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Do you need new gutters?

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Gutters are not something most Toronto homeowners think about – except for the twice yearly cleaning. However, they are the kind of architectural element that is vitally important to the health of your home. 

Purpose of gutters

Gutters are meant to catch all water run-off and channel it away from your home. Water can cause significant damage to homes if left unchecked. It can ruin foundations, destroy paint jobs and cause mold to thrive. Water is one of the most destructive elements and it is necessary to protect your home from the damage it can cause. 

Spotting gutter problems 

It is usually quite easy to sport issues with your gutters. There are a few telltale signs that yours are in need of either repair or replacement. Firstly, most gutters have a 20 year lifespan. Copper gutters can last up to 50 years. If yours are nearing the end of their life, it is best to be on the lookout for these signs:

  • Cracks or fractures
  • Gaps
  • Sags
  • Rust

Cracks or fractures can be very tiny or large enough to see easily. Gaps are usually caused by sections that have rotted away or fallen due to seams coming loose. Sags are weak points where water and debris collect and are a precursor to breaks. Rust is obviously not good as it will lead to holes and gaps in your gutters. 

Other telltale signs 

Aside from the above, there are other less obvious signs that your gutters are an issue. 

  • Paint peeling on the side of your house
  • Mold in your basement
  • Foundation problems
  • Soil erosion 
  • Water damage marks

Peeling paint is usually due to moisture build-up. While modern paints are designed to withstand moisture, if there is too much of it, the paint will peel. Mold is another common result of problematic gutters – especially in basements. And, if water is allowed to build up around your foundation long enough to cause mold, it will usually impact your foundation as well. If you find spots where the soil around your home seems to be uneven and depressed, it likely means that there is a leak from your gutter that is causing the soil to erode. Lastly, if your home shows any signs of water damage, such as wet spots or discoloration, you should have your gutters checked for issues. 

Cost of changing your gutters

If you do need to change your gutters, the cost can vary greatly based on the type of gutter you want and the material it is made from. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15-$35 per linear foot. 

Gutters might not be the most showiest home reno you could do, but it is one of the more important ones. And, once done, it will protect your home for years to come.

Freshen up for spring

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With the sun lingering longer in the skies each day and the warming temperatures, springtime in Toronto is clearly just around the corner. What better way to greet the change of season than by freshening up your home? 

Spring clean

The first way to brighten any residence is to do a thorough cleaning. Getting rid of the clutter that invariably accumulates through the winter, dusting way the gloom of the cold weather and freshening up the air by opening windows will set the stage for the next coming season. 

Little changes, big impact

There’s no need to spend a lot of money to make a big difference in your living space. All it needs is a bit of creativity and some good accessories. By adding splashes of colour and changing up small items in your décor, you can give your home a vibrant, new outlook. 


Throw pillows are a great way to change the look of your living space. By simply replacing your existing pillows with colourful florals, bright patterns or bold colours, you can make your sofa or bed look completely different. 


You read that right – scented candles can make a home ripe with a winter’s worth of living smell like sunshine. The right fragrances can turn your home into a fresh garden, a pine-forest or even a breezy seaside – the right scent will be what works best for you. 

Throw blankets

These handy accessories are beautiful and functional! Not only can a well-chosen throw blanket add depth and texture to a room, it also serves to keep you cosy if you get a chill. 

Fresh blooms

Lastly, one of the best ways to bring spring into your home is through fresh cut blossoms. A lively bouquet of spring flowers is a great way of incorporating the best of the season into your dwelling and adding cheer to any setting. 

With your home ready for the spring, you can head into the warmer months with a lighter heart and a residence reflecting the cheerfulness of the season.

The advantages of buying now

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Toronto home buyers have a challenging decision ahead of them in 2023 – to buy now or wait until the market settles? There are several questions that will help determine your best course of action. Let’s take a look at the three key factors to consider before venturing into the current housing market. 

How much of a down payment have you saved?

Given the high interest rates, having as big of a down payment as you can is the best way to mitigate large mortgage payments. If you had planned on using only part of the money you had saved up on a down payment and wanted to reserve the rest for renovations to your new place, the wiser option right now is to put down as much as possible up front and to save up again for renovations. Why pay interest on more money than necessary?

Will you be living in your home long-term?

If the answer to this question is “yes” then anytime is the right time to buy a house. If your plan is to buy and stay, then any market considerations are nominal. Long-term home buyers will always come out ahead in the long run, so long as they are able to meet the immediate demands of high interest rates. 

Do you have good credit?

Good credit means better interest rates on your mortgage. If you have good credit then you will be in a good position to negotiate with your lender. People with good credit are always attractive to lenders as they are a safer bet than people with low credit scores.  

If you have answered these three questions and find that you have enough money saved up, you will be living in the home long-term and you have good credit – then buying a house now makes sense. 

Some advantages to buying now include:

You will start building equity in your home right away. 

You can take advantage of the lower home prices – in some neighbourhoods thirty percent lower year-over-year!

You are in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiating on the sale with sellers.

Regardless of what you decide, having an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent is key – especially now. A good agent will be able to walk you through your options, find you the best houses in your chosen neighborhood and help you make informed decisions.

Maximizing your chalet’s potential

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Whether you already own a chalet in the beautiful Ontario, north-country or whether you are looking to get into the market, having a country-place to which you can escape every weekend is a great way to have the best of city living and country solitude. However, if the thought of financially maintaining two households seems overwhelming, don’t despair! There are realistic ways of helping your bottom line by renting your chalet out when it isn’t being used. 

Determining usage

First, figure out whether you want to use your chalet every weekend or only sporadically through the year. Create a calendar where you block off the times you will be using it. The rest of the days can be made available for short term rental. Naturally, to maximize the amount of revenue you can make from the property, the prime vacation times should be left open for rentals – such as over the winter holidays and at the summer peak. In many instances, just those two peak periods of the year would bring in enough revenue to cover the costs of maintaining your chalet year-round. 

Make it attractive

To make your chalet rental more attractive to potential renters, it is important to offer them incentives that others don’t. If there are lots of place to enjoy outdoor activities, make sure that you have the gear they would need to partake in those activities without having to rent them. You can include items such as:

  • Snowshoes
  • Toboggans
  • Canoes/paddles/lifejackets
  • Fishing rods
  • Bikes and helmets

Make it easy

Having the gear is one thing, but leaving information on the local attractions is also a very good idea. If you have access to trails – have those maps handy. If there are bike paths nearby – have those maps ready as well. If there is a great Farmer’s Market every Saturday in the summer, make sure that your guests are aware of it and know how to get there! Your guests will thank you for it and remember their visit fondly. 

Make it convenient

At some point most people have been on vacation and realized that they have forgotten something essential – toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc… While hotels will have these supplies available to purchase, in a cabin rental situation those amenities are usually harder to come by. Why not make a little kit that includes a small tube of toothpaste, skin/body care products and an extra toothbrush, so that guests have access to them if needed? It is a nice gesture that doesn’t cost very much and if a guest does need it, they will remember you fondly because of it. 

Renting out your Ontario cabin is a great way to have your cake and eat it too. If the idea of maintaining two houses scares you, renting one out to help defray the cost of the other is a safe and effective way of achieving your cottage goal

January sales

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Welcome back! For our first post of the year, we wanted to cover the merits of buying a house in January. 

Buying a home in Toronto has been a competitive sport over the past two decades. With the rise of interest rates in 2022 the market finally started to cool and the pendulum started to swing back in favor of buyers over sellers. If you have been wanting to buy a house but are hesitant about the best time to do so, then despite the current high interest rates, January is probably the month to finally make a purchase. 

January slump

Toronto home sales in January are always very low. There are several reasons for this:

  • Buyers don’t want to face the cold when shopping for a house.
  • January tends to be the month buyers need to recover from the Holiday expenses and are not looking to spend more money right away. 
  • Homes are not seen at their best – landscaping is often covered by snow and house showings to require more effort to keep clean.  

As a result, listings tend to sit for longer and prices are often much lower than during other times of the year. Depending on how long a listing has been sitting on the market sellers are also more inclined to accept a lower offer. 

Housing cycle

Toronto housing sales start picking up again in February. Prices begin increasing through the spring and usually hit their peak during the summer months. They then taper off again starting in the fall until things really slow down for the end of the year. 

With analysts expecting interest rates to remain high through 2023, it is not worth waiting for rates to fall again if you require a home this year. In fact, January is probably when you can maximize the value for your investment. 

If you decide that, yes, now is the right time, then just be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage before beginning your search. Determine the area(s) you want to target and hire a realtor who is familiar with those neighbourhoods. Next, set a price range so you don’t waste time looking at properties you can’t afford. And, make a list of the must-haves and the nice-to-haves. By narrowing your search to what you truly want/need, you will be able to find the right home for you, at the right price and in the perfect location. 

In the end, instead of trying to time the housing market, make decisions based on your personal circumstances. If you are expecting to live in the home long-term, then interest rates don’t really matter as long as you are locked into an amount you can afford. And, once rates start going down you can always renegotiate for a better rate.

Holiday Closure Dates 2022/23

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Holiday Closure Dates 2022/23

Tis’ the season to be Jolly! Fa la la la la, la la la la. We would like to inform you that Imaginahome will be closing for the holidays on Dec 23rd at 4:30pm and will be opening Jan 3rd, 2023.

In the event you would like to book an appointment for Jan 3rd, please email your request to [email protected] before 3pm on Dec 31st and someone will get back to you that day.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Holiday as well as a prosperous New Year!

Holiday ready!

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With the holidays just around the corner preparations are most likely in full swing. We’ve compiled a few handy tips to help you properly prepare your Toronto home for the guests, the gifts and the general celebrations of the season. 


Preparations for the holidays usually start on the inside of people’s homes. The deep cleaning and decluttering tend to be understood when it comes to getting your Toronto home ready to receive guests. But, making sure that your driveway, walkway or any path leading to an entrance are all ready. Shoveling any snow, getting rid of ice and making sure that there is enough illumination so people can see easily are all very important. So, make sure to change any burnt out light bulbs, melt the ice and hang some festive decorations to make your entrance even more inviting. 


Putting up holiday decor normally involved festive lights and trees. If you have lights and a tree up, be smart about how everything is wired and plugged in. Be sure to have the proper power bars or surge protectors to prevent potential electrical issues. Also make sure that any live trees are not placed close to dry heating sources or too close to electrical outlets to avoid potential fire hazards. 


If you have pets and you will be entertaining guests with known pet allergies, then cleaning and vacuuming with a machine that has a hepa filter is a good idea. Hepa filters are very good at reducing particulate matter like dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold spores in the air. Getting rid of as many allergens as possible will make your home friendlier to those who suffer from allergies. 

Scented candles

Use scented candles to freshen the air so that your home always smells fresh in case of unexpected guests. There are a number of seasonal scents that will even lend themselves really well to making your Toronto home “smell” like the holidays. Scents that include mulled wine, cinnamon and/or pine/fir in their composition are all wonderful for the holiday season. 

The holidays are a wonderful time of year and we, at the Imaginahome team, hope that you and yours have a truly enchanting and magical festive season and we wish you all the very best for the coming year!

To buy or not?

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Toronto homebuyers have shown a recent reluctance to hit the market. With interest rates currently higher than they have been in decades, the rising cost of living and a potential recession on the horizon, it is seems natural to question whether to wade into the housing market now or wait to see whether the price drops have stabilized. 

There are a few things to consider if you are in this position and we’ll delve a little bit into each one. 

How urgent is your need for a home?

If you are on the market because your apartment lease is up and you need to find a new place to live and you are either unwilling to continue renting or unable to find a new rental, then regardless of the market conditions, finding a home to live in is necessary. In such a situation, negotiating the best deal possible is the most advisable route to take. However, if you are able to wait and there is no real urgency to find a new living situation, then holding off might be a better idea. We’ll discuss why a little further in this article. 

If prices drop further and you find yourself paying more than your house is currently worth on the market – will that bother you?

If you are purchasing a property to live in long term, then having the cost of the house drop below your current mortgage shouldn’t be an issue as such a drop would be temporary. Although being in such a position might be unpleasant, you can rest assured that prices will rise eventually and return to what they were. However, if you are planning on only remaining in a home purchased now for a brief period, then you might want to consider renting in the short term. As prices are likely to drop further – in some areas more than others, if you are averse to being in such a position, then waiting for prices to stabilize is the better option for you. 

Do you prefer paying more for your mortgage or paying more in interest? 

The final consideration on whether to buy a Toronto home this year or to wait, is whether you prefer having a smaller mortgage with more interest or a larger mortgage with lower interest. In the end, it might work out to be almost the same thing, but the reality is this: interest rates are likely to rise again. The Bank of Canada is set to announce another potential rate hike on Dec 07, 2022. Should this happen, depending on the hike announced, the interest being paid on mortgages by homeowners will increase quite significantly. If you have a locked-in rate, then you might not be affected by any future announcements but, if not, then you have to factor in the rate as it might affect how much house you can afford. 

Heading into the housing market in the current climate is not as risk-free as it has been for the last two decades. However, real estate is still a solid investment for anyone wanting to build a nest egg in something tangible. 

Is it worth building a green home?

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The Encyclopedia Britannica describes green architecture as, “the philosophy of architecture that advocates sustainable energy sources, the conservation of energy, the reuse and safety of building materials, and the siting of a building with consideration of its impact on the environment.”  

Green architecture in Toronto and elsewhere has come a long way in nearly a decade. 

What were once seen as the domain of alternative lifestyles, green homes have gained enough ground to almost be considered main-stream. Larger numbers of builders are now incorporating green architecture philosophies in their plans and larger numbers of homebuyers are demanding better green options. 

But is it really worth building a fully green home?

Green homes generally have the following attributes:

  • passive envelopes
  • renewable energy options 
  • water capture features
  • natural wastewater treatment for reuse in non-potable functions
  • living, reflective or adobe style roofs
  • repurpose existing materials
  • use recycled materials
  • compostable sewage options

If you want a home that gives off zero emissions and that generates its own energy, then yes, it is definitely worth building green. Although it might cost you more up front, the cost savings you’ll see by producing your own energy will certainly off-set the initial investment in the long run. And, now with rising energy costs, more homebuyers are becoming curious about renewable energy sources. 

Should you decide to go the green route, make sure you hire the proper installers/builders. There are now architectural firms specialized in green home design and construction. Using someone who knows what they are doing will maximize the efficiency of your design and how your home is built. Even if you simply want to retrofit your existing home with solar panels or install a wind capture machine, using the proper company to help you get the right combination of passive energy sources is very important. 

Once you have all of that in place, you will greatly reduce your footprint and even increase the value of your home.

October decluttering

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October is nearing its end and that signals that it’s time for a more in-depth cleaning of your Toronto home to really get ready for the winter months. Since winter can be a time of hoarding for many people, it is important to go into the cold season prepared with plenty of space to spare. 

Junk drawers

We all have junk drawers that seem to pile up with random doo-dads that don’t have any other spot in the house. Instead of just piling more “stuff” into this drawer – or drawers, if you have more than one! Now is the time to sort through the accumulated items and get rid of what is truly unnecessary and find proper places to store those items you do deem worthy of saving. 

Other drawers

While your Toronto home’s junk drawer is the most obvious place to start with your deep clean, it should end there – now is the time to tackle all of the drawers in your home and to throw out everything old, unneeded and unnecessary. Chances are very high that once you have organized your drawers, you won’t even miss what they contained. If you have old tea towels, cleaning rags, aprons, dish cloths, etc… fall is a great time to weed out the really used and only keep those that you use. 

Cupboards and pantries

Cupboards can get just as full and messy as drawers. When going through cupboards or pantries, make sure to throw away any past-good foods, medications, creams or ointments. Keep only those items that still have a decent shelf-life remaining and those items that you actually use. Too many of us collect things that we mean to use, but never actually do because it would be out of our habit to do so. Take the time to acknowledge this and then let go of them. 

Storage rooms

If you have a storage room then you know just how full and cluttered it can get. Again, you need to be merciless when decluttering. And, if you are having trouble letting go of something, look at it this way: if you died tomorrow – would anyone else in your home want it? If the answer is no, and you no longer need/use it, then just get rid of it. The sentimental attachments we form to “stuff” only mean something to us. And, if we no longer see it the same way, then it is time to let go of it. 

What to do with your extra “stuff” 

If the stuff you want to get rid of is still in good shape and usable, consider donating them to goodwill. You can also recycle them via organizations that repurpose old furniture, clothing and goods. If it is really old and dilapidated, 

By the time the real cold weather hits you will be very glad to have an organized and uncluttered space for enjoying the warmth.