Trends: Co-buying homes with friends

By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

With the challenges of the mortgage rules and the rising home prices, some buyers have become creative!

As you may or may not have seen in the news, more and more people are buying homes together as friends and business partners.

Have you ever thought about purchasing a larger home or a home in a better neighbourhood by co-buying with a friend or family member? I discuss this topic and important facets to consider on a plan like this:

  1. Finances
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Timeline
  4. Financial advisor
  5. Lawyers

I hope you enjoyed this episode and found it useful. As always I appreciate when you give me a thumbs up on YouTube, Subscribe and of course when you “ring” or click the Bell on YouTube when you’re signed in so you get an automatic notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!


Buyers: Sellers are listening

By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

As you may or may not have seen in the news, more and more people are using surveillance inside their homes to monitor break-ins, theft, and other activity.

Have you have thought about what happens when you go into a home for a viewing? Today I”m going to cover the top 5 things you should NOT say during a home showing.

  1. Price – in particular in reference to the following
  2. Express how much you’re willing to pay for it (especially over asking!)
  3. Specific reasons why this home is valuable to you
  4. Expressing that you won’t consider any other home
  5. Do not insult the sellers.

Remember that you’re viewing Sellers’ personal home so common courtesy can go far to create a good experience for everyone. While not everyone is monitoring their home with surveillance or will even care to review the footage, these are smart tips to keep our negotiations on the best foundation.

I hope you enjoyed this episode and found it useful. As always I appreciate when you give me a thumbs up on YouTube, Subscribe and of course when you “ring” or click the Bell on YouTube when you’re signed in so you get a notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!


Sellers: Dumping your junk

By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

If you are selling your home for the first time, or you’ve done it a few times already, there are things you can do to make the transition easy and seamless so you can move on with your life.

When it comes to moving you’re often thinking about where you’re going and not so much about what you’re leaving behind other than the house. But that’s an important part of moving so you can help the buyers of your home have a nice fresh start.

Selling your home should mean that you’re leaving your home in clean condition both inside and outside— removing your garbage and your old belongings especially if you decide you don’t want large furniture such as a sofa or mattress.

Planning your move and taking the time to get rid of things early also avoids the last-minute ditching of a mountain of trash when you leave—and makes things much more calm. 😌

This week’s video is about leaving your home in clean, swept condition and that includes the outside—take your junk with you or away to the dump.

When it comes to getting rid of your junk, the courteous thing to do is to not leave it piled up on the curb. This is especially true for large items such as mattresses which have monthly pick up.

Dumping can result in a fine of $300 as well as make our Region not so nice to look at!

I encourage you instead to consider bringing your junk to the Region of Waterloo waste facilities on 925 Erb Street West, Waterloo. Read more about their drop off program here.

I hope you enjoyed this episode and found it useful. As always I appreciate when you give me a thumbs up on YouTube, Subscribe and of course when you “ring” or click the Bell on YouTube when you’re signed in so you get a notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!


Homeowners: How to think like an investor

By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

It’s a new year and a fresh start this January 2019 and I’m excited to get started with some solid info on how you can continue to grow your wealth even if you can’t buy a designated investment property at this time. Ready to invest like an investor? Let’s do it.

Today I’m going to talk about how you can continue to invest in your financial future and grow your wealth like an investor. Before I get started if you like what you hear, go ahead and like comment and subscribe! It’s always a good thing because it lets me know what info you guys are interested in hearing more about.

For many of you who have managed to purchase a home in the last couple of years in KW, you’re very well familiar with the squeeze of the market and mortgage rules. And of course this is true for those of you who are looking to buy this year!

While many of my clients who are current homeowners have been able to also purchase a second or third property as investments, it’s not always possible. After all we live in one of the top 20 best places to invest and buy in Canada.

Seriously, give yourself a pat on the back if you qualify to buy a home or have purchased a home. It’s hard work and a very real investment your financial, and personal freedom.

With the changing market and rates I hear this more often. So what can you do to continue to invest in property if when you don’t qualify to buy a second one?

What you do is think like an investor. After all although you are technically a buyer, our investors are also buyers. Don’t short yourself.  The difference is your objective and how you think about it.

If you’re not able to purchase a second property at this time what you do is take advantage of paying down your mortgage with intention.

It sounds simple and obvious but often overlooked because well frankly it’s a big mountain to chip away at and sometimes it can be confusing.

There are three things you can do they can empower you and your bank account:

1. Switch to bi-weekly payments — paying every 2 weeks which adds an extra payment at the end of the year.

2. Add an extra $20 or $50 a month on top of your regular payments. Yes this makes a difference!

3. If you have a really nice grandma or aunt that still gives you Christmas or birthday money apply these seasonal windfalls to your mortgage.

4. If you got a raise or you get a great job that pays you substantially more than you used to get paid, consider keeping your lifestyle the same for a year and putting that extra money into doubling your mortgage amount for that year. This could be tens of thousands of dollars — or more.

The fact of the matter is that it may seem like a small amount of money that doesn’t seem to make a dent on your mortgage —  which is likely in the few…or several hundreds of thousands.

But what you’re really targeting is the principal — the amount of money that you borrow that the additional interest that you pay is based upon. When you reduce this amount, you start to really build your equity. Those extra payments go directly to paying down the principal.

Which is really what I’m getting to. When you build your equity it allows you to eventually borrow money to purchase another property had a later date if that’s what you choose to do or of course benefit from this equity when you purchase your next home. It’s like a type of personal bank that simultaneously allows you to put money “away” while also reducing the interest you pay on your mortgage. Every. Single. Payment.

Unless you have a savings account that gives you a substantial return with good interest rate or you’re a person who is very familiar with other stocks for investing, then this is a great way for you to continue investing and focusing on what you already are familiar with.

My number one recommendation when looking to secure a mortgage when you buy or when you refinance is to ask questions about their payment options. Not all lenders will allow you to prepay or overpay. And most lenders will have competitive rates that you can work with. This is also a great way to address being locked in at a higher interest rate without having to refinance.

Just remember: Building wealth is a very real and accessible thing when it comes to real estate. Don’t let it scare you.

I hope you enjoyed this episode I found it useful as always I appreciate when you like and subscribe and don’t forget to ring the bell so you get a notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!


Top 10 Thoughtful and Affordable Christmas and Holiday Gift Ideas for that Hard-to-Buy-for Person

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for the person who has everything? Then this list is for you!

This video is about my Top 10 Thoughtful and Affordable Christmas and Holiday Gift Ideas for that Hard-to-Buy Person!  These gift ideas are sure to make an impact, reduce waste, help avoid re-gifting and leave a  lasting impression!

1. Prepare homemade frozen meals for that busy parent, single person…or any one who likes an easy-to-prepare healthy dinner.

2. Write a thoughtful poem or letter than shows someone how much you care or admire them. We don’t share the way we feel enough. Maybe they’ll end up framing it like I’ve framed one of mine.

3. Make a slideshow or video of a memory. Maybe it was a trip you took with them or a special event. Most computers have basic video making software.

4. If you’re musically inclined, don’t underestimate how lovely it is to have someone play a song for you or even have a song written for you.

5. Babysit your sister, brother or neighbour’s kids. Sometimes, affordable childcare with someone they can can trust can be a big relief!

6. Go ice skating! Classic winter fun!

7. Doggy sit their dog. They’ll be so glad to have the stress of finding doggy-care while they’re gone on vacation.

8. Go outside and hit the trails. There are so many beautiful trails around Waterloo Region but don’t forget that our Ontario Parks are open during the winter too!

9. Bake cookies together. It’s a wonderful time to set aside time to create something tasty!

10. There are wonderful light shows at Bingeman’s or the local malls and shops — and they make for great photos too!

Happy Holidays!


Sell Your Home Before the Holidays

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Wanting to sell your home before the holidays? Sometimes you can get excited to sell your home but there are definitely some things that you can do that really make a difference to the success of your sale.

Particularly when you’re on planned schedule, and if you’d like to do your best to get your home sold before 2019, you can take advantage of these tips.

  1. Curb appeal
  2. Keep your house welcoming
  3. Don’t over-decorate
  4. Price is right
  5. Use a dedicated full-time REALTOR®




Movember at RBC Bank

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Movember is a great foundation to celebrate to help support the fathers, husbands, brothers and sons in your life.

This week, I visited RBC Bank at 235 Ira Needles Blvd in Kitchener, where I connected with my favourite Mobile Mortgage Specialist, George Vasileas to discuss Movember.

George is a high-performing broker who has created dependable and responsive mortgage opportunities for my clients to up-size, down-size and most importantly —right-size their real estate purchase or investment.

So when it comes to helping to support this cause with George, I wanted to shed some light on the important topic of men’s health.

With all the mustache merchandise we’ve seen on the market in the last 5 years in particular, sometimes people can forget how and why Movember started in the first place.

Movember began in 2003 with 3 guys in Australia. That first year, they were able to get 30 men in total to sport mustaches in support of men’s health. Most recently they have raised over 5.5 million and are ranked 43 out of the 500 world-wise non-governmental foundations.

It’s important for men to be comfortable and more vocal about their health.

Did you know?

70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends. In other words: we’re here for our friends, but worried about asking for help for ourselves. Reaching out is crucial.

5 Things Men can do to take care of their health include:

1 . Spend time with people who make you feel good. Stay connected and stay in touch regularly.

2. Talk and listen more. Sharing and listening with your friends can be life-saving.

3. Know the numbers. Prostate cancer is a concern that you need to be screen for at 50 years old, and if you have other risk factors, you should screen at 45. Talk to you doctor.

4. “Know thy nuts”. Get to know what’s normal for you and get checked regularly at your doctor.

5. Be more active. It doesn’t have to be official sweat sessions at the gym. Just parking further from the grocery store can work. Every little bit helps.

Let’s help support the wonderful mean in our life and communities but helping to increase awareness so they can feel empowered to reach out and take care of their health.

Looking for mortgage options? You can reach out to George : Phone: (519) 897-8880 or by Email:




Trends: Kitchener Loves Pets and Dog-driven Home Sales

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Do you love dogs? I do too!  In fact, I have two! Still, it was a surprise to me that Kitchener ranked 4th on the list for Amazon Canada’s top pet-purchasing cities for the period between August 2017-August 2018.

Another trend has been reported in is that a great majority of Millennials are putting their pets front and centre when making decisions in their real estate purchases.

Further, in Canada, the Canadian Animal Health Institute reports:

From 2014 to 2016, cat and dog populations in Canada have risen. Cats continued to outnumber dogs with
8.8 million cats considered household pets in 2016, up from an estimated 7.0 million in 2014. Dog
population figures for 2016 also increased to 7.6 million in 2016, up from 6.4 million in 2014


“It is encouraging to see the number of pet cats and dogs increasing in Canada over time and I think that reflects the special relationship we have with them. Over the last ten years cat and dog has increased by
about 10%. Overall approximately 41% of Canadian households include at least one dog, and similarly around 37% include at least one cat.” indicated Colleen McElwain, CAHI Programs Director.

See how other cities ranked on Amazon Canada’s list!

1.    London, ON
2.    Calgary, AB
3.    Vancouver, BC
4.    Kitchener, ON
5.    Saskatoon, SK
6.    Mississauga, ON
7.    Gatineau, QC
8.    Burnaby, BC
9.    Windsor, ON
10.    Regina, SK
11.    Richmond, BC
12.    Winnipeg, MB
13.    Edmonton, AB
14.    Markham, ON
15.    Ottawa, ON
16.    Brampton, ON
17.    Surrey, BC
18.    Hamilton, ON
19.    Toronto, ON
20.    Laval, QC   





Drive in My City: Region of Waterloo International Airport to Fairview Park Mall

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

For individuals and families relocating to Waterloo Region, sometimes we wonder what traffic is like in certain areas, or what it might be like to live there. I know when I’ve checked on investments in other cities or even provinces, I do a little Google Street View. But it’s not the easiest to maneuver.

So this is my first entry of my Drive in My City Series. We’ll be travelling from the Region of Waterloo Aiport to Fairview Park Mall following this route:

Check out my video below from a relaxing drive through the City!



About the Region of Waterloo Airport: 

Airports create jobs and support economic growth

The Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) is a full service, customer friendly facility. Located in southern Ontario, Canada the airport supports commercial, corporate and general aviation.

Fly from home! When you support local air service you help create jobs and boost the local economy.

Did you know?

  • The Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre is one of the largest professional flight training schools in Canada
  • One, of only two Avro Lancaster aircraft still in operation in the world, was equipped with avionics by Mid-Canada Mod Center (formerly Kitchener Aero)
  • NAV Canada’s air traffic control tower at YKF is one of the newest in the country



About Fairview Park Mall:

Electric car charging station, phone charging stations, and home to a wide array of shops, this mall is a great place to getting your shopping and snacking in. It’s also home to the future major redevelopment of office, residential and shopping. Click here to read more!




How to Sell your Haunted House – Trick or Treat

By Cindy-lou Schmidt


This weekend is filled with lots of fun activities to do to enjoy autumn and the last spooky days of Halloween!

If you’re a skeleton trying to sell your spooky haunted house, what better way than to highlight all the best features!

To make your home as gross and appealing to the ghosts and goblins and be as unmaintained and spooky as possible, do the following:

1) Don’t trim your tree branches; allow them to over hand your roof and tug at your roof shingles causing damage, and even being a hazard during high winds. Bonus if it’s help moss and lichen grow up there because of the moisture being trapped!

2. Keep your trash out in the open so that rats, and other animals can get into it and it can smell terrible!

3. Leave your rat, roach and mouse traps out so that your spooky buyers can see that your home is full of pests!

4. Don’t rake or maintain the lawns or walkways. Let it pile up and stain the paths as well as cause bald spots on the lawn!

5. Price your home really high above market value so that it takes a really long time to sell and the spooky goblins and ghosts can enjoy going through your haunted house for longer, and you can eventually sell for less because that’s what happen in a topsy turvy spoooky world!

P.S. If you’re a regular human reading this…you’ll want to do the opposite for a successful sale! You’ll also want to check out the remaining Halloween festivities available here in Waterloo Region. Find out more here!

Happy Halloween!