10 Tips to Make Your Bedroom Into an Oasis of Midlife Calm

Statistics show we are spending more time in the bedroom, sleeping, working, and yes, hiding out from others! Sleep experts recommend that the bedroom be used only for sleep. It’s important to create a psychological association between the two. However, in these compromised times many of us don’t have the luxury of a bedroom dedicated to sleep. So how can achieve the dual goals of having a calming daytime escape or workspace and promote better sleep? One way is to create a soothing space. Read on for our tips on how you can turn your bedroom into an oasis of calm.

Creating a Calming Sleep Space

1 Deep Clean

Start with the basics and give your bedroom a good cleaning. Allergens lurk in curtains, carpets, linens, and dusty surfaces, and can interfere with your breathing and impact sleep. Wash your linens and drapes, vacuum carpets, including under the bed, and wipe down all your surfaces with a damp cloth. Finish off by opening the windows to get fresh air in and built-up toxins out. Yes, toxins do build up in the home, aggravating allergies and asthma. Unless it’s a high pollen day, fresh air flow daily contributes to a healthier you!

2 Declutter

Clean surfaces are more calming than cluttered ones. It’s time to pull a Marie Kondo and tidy up! Stacks of books and magazines, piles of clothes, and anything that doesn’t belong in the bedroom need to go. Throw out or donate what you no longer want and pack away everything else in closets and drawers. Keep the minimum items on your bedside table like a clock and tissues and put everything else in the drawer or basket underneath. Subtraction is key.

3 Upgrade Your Linens

If your linens have seen better days and you can afford a new set, by all means do. Nothing is more relaxing than crisp, new sheets and a cozy comforter or blanket. Go for natural fibers if you can for breathability. Check out weighted blankets if you are sleep challenged. People claim they improve sleep!

4 Splurge on a Quality Mattress

A new mattress is a big investment, but it can be life changing if you have back issues or suspect your mattress is not giving you a good night’s sleep. If you are still sleeping in a queen size bed with your partner and having hot flashes and night sweats, upgrade to a king size bed if space permits. Trust us, it’s a game changer!

Pro tip: We get more light sensitive as we age even to small sources such as a TV power light and digital devices. Use a sleep mask or black out shades to block out all sources of light. For more tips, check out our  Guide to a Better Snooze .

Pro tip: We get more light sensitive as we age even to small sources such as a TV power light and digital devices. Use a sleep mask or black out shades to block out all sources of light.

5 Block Noise and Light

Sound is the biggest disruptor of sleep. If you are a light sleeper who is easily disturbed by any noises, a noise machine might be just the ticket. A study from 2017, found that pink noise helped older adults get deeper sleep (and improve memory).

Artificial light is also the enemy of a good night’s sleep, especially in this era of digital everything. It disrupts our natural circadian rhythm. Turn off digital devices two hours before bed. The blue light emitted from devices interferes with sleep. If you use a digital alarm clock, turn it away from you.

6 Paint

Interior decorators have been telling us for years that the cheapest way to transform a room is to paint it. When it comes to creating a calming bedroom, cool colors rule. Think blues, yellows, greens. If it helps you make a decision on color, a survey found that people with blue bedrooms got the most sleep.

7 Personalize with Art

Art is also an inexpensive way to makeover a room. It doesn’t have to be gallery-quality. You just need art that you love to look at. Minted, Etsy, and other sites are great sources as are travel mementos and family treasures. You can also think outside the box like in the photo above and hang items that were originally intended for another purpose.

Pro tip: turn your thermostat down to 67 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The  research  consensus is that sleeping in a room between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal.

Pro tip: turn your thermostat down to 67 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The research consensus is that sleeping in a room between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal.

8 Make a Cozy Nook

If you have the space, find a part of the bedroom to create a cozy spot just for you. It could be a comfy chair for reading, a small desk for writing, or an area to practice yoga or meditation. Make this spot your exclusive place for quiet contemplation and restoration.

9 Swap Your Night Clothes

If your pajamas are torn, stained, stretched out, or faded, it’s time to swap them out with a new set. You may not realize it, but new night clothes can have the effect of making you feel better about yourself. Experiencing hot flashes and night sweats?

10 Add Little Touches

Streamlining your bedroom environment doesn’t have to mean creating a stark room devoid of personality. Incorporating little touches like fresh flowers or a special photo on the bedside are what make the room a personal and special space to be in. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll have to go back to tip #2 – declutter!

Remember, you don’t have to implement all of these suggestions and definitely not all at once. Try tackling one item a week. Incremental progress can be just as rewarding as the final result. Celebrate your accomplishments week by week.

Who pays the fees in a home sale?

Source: https://condos.ca/blog/posts/who-pays-the-fees-in-a-home-sale
Short answer? Buyers don’t generally pay for an agent’s services. The seller pays the real estate commission, which is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

Here’s the long answer…

The seller pays the commission. In the Toronto and GTA market, the typical real estate commission is 5% of the selling price, half of which goes to each agent. (There are other models including fixed fees or a combination of fixed and percentage, but the percentage-type commission is the most common.)

However, there’s no hard and fast rule that it has to be 5%. Individual brokerages and agents may set lower percentages or open themselves up to negotiation. What an agent charges may also depend on what services they provide and on their level of experience/expertise.

But here’s one key thing to remember (especially when you’re tallying up what 2.5% of $1.5 million adds up to): real estate agents work on a 100% commission basis. In other words, they only get paid when a sale happens, whether they represent the buyer or the seller.

An agent’s commission is their only income. They don’t get salaries or hourly rates. And everything they do comes out of that commission. Things like paying for beautiful listing photos and virtual tours. Going to 10, 15 or even 20 showings with a single buyer. Knowing exactly what’s going on in the market day-to-day so they can determine the right price for a seller’s property – or keep a buyer from overpaying in a bidding war. Coming up with marketing plans. Coaching first-timers through the process. Connecting clients with reliable lawyers, mortgage brokers and other professionals. And a whole lot more.

The Benefits of Virtual Staging for Real Estate Agents

Written By: Hannah Derby
Virtually Staged Room

In the digital world we live today, almost all activity is connected to the Internet. We pay our bills on the Internet, we sell and buy products on the Internet, and when we want to find out any information about anything, the first place we come to is the Internet. In the real estate industry, the Internet has facilitated the flow of work to a great extent as satisfying the potential buyer has never been easier.

Searching for the ideal future home is just a click away and visualizing it before even seeing it on the spot has helped the potential buyer make decisions based on what they see and get as information. Very often, the buyers have already made half the decision whether they are going to buy the house once they have seen the listing on the internet, so checking it out in person can just solidify the decision. All of this is possible because of a technique that the realtors use nowadays: the virtual staging of the house.

Some people see virtual staging as deception, but this is completely untrue because with virtual staging you do not deceive the buyer, instead, you show them all the possibilities of what they can do with a vacant space. Not only can virtual staging offer a very realistic view of the future home, but it also is very impactful and convenient. Here’s how.

Virtual Staging Offers a Preview of the Home

Offering an opportunity for the buyer to visualize what the future home would look like is something that can close the deal from the very beginning. The approach is very effective as they get the chance to see the different possibilities their future home has, for instance, the design, the style and the decorative details that will enhance the visual appeal of the place. Virtual staging transforms the vacant space into a welcoming and warm home, fully digitally furnished in the design according to the preferences of the buyers. However, buyers are aware that the place they are looking in the photo is only digitally furnished and that the place is selling vacant. They just have a glimpse at the possibilities and if they can imagine living in such an environment and all the other conditions then they will probably consider buying the place.

Virtual Staging is Cost-Efficient

The virtual staging service is very cost-efficient. You don’t waste time, energy and money to have the place staged in a traditional way. You just provide the photos of the vacant rooms to a virtual staging agency that will do all the work in a day or two. You can even choose the design and decorative details that you want to be put into the rooms form a digital library that the agency has. Usually, the price for one virtually staged room is about 95% cheaper than the actual staging.

Virtual Staging is a Way to Declutter Space and Redecorate

Sometimes the house that is selling is stuffed with lots of clutter. The best way to declutter the space and show it to the potential buyers is by using virtual staging. With this technique, you can remove and redesign the interior according to the preferences of your target audience.  Instead of a not so welcoming image, you can offer a neat space with stylish design and decorative accents.

The Bottom Line

Virtual staging provides a vision of the potential of the space. And the fact that buyers go online to search for their dream house tells you how important the first impression is that the virtual stages can create.

Is Condo Living Right For You? 10 Reasons Why We Think Yes

Written By: Jordon Scrinko
Source: https://precondo.ca/is-condo-living-right-for-you/


The condo living is accompanied by a plethora of attractive amenities on offer.

They are generally closer to the cities hubbub as well as stores, dining and entertainment. So, what exactly are the perks of condo living?

Here’s a list of reasons why we think the condo life is for you.


1. No more extra maintenance work

This could easily be the best thing about condo life — the freedom from doing all the extra maintenance work.

Shoveling snow, mowing the lawn or repair work are things that require lots of time, energy and ability as well as some sort of desire that you may not have for now.

No worries at all. Your monthly condo fees will cover all these services.

You won’t have to worry about the regular maintenance checks either. All these necessities will be taken care of.

2. The major expenses are shared by homeowners

Legally a small amount of money, from the condo fees goes into a reserve fund.

If you’re living in a well-managed condo property, most of the major repair work like roofing, replacing windows or doors are covered under this reserve.

In case the fund is falling short you don’t have to bear any expenses alone.

The cost of any work will be divided amongst owners after a careful assessment of the situation.

This is one of the best perks of condo living.

3. Condos give you a better lifestyle

B-20: Restrictions and RegulationsCondos definitely give a better lifestyle to anyone who doesn’t mind the small space.

The units may be one or two-bedroom, but with common areas, amazing amenities and recreational rooms more than makeup for it.

This even allows you to own your own space instead of renting with much lesser overall cost than traditional housing.

The condo provides a lot of different facilities that can cater to all age groups.

Some condo developments even have specific groups targeted to cater like young professionals, families or older adults.  The high tech modern interiors of some condo developments are also a huge plus point.

4. Amenities and facilities that are world class

Condos and apartments both offer the basic amenities like a gym or play area, but condos have a one up because some developments have not only swimming pools but also movie theaters and party rooms for their residents. (3)

These amenities and facilities are some of the best, without you having to worry about the maintenance.

Living at a luxurious place will provide you with all the amenities that one needs.

5. Live in a prime location near the core of the city

Wanting to live in the best neighborhoods and the heart of your city can prove to be a very costly task. Condos allow you to live in some of your cities hottest places without having to break your bank in the process.

Because of this everything becomes nearer and much more accessible to you and your family. Some condo developments are located in prime hotspots, and it can be a great luxury for anyone who wants to live right where the cities action takes place.

If it feels like you’re losing on space and the condo fees are high, remember that all of it is easily made up by quick access to dining, entertainment, shopping and transport.

6. Freedom to customize your space as you like

The freedom to be able to renovate your space is amazing.

Unlike living in apartments or rented out spaces you can do whatever you want with your house.

Paint the walls, renovate the kitchen or a room, build something in, hang pictures and tapestry, all of this, without any problem at all.

Many condo owners get amazing space-saving interiors done that not only look superb but are functional as well.

You can watch this video below to learn more tips on how to save space on your condo unit

7. Safety and security are assured

A young professional working long hours or a frequent traveler will obviously have questions regarding the security.

Most marketers point out that condos are much safer than a standalone house or a rented space. Living in a condo, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Most of the developments have state of the art security cameras installed.

Some developments offer separate doors and a doorman too.

With so many neighbors in the building, it’s hard to feel unsafe in a condo unit.

8. Provides a community environment

The condo living doesn’t fail to offer the one thing humans need the most, a community environment. Live a meaningful life and dwell with your neighbors and people around.

It is easy to make friends as everyone uses shared amenities. Engaging with people and enjoy a socially happy and active life.

Since the costs of many things are shared by the condo owners, it is likely that the same people might also form a close-knit community of friends and helpful neighbors.

Most condos today also have a social media group for easier communication among residents who can plan gatherings, share concerns and more.

9. Convenience over extra space

The convenience to travel more, to have smaller easily flexible spaces, to have more time to yourself all this sound super nice doesn’t it? Most of it can be achieved through the condo life.

Imagine having the best amenities some footsteps away from your door. Imagine having a space that doesn’t take too long to clean nor costs a fortune to maintain.

Condo living is a convenience at its best and if a little space is a price we have to pay, so be it.

A lot of condo developments offer storage spaces too for all those once a year hobbies you might have.

10. Price and costs of living

Depending on your location, there is a huge possibility that a condo is much cheaper for you than a freehold home.

Mortgage of the house along with the excess maintenance bills living in a condo will feel much financially bearable.

Its much cheaper than buying a house but it also depends upon the size and locality of the complex.

The property values of a neighbourhood surely affect condo prices.

Why Condo Living is The Best

This list alone should have convinced you for the condo life. However, opting for a condo is a no brainer. It is obviously a great choice if you’re downsizing or you simply travel a lot.

Kids grow and leave home, managing a larger property becomes hard, your job keeps you traveling, you like to travel, you want a simpler lifestyle, budgeting is becoming extremely stressful there are a million reasons why someone would look into the condominium market.

And honestly, it will be the best decision you make. Convenience and peace of mind should be more important than some extra space.  Your monthly condo fees and the shared building costs make it very easy to follow a budget every month.

Moreover, a smaller space also means the chance to simplify your condo life.

Little touches that make a huge difference

Written By: Lisa Rogers
Source: https://myhomepage.ca/little-touches-make-huge-difference-jul18-aug14_2020/

Decorating a small space isn’t actually that different than decorating a large one: It just requires a bit of ingenuity and understanding what works in the space and what doesn’t. While your focus will be different when you’re working with less square footage, the basic rules of design are very much the same.

I’ve taken this challenge to task with a recent property development I’m working on in conjunction with Dunpar Homes – the Kingsway Village Square. This luxury building offers upscale condominium living in a carefully-crafted boutique rental residence, and as creative designer, it’s my job to decorate our first two model suites – with all the right interiors and finishes. It’s proven to be a really fun project to manage because it’s made me look at design differently. Naturally, I have less room to work with so it means I have to think about furniture, finishes and lighting in a way that works for a smaller space.

Whether you’re looking to update a condominium, studio apartment or small home, check out these tips on ways to optimize your space.

Find the right light

First, if you have plenty of natural light, let it shine through! Keep window treatments airy with sheer fabrics so light can come through easily, and you’re not weighing down your space with heavy curtains or blinds. Add additional lighting throughout your space but avoid any big floor or table lamps – they just add “bulk” – and opt for wall sconces, pendant lights or string lights that don’t take up too much real estate.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

If you aren’t blessed with a lot of natural light in a room, mirrors can add additional light and the feeling of additional space by reflecting back any natural and non-natural lighting you do have. It will give the illusion of more square footage, so think about using one large mirror in your room or arrange a few smaller ones throughout.

Try ‘floating’ pieces

Shelves and nightstands that are built into the walls can keep your floor clear of any cluttering obstacles and free up some extra space as well.

The bigger the rug, the better

Believe it or not, you don’t want to skimp on size with your rug. A tiny rug just makes the room feel equally as small, so pick a floor covering that’s large enough so most of the furniture will sit on it, or go wall-to-wall.

Avoid heavy furniture

When dressing a small space, your furniture has to look light. For example, instead of investing in a sturdy, block of a coffee table, opt for a piece that has legs on it. Why? It helps carry the eye in and around your space, which gives the impression of a bigger room.

Keep colours neutral

This feels fairly obvious, but lighter walls give the illusion of a bigger space, where darker walls do the opposite. My favourite hues are from Benjamin Moore: CC40 or Chantilly Lace. I use both of them in design often.

Use furniture that is multi-purpose

For the Kingsway Village Square, I also picked pieces that are multi-purpose, such as a high top table that I put in the kitchen area that acts as a work station as well as an eating area. You can get creative with storage options, too: Ottomans that can store your linens, or built-in cabinetry under your bed. Nowadays, there are so many chic storage options that work double-duty as a piece of decor.

Add some colour

Yes, you can! Use colour for your pillows, bedding, artwork or carpets, but I always caution about going too overboard with really bold patterns of palettes. You want to minimize the “noise,” as it were, so my advice is to add your colour, but keep it fresh, light and harmonious.

February Stats are Here!

Three reasons to register your interest for an upcoming project

Written By: Nick Monteleone
Source: https://nexthome.ca/news/three-reasons-to-register-your-interest-for-an-upcoming-project/1281389/

In today’s pandemic world, marketing new real estate has forced us to rethink and retool. The days of joining hordes of chequebook-waving buyers into sales centres, and getting caught up in the excitement generated by these gatherings, are on hiatus. Marketers and sales people have had to get creative and rise to the new occasion. And indeed, we have – through virtual sales centres, online buying, downloadable brochures, site plans, floorplans and easily accessible virtual walk-throughs. It’s now not only possible but it’s easier than ever to buy a home online.

What hasn’t changed is the need to build qualified registrations in order to create a robust database of potential buyers. To sales people, this list is gold; it is their most important selling tool. As marketers, we focus on getting people to register. Our success is measured in the number of registrations a project receives. Our greatest success is measured in the ratio of conversions of these registrations to sales. Obviously, getting qualified, motivated registrants into a database takes very specific knowledge and expertise.

But what’s in it for individuals to register? Why should someone seeking to buy a new home or condo, register? There are three important reasons to do so.

1. Early notice

If you’re interested in buying and you want first choice of homes, lots, suites and views, it’s smart to register. As a registrant, you will receive information about the project before it opens to the general public. You will also have the opportunity to buy before the public. Typically, registering for a project is the “call to action” on ads, in social media, on signs and flyers. Prospective buyers simply click on or go to a website that provides a form for them to fill out.

2.  Personal preferences

Registering your interest includes filling out a form that asks you about personal preferences for number of bedrooms, family size, type of home you are seeking and your price range. This helps the sales team that receives your information send you relevant choices, which makes the process more efficient.

3.  Promotions and incentives

By registering, you will be first to receive information about promotions and incentives that the builder makes available from time to time. Some developers offer significant incentives to their registrants – such as free parking spaces, lockers, appliances, E-bikes and large cash discounts, including decor dollars on upgrades. People who don’t register really miss out on excellent opportunities to save money and receive valuable inclusions.

Why do people hesitate to register?

Our research shows that people who hesitate to register are afraid of being harassed by sales people and pressured into buying. They are afraid they will receive non-stop emails about the project that will clutter up their inbox. They are worried that their personal information will be compromised.

The reality is that, in most cases, a registrant has to ask for a sales person to contact them. The advantage of talking to a sales person is that you get the information directly, and you can get all your questions answered.

Most often, registrants will receive email updates about the project every other week. As the project gets closer to opening, these emails might increase in frequency to provide you with the opportunity to buy before the official launch. Consumers can opt out of receiving these emails at any time.

People who are concerned about having their information compromised can easily protect themselves by setting up a dedicated email account to register their interest in potential projects. By doing so, you not only limit your exposure, you can also easily shut down this address when you no longer need it.

The advantages of registering far outweigh any disadvantages. Registering provides the ability to save thousands of dollars, get first choice of product and receive incentives and upgrades that are reserved specifically for registrants.