Barrie, ON Mobile: 705-716-4894 Email Ken



Ken Sowman
Real Estate Update
Brought to you by Ken Sowman  - Sales Rep

Take Five Realty
Barrie, Ont
Direct 705-716-4894


Are You a First-Time Buyer? Get My Free Guide

Buying your first home is a big step and one that's likely to impact your financial future for years to come.

Make sure you make the right decision by asking for my free guide, "How First-Timers Can Make a Wise Buy."

Just call me or reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

In which city were the "Chariots of Fire" Olympic Games held?
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If you've enjoyed this newsletter and found its information useful, please forward it to a neighbour, friend or co-worker by clicking this link.

Recipe: Lentil Walnut Dip

Serves 4

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 ½ cups cooked lentils
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Place walnuts in a food processor and process until they are finely ground.

Add all remaining ingredients except for oil and process until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl once or twice.

After the mix is well combined, add the olive oil in a thin stream, with the motor running.

Reserve just a drizzle of the olive oil for topping the spread.

Serve with vegetables or pita chips or as a spread in sandwiches.

Ask the Agent

I'm having my first open house. What can I do to make it successful?

Your real estate agent likely has explained about de-cluttering and completing unfinished projects, but there are still some things you can do to prepare. For example:

• Make the beds, do the dishes and tuck away the kid's toys. Put clean towels in the bathrooms and shine the fixtures.

• Don't fire up the fireplace. Many people have wood-smoke allergies. Instead, light an arrangement of different-sized candles in the firebox.

• Hide pet paraphernalia and pick up any evidence of Fido from the backyard.

• Put flower arrangements everywhere.

• Try cinnamon sticks simmering in a pot of water on the stove.

• Tuck away family photos and valuables. You don't want your kids or your house to become targets of unscrupulous visitors.


Remember Max. Commission is 3.75%
Full Service Real Estate without the fees.
Save 1000's !


Tips for Selling Your Home When You Have a Dog

Dogs might be man's best friend, but that doesn't mean it will be easy to stage and show a home with a four-legged gatekeeper on the job. From an overly exuberant personality to downright gruff demeanour, dogs can make it tough to show a home. Following are some ways to minimize distress to Fido and ensure that visitors are safe and that the house remains as appealing as possible.

Clean It Up: Because we love our dogs, we don't always see what is in front of our very eyes. Take a good look around. Pick up the dog toys, fill any holes in the backyard, and be sure to dust and vacuum any pet hair before allowing anyone in the home.

Notify: Make sure the listing agent includes a note that informs everyone about a dog on the premises and whether there are any special instructions for dealing with visitors. Not only will this prevent a sudden surprise visit that could startle the dog, but it also provides important information to buyers who may suffer from asthma or allergies.

Schedule: Whenever possible, ask agents to schedule visits around a time when you can take the dog out for a walk or drive. This allows prospective buyers and the agent to direct attention toward the home and amenities rather than deal with the pet.

Contingency Plans: Take special precautions to make sure pets have proper identification. Mistakes happen, and a beloved pet can escape or get loose without anyone realizing it. Leave special instructions on where the pet belongs at all times and what to do in the event of an emergency.


Barrie - Photo of the Month
Every Month I will be bringing you another early photo of Barrie from collection of 100's of images.

Great early image of Dunlop St from the 5 points looking east.
How do you like those cars !!

7 Easy, Low-Cost Ways to Transform Your Home

Flowers can transform a homeSearching for easy ways to spruce up your abode? Following are some ways to transform your home for less than $10.

Turn Your TV Into Art: Newer television sets can easily display family portraits, vacation photos or your favourite scenery with the touch of a button. Just upload to the gallery, add music if desired and enjoy.

Paint It Up: Add a splash of colour to a boring old chair or bring new life to a table with bold bright colours.

Sign Your Name: Decorations don't need to be expensive. Use a template or vinyl letters to showcase your favourite quote. Simply select a blank spot on the wall or furniture to instantly apply a thoughtful expression to your daily life.

Stop to Smell the Roses: Bring a little of the outdoors inside with the creative use of flowers, grasses, leaves, pinecones or even rocks. They add interest and colour to any décor.

Cover Up: Use old wrapping paper, string and ribbons to transform plain cardboard boxes into ultra-colourful organizers.

Soft Spots: Create soft spots with the help of a semitransparent scarf draped over a lamp, table or armchair. Use different colours to create ambiance.

Create Interest: Repurpose old jewellery, buttons and other knickknacks by adding interest to throw pillows, pull strings or other ordinary items around the home. Sew on or thread together using ribbons and lace.

Picture credit.

Wondering How Much Your Home is Worth?

How has the price of your home changed in today's market? How much are other homes in your neighbourhood selling for?

If you're wondering what's happening to prices in your area, or you're thinking about selling your house, I'll be able to help.

Just give my office a call for a no-fuss, professional evaluation.

I won't try to push you into listing with me or waste your time.

I'll just give you the honest facts about your home and its value.

And maybe I'll also give you the "inside scoop" on what's happening in the housing market near where you live!

Just give my office a call or reply to this email to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, stop by at the office.

Secrets to Making Money Flipping Homes

Making money by flipping a house takes common sense, savvy and a lot of luck. To be successful, you first need to find an undervalued property. The rule of thumb is to buy a property 30% below market value. Look for a fixer-upper that needs a cosmetic facelift and can be upgraded quickly and inexpensively rather than one that needs major structural changes.

Neighbourhood is everything when it comes to selling your renovated property. Focus on established neighbourhoods and find the worst house on a good block or try to guess which neighbourhoods are undervalued. If you can spot an up-and-coming area, you can probably flip several houses before others catch on.

Know what you're getting into financially. For example, borrowers who want a short-term, variable-rate loan must now meet the standards for a five-year, fixed-rate mortgage, as a result of recently introduced federal legislation.

Set a budget and stick to it. Remember to allow for inspection and legal fees, real estate agent commissions, and land transfer tax. The price of construction materials has also spiralled upward recently, so don't underestimate your renovation costs.

A determined first-time flipper can start by living in the newly purchased house during the renovations. You only have one mortgage to pay, and if you hold on to the property for at least a year, you may not have to pay capital gains. But be sure to check this with a lawyer or accounting professional.

Flipping isn't easy. But with luck and hard work you may just make money.


This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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