How will ‘Durham Live’ impact real estate in the region?


If you live in or near Pickering, you’ve likely heard about Durham Live – a massive entertainment complex that will eventually house dozens of shops and restaurants along with a convention centre, VIP movie theatre, family waterpark, spacious concert hall, luxury hotel and a massive casino. The project is being referred to as a “mini Las Vegas” right here in Ontario and has garnered media attention across the country. It’s all coming in 2020 and it will be located very close to the Lakeshore East Go Train route, making it easily accessible to those in Toronto and nearby suburbs.

So what does this mean for you as a homeowner or potential buyer in Durham region? Let’s take a look at some key impacts the development will have on our community.

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Small project? We’re on it.


I’ve noticed a trend in the renovation and construction business that seems to be shaping homeowners’ ideas of what’s possible when they call for a quote. “I’ve just got a small job,” people will say. “I’m not sure if you’ll be interested.”

They may have heard that contractors want only big projects and turn down smaller jobs. Maybe that’s been their personal experience with other renovators. The thing is – it’s not how we work. Not even close!

We love small jobs. Working on a major home renovation is great – it’s something we enjoy and are passionate about – but we’re always happy to take on minor projects as well. While some contractors turn away day jobs, we think they’re great – and why not? Our goal isn’t to renovate an entire house every single time we meet a new client. Our mission is to help people fall in love with their homes again, whether that means a new kitchen or a few little tweaks.

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First time home buyer? Here’s what to ask your realtor.


We mentioned in a recent blog post that in addition to being a contractor, I’m an experienced realtor with Century 21. Real estate and construction are both important elements of my business, and I’m passionate about helping families find their perfect home (and renovate it as needed)!

First time home owners have a unique set of questions and needs, and I’m here to help them every step of the way. If you’re thinking about buying your first home, consider asking these questions to ensure that your purchase is truly the right fit.

The right questions, the right answers

It’s great to ask a lot of questions about a house and the actual property it sits on – you want to know about the condition, find out what’s behind the walls and get a great home inspector to assure you that your purchase is sound. That said, the physical property is just the beginning. Consider asking your realtor about the neighbourhood as well as current and future zoning, as this could affect your experience living there. Look into the local school, public transit options and all nearby amenities, from libraries and community centres to grocery stores, hiking trails and entertainment. A great house is wonderful, but the neighbourhood that surrounds it is just as critical.

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Let’s get your home ready for the holidays!


September is all about change. It’s back to school time for families, and the beginning of a new season full of changing colours and steadily dropping temperatures. Before you know it, the holiday season will be here – first Thanksgiving, then Christmas and other winter holidays.

Now, look around your house. Is there a project you’ve been putting off, or something you’d like to change before hosting your next big family gathering? If you’ve been thinking about renovating your home, now’s the time – let’s get you ready for the holidays!

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Bonus: your contractor is also a realtor!


Renovations and real estate often go hand-in-hand. Sometimes, homeowners decide to renovate a property in order to sell at the best possible price. Other times, they buy a fixer-upper and want to turn it into their dream home (or at least get rid of that old wood paneling in the basement!).

I’ve been renovating homes for a long time, but in more recent years, I decided to take on a new role as a licensed realtor. This wasn’t to replace my renovation business – more so, it’s to enhance my full service offering. It’s been a great experience, and I can’t wait to share it with more clients.

The benefits of working with a realtor who is also a contractor

Realtors will often give an opinion on what can be done with a house – removing walls, upgrading the kitchen, adding a bathroom, etc. This is great, but when your realtor is actually an active contractor, it’s a whole new ball game. I can tell you what’s possible and also what it should cost and how long it should take to complete. I’ll identify load-bearing walls and discuss how they can impact your design plan. I’m able to offer suggestions you may not have thought of, explain how renovations impact the value of a home and also offer budget-friendly solutions. I’m not just trying to sell you a house – when I work as a realtor, I strive to find the best solution for your family, and that includes discussing and pricing out potential renovations.

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