We at D. W. Howard Realty in Ridgeway ON understand the importance of a house’s proximity to schools when our real estate clients are looking to buy Fort Erie homes, Crystal Beach homes, and Ridgeway Homes.

Last week, the Town of Fort Erie unveiled a proposed plan to close Fort Erie Secondary School (FESS) and Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School (RCBHS), and instead open a brand new local high school in Fort Erie ON, to be located within the Municipal Centre on Garrison Road behind Fort Erie Town Hall and Leisureplex. This is located centrally within the Town of Fort Erie’s boundaries, which would minimize the travel time required for students to get to and from school.

The number of students attending Fort Erie Secondary School and Ridgeway Crystal Beach High School has decreased dramatically over the past 2 decades, so neither school is currently able to offer full programming. The new Fort Erie high school would benefit greatly from the nearby YMCA, Ferndale Park, Town Hall, and Leisureplex.

Contact D. W. Howard Realty now for more current information on schools and other amenities located in the Fort Erie, Ridgeway, Crystal Beach Niagara Canada areas.

View 422 Lakeside Rd. an excellent family home for sale in Fort Erie Ontario Canada. Real estate open house hosted by D. W. Howard Realty Brokerage will take place on Sunday February 24th, 2013 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

For more information on 422 Lakeside, Fort Erie ON or to arrange a private tour of this or other Niagara homes, please contact D. W. Howard Realty  now.


Downtown Ridgeway Ontario - an outstanding place to live and work.

Downtown Ridgeway Ontario – an outstanding place to live and work.

Our view from the D. W. Howard Realty office, Downtown Ridgeway Ontario Canada the day after a blizzard, the streetscape looking picture-perfect as always.  Contact D. W. Howard Realty now for Ridgeway homes, Crystal Beach homes, Fort Erie homes, Port Colborne waterfront real estate.

Click here to see highlights of the Spirit of Christmas festival in Downtown Ridgeway Ontario.

Are you a first time buyer concerned about the affordability of Niagara Falls Ontario Canada homes, Fort Erie homes, Port Colborne homes, or Ridgeway homes? At D. W. Howard Realty, our experienced, caring real estate agents want to help you in all aspects of buying a home, including referring you to the right mortgage agent or financial advisor to help you achieve your dream of owning a Niagara Ontario home.

We can see that property prices have gone up, but salaries have not gone up at the same rate.  In 1980, the average Ontario homes price was around $63,000.  Now, the average price for Ontario homes is almost $400,000!

The Ontario Real Estate Association recently conducted a survey  indicating 70% of renters want to purchase a home in the near future, yet 81% of all Ontario residents believe  it is more difficult to own a home now than in the past.

Other studies found that first-time home buyers accounted for about half of all home sales between 2009 and 2011.  Looking to build new? Fort Erie Ontario is unique in its allowance for tall towering homes.

Our D. W. Howard Realty agents will help you calculate what you can afford. Our Niagara Falls ON real estate website also has tools to help home buyers find out what they can afford.  We can also help you calculate closing costs, land transfer taxes, and any renovations or updates you’ll need to make on your new home.  Click here for blog article containing financial advice for first time buyers. Before shopping for a home, make a list of must-haves and a list of features you’re willing to negotiate or live without. Strategic negotiating in your Ontario real estate deal can save you thousands of dollars off your home. Contact D. W. Howard Realty now to speak to one of our friendly agents.

D. W. Howard Realty proudly presents 35 Promenade Way, Crystal Beach Ontario Canada, a beautiful Lake Erie waterfront home for sale in the incredible gated community of Crystal Beach Tennis & Yacht Club.

35 Promenade Way Crystal Beach Tennis & Yacht Club home for sale on Lake Erie

35 Promenade Way Crystal Beach Tennis & Yacht Club home for sale on Lake Erie

More photos and virtual tour coming soon. Contact D. W. Howard Realty now for all the information on this beautiful property, and an appointment to view this incredible Crystal Beach waterfront home for sale.

Click here for 3 Promenade Way, a neighbouring home for sale in Crystal Beach Tennis & Yacht Club.

TASC Niagara will be performing “The Time Warp” dinner theatre at the Crystal Ridge Community Centre in Ridgeway Ontario Canada on Friday February 22nd and Saturday February 23rd, 2013. We at D. W. Howard Realty agree that everyone regardless of their abilities should be involved in all aspects of our Ridgeway ON, Fort Erie ON  & Port Colborne ON community.

Tickets to “The Time Warp” are $30.00 and children under 12 are $20.00

TASC, Therapy and Alternatives for Special Children and Adults with Disabilities, is a registered charitable, non-profit organization started by parents and volunteers with financial support from community events and sponsors.

This excellent evening of music and drama will present music and TV performances from the 1940’s up to present day. Please call Nancy for tickets or more info 905-894-1768

Celebrate Valentines Day in Fort Erie at the fabulous Old Bank Bistro & Piano Bar at 41 Jarvis Street, downtown Fort Erie Ontario Canada. Contact D. W. Howard Realty now for more info on our unique Fort Erie ON area & why it’s a great place to live and do business.

THE VERY BEST AAA steaks, fresh seafood, Italian pastas, authentic Greek dishes, lunch and dinners in Fort Erie and beyond. The Old Bank Bistro restaurant is open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner; Saturday at 4 p.m.

Don’t forget to call ahead and make reservations!

Ridgeway homes are a pleasure to live in, you have the best of the bustling Niagara Falls Ontario Canada area, and yet you have all the charm a small town such as Ridgeway Ontario can offer. Contact D. W. Howard Realty now for assistance with all your Ridgeway ON real estate needs, as well as Crystal Beach homes and Niagara homes for sale.

Here at the D. W. Howard Realty real estate office in Ridgeway, Ontario, we are in the middle of a real blast of Ontario Canada winter. Here are some ways you can make your Ontario Canada home as energy-efficient as possible, so you can save money on your winter utility bills.

There are many ways to save on your winter utility bills!

– Replace siding on your home. You retain more heat if the seal on your home is tightened up. Look for and rapair holes and damages in your existing siding which could be causing air (and money) to leak out of your home.

– Add insulation. It prevents hot air (or cool air in summertime!) from escaping the house, like a down-filled jacket. If you have an older home, it may have lower quality insulation than what’s on the market now. The 2 most popular types are fiberglass batt insulation (less espensive), and spray foam insulation (more expensive but denser). Spray foam insulation is blown in from holes drilled into your walls (from inside or outside.)

– Replace windows. Even when windows are closed, they can allow quite a bit of air flow if they are older, single pain or in poor condition. Wood frame windows can expend & contract with weather changes, so are more subject to cracking & leaking. New windows are usually double paned and have a heat-resistant gas in between the 2 panes. There is also a UV film option to block sunlight, to help your home stay cooler in summer.

– Repair or replace HVAC system. Heating (or cooling) usually makes up half of a homeowner’s utility bill. Older systems just won’t run as efficiently as newer systems, since the technology is so much more advanced now. If buying a whole new system is out of the question, ensure that your air filters are clean to maximize efficiency and longevity. Furnaces can also be installed on a rental basis, much like a hot water tank.

– Consider heated flooring! Luxurious and cozy, radiant heating systems can also be a great investment in energy savings. Yes the entire floor would have to be replaced, but radiant heating can be placed under tile or hardwood. Heat is disperesed evenly across the floor, making it more efficient than a vent in just one corner of a room. With this type of heating, each room has its own heating controls, so you’re only paying to heat the rooms that you’re using.

Click here for more ideas on how to reduce winter utility bills.


These improvements to your home will also impress a potential buyer, helping your home sell faster and for more money. Click here for more ideas on preparing your house to put on the market.  Contact D. W. Howard Realty now for an Opinion of Value report of what your Niagara Falls homes, Ridgeway homes, Fort Erie homes, or Port Colborne Ontario home might sell for.

Whether buying or selling, you need local knowledge and expertise. Contact D. W. Howard Realty now to chat about the current market situation and 2013 forecast for Niagara Falls homes, Fort Erie real estate, Ridgeway homes, Crystal Beach homes, Port Colborne homes, and Lake Erie waterfront homes.

Canada’s national average home prices fell 0.4%  from November to December 2012. Year-by-year price increases were the lowest in 3 years.Fort Erie Homes

Prices dropped in 8 of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed. 3 cities (Hamilton, Victoria and Quebec City) saw prices rise.

A report from the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index shows that Canadian housing market activity has been steadily slowing since mid-2012. Will the market crash, or have a soft landing? Only time will tell.  We avoided a meltdown like the US suffered in 2009, thanks to our conservative lending standards.

Interest rates remain ultra-low. Despite low interest rates, in July 2012, the Canadian government tightened mortgage lending rules to make it harder for home buyers to accumulate too much debt, thus slowing down the market. This was in an effort to slow Canada’s red-hot housing market to avoid a crash later.  This was the 4th such government move in the last 4 years.

We can’t overstate the importance of having an experienced Realtor assist you locally. They should be aware of national issues and trends, but be alert to what’s happening in the local market. Niagara River or Lake Erie waterfront homes appeal to a different buyer, and their values don’t necessarily follow the rises and falls of urban residential real estate. In Fort Erie, the current economic situation is quite different from Niagara Falls. Let D. W. Howard Realty be your source for all your South Niagara real estate needs.

Click here for tips on preparing your house for sale.

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