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Top activities to beat the winter blues in and around Halifax

Top Indoor Activities to Beat the Winter Blues in Nova Scotia

As winter blankets Nova Scotia with snow and chilly temperatures, it's the perfect time to explore indoor activities that will warm your heart and lift your spirits. While the winter blues may tempt you to hibernate indoors, there are plenty of exciting ways to stay active and entertained without braving the cold. Here are some top indoor activities to beat the winter blues in Nova Scotia:

1. Visit a Local Museum or Art Gallery: Nova Scotia is rich in culture and history, and what better way to immerse yourself than by exploring a local museum or art gallery? Check out Nova Scotia Museums for a full list of what is open in winter and their hours. Unfortunately, the Nova Scotia Art Gallery is temporarily closed this winter for maintenance. Check back for spring re-opening on their website. The Dalhousie Art Gallery is another option. 

2. Try Indoor Rock Climbing: Embrace your adventurous side and head to an indoor rock climbing gym. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned climber, indoor rock climbing is a fun and challenging activity that will get your heart pumping and your adrenaline flowing. Local climbing facilities include East Peak Climbing, Seven Bays Bouldering Halifax & Bayers Lake, The Dalhousie Gym, and Formation Halifax Outback Climbing Club (FHOCC)

3. Attend a Cooking Class: Warm up from the inside out by attending a cooking class. Learn new recipes, techniques, and culinary skills while enjoying delicious food in a fun and interactive environment. A favourite spot  just outside of the city is The Flying Apron Inn & Cookery, where you can take a class & stay overnight! 

4. Relax at a Spa or Wellness Center: Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and self-care at a spa or wellness center. Indulge in a massage, facial, or other rejuvenating treatments to melt away stress and tension, leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed. We have many local options right in the city and just outside as well. While I haven’t been to Nature Folk, many clients and friends have been and love the atmosphere and ease of access. Just outside Halifax, near Peggy’s Cove is Oceanstone’s Hydrothermal Spa. I received a gift certificate for Christmas for this and can’t wait to use it! I’ve heard wonderful reviews and the location is spectacular. 

5. Take a Dance or Fitness Class: Beat the winter blues and stay active by taking a dance or fitness class. Whether you prefer salsa dancing, yoga, or high-intensity interval training, there are plenty of classes available to suit your interests and fitness level.  Check out Happy Soul Dance Studio for their unique offerings and also, check out Halifax Cape Breton Dances for alternating all ages and over 19 dances. 

6. Explore Indoor Markets and Craft Fairs: Support local artisans and vendors by exploring indoor markets and craft fairs. Browse unique handmade goods, artisanal foods, and one-of-a-kind gifts while escaping the winter chill. I am seeing more vintage and antique style markets making a come back. Check out the Curio Collective, and The Funky Flea.

7. Host a Game Night: Gather your friends and family for a cozy game night at home. Break out classic board games, card games, or host a friendly game of trivia to enjoy quality time together indoors.

8. Attend a Live Performance or Show: Experience the magic of live theater, music, or comedy by attending a performance or show. Check out local theaters including Neptune, concert venues including The Rebecca Cohn, the outstanding Symphony Nova Scotia as well comedy club Yuk Yuk’s for upcoming events and performances. A wonderful option for the family is Durty Nelly’s on Sunday’s from 3-6 where you can experience a live Irish session (and maybe some dancing) while enjoying an afternoon appetizer or catching a game. And of course, there is The Carleton, and several other local pubs & bars that offer live music for over 19’s. 

9. Try Ax Throwing: And last, but not least, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention ax throwing! We recently had an office social at Halimac, which was a lot of fun! Indoor ax throwing is thrilling and unconventional activity that's sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Don't let the winter blues get you down—embrace the season and explore these top indoor activities to stay active, entertained, and inspired in Nova Scotia. Whether you're seeking culture, adventure, relaxation, or connection, there's something for everyone to enjoy indoors during the winter months.

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Often Buyers ask: Why isn't that house sold?

One question that buyers often ask me when we first meet, notably, in today's busy market is: Why hasn't that house sold?  Let's look at some of the most common reasons why a house may not be selling and what you, as a buyer can do to take advantage of these situations.

  1. Overpriced

One of the main reasons a house may not be selling is that it is overpriced. Sellers may have unrealistic expectations about what their home is worth, leading them to set an asking price that is significantly higher than the market value. This can be a turnoff for potential buyers who are looking for a fair deal. However, this situation can also be an opportunity for a buyer to negotiate on a house price rather than compete with other buyers and pay over asking. Work with your Realtor to make an offer at fair market value and see if you can negotiate that price down. 

  1. Condition

Another reason why a house may not be selling is that it is in less than ideal condition. This could mean that it needs significant repairs or updates that the seller is unwilling or unable to make. Again, this can be a turnoff for many potential buyers who are looking for a move-in ready home. However, if you're willing to invest some time and money into fixing up the property, you could get a great deal on a home that would otherwise be out of your price range. Just be sure to do your research and get estimates for any repairs or updates before making an offer.

  1. Location

Sometimes a home's location can be a dealbreaker for buyers. It could be in a less desirable neighborhood, or it could be situated near a busy road or other sources of noise pollution. While these factors may make the property less attractive to some buyers, they may not bother you as much. If you're willing to overlook the location of the home, you could potentially get a great deal on a property that is otherwise in good condition and meets your needs.

  1. Poor marketing

Finally, a house may not be selling because it is not being marketed effectively. This could mean that the seller is not using high-quality photos or descriptions in their listing, or that they are not promoting the property effectively through social media or other channels. You can work with your real estate agent to find these hidden gems and make an offer that reflects the property's true value.

As a buyer, these situations can present an opportunity.  Look beyond the days on market and see how you can make that work to your advantage.  Work with a knowledgeable real estate agent and do  your due diligence. Again always take into considation the cost of  repairs, and weigh the pros and cons of the home's location before making a final decision. With the right approach, you could be on your way to owning your dream home at a price you can afford.

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226 Sailors Trail Eastern Passage is For Sale

Welcome to The Village at Fisherman's Cove, a friendly, well thought out community located just steps away from McCormack's Beach and boardwalk, and scenic Fisherman's Cove with restaurants, shops, fresh off the boat seafood and the Hartlen Point Forces Golf Club is just a few kms up the road. This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath detached home is flooded with natural light and offers stunning sunset views and ocean breezes from the rear deck. The main level has open concept layout with beautiful hardwood floors, large living room and dining room. The spacious eat-in kitchen also has breakfast bar, great storage and a pantry. Large primary bedroom is also located on this level and includes 5 piece ensuite, walk-in closet and laundry just outside the door. The lower level features a bright office/den, rec room, 2nd bedroom, and the 2nd full bathroom. 226 Sailors Trail has been nicely maintained and has a recently installed heat pump/AC. A well-managed condo with great amenities including a private club house, outdoor heated pool, and a guest suite! Enjoy having your own home with the convenience of condo living! MLS#202223671

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New Listing 1002 1445 South Park St.The Trillium

1002 1445 South Park St. The Trillium Condo For Sale

Listing Price $659,900

MLS#202222482 

This stunning 2-bedroom condo in The Trillium is a must see. Featuring a modern open concept living and dining room layout with floor-to-ceiling windows featuring gorgeous west facing views over Victoria Park. Stunning in the evening and ideal for entertaining. Both bedrooms are spacious with the primary offering a walk-in closet and 5-piece ensuite. Quality finishes including granite counters throughout the kitchen and bathrooms, hardwood floors, crown moldings and cove ceilings. This one owner unit comes with its own assigned parking and storage spaces. The Trillium offers exceptional 24-hour concierge services, outdoor terraces with pool and hot tub, guest suite, gym, social room, and secure underground parking. Step out on to South Park St. and walk to the shops of Spring Garden Rd., the Public Gardens, growing number of restaurants, theatres, the hospitals, universities. Don't miss out on this sought after layout and location.

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Thinking of Selling in the Fall?

Getting a house ready to sell can take several weeksof preparation.

Organizing and staging can be a daunting task for some.

For a FALL selling timeframe, NOW is the time to be consulting with your Realtor to begin the work!

Reach out to me for your first consult, let's get your home ready to sell! 

lizm@domus.ns.ca 902-219-0316 or dm me on social. 

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What does "Firm Date" mean in Nova Scotia Real Estate?

In Nova Scotia, when we refer to the "Firm Date", we are referring to the date when all of the Buyers Conditions have been satisfied, they have signed their Buyer Waiver and now officially committed to completing the purchase of the property.

This is the day when we hang the SOLD sign on the property.

Barring any issues with title, the sale will close on the date set out in the contract.

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Primary Bedroom and Primary Bathroom are here to stay

Words Matter!

"Master bedroom" has been used since the 1920s when it was featured in a Sears home catalog. The word is intended for the master of the house or the owner of the home.Realtor groups are collectively moving away from the term "master", which can be perceived as racist and/or sexist,and now refer to the largest bedroom and bathroom as the“Primary”.I am always open to learning and improving. Using updated words and terms promotes inclusion and shows respect for all. Realtors use the word primary instead of master when referring to the largest bedroom/bathroom in a home. It’s simple. #wordsmatter #termtuesday #elevate #continuousimprovement #inclusive #realestateterms

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Regency Park Drive Condo For Sale -  Halifax, NS
507 - 40 Regency Park, a sought-after condo building in a most convenient location. Beautiful sunsets from the west facing balcony, the large windows provide great sunlight year round. Modern functional floorplan with large living, dining and kitchen area, easily customized to your lifestyle. Light hardwood floors throughout the main living spaces with tile in the kitchen and baths. Oversized primary bedroom has a large walk through closet and 4 piece en-suite. Good size 2nd bedroom and another full bathroom. In suite laundry and great storage closet. All the amenities you could want - heated underground parking, inground pool, storage unit, car wash, gym, common room, guest suite, on site super, and a very healthy reserve fund. Easy access to the highway, Bayers Lake with the new health centre being built, Canada Games Centre, Keshen Goodman Library and so much more. MLS#202211467
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5 Costs Associated with Buying a Home in Nova Scotia - Over and Above the Down Payment



5 Costs Associated with Buying a Home in Nova Scotia - Over and Above the Down Payment



Costs associated with buying a home can vary greatly within Canada, so let’s take a closer look at what it expenses you will incur, over and above the purchase price and down payment when you buy a home in Nova Scotia.


1.  Deed Transfer Tax Nova Scotia


The number one fee that’s going to cost you, that you are likely unaware of and need to budget for is the Deed Transfer Tax. This tax is based on the purchase price of the property and varies throughout Nova Scotia, with the lowest being 0 and the highest being 1.5%. The rate varies by municipality, so when calculating this number, you’ll want to check which municipality you’re “shopping” in. Halifax Regional Municipality has a rate of 1.4%. With some of the highest price homes in the Nova Scotia, this can be quite a substantial number.  You will have to pay this tax on closing, and it will be due to your lawyer as part of the closing costs. As of February 28, 2022 the average home price in Halifax Regional Municipality was $576,986, which would incur a deed transfer tax of approximately $8655. Not a small amount for any buyer!

2.   Inspections


Inspections can also be quite costly, both in urban and rural settings.  In recent months, we have started to see offers and purchases without the condition (or contingency) of home inspections.  For the most part, they are still quite common and often more than just a traditional home inspection is required. Some buyers who forego the home inspection may have one completed after they close so that they have a greater understanding of the working of the home and what updates or upgrades may need to be completed down the road. Some clients like to have the inspection booklet as a reference for future planning.


Traditional Home Inspection – can cost anywhere from around $400 - $800 depending on who you hire. These typically cover the exterior and interior of the home.


If you’re buying a home in a city or town on municipal services, you may want to budget for a Sewer Line Video Inspection to check the conditions of the sewer line from the house to the city or town main line. Depending on the age and location of the property, these lines can be old cast iron, or laminated paper product referred to as “no-corrode”, and could be failing due to age, tree roots or other unknown damage. These can be costly to repair or replace. Cost depends on the location of the line, what is over it, and how easy or difficult it is to access. A sewer line scope can be completed by most plumbers and will cost around $350 +/-. You can be on site for this inspection, and most will provide you with a video of the inspection for your files.


If you are buying a rural property, you will want to budget for Water Testing (quality) and if the well is drilled, you may also want to test for quantity. A Well Recovery Test will let you know how quickly the well recovers water after large usage. It will also provide you with valuable information on the depth of your well. Water quality testing can run from $75+ dependant  on what you are testing for, and the Well Recovery Test can cost $300+/-.


Another major inspection most buyers will want to complete is on the property’s Septic System. This inspection will test the pipes and  flow from the house, out to the septic tank and then into the septic field. It can pinpoint problems with the plumbing lines, septic tank and septic field. These can be costly to fix, so this is not an inspection I’d advise anyone to skip. A septic inspection will cost $350+. A video of the inspection will usually be recorded for your files.


The last inspection that used to be more commonly completed during the “conditional” time frame is a Radon Gas test. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces like homes, it can accumulate to high levels. Exposure to high levels of radon in indoor air results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The risk of cancer depends on the level of radon and how long a person is exposed to those levels. A short term (72 hour) test can be done to gauge if high levels exist, but Health Canada recommends a long term (90 day) test for most homeowners now. This should be completed once you take possession of your home. If there is Radon in the house, mitigation can be completed, and a simple system can start around $1750. Basements with a mix of stone and concrete, may require more complex systems and therefore be more expensive to remediate.


3.  Lawyers Fees


Lawyers’ fees will vary based on the level of service and expertise. I recommend budgeting at least $1500 for the fees.


4.  Disbursements and Adjustments

 

Disbursements and adjustments refer to items that the seller has already paid for that you will have to reimburse them for on closing. These can include prepaid property taxes, fuel including oil (a full-size oil tank at 909 litres in today’s market is $1000+), propane, and prepaid condo fees if you’re purchasing a condominium. The lawyers will calculate taxes and condo fees based on a per diem and will start the day of closing.  


5.  Insurance


You will need to have insurance on your property, and this will likely be a condition of your mortgage. In Nova Scotia, we have an insurance clause in our Agreement of Purchase and Sale that can be “checked” so that it is a part of your buyers conditions. This allows you time to make sure you can obtain insurance on the property. Most insurance companies will provide you with a letter of insurability once they've confirmed the property is insurable. You will arrange your policy with your insurance provider to be in effect on the day of closing and you will arrange to pay them yourself, not through your lawyer. Home insurance rates vary greatly, but budget for $125/month as a very loose number.

Realtors Fees


If the property you are buying is listed on the MLS system,  the home seller has agreed in their contract to the pay the Realtors fees. The fee is paid out by the seller, from the proceeds of the sale, through the lawyers on closing, to the respective Realtors Brokerages.  For a property that is listed with a non MLS company, or a private sale, have a conversation with your Realtor, so you understand your obligations based on your Buyer Brokerage Contract. 


Feel free to reach out with any other questions you might have with regards to closing costs.


March 21, 2022

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Halifax Average Home Prices Continue To Rise as Inventory Continues to Fall

Halifax, along with most of Nova Scotia continues to see increases in average prices in home sales through the end of February 2022. The average price for a home in HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality – which stretches from Hubbards to Ecum Secum) is now $576,986, which is an increase of 30.4% over the same time period last year. This includes detached, semi-detached and condominiums.

HRM remains the most expensive area in Nova Scotia, with Cape Breton Region coming in as the most affordable with an average price of $214,828, an increase of 36.3% over last year at the same time.

The number of new listings and active listings continues to drop throughout the province, with less than one month of inventory in the Halifax Region. The South Shore Region which includes notable towns such as Chester, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg has approximately 2.6 moths worth of inventory.

Sales numbers in units increased in areas with the most inventory including the Highland Region and Cape Breton.

Please reach out if you have specific questions about your area or are interested in knowing how much your home could sell for in today’s market. I’m always happy to provide a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for your property.

All data drawn from MLS reports through NSAR.

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Exclusive Listing 954 Lindola  - SOLD October 2021
Enter the inviting private enclave of the Lindola townhomes through the brick columns on Ivanhoe Street. These stately brick homes feature a traditional charm and elegant design that will make you feel instantly at home. On your left is 954 Lindola Place, and just down around the cobblestone circle, a is your single car garage. Bright and spacious, this 3-level townhome condo has undergone many updates in the last 2 years: all new windows, new bathrooms, fully refinished lower level, updated lighting, and a new back deck. The main floor has high ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace for cozy winter evenings, and a good flow throughout. The second level features a large master bedroom with a luxurious ensuite featuring a custom shower and heated floors. A large 2nd bedroom and renovated main bath complete this level. The 3rd floor has a cozy family room with 2 new skylights and a large 3rd bedroom. Use your imagination for the lower level: laundry is in place and there is lots of additional space to use as a gym, office, rec room or hobby space. 954 enjoys a 2nd assigned parking space near the entrance. Enjoy the privacy and security of the laneway and the benefit of the condo corporation looking after the exterior maintenance including gardening and snow removal.
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