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MARCH 2015

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FASHIONABLE DÉCOR IN “STREET” STYLE CUSTOM DESIGN If you consider wallpaper boring and painted walls gloomy, graffiti can become a perfect solution. Moreover, graffiti does not require special expenses while it presents unlimited opportunities to manifest your artistic imagination. Having decided on this kind of décor do not be afraid to give rein to your creativity. Before applying graffiti, try to visualize the end result. If you plan to make a drawing on the entire surface of the wall, it is necessary to paint it white first.

CONCEALING PROBLEMS Graffiti can be applied on virtually any surface from bare concrete to mirror, decorative plaster, paint, metal, wood or plastic. Volumetric images have a unique ability to hide all the bumps, cracks and surface flaws.

CREATING HARMONY Graffiti can create various impressions. They can be flashy, stormy and vivid or become merely a convenient backdrop pleas-

ing to the eye and not distracting from the general look but rather complementing it.

EMPHASIZING PREFERENCES The subject of graffiti depends largely on the room you want to transform. A fairytale theme or cartoons are suitable for a nursery, still life, fruit and vegetables, or steaming cup of coffee, for the kitchen and an image creating a boudoir chic, for the bedroom. You can turn your living room either into an industrial warehouse or a palace using an appropriate graffiti theme. A 3D graffiti is a truly unique and very complex school of street art. After all, 3D drawings create an illusion of the presence of the depicted object in the room. Altering the space they make something that does not exist seem real. The image looks volumetric and its characters seem to be walking out of the picture. Yet, do not forget that 3D graffiti have a trompe-l’œil effect only at a certain angle. Therefore, think through the composition in such a way that it looks its best from the entrance door.

The art of graffiti originated in the streets of New York in the 1920s. For a long time, it was considered nothing more than a street hooliganism. Graffiti artists were tracked down and fined. It used to take the “masters” just a few minutes to cover the walls of a subway car or a building with their art and hide to avoid public rage. These events are long gone. Today, graffiti has acquired a new status and become a fashionable style in interior design. Professionals create real masterpieces making home interiors trendy and unique. A wall drawing in this style will not only make your place bright and memorable but also solve a number of décor problems.

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These are the styles where decorative possibilities of concrete get their full play. Of course, there is a place for concrete finishing in more classic interiors, but this needs a very delicate taste and great skill to keep the look balanced. Apartments where a concrete finish is used will not tolerate congestion; all furniture and accessories should be functional and concise. The greyness of bare concrete walls should be carefully offset by bright paintings, textiles, and unusual design objects. Soften the dreary cold of concrete by a warm wood texture. Despite the raw look of concrete in the interior in reality it is usually treated with a special solution before being used for decorative purposes. It may also be slightly tinted without disguising its natural texture, especially in the cases when it turns out to be too dark for a particular décor.

CONCRETE AS DECORATING MATERIAL A few decades ago concrete was meant to be concealed by various means including wallpaper, plaster or paint. Leaving it exposed was unthinkable and even more ridiculous would have seemed an idea that exposed concrete may become a real highlight of the décor that would set the tone for the whole interior style? Yet, today this kind of décor is at the peak of popularity!

Untreated concrete in interior design can look striking - but only in fairly spacious rooms; it is not recommended for smaller spaces. Still, if you have set your heart on the use of concrete in your interior décor prefer imitation and not the real thing. A look of concrete can be simulated with the help of micro-concrete or plaster.

It is important to note that everyday existence among exposed concrete walls, ceiling or floor is not for everyone; such decorative solutions may be congenial with very creative people and lovers of experimenting while people with a traditional taste are likely to feel very uncomfortable when surrounded by bare concrete. Therefore, even though concrete as decorative material is trendy don’t rush to use it in decorating your place. Better trust the knowledge and experience of a professional designer who will tell you whether the concrete finish is suitable in your individual case.

Concrete is most often used in such styles as industrial, high-tech, or minimalism.

Bare concrete walls used to be associated in most people’s minds only with the initial stage of renovation. Nevertheless, there are numerous bold and creative solutions for wall design where concrete is not the basis for but a type of finish. It looks really fantastic assuming that the rest of the decorating style is in harmony with it.

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PICTURE MATTING terms, the mat is a contrasting color “fringe” around your image. The mat can be subtle, about 5 cm wide or substantial, 10, 15 or even 30 cm. Its size is defined only by your taste and preferences.

HOW TO CHOOSE A MAT? There are a few different ways to choose a mat. №1: Often the mat is the same width on all four sides, but it is not a must. You can make mounting more interesting with a mat wider at the bottom. This is the most advantageous side to emphasize the beauty of your picture without distorting its perception. №2: Ideally, the mat has to be of the colour contrasting to both the frame and the image. That is, if the frame is black and the photo is black and white use a white mat. Certainly you can make it bright green if you are prone to extremes. №3: A transparent mat or rather its absence is an innovative solution. In a glass frame it acquires the colour of the wall behind it.

Decorating is one of the most important stages in interior design. It enables the room to take on its personality and individuality that are absent in a recently renovated place. Decorating walls is one of the most important processes. You can use paintings, posters, tapestries or virtually anything. Yet the most popular way to decorate walls is to do it with framed pictures. These can be photographs of your family, landscapes, abstract paintings, children’s art, or prints.

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№4: Another solution is a one-colour mat. Particularly advantageous is the look of a white mat. This is yet another pleasant exception that affirms the rules described above.

HOW TO MAKE A MAT? Option 1: Use a Framing Shop. Bring a picture and a frame. The shop specialists will help you choose the colour of the mat, cut it out of very heavy cardboard and join its edges diagonally. Option 2: Make the mat with your own hands. This option is appropriate if the picture will be glass covered.

WHAT IS A MAT?

In this case, simply insert into the frame a sheet of thick white paper and then carefully place the picture in the center of it (you can fasten it with the help of a dry glue pencil).

A mat is a little secret that will add expressiveness to your framed images. In simple

Of course be sure to take the appropriate measurements.

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Creating a Guest Room Most modern houses and large apartments have a spare room that is usually used as a guest room. It is a room where, ideally, friends and relatives staying in your home feel comfortable enough to enjoy their stay. As a rule, a guest room is furnished with a bed or sofa bed, a desk and chair for reading or working, a dresser, TV, etc. Often a guest room has its own bathroom where your house guest can at any time use the washroom or shower without inconveniencing the host.

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The guest room is very important for the overall image of your home. Its design defines the impression your guests will have of you as a host. Do not allow the guest room to have a dreary appearance or be too cramped and uncomfortable. Do not convert the guest room into a storage for old furniture that you cannot bring yourself to part with if you don’t want to offend your guests. Its furniture does not have to be expensive, but it does need to be comfortable and pleasant. If your budget allows it you can create a truly luxurious guest room not inferior to the design of the master bedroom or the living room. However, there is nothing awful in a guest room looking a bit simpler

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than the rest of the house. Just make sure to use finishing materials, furniture and fixtures of good quality. When designing the guest room you can follow your own taste and preferences but the best solution would be “neutral” design reminiscent of a hotel room, which will allow almost any guest to feel comfortable. Also, no matter how great the guest room design is, it will be of no matter if the guest does not receive basic necessities. Among the vital supplies are fresh bed linens, a clean bathrobe, slippers and pajamas as well as such amenities as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.

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PENTHOUSE CONDO 1600 SQ.FT. JANE & RUTHERFORD GORGEOUS, COMPLETELY UPGRADED 2 SPLIT LARGE BDR, 3-WSHR, 1600 SQ.FT PENTHOUSE! $$ SPENT ON UPGRDS. 10 Ft FLAT CEILINGS. ENGINEERING HARDWOOD FLOORS THROUGHOUT. POTLIGHTS. 2 HUGE BALCONIES. FOUR EXITS TO BALCONIES. GRAND LIVING/DINING ROOM. UPGRD KITCHEN WITH W/O TO BALCONY. MASTER W/LARGE W/I CLOSET & LARGE ENSUITE WITH 2 UNDERMOUNT SINKS, SEPAR GLASS SHOWER STALL WITH RAIN SHOWER HEAD, BIDET. 2ND BDRM W/EXIT TO BALCONY, W/I CLOSET & ENSUITE. LOCKER, TWO PARKINGS. STATE OF THE ART BUILDING! CANNOT FIND ANYTHING LIKE THAT!

CONDO. STEELES & BATHURST LOCATION!!! PRIMROSE COMPLEX! Very spacious & bright 2-bdr + solarium, 2-wshr unit in luxury complex. About 1200 SqFt. Solarium can be used as 3rd bdrm or office. Excellent floor plan. Nice living & dining room. New high quality laminated floors. Large separate kitchen with breakfast area & window. S/S appliances. Large master with W/I closet & 3-pc ensuite. Very spacious laundry room. Mirrored closet. Gym, sauna, outdoor pool & tennis crt. Steps to plazas, shopping, park, community centre, transit. Asking $339,900

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BATHURST & CENTRE Completely renovated & beautifully decorated 1-bdr, 1-wshr unit, 600 SqFt (largest 1-bdr in the building). Everything is done! FLAT CEILINGS, mouldings, freshly painted. Wood floors throughout. New beautiful ceramic in kitchen and hall. Upgraded kitchen with custom b/splash, granite, new S/S appliances (with high class slide-in stove & hood). New front load washer & dryer. Custom draperies. Completely renovated bath with all new vanities, b/splash, faucets. New modern lighting. Looks great! Excellent facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, etc). Steps to Promenade Plaza, Walmart, Shoppers, restaurants & transit.

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CENTRE & NEW WESTMINSTER FREE HOLD! 3+1-bdr, 4-wshr townhouse, about 1700 SqFt with FINISHED BASEMENT. Open concept practical layout. High ceilings, hardwood floors. Cozy family room with fireplace. Large dining room. Large bedrooms. Excellent area with excellent schools around. Steps to park, Promenade Mall, schools, etc. Asking $629,000

DUFFERIN & RUTHERFORD STUNNING RAVINE LOT & W/O BASEMENT! New & executive 5+1-bdr, 4-wshr beautiful house with lots of upgrades! Top of the line finishes throughout! Open concept. High ceilings. Den on main level. Hardwood floors, mouldings, potlights. Gourmet kitchen with granite, b/splash, S/S appliances. Marble counters in all baths. Closet organizers & much more... Asking $1,288,000

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Do it yourself – STONE VENEER “FEATURE WALL”

Peter Khatami

Peter is Senior Project Manager and Co-Owner of Nostco Construction, a Design/Build company serving residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. Peter prides himself in working tirelessly on his clients’ behalf to bring vision to construction reality.

#1. Pick a wall in your house/office that you would like to “turn into stone”. This will typically be a wall that is prominently located and is a focal point of the room. #2. Remove anything that is sticking beyond the flat surface of the wall. This may include wall sconces, electrical faceplate covers, pictures, etc. If there is something that you are not sure about, consult a professional. These will be re-mounted later.

www.NOSTCO.com

If you are looking for a “high impact”, beginner level D.I.Y. project to upgrade your home or office, this may be the ticket! I love rock. Nothing says “timeless” like the natural beauty found in rocks. Granite, Marble, Quartz, Travertine, Limestone, Slate… it’s all beautiful. Our relationship with rocks literally dates back to the Stone Age. In this modern day and age of drywall, laminate, medium density fibreboard and plastics adorning the bulk of the square footage of most homes, there is something to be said for the visual and sensual impact of solid building materials. The best parts of this project are that: A) You don’t have to demolish anything B) You don’t need many tools D) You don’t have to spend a lot of money… In order to bring the beauty of stone into your home just follow these simple steps (It’s easier than you might think).

#6. Rent a wet-tile-saw for a day to make the cuts, then simply apply the stone veneer to

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#7. Grout the joints by either using regular tile grout or type “N” mortar. Sometimes, you won’t even need to grout, depending on the stone. And you are done! One person could “stone” a 10-15 linear foot wall within a weekend, start to finish, with minimal tools. Expect to pay around $10$20/sq.ft on average for the stone/brick and around $300 for building materials and saw rental. If you have any questions, don’t be shy and give me a call. I’ll be glad to walk you through it!

#4. Apply a layer of “scratch coat” mortar onto the surface of the lath. You can find bags of scratch coat in the tile isle, not far from where you found the lath. Simply mix it with water in a bucket until you have a workable consistency, and then apply it to the surface of the lath uniformly using a trowel, until you have an even and flat surface. Allow to cure for 1 day. #5. Choose a stone or brick veneer. The great news is that you have lots of options. Check local retailers.

C) You don’t need a lot of skill

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#3. If the wall is drywall then apply metal lath onto the surface of the wall. Metal lath typically comes in sheets measuring 27” x 8’, and can be found in the tile isle of most major building suppliers (Home Depot, Lowes, Rona, etc.). You can even bend or fold them and fit them in your car. Attach them to the surface of the wall using pan head nails or screws that penetrate the wall studs. Make sure that the lath is installed “right side up”, as indicated by the angle of the “honeycombs”. If the wall is already stone or brick and relatively flat, you can skip this step.

the prepped wall with standard mortar mix (same isle as the lath and scratch coat) using a trowel. Cut stone as required.

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A Walk-in Fashion Oasis later.... we are finally ready to go out, still not sure if we look 100% the way we would like to. Marilyn Monroe quipped, “I told you, I’ll be ready in five minutes, stop asking me every half an hour”.

If you are like me or most women and well groomed men, you understand that getting ready to leave home requires major planning. First find the right outfit... then the right shoes,... purse to match, ... accessories to spice it all up.... oh wait, accessories don’t match the shoes, the purse is fine, .... go back and look for another pair of shoes.... and about 45 minutes to maybe 2 hours

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The only thing that could make the process much easier is the right closet design. A walk-in closet that is accurately custom designed and constructed to your specific needs and requirements as well as properly installed could really make a difference in our daily dressing routine.

out, dress and play without making a mess. It is where you spend an hour or more each day; therefore, it needs to be convenient, attractive and above all functional. In terms of fashion, everyone’s different. For this reason a walk-in closet that belongs

I always say “first impressions are everything, and it is your outfit that determines the way you present yourself, so take care of your fashion investments by building the right storage system for them.” I design my clients’ walk-in closet as an oasis. The design should give you enough room to see everything you have at a glance, pick

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to you should be custom designed for your unique fashion style. Some women wear more dresses than others, some like skirts better than pants, some men only wear suits, some like to keep it casual, the amount of shoes we have, the variety of our accessories - all this has to be considered when designing a custom closet. If the closet is going to be shared with a partner, each should have their own side. An island that has drawers, whether placed in the middle or, as I prefer it, pushed to the side is necessary to store personal items. Keep in mind that the primary function of the closet is storage and there are a few basics that should be included. You will need an area for shoes, a space to hang dresses and coats, shelves for purses. Your delicates should get special attention too. A minimum of one floor-toceiling mirror is an absolute requirement for any walk-in closet. What kind of materials are you looking for? Remember that in a closet design material is as important as the design itself. The materials and the hardware that are used in your closet have to be able to handle the everyday use and abuse of the cabinetry. I always tell my clients that the one thing they shouldn’t cheap out on is the material and especially the hardware used in the closet.

Lighting is very important. You definitely do not want to pick out a black blouse, walk out and then realize that you’re wearing navy. I always use different types of lighting in a walk-in closet including a few recessed halogen lights; a floor lamp and a dimmer are always a good idea. A seat is a must in a walk-in closet. Besides offering comfort for your dressing routine it also serves as a place to put your outfits on while organizing your clothes. Technicality, the right specifications and proper understanding of all your needs and requirements are the basic steps in designing your closet. Hiring the right designer with vast custom closet design experience can be an extremely

good investment and would help you avoid costly mistakes. 5 Tips in designing a custom closet: • A full length mirror is a must. A double or three way mirror is an even greater idea. • Have a wardrobe tower, if your ceiling and the closet are higher than 7 foot. • An island with drawers or a table with baskets underneath, would allow for extra space for your delicates. • Leave space for a laundry basket. • Incorporate a comfortable chair or any other type of seating. • Ensure adequate lighting so you can see your clothing properly.

AISAN AHMADI TORONTO-BASED PRINCIPAL DESIGNER with Creative Group Interiors. The firm designs large & small scale spaces and provides distinctive and uniquely personal interiors for both residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA www.creativegroupinteriors.com

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Tiffany Lamps greatly surpassed those of old Medieval masterpieces.

Tiffany lamps were named after their creator, a renowned artist, designer and an outstanding glass manufacturer Louis Comfort Tiffany - a son of a goldsmith and the founder of Tiffany & CO Charles Tiffany. In the late 1800s, Louis who made the craft of stained glass his lifework came up with a new technique that has changed the world of stained glass forever. A thin copper strip replaced the rough lead profile and the new technology of treating the design elements produced airy lines and details that

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Lampshades were made from the shards of glass left over from the company’s main line which was manufacturing stained glass windows for churches and temples. The new products have immediately made a splash and gained unprecedented popularity. Most lamps made with the designer’s own hands have not survived to the present day, and those that have are now contained in museums and private collections of which the most impressive is the world’s largest collection of jewelry and glassware by Tiffany in New York Metropolitan Museum. Another notable collection of Tiffany lamps has been gathered by the Neustadt family. Today, lamps and lighting fixtures created with Tiffany technology are still in great demand despite new trends and technical innovations in interior design.

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How to Make Money on Real Estate

MAXIM BAGINSKIY REAL ESTATE BROKER/ INVESTMENT ADVISOR

WWW.REMLIS.CA / 416-832-8343 Right at Home Realty Brokerage Inc. 905-695-7888

Many of you have often wondered how to get out of the vicious circle in which in order to meet the evergrowing cost of living one has to work ever more. Is it possible to make money come your way without such efforts? The answer is actually quite simple; yes, there are ways to create a situation where, instead of you working for money you make money work for you. It is not complicated - start investing today and, 10 years from now, you will be totally free; the passive income you will be receiving will help you break out of the proverbial vicious circle. Investing in real estate is a snowball that exponentially grows with time. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you have $10,000 and set a goal to double the amount every year? In just over 10 years your capital will reach the mark of more than 10 million dollars. Not likely? Yet it is true. This is what happens with real estate investments. Novice investors cannot even imagine the heights they can reach within 10, 15 or 20 years if everything is done correctly. Here is an interesting fact. Let’s look at Canadian real estate prices for the past 50 years, with all their sharp ups and downs, long periods of stagnation and slow recoveries of the market. The graph of all these fluctuations will show the average appreciation of real estate at about 6% per year. It does not mean that in 10 years the price of your property rises by 60%; it increases by 6% each year, and this is a big difference. This phenomenon is not unique to Canada; most developed countries show similar performance. Besides, this is the most reliable form of investment since, unlike the stock market and other types of investments, your money is not invested in a business that may go bankrupt any time but is backed by a real object. And most importantly, it is the total value of real estate that grows while all that is required from you is to make an initial contribution of 10-20%. No other type of investment gives you a chance to operate with hundreds of thousands of dollars having invested only a small percentage of the total cost. There are many different strategies of investing in real estate; each of them has its pros and cons. Today, I would like to focus on one of them, the most promising in my opinion, proven over the years, bringing investors a very good profit and, most importantly, the

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one that is safe and that yields an end result of guaranteed passive income. We are talking investing in a condo apartment at a very early stage of construction. The condition of obtaining maximum return on such an investment is making a correct choice based on such factors as location, developer, major infrastructure projects planned in the area in the near future, etc. In addition, try to buy an apartment in the primary sales, when prices are lower and sales conditions, much better. And of course you need to purchase the best apartments in the project, taking into consideration the number of floors, layouts and views. Another very important point is that your money should not be tied to a certain period of time; you need to be able to keep it in as long as it takes to achieve the highest return. Real estate prices fluctuate but if the acquired property when rented covers its own running cost and still pays a certain amount per month for the repayment of the loan, you are completely safe. Real estate values will inevitably correct themselves, catching up with any losses and surpassing them. I have no doubt that in the coming years the rate of growth for condo apartment prices in downtown Toronto will be quite high. Yet, to be on the safe side, one needs to accurately assess the purchase price against rental rates in the area. Ideally, from the rent income you should be able to cover loan payments, real estate taxes, and maintenance fees plus have a couple of hundred dollars left over. Let’s look at some numbers to see how your money works in a rental situation. A one-bedroom apartment in a good area of Toronto is currently about $350 000. With a downpayment of 20% monthly mortgage payments will be $1100 of which about $450 goes towards reducing the principle amount; the maintenance fee is $320 and real estate taxes are approximately $180 per month. Thus, the total monthly outlay is about $1600. You can rent this apartment out for at least $1800 a month. Therefore, each month you are repaying $450 of the amount of your credit and get $200 of clear income. This amounts to $7800 per year. A downpayment of 20% is $70,000; you will also need about $8000 for closing costs. This places the return on money invested at a 10% per annum, even at the most pessimistic scenario I offered above. In reality the ROI (return on investment) with the 20% downpayment is usually higher. Remember that upon the sale of the apartment you will also receive ROI in the amount of the positive difference in price of your property. And since the latter ROI represents capital gain rather than income one half of this amount is not subject to income tax. As I mentioned above, the projected return on the investment made is calculated on the basis of the averaged percentage price increase for the past 50 years (6% per year). Therefore, if the value of the property is $350,000 it

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makes you another $21,000 per year, which raises the return on investment up to 35% per year. Now let’s calculate the return on the money invested as a deposit to purchase an apartment at the preconstruction phase. Usually the developer requires a deposit of 15-20% of project cost, which has to be made in three or four stages within 1 to 2 years. As a VIP broker working with most developers in Toronto I usually manage to obtain price discounts for my clients as well as a lower required deposit of 10% of the project cost. Accordingly, for purchasing a $350,000 apartment at the initial phase of construction you will need $35,000. An average term of condo construction in downtown Toronto is about three years. Accordingly, given the 6% averaged price increase the worth of such an apartment at the project completion will be about $415,000. Therefore, the $35,000 you have invested will bring a return of over 60% annually. Besides, I keep tracking the development plans of the city to select projects in areas where major infrastructural changes are planned for the nearest future and where besides the overall price increase in the condo market we will also see additional positive dynamics in the area. This often raises the return on investment up to 100 percent or more annually. I recommend to my clients to buy two units in the project, with one apartment assigned at the end of the construction, which means reselling the contract. Since the price at the closing is higher than the one paid at the initial stage, the difference can be fully or partially transferred to the first apartment with a view to closing the deal with a 20% downpayment. The apartment is then rented out and a year later you can refinance the loan and get back the money invested and part of the profits. Consequently, you get an apartment that brings you a decent rental income. Besides as a result of selling it a few years later you will get great dividends from capital gains even though you have taken back all of the previously invested money and part of the profits. It is a win-win situation: the apartment pays for itself and even gives you some extra money. In the climate of economic stagnation or price drop people buy less and rent more. This makes rental rates go higher giving you more income and a chance to patiently wait a few years for the prices to level out enough to make selling your condo attractive. I have been dealing in real estate investing for many years and have helped many clients not only earn good money but also ensure a guaranteed passive income for which many are so eager. If you are interested in this kind of investment call me and visit my office. Good investment projects are few and far between – therefore, they need advanced preparation. You can also register on my website WWW.REMLIS. CA to receive information on various projects long before it becomes public.

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CONDOS: PRECONSTRUCTION VS. RESALE

What is the best choice for you?

OLEG CHERNYAKHOVSKY REAL ESTATE BROKER TD calls for an 8% decline in prices by the end of 2015 in the Toronto condo market. At the same time there are two new reports on Toronto real estate quoting the views of CIBC economist Benjamin Tal and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation analyst Dana Senagama, who suggest the city’s boom has staying power, with landed immigrants and millennials propelling continued growth. They attribute this to the new element of affordability condos provide to the first-time homebuyers, new young immigrants and growing appetite amongst the mid-20s to mid-30s folks who want this type of living. “Everybody was going to the suburbs — now the opposite is the case.” A further projected employment spike among 25- to 44-year-olds in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area this year — a prime condo-buying bracket, could also spur the market, CMHC projects. With the high freehold pricing and its dwindling supply “Condos are the affordable choice,” and if chosen wisely can serve as a good option for a type of investment yielding a conservative 12-16% returns on investment So as the buyer you may ask, do I buy a new Preconstruction Condo or Resale/Existing Condo?

customizing with upgrades, rental packages and other incentives. When you go to sell in 10 years, the age of the facilities and the building itself will be an important factor. Of course, upgrades and amenities come at a price that is not always recouped when it comes time to sell, you have to make sure that the price per square foot does not exceed the market rates for the area. On another hand in a resale condo built-ins and upgrades that are not too dated, can be significant bonuses if factored in and negotiated correctly. Another advantage an established condominium has over a new development is history. If we define a resale condo as one that has been in existence for three years or more than resale condo will allow you to assess the effectiveness of condo board, state of the facilities, reserve fund, rental and vacancy rates, Resale Values and average days on the market/selling time. This information is needed to make the right educated investment decision. In New Condo this information is not available and is at best speculative. When considering new vs older, don’t just think about the condo’s lifespan, it is very important to also consider the condo culture. After a few years, the condo development has settled into its neighbourhood and it should be easy to see how it fits in. Traffic patterns, shopping, restaurants, and neighbouring dwellings will have settled into place. This makes it easier to envision your lifestyle in the area. Are there mostly rental tenants/owner occupied, singles, young marrieds, families or elderly tenants? Usually people look for likeminded residents and it can be easier to get

New condos have many advantages. They are up-to-the-minute in design and amenities and may also offer the buyer the option of

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an idea of this if you’re buying resale. One of the downsides of new condos is that they have growing pains. It’s always possible that there will be major problems with mechanicals, the exterior envelope (especially windows) or other aspects of the construction for both new and resale condos. Repairing although the dollar cost of such problems is typically covered by the builder, that doesn’t mean there is no cost to the new owner. Such major structure-related issues generally manifest themselves early in the life of a condo development so by the time of resale they have become part of the building’s history. While you can’t predict these issues in advance the quality of construction of a new condo can be assessed from the builder’s previous efforts. Does he have a reputation for quality? Does he address problems promptly? There are different advantages to purchasing a resale condo and a new condo. Older condos will suffer from dated esthetics, appliances and facilities; new condos will be shiny and modern in these areas. New condos offer the advantage of being customized to the buyer’s preferences whereas older condos do not. For some, however, the predictability associated with an established condo development may be more important than the unknown. For others, the excitement of state-of-the-art design and the possible improvement on your investment may be the driving factor. As a buyer, you might debate what is better. There is no right or wrong; it’s all about what is right for you and making sure you do your due diligence. Your Real Estate agent should help you with this task. One thing to keep in mind that Preconstruction offer many incentives over resale as such make sure that your agent has your best interest in mind in offering his/her advice.

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Kitchen Planning

AVOID COMMON MISTAKES

kitchen counter. This kitchen island should not interfere with the movement within the sink refrigerator – stove triangle.

NOT ENOUGH LIGHT In the case of a kitchen, sufficient lighting is a practical necessity rather than a fad, a tool for creating the right atmosphere or a design element. Once there is enough light in the right places you will immediately see what details should be changed or added: replace curtains, buy a beautiful bowl for fruit, or move the table closer to the window.

DO NOT FORGET THE BACKSPLASH The desire to save money is understandable but in the long run omitting a tiled backsplash in the kitchen can prove to be false economy.

Chopping vegies for a quick salad or cooking a hot meal, consume a simple breakfast or gather the family for a three-course dinner - all this is best done in the kitchen. When planning a kitchen try to avoid the most common mistakes. DO NOT BLOCK THE MAIN TRIANGLE The sink, the stove and the fridge. The path between these three points needs to be unencumbered and convenient. Allocating functional zones should be guided by the sink since it is the hardest to move and the stove and refrigerator that should be placed nearby.

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Make the distance between the peaks of this triangle no less than one metre regardless of the room shape.

DO NOT FORGET ABOUT VENTILATION

DO NOT GET STINGY ON COUNTERTOPS

The best design pales against a smell of stale grease, burnt food or odorous dishes. A high-quality ventilation system extends the life of your appliances; in the case of combined zones it is a necessity.

Another common problem is the lack of horizontal surfaces. In addition to the dining table and the cutting zone try: l to include a bar counter where you can lay out cooking ingredients in the right order, drink a glass of wine or eat your morning cereal;

to combine the tabletop with the window sill thus expanding storage space;

l

l to create a so-called kitchen island using a freestanding butcher’s block with drawers for storing groceries, linens, and pottery and using its top as an extension of the

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l Do not ignore the opportunity to recycle and sort out garbage. This is a civilized and responsible behaviour. l Do not strive to always catch up with fashion. Trendy colours, especially those that are too flashy are short-lived but the indelible imprint “I was fashionable in March 2015” will go on for years. l Do not hesitate to contact a professional.

It makes sense to use the help of an invited expert in many areas including electrical wiring, plumbing and ventilation.

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Trendy Furniture should be exclusive, one of a kind, unique. Fortunately, now any wish can be easily fulfilled. The sky – and your budget – is the limit. Come up with your own furniture ideas. Consider your needs and leave bringing them to life to the furniture professionals. The result will be luxurious and stylish. If you doubt your abilities or creativity, retro furniture that is at the peak of popularity will come in handy. Even if your budget does not allow real antiques you can always create a unique style by renovating an old dresser or decorate the top of a used coffee table using decoupage.

Highly functional furniture is a trend this year. Manufacturers have focused on small spaces and offer a great selection of transformers: sofas, folding tables, and beds with linen drawers, as well as finished furniture sets for each room. The most current trends in the furniture industry are: 1. The streamlined shape 2. Wooden decorations 3. Smooth lines 4. Black or dark brown wood 5. Metal accessories with a touch of bronze or brass

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6. All shades of chocolate 7. The alternation of closed and open shelves 8. Drawers that differ in size 9. Use of coarse cloth upholstery 10. Enlarged backrest and seat in chairs 11. Exclusive furniture made to order 12. Vintage Let’s discuss the last two points. These trends have come to life because, first, of the tendency to get away from the stereotypical mass production, and also because this year’s favourite style is shabby chic.

As you can see nowadays fashion allows your imagination rein instead of dictating rigid rules and the main purpose is not elegant chic but convenience and comfort. This means that when selecting furniture you should think comfort and whether your choice matches the overall style of the room. A variety of styles and materials allows for creativity and realization of the most daring fantasies. Therefore, do not shy away from experimenting and do not forget about comfort. Be sure that modern technologies used in furniture manufacturing will help make the dream of a cozy home come true.

So, if you want to see fashionable furniture in your home it definitely

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stain and natural oils that increase its water resistance. The deck can be open or closed, have a low or high fence or not have it at all. This area is designed for gatherings in the fresh air, for relaxation and socializing. In the context of the city a deck can be arranged on the roof or balcony but the desired result requires more effort. In the 1990s, Japanese invented special garden flooring that instantly became a hit for interior solutions. As a result fresh natural wood appeared on balconies of standard apartments and helped people get rid of the stress and monotony of the city life.

EATING OUTDOORS One of the most popular ideas is to combine a deck with an outdoor kitchen, install a stationary grill, barbecue or tandoor – that is to organize a hearth with an open fire, where you can cook meat, fish, vegetables, pilaf and other dishes. A deck can become a real stress relieving area if you add to its dÊcor a sufficient number of cushions, blankets and curtains that create an intimate atmosphere. Candles, a bottle of wine and a beautiful view will complete the image of the space where you can truly relax and fully escape everyday hustle and bustle.

A DECK:

CLOSER TO THE ROOTS The meditative activity of growing plants and caring for a garden can be implemented on the deck. A dozen or two flower boxes, pots and hangers will help arrange a compact but lush flowering garden.

REVEAL A NEW SPACE Technically the word deck may refer to a porch, a gazebo with wooden flooring, a gentrified roof or even a balcony. In short, it is a place adjacent to the house or apartment area that is as comfortable as the interior of the home. Despite the fact that it is a snowy and cold winter outside we may still dream of a deck

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TOWARDS THE SUN

as something that reminds us of pleasant warm days of summer. As of today you still have plenty of time to decide on the design and budget for a new deck. Despite the variety of materials on the market a classic deck is, first of all, a floor on different height supports. This mounting method allows you to expand the living space on the hillside or waterfront and make it perfectly level. The decking is manufactured of solid woods: oak, larch, teak and their exotic counterparts. To ensure durability and great look, the wood is treated with

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The deck is designed for all kinds of passive recreation such as tanning. Why then not to imitate a full beach area even if there is no ocean nearby? A pair of deck chairs, an umbrella, a table and tropical cocktails are capable of creating a miniholiday mood.

AN ETERNAL FEAST What if you prefer noisy parties to solitude and quiet contemplation? A bar, bright lighting, a good sound system and corresponding space will help you create your own perfect club. There is no dress code, but a very strict face control: only the most favourite and closest people.

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For Years to Come Today, a hardwood floor is a mark of quality and practical design, as natural wood, when properly handled, has a very long life. Hardwood is as trendy as ever but we increasingly meet it in a rough and raw form rather than in a glossy finish. We have collected a number of tips to help your wood floors retain their original beauty. Apply a protective layer right after installation. There is a wide variety of substances on the market. The protective layer will shield your wood floor from such external factors as moisture and mechanical damage.

Protect your floor from liquids. Water and any other liquid have a negative effect on the wooden floor. Penetrating into the wood, they soften and deform it. Therefore, even if your wood has been treated with water repellant watch for it. Especially watch for colored liquids – they leave a noticeable stain that is impossible to remove without sanding the floor.

extra moisture evaporate. To avoid damage to the floor from heating use a humidifier or simply place a container filled with water in the room.

Avoid abrasive actions: dragging furniture across the floor, walking in pointed heels, animal scratches. Use felt stickers for furniture - they protect the floor. Trim your pets’ claws regularly.

Another enemy of hardwood is sand that, with time, rubs off the top layer of the coating. Clean the floor of dust and sand regularly with a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner. Do not forget to eliminate dirt and sand from the seams between planks – otherwise the floor will acquire a dirty gray tone that can be removed only by sanding.

Keep track of the humidity level to prevent deformation of the floor. The optimal level of humidity is 40 to 60%. Do not forget to ventilate the room with a wooden floor in the summer and rainy fall; this will make the

Non-Toxic Cleaning Agents

Each of the numerous cleaners on the market has according to its manufacturer unique properties. Moreover, many of them claim their products to be environmentally friendly, although it is not so. If you want to be sure that you purchase a non-toxic cleaning agent, you should always look at the security certificate. HOMEMADE CLEANERS Sometimes, to be sure of the agent’s safety it is better to make it yourself. For example,

and as such is essential for both the bath and the kitchen. Do not be afraid to use vinegar on wood floors. Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ½ cup of water and you get a universal cleanser.

LEMON JUICE

for stubborn stains, mix water with dishwashing liquid, vinegar and baking soda and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. If you plan to clean the entire rug mix flour with a tablespoon of baking soda and add 20 to 30 drops of essential oil. Spread this solution on the carpet, leave for a few minutes and then vacuum. Your floor also needs a thorough cleaning. If you have a wooden floor, use the following recipe: mix ½ litre of warm water with ½ litre of vinegar, add 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. Stone and tile floors can use the following recipe: a litre of warm water mixed with ½ cup of vinegar and a teaspoon of olive oil. This solution will make your floor not only clean but shiny too. If you are one of those people who prefer doing everything yourself, here is a list of items you will need.

VINEGAR Vinegar removes fat and calcium deposits

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This is yet another remarkable agent effective for cleaning grease as well as mold and mildew. It is also a natural aromatizer.

BAKING SODA Baking soda is an excellent alternative to powdered detergents. You can use it to remove stubborn stains as well as for cleaning the cooktop and oven. Leave for a few minutes and then just rinse.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE Mix hydrogen peroxide with water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. You will receive a universal tool that will help you clean the dirt from surfaces and remove stains from white fabrics. Spray and rinse off after a few minutes.

OLIVE OIL This may seem strange, but olive oil is an essential ingredient in the preparation of cleaners. Mix a glass of olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice in a spray bottle, and you get a great tool for polishing wood surfaces.

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Solid low furniture with matte upholstery is not placed in home theaters to emphasize the status of the owners. Such furniture chairs, sofas, massive tables – ensures the absence of reverberating. If your home theatre room is combined with another functional space try to move away display cabinets containing kitchenware, glass and porcelain and replace them with bookshelves. By the way, even well-chosen materials and accessories will not help the sound to open up completely. Consult the supplier and installer of speakers - it is possible that you can achieve the perfect sound just by moving furniture around.

LIGHT Most often a home theatre is located in the basement. Indeed, it functions much better without windows and direct sunlight. If there are windows in the room, it is logical to keep curtains and shutters tightly closed. Side lighting is preferable – optimally, sconces with upwards directed light. In addition, a set of wall fixtures makes the room cozy and especially convenient for watching sports in the company of friends and family where the main pleasure is not so much watching the game as an opportunity to discuss it.

HOME THEATER: STRIVING FOR IDEAL Here we will discuss some ideas on creating a perfect room for the home theater. You have to make sure that an ordinary living room does not contribute to distorting the picture and sound but allows you to enjoy movies in good company. Experts recommend calculating the distance between the screen and the eyes of the watchers along the “1:1.5” formula where 1 is the screen size and 1.5 is the minimal distance from the screen. Therefore, defining the optimal distance is pretty simple. More complicated is the right choice of finishing materials for the room that will serve as the home theatre. It is obvious that such a room does not need reflecting surfaces like mirrors, a glossy ceiling, polished hardwood or glass tabletops. All these furnishings are good in themselves but close to a large screen they

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will emit too much unnecessary glare that not only detracts from the movie but also affects your eyes.

SOUND The main enemies of the sound are ceramics, lightweight structures like paperthin walls and dividers as well as concrete. Even the most modern technology cannot compete with the taut leather of expensive seating furniture; the sound will easily reverberate from it and dissipate into the state of irritating indistinct noise.

CONCLUSION - Nothing shiny, glass, or porcelain. - No voids in the interior walls and furniture. - No direct sunlight. - Welcome natural materials, wood and textiles. - Bookshelves along the walls to soften the sound and keep it inside the room. - Good company.

To achieve ideal conditions for high-quality sound use natural materials, such as wood. Wood panels will create additional insulation and in combination with solid tightly closed door will ensure excellent sound that will stay in the room without bothering people in other parts of the house. The ceiling height may affect the sound too; therefore try to avoid making it too high. Another great idea to retain the best sound is decorating the home theatre with rugs, textile wallpaper or tapestries.

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Would you like to dance? KIZOMBA

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Century 21 - Heritage Group Ltd. Brokerage* #3 & 7-11160 Yonge Street Richmond Hill, ON, L4S 1H5 Office: 905-883-8300 *Independently Owned And Operated Ali Nezaminia

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Richmond Hill / Yonge & Major Mac. Bedrooms:2 + 1 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $664.00/Month (Incl.: Water, Heat, Ins., Hydro, Cable TV) wMortgage Payment: $1,172/Month* wProperty Tax: $153/Month wApx. 1,200 Sqft wWest View, Level:6 wOutdoor Pool, Sauna, Tennis Court wParking:1 underground

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Thornhill / Yonge & Royal Orchard Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $815.13/Month (Included: Water, Heat, Insurance, Hydro) wMortgage Payment: $1,232/Month* wProperty Tax: $179/Month wApx. 1240 Sqft wExposure: North East View, Level:5 w+120 Sq. Ft. Balcony, Indoor Pool wParking:1, Tennis Court

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Thornhill / Bayview & John Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:3 wMaintenance Fee: $254.84/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,855/Month* wProperty Tax: $210/Month wApx. 1,500 Sqft wSouth View, Level:Semi-Detached wNewly Renovated wParking: 1

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Toronto / Yonge & 401 Bedrooms:2 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $561.03/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,361/Month* wProperty Tax: $167/Month wApx. 860 Sqft wNorth East View, Level:22 wUnobstructed Park View wParking:1 underground

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Toronto / Yonge & Finch Bedrooms:2 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $600.49/Month (Incl.: Water, Heat, Insurance, Hydro) wMortgage Payment: $1,422/Month* wProperty Tax: $181/Month wApx. 750 Sqft wSouth West View, Level:7 wLarge Balcony wParking:1 underground + Locker

FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107

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Richmond Hill / Yonge & Carrville Bedrooms:4 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: Freehold (No Maintance Fees!!!) wMortgage Payment: $2,086/Month* wProperty Tax: $249/Month wWalking Distance to Hillcrest Mall wFinished Basement wWalking Distance to Commuity Center wParking: 2

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Thornhill / Steeles & Bayview Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:3 wMaintenance Fee: $273.24/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,779/Month* wProperty Tax: $210/Month wApx. 1,650 Sqft wExposure: South View, Level:Semi wUpper Clark Manors Community wParking: 2

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Richmond Hill / Bayview & Major Mac. Bedrooms:3 + 2 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: Freehold (Semi-Detached) wMortgage Payment: $1,893/Month* wProperty Tax: $236/Month wVery Bright And Spacious wFinished Basement wBeautiful Bungalow House wParking:4

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Richmond Hill / Yonge & Old Colony Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:4 wMaintenance Fee: $116/Month (Includes: Snow Removal, Water) wMortgage Payment: $1,820/Month* wProperty Tax: $245/Month wVery Convenient Location! wWalking Distance To Yonge wWalk Out Basement / Sep. Entrance wParking: 2

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Toronto / Islington & Finch Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $340.00/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,099/Month* wProperty Tax: $159/Month wApx. 1,300 Sqft wWest View, Level:Condo Townhouse wModern Kitchen Cabinets wParking:1 underground

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Toronto / Don Mills & Steeles Bedrooms:3 + 1 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $306.00/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,706/Month* wProperty Tax: $183/Month wApx. 1240 Sqft wExposure: East View wOutdoor Pool wParking:1

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Toronto / Yonge & Sheppard Bedrooms:2 + 1 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $445.70/Month (Included: Water, Heat, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,513/Month* wProperty Tax: $187/Month wApx. 900 Sqft wNorth View, Level:Multi / Townhouse wYonge/Sheppard Subway wParking:1 underground

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Toronto / Islington & Finch Bedrooms:4 Washrooms:3 wMaintenance Fee: $353.84/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,195/Month* wProperty Tax: $165/Month wApx. 1,220 Sqft wEast View, Level:Condo Townhouse wBalcony wParking:1 underground

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Toronto / Don Mills & Van Horne Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $363.00/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,544/Month* wProperty Tax: $194/Month wApx. 1,100 Sqft wEast View, Level:Condo Townhouse wCathedral Ceiling In Living Room wParking:1

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Toronto / Yonge & Sheppard Bedrooms:2 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $573.58/Month (Included: Water, Heat, Insurance, Hydro) wMortgage Payment: $1,513/Month* wProperty Tax: $202/Month wApx. 900 Sqft wEast View, Level:1 wYonge/Sheppard Subway wParking:1 underground + Locker

416-294-2247

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Toronto / Yonge & Steeles Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $598.26/Month (Included: Water, Heat, Insurance, Hydro) wMortgage Payment: $1,134/Month* wProperty Tax: $135/Month wApx. 1,100 Sqft wNorth View, Level:11 wBalcony wParking:2 underground

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call today for more details and private viewing!

Sales Representative

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*All mortgages calculated based on 5 year closed, 3%, 25 years amortization and 20% down payment.

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Toronto / Yonge & Sheppard Bedrooms:2 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $585.57/Month (Included: Water, Insurance) wMortgage Payment: $1,490/Month* wProperty Tax: $191/Month wApx. 850 Sqft wWest View, Level:22 wIndoor Pool wParking:1 underground

March 2015

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Toronto / Yonge & Finch Bedrooms:3 Washrooms:2 wMaintenance Fee: $607.58/Month (Incl.: Water, Heat, Insurance, Hydro) wMortgage Payment: $1,794/Month* wProperty Tax: $232/Month wApx. 1,280 Sqft wExposure: East View, Level:20 wIndoor Pool wParking:1 underground

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ALL ABOUT HOME

e-mail: aahtoronto@gmail.com

www.aahtoronto.com


The stuff that dreams are made of.

Canada’s largest home improvement centre

Opening in 2015, 400 year-round home improvement showrooms, all under one roof.

Our special reserved showrooms have just been released. Act now to be part of this megacentre in Vaughan, located on Keele St. at Hwy 407. Call 416.417.7507 or visit us at improvecanada.com

FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107

March 2015

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