2015 – The Year of (more) Renovations

My husband and I have been living in our 1921 built home in Hamilton’s Gage Park area since spring 2013. We bought this house because it met all our needs and wants, including the fact my 6ft 4inch husband could stand in the basement and attic with EXTRA Head Space. That seems funny to some, but that matters when it comes to an old home. You don’t get that much!! There is 2.5 storeys of space, character, oh….and renovations. Like most first time buyers, we wanted to get our hands dirty. We wanted to make this house our home. Granted, we got help along the way, as we are both not overly handy, but it is still the joy of remodelling a house just for you.

Our house was used for many years as a duplex. The previous owner had started transforming the house back into a single family property. They did a good amount of work (not the best quality work). We, with the help of our families and contractors, have been renovating since we took possession. Now, I am sorry that I never posted/blogged during our first 6 weeks of renovations. I can let you know that we completed the attic space from bare flooring and visible roof rents, to a cosy living space (that we still need to furnish). We gutted the 2nd level bathroom. We now have new drywall, tub, vanity, the works! We even tore apart the basement; but that is a future project that you will see down the road via this blog. The house also got a full face lift – refinished flooring (that is to die for) and paint throughout the house.

You are now up to date!

I can happily inform you that 2015 is our year to tackle more renovations. I will share with you, my readers, all the trials, demolition, and bliss of remodeling my house. February marks the beginning of our kitchen remodel. I am over the moon excited to have a new kitchen that isn’t falling apart before my eyes.

But, before the posts commence, I wanted to share some information I found on remodeling costs, time frames, and tips. I hope to keep you in the loop of how long my renovations take, where I found the best bang for my buck etc. These articles shed some light on things you may not have considered or known. I found them helpful and I hope you do too.

First off, the image attached to the blog is a great reference for value of your renovations. I am a REALTOR of course, so I think of resale value all the time, for myself and my clients. As much as this renovation is for us, I have to always bare resale in mind. Its just what I do!
Also Check out:

The Best Way to Finance a Renobest place to start when considering a remodel/renovation

How much did your Kitchen Renovation Cost?

A Valuable Guide to Kitchen Remodelling Costs my favourite read being that I am working on my kitchen

How long is that remodel going to take? – Which I must note comes from the National Association of Realtor in the United States of America. Sorry I couldn’t find a similar one for us Canadians.

Let the kitchen remodel BEGIN!

The Hamilton Royal Connaught!

Downtown Hamilton’s gem, The Royal Connaught, sadly closed its doors in 2004. In 2014, as of this week in fact, the Royal Connaught has become the city’s gem once again and is now allowing for the purchase of its first block of condos.  Yes, this 1916 building boasts 700 suites and has an approximate occupancy of 2016. You can own a piece of Hamilton history!

The Royal Connaught is not only a famous landmark but it is now a true symbol of the revival downtown Hamilton and in the city itself.

I hope to feast my eyes on the stunning art deco lobby this weekend and get a glimpse of the model units and their purchase prices. If you can not make it down to see the beauty in person, here is a 360 degree view of the lobby thanks to Microsoft Photosynth 3D. The Hamilton Spectator has also provided a great article on the new, old Royal Connaught for more insight into the development.

Proud Hamiltonian signing off!

Victoria Day Weekend in The Hammer

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It’s Thursday night before the long weekend. It seems everyone is preparing to the escape from work as early as they can tomorrow to rush up north to some wonderful cottage retreat where they can celebrate the first long weekend of the spring/summer season. I, on the other hand, am happily staying in the city. I may not have the tranquility of a cottage location, but I do have awesome food, good friends, drinks, fireworks even, and a lake view (at the Bayfront of course). So here are a few events in the greater Hamilton everyone should attend this weekend.

Down by the Bay

Bayfront Park is the place to be this Friday May 16, 2014, from 4.30 PM – 8 PM. It will be the first of many Friday’s this summer where one and all can enjoy food, trails, shops, outdoor activity, great people and all the joy the area offers. Taste the creations from 15 different food trucks this Friday. Who wouldn’t want to start the weekend and the season off right?

Waterdown Arts & Music Streetfest

Head up to Dundas Street East (HWY 5) in the heart of Waterdown on Sunday May 18, 2014, to see and experience a street lined with vendors. From 11 AM – 11 PM you can enjoy 10 musical acts (stage located in from of the Mill Street and 5 American House), 40 street vendors, 15 food trucks, and the Niagara Inflatable’s. Family fun for everyone that has been in the works for 18 months now and will be a joy for the entire town and its’ guests.

Fireworks!

Sunday, 18 May 2014 head down to Dundas Driving Park at 71 Cross Street in Dundas Valley from 6 PM – 10PM for food trucks, snacks, soft drinks, glow sticks (available for purchase) and fun at the park all before the stunning fireworks show begins at dusk. Of course, the even is FREE but the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club would appreciate any cash donation at the gate to help finance the club’s local and international service work. This Victoria Day Celebration is supported by the City of Hamilto

Happy Victoria Day Weekend!

Hamilton Festivals & Events

Hamilton Festivals & Events

I know the weather hasn’t been as great as we all hoped. It is May already and it truly doesn’t feel like May-like weather. But, considering it is May and there is no more snow at the very least out there, I am feeling the need to venture out into the city.

Hamilton has so many fantastic festivals that run from the beginning of June right until the end of September. I provided a list of events for my clients, family, and friends to have last year. I did not want them to miss out on an event either. I am starting to work on that list for 2014. As I browse the Tourism Hamilton calendar (which you can do easily via the link) I decided I will also provide this list to my followers. So, the list is in the works. I hope to have it up soon.

Now, my list is mostly festivals in the greater Hamilton area. But there are more fun and interesting events in this wonderful city I recommend everyone attend. So, in addition to my future list/blog post, I plan on posting some other awesome events on a monthly basis….starting Today!
Post to follow from your proud Hamiltonian!

Link

This Housing Alternative is Inspiring!

I work as full time as a Realtor in the ambitious city of Hamilton. In the little time I have been in the industry (in my 4th year now), I have seen the market change. Historically, we still have low interest rates, which is great for buyers coming into the marketplace. But buying a house is expensive and life can and usually must change to accommodate. I have many first time buyers who don’t want to over spend and fret over costs. As much as I try to ease their concerns, in all reality, a house is a money pit. You must get used to it. It is a joy to be a homeowner, but it comes with a price, frankly MONEY!

So, would you consider a dramatic alternative such as this 31yr old web design in America? I think this gentleman’s idea is fantastic! I find it inspiring! I love living in my 2.5 storey, 1921 build house, but I could also envision a simpler life as he has, where you can live simply, and debt free.

Therefore, I truly want to know if you would consider such a housing alternative? Read the article, view the photos and let me know what you think.

 

Hamilton – Ambitious City

Hey! You know what?!? Hamilton is awesome and its videos like this that make me want to shout it from the roof tops!

Too often I find myself defending my hometown to others who reside in the GTA. Its tiring, but its necessary. When I come across little gems like this I need to brag about the efforts being made to turn this place around!

Watch this and remember this is a city full of history and its trending in the right direction thanks to many efforts of many people!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-BgySJ2c50

Can you tell I am a proud Hamiltonian?

Winter Home Maintenance

It is -30+ degrees in Hamilton and I am working from home, wrapped in a blanket considering how this weather not only affects me but my old home as well. Rough weather can challenge the investment you have in your home. When the cold weather subsides this coming weekend, it may be a good idea to get around the house and do some maintenance. This winter may continue to be a brutal one here in Southern Ontario. Let’s all try to get through it will little or no issues at all.

Clean the Gutters

The reason that you must clean your gutters by January is because the water from the melting snow and ice needs to be moved away from your home. If the fall leaves and debris is still in the gutters, then the runoff water will melt and refreeze repeatedly until your roof starts leaking.

(This task is clearly tough to do now being that everything is frozen. Again, milder temperatures will be around this coming weekend. Best to have a look at the gutters then.)

Insulate the Pipes

If you have any exposed water pipes in your home, then it is a good idea to wrap them in insulation to prepare for the winter. Pipes that freeze during January can crack and develop leaks.

(No one wants to deal with a leak any time of year,)

Check the Windows

Take a lighted candle and hold it in front of your windows. If the candle flickers, then that window needs to be insulated again. By running a new bead of caulk around the seal where your window meets the house, you can save yourself a lot of money in lower energy bills.

(I live in a 1921 build home. I will definitely take the time to complete this task.}

Find the Water Valve

Pipes can freeze in January, even after you have taken every precaution. In the event that your pipes do burst, you need to shut them off immediately to prevent any further damage. Before winter begins, locate the main water shut-off valve in your basement and make sure that each family member knows where the shut-off is as well.

(No brainier here 🙂

Hope these couple tips help you in the winter months. Stay warm out there!