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HomeFest promises advice for everyone from new buyers to empty nesters

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My family, like many others, has gone through different life stages — from buying our first home, to expanding, to now being empty nesters. Throughout this journey, we have lived in the same home, which we transformed through a lot of trial and error to reflect our changing needs and interests.

HomeFest, a new festival-style home show presented by booking.com that BILD is bringing to the International Centre in Mississauga Nov. 2-4, will inspire you to create a home that is in tune with your particular life stage.

Find out where her pillows will end up in the Love It ... or Lose It? feature at HomeFest, a new home show at the International Centre.
Find out where her pillows will end up in the Love It … or Lose It? feature at HomeFest, a new home show at the International Centre.  (Dreamstime)

We have designed HomeFest to be interactive, so come prepared to jump into experiences like Love It … or Lose It?, where Fiona and Henry will request your help as they combine their households. Should they keep her kitschy art and funky pillows or his well-worn bench and Lucite chairs? What should they lose? You can give instructions to their movers and hear a design expert’s opinion on the results.

Expect the unexpected at HomeFest. The feature called Adding to the Family, for instance, will be less about outfitting a nursery and more about a cheeky exploration of fertility myths, superstitions and folklore that have been handed down through the ages. And skipping forward a couple of decades, the Empty Nesters Take Flight attraction will help you deck out your place for maximum short-term rental appeal. What better way to fund those travels you’ve been dreaming about?

If, on the other hand, the kids are returning home or you need a home office, be sure to take a tour of the 280-sq.-ft. home by True North Tiny Homes. It has a much smaller environmental footprint and is more affordable than a traditional house, yet comes with many of the same high-end details and finishes.

Are you catching a whiff of something delicious as you explore HomeFest? Head outside for Grill and Chill, where pros from TA Appliances will show you how to wield the skewers and tongs with confidence, then let you sample what they’ve prepared. Back inside, pick up more cooking and wine tips at our Kitchen Party, with well-known chefs, a cheese expert and a sommelier.

Speaking of cooking, if you’ve been thinking your kitchen needs an update, swing by the Five Thousand Dollar Kitchen at HomeFest. It has been renovated, but when you take a closer look, you realize the truth of “you get what you pay for.” (Check out the cabinets that don’t close properly.) Find the other things that have gone wrong with this makeover and let our RenoMark renovators share advice for getting it right with your own kitchen renovation.

As you can see, HomeFest promises to be a blast, so round up your friends and family and meet us there. Get your free tickets at http://thehomefest.ca.

David Wilkes is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and a contributor for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bildgta

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Victoria real estate agent disciplined for false advertising, encouraging cash deal to avoid taxes

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A Victoria real estate agent is facing $9,000 in fines and a 60-day licence suspension after breaking several professional rules during the sale of her father’s half-million-dollar property, according to a decision by the Real Estate Council of B.C. 

Whitney Garside’s missteps — outlined this week in a disciplinary decision posted on the council’s website — included falsely advertising the property as being almost twice its actual size and advising the buyer they could avoid the property transfer tax if they paid cash directly to the seller.

The property on Burnett Road in Victoria was being sold in 2016 by the real estate agent’s father. That relationship was disclosed and isn’t among the reasons she has been disciplined.

According to the disciplinary consent order, Garside told the buyer — whose name is redacted — that by paying $42,000 cash on the side, the value of the property could be reduced to avoid paying the property transfer tax.

That cash arrangement was not shared with Garside’s brokerage, Re/Max Camosun, a failure that contravened the Real Estate Services Act.

The council also ruled that she “failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill” when she advised the buyer the property transfer tax could be avoided by paying cash directly to the seller. 

The council’s discipline committee also found that Garside committed professional misconduct when she failed to recommend the seller and buyer seek independent legal advice, specifically regarding the property transfer tax and the cash agreement.

Another issue the council considered professional misconduct involved the size of the property in question.

The council ruled that Garside published false and misleading advertising and failed to act with reasonable care and skill when the property was advertised as 8,712 square feet, when in fact a portion of the lot belonged to the Ministry of Transportation, and the actual size was just 4,711 square feet.

The discipline committee ordered Garside’s licence be suspended for 60 days, which will be completed Jan. 3, 2021.

She has also been ordered to complete real estate ethics and remedial classes at her own expense.

Garside was also fined $7,500 as a disciplinary penalty and $1,500 in enforcement expenses.

She agreed to waive her right to appeal the council’s discipline committee’s decision in September.

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Frisco apartment community sells to Canadian investor

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A Canada-based investor has purchased a Frisco apartment community as part of a larger Texas deal.

The 330-unit Satori Frisco apartments opened last year on Research Road in Frisco.

BSR Real Estate Investment Trust bought the four-story rental community that was built by Atlanta-based Davis Development.

Satori Frisco was more than 90% leased at the time of sale. The property includes a two-story fitness center, a car care center, a dog park and a resort-style swimming pool.

The Frisco property sold along with Houston’s Vale luxury apartments in a deal valued at $129 million.

“BSR recently exited the smaller Beaumont and Longview, Texas, markets and also sold noncore properties in other markets,” John Bailey, BSR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are now using our strong liquidity position to invest in Vale and Satori Frisco, modern communities in core growth markets with the amenities our residents desire.”

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House prices on Prince Edward Island continue steady climb

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Residential real estate prices on Prince Edward Island continue to climb at a rate higher than the national average, according to the latest report from a national organization. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association released monthly figures for November 2020 on Tuesday.

They show that the average price for a resale home on P.E.I. is about 21 per cent higher than it was a year earlier. 

Only Quebec had a bigger year-over-year increase, at about 23 per cent. Overall across Canada, prices were up 13.8 per cent year over year in the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the fifth straight month, year-over-year sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019,” the report noted.

“Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of supply of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations.”

That lack of houses coming onto the market compared to the demand means that in those provinces, there is “increased competition among buyers for listings and … fertile ground for price gains.”

There have been anecdotal reports for months that Prince Edward Island’s low rate of COVID-19 infection and looser rules around social activities have been encouraging people to buy homes on the Island. 

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