for your home.
  • In any market, you can pay any percentage you choose to both agents; the decision is 100% yours to make. But commission can be used as part of your selling strategy, if you want it to.


Buying & Selling

  • If you feel you have found an agent who has the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully sell your current home and buy you your next home, you can ask for their best price, since they will be getting a second contract from you that didn’t cost them any additional marketing fees to acquire.
  • BE WARNED: DO NOT DO THIS if you are moving out of area. Saving a little on real estate fees is not worth the mess you might get into by using your listing agent to buy in a city they don’t know enough about. You could end up overpaying for your new home or find out you don’t like the neighbourhood, which completely negates any savings you got off your listing fee. Few agents will refuse your request; because with information sharing across real estate boards, and asking other agents in their offices, they might truly believe they can do the job. The onus is on you to ensure they have the skills to represent you properly.


What to Watch Out For:


What you’re doing right now is your best first step. Research your marketplace. Every local market is different and just because your friend got 2% in Brampton or paid $4000 Flat Fee in Kitchener, it doesn’t mean anything if you live in Maple. Yes, you want to know real estate fees, but if you’re choosing a commission agent, it must be relative to specific services, or else the real estate fees aren’t comparable.If you can’t find enough information online, you really do need to call and/or meet some agents, as annoying as that is. Click Here to See the Village Guru Service Packages & Rates Online. Once you do enough research and ask the right questions, you will know if an agent’s commission sounds fair, if you’re being overcharged, or if the fee sounds incredibly too good to be true.


  1. Research Local Websites. If you spend 5 hours researching a new fridge, and 10 hours researching a new car, wouldn’t it makes sense that you should spend at least twice the time researching a transaction worth 100’s of thousands of dollars? You can’t know what to ask and won’t be able to see the difference between services if you haven’t done your due diligence first, because there are vast differences. Start Learning the How to Protect your Interests as a Seller and what to look out for in your Research


  1. Decide in Advance, What Services you Need. Giving out a quote for service always feels like a game of chicken; who’s going to crack first. But most agents are happy to customize your quote specifically to what you want. Things like “staging” and “marketing” have a lot of different costs, and can represent very different services. One agent might say they include staging for free, while another says it’s an extra 0.5%. Why? What does it include? Is it a consult or installation of art and accessories? What service level do you want and need? See Our FAQ section for sellers to learn all the things you need to know to differentiate between agents and service levels. 


  1. Ask About Contract Length. Typical contracts are for 3-6 months, depending on the market. Rarely is a 9-12 month contract necessary. If you are getting an incredibly low commission but for a 1 year contract, you will likely be stuck using that agent to buy or sell, no matter how good or bad their services are. Always ask about the fine print, it is a legal document. Any agent should be able to give you the contract in plain English for you to review in advance.


  1. Put it In Writing. Even a 3-6 month contract can feel like a nightmarish eternity if your agent’s performance doesn’t match your expectations. Eliminate assumptions & surprises by having the agent provide you a written service agreement BEFORE you sign a listing contract. You wouldn’t believe how rare service agreements are; most people still accept a sales pitch and a handshake. Listing contracts do not outline any detail about the marketing services your agent will provide. See the Village Guru Step-by-Step List of Services we offer, which you can customize any way you need. 


  1. Ask if they have Another Job. This may sound silly to ask, but could be critical to your success. I am constantly running into people with full time jobs who “dabble” in real estate on the side. Having a license to sell one’s own house is fine, if that’s what they want to do. But once an agent is legally representing another person’s sale, it’s time to level up the playing field. You’ll likely want to make sure your agent has extensive experience and knowledge that will help you avoid potential pitfalls or legal disasters. This only comes with years of regular experience in the trenches. Do you want a doctor who dabbles in coronary bypass surgery? If something goes wrong, you do want an expert working for you. Never trade knowledge and experience for the lowest commission, it may cost you much more money in the long run.


  1. Ask if They Offer Cash Rebates. There’s no other way I can say this – a successful, skilled, competent Realtor® will not kick back cash to you. If they can afford to hand back half of their commission, you need to ask what type of business they are running and how they are covering the necessary costs of a typical full-time Realtor®. Insurance fees, Broker fees, Office Fees, Board Fees, License Fees, Advertising Costs, Listing Costs, Admin Fees –it costs money to run a legitimate business. On top of this, a successful realtor ($150,000/yr +) in Ontario has to pay a marginal tax rate of over 46% because they are not legally permitted to incorporate. So cash back is a sure sign the agent is not doing enough deals and/or is skirting expenses that would make them a better realtor, or that would sell your home more successfully. If you really want a lower rate, Flat Fee is a better choice over a cash kick-back.


Real Estate Fees & Commissions Summary


So although I cannot tell you exactly what you can expect to pay in real estate fees, because there is no industry standard, I hope I have shed some light on why you would choose different fee structures and how to ensure you are getting what you want and need.


Everyone wants the best possible price, and there are quality agents out there who will work with you to get you the service you need with real estate fees that are fair to all. In this highly competitive market, I don’t think any agent is capable of overcharging real estate fees, but they can certainly short you on service if you don’t have a formal agreement, which is pretty much the same thing. And then there are many, many, many agents who will provide rock bottom real estate fees to try to get your business, but you have to logically question how it’s possible. What gets cut out and will it affect your sale price?


Your task is to do a considerable amount of research to know exactly what level and type of services you want before you speak to anyone about real estate fees or commissions. This way, you will be able to get several specific and accurate quotes that are much easier to compare. You can then decide which agent you think will get you the best possible results, with the services you need and for the fair price you want.


Click Here to see The Village Guru Commission Structures and Included Services

We offer multi-transaction discounts and any package can be customized to give you the services you want, for a fair price

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Spring 2018 is turning out to be a Great Time for Move-up Home Buyers!

House Prices are DOWN & Condo Prices are UP!

Amid all the negative news surrounding the Toronto and Mississauga housing markets, there’s a small, and likely a very short, time limited opportunity that has been missed by most analysts. I want to share this with you today.

After studying the latest Toronto Real Estate Board Market Watch Report, I observed that the gap between condo and detached house prices is the smallest it’s been in the past 8 years. There has never been a better time since 2010 for a condo owner to jump up to a detached home. If you want to move to a detached home, and have been put off by the bidding wars and rising prices over the past 5 years, now is your time to take advantage of this blip in the market.

The chart below is comparing the average increase in prices between February 2017 to February 2018 for Mississauga.

Housing Type2017 Price2018 PricePercentage Change
Semi Detached$674,900$651,400-3%
Town House$510,200$528,200+4%
Condo Apartment$352,600$406,500+15%

*Information was taken from the Toronto Real Estate Board Market Watch Report ‘Focus on the MLS Home Price Index’

It’s clear from the data that condos continue to have a strong rise in sale prices, but detached home sales have softened.

We all know this anomaly in the market has been caused by government intervention policies. Buyers have been removed from the detached home market with the foreign home buyers tax, and new bank rules have put downward pressure and fear for the average buyer for how much they can afford. Once the dust settles, demand for detached homes will begin to rebuild. So for a short period of time, and no one can predict how long this will last, there is an ideal opportunity for condo owners to SELL HIGH and BUY LOW. This is the ideal scenario.

For demonstration purposes, let’s look at how much money you can potentially save in this market with current average prices. Let’s say you have a condo worth $450,000 and you want to buy a house worth $800,000. Below I will compare the scenario in 2017 versus 2018.

2017 Prices

In 2017, your condo was then worth $382,500. At the same time, the detached house you wanted would have sold for $832,000. The difference between the condo and the house was $449,500 ($832,000k-$382,500k)

2018 Prices

In 2018, your condo is now worth $450,000. At the same time, the detached house you want is selling for $800,000. The difference between the condo and the house is now $350,000 ($800k-$450k)

That’s a Savings of $99,500!

But hold on, it gets better. Let’s add in the lifetime cost of the mortgage interest that you would have paid on that $99,500 – calculated at 3.5% on a 25 year amortization. I used a loan interest calculator to find out the total interest paid. (this feature isn’t available on the banks mortgage calculator websites)

Buying a bigger house in 2018 will save you money on interest

This is a simple calculation to show the approximate interest paid on a $99,500 loan at 3.5% over 25 years. Check out the calculator for yourself.

Now add $99,500 plus the additional interest savings of $49,936 you end up with a total savings of:


Total Savings

That’s a Total Saving of almost $150,000!

Should You Wait Until the Market Picks Up? What About all The Doomsday Reports of a Further Crash?

I believe the market adjustment in the detached segment has happened in large part because of the Foreign Home Buyer Tax and the tightening of pre-qualifying rules for mortgages. The government failed to address the influx of foreign money and loose lending practices – causing the spike – and then implemented measures to reduce it – causing a correction.

Moreover, with current government land development policies such as the Greenbelt Act, The Greater Toronto Area has become an “island” surrounded by protected land, where there is very little land left to develop. That means the supply of detached houses is forever limited, as future development will be almost all high density housing. Never again will a 60 foot wide suburban style home, a popular style in the 1970’s, be built in the GTA. So, as demand builds back and grows, it will push the prices of these detached homes back up again. Think of Manhattan Island, it’s the same concept, with strong demand to live in these areas.

The map below shows the GTA, surrounded by the GreenBelt which is protected land. The grey areas are already developed, and it’s only the tiny pockets of yellow that are left.

Ontario Greenbelt

This map shows the designated Green belt Area in the Golden Horseshoe

When making a decision, you will never have every piece of information, none of us have a crystal ball. But if moving up to a detached home is your goal, the information we do have at the present moment would indicate that this is a good opportunity, right here, right now. The market always ebbs and flows, and there will be different opportunities and challenges in the future, but I will always calculate strategy based on what we know in the present because NO ONE knows the future.

Have any questions? Want to know more? Let’s chat!

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The top looks for kitchen cabinets

The top looks for kitchen cabinets Keep Your Cabinets  for a Stylish and Affordable Update

In most kitchen update situations, whether I’m providing home staging or decor services, I always first try to see if we can work with the existing cabinets. If the layout works well, and the kitchen cabinets are in decent shape, why rip them out? Kitchen cabinets are the largest expense of a kitchen update, so if we can use the current cabinets instead of replacing them, we can use that money towards complimentary finishes such as a new counter and backsplash.

However, sometimes it’s necessary to replace the kitchen cabinets, especially if they’re old or worn, because you don’t want to install a stone counter on old cabinets, that would be money wasted. But quite often, we can work with what you have. These Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets will set you on the right path to a stylish design that is also very affordable.

Classic Rules for Building a Kitchen Scheme

Every rule is made to be broken, and sometimes it’s essential to get the right look. But for most people, the easiest way to get a classic look is to follow this formula:

  1. The Floor & Counter are usually the Same Tone & The Cabinets Should Contrast the Two. If you have light cabinets, you should choose a darker floor and counter. If you have dark cabinets, you should focus on light floors and counters.
  2. The Backsplash and Paint Can be a Transition Between the Cabinets & Counters. They don’t have to match anything, per se, and can introduce the softest of colour if you like. A kitchen looks the biggest when the backsplash and paint are the same colour so that there are no chops from one colour to another.
  3. Let the Counter be the Focal Point of the Design. Counters and Backsplashes are both difficult to install and change. Many people shy away from too much pattern on the counter, only to go quite bold with the backsplash. This look becomes dated very quickly and puts the emphasis on a tiny 2 foot strip of wall. Keep the backsplash to soft tones and texture, and be a little more brave with your counter.
  4. Contrast & Balance is Essential to a Good Design. Every purchase for a kitchen is expensive, so it’s quite common for owners to gravitate towards safe & simple all-beige, all-white or all-grey options. But without texture a contrast, you will not end up with a designer look that you are happy with. There’s no point spending any money to end up with something that is bland or unremarkable. Contact me today to learn how to subtly mix texture, tones and pattern to get an elegant look you’ll love for decades. 

Exceptions to these rules:

The most common exception to these rules is the ALL WHITE kitchen. White everything, with shades and tones of greys, and often many layers of marble or material that looks like marble. It can be very light, and airy and elegant, but certainly its not for everyone.

The other common exception is for very small kitchens, its a good trick to have a floor that’s very similar in colour to the cabinets. This way, there is no bold dividing line that highlights how tight the footprint is. By choosing to do this, you just need to ensure you balance contrast elsewhere.

Whenever you are ready for a kitchen update either to sell or live, contact me today for a consultation. $300 for a design plan, or its included as part of The Village Guru’s services to his clients. 

Article continued below

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets – From Maple to Ash, Painted & White

1) Light Wood Maple Cabinets

This colour was all the rage around the year 2000, but right now…..not so popular. But if you have quality wood doors and don’t want to paint them, we can still create classic looks that can look quite beautiful. The key to maximizing the look of light maple is to contrast it with a dark taupe. Black is quite stark and although it’s not “wrong”, it’s a strong look that can date easily. White looks washed out with light maple, so building a look off dark grey-taupe is the best way to compliment the wood for years to come.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets maple 1


This cabinet looks best with a dark taupe/brown tile or wood floor that contrasts off the cabinets, avoid white or cream beside this tone of wood. Introduce watery blue-greys and/or greens on the backsplash to break up the tones of brown in the floor, cabinets and counters. Be sure to paint the walls a co-ordinating blue-grey so that the maple cabinets look rich and modern. Stainless steel appliances look best with this look.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets maple 2


If you are pro-monochromatic, then stick with the darker tones in the counter but break it up with the texture of a mosaic. Even introducing a dark blue in with the brown adds a touch of colour to the monochromatic scheme. Avoid using the counter material on the backsplash, it’s a look that dates easily and is a lost opportunity for texture. In this look, balance the darker counter and backsplash with a lighter wall paint that is more similar to the floor, but still darker than the cabinets. Choosing a paint colour that’s lighter than the cabinets will make them look bland and washed out.

2) Medium Wood Oak & Beech Cabinets

With a medium tone wood, you can go either light or dark with your floors. If you have a small house, then choosing darker floors will blend with other wood floors in the house. This is ideal to make your floor plan look as large as possible. If you have a large home, then you can branch out and choose lighter floors if you prefer. These cabinets have a strong orange undertone that we want to minimize, so try to stay away from anything blue which will make the cabinet colour stronger.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets med wood 1


With a medium wood we can break the matching floor and counter rule. With a dark floor, choose a light counter with veins or splashes of the floor colour in it. In this example, there is also a green hue that we pulled onto the backsplash. It’s not a strong green and has a grey base, so you won’t tire of it quicky, and does a good job to add texture and interest. This look is best with a dark taupe or grey-green wall paint, and stainless steel appliances.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets med wood 2


If you have a light floor, contrast it with a much darker countertop. It can be solid or have shades of taupe-brown and grey. This look lends itself to monochromatic, and so ensure that you choose a backsplash with all of the tones of colour to tie it all together. Ideally stone, to ensure an elegant look, given the simplicity of the colours. If you don’t have a lot of wall space, because there are windows and door openings etc, opt for a dark and dramatic wall colour like the counter. It will look the best and make the cabinets rich. Drama is required for this look, and your room will not look dark if there’s very little wall space anyway. I PROMISE. If you do have a lot of wall space, choose a lighter colour closer to the floor. Avoid choosing a colour that’s similar to the cabinets themselves, as that will make them blend in and be forgotten.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets med wood 3


If you have a slate floors, which is very common with a beech cabinet, you already have a lot of colour happening in your floor. Focus on neutralizing it with a dark grey or black counter – a soapstone or a quartz that looks like soapstone with subtle veining would be ideal. Then find a backsplash that subtly plays to the colours in the floor. Black appliances look great with this look, since stainless can feel a bit too cold. But there’s no getting away from it, this is a darker look and works best in a room that gets lots of south or west facing sun. If you have this combination and your kitchen is dark and dull, I would recommend painting out your cabinets a soft colour to get a brighter feeling kitchen.

3) Painted Cabinets

Speaking of painted cabinets, I love all shades of taupe, blue and green cabinets. If you are starting from scratch, its great to mix a coloured island with white or wood cabinets. For this article, the colour that I see the most from decades gone by is pickled pink and green. I’m sorry, pickled pink MUST be painted out. it’s just a bad mistake that I think we should all forget about as quickly as possible. But if you have some fine looking sage cabinets, they can actually be used in a modern way.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets painted 1


With both options, this look is best with a wood floor, or a mid tone tile that mimics the look of wood, travertine or limestone. There should be no yellow-brown tones to any of the finishes, they should firmly stay in the grey-brown or taupe family. The first option has the cream counter with veins of grey and green. The greens don’t have to “match”, they just have blend in tone. For the backsplash, use the grey vein colour, but it too can have a hint or mix of green to it. Ensuring a wide range of tones from cream to taupe to dark grey and green will provide the interest necessary. This look works best with stainless appliances or concealed appliances, because you don’t want them distracting from the mix of coloured finishes.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets painted 2


This option is for those who want a dark counter. Try to stay with dark grey-taupe, and not a cold charcoal or black. This look just begs for a marble backsplash, as there are so many creamy options with shades of blue-grey, green and taupe. It is the luxury touch that will make everyone comment every time they see your kitchen. If your budget is tight, you can have a laminate counter custom cut without the backsplash to mimic the shape of a stone counter. Mixed with a marble backsplash, you wont feel like you sacrificed at all. And down the road, it will be easy to upgrade to a dark taupe quartz or granite without ruining your lovely marble backsplash.

4) Dark Cherry Cabinets

What can I say about red-cherry cabinets. I really don’t like them. I will beg of you to paint them. They are the most restrictive colour because of their red undertone, and its extremely difficult to achieve a bright or airy look. This is also why, as durable and high quality exotic wood floors are, I don’t choose them because they have so much red and orange tone to them. But, here is the one and only look that can make cherry cabinets work; in my opinion.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets cherry


These cabinets are so dark, it’s imperative to balance them off with light finishes, BUT, they can’t look washed out. Often you see this wood with hunter green granite and dark floors, but this look is best left to Irish pubs and golf club houses. Here, we want to find a light tile floor that definitely has warm tones mixed in. In the example there is a light warm brown and small wafts of green as well. It’s ok for this floor to have a strong pattern, to balance the strength of the cabinets. If you prefer, you can swap the counter and floor so that the counter has the pattern and the floor is quiet. But one of them should have some definite pattern. For the backsplash, you can choose a grey-green or a marble with tones of cream and grey and green. Let’s leave dark hunter green & forest green to the past, and focus on a soft, grey-toned green so that the overall look is lighter and more reflective. Ideally, most or all of the appliances are concealed, but stainless would be the practical runner-up.

5) Medium & Dark Ash Cabinets

This includes any maple, cherry or oak wood door that has a grey-ash undertone. The cabinet definitely looks brown, with no orange, yellow or red popping through. This is a classic neutral colour that is neither one extreme nor the other, so its well worth working with these cabinets if they are in good condition.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets med ash 1


Even though this is a mid tone, the sheer colour of brown cabinets can feel heavy and dark very quickly. So in both options, a slightly lighter brown tone floors is best. You can then choose if you want light or dark counters to either balance or contrast the floor. With this option, we chose dark counters, which will blend in with the cabinets. This look requires a large, bright space, so that there’s lots of natural light to bounce off the surfaces. For more balance, choose a marble mosaic called Statuario, its a creamy white with the most gorgeous brown veining. Some Calacutta marbles will also work, which has a gold-brown vein.  It will add texture and beauty without being too bold. For appliances, there’s a new SLATE COLOUR that has a very definite taupe tone, which would look wonderful with this look. Appliances should never stand out, as you want the focus to be the stones and your wood.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets med ash 2


This is my preferred option, with light counters that have a grey or brown veining like marble. This will reflect a lot of light and you can get these patterns in quartz or even high density porcelain slabs if you know your family is not “marble friendly“. Pair it with a textured backsplash – you can stay light as in the first example or go darker if you prefer. As well all backsplash options, try to get a lot of texture but keep the colour calm with minimal contrast or pattern.


I adore dark ash cabinets. They feel like rich wood furniture which is ideal in my books. Too many people worry about dark colours and how it will make their home look. But these are the same people who leave all of their lights off and blinds closed all the time! That will make your home feel far darker than any cabinet can. Now for arguments sake, if you have NO windows near your kitchen, or it’s a long tight galley kitchen, these cabinets can feel heavy and imposing. But if you do have a relatively open L or U shape layout, there’s no need to fear the dark cabinet. Ensure you DO have enough lighting, which includes a central light fixture over your work zone, island/peninsula and table. Additional lighting includes pot lights, under-cabinet lights or valance lights. 

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets dark ash 1


This first option is the classic rule-abiding look of light floors and light counters. You can choose 1 to have a strong pattern, and the other to be a quiet design; usually the counter is the better options to be bold. Making floors the bold focal point just demands that people look down. I would much rather people look up to counter height. Pair it with a watery blue or green for the slightest touch of classic colour without being too bold. The paint can then be a taupe, or a blue or green to blend the backsplash, depending on how much colour you want in the room.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets dark ash 2


If you have dark floors in good shape, no need to remove. Especially if you have a small kitchen, a floor of similar tone to your cabinets actaully helps to expand the space by avoiding a contrast line at the floor between dark and light. Bring the attention up to the counter with strong quartz or granite, and don’t be afraid of colour and pattern. Many stones have hues of greyed greens, blues, taupes and grey. They really are a work of art so if you find one that makes you smile, and you enjoy looking at it, be brave and choose it. take one of the colours and put it in the backsplash, again focusing on texture so that it compliments the counter and doesn’t fight it. With these dark woods, a little colour goes a long way to create necessary interest.

6) Cream & White Cabinets

Here is where the world is your oyster. People love white and cream because of all the options that work with it. You can go high contrast with grey or black, mix in colours or create cloudy layers of white on white on white. In reality, these endless options are actually more stressful, because it’s hard to narrow down. With most other cabinets, there’s only a small set of combinations that work. With white, it takes a lot more planning and deciding.

If you have cream cabinets, work with them. Many cream cabinets have the traditional oil rubbed nooks and crannies, but if your cabinets are high quality and you’re not quite ready to put a brush over them, we can work with them for now and in the future. These cabinets tend to be more traditional looking, and my first recommendation is to simplify their look as much as you can, by bringing in transitional material and stay away from anything traditional. This will balance the look and make the kitchen feel more current for a longer period of time.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets cream 1


This look is idea with a mid-dark tone wood or tile plank that looks like wood. Ideally nothing too shiny or pristine as that’s the traditional direction. Choose a matte finish with a little aged look to it. Pair this with a very dark taupe-grey counter. All of the quartz companies have come out with a suede finish, which does not have that high polish sheen, but more of a weathered, leather look. **I m still doing research about durability and warranty on quartz with suede finish. Thought beautiful, you want to ensure it will perform the way you expect and need it to. There are also porcelain slab counters with a matte finish, available from a variety of manufacturers, which claim to have the same high durability as polished finish. Use real marble on the backsplash – this Grecian white is all shades of creams, warm white and grey-blues. Try to avoid stark, ice-white marble to ensure your look is elegant and consistently warm.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets cream 2


You will probably guess that this look is one of my favourites. Yes, anywhere I can inject marble, or quartz and porcelain that looks like marble, I’m game. I love a dark floor and a light counter, which definitely breaks the rules. I see the floor as long wood planks, the warm white counter with taupe-grey veins, and the grey-blue backsplash either in a glass herringbone or rough cut stacked stone. All of this texture combined with light and dark will add tons of interest without anything being overpowering. Just keep saying to yourself, texture, texture, texture. That is the key to a great end result.

White Cabinets:

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets white 1


You can either mix white with warm tones or cool tones, and you can take this cue from any other fixed elements in your home, because consistency of tones and material makes for the best look. So if you have brown floors, and a lot of light-medium honey wood in the house, a brown hue is likely the best choice. In option 1, you have a mid tone taupe or brown floor. To keep things light and airy, we contrast this with a cloudy, mottled quartz with hues of grey-blue, green or taupe. It provides a little movement and pattern but nothing overwhelming. Then use a taupe-green backsplash for a bit of colour. This look works best when you have lots of exposed wall – perhaps on the range wall or by the sink. Instead of this tile creating a 18″ stripe under a lot of cabinets, this look should feel more like a tile wallpaper, where it covers at least some portion of the wall up to the ceiling. That is why the tile should have lots of texture and be a cool calm colour. Then match the wall paint to the tile colour for a seamless flow. Your white cabinets will POP off the colour of the walls and tile.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets white 2


This look is like the first but with a more monochromatic goal. The floor can be a wood floor, or a darker porcelain, and the counter a very simple and elegant quartz. The WOW factor is a marble backspalsh, and the more space you have to use this tile, the better. You want a marble with veins of gold and brown, and there might be a touch of blue pop in as well, that’s ok. Since the floor and counter is so simple and quiet, there is no such thing as “too bold” for the marble pattern, so long as it stays within the brown-taupe colour family. If you want drama and have very little wall space, you can paint the walls a dark ash-brown like Benjamin Moore Barnwood. If you have a lot of wall to cover, then you can choose a white like the cabinet and make sure the counter and backsplash are the strong focal point.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets white 3


Here we are moving to the cooler tones with grey and charcoal. I am still not a fan of pure black with white, as it was a bit butchered in decades past, and all I see is 1980 when I see a pure black and white kitchen. The one exception to this that’s growing on me is a black soapstone counter, because its still not a pure black. The floor could be a grey wood, a wood-look tile, or a porcelain. Try to stay away from floor tiles with a strong linear pattern, as they will get tiresome and dated quickly. Try to find a mottled look porcelain with colours you like. Then, take this mottled look to the counter but flip the colour. The base is the cream-white, with a variety of shades speckled in. Then go back to a neutral colour tile for the backsplash with lots of pattern. Get a grout that matches the colour of the floor and blends with the shades in the counter. This will make the pattern stand out without hard white lines.

Top Looks for Kitchen Cabinets white 4


This is another one of my favourite looks, because I do love a warm grey. This entire look was build around the gorgeous marble backsplash, and there is nothing wrong with reverse-engineering your design. You really should have something you love that acts as the launch pad for all other decisions. It could be a stunning counter, backsplash, or even a handle or faucet. If you find something you love, especially if you have white cabinets, we can absolutely build your new look around it. With all of the different shades of grey in the mosaic marble, there’s no need to exact match anything, we just need to find material that blends. The counter and floor are shades and variations of warm grey. This will prevent the kitchen from feeling ice cold. Try to avoid silver or nickel in this look for a designer feel. Appliances can be concealed or white, but I would use a stunning black range as a bold focal point. the sink and faucet I would also choose black for it to blend in with the counter and completely avoid stainless steel. Then with with door handles, you could either choose flat black or antique gold – nothing to brassy.



There are so many ways to create a classic look with any cabinet colour, by using these top looks for kitchen cabinets. Every decision for the kitchen is an expensive one, so it serves you will to choose material that is timeless, yet interesting. Textured, but not bold. That has colour, but not strong. Most kitchen sit on the extremes of bold but dates quickly, or safe and boring. And neither of these options will please you in the long run. Whether you are planning to update your kitchen to sell, or want you update your current cabinets for a fresh look, contact me to help you put together a timeless, elegant look that will make you happy for many years to come.


PS: You might have noticed that any accent colour was in the blue and green family. This was not random or accidental, but very deliberate. ALL woods have a yellow/red/orange undertone. So the best way to make wood look rich is to use complimentary colours: blue and green. As long as there’s a lot of grey in the tone, these are just-barely-there shades that still act as neutrals but make any wood look its best. If you just adore bold reds, yellows, oranges or purples, use these colours in contained rooms with a door and little woodwork – bedroom, laundry room, mudroom, etc. These colours camouflage wood and are hard on the eyes for a majority of people. The way to add the most value to your home is to create bright, complimentary and rich spaces. 

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Expert toronto real estate market update

Earlier this week the Toronto Real Estate Board released their February Real Estate Market Update numbers and to no ones surprise, the numbers didn’t look good.

Never mind the fact that home Prices in Mississauga and Toronto have remained steady and in some cases even risen over the past few months, with blinders on the media focused in on the one statistic that would create the day’s news cycle.

Sales and Prices are down compared to the same time last year

Well no kidding ‘Sherlock’!

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when you compare the craziness that was last year’s real estate market to a more tempered real estate market that we’re in today, that it wouldn’t look good.

What I find ironic is that nobody (at least from what I can see) bothered to look at the bigger picture, that the downward adjustment in house prices happened over the summer of 2017 and since then we’ve actually seen an uptick in market activity. If someone actually took the time to do the research and add ‘context’ to the subject consumers would be a lot better off, something that most reporters and most real estate professionals can’t seem to understand. I actually shot a video about this exact subject in 2015 and it still rings true today.

Instead of taking a balanced approach, most write sensational headlines that over exaggerate the truth, in order to get a few extra clicks. And realtors don’t get off the hook here either, most are willing to regurgitate the same information without looking at the numbers themselves, I mean it’s hard work to actually think about it!

There you have it, my take on the Toronto Real Estate Market Update, if you have any comments or concerns, feel free to contact me!

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How to Find the Best Family Neighbourhoods for Your Kids

I moved to Mississauga when I was 7, long before Churchill Meadows or Central Erin Mills even existed. The Mississauga I grew up in was fantastic for kids; tens of thousands of homes were being built, and families just like mine were moving out to the ‘burbs’ and settling in. The best family neighbourhoods were every neighbourhood!

I remember the day we moved to Tallmast Crescent in Erin Mills; my mom and dad were so busy unpacking that they told me to go ride my bike to get me out of their hair. There I was, riding around streets I had never seen, exploring my new neighbourhood with complete freedom. Every street I rode down had a bunch of kids playing out front, and when I found King’s Masting Park, it too was full of kids playing together. Once we settled in, we met all the other families and kids on the street, and I couldn’t wait to get home from school every day to knock on the doors and see who could come out and play. With so many kids, there was always someone who could come out and play. These memories are such a huge part of my happy childhood, and I never imagined that in today’s Mississauga, many kids wouldn’t get this same experience.

Today, with every neighbourhood well established, and no land left except for condo infill, prices of homes have risen and the age of many communities has gotten older. Normally, it’s a good reflection of a neighbourhood’s quality and reputation when there’s a large older population; that means people love living there and don’t move. But for a young family, is there anywhere left in Mississauga that has a lot of kids? Where are the best family neighbourhoods?

A Consistent Trend in Mississauga

There is one thing for certain in Mississauga, we are getting older. In every single neighbourhood I reviewed, the population forecasts all looked the same. This is for one small neighbourhood of 800 people, but every single chart, in every single neighbourhood, looked like this:

Mississauga Population Forecast Best Family Neighbourhoods

This isn’t because people are leaving town; it’s not like we have vacant homes or gutted downtowns. Homes are occupied with people, just not young people. The average family household population in areas outside Mississauga are as high as 3.6, but here, it’s closer to 2.6. Over the decades I’m sure we once were 3.6 (or possibly even higher) and have dropped a full 1 person. The high housing costs in Mississauga have put financial pressures on families, and many are choosing to have less kids on average. On the flip side, families with more kids are attracted to cities further away with more affordable house prices. So together, the effect of the city aging in population and not being able to attract new young families, has made a noticeable impact.

Article continues below Statistics

When looking at any listing on, there is this tab that many people don’t notice. It is an excellent collection of data regarding the demographics of the neighbourhood.

You can see neighbourhood size, average income, number of families with and without kids, as well as charts by population age, profession, education, etc. If you want to really know who your neighbours are, this tool is for you. Most neighbourhoods are quite large, like Central Erin Mills, and a listing will only usually show you the immediate area of 500-1000 people. This is great because you will be most affected by the people on the immediate streets around you. But for my purposes, I reviewed the stats all around the neighbourhood, to really get an accurate sense of the neighbourhood. For the most part, there were almost no dramatic shifts from one Sub-Neighbourhood to another. For example: Pheasant Run, Sawmill Valley, West Erin Mills and Council Ring of Erin Mills were all pretty much the same. So although the charts I will show you below are not exact, they are a good representation of the neighbourhood as a whole.

Aging Neighbourhoods

These are some of  the neighbourhoods that have a much larger aging population versus the younger population. If you focus on the dark blue, orange and kelly green blocks on the chart, these are the children in the neighbourhood. The size of their bar indicates the size of population they represent. Most of these neighbourhoods used to be filled to the brim with children, and now, the children have grown up and moved out. That’s left a lot of empty nest baby boomers living in these family homes. When they do move out, the high prices prevent the average family buyer from affording many of the homes in these areas, which means typically older, smaller families will replace empty nesters. This will not have any dramatic positive effect on the population composition.

These neighbourhoods are characterized as such:

The population aged 0-19 is less than or between 20-25% , and the population age 55+ is between 25-30% or greater

Park Royal Best Family Neighbourhoods


Streetsville Best Family Neighbourhoods


South Erin Mills Best Family Neighbourhoods

South Erin Mills

Lakeview Best Family Neighbourhoods


Applewood Best Family Neighbourhoods


Cooksville Best Family Neighbourhoods


Erindale Best Family Neighbourhoods


Sheridan Homelands Best Family Neighbourhoods

Sheridan Homelands

There absolutely are kids in all of these areas, but they are fewer and further between. There is no guarantee you’ll be living close to any kids who are your children’s age. Be a detective in these areas; look for strollers on the porch, or tricycles and scooters by the garage. If you check out the house you want to buy at the time school lets out, do you see adults walking with young children to pick up kids at school, or kids playing in the street after school? If you go look at the house on the weekend, are there kids out in the front playing, or riding their bikes, or is it a ghost street? If these are the neighbourhoods you want to live in, and want to live near kids, do some extra research to see if the house you like is on a street with other kids.

Kids playing best family neighbourhoods

Best Family Neighbourhoods for kids age 10-19

Mississauga does still have some good areas if your kids are a little older. Two premium neighbourhoods lead the pack, with Mineola and Lorne Park. If you are a family with good means, then these are the neighbourhoods for you, as you will get the best for both you and your kids. Also in this groupCentral Erin Mills and Rathwood both have some very good secondary high schools, thus good for middle-school and high school aged kids. Both of these neighbourhoods are quality neighbourhoods but unlike Lorne Park and Mineola, they have relatively lower priced townhomes and condo’s that are more accessible to a wider range of buyers. On the chart, focus on the Kelly Green Bar and it’s size relative to the other age groups. These neighbourhoods are characterized as such:

The population aged 0-19 is between 25-30%, and the population age 10-19 is over 15%

Mineola Best Family Neighbourhoods


Lorne Park Best Family Neighbourhoods

Lorne Park

Central Erin Mills Best Family Neighbourhoods

Central Erin Mills

Rathwood Best Family Neighbourhoods


Central Erin Mills is only 20% total kids and 13% age 10-19 but the unusually large group age 20-34 skews the otherwise large child numbers. Suggesting, perhaps, that many adult kids are still living at home. This is a convenient location for those attending UofT Mississauga.

best family neighbourhoods high schools CEM and rath

Best Family Neighbourhoods for kids age 0-9

Mississauga doesn’t have any neighbourhoods that have a strong population of young children. The villages below are the best there are, although pale in comparison to cities outside Mississauga, which I will touch on later in the article. The best family neighbourhoods are Meadowale, Lisgar, Churchill Meadows, and Port Credit. I now live in Meadowvale, and I can personally confirm that there are plenty of kids, especially in South-East Meadowvale where I live. There are 8 neighbours who have kids the same ages as my children, and although its not as much as when I was a kid, there’s certainly enough kids for my 3 boys to go outside and find someone to play with. I’m very glad we don’t have to rely on scheduling playdates in order for our kids to socialize.

Meadowvale Best family Neighbourhoods


The population in Meadowvale aged 0-19 is 27%, and the population age 0-9 is 14%

Lisgar Best Family Neighbourhoods


The population in Lisgar aged 0-19 is 33%, and the population age 0-9 is 16%

Churchill Meadows Best Family Neighbourhoods

Churchill Meadows

The population in Churchill Meadows aged 0-19 is 27%, and the population age 0-9 is 15%

Port Credit Best Family Neighbourhoods

Port Credit

The population in Port Credit aged 0-19 is 21%, and the population age 0-9 is 11%

Where you decide to live is dependant on so many factors, including commute, budget, family support, income, etc. If you have strong social network full of friends with kids your child’s age, you might be impacted little by the demographics of your street. Mississauga is one of the best real estate investments you can make, given our strong jobs base and proximity to Toronto. Amenities and access to events and festivities are excellent. So it’s all a matter of priorities and the situation you are in. Even if your budget is tight, commute might be a huge factor in the quality of your family life, so you might still choose a smaller house in Mississauga over a longer commute.

Best Family Neighbourhoods outside Mississauga

I would say that if commute is more flexible than budget, you might be a family looking for more house, more kids, and are willing to extend outside of Mississauga. If you want to find a family home for a better price, and you want to ensure your street is likely full of children for the foreseeable future, here are some excellent options.

The Village Guru works in the entire West GTA, and we have a partnership with Robert Preece within the Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Family, who has over 20 years experience service the Hamilton/Niagara Region. So if you decide that you would prefer to live in any of the neighbourhoods below, we can provide you the high quality, expert advice you need with your home purchase and sale.

West Milton

Best Family Neighboruhoods West Milton Population Statistics 2018

Best family neighbourhoods West Milton Population Projections

The population in West Milton aged 0-19 is 34%, and the population age 0-9 is 23%

East Milton

Best Family Neighbourhoods East Milton Population Statistics

Best Family neighbourhoods East Milton Population Statistics

The population in West Milton aged 0-19 is 33%, and the population age 0-9 is 22%. Notice the drop in population relative to the completion of home developments. East Milton is starting to resemble Mississauga as time goes on. 


best family neighbourhoods Waterdown Population Statistics 2018

best family neighbourhoods Waterdown Population Growth Projections

The population in Waterdown aged 0-19 is 27%, and the population age 0-9 is 16%. 

Stoney Creek

Best family neighbourhoods Stoney Creek Population Statistics 2018

Best family neighbourhoods Stoney Creek Population Projections

The population in Stoney Creek aged 0-19 is 33%, and the population age 0-9 is 20%. 



It’s hard to accept, but the new reality of many areas is that there are just less children. And for most people, areas demographics are just one of many factors when choosing where to live. I feel very lucky that my kids are surrounded by other kids on the street, and we have formed friendships with our neighbours and will have impromptu get-togethers now and then. We don’t have family/cousins who live close by, so this set up is ideal for us, and is very valuable for our children. If you have a strong social or family network that ensures your children can socialize regardless of where you live, then you can be open to far more neighbourhoods.

It’s also important to note that as neighbourhoods age, its very common for schools to close due to lack of children. School funds are shifted to build more schools in growing neighbourhoods, instead of where the youth population is in significant decline. In Peel, schools are closing in older Mississauga neighbourhoods and opening in Brampton. In Halton, Burlington has suffered school closings, where new schools are planned for Milton.

This is why your lifestyle is a critical component to any good home search, it’s never just about the number of bedrooms. If you want to experience a higher level of knowledge and expertise to ensure you find a home that you love not only now, but 5-10 years from now, contact The Village Guru today to learn more.

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Top 10 Paint Colours

Top 10 Paint Colours

I have been on hundreds of staging consults over the years, and it seems that time and time again, there are some paint colours that just work. No matter the style of furniture, size of room, choosing the right paint colour always add a sense of elegance and style without being the star attraction. For the purpose of home staging, you want buyers to notice your best features, like wood floors, big windows, woodwork and fireplaces. These are the features of the home and we want to stand out. Think of paint in the role of Best Supporting Actor, as it helps to enrich the overall feeling without taking the lead. These Top 10 Paint Colours do just that.

Along that line of thinking, you’ll definitely notice there are no bright colours that hit the list of top ten paint colours for staging your home. We don’t want the paint colour to take over the house, or to be the first thing buyers notice. Often bright colours detract from the good features of your home, and that’s why for selling, they are a big NO-NO. Detach your personal style from your home and consider that your job is now to showcase your home as close to a model homes as you possibly can. The more neutrally elegant you can make your home, the more buyers you will attract.

Though I had to cut this list to Top 10 Paint Colours, I actually have 11, because I just couldn’t cut it down. And really, there’s more like  20-30 colours for selling your home that are fantastic. The colour you should choose will depend on your flooring and furniture finishes. I always recommend having a Staging/Paint Consultation done before you prepare your home for sale, so that you do it right the first time.

This article is always one of our most popular articles, and I have made some updates for this year. I have divided the colours into 3 categories: light shades, mid-tone shades and darker accent colours. Successful staging ISN’T about beige, beige and beige. So read on to see my updated Top 10 Paint Colours list.

All of these Colours are Benjamin Moore

Light and Airy Paint Colours

Top 10 Paint Colours Abalone

Abalone is a wonderful chameleon colour; sometimes it looks a little brown, sometimes a warm grey. It can work with light and dark floors and is a good all-around colour for hallways, living rooms and bedrooms. It looks great with light and dark tile or wood floors. It’s versatility is its greatest asset. I love pairing it with it’s darker sibling, Silver Fox (see later down in the article).

Edgecomb Gray is my next most popular colour, it works in almost any home. In darker homes, where natural light is an issue, this is a good choice as it helps to make the home feel as airy as possible. It works with almost any tone wood floor, and a variety of tiles as well. It looks great with tons of white as accents.

Article continues below

Ashwood has much of the same properties of Edgecomb Gray, but can take on a green hue in certain lights. If there’s any cream or yellow in the room, it’s not ideal. But with darker wood, Ashwood can be the perfect hint of colour while still being a neutral.

I know grey gets a bad wrap sometimes, but it only looks cold when used in the wrong applications. I like grays that have a touch of warmth, but still do read as a grey. Metro gray looks best with warm mid-tone walnut wood, and white marbles – Calacatta, Carrara, Statuario, etc.

Horizon is the ultimate neutral that offers pale, calming colour. It’s blue, but can read slightly blueish-green in certain lights. Use it in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or any living areas with beige carpets. Every room needs colour and contrast, so if you have cream or beige on your floor, you do NOT want to put a similar tone on the walls. Opt for a neutral blue like Horizon.

Mid Tone Paint Colours

Silver Fox is a luxurious and rich colour that is not too dark for your walls. Most people often want to choose the lightest shade on the paint deck, but the lightest colours rarely translate well in listing photography. You need richness without being overpowering and that’s what Silver Fox is. If you were to choose Abalone for your hallway and/or kitchen, choose Silver Fox for your living and dining room for a coordinated, sophisticated look.

Revere Pewter had to make the list although I have to admit, I don’t use it all that often. But so many people do and you can see endless photos of this colour being used beautifully. It is best when you have brown tones you are trying to work with, but are looking to downplay it into a greyer shade. The picture with the white and brown marble is the ideal way to use Revere Pewter.

Silver Half Dollar is definitely blue, but has enough grey to keep it from looking juvenile. It is truly a very elegant colour. Not to be used in a 15 gallon bucket all over your house, but can be used strategically to break up too much neutral grey or brown. It always looks great in bathrooms, or any room that has lots of white architecture like an eat-in kitchen with white cabinets. In the bottom-left picture, Silver Half Dollar looks great in this living room because of the white stack-stone fireplace, white art and cream furniture. If you have a room with lots of white, and want to have some colour, this could be a great choice.

Dark Accent Paint Colours

I updated the article this year to include dark accents, because I fear too many houses miss those critical focal points that make listing photos attractive and interesting. If you have a gorgeous fireplace with built-ins, a coffered ceiling, wainscoting walls, or huge windows, then with a ton of white trim, a neutral wall works well enough. But what if your room is missing all of these things? What is the eye supposed to look at? This is where dark accent colours are ideal. They help to strengthen focal points, and are used in small but strategic ways. It might sound scary to choose a darker colour, but these three colours below are hands down winners used many times with great success.

I love using Barnwood to both highlight and camouflage. Its definitely brown but has enought grey that it doesn’t feel like the 1990’s chocolate brown. For listing photography, its important to know that electronic equipment NEVER looks good; often its distracting and looks messy. So for a TV wall, or an office wall where you have all of your electronics, this is the perfect colour to visually hide the mess. Alternatively, it also does a great job to highlight a light fireplace. Remember that we will layer furniture and art in front of the paint, so it will look rich and interesting. Don’t get caught in the feeling that it’s too risky or fear that buyers will hate it. Buyers always appreciate a well styled room that looks tailored and interesting.

Polo Blue is my absolute favourite colour right now. It’s neutral, it works with tan, beige, light grey and white. It adds the drama that you get from bright and bold colour but its sophisticated and deep. It’s sexy like black, but a little softer. I have used it quite a bit in white kitchens where there’s relatively little wall space. You get a punch of colour but its not overwhelming because of the white. My other favourite application is if you have a kitchen island or bathroom vanity that’s looking worse for wear. Painting out a cabinet in Polo Blue adds contrast, interest, and will look classic for many years to come.

New to the roster is the colour Stone. As mentioned, most people have grown weary of the charcoal grey and cement grey that can feel very cold. Stone is more of a dark mauve, with some grey added in to give it more neutrality. My favourite application is in a bedroom, because bedrooms are supposed to be romantic and restful and feel like a retreat. As long as you balance this colour with lots of white or cream, you can use it on all the walls. You can also use this colour as an accent on the bed wall, and then cut the other walls down by 50-75% white.

A Paint Colour Consultation is Critical

These are all lovely colours, but the truth is, any of them can go wrong if put in a space with the wrong lighting or against fixed elements that clash with the paints undertones. It’s fun to write this list, and if you have a nice white bathroom and you want to paint your vanity Polo Blue, then I can say with blind confidence that you should do it and it will look great. But the greys and taupes and neutrals are a tricky beast. Some have a green base, some will look too brown, or some will make your cabinets look dull. I urge you to contact us for a Paint Colour Consultation, which you can get for $250 if you mention this post, or it is included FREE in our long list of services when you list your home with The Village Guru. A good plan is the foundation of all success, and we are here to build you the best strategy in the industry.

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How to buy a big home on a tight budget

How to buy a big home on a tight budget

How to Buy a Big House you Can Actually Afford:

For The Village Guru website, I mostly write about decor and staging related articles. I was inspired to write this article about How to Buy a Big House on a Tight Budget because I’ve watched Jeff work with many buyers who desperately want more space in their next home. In some cases, these ideal-minded, hopeful clients, slowly but surely price themselves out of this bigger home, waiting for their dream to appear in their budget. Jeff tries to show them options that would get them to their long term goals, but they just can’t “see it”. It’s not the dream they wanted, so they wait, and wait, until either they get creative about what they can afford, or they aren’t willing to compromise and never achieve their goal.

This article is my effort to try to help buyers take the emotions out of the buying process, to look strategically at these homes for sale with a pragmatic vision. I know every buyer wants to feel that magical, warm & fuzzy feeling, and are often distracted by pretty cosmetic finishes. I know this, because that’s my job the create this feeling as a home stager. But many homes have the opportunity to be your dream home, and myself and The Village Guru will help you every step of the way.

The Reality is that You’ll Pay Handsomely for Finishes

In today’s real estate market, you had better believe that design and finishes have a big effect on the price of a home. I think we all know it, but we don’t want to admit it.

Just like most other women, I naturally head straight for what is most important to me when looking at homes; I want to see the kitchen. After that, I’ll evaluate the layout of the home, and then the other finishes like the floors and the bathrooms. For me, these factors are what make the house sing, or make it cry for help. It’s the finishes that give you that “feeling”, that sense about the home that you can’t quite put your finger on. This is why when we’re selling homes for clients, we spend so much time and effort on the kitchen and other cosmetics so that buyers come in and get that “good vibe”. When you get buyers to connect emotionally with a home, you get the most money for the home.

But what about if you’re the buyer? And what if, as is very common these days, you are a buyer on a tight budget? Below are your 2 most common options.

Option A: You Just Want a Finished, No-Fuss Home 

Most home buyers first instinct is to buy a turn-key home, where everything is already done. Going this route can provide you with the peace of mind that you won’t have to fork out sums of money to fix it up; all those upgrades are rolled into the price of the home. You can have your friends and family over right away to enjoy your new home that you’re so proud of, and there’s nothing wrong with this at all. Just keep in mind that buyers will always pay a premium for a turn-key home, and the sacrifice, when budget is fixed, is the size of the home.

Option B: Focus on Size & Location Instead of Design & Decor

If you’re more concerned about getting the most home for your budget, and increasing your long term equity, then you should concentrate on getting the biggest house you can afford. While back splashes and counter tops can be changed relatively easily, it’s very hard to increase the size of your home. For buyers who see real estate as a long term play, and are willing to get creative, there certain strategies will earn you more money AND get you in your ideal home much faster. Below are just some of the benefits of focusing on larger home over décor.

  • Buying a bigger home reduces how often you will need to move as your family grows. If the process of selling/buying causes you major stress, then this is the first good reason to buy bigger.
  • If you’re planning on staying more than a few years, you can make smart, quality decisions about your home, as you will be the main benefactor. When people think they are moving soon anyway, they don’t often make the best investment/repair choices.
  • Buying the biggest home, in the best neighbourhood you can is just plain smart investing. The better the neighbourhood, the more it appreciates over time, thus netting you more money in the long run
  • After location, size is the biggest determination of value. If you can find a big home that is undervalued due to lack of upgrades, then you stand to gain better equity and make more money in the long run.

The Diamond in the Rough

If your goal is to buy a big house on a limited budget, you need to focus on the diamond in the rough. This means a well-loved, well taken care of home. The mechanics are good, and the home should be dry. You should be looking for the right layout, and not worrying about that fact that it’ll most likely be Ugly As Sin. You may not get that “I-want-to-live-here!” feeling right away, but that’s ok. When you do find this type of house, and they’re always out there, jump on it. You’ll know because it’s the house that all other buyers are saying “meh” to.

This is the Checklist to see if You’ve Found your Diamond in the Rough:

Good Bones

  • A Great Layout that Works for You
  • Dry Basement/No Major Cracks
  • Newer Mechanics (Furnace, A/C, etc)
  • Good Natural Light
  • Newer Windows, Roof
  • Looks Well Maintained both on Interior and Exterior

Some Dated Finishes

  • Beige or Brown Square Foyer Tile
  • Carpet in Main Living Areas
  • 1980’s Wallpaper
  • Blue, Green, Pink, or Brown Bathrooms
  • Honey Oak Baseboards, Trim & Doors
  • Country Arched Wood Kitchen Cabinets or White Slab 1980’s Cabinets
  • Mirrored Walls
  • Ugly Brick Fireplace
  • Laminate on all Counters
  • Bland or Dated Paint Throughout

Buy a Big House dated rooms

Do these Photos Make you Feel “Meh”? or “Ugh!!!”? Good.

The reason you have the best chance of getting these homes undervalued is because most buyers are reacting emotionally to the home, instead of practically and logically. Everyone is thinking, “No way, I’d need 80k to fix that up before I could even step foot it in!!!!” Buyer demand is lower because most buyers have the same fears. They don’t want the headache, and they don’t know how much it will cost. It’s not a house they can show off and entertain in. It’s too much work. With all of these negative emotions swirling and growing in buyers’ minds, these homes are not getting bought as quickly anymore. They are harder to sell, while “pretty homes” are still getting snapped up quickly. This gives you opportunity and advantage, if you are willing to put aside the emotions, and consider a practical strategy of attack.

But there’s no way I even have the time to take on a project! That may be very true for you, and then you need to assess your goals. But I’ll fess up about me. I waste time more often than I would like to admit. I find myself popping into HomeSense to browse around, or I watch just a few extra episodes on Netflix. Or I check Facebook 1001 times some lazy Saturday afternoons. If you really think about it, most of us probably have 5 hours a week that we waste on nothing important. If we spent that time working on our house, how much could we accomplish? An incredible amount. With any goal; losing weight, eating healthier, learning a new skill, getting your dream home – we make time for what’s most important.

Step By Step Plan: Turning the Ugly Duckling into A Swan

Step 1: Build Your Strategy

If you’re like most people, your major hang up will be not wanting to live with the old owner’s expired style. You want fresh and new, not dingy and dated. So, with a good plan, a schedule, and a lot of paint, you can turn that house into your dream home.

A) Talk to your Broker about Bridge Financing

This is an option if you have a house you are selling. This allows you to get ownership of the new house 1-2 weeks before you close on your old one. This will give you the time necessary to make the house livable before you have to move in.

B) Save your Vacation/Personal Days

I assume that you are reading this long before you’ve offered on a home. Talk to your boss, share your plans, and try to build up as much time as possible to use during that 1 or 2 week period. Can you work 1/2 hr longer each day, work through your lunch, build lieu time? Try to find ways to accrue time that you can use during that bridging period.

C) 6+ Month Budget

I know there’s a lot of costs for moving; hard cash costs that come straight out of your pocket. So the more time you give yourself to plan, the better off you will be. For your new home, if your cash is already tight, all you need are some Rona or Home Depot Gift Cards.

  • Use Credit Card Points: Loosen your cash flow by taking advantage of loyalty programs. I have the PC credit card and they are one of the best at point-to-dollar ratio. If you use 80 points to buy groceries, take the $$ you saved and buy a Home Depot gift card. Or if you trust yourself not to touch the money, open a separate account where the house savings goes into. If you are 4-6+ months away from your desired move, you have time to build this quite well
  • Garage Sale: Purge Purge Purge. I find the most successful locations for selling are Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Buy/Sell Groups. There is also Actual garage sales and Kijiji have a lot more haggling, which I don’t like. I put my stuff for sale at 60% off retail value, and people buy it. Once you start selling, it can become addictive. Some days I find myself wandering around the house, looking around rooms and in my closets……is there anything I can sell today?? If you have your bigger goal in mind, you will start wanting to sell things you’ve been hanging onto for no good reason.
  • Do you Have a Skill You Can Offer? Welcome to the part time economy! Practice carving out those 5 hours a week by selling crafts or offering services via a Facebook page/Facebook marketplace/word of mouth. Many of my friends take orders for custom wood signs, key hooks, children’s growth charts, custom pillow or bags, etc. Or they provide bookeeping, cleaning, senior companion, driving, or other services. Some friends sell duTerra, Arbonne, Avon, Sweetlegs or 31 bags on the side. Whatever your passion, you can start making a little extra money on the side. Not enough to necessarily increase your home buying budget, but enough to ease the costs of moving, which can come as quite a painful event if you have not planned or saved for it.
  • Gift Obsessed: If you are a family that gives gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc, then let all of your family know your plans and ask them to help you reach your goal. They can give you gift cards for Rona or Home Depot and that’s money you never would have had othwerwise. If you have Scottish family like me, who don’t like to give cash as gifts, then get them to buy you cans of plain paint, which you can have tinted later. Or brushes and trays and painters tape, etc. Sounds silly, but it all adds up. If buying a big home is your dream, then with some help from people who love you, you CAN make it happen.

Step 2: Schedule

Many people feel the need to take on life’s big challenges by themselves. It’s very hard for many of us to ask for help. But when you are reaching towards your goal, help can mean the difference between success and failure.

A) Announce Your Intentions

Let friends and family know about your goals. Share what you’re doing and why, and get people connected to your story. If the people who care about you better understand your journey and dreams and struggles, they will be far more interested in helping out. Ask ahead of time who can spare a day or two to help you with the house to get it ready. You don’t have to know what house. You could still be searching for a few months. But get it in their minds.

B) Firm up Plans with Dates

Once you do know the closing date, firm up with everyone you can. Getting people to actually put a date in their schedule makes it 100% more likely that they will follow through on it. Be sure to bribe them with promises of yummy food and drinks and treats.

C) Plan A Schedule

Chances are, most people will offer to help on a Saturday, which is wonderful, but having 30 people in your home in one day may create more chaos than help. You may luck out if you can ask closer friends and family to come during the week. Once you know exactly when everyone can come, you can plan tasks accordingly and ask them what they can do best – clean, paint, etc. Most people will stand around without a clue what to do if you don’t instruct them. And no one will be happy if they set aside a day for you and they ended up feeling useless or unnecessary. So do everyone the respect of writing up a master list of tasks, plus any specifications around the task, (who, what, how, when, where) and cross out as you complete them.

Step 3: Getting the Work Done

That 1 – 2 weeks bridging period is your best shot at making some major visual changes. I offer my design services as gift to our buyer clients, and I make a detailed makeover plan that will transform your home. Contact us at any time to learn how we help you every step of the way on your home buying journey.  In most cases, the easiest and cheapest way to immediately transform your home is to use various white paint products to hide all the ugly stuff, and then bring in colour through wall paint and accents. There truly are new, remarkable product these days that are durable, high-adhesion, and even low VOC, so you won’t kill too many brain cells in the process. Depending on how much you saved and what your new house needs, here is a list of what you can do to immediately transform your new home. Think Young House Love, Remodelaholic, and Centsational Style You can do this!!!!

1) Paint Ugly Wall Tiles

Cost: $150 per 50 sq/ft, about 1 shower stall

Rustoleum has a great tile product that will cover over any and every hideous tile you have. It lasts for about 2-3 years and may then require some touching up. This product is GENIUS in being able to extend the life of a bathroom or kitchen until you want to do a gut job. Stick to white, as it is the most realistic looking (because of the grout lines), and then add colour elsewhere. Check out this blog from Pink Little Notebook to see how they fared using the Rustoleum Tile Transformations.

Buy a Big House tile transformations


Here are 2 Before & Afters of what you can Achieve with some White Tile Paint

Buy a Big House painted tile


2) Paint Ugly Tile or Vinyl Floor

Cost: $120-$140 per 400 sq/ft (1 gallon of stix primer, enamel alkyd paint, urethane matte clear coat)

Most people don’t realize you can also paint floor tiles. I wouldn’t recommend this all the time, anything on a horizontal plane will get more wear and tear and break down over time. In a heavy-use bathroom, I would sooner throw down a cool geometric or floral entry mat, that covers as much of the tile as possible. Choose one that can handle the moisture and not grow bacteria.

However, the tile in the front foyer might be just hideous and you can’t help thinking how terrible it is. Maybe you have a powder room you’d never want your guests to see. If this tile is becoming a deal breaker for wanting this otherwise great house, then go ahead and paint it out. This is a good project for a workday AFTER all the big helping crowds have come and gone. The more you can allow the products to cure before regular use, the better. Expect the finish to last 2-4 years until you need to touch up worn areas. Immediately lay down attractive mats where you know the floor will likely get intense wear. Often, tile runs from the foyer to the kitchen, meaning that if you want to get rid of the floor, you’re also messing with the kitchen cabinets. If they both need to be replaced eventually, budget to do them at the same time.

Buy a Big House painted floor1

Choosing black or white paint will create a classic contemporary look, depending on the other floors and elements in the home. Take a minute to read this post by Remington Avenue, and another from Design Sponge where the floor was painted with high adhesion paint and a Polyurethane topcoat. I think this is the best option, and if you’re willing to go that extra step and do a stencil pattern, even better. It will give your floors that fresh look until you’re ready to tear the tiles out for good.

Below are some more inspirational photos. With 1-2 people over 2-3 days, you will transform any space that has horrible tile, and make it look fresh and very stylish. 

Buy a Big House painted floor2

3) Paint Ugly Cabinets 

Cost: $120-$140 per 400 sq/ft, about a medium size kitchen (1 gallon of stix primer, enamel alkyd paint, plus cleaning & sanding materials)

Never be thrown off by honey oak, pickled pink, black walnut or pine cabinets. For any kitchen in need of renovation, a buyer will assumes a cost of at least 30k to fix up. But if you have $300 in supplies, and 2-3 people working over 2 days, you can give any kitchen a fantastic first impression. Especially when refinishing cabinets is combined with other suggestions such as painting tiles, new lights, and a countertop refresh.

If you have the budget, it’s wonderful to have the cabinet doors professionally sprayed, from companies such as Paint it Like New. You will get a top notch sprayed finish. But, the second best option is to find one friend who is a sanding phenom, and one friend who is a meticulous painter. These two people are worth their weight in gold, because the only thing that will disappoint you about a painted kitchen is a sloppy finish.

Take a look a these DIY blogs on how to get a great painted cabinet finish: The Turquoise Home – Cabinet Painting Tips , The Spruce – Spray Painting Cabinets & Lowes – How To Paint Cabinets 

Buy a Big House painted cabinets


Buy a Big House painted bathroom cabinets

Buy a Big House painted kitchen cabinets1

4) Rip Out Carpet

Cost: $200-$1500 per room

I would rip out every inch of carpet in a house, no matter if I had $10 or $10,000. It holds odours, dust, other allergens, and makes me sneeze endlessly. Frankly carpet is just gross and I will never live with wall to wall carpeting ever again in my life.

If You Have the Money for Wood Floors:

You can split the cost between upstairs and downstairs, because as long as the 2 woods are similar, if not even an exact match, the stairs will separate the two and you can achieve a stylish look. But never chop up your main floor into different woods, you have to buy enough to cover the entire carpeted space.

Choose a neutral, matte, mid tone walnut wood. Trends swing from dark ebony, to light blond maple, then to distressed grey, because as we get sick of one extreme, we then move to the other. But the classic ash-brown walnut tone will never go out of style and can compliment any design taste. Even try to hold off on too much hand-scraped distressing, as this craze will eventually go out of vogue as well.

Buy a Big House Brampton Hardwood Silver Maple

Buy a Big House Brampton Hardwood Oak Brindle

If You Don’t Have the Money for Wood Floors:

There are some laminates that look deceptively like wood now days, they even come in various lengths to really mimic wood. But the truth is they only have a limited lifespan. The top will wear out, and it cannot be refinished like wood. So if you can budget laminate and are prepared for the fact that you will need to re-do the floors in 10-15 years time, then you will get the enjoyment out of a stylish wood-look floor.

You can also rip out the carpet, give your sub-floors a good sanding, making sure there are no staples or nails, lightly fill the seams, and then paint them with the same 3-step process as a tile floor. It may seem crazy, but in my mind, it’s still better than wall to wall carpet. You can do a gloss black or matte charcoal or even white stencilled floor, depending on your style, and we can make it look intentional and fabulous. Throw a LARGE, low pile rug over top of the floor, and you can create a stylish look, for about $200 per room, instead of $1500+ per room for wood. In older homes, you might rip out the carpet and find  old parquet flooring, which is a real gem – whether it’s damaged or not. If worn out, glue in any loose pieces, sand or fill any rough spot and get painting.

Buy a Big House Painted stencilled floor

Young House Love Painted Subfloor

Here is an article by MyLove2Create and YoungHouseLove about the steps they took to prep and paint a subfloor. This article by LovelyEtc explains how well her painted floors have held up even 3 years later. Here is another article by LovelyEtc that reviews painted subfloors, worn out wood floors and tile floors. We truly have the technology and product now days to create a finish that will last. You will have immense pride in your finished product and get connected to your home in a way you never imagined.

Buy a Big House painted floor

Removing Carpets from Stairs

No matter what is under that carpet, you can rip it off and expose the treads. You might find lovely wood, but more likely, you will find pine or plywood. When I ripped the carpet off my stairs, I found pine, which was a nice surprise. It was never intended to be seen, and was covered with paint and compound and staples from the carpet. With the help of my mom and dad, we pulled all the staples out, and sanded, and sanded, and sanded down to clean wood. Then I meticulously taped out each tread and stained them in the classic medium tone walnut. It was dark enough that it hid knots and imperfections. At first, I was very disappointed to see that 2 treads had a 2 inch groove of wood that chipped off the front edge. But after staining and living with it for a while, it’s just character and doesn’t bother me at all. If you have plywood, fill any holes or gaps in the side so that you have a smooth surface, and paint them black, charcoal or navy. Stairs are often the first thing everyone sees when they enter your house, making them a showstopper is worth every pulled staple.

Buy a Big House remove carpet from stairs

This post from Remodelaholic describes the process of painting the treads, and this article from InMyOwnStyle explains the process for staining the treads.

So What Have we Spent So Far?

Imagine a scenario where you found a home with a great layout, which has 2 dated bathrooms, a dated kitchen, horrible foyer tile, and carpet on the stairs and in the living room and dining room. This is often enough for buyers to turn tail and run, citing an $80,000 renovation price tag. From this post we’ve learned:

You could transform your new home (in 2 weeks of hard work and help from friends) for about $2500. Yes, not $80,000, only $2,500!! 

You would have a charming & stylish home that is incredibly livable, and will last for several years, with the occasional touch up. You can plan bigger renovations over 5 or 10 years, without that desperate urge to tear everything out. And while saving for a new kitchen, your big home in the best neighbourhood will continue to accrue more appreciation and equity every day. Your family will have the space and lifestyle you so desperately craved. To me, taking the time to make a great plan, save up some money, asking for help, and putting in some hard work is the best way to get everything you ever wanted.

And remember, you don’t have to design and plan it alone. I offer my design services as gift to our buyer clients, and I make a detailed makeover plan that will transform your home with your own personal style. Contact us at any time to learn how we help you every step of the way on your home buying journey.

Planning for Future Improvements

As our buyer clients, we don’t leave you high and dry once you move in. We consider you clients for life, and anytime you need any help, we want to be who you call. I have perfected the art of getting a high end look for a fraction of the cost, so even when you are ready to rip out floors or cabinets, and build your dream kitchen, I can help you define your ideal style and then build a plan to help you get the highest end look for the lowest possible price. My design consultation is always included as part of your home purchase, which is a real value add. If you have read this far, you are at least a LITTLE interested in buying a diamond in the rough. What I always offer – and far too few buyers take advantage of it – is to bring me to a home viewing BEFORE you put an offer on a home. Feel confident about what improvements are even possible in a house and what it would cost. Get the vision before you make a decision. This is the kind of high level service The Village Guru offers, because it’s just the right way to do business. Give us a call or send us an email today to learn what we can do for you, Because “SOLD” isn’t good enough. We want you to expect better service too.


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