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Ask yourself these 5 kitchen reno questions

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Proper planning and organization are key to a kitchen remodel, no matter the size of the job.

Ask yourself these questions and your answers will give you more than design ideas — they’ll help bring structure to what you want to complete, and lend some direction to your plans. Form follows function, so know the function you want.

1. What kind of cook am I? Different cooks have different needs. Some enjoy a sprawling complex to create intricate meals; others just want to keep their family fed amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Your cooking style has personality, and your kitchen style should match. Otherwise you’ll be struggling against your own layout.

Related question: How many people will usually be cooking at a time? A solo cook has different needs than a family putting together a team effort.

If the family includes someone who’s always on the go and needs quick meals, you might want a larger and more easily accessible microwave. If the household includes small children, you might want to make some of the storage and workspaces lower and more accessible.

2. What, besides cooking, will be done in the kitchen?

Some use their kitchens to entertain; others leave that entirely to other rooms. Some kitchens become the command centres of the home. Think through what you’re actually going to use your kitchen for, and plan accordingly.

3. How long will I stay in the house? This could determine some of your choices. If you plan on moving in the next few years, you might want to focus on elements with more universal appeal. If you expect this to be your forever home, go for specific and personalized choices.

4. How does my kitchen interact with the rest of the house? Does the kitchen have an immediate exit to the outdoors? Open or closed floor design? How does it relate to the dining room and living areas — especially in terms of trafficking meals from point A to point B? The kitchen doesn’t stand alone, so think of it in terms of the greater whole.

5. What factors are most important to me? During your renovation, you’ll be making numerous decisions and prioritizing different elements. But think about your “north stars” — what are the elements you must have, and feel the kitchen is incomplete without? What do you need in this kitchen to make you happy? Keep your eye on that goal and you won’t be disappointed.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC



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Affordability driving demand for condos in Toronto

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The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw higher sales and demand for condominium units due to increasingly affordable prices.

Data from RE/MAX revealed that the GTA accounted for nearly 37% of the total residential sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). Market share for this segment has been tracking higher since 2013, when the transfer of condominiums covered 30% of total sales.

Seen as the only property segment that rose above the 2017 market correction, the average price of a condominium apartment hiked almost 8% to $551,761 between January and October 2018, up from $512,552 during the same period in the previous year. Townhomes prices were at $571,058, compared to $568,165 in 2017. Meanwhile, prices of freehold properties, including single-detached, semi-detached, attached/row/townhouse, and linked townhomes fell year-over-year.

Despite the rising values, these home types are well-received because most Canadians still found it affordable and a sound choice for investment.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that the increased demand for condo apartments and townhomes was driven by immigration, population growth, and lifestyle choices. 

“Aging infrastructure, combined with a lack of transportation alternatives, longer commute times and the environmental component — with efforts to reduce carbon footprint — have all played a role in buyers choosing condominiums in Toronto proper that are close to both work and play,” RE/MAX noted in a statement.

The most popular area for condominium sales was still the downtown core, with 21.9% sold in the area bordered by Bloor Street to the north, the Lakeshore to the south, the Don Valley Parkway to the east and just past Dovercourt Road in the west.

However, supply remained low, which pushes prices higher.

“Limited inventory continues to place substantial upward pressure on prices, with fewer affordable housing options available — and that includes condominium rentals,” said

Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director at RE/MAX of the Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region.

As a result, buyers tend to avoid the higher prices in the core and turn to condominium communities farther afield instead.

Currently, almost 51% of condominium sales in the GTA are below the $500,000 price point, but it is worth noting that builders and developers are currently facing skyrocketing construction costs and a land crunch within the GTA.

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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App matches you with the perfect real estate professional

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Real estate matchmaking platform Mortgage Sandbox recently beta launched a free web-based app called Match Finder in the Vancouver market. The app was conceived as a way for buyers to connect with suitable professionals that can help them find their perfect home.

“The beta program is dedicated to gathering feedback from users so that we can improve the product while rewarding participating home buyers and real estate professionals with better working relationships at no cost,” said David Stroud, founder and CEO of Mortgage Sandbox.

Similar to an eHarmony questionnaire, Match Maker asks 10 simple questions to match home buyers with three trusted, pre-screened real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Users can then make their selection to start their home-buying process.

The app was envisioned to provide a better home buying experience for all parties involved. Match Maker is a secure, cloud-based application that also provides real-time interest rates and property forecasts. It has advanced home buying calculators and can be used on a laptop or a smartphone.

“The tools are part of Mortgage Sandbox’s ongoing commitment to build the most complete home buying advice platform on the market,” said Stroud.

Stroud emphasized that Mortgage Sandbox tapped into the real experiences of Canadian homebuyers and real estate professionals to properly address issues that are encountered when purchasing homes.

“We’ve designed an easy to use, data-driven, matching tool that connects you with local, pre-screened real estate professionals who share your interests, values, and have a complementary work style,” said Stroud.

“We believe aligned values lead to better working relationships and a more successful home buying experience.”

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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App matches you with the perfect real estate professional

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Real estate matchmaking platform Mortgage Sandbox recently beta launched a free web-based app called Match Finder in the Vancouver market. The app was conceived as a way for buyers to connect with suitable professionals that can help them find their perfect home.

“The beta program is dedicated to gathering feedback from users so that we can improve the product while rewarding participating home buyers and real estate professionals with better working relationships at no cost,” said David Stroud, founder and CEO of Mortgage Sandbox.

Similar to an eHarmony questionnaire, Match Maker asks 10 simple questions to match home buyers with three trusted, pre-screened real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Users can then make their selection to start their home-buying process.

The app was envisioned to provide a better home buying experience for all parties involved. Match Maker is a secure, cloud-based application that also provides real-time interest rates and property forecasts. It has advanced home buying calculators and can be used on a laptop or a smartphone.

“The tools are part of Mortgage Sandbox’s ongoing commitment to build the most complete home buying advice platform on the market,” said Stroud.

Stroud emphasized that Mortgage Sandbox tapped into the real experiences of Canadian homebuyers and real estate professionals to properly address issues that are encountered when purchasing homes.

“We’ve designed an easy to use, data-driven, matching tool that connects you with local, pre-screened real estate professionals who share your interests, values, and have a complementary work style,” said Stroud.

“We believe aligned values lead to better working relationships and a more successful home buying experience.”

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate




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