Toronto MLS in New Stratus and Realtor.CA and how we all need to learn, learn, learn!

If you are not learning something new every day and every hour – you are falling behind
If you are learning a little bit – you are kind of sitting in the same spot
But to move forward, and move forward at a decent pace your really have to kick that lazy bum of yours and work hard on mastering new stuff!

Today I finally made myself to go to the New Stratus – Toronto MLS course. Just so you know, my bum is not designed for sitting down for any period of time exceeding 30 min and if I am not overly excited about the stuff I am doing, my attention span turns into a one of an oyster. But I have to admit – today was good, fulfilling and satisfying and I would really love to share some of those great things with you. You might know some of it or not, but here is what happened to be new to me:

1. New Stratus and Toronto MLS are 2 completely different systems and what you do in one is not reflected in the other: per say in Toronto MLS you can program up to 150 prospect searches! And you can do another 150 in New Stratus

2. Toronto MLS will be discontinued at some point, however the exact date was not released yet. So, my fellow Realtors, sign up for the course!

3. New Stratus is a real time system. Realtor.CA takes 24 to 48 hours to update. So, for the home buyers – you might be drooling all over that awesome new home while it was gone of the market 2 days ago. Just get yourself a good agent to keep your fingers on pulse of the real estate market 🙂

4. Unavailable listings in New Stratus, such as expired, sold, terminated go back to 2 years.

5. Archives for residential listings go back to 1986 and for commercial to 1999

6. The last and most important: it appears that some agents have no idea how to add and edit their listings correctly, so you have to use pretty creative search criteria to get some good results for your client. Just an example – was searching for residential-detached in York-Newmarket. 3 listings popped up for Bruce Peninsula! – Huh?

And with this being said – Happy Learning Everyone!


Successful People from Our Neighborhood – Chris Chapin, Vice President at Mutual Transportation

Please, welcome, Chris Chapin, VP of Mutual Transportation, optimistic, fun and upbeat. Working at Mutual Transportation for me was a pleasure, working with Chris – a treat. Unlike many other "bosses", Chris would always back you up, help to resolve any ugly situation and will have you walk out of any stressful encounter smiling. As they say, people will forget what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel. Chris will make you feel valued, appreciated and supported.

Chris Chapin in his office

Chris, even though, I already introduced yourself, lets do it again. Just tell us who you are and what you do, please!

Continue reading

Some More Mortgage Terms and Rates

Here are some more terms explained to stay sane in an ocean of mortgages. And the rates we are getting this week are as following:

3 Year Fixed Rate 2.95%

4 Year Fixed Rate 3.09%

5 Year Fixed Rate 3.39%

Variable rates: The interest rate on a variable-rate mortgage is tied to the bank’s prime rate. The prime rate, in turn, goes up and down according to the overnight rate, which is set by the Bank of Canada. A variable rate mortgage can typically be locked-in at a fixed rate, but sometimes there is a fee. Ask your lender for more details!

Fixed rates: These rates are locked in for the length of your term, and they tend to be higher, but you’re paying for peace of mind. The payments, and the amount of interest that you owe, will not change during the term. These rates are dictated by supply and demand in the bond market, which, in turn, is influenced by world events – anything from the European debt crisis to the health of the Chinese economy to the health of Canada’s manufacturing sector can push these rates up and down – that’s why it’s so difficult even for experts to know where rates are headed.

Open: An open mortgage means you can pay the mortgage down or off entirely at any time without any penalties. These typically carry a higher interest rate.

Closed: A closed mortgage means that you will be restricted to how much of the principal you can pay down ahead of schedule. Most mortgages allow what are known as pre-payments or extra payments towards the principal of about 20 per cent per year. Check with your lender for more details. Some mortgages allow you to double up on your payments.

More on the topic:

Mortgage Basics

Houses in Art – Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade is one of my most favorite artists ever. American painter passed away just last year. He often called himself a "Painter of Light". Hugely criticized by some and immensely loved by others, just like any other famous artist. You know his paintings, you've seen them many times – computer wallpaper, candy wrappers, kiddie puzzles…..

Thomas Kinkade Thomas Kinkade2 Thomas Kinkade3

His works are full of magic, light and love. And quite often there are houses, windows always lit as if waiting for you to come home after the long day. "It's been a hard day's night, I have been working like a dog"  – and here I am heading home, where my loved ones are.

Thomas Kinkade4 Thomas Kinkade5 Thomas Kinkade6

I wish some of my feature sheets looked like his works!

Compliments of Marina Gavrylyuk
Real Estate Agent with Sutton Group Summit Realty

Please, Don’t Let the Cat Out – you gotta be kidding me!

Not sure about some of my colleagues Realtors but this note on the listing is totally stressing me out, right to the point where I am thinking I should not even bother showing the home.

dont let the cat out

Don't take me wrong, I love pets, I am a happy owner of a cat and a dog.
Also, just a few years ago I used to own an absolutely crazy angora cat, who used to hide around the corner and fly out the door with a speed of the lightning a soon as someone would come in. Since then I have a fear of inadequate cats.
Going with the client for the showing there are a lot of things to worry about but chasing mental pets down the street. Yes, I agree, most of the times this is just overfed, sleepy kitty, too heavy to even get up, but seriously, is there a way to just keep them away for an hour or so?
It is not such a big issue with me – all I have to worry about is my reputation. If the seller sets the rules – I am trying my best to follow. And I would imagine, the seller would be pretty upset if his beloved pet escapes. But also, try to keep in mind, that for some cultures and religions certain pets aren't a very desirable companion and your chances of selling a house where the pet is present are substantially going down, especially in certain areas.
So, as they say at the rail road stations – for your own safety and protection, please, stay back of the yellow line, or follow some simple rules to make sure your house sells as fast as possible and for the best possible price:

For the agent previews, showings and open houses:

1. Keep your pets out of the house, doesn't matter if they are the size of the mouse or a grizzly bear

2. If there is no way of removing the pet – please, crate them, for their own good, as noone will step on them or accidentally let them out. Usually you get a  call in advance for all the showings, so pick a time convenient for you to make sure your pet is not suffering in a crate for longer then needed

3. Pets' bowls, litter trays, leashes, beds, baskets, etc must go away for the time of showings;

4. Please, make sure there is no smell, as an owner you might be used to it, but for the possible home buyer cat's  or dog's or bird's smell might be quite overwhelming

5. Keep all pet's food in the airtight containers and away from sight.

Pretty simple, right? Happy showing and happy and quick house sale for you and your beloved furry friends!

Open House – 2766 Folkway Dr, Unit 78, Mississauga, July 28, 2 to 4 pm

Really good price! Close to Mississauga offices, close to Willson International – know that for sure! I will be there on Sunday!

2766 Folkway Dr

Very Spacious End Unit (Approx. 1400 Sq Feet). In One Of The Most Sought After Areas In Erin Mills. Newer Furnace And Air Conditioner, Central Vac, Newer Ceramic Tiles, Newer Vanity In Master Bath Ensuite, Spacious Bedrooms, Upgraded Broadloom. Fenced Backyard With A Gate To Beautiful Parkette Located In Beautiful Erin Mills Surrounded By Mature Trees And Trails.
Fridge, Stove, Washer, Dryer, All Window Coverings, All Electric Light Fixtures. Garage Door Opener, Central Vac And Equipment. Central Ac. New Toilettes, Ceiling Fan, Newer Roof . Lowest Priced Unit In The Area

For more information go to: 2766 Folkway Dr, Unit 78, Mississauga

Foody Thursday – “Melting Moments” Cookies

This is quite a special recipe, from a very special book that was given to me by a very special person. i only got to work with her for a short period of time, but I am grateful we met.

Recipe from the book "500 Cookies" by Philippa Vanstone, given to me as a "Bye" gift by Sylvie Gilalfau. Thanks, Sylvie!

Melting Moments

For the cookies:
1 cup butter
1/2 icing sugar
1/2 tsb vanulla extract (I used vanilla sugar)
1 1/2 cup flour (make it 1 and 1/4 – will be a little easier to pipe cookies)
3 tbsp cornstarch

For the filling:

4 tbsp butter
1 cup icing sugar (this is a bit much, half should make it)
2 tsp vanilla extract (again vanilla sugar in my case)
3 tbsp fruit jam (I had strawberry)


Preheat oven to 175 C. Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until light an fluffy. Sift flour and cornstarch and stir. Using 1 cm fluted nozzle and a piping bag, pipe the mixture into 2 1/2 cm rosettes on a non-stick baking sheet. Just like this

Ready to bake

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Allow cookies to firm up slightly before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. (They are way to small for the wire rack – granite counter top works just fine)

Beat the butter and icing sugar with vanilla. Spread jam onto bottom of half cookies and then spread or pipe the filling onto the other halves. Sandwich together

Piping Filling

In a hot weather as we are having – store in a fridge!
Enjoy! My husband just had a couple with his beer, but I am not positive this is a good idea…..

Bon Appetit

Compliments of Marina Gavrylyuk
Real Estate Agent with Sutton Group Summit Realty

For more recipes:
Chicken Cutlets
Potato Pancakes!
Awesome Spinach Salad