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Whether you have a small patio or large yard, maximizing your outdoor space can create a welcoming and enjoyable environment, while also extending your living space. Here are some tips to help make the most of your outdoor space:

  • Incorporate plants, flowers, and greenery to add natural beauty to
    your outdoor space. Choose low maintenance plants suitable for
    your climate and consider container gardening if you have limited space. Create visual interest with different heights, textures, and colors.

  • Invest in comfortable outdoor seating options such as lounge chairs, sofas, hammocks, or dining sets. Choose durable, weather-resistant materials and add cushions or pillows for added comfort. Ensure there’s enough seating for your family and guests!

  • Enhance your outdoor space with proper lighting to extend its
    usability into the evening. Use a combination of ambient lighting,
    such as string lights or lanterns, and task lighting, such as spotlights or pathway lights. Consider solar-powered or energy-efficient options to minimize electricity usage.

  • Provide shade options to protect yourself from the sun. Use umbrellas, awnings, pergolas, or shade sails to create shaded areas.

Consider natural shade from trees or install retractable canopies for versatility. Sun protection allows you to enjoy your outdoor space even during hot summer days. 


Adding a secondary suite at any point in your homeownership journey can be a great way to diversify your revenue stream, support your  mortgage payments, and make use of any potentially unused space you may have in your home.

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Does your secondary suite meet all the legal and regulatory requirements? It is important to familiarize yourself with the local laws including zoning bylaws, and regulations regarding secondary suites.

  2. Does your secondary suite meet all safety and building code requirements? Consider fire safety, electrical, plumbing, and ventilation requirements.

  3. Does your secondary suite impact your utilities and services? Assess if any modifications or upgrades are required to accommodate the increased demand on your water, electricity, heating, and waste management.

Keep in mind that it is crucial to consult with professionals such as architects, contractors, and local authorities to ensure compliance with regulations and to get expert advice throughout the process of adding a secondary suite to your property.


(NC) Interior design is a world of creativity. Your home has endless opportunities for expression and personalization. Here, Sharon Grech, Benjamin Moore colour and design expert, shares some commonly overlooked design opportunities to expand your design canvas in creative and bold ways.

Don’t forget about your fifth wall
Found in any room is a fifth and forgotten wall with infinite design possibilities – the ceiling. “Use a shade lighter than your surrounding walls to brighten a room and create the illusion of a larger space,” suggests Grech. For a space with lighter, neutral-toned walls, expand your creativity up high and opt for a bold and rich hue that will draw your guests’ gaze upwards.

Embrace your mouldings
Whether they are plain or feature an intricate Victorian-inspired design, mouldings contribute to a home’s charm and personality. Often made with wood and painted, updating the mouldings appears to be an under-used interior design hack. “If your walls feature a neutral or light colour, paint the mouldings a deep hue to add dimension and bring appealing framing to a room” shares Grech. “They are also a great way to play with perceived room size. Extend your wall colour onto mouldings to bring an elongated, uniform feel and a sense of expansion to the space.”

Add character to your home’s exterior
The change in season brings better weather and reveals new chances to play with exterior design. “Pay attention to an exterior’s potential-rich accents such as front doors, window frames and shutters, garage doors, pillars and sheds,” suggests Grech. “Giving these a fresh coat of colour with an outdoor-friendly paint such as Element Guard can be a time-efficient way to change the look of your home and add curb appeal.”


  1. Set Specific Goals: Identify what you want to accomplish with your spring cleaning. Whether it’s deep cleaning your kitchen, decluttering your closet, or organizing your garage, setting specific goals can help you stay focused and motivated.

  2. Break It Down: Rather than tackling everything at once, break down your spring cleaning into smaller, manageable tasks. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and make it easier to get started.

  3. Create A Plan: Make a list of all the tasks you want to complete and create a plan for how you will tackle them. Having a plan in place can help you stay on track and avoid procrastination.

  4. Get Inspired: Look for inspiration online to get ideas for how you want your space to look and feel after your spring cleaning is complete. Visualizing the end result can help motivate you to get started.

  5. Make It Fun: Put on some music, invite a friend over to help, or reward yourself with something you enjoy after each task is completed. Adding some fun and enjoyment to the process can help you stay motivated and make the experience more enjoyable overall. and to your satisfaction.


4 factors to consider when thinking about whether or not you should sell your home.

  1. Market Conditions: If the market is hot, with high demand and low inventory, it may be a good time to sell and potentially get a higher price for your home. Conversely, if the market is slow, with more homes for sale than buyers, it may be more challenging to sell your home and you may need to lower your asking price.

  2. Personal Circumstances: Your personal situation should also be taken into account when deciding when to sell your home. For example, if you are upgrading, downsizing, relocating, etc. 

  3. Home Maintenance: If your home requires significant repairs or maintenance, rather than investing money into repairs, selling the home as-is may be the best option.

  4. Equity: If you have built up a significant amount of equity in your home, you may want to sell to take advantage of the profits. This equity can be used to purchase a new home, invest in other assets, or simply saved.


This is one way to try and make spring cleaning a bit more fun lol! What's the best item you have found during your "treasure hunt"?


Taxes… not the most exciting topic – we know!

However, if you live and work in Canada, you have to pay them!

You should know that if you pay tax in Canada, you must keep your Canadian tax records for some time after the end of the tax year.

This even applies if you are on a working holiday in Canada and move home when your visa expires.

In this guide, we will explain why you need to keep your tax records in Canada and help you to ensure you keep your tax records for the right period of time.

So…let’s get started!

How long do you have to keep tax records in Canada?

You must keep your Canadian tax records for six years. You must keep your records from the end of the last tax year that you filed a Canadian tax return for.

For example, if you file a tax return for the 2021 tax year, your tax records must be kept until the end of the 2027 tax year.


After delivering eight consecutive rate hikes over the past year, the Bank of Canada is finally expected to leave rates unchanged when it meets this week.

In a statement from its January meeting, the BoC said, “…if economic developments evolve broadly in line with the [Bank’s] outlook, Governing Council expects to hold the policy rate at its current level while it assesses the impact of the cumulative interest rate increases.”

That guidance came into question soon after, however, when labour growth surprised to the upside with the creation of 150,000 new jobs in January.

“That wasn’t part of the central bank’s plan,” noted Royce Mendes, Managing Director and Head of Macro Strategy at Desjardins. Not only that, but U.S. inflation numbers suggested a re-acceleration in consumer price growth south of the border.

“Then the data began to cooperate,” Mendes wrote in a research note, pointing to Canadian inflation coming in below expectations for the second straight month and fourth-quarter GDP coming in flat, well below BoC forecasts of 1.3% growth.

As a result, “there’s little doubt the Bank of Canada will hold rates steady” at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday, Mendes suggested.

“The statement accompanying the decision will again leave the door open to further rate hikes if the economy or inflation veer off this path,” he added. “But central bankers will be able to credibly argue that both inflation and the economy have made as much progress as predicted back in January, if not more.”

In a survey of 22 banks conducted by Bloomberg, all expect the Bank of Canada to leave rates unchanged this week.

Click Here To Read More - and stay tuned in for Wednesday.


If you are shopping for a mortgage, it is essential to know what you need to be able to qualify, but it is also important to understand what could be holding you back from qualifying for a mortgage. Below are 5 points that could be impacting your chances of being approved for a mortgage:

1. Carrying too much debt
2. Poor credit history or not enough credit history
3. Not enough income or assets
4. Not enough of a down payment
5. Unstable employment history

If you feel any of the above points could be holding you back from getting approved for a mortgage, reach out to your Mortgage Alliance Professional. They are armed with solutions for every situation. (Source Mortgage Alliance)


It's random acts of kindness day! Random Acts of Kindness Day is a day to celebrate and encourage random acts of kindness. It's a day to celebrate kindness and the whole pay-it-forward mentality. This should be applied every day! 


Rising costs can be discouraging, nerve wracking and are completely out of our control! So, by trying to manage what you CAN control, like your day to day finances, it can help mitigate those feelings. Here are five ways to combat inflation;

  1. Tracking Your Spending: budgeting and understanding where your money is going is the easiest way to identify areas to cut back or find alternatives.

  2. Actively Manage Debt: It is important to pay off debt with the highest interest rate first, and then work your way down the list. 

  3. Utilize Cash Back Opportunities: Engage with your bank about cash back credit cards or bank accounts. That way you are making money while spending it.

  4. Coupons, Discounts and Sales Are Your Friends: There are apps that you can get and websites that showcase coupons/sales/ discounts for stores you frequently shop at.

  5. Avoid Volatile Investments: now is not the time to be taking risks on stocks for companies carrying a lot of debt.       


Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.