A white winter doesn’t need to be dreary

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

So the holiday decor has been packed away and as we begin to enjoy the next stage of winter, it can often become dreary inside our homes. Here are 5 tips to lightening your home and your mood while adding plenty of style!

1. Add white – White or other light colours need not be an exclusive warm-weather colour. Make it suit the season by selecting fluffy, full textures such as faux fur, wool and of course plaid. It will make all the difference when added as a throw on the sofa, or as pillows on the bed.

2. Open the curtains – Open them all the way! On a sunny day, even in winter, a room can heat up and also give you a much-needed pick me up. It also helps you catch any dust that you might have been missing! Consider switching to foam back curtains in a light colour to provide thermal properties for those cold evenings, which will still give you that open effect.

3. Replace your bulbs – Ensure all your fixtures and lamps are using the maximum wattage permitted. A brighter, clearer room will make you feel much better! You’ll see that small changes like this can make a big difference in your mood. What else, select a bulb with a warm light, rather than a cold or “blue” tinge to it.

4. Declutter – A new year, a new you? January is a great time to declutter. Get rid of those clothes you didn’t want to wear all 2017 that make you feel not so great, and what about that platter that you think is hideous yet somehow has been collecting dust year after year. Your home will feel lighter and more open. You can thank me later when you uncover that beautiful toque you’ve been looking for since late November at the back of your basement storage room.

5. Cut a rug – Or rather, buy one. Sometimes a rug can lighten and brighten a room and it doesn’t have to cost a bundle either. You can go formal and follow the rug rules or you can be more casual and bohemian and place a rug wherever and however you like! From fluffy to wild and reserved, a new rug can definitely add zest to a boring room.

Now that you’ve brightened up your home, don’t forget to rest with a hot coffee or tea and a good book or movie. Until next time!


Going green at Home

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Last Saturday, Reep Green Solutions of Kitchener-Waterloo ran another one of their great public programs. This one involved vermicomposting! For those of you who want to live more sustainably, but don’t love or have access to the green bin, this was a great option to learn about how to compost at home using worms!

Reep currently has a monthly Sustainable Living Series with workshops that are crash-courses in all types of sustainable living opportunities. What else? They are also leaders in sharing news about incentive programs to get your home more energy efficient.

Check out their website at reepgreen.ca to learn more ways to save money and get green!

2017: A very big year in real estate

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Total residential sales volume surpassed 3 billion in 2017, coming out at a total of 6549 homes sold in Kitchener-Waterloo, just one percent less than 2016’s record breaking results.

2017 ended with 301 homes sold in December, 13% above the 5-year average,  with some of those numbers accounted for by buyers who wanted to purchase a home before the new restrictive mortgage rules kicked in on January 1, 2018.

Last year’s winter and spring market saw unparalleled home sales, with the latter half of the year seeing a decrease in sales numbers that remained above the 5 year average, as well as selling at an increase of 19.5% in the dollar volume of all residential sales last year ($3,061,739,723) compared to 2016, breaking the 3 billion dollar milestone for the first time.

Accordingly, the average sale price compared to 2016:

1. All residential properties increased 20.7% to $467,513

2. Detached homes increased 21.5% to $549,046

3. Apartment style condominiums increased 18.3% to $271,940

4. Townhomes increased 23.6% to $353,692

5. Semis increased 25.95% to $378,275

6. The median price of all residential properties sold last year increased 21.1 per cent to $429,900

7.The median price of a detached home during the same period increased 22 per cent to $495,000.

Cindy-lou’s 1-Minute Summary:

With semi-detached homes seeing the greatest price increase in 2017, we are seeing a trend with people making the compromise from single-detached homes to semi-detached. This still allows them to benefit from a yard and main floor access as they adjust to the new rate of home prices.

Despite the mortgage rules that have pushed some buyers out of the market and others to purchase at a price lower than they would have in 2017, the demand for homes in Waterloo Region will likely remain higher than the supply this coming year.


Thinking of moving? If you’d like an accurate valuation of your home, contact us for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on December’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.


Q: Is January a good time to sell?

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

If last year was any indication, there are not too many times of the year that are a bad time to sell. Sure, January can be cold and blustery, but that won’t stop serious buyers. We simply don’t have the slow down in buying activity that we used to during the winter months. The fact is that people are relocating to the area or need to upsize or downsize and that can happen at any time of the year.

If you do decide to list your home, there are some seasonal factors that can help make things go smoother. These include making sure your walkways are always shoveled and even swept with a stiff broom, along with making sure you have an attractive and practical mat outside and inside the front entrance. Our team can definitely help you get your home looking the best with strategic staging and marketing that will highlight all the best features of your home for an effective sale.

While there are many things we are in control of, (most importantly, pricing the home to your best advantage) sometimes there are factors we can’t control. Extreme weather cannot be negotiated, but the serious buyers will still be at your door. Your new January listing will have extra appeal as you’ll be the new kid on the block when you show up on the scene with those stagnant listings from November and December that have not been priced well.

Your home needs to be priced in a range that will net you the most money, as well as staged correctly and marketed effectively. This will lead to you selling your home more quickly and easily. There in lies the importance of making sure that you’ve chosen the right agent.

All in all, regardless of the time of year, if you’ve partnered with a trusted REALTOR to make an effective plan for the sale of your home, you’ll be on the right track for a productive sale.

For more information on selling your home, contact me for a personal consultation.