Fall In Love With Fall In Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Cambridge

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There’s a reason Fall is the best time of the year in Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Cambridge. Not only are there plenty of fantastic fall activities you can get in all kinds of Ontario cities, but the arts and community scenes really hit their stride with a cornucopia of different festivals and celebrations. This year is no exception, and there’s tons of events to tell you about. So let’s get started!

COMMUNITY

Guelph and Kitchener have such strong community focuses that everyone sees Fall as the last chance to come together. There’s all kinds of amazing gatherings that happen at this time of the year, and here’s a few to get your started!

Market Parkade Grand Opening (Oct. 26)

Folks who frequent downtown Guelph have known about the construction around a new award-winning parkade. On Oct. 26, there will be a grand opening celebration featuring free food samples from some local yummy-makers as well as live music and more. Parking in downtown just got a whole lot (how’s that for a pun?) easier.

Downtown Guelph Trick or Treat (Oct. 26)

You’ve put together your costume, you’ve gathered your pillowcase, but you can only go out for Halloween on one night? No thank-you! Fortunately, in what’s coming a terrific new Guelph tradition, there’s the Downtown Guelph trick-or-treat. This is a terrific chance to see Downtown as local businesses open up their doors and give out candy to those who come and visit. It’s a win-win for everybody!

Fair November (Nov. 14 - Nov. 17)

Every November, the University of Guelph hosts a big-ol craft fair which takes place in the University Centre. Over 20,000 people are expected to come together to experience a juried and hand-picked selection of hand-made things.

Farmer’s Markets (Saturdays in Guelph and Kitchener)

Harvests are coming in which means Fall is the best time of the year for Farmer’s market. While the Guelph Farmer’s market is well-known and year-round, fall is the best time to head over and collect some locally grown goodies. In the Kitchener-Waterloo region, the St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market often hosts equally delicious and local treats.

Apple/Pumpkin Picking (Any time!)

Is there anything more autumny than a good ol’ apple or pumpkin pick? We are in the midst of the perfect time to rally up the family at hit the patch. Some locally favourite spots are: Strom’s Farm and Bakery, Chudleigh’s Farm, and the aptly named The Apple Orchard. Now get out there! Your Instagram account will thank you.

ARTS

Wasn’t kidding when I said there was a lot of arts coming up this season! It justifies another whole section of blog. Whatever your artistic leaning, there’s a little something-something for everybody.

Queer As F**k Fridays (Every Friday Night @ eBar)

Guelph is getting a little bit gayer every Friday with new LGBTQ+-dedicated events every Friday at eBar hosted by Guelph’s favourite drag queen Athena McQueen. There’s a new event every week including Guelph’s only dedicated queer dance party, as well as queer-a-oke, and more! Events can be found on the eBar event page on Facebook.

Halloween Shows: That’s My Drag Hal-o-Queen, Kazoo Spooktuactular and more (Nights Vary)

Halloween is getting artsy this year. Not only is there a big rock show happening in downtown Guelph on Oct. 30 courtesy of Guelph music festival, Kazoo, That’s My Drag: Drag Me to Hell is bringing a big drag showcase to The Guelph Concert Theatre which will be fantastically fabulous different kinf of dress-up. Surely these two shows are just the top of the spooky spooky iceberg too!

Rainbow Reels Film Festival (Oct. 18 - Oct. 26)

Every year Kitchener hosts one of the best LGBTQ+ film festivals in the country. It’s getting so big in fact, that there’s no longer just films that show. Comedy, spoken word, music and more community gatherings are slotted to happen and is worthy of a visit to Kitchener.

Guelph Film Festival (Nov. 1 - Nov. 9)

If you didn’t get enough films at rainbow reel, come the start of November, one of the Guelph Fab 5 festivals, The Guelph Film Festival returns in November. It’s 9 days of celebration of local and other documentary film makers in downtown Guelph. There’s bound to be something for everybody, so get your popcorn ready! 


We’ve only scratched the surface of the Fall fun in Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge - but that’s just a testament to all the awesome things that happen in these town on a regular basis. These cities are a great place to live all year round and if you don’t believe me, fall is a great time to come visit and find out why! 





When People Ask Me What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent, This is What I Tell Them

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A lot of people ask what makes a good real estate agent. How can you tell the good ones from the bad?


Real estate is a very popular profession and there’s a lot of us out there. When I was thinking about how to sell myself with my new marketing materials, I tried to think of what set me apart, and it turned out these are all the things I think are most important in my business and in general when looking for a real estate agent.


Marketing and Sales Skills

One thing you should always be looking for up front is a real estate agent who has sales and marketing experience. You have to think, your real estate agent is going to be selling your home, so they better be able to see what the selling features are and know how to put it in front of buyers who are interested. 


Marketing and sales isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. It’s a skill that needs to be learned over time. It doesn’t hurt to check out what kind of marketing your real estate agent has done for other people’s homes. Is it professional? Does it represent the home well? Don’’t be afraid to do a sneaky Google search and see what your real estate agent talks about and provides online as well. 


Ongoing Help

As yourself this question: once your real estate agent sells your house, what will they do next? If your real estate agent simply moves on and makes no effort to check in on your new home after the sale, did they really care about finding you the best home? 


When getting referrals for real estate agents, ask your friends and family what the connection is like after the sale. Does the real estate agent go above and beyond to make sure you’re comfortable? Do they have any resources for you for how to invest in your new home to increase the re-sale value? 


It’s important you’re picking an agent who you can have an ongoing relationship with. You’re investing financially and emotionally into a home and your agent should have a good sense of how to support you with both of those aspects. 


Time Saving


People often don’t consider what an immense time-save realtors can be. There’s a lot of marketing, outreach, connections, paperwork and more that go into getting a home sold, and real estate agents can handle the bulk of it. Someone who is working full time and saving up for a home doesn’t really have time to put together house photos and real estate ads. 


When looking for an agent, make sure they know their stuff and who strike a balance of communicating openly with you, while also staying out of your hair and supporting your current lifestyle. Selling your home is a big step, and someone who makes it as seamless as possible is a huge asset. 


Plus, real estate agents know exactly what to do which will move the whole process of selling your home along much faster. 


Someone Who Knows the Market


More to this point, real estate agents literally have the job of staying in tune to markets. 

When looking for an agent, see if they have up to date information on markets and can answer your question. 


Around Guelph, it’s important to know someone who also knows markets in surrounding towns like Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Fergus, and Elora. Someone who has many points of references and knows the styles and sizes of homes in all these places will be a huge asset and save you a ton of time as well. 


Connection to Other People You’ll Need


The process of selling your house is going to involve a lot more than just you and a real estate agent. You’re going to need mortgages, cleaners, stagers, and more little things along the way. 


Real estate agents are savvy marketers (or at least they should be), so it’s a good sign if the one you’re choosing has a large network of connections in other areas of buying home. It’s likely a good sign that other professionals trust and continue to refer their clients to the same real estate agent and vice versa. 


Putting You First

At the end of the day, you should look at your real estate agent and feel like you can trust them. Your real estate agent should be doing what they can to support you through an emotional and huge step in your life. Strangely enough, personality, connection, and communication between you and your agent should be a primary concern. 


A good sign an agent is good is if their getting to know you as a person. They should want to get to know all about you and what your days are like so they can consider that in your new home. They should be asking about more than just what you want in a home. A home is just one part of living a healthy and happy life. Your agent should also try to find you a location that will suit your hobbies, be friendly to your lifestyle, and be a good place for your soul as well as all your stuff. 


Show Your Pride in Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Beyond!

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It’s Pride month! One of the beautiful things about living in Guelph or K-W is the inclusive community you get to be a part of. And that’s reason to celebrate. While many events have already come and gone, there’s still plenty to take part in over the rest of the month. I’ve compiled some of the events from around the tri-cities and Guelph, so no matter your orientation, come support the wonderful LGBTQI+  folks in our community.

GUELPH

Many of the Guelph Pride events are already underway, but there’s many too explore. Events are running until June 9th, so there’s still plenty to check out (Including one I’m shamelessly self-promoting because I’m on the organizing committee).

Wednesday June 5 (6 PM to 8 PM) – LGBTQI+ Professionals Networking Event

All the business owners and entrepreneurs of the LGBTQI+ community will be coming together for a night of networking. Everyone with a business will have 30 seconds to give an elevator pitch and promote their businesses. Find, connect with and support all the local LGBTQ entrepreneurs in this free event at Fixed Gear Brewing in Guelph.

Thursday June 6 – (1:30 PM to 3:30 PM) – Seniors Mix and Mingle

Are you a senior in the LGBTQI+ community? Head over to Evergreen Seniors centre for a mix and mingle with others like you.

Thursday June 6 – (5 PM to 7 PM) The Trans Picnic

Come support Guelph’s trans community in one of the best ways possible -- a picnic! This is a potluck event, so bring a snack and enjoy a cupcake from Wellington Cupcakes.

Friday June 7 to Sunday June 9 - Queeries Arts and Music Festival

We’re closing out Guelph’s Pride Festival in a big way, with what’s been described as “Hillside Fest, but gay!” And I couldn’t be more excited! The LGBTQ+ community will congregate for a weekend of camping in Grand Valley (in between Mt. Forest and Orangeville) featuring art installation, workshops, camping, and of course, live music. All artists identify within the LGBTQ community. Some passes are still available, so come say hi to me and close out Guelph Pride events in style!


More info about all these events can be found on the Guelph Pride website.

KITCHENER-WATERLOO (TRI-PRIDE)

Tri-pride is over, but there were plenty of events in these past weeks. And that doesn’t mean you can stop supporting the community. Kitchener consistently has new queer events all the time. Be sure to follow the queer Kitchener facebook event groups and Tri Pride on socials to stay up to date.

TORONTO

The benefit of living in Guelph or K-W is we’re just a short jaunt away from Toronto. Toronto has tons of additional events to sport your Pride.

All Month – Too many to list!

Toronto’s LGBTQI+ scene is bumping this month. Events include music, comedy, rallies, visual art, networking and so much more. The best way to find something (and there will be something) for you to check out is to visit the Pride Toronto website.

Sunday June 23 – The Annual Toronto Pride Parade

Of course, of all the events, this is the one you don’t want to miss. Canada’s largest Pride parade attracts over one-million people from communities across the country. Come sport your rainbow flags and have the best time with the community.

Living in a community that supports all communities is a must. If you’re looking for a LGBTQ-friendly realtor to help you find your first home, feel free to download my first-time homebuyers guide, and I’ll be in touch!


The Best Low-Cost Spring Cleaning Investments to Boost the Value of Your Home

The Best Low-Cost Spring Cleaning Investments to Boost the Value of Your Home

Spring cleaning. Those two words are enough to drive dread into the heads of busy people. Who has the time for this? And ultimately, what’s even the point?

Well, I’m here to tell you that investing a bit of time, money and muscle into your home this Spring may end up giving you a big return when it’s time to sell your house. If you’ve bought a starter home, or plan on upgrading soon, and don’t want to invest a ton of money into the place you’re currently living, here’s some great things to focus on to get a maximum return, using as little resources as possible.


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