Fundraising Efforts of CENTURY 21 Office Helps Send Kids to Camp


CENTURY 21 Canada has been a proud supporter of Easter Seals for over 30 years. Since 1979, CENTURY 21 Canada has supported Easter Seals by raising millions of dollars for families living with disabilities across the country.

It’s great to hear stories like the one below and know that many CENTURY 21 Sales Professionals are getting out into their communities to raise funds for children with disabilities and Easter Seals.

This story was originally posted by Easter Seals on the CENTURY 21 Kids to Camp website. One of our offices in Pembroke, Ontario, CENTURY 21 Neville Realty has had an incredible year and hopefully this inspires others to give back to their community.

With the support of a strong team driven by the passion to support a worthy cause, it is incredible what a group can accomplish. When CENTURY 21 Kids to Camp started in 2008 CENTURY 21 Neville Realty, of Ontario, got involved right away. Serving smaller markets, away from events like The Easter Seals Drop Zone and 24 hour Relay, the team at Neville Realty set out to create their own fundraising program – a series of community events with the goal of sending 5 kids to camp.

The year’s events kicked off on July 24th, at Century 21 Neville Realty’s golf tournament for Easter Seals raising a total of $5,640. The event took place on a beautiful day and for all involved was a huge success!

Throughout the year other funds came through Century 21 Neville Realty’s; hot diggity dog Friday’s, agents contributions, garage sales, and other fundraising initiatives.

The team at Neville is so supportive of the Easter Seals cause that participation in organizing the events stretches beyond the Realtors themselves. Seth and Sophie Genoe (children of Angela Genoe) are the team’s youngest supporters who have taken up the job of selling cookies at the hot diggity dog Friday’s… they have volunteered for 3 hot diggity dog Fridays and at their last day they raise over $100 themselves from their efforts.

All the effort pays off as well, as the Neville Realty team has blown away their 2011 goal totaling more than $16,000 raised this year. From the entire Easter Seals family, a huge thank you goes out to everyone at CENTURY 21 Neville Realty.

Has your CENTURY 21 office been fundraising for Easter Seals this year? Be sure to click on Report Fundraising in the menu bar above to tell us your story.

Pay Down Your Mortgage Faster

With interest rates at an all-time low, many Canadians are taking advantage of the savings by refinancing their mortgages to consolidate debt, make home renovations, invest in real estate or other ventures, or moving up the property ladder.

The following are ways to take even further advantage of this excellent rate environment by paying down your mortgage faster.

Tip #1: Prepay early in the mortgage
Make extra payments as early as you can after getting a mortgage because the loans are interest-heavy upfront and the faster you pay down your principal, the more interest savings you will accumulate over the long run. Within the first five to seven years of your mortgage is where the largest portions of interest payments are contained. This not only will save you thousands of dollars in interest payments, but it will also increase the speed at which you are accumulating equity in your property. Many mortgage products allow you to make up to 20% more in payments per year.

Tip #2: Make an annual lump sum payment
Whether you use your tax refund, receive an inheritance, or get a Christmas bonus, you should apply as much as possible directly to your principal. Most lenders allow you to pay 20% in lump sum payments per year without penalty. A mortgage specialist can help you determine exactly how much you can prepay and what maximum percentage of your principal you are allowed to pay without penalty each year.

Tip #3: If your payments go down, don’t lower the payment amount
If you are on a variable-rate mortgage and the rates go down your payment will also often go down. Instead of making the lower mortgage payments, however, it’s best to call your lender and let them know that you would like to continue making payments for the original amount. A mortgage specialist can help you determine if there is a charge for making the extra payment. Even with the charge, in some cases, it is still worth it and will help you pay down your principal faster.

Tip #4: Round up your payments even if it’s just a little
If your monthly mortgage payment is $776.22 and you were to round up your payment an extra $23.78 a month to $800 – that’s less than a dollar a day – you would effectively reduce your mortgage amortization from 35 years to just over 32 years right away or from 25 years to just over 23 years.

TIP #5: Increase your payments with your pay increases
If your income increases, try not to keep your mortgage payments the same. Although the disposable income is a joy to spend on unnecessary luxuries in the short-term, the long-term benefits of being mortgage free faster and saving those interest payments will far outweigh the short-term joys. Pretend that your income did not increase and maintain the lifestyle that you are currently living.

Tip #6: Increase the frequency of your payments
You can also change the way you make your payments by opting for accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payments. Not to be confused with semi-monthly mortgage payments (24 payments per year), accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payments (26 payments per year) will not only pay your mortgage off quicker, but it’s guaranteed to save you a significant amount of money over the term of your mortgage. Basically, with accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payments, you’re making one additional monthly payment per year.


Craig Rushton is with CENTURY 21 In Town Realty in Vancouver, BC.

Choosing Art for Your Home


Adding a splash of colour to your home in the form of art can be both inspirational and an easy way to change up the look of each room.

There’s a quote by Roy Adzak about the individuality of art; “Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us.”

Art is choice, and more often than not an expensive one at that, and can change the vibe of your space. Make sure each piece speaks to you and your family before you shell out the big bucks.

Choosing art that you’ll want to look at every day is a difficult process and should not be taken lightly or done on impulse.

And the fact that there is no shortage of choice in the art world is both good and bad. With so many options, you’re sure to find something that suits you and your space, but it can sometimes be overwhelming.

Whether you’re planning on framing the piece yourself or buying the art finished and ready to hang, you’ll need to take the time to research and peruse.

There are some basic rules that go along with art choice for the home:

1. Be sure you love the art, not just the colours.

Choose art that everyone living within the household appreciates in one way or another.

Take your time. Simply trying to fill space will result in dissatisfaction over the long term.

2. Keep within your budget.

Choose pieces for the right locations. If you have a large space, choose a large piece of art, or a grouping of smaller pieces that complement each other. If you have a wall that is usually viewed from a distance, make sure to choose art that is best viewed from further away.

Find art that matches the flow and functionality of each space. For example, a piece of art in the bedroom should be relaxing and meditative while art in the living and dining space should lean toward energetic and vibrant.

3. Support local artists when possible. 


Paul Baron is with Leading Edge Realty Inc. in Scarborough, ON.

Torn Between New Versus Older Homes

Home buyers are often faced with the question of “Should we buy a new home or an older home?”  There are, of course, pros and cons to either option. Consider some of the following when deciding on which option suits you the best:

New Home Advantages

  • Modern designs accommodate current lifestyles. For example, some new homes will have larger rooms, an open concept, or more closet space
  • Newer technology in materials and construction, therefore more ecologically sound – may translate into lower heating costs
  • If the home is being built, you may get to choose all the finishes and many builders will customize for a bargain
  • Often your neighbours will be new to the area as well – the common situation can a ‘neighbourhood friendliness’

New Home Concerns

  • There are only specific areas where new homes are typically built
  • You may have to put up with immediate area construction until the remainder of the lots are completed
  • First years may include waiting for landscaping, fencing and amenities
  • The first year in a new construction may result in issues (for example settlement cracks in walls)

Older Home Advantages

  • A wider range of areas and homes from which to choose from
  • Existing landscaping, fencing, mature trees
  • Better ratio of house to lot size
  • Existing schools and amenities

Older Home Concerns

  • May need some updating
  • May not have a master bedroom large enough for a queen or king bed
  • May not have an ensuite bathroom
  • Potential challenges may not be apparent upon purchase (for example: leaky roof)

If your preference is a new home, then consider:

  • Buying a home that is 2 – 4 years old.  That way you benefit from the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of both
  • Using a realtor even if you’re buying directly from a builder.  Your realtor can negotiate to ensure you get the features you want for the best possible price!

Linda Giovanniello is with CENTURY 21 First Canadian Corp. in London, ON.