How to Downsize your home & Right-Size your life!

How to Downsize your home & Right-Size your life!

What does downsizing your home mean to you?

Downsizing can feel like a complex puzzle, filled with numerous pieces and the challenge of figuring out the right order. What does downsizing mean to you? Life changes happen naturally. Maybe you’re an empty nester, a widow or widower, retired, or just slowing down a bit. Maybe the kids want you closer, or you’re simply done with all that extra home/lawn upkeep and unnecessary expenses. Or perhaps, you’ve got new hobbies, and you want to be closer to the action!  There can be a dozen other reasons, perhaps you need equity from your home to travel or simply that you’d like to splurge on your kids & your grandkids!  

With all these valid reasons to make a change, why do many seniors struggle with the idea?  Let’s take a moment to consider that the word downsizing itself may seem negative to you.  You may feel like leaving the house- that you’ve called home- for several years, even decades for some, is too much to bear.  The worry is that you will forget what it meant to you and why it was so special, that the memories will somehow be lost.
So to start, let’s think of this next step in your life not as downsizing but as RIGHT-SIZING!  Embracing a ‘right-sizing’ approach to life brings about unexpected benefits that are frequently underestimated. WHY RIGHT-SIZE?

Ease on Chores:

A smaller home often means less housework and overall property maintenance. Spending less time on upkeep gives you the flexibility for spontaneous vacations, outings, hobbies and visiting with friends and family.  If you are now living alone or just with your partner, ask yourself if your space still serves you, or is it simply too big?  For some, they are holding on to all those extra rooms in case the children come home to visit.  And that could be a valid reason but likely there could also be alternatives that may make more sense.

Strategic Location:

Right-sizing presents a unique opportunity to relocate to an area better aligned with your current and evolving lifestyle, whether it’s proximity to family, cultural activities, or recreational pursuits. Perhaps you envision spending less time in Canada altogether, in favour of warmer weather and palm trees.  It could be that you’d simply like a lakeside view or you now appreciate being able to walk to restaurants.  Of course, it could also be that you are in physical need of personal care and moving to an assisted living facility will provide peace of mind and companionship with other residents.

Tailored Floor Plan:

Your current home may have served different goals. A new, well-fitted floor plan ensures your home aligns with your current and future needs for optimal quality of life.  If you are struggling with stairs for example, a condo or bungalow may make life so much easier.  Maybe you need a wheelchair ramp or a no maintenance yard.  For some, it isn’t necessarily even a smaller home they are seeking but just a different one.

Boost Your Budget/ Diversify Your Investments:

Investing in a smaller space translates to reduced expenses. Trimming down on utilities, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and property taxes not only lightens the financial load but also unlocks additional funds for indulging in your retirement pursuits or spoiling your loved ones. While your home remains a significant asset, unlocking equity could provide newfound freedom to explore other avenues.  When was the last time you looked into how much your home is worth today?  The number may astound you.  For a free home evaluation, connect with me here

My thoughts:

I have personally noticed that the need to right-size one’s life now can happen much earlier than one would think.  Normally, we assume it is our senior citizens that need to ‘downsize’ their home and while that still is true, more and more individuals and couples in their 60’s are realizing that they don’t have to wait to make this change.  That perhaps, they need to evaluate their current lifestyle now.
If you are taking care of your elderly parents OR you are a senior yourself and want to explore the idea of right-sizing your life, I am happy to discuss potential options with you!  Please connect for a no-obligation and complimentary consultation. To attend my in-person seminar on right-sizing your home, get your free tickets here.
My team of industry professionals- who are mature market knowledgeable – include:  Packing and unpacking service providers, quality movers, handy people, housekeeping, legal, financial, nursing and aging in place specialists to name a few!
*If you are a senior, please feel free to join my Facebook group called How to Right-Size your Life with Grace:


Maple Syrup Festival, Halton, 2024

Maple Syrup Festival, Halton, 2024

We have attended a maple syrup festival every year since my 12 year old was born! It has totally become my family’s tradition and we definitely look forward to this outing each March! While we certainly haven’t tried them all, I’ll talk about my 2 favourite locations:

Bronte Creek Provincial Park
1219 Burloak Drive, Oakville
Daily Vehicle Permit: $18.00 / Senior Permit (65+): $14.50 / Disabled Permit: $9.00
March 3, 4, 9 through to 17, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31, 2024
9:30 AM to 3:00 PM


Embark on a captivating journey through Maple Lane with interpreters donned in 1890s attire, showcasing historical methods of collecting and crafting maple syrup. The tour concludes at the heart of Spruce Lane Farm, offering insights into the creation of fresh maple sugar and the chance to savor a delightful stick of maple taffy. Explore the family activity center, a haven for kids featuring entertaining games, and don’t overlook the living history museum, Spruce Lane Farmhouse, authentically recreating life from 1899.

Take a leisurely stroll through the various farm animals in the yard, then visit the Maple Gift Shop to peruse an array of maple products and souvenirs. Before leaving, be sure to secure a bottle of syrup to bring the delightful flavors home. And no Maple Syrup Festival is complete without indulging in a pancake meal! Board a wagon to the Pancake House, where you can relish fresh, hot pancakes and sausages drizzled with pure maple syrup.

2259 Milburough Line, Campbellville
Weekends, Holidays, and March Break, March 2, 2024 – April 7, 2024
9:30 AM to 5:00 PM


For over 150 years, the Mountsberg sugar bush has been weaving the enchantment of maple magic and educating the public for more than four decades. This spring, the park will tap approximately 300 sugar maples, and the pristine sap will undergo a magical transformation into delectable maple syrup within the Sugar Shanty.

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of tree tapping, sap collection, and syrup making against the backdrop of our incredible Sugar Maples. Delve into the rich history of syrup making, indulge in samples of maple sugar and syrup, and treat your taste buds to the delightful experience of maple taffy on snow.

Savor a feast for the senses with fresh pancakes and delectable treats like maple cotton candy and popcorn by the fireside. Explore our NEW Sugar Ranger Challenge! Join Professor Sugar for a self-guided journey through the sugarbush, completing six engaging hands-on challenges to earn your official Sugar Ranger certificate.

Don’t miss the opportunity to shop for delicious maple treats at the Country Store, visit the animal barn and Raptor Centre, and let the little ones play to their heart’s content on the Natural Playground. Enhance your experience with a horse-drawn wagon ride, Talon and Tailfeathers, or partake in workshops such as candle making and maple sugar making. The wonders of Mountsberg’s sugar bush await!

Activity and Outing Ideas

Join my Facebook group, dedicated to Activity and Outing Ideas for Halton Kids.

Northern Heat Rib Series – Milton Ribfest 2023

Northern Heat Rib Series – Milton Ribfest 2023

Saturday, July 29, 2023 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 30, 2023 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Community Park )View on Google Maps)

Children 12 and under FREE

Event Details:
Northern Heat Rib Series is Canada’s largest Rib & Craft Beer Series. Visiting 15+ locations across Ontario over consecutive weekends from May to September, This stop in Milton brings with it a mixture of rib rigs, local food vendors, craft brewers and local musical talent to each event giving local and surrounding communities the opportunity to reconnect and enjoy unique venues across our Province.

Each event provides a unique experience by local partners in a ticketed viewing area. Visitors will enjoy food and live music at the event’s open tables. For more information, visit NORTHERN HEAT RIB SERIES

What’s going on for Canada Day for 2023

What’s going on for Canada Day for 2023


Venue: 2340 Ontario St
Date and Time: July 1st, 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Enjoy an evening of FREE performances and family fun at Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park.
Activities and food trucks will open at 6 pm with fireworks at 10 pm (weather permitting).


Venue: 79 Jones St.
Date and Time: July 1st, Noon to 11 pm.

Food Trucks: Zara’s by The Lake, Julia’s Authentic Italian, Cobs Bakery and Doras Ice Cream Truck.

  • 12:30 pm – Fiddlestix
  • DJ Rick
  • 6:30 pm – The Radio with Mel as Elvis
  • *Kid activities


Venue: 1400 Lakeshore Rd
Date and Time: July 1st, 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

  • Yoga in the Park in the morning
  • Canada Day Run, 1k and 5k (you need to register online)
  • Live entertainment from the stage begins at 4 p.m.
  • Food and marketplace vendors
  • Fireworks at 10 p.m.
  • Brant Street activities from 12 pm-3 pm


Venue: 136 Robert St.
Date and Time: July 1st, 2:00PM – 10:30pm

  • Lawn games, Inflatables, Face Painting, Mascots
  • Beer Tent, Live entertainment, Food Vendors
  • Fireworks

See the full schedule here:


Venue: 300 City Centre Dr
Date and Time: July 1st, 4 pm to 10:30 pm

4:00 pm: SaugaLive Stage
4:30 pm: Official Ceremony
5:30 pm: Aqyila
6:30 pm: MICO
7:45 pm: Jamie Fine
9:00 pm: Faouzia
10:05 pm: Fireworks

Strawberry picking at Andrews Farm Market

Strawberry picking at Andrews Farm Market

Strawberry picking has started in many places… Here is a fun place to go – Andrews Farm Market (formerly called Andrews Scenic Acres).
Andrews Scenic Acres ducks These pictures were taken in 2020 as I haven’t had a chance to go this year yet but my kids LOVE this farm.
Andrews Scenic playground
There are old school climbers, tire swings, slides, hay bale mazes, sand pit (bring your own sand toys), goats, ducks, chickens to feed, wagon rides and walking trails. Lots of shady places to sit & picnic and bathrooms!
Check out their website for hours, admission and more details!
Home selling tip 101: Professional home cleaner is a must!

Home selling tip 101: Professional home cleaner is a must!

Prior to listing a home, having it cleaned is crucial for photographs and ultimately a buyer’s first impression when you are trying to sell and we will call this my Home Selling Tip 101!  Ever look around your home and think wow, this place is pretty dirty?  I’d say the chances are pretty good!  Maybe on a normal day, it doesn’t matter too much.  If you are trying to market your home to sell, however, a spotless home is a critical real estate tip that should not be overlooked!

I have noticed a need amongst many busy families for some help in keeping their home clean. Everyone is just so busy these days, whether they are working from home or at the office. The daily grind is really taxing and between commuting, dropping the little ones off at daycare, or taking older kids to their extracurricular activities (amongst a thousand other things), finding that additional time to clean a washroom or dust your built-ins is just that much more challenging.

I often have to hire home cleaners to help my clients get their homes prepared to go to market.  It doesn’t matter if the house is in Oakville, Burlington, Milton or somewhere else in Halton – the need for a clean home unites us! This deep clean before listing a house for sale is critical because buyers formulate their opinion of a home very quickly. First impressions matter and since the photos of your home is what is seen first, I make sure the area is spotless before I proceed with the photography and video tours.

When a buyer walks up to the front door, the glass cannot be grimy!  The exterior lights should sparkle and once they walk inside, a buyer will quickly decide whether they like what they see.  A bunch of dust bunnies, cobwebs in corners or grimy appliances may leave a negative impression. There are many places in your home that are overlooked during regular daily life but when you are trying to sell your home, you need to look at every nook and cranny and make sure that everything is polished and as clean as possible.

I have come to know Dominique, from Lavender and Pine very well over the years as I have helped her and her family buy and sell their home more than once.  She’s a wonderful, caring person with a very generous spirit. When she told me that she planned on opening her own cleaning business, I immediately started thinking of ways in which I could support her.

Lavender and Pine is a small business servicing Binbrook, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Hamilton, Waterdown, Burlington and Oakville. Services include regular and deeper cleans, moving in and out cleans, pre-list cleans, Airbnb and commercial cleans. Dominique’s hard-working nature is evident when she cleans homes. There is a genuine desire to please the homeowner and make sure that her work is going above and beyond their expectations.  Her goal is to turn your home into a relaxing, tidy and spotless sanctuary and allow you to keep your free time free!

If you looking for some help to keep your home clean as a whistle, check Lavender and Pine out here.  I believe in her work so much so that I have created a promotion with Dominique to thank our mutual clients!

7 tips to consider before listing your home for sale

7 tips to consider before listing your home for sale

Neutralize Colours

Neutral colours will allow buyers to project their own ideas into a room. Think of your walls as a blank canvas for a buyer to turn it into the home they dream of.  A fresh coat of paint goes a long way and often is the best return on investment in terms of minimal money spent and overall impact.


Minor Fix-Ups

Buyers formulate a quick first impression as soon as they see your home. Items that show wear and tear should be looked after. This includes squeaky closet doors, loose door handles, leaky faucets etc… Small fixes can go a long way. Remember the goal is to not have the buyer wondering if your home has bigger issues that they need to worry about!


Your Kitchen & Bathrooms

There are minor things that can be done to improve on these rooms. Replace hardware if outdated, apply fresh caulking where needed, update faucets or lighting. Don’t forget to clean your appliances inside and out. These rooms really need to shine!


Your Floors

This can be a tricky one to navigate. Whatever your floors are, make sure they are as clean as can be (carpet vacuumed and in some cases steam cleaned). There are instances where removing carpet will be a good idea. This can sometimes depend on each situation and guidance from a real estate professional will be critical.


Create Space

Start your packing early. Remove anything unneeded and unnecessary from all rooms of the house (knickknacks, extra furniture, personal items). This will create more space and will help allow the buyers to visualize their own furnishings in the different rooms. Don’t forget about your closets, your basement and your garage.


Curb Appeal

When a buyer first sees your house, you want them to be enticed to continue on in. Their very first impression starts outside your front door. Depending on the season you are selling in, snow should be shovelled or grass should be mowed. This is basic stuff, but it is often overlooked. Remember your home needs to look inviting both inside and out!


Count on a Pro!

Selling your home is a big decision! This process should be handled with care and expertise. Being ready to go to market goes beyond a “For Sale” sign on the lawn. Sometimes it takes an experienced eye to help you catch the things you might miss, and make your home look the best!

Would it be a bad idea to have an experienced professional on your side?
You can always give me a call to get the help you need!

7 tips to consider before home shopping

7 tips to consider before home shopping

Know your Numbers

There is absolutely no sense in home shopping until you know what you can actually afford! Visit with a mortgage professional and get yourself pre-approved. Keep in mind the additional expenses that go along with home ownership such as property taxes, utilities and maintenance costs. There are also various closing charges and legal fees to consider.

Start saving for your down payment and moving expenses.
Bottom Line: check with the professionals and don’t be caught off guard!

Work With An Agent

A good agent will guide you through the home buying process and keep you informed every step of the way. In most cases, the seller pays the real estate commission for both their own agent and the buyer’s agent. This means you have the benefit of expert advice without this additional fee. They will also be a great resource for recommending other industry professionals you will need along the way (mortgage broker, home inspector, lawyer) etc…

Your agent will work with you to find the right home and walk you though the purchase paperwork as well as see you right
through to the finish line!

Keep A Level Head

Many people get caught up in their emotions and stress about paint colours or flooring. This is a big financial purchase so the location, size and layout should be paramount. It is almost never a good idea to skip the home inspection even in a heated market as you don’t want any surprises with major components of the home (roof, plumbing, furnace, hot water tank). You have to balance patience with your ability to be decisive when you find a great home for a good value. Stay calm and be wise!

Stalk The Neighbourhood

The house itself won’t be so perfect if you find out you actually hate the area or that the nearest school doesn’t meet your standards. Drop by the area morning, noon and night. This might paint a clearer picture as to what you can expect while keeping your lifestyle in mind. Where are the closest grocery stores or other key amenities? If possible, try the commute from the neighbourhood to your work
place. The worst thing would be to move in and figure out you really can’t stand the sound of the passing train every 30 minutes. Research and do
your due diligence!

Don’t Try and Time the Market

No one has a crystal ball so don’t obsess about the exact right time to buy. Real estate can be cyclical… it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So, if you try to wait for the perfect time, you’re probably going to miss out. A good time to buy is when you find a suitable house in your desired area that you can realistically afford. Keep an open mind during your house hunt and try to enjoy the

Ask Questions, Get Answers

Do you know about Mortgage Loan Insurance, the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan and the Land Transfer Tax Rebate?  Maybe you are unclear about the legal lingo in your offer. Perhaps you want some guidance on what to expect after your offer has been accepted. There are no stupid questions. Having a knowledgeable real estate professional is invaluable.

Move-In, Enjoy Your New Home

Presumably, you have hired movers, changed your forwarding address and started telling your family and friends about your purchase. After you move in start
maintaining your home, protecting your investment and building great memories!

Count on a Pro!

There is no need to navigate a home purchase on your own. Working with the right professional should save you time, energy and often money. I will even make the process fun!

You can always reach me a call to get the help you need, so let’s get started!

School board and ranking information

School Rankings

A helpful website that lists school rankings is the Fraser Institute’s school rankings website.


Private School Guide

if you are interested in Private School options, take a look at this guide.


School Boards

Top 5 Reasons to Relocate to Oakville, Ontario

Top 5 Reasons to Relocate to Oakville, Ontario

My personal top 5 Reasons to Relocate to Oakville, Ontario… the little Hamlet next to Toronto.

If you are searching for a new place to call home, the Town of Oakville is a great choice for new immigrants, a place to raise a family, and those looking to retire.

There are many reasons why online MoneySense Magazine has recognized Oakville as the best place to live overall out of a ranking of 415 cities, towns, and villages.  Their comparison criteria include factors such as safety and culture, access to transit, schools and health care, overall affordability, and the economy.

I have lived in Oakville with my husband for 14 years now and we understand the appeal… It is truly a wonderful place to call home!  There is a real sense of community here and as we raise our two boys, we can’t help but agree with the assessment that this beautiful lakeside town is an amazing place to bring up a family.

This is not your typical bedroom community as Oakville has established itself with its unique character, a revitalized downtown core with plenty of interesting shops and restaurants.  It feels like you have the better of two worlds here with all the amenities you need in a city but with a whole lot of town charm!

Oakville schools are truly top-notch

No matter what specific neighbourhood you choose, Oakville schools are truly top-notch.  As a Realtor with a genuine family-focus, a good school is often on the criteria list for the families I work with.  It is not uncommon for parents to have specific school requirements in mind when searching for a home.

Perhaps they find the overall ‘score’ of the school to be paramount.  A helpful website that lists school rankings is this one:

While I believe there could be some value to the scoring system, I will say from the hundreds of parents I speak to, how the school ‘ranks’ seems to be less critical than the actual quality of teachers and the direction of the principal.

Other families will want to live near a school that offers French Immersion.  Sometimes regardless of what specific school it is, the main objective is to be within walking distance because they are a one-car household.

Oakville also offers a number of private schools and if that is a consideration for your family check out this great resource:

Currently, there are 27 public elementary schools and 16 Catholic elementary schools to choose from. Regardless, of the decisive factors that are important to you about school criteria, Oakville definitely has some of the best ones to choose from!

Oakville’s natural landscape

Situated along the picturesque shores of Lake Ontario, another major draw is Oakville’s natural landscape.   The great outdoors definitely surround you and it is not uncommon to find homes backing onto ravines, siding on lovely parks, or being near the waterfront.

Oakville’s 17-kilometer shoreline is home to two magnificent harbours and a plethora of lakefront parks, making it a hidden gem for visitors seeking to enjoy life on the water.

The Pileated Woodpecker, Turkey Vulture, Baltimore Oriole, and Red-Tailed Hawk are among the forest birds and waterfowl that may be seen in Oakville by both novice and experienced birders.

Among my favourite places to visit to appreciate Oakville’s beauty: Lions Valley Park, Bayshire Woods, Gairloch Gardens, Lakeside Park and Tannery Park to name a few!

My family finds that in Oakville, it is easy to stay active!

Enjoy the numerous acres of parkland, many of which have well-kept hiking paths. Oakville’s 200+ kilometers of recreational trails – great for walking, jogging, cycling- spread across the town’s neighbourhoods and link many areas.

Oakville is home to the impressive Bronte Provincial Park!  Here you can enjoy five hiking trails, tobogganing, cross country skiing, and swimming.

Oakville, known as the “Home of the Canadian Open,” has a wide range of golf courses and amenities to suit all skill levels. Spend the day swinging on iconic courses like Glen Abbey Golf Course, which has hosted the Canadian Open Golf Championships for the past 28 years!

If you have young children, have a look at my Facebook Activity & Outings group where I feature different parks, splash pads, and activity ideas that a young family can enjoy. Click to join here!

Oakville is safe & diverse! 

According to Statistics Canada (2020 data), the total crime rate here is 56% below the national average.

While English is the most common language, over 70,000 Oakville residents (out of a population of approximately 200,000) identify different languages as their mother tongue. The most common include Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, Urdu and Portuguese.  (Source: Environics Analytics, 2020 Estimate)

 The percentage of visible minorities in Oakville has climbed from 18% to 31% over the past 10 years.

Oakville, with its lakeside mega-mansions, is undeniably a wealthy town.  Oakville’s 2020 average household income is estimated at $192,562.04, with the provincial average at $111,866.84. Almost 65 percent of Oakville households earn an annual income of more than $100,000.

This is only one side of the story.  There are plenty of mainstream areas attracting families in all different stages of their lives.  New developments can be seen all over town offering something for everyone.  I help purchasers buy their very first condo apartment, townhome, semi-detached or fully detached home.

Accessibility and proximity to other major cities

Residents here enjoy the perks of a smaller town atmosphere but are conveniently located in proximity to other major cities.  From a commuting standpoint, Oakville is actually in a fantastic geographical position being 30 minutes from Toronto or Hamilton while also located between Mississauga and Burlington!  The GO Train and major highways are easy to access.

Overall accessibility is a benefit to reach other robust employment centres but is also advantageous for recreational and practical reasons.   I often find myself dining in the many lakeside restaurants that Burlington has to offer or enjoying a shopping spree in Toronto’s city core.  You can get to the many family attractions either going East or West (Oakville is 90km northeast of Niagara Falls) and Oakville has always felt to us to be ideally located for all these reasons.

If you need help deciding on an area to move to, I’d love to help you navigate our beautiful neighbourhoods and assist you in your home buying journey!  Contact me here: