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Local greenhouses are a great place to pick up Fall Decor items for your home

It’s Autumn in Southwestern Ontario. Leaves are beginning to change colour. Apples are hanging heavy on trees. Pumpkins are scattered in farmer’s fields wherever you look. All of these fall elements can be seen in more than farmer’s markets though. Homes are decorated with dried corn stalks, hay bales and tumbles of colourful gourds to welcome in the crisp season. Businesses sport seasonal wreathes and planters at their doors. And many restaurants take advantage of the bounty from the fields, tempting patrons with mouth-watering dishes made from fresh, local finds.

 

The smell of warm mulled apple cider makes a home irresistible during an open house

Who am I to resist? Especially when I always have an eye to presenting a home in its best possible light. Autumn has so many pleasing options when it comes to staging a home for sale, whether it be light and airy grasses waving from a planter at your door, or the delicious smell of autumn in the presentation of steaming apple cider at an open house. And if you were wondering, Fall is just as good a time to sell your house as any other.

 

Fall colours are a wonderful addition to any home’s palette

In fact, many people list their homes for sale in the Fall. As noted, during a long Indian Summer, such as the one we are experiencing now, homes often look their best. As long as you can keep up with your Fall maintenance (think raked leaves, gardens ready for bed, and no hot or cold days to frighten a potential home buyer away), you will find that your home takes on a whole new look in the Autumn. Plus, if your curb appeal is at its best, then you just might find that you have more potential for a sale with fewer houses on the market, as compared to the busier Spring market. Don’t worry though, as folks that have gone on vacation in the summer will be home again to start house hunting, before getting ready for Christmas vacations (and another slow down in the real estate market).

So if you think that you have to wait until the Spring to sell your home, think again. Now is the perfect time to sell your house! Make sure to point out any of the upgrades that you have done to your home (you should be doing your Fall maintenance regardless, but it helps boost your home’s appeal when it is on the market). And if you are exhausted at the end of the day with all the work it takes to keep up a sparkly home when it is for sale, do yourself a favour and schedule a few more crock pot meals into the rotation, like this seasonal one from Allrecipes.ca. And if you get a last-minute visitor that has to see your home tonight, all you have to do is turn down the slow cooker and let them savour the scent of your seasonal dinner that will be ready whenever you get home again.

SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN TURKEY CHILI

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can seasoned black beans
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat; brown turkey, stirring often, until crumbly and no longer, pink, about 10 minutes. Drain and discard any fat.
  2. Transfer turkey to a slow cooker and stir in diced tomatoes, pumpkin, chili beans, black beans, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and chili powder. Set cooker to Low, cover, and cook until pumpkin is tender and has started to break apart, at least 3 hours.
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Royal LePage turns 100 years old this year. That is a long time to be in business for, and all our agents are pretty proud to represent such a long-lived company. It might seem a lifetime ago, but if you look around there’s plenty of evidence of how far we’ve come since 1913. Here are just a few of the events that shaped our world when A. E. LePage decided to shape his…

Life & Times From 100 Years Ago

  • The population of Canada sits at over 35 million people today, but back in 1913 our numbers sat closer to 7, 758, 000 inhabitants. Those numbers swelled in large part due to an influx in immigrants with the intent to farm. In fact, 400, 870 people moved to Canada in 1913 alone. Good thing they got there when they did, as WWI effectively shut the borders in a big way the following year.
  • Canadian Arctic Exploration 1913-1918

    Our True North Strong and Free got a major boost when Vilhjalmur Stefansson got the green light to explore the Arctic. His party left Victoria, BC in June, and explored over 10, 000 km over a span of five years, discovering unknown islands, gathering artifacts, specimens, thousands of photographs, and a larger understanding of our Northern inhabitants.

  • Alys McKey Bryant took to the skies, as the first Canadian woman to pilot an airplane on July 31st. She was just the first of many women to fly over our Home and Native Land.
  • Hard at work in the McCormick Biscuit Factory – dubbed the “Sunshine Palace” due to its state of the art construction for its day

    A new piece of real estate was added to the London map when the McCormick Biscuit Factory was built in 1913. Sadly, the “Sunshine Palace’s” doors were closed in 2008 and remain vacant to this day.

  • Canadian literature gained a legend when Robertson Davies was born on August 28th
  • Women received new support, when Mary Phelps Jacob patented the first elastic brassière on November 13th
  • Laura Secord – Canadian Confections since 1913

    Even more comfort was gained when Laura Secord opened its doors, selling chocolates, confections and ice cream to Canadians. Frank P. O’Connor named his new store in honour of the Canadian heroine from the War of 1812.

  • In addition to sweets, Canada gained a little more culture when the National Gallery of Canada was incorporated in 1913
  • Not all was rosy on Canadian soil in 1913. Between November 9th – 12th a gale blew across the Great Lakes that saw many lives, ships and goods lost. It was estimated the cost of the storm was over $500, 000.
  • Construction of the National Transcontinental Railway

    While the population and borders of Canada were growing, so too was our National Transcontinental Railway. The costly construction of this railway line, which ran between Moncton and Prince Rupert, was completed on November 17th.

  • The Elgin Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto held its first performance on December 15th, with none other than Irving Berlin in attendance and even charming the audience with a performance.
  • The Founder of Royal Lepage – A. E. LePage

    Seeing how vibrant a land that Canada was, A. E. LePage decided he wanted to invest in it too. On July 2nd, he opened his real estate business “A. E. LePage – The Bungalow Specialist”. His belief in customer service, professionalism, principled conduct and the highest moral and ethical standards remain Royal LePage’s hallmarks today. Our first and best real estate agent still inspires all Royal LePage agents today.

    Our motto says it all; How can we help you home?

This weekend is a special one for the Royal LePage team, of which I am a member. Royal LePage started the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation 15 years ago to support women and children when they needed help the most, in times of crisis and violence in their lives. The Foundation provides a safe haven and space for broken families to heal and embark on a new beginning. We are the only Canadian real estate company that runs its own charitable organization, which supports families on a local and national level. I for one am proud to be even a small part of the team.

So what is going on this weekend? The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is hosting a national garage sale across the country on May 11, 2013! There will be garage sales held by over 120 Royal LePage offices across the country in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Proceeds of the sale go back to the Foundation to raise awareness on how to stop violence against women and children through prevention programs and their work in the communities in which they serve. In fact, the Foundation supports over 200 shelters and domestic violence agencies across the country, effectively helping 30,000 women and children every year.

This year is the 5th annual National Garage Sale, and the London Royal LePage Triland Realty Real Estate Brokerage is chipping in to host just one of those garage sales. The deals will be had in the parking lot of the London & St Thomas Association of Realtors at 342 Commissioners Rd W, between 8 am and 2 pm this Saturday. The proceeds from our local sale will go directly to a local shelter that has been helping women and children in distress since 1978 – the Women’s Community House.

If you go to any garage sales this season, this should be the one! There will be knick knacks, clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, sporting goods, art work, toys, books and so much more. Plus, there will be coffee, a bake sale and kid’s activities. And of course remember that for every amazing deal that you snag, every penny of that sale goes directly to helping end domestic violence right here in our community.

What time will I see you? The coffee will be on when you get here!

 

Have you battened down the hatches Londoners? We have had a wet week thus far and it isn’t done raining on us yet. In fact, there is a freezing rain warning in effect right now and tonight we will see even more rain and high winds. The rain is supposed to continue into tomorrow and Saturday too. That sounds like it is time for me to throw out some indoor ideas for what to do this weekend. Anyone into art?

Art In Your Neighbourhood

You are in for a treat this weekend art fans! This weekend is the London Artists’ Studio Tour 2013. The annual event is even more special this year, as it is celebrating its 20th anniversary of bringing London-based artists to the public. These artists are a fun and varied mix of woodworkers, sculptors, potters, plus many others who work in acrylics, metal, pencils, glass, oils, silks, and other textiles. There are 27 artists displaying their studios and hand-crafted wares this year from April 12 – 14th, 2013. Opening night is Friday from 7 – 9:30 pm. The Studio Tour continues on Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday from noon – 5 pm. The best part is that whether you buy a piece of artwork to take home with you or not, participating in the tour is FREE! Of course the hard-working local artists would be thrilled if you helped support local artwork by buying a piece of something. Ad there will be LOTS to choose from.

Art by Johnnene Maddison

First come first serve on refreshments and purchasing power Friday night! Check out everyone from Turning Bull Pottery in the East to Susan Skaith’s jewellery in the north. Katie Walker‘s textile pieces can be found in the west end and Beth Stewart will be displaying her pencil skills in south London. That is only a fraction of the artists though, so check a map and set yourself an itinerary. It’s a perfect weekend to discover the wealth of talent we have right here in London.

OPEN HOUSE ALERT!

Imagine a nice oil painting by Kevin Bice hanging over the mantle…

Maybe you could even pick up the perfect art piece to hang in your new home! Let me tempt you with this gorgeous new house at 534 Willowdale Ave. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home is brand new and just waiting for you to move in. There is hardwood and ceramic throughout this beautiful luxury home on a high-end street. The luxury doesn’t stop there though. Cook up a feast in your gourmet kitchen featuring granite countertops. Step outside of your 1,800 sq ft home and you’ll find nature on your doorstep, with streams, walking trails and a ravine right across the road from your 62.50 frontage. Have I tempted you to stop by yet?

Certainly potential for some art in this spacious master bath

Don’t just think about it, do it! I will be there for an Open House on Sunday from 2-4 pm. Not that I really even need to be there, as this house sells itself! It has a double, attached garage, central air (for the coming summer months), a huge great room, main floor laundry and tonnes of potential in the massive unfinished basement. What more do you need in a new home? It certainly doesn’t hurt that it is close to shopping, groceries, UWO, plus other great schools as well. So what are you waiting for? Right, you want to pick up that special glass piece from Jayne Cornelis for your master bath. Bring it with you Sunday afternoon! See you then.

Have you ever wondered what some of the real estate descriptions truly mean when you read a real estate listing? While some descriptions are straight forward, like “3 bedrooms” or “”1 bath, what does “unspoiled” mean? How about “classic”? When you are searching for that perfect home, it can be hard to know what a house might have to offer from the few short sentences and 1″ square picture that is your first impression. If you really want to know, call me and we can discuss real estate whenever you want. If you want to do a little homework first, here’s my coles notes on a few real estate terms unmasked.

REAL ESTATE TERMS UNMASKED

    Fixer Upper

    Fixer Upper (Photo credit: kcnickerson)

  • Needs some TLC – Watch out unless you are a ready for a lot of work. While you might think tender loving care comes in the form of paint, more often than not, TLC stands for “tonnes of labour to come“. Beware the fixer upper!
  • On the edge of… – While the surrounding neighbourhood might have a draw, the one this house is situated in isn’t quite there. It might be cheaper, but there might be a reason for that. Sometimes location is everything.
  • English: Starter home? One-up, one down, no ma...

    English: Starter home?

  • Starter home – We all have to start somewhere, but usually that means smaller and with less bells and whistles. Don’t expect an executive master or custom kitchen here. The “basics” are what you get when you are starting out folks.
  • Move-in ready – Hope you like the paint scheme, because the present owners just painted. Some upgrades might have been done recently, so no big projects are glaringly obvious to the potential buyer.
  • Cute – Much as babies and puppies are cute when they are small, so too does a house look cute when it is compact. Your square footage probably won’t be through the roof on a “cute”, but small house.
  • Nice sized – You won’t find measurements as small as in your last “cute” house, but a nice-sized room often isn’t overly large. You’ll be able to fit in the basics to a nice-sized home, but there won’t be tonnes of room left over.
  • Larger than it looks! – At first glance, again this home might not break the bank on exterior measurements, but layout has probably been optimized to maximize what square footage there is.
  • Basement potential

  • Basement potential – In a word; unfinished. The nice thing though is that most times the height of the basement ceiling should be high enough to potentially finish the space to create livable space with a little work.
  • Unspoiled – Similar to the above entry, “unspoiled” means that the described item is original to the house. No work has been done to it either properly or to mar the historical aspect of it. Mold this “unspoiled” item to your own designs!
  • Classic – Anything that is “classic”, usually also translates to it being old. Whether it is a classic neighbourhood with older homes dating back a century or more, or classic features, like crown mold or wide base boards, you can bet that you won’t be finding these classic features on a newly built model.

What are you looking for in a house?

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

The Royal LePage 2012 President’s Gold Award

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