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Archive for December, 2016

Green Ways to Handle Snow this Winter

Friday, December 16th, 2016

As pretty as fresh-fallen snow looks, we clearly don’t want it around for too long once it’s hit the ground. That’s when it gets grey, muddy and slushy and those descriptors don’t rank high on anyone’s list.

Granted it’s difficult for people to come and go when streets and driveways are clogged with the white stuff. Whether its gas-guzzling tow trucks, noisy snow blowers or not-so-environment-friendly de-icing salt, we all have our favourite ways to remove snow and ice.

So let’s look at some of the better ways of getting rid of snow without causing too much damage to the environment:


Some Snow Blowers are Better than Others:

Use battery-, electric- or hybrid-powered snow blowers instead of those operated on gasoline. Don’t use your snow blower for small areas such as your walkway. While electric machines consume energy, they don’t eat up gas or emit greenhouse gases.

Buy the Most Efficient Gas-Powered Snow Blower:

If your space necessitates a gas-run machine, make sure it’s a two-stage, four-stroke engine as opposed to a single-stage, two-stroke.

Invest in a good quality blower with a neighbour. That way you can share the costs and benefits of an eco-friendly machine.

Kick It Old School:

Shovels, ice crackers and brooms will help you clear snow from sidewalks, porches and driveways. Use an ergonomic shovel or hire the neighbour’s kid to do the job. It’s best also to shovel early and often.

Eco-friendly Snow Removal Service:

Try to find one in your neighbourhood or ask that your current service use eco-friendly products.

Use a Salt Substitute:  Sprinkle birdseed, clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace ash on walkways and driveways in order to gain some grip.

Use these substances carefully as they can be harmful to vegetation and waterways and messy when the snow melts.

Pillar of Salt:

If you must use salt, choose the type you use carefully. Some contain cyanide while others increase algae growth and lead to clogged waterways. Whatever you use, be sure to avoid landscape plants especially those that are salt sensitive such as maples, dogwood and rose bushes.

Sources: www.sustainableamerica.org, www.esquire.com

Buying and Selling in January? Why not

Friday, December 9th, 2016

January is the month of new beginnings, warm-weather winter holidays, winter sports and cutting back just a little on those items that aren’t so good for us.


January is also a good month for real estate activity, despite what you’ve heard. If you’re thinking of selling or buying a home in 2017, you may want to give January a try.  In markets like Toronto and Vancouver virtually any month is a good month to buy or sell. Real estate activity naturally slows in late December and very early January. But by the end of January’s first week it’s back to business as usual.

One big reason you want to sell your house in January is because you will have less competition. What does that mean? You can likely command a higher sale price thanks to fewer homes on the market.

On the flip side, for buyers, your odds of getting into a bidding war with multiple buyers are reduced because many purchasers are dealing with post-holiday debt.

Gone are the days when buyers waited for warmer temperatures because that’s the time when the majority of homes became available. Buyers today are more tech savvy than ever and as a result they can view real estate around the clock on their phones, devices and computers. Why wait for spring?

Keep in mind, too, that as a buyer your realtor will be able to really focus in on your needs, compared to the spring market when the market is saturated with buyers looking to purchase a home and real estate agents are juggling a heavy load.

If you’re selling, you know those buyers trotting through your house and yard are serious. No one braves the bitter cold and snow, donning boots and parkas as they schlep from house to house as a fun winter pastime.

Try to keep your exterior tidy and, if possible, decorate with outdoor arrangements and seasonal greenery. Clear ice and snow off walkways and steps and make sure your property is well lit. Also be sure to provide pool reports and try to provide photos of what your house looks like in spring and summer.

While it may be counterintuitive, it’s said that homes actually sell quicker in winter. Low inventory may be the reason. In addition, buyers tend to be more motivated and not as willing to slog from home to home to home.

Happy to Pick Up Where Honest Ed’s Left Off

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016


Freeman Real Estate is launching a brand new community event this month that pays tribute to the memory of a much-loved retailing icon and honours the Freeman Real Estate spirit of community giving.

On Sunday, Dec. 18, Freeman is hosting a free turkey giveaway at the real estate company’s office at 988 Bathurst Street. The event, which begins at 12 noon, will see 500 turkeys given away to members of the public.

Located just four blocks north of Honest Ed’s, Freeman Real Estate is a family-run boutique real estate firm with a reputation for supporting community causes, charities and efforts. Honouring Ed Mirvish’s memory and the real estate company’s tradition of community giving helped plant the idea for the turkey giveaway.

“We always admired Ed’s charity and we thought this was a good opportunity for us to keep the tradition going,” says Elden Freeman, Broker of Record.  “We’re big believers in our local community. As residents and business persons, we benefit a good deal from our community. This is one way we can pay back and say thank you.”

Spirit of Math is also getting into the holiday spirit by sponsoring a portion of the gobbler giveaway.  Spirit of Math is an innovative leader in after-school mathematics education with more than 40 campuses in North America.

The turkeys are completely free of charge and for each turkey given away Freeman will donate 50 cents to St. Alban’s Boys & Girls Club, an organization that provides programming for children and youth.

On hand will be Ward 20 city councillor Joe Cressy. St. Alban’s executive director Chris Foster and boys and girls from the club will also be there to help give out the turkeys.

The Annex landmark, Honest Ed’s, gave away free turkeys at Christmastime for 28 years, ending the tradition this year. The retailer at Bathurst and Bloor Streets will close in 2017 to make way for condos and commercial space.

If this year’s giveaway is a success, Freeman intends to make the event bigger and better for next year.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Toronto Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.