Freshen Up: Ten tips for renewing your style for the next stage of your life

If you’ve been stuck in a decorating rut for the last decade (or two), here’s some amazing news: Encore will be your opportunity to up your style.

Just as our tastes in fashion and food can change over the years, so can our individual decorating styles. Maybe you once loved more traditional details but now you crave a clean, streamlined approach.

Or, maybe you leaned towards vivid colors and now it’s neutrals all the way. And it isn’t only aesthetic preferences that shift; it’s likely the way you use your spaces have morphed over time, as well. (Three cheers for change!)

Helping people find their new style that works for them, both in form and function, is one of our passions here at Port 32. Over the years our various models homes have inspired fresh design and decor directions for more than a few our homebuyers. So as we eagerly anticipate the launch of Encore, we’re sharing our best tips so that you can start to envision your ideal environment.

Make a plan

Whether you want to totally revamp your style or just freshen things up a bit, it can be hard to get started. The key to success is finding your vision. Think beyond architectural styles and consider instead how you want your home to feel. (Of course, it’s a given your home at Encore will feel light and bright and spacious—the plentiful windows, vaulted ceilings and open floor plan will see to that.)

To pinpoint your vision, ask questions like, “Do I want a space that is cozy and restful or one that exudes energy?” “Will I entertain often or just host an occasional guest?” These types of questions will help you create intentional spaces that function well for the way you live in your new home.

Go easy

The best part of this new stage of life is you can spend less (or zero!) time working and more time enjoying the things you love. And, unless you’re Mr. Clean, scrubbing your interiors probably isn’t one of the things you hope to do with your newfound freedom.

At Encore, all of your finishes can fit you and your lifestyle. Customizing your home with hardworking, easy-to-maintain finishes, such as hardwood floors, granite countertops and low-sheen paints will allow you to spend more time golfing or gardening and less time maintaining your spaces.

Edit, edit, edit

It’s no secret that living in the same place for a number of years you inevitably collect what can be an overwhelming amount of “stuff.” So many of our purchasers used the move to Port 32 the catalyst finally to pare down your belongings. If it is no longer beautiful or useful to you, let it go. Starting with a clean slate will open up room for things you truly love and reflect you in this new chapter.

Keep it neutral

The interiors at Encore are made for today’s casual lifestyle. The open concept design combines the kitchen and dining areas with the living room, allowing you and your guests to flow freely through the spaces. To keep a cohesive flow from room to room, opt for a neutral palette and create visual interest with textures instead.

Get inspired

Let this new chapter bring a fresh perspective. Look to your favorite magazines, websites, or places you visit to find styles that resonate. What stands out to you? What turns you off? Create a folder with clippings from your favorite magazines, or do as we do here at the Port 32 sales centre and fire up a Pinterest board to help guide your design and decoration decisions.

Don’t let it (all) go

Holding onto those furnishings and accessories that speak to you, whether it’s a family heirloom or a piece of art you picked up on a memorable trip, will give your new space an instant sense of meaning and collected-over-time look. (Tip: Your new home at Encore can be customized to accommodate and highlight your special belongings, whether it’s an antique buffet or a collection of baskets.)

Put your interests on display

Personalize your spaces by including elements that speak to your favorite hobbies and activities. If you love to read, create comfortable reading nooks throughout your home and arrange books artfully on shelves and tables. Love to paint? Put your artwork on display. Do you enjoy the outdoors? Incorporate natural elements, such as wood and stone into your finishes and decor.

Accessorize like an expert

Breathe new life into a space instantly with textiles and accessories. Encore’s contemporary spaces are the perfect canvas for creating a relaxed feel. Trade heavy draperies for sheer curtain panels. Choose cotton or sisal area rugs in neutral colors for a casual look. Add a punch of color and texture with throw pillows and blankets. Never underestimate the power of fresh flowers or a new candle to transform a space. It’s always the little things that seem to bring it all together.

Enjoy the journey

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and perfectly decorated interiors won’t be either. Just as you gathered things over time to make your previous house your home, expect the same as you re-enter the decorating process. Allow your home at Encore to evolve over time by gradually collecting pieces that read well with your new style story. Every layer you add is like a new chapter in your style story.

Style your spaces with confidence

Over the years, you’ve had time to learn what you love and what you’re happy to say adios to. And that’s a great thing! You can make design and decor choices with confidence, knowing this isn’t your first rodeo and that every home at Encore is the perfect canvas for creating beautiful, stylish spaces you’ll love for years to come.

The Altona Towns – Take a look!

Located across the street from Altona Forest, The Altona Towns with its mix of stone and brick is both modern and warm — in harmony with its setting.

With only 27, 3-bedroom townhomes set in four small blocks, The Altona Towns is an intimate community. Our sales office is now open. You’ll find directions, hours, floor plans and prices here.

If you haven’t registered yet be sure to do so here. 

Now, let’s take a look at The Altona Towns…

THE COMMUNITY

SITE PLAN

BLOCK 1

BLOCK 2

BLOCK 3

BLOCK 4

 

How to be ready when the perfect home presents itself

If you’ve been to the launch of a new housing community, you’ll know emotions can run high from excitement to frustration.

As demand for new homes continues at historic levels, grand openings can see huge lineups and as you’ve likely seen in news stories, free-for-alls.

Out of respect for you and your time, we plan our launches to try to encourage the excitement and limit the frustration.

Here are a few pro tips so you can arrive prepared and avoid disappointment:

Are you “registered”? That means you’re on our email list. The people on our list will be the first to know about important things like launch dates, presentation centre location, and links to secure a coveted time slot in advance (if applicable). Those details go out via email so be sure you’re on the list.

Mortgage pre-approval letter. You’ll need to bring your mortgage pre-approval letter with you to the opening. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is win-win. You want to know exactly how much you can borrow so you know what you can afford and to ensure you don’t overspend. And as your home builder, we want to know that you will qualify for a mortgage when your new home is ready. If this is your first mortgage, you may find our Mortgage 101 article handy. Be sure to book your appointment with your bank in advance of opening day.

Certified cheque or bank draft. Please bring a certified cheque or bank draft in the amount of $10,000. This is the initial deposit on your new home. The fees for drafts and certified cheques can vary so you may want to ask which has the lower fee.

Personal cheques. Be sure to bring your chequebook (with at least 3 cheques). These post-dated cheques will make up the balance of your down payment. The current deposit schedule for The Altona Towns nows provides an extra 60 days to complete your deposit as follows*:

  • $10,000 certified cheque or bank draft upon signing the agreement (as outlined above).
  • Balance of 5% in 30 days
  • 2.5 % in 60 days
  • 2.5% in 180 days
  • 5% on occupancy

All cheques should be payable to Harris, Sheaffer LLP (in trust)

Photo ID. And last but not least, you’ll need to bring government-issued photo ID. Things like your passport, driver’s license or health card are all acceptable.

And that, in a nutshell, is how to arrive prepared. You’ll be ready to seize the day and capitalize on the excitement of a new home.

*Subject to change. Please confirm with our sales team.

Pickering By The Numbers: 10 Real Estate Stats to Help You Decide

Deciding where to buy a home is a tough decision. Do you stay in your current neighbourhood, or venture outside your postal code in search of a property that ticks off more of your must-haves?

One of the biggest struggles potential homebuyers wrestle with is the market, especially if the property is in a location you’re not familiar with. You want to know if the market is going up, if it’s going down, if there is too much supply or if there is too much demand.

Luckily there’s a lot of data available on the state of the housing marketing. We’ve done the research for you and compiled ten important findings to help you better understand the market and the opportunities we think will help you feel good about Pickering as a real estate investment. So let’s jump in.

1. Demand: Townhouses remain very popular in Pickering, with the 160 under construction in September, representing the highest level since 2013 (CMHC). If you’re considering a townhouse, you’re in good company. Everyone wants to buy something others will want down the road.

2. Supply: Looking at the wider Pickering/Ajax/Uxbridge area, of the 851 new homes completed in the last 12 months (of all types), only four are unsold — and not a townhouse among them. What’s the takeaway? Almost everything sells before they’re completed. Buyers are getting in on opportunities early.

3. Bang for buck: According to Altus Data Solutions, the average new townhouse available in Pickering will cost you $440 per-square-foot (psf), compared to $1,100 psf for the average condominium apartment in downtown Toronto. You get more bang for your buck in Pickering … and you don’t have to pay extra for a parking spot.

4. Price appreciation: According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the average new single-detached house that was completed and sold in September 2017 was $933,283, an increase of 14.4% annually. Double-digit price gains indicate that demand is far exceeding supply, and waiting to buy could cost you.

5. Resale strength: According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average resale property in Pickering sold for 105% of the list price in September, and it took just 13 days on average to sell a home. In the current market climate, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your future home has strong resale value.

6. Townhouses are popular: According to the MLS House Price Index, townhouses in Pickering have increased by 9.3% annually. Buyers are looking to maximize their indoor square footage, often at the expense of a side yard. Townhouses continue to gain market share.

7. Relative affordability: According to Zolo.ca, Pickering is ranked 18th of 23 municipalities in terms of average resale house price, an indication of how affordable the city is. In comparison to the adjacent municipalities to the west, Pickering is still very affordable.

8. Top 5 for sales: Over the past 30 days, Pickering is tied for the 5th fastest selling municipality in the GTA for resale housing (Zolo.ca). It shouldn’t be a surprise that the more affordable homes in Pickering are selling very quickly in the high-priced Greater Toronto Area market.

9. Easy commute: According to GO Transit, it takes 28 minutes to get from Union Station to the Pickering Go Station on an express train. It might take you that long to go three blocks on a downtown streetcar during rush hour, the commute is quite manageable.

10. Compare: Nearby Markham, less than 20 minutes from Pickering, will cost you $300,000 more on the the price of a home, based on average housing values from Zolo.ca.

With changes coming to the mortgage qualification rules in January, it will become that much more difficult to afford the home you really want. Buyers will flock to markets with the most affordable homes as they find themselves further priced out of their current communities. Pickering will be a market drawing even more attention, a small community with big data and enormous potential.

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