As pandemic lockdowns drag on, Canadians are tapping HELOCs to fund home renos

[Globe and Mail - February 15, 2021] Cory Cook’s initial plan was to build out his backyard deck. But as the pandemic drags on, he’s looking to overhaul his entire basement. “The renovated basement would generate rental income and offer financial security in the event of a job loss,” says the 43-year-old Toronto father of two. To fund his home improvements, Mr. Cook, who helps businesses invest in energy efficiency, took out a $300,000 home equity line of credit (HELOC). After [...]

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10 Changes You Can Make For a Healthier Home

[Best Health Mag - November 18, 2020] Expert Jamie Gold shares the small changes you can make to your home optimize your physical and mental well-being. It’s hard to find a trendier word these days then "wellness."  The pursuit of optimal mind and body amazingness is baked into everything from the turmeric lattes we’re supposed to be drinking to the forest bathing we forgot to do because we were too busy counting our steps and wondering if showering counts as self-care. That [...]

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Builders aim to pandemic-proof new homes

[Western Investor - November 27, 2020] Outdoor elevators, touchless doors, zero-recycled air and changes to open floor plans among design reactions to COVID-19 Vancouver developer Qualex-Landmark is among the first to implement a number of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in two new residential projects, part of a trend that is gaining traction across North America. “Just as the Spanish flu gave us the vanity room, which originated as a hand-washing basin immediately inside the front entry of a home, [...]

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Renderings of the massive redevelopment of Vancouver’s Molson brewery

[Daily Hive - October 28, 2020] Daily Hive Urbanized provided the first glimpse of Concord Pacific’s proposed redevelopment plans of the Molson Coors brewery in Vancouver in December 2019. And now, additional details and renderings show the true breadth of the massive mixed-use redevelopment of the 7.6-acre industrial property, located at the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge. The developer intends to build a redevelopment with a total floor area of 1.8 million sq ft, including 300,000 sq ft of office [...]

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Home improvement business is booming amid COVID-19 pandemic

[Globe and Mail - October 21, 2020] Paul Sangha has run a busy architectural landscape business for most of two decades, but by the end of 2019, business was “dead quiet,” and Mr. Sangha was preparing for a rough year. He had to lay off four staff. When the lockdown hit in mid-March, Mr. Sangha began paying staff their salaries in advance to give them a sense of certainty. But then something strange happened. Business suddenly picked up. By May he [...]

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How the pandemic has put flexibility front and center in home design

[Washington Post - September 17, 2020] Six months ago the coronavirus pandemic turned the entire nation into homebodies. Now architects, builders and interior designers are addressing the pain points that emerged when our homes became our offices, schools and entertainment venues. It’s a little too soon for completely new model homes to be built that take the new normal into account. Still, incremental changes in floor plans and interior design have been made that point the way to the future. “While there are [...]

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Synergy Mortgage - Post Covid 19 Design

Physical distancing is changing how we use our homes, backyards and public spaces. Designers are taking note

[Globe and Mail - August 8, 2020] In early April, about a month into the COVID-19 lockdown, Daniel Rotsztain, an artist, writer and cartographer living in Toronto, built what he calls a “social distance machine".  Imagine a giant hula hoop, jutting two metres in all directions, worn around the neck like an Elizabethan collar, minus the Shakespearean ruffles. As Rotsztain filmed, his friend Bobby Gadda donned the contraption and tried to walk around downtown streets, sidewalks and parks. Invariably, his device bumped [...]

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5 Easy Feng Shui Tips You Can Implement In Your Home Today

[The Zoe Report - June 17, 2020] A mirror facing your front door, a bed placed under a window, and a cluttered desk all have one thing in common: According to the Chinese practice of Feng Shui, they all disrupt the good energy flow — or qi — in your home. But don't stress if any of these describe the current state of your pad. Just as easily as you've unknowingly blocked your qi, you can get it flowing again, [...]

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The Home Front: Virtual home design showroom tours are the new norm

[Vancouver Sun - March 28, 2020] If you’re stuck at home for any length of time, everything within your four walls starts to receive a lot of attention; from those you live with, to that dust you’ve never noticed before, to the sofa you’ve grown tired of. Strolling around home design showrooms is suddenly off the table for many, or has certainly become a lot more restricted, with many retailers closing their doors to the public, amidst the coronavirus situation, with [...]

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Staging Strategies To Boost Winter Home Sales

[Forbes - November 18, 2019] There are both advantages and disadvantages that are inherent in listing a home for sale in the winter. However, one factor remains constant: Presenting a home in its best light will result in a quicker sale and a higher selling price. Reduced inventory on the market in the winter months provides a golden opportunity to make your home stand out. Here are several suggestions aimed at showing any property at its winter best. Winter Curb Appeal Positive [...]

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