Spring has long been associated with an uptick in the real estate market. Seen as the ideal time to sell, the market often becomes saturated with homes in April, May and June. Families are looking to relocate so the kids can settle in for the summer, adjusting to a new school district. And for seniors – well, it’s just an easier time to move without all the hassle of snow and ice and the inherent danger of a slip and fall. Moving is stressful any time, but the slight increase in Spring temperatures and the “curb appeal” of your home make just enough of a difference to make the whole process more bearable.
If indeed you have decided that it’s time to downsize, Spring really is a good time to sell your home. You can open the windows, freshen up the place and get rid of that “funky” winter smell. Most communities have exemption days for large household items meaning your downsized (but not fit for Habitat for Humanity or similar programs) items can simply be taken to the curb and your local municipality will take care of the rest. Trim the grass, plant a few flowers in pots near the front doors and your home will look instantly brighter and more appealing.
But what if you don’t really want to leave your beloved home? What if there was another option to help you manage the financial burden of home ownership? If you’ve gone to all the trouble of “sprucing” up the place for sale – we’ve got another suggestion for you – open your home (and your mind) to the option of home sharing instead!
If you are looking for potential housemates, Golden Girls Canada can help. We provide a service that matches homeowners with potential housemates who would like to spend their senior years in the company of like-minded individuals and are looking for a place to live. Maybe you don’t have to sell the family home in the community you love and are familiar with! You can opt to share it with someone instead. The added income from home sharing might be just enough to help you manage expenses. Spring (and certainly summer) is the ideal time to move someone into your space and adjust to the idea of sharing your home. As an added bonus you’ll have someone to enjoy your outdoor patio or deck and BBQ too!
Finding the perfect person for shared living doesn’t have to be difficult. Golden Girls Canada shares an extensive list of resources with seniors who sign up for our service, helping you to find the perfect shared housing arrangement to suit your budget, lifestyle and personality. You’ll want to iron out important details like cleanliness habits, use of shared living space, defining the rules around cooking and laundry facilities, discussing acceptable noise levels and who is responsible for what chores. Our April Blog contained an extensive list of things to consider and we invite you to read it here: Are You Felix or Oscar? in case you missed it. (Remember “The Odd Couple”?)
More and more folks are becoming familiar with the Golden Girls concept of shared living arrangements and with the idea that you don’t necessarily have to leave your home just because of the age shown on your driver’s license! Spring is the perfect time to “spring” into a new living arrangement! Accredited Senior Real Estate Specialist Dorothy Mazeau can help – whether you decide to list your home for sale or share with a house-mate and “settle” them in.
Now – for something completely different – Spring is also the perfect time to enjoy something fresh and maybe even homegrown. We’ve got a recipe to share that’s light, refreshing and yummy too – everything you want from a Spring dessert. This delicious strawberry shortcake recipe makes more than enough to share, let us help you find the perfect person to share it with!
Spring Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe Courtesy of Ricardo Cuisine
Prep – about 45 minutes
Cook time – about 55 minutes
Cool and Garnish…….
- 1 cup (250 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 1 1/4 cups (310 ml) sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
- 1 vanilla bean or
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) 35% cream
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries, whole or cut into wedges for garnish
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Butter a 20-cm (8-inch) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a third bowl, beat the remaining sugar, the butter, egg yolks, and vanilla with an electric mixer. At low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk.
- Stir a quarter of the meringue into the batter to lighten it. With a spatula, gently fold in the remaining meringue. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Unmould immediately and let completely cool on a wire rack.
- Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, remove the seeds from the vanilla pod.
- In a bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, vanilla seeds, and pod. Allow to macerate for about 15 minutes. Drain. Remove the pod. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Cut the cake in half horizontally to make two slices. Spread 250 ml (1 cup) of the whipped cream on the cut side of each slice. Scatter the drained vanilla strawberries on the whipped cream of a slice of cake. Cover with the other slice of cake, whipped cream side down. Garnish the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with fresh strawberries.