Thursday, October 26, 2017

You Were Asking: But, I have been approved!

'But, I have been approved'!!

Well, unless you have been under a rock, you are well aware of our recent spring market and all the Wild West bidding wars that went on.  Now the true test.  Are all those sales closing?  Nope.  Why?  ‘But, I have been approved!!’ we are hearing buyers scream.  

Yes, YOU HAVE, but, the house you bid way over on HAS NOT.   So, now, 60 days after you ‘won’, you’re now looking at losing.  Throughout the market we heard, ‘I won!’ over and over again, but, really?  What did you win?  Honestly, we told our buyers to wait it out.  If you sold and bought in that market, well, it tends to have been a wash as long as you were dealing with the same location.  Selling high and buying low meant you had to sell in one of those key bidding war locales and buying in a lesser demand area.  But, that also means knowing both markets.  Knowing that you are bidding well over what the traditional home value is in its given CONDITION AND LOCATION are the factors that cannot be overlooked.  

‘Be responsible’ we, as realtors,  shouted.  ‘Be aware’.  Can you make up the difference of the bank’s appraisal value and what you paid if your bank assesses the home and it doesn’t hold up to what you paid?  Many, many buyers dropped their financing conditions on the basis that they were approved for a certain amount of money.  However, were you warned that the house may not appraise at that value?  Beating a dead horse here, yeah, I get it but if you knew just how many times we tried to ensure a buyer understood.  

Now, guess what is happening?  House does not appraise = financing is NOT approved = buyer defaults on close = seller must relist home = buyer gets sued = undue stress on EVERYONE.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Make it a No-Spend Weekend!

Whether you’re saving to buy your first home or, dreaming of tackling a major home improvement we know it can sometimes be hard to scrounge up the funds.  Here’s some fun ideas for a no-spend weekend…  save a little extra to go towards your savings goals!

Friday, October 13, 2017

We've Rounded Up The Best Places To Pick The Perfect Pumpkin!

Looking for a great weekend activity? Love and explore where you live and make memories all at the same time in some of the areas best places to pick your fall pumpkin.  Maybe you're looking to stay close to home or a scenic country drive adds to the excitement of the day. Drink hot apple ciders, partake in some locally baked goods and even take the time to enjoy the beautiful changes of the escarpment this time of year.  Whatever your reason, make sure to check out some of these (not-so) hidden gems this season.

Chudleigh’s Farm
9528 Regional Road 25
Milton, ON

Springridge Farm
7256 Bell School Line
Milton, ON

Stonehaven Farm Market
7388 Guelph Line
Milton, ON

Hutchinson Farm
6202 Walkers Line 
Burlington, ON 

Frootogo Orchards
573 Parkside Drive
Waterdown, ON

Hanes Corn Maze
1001 ON-5 
Dundas, ON

Dyment’s Pumpkin Patch
416 Fallsview Rd E
Dundas, ON

Puddicombe Farms
1468 Hamilton Regional Rd 8
Stoney Creek, ON

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Buyers Were Asking: Condominium vs. Freehold Ownership

We always get so many questions about condominium vs. freehold so, we thought we’d take the time to clear up this often misunderstood area of real estate. A common misconception about condominiums or “condos” is that they’re only apartments. That’s actually not the case at all, many townhouse and semi detached developments, even fully detached homes, can be condominium or freehold.

The difference between the two really lies in ownership. In purchasing a freehold home you legally retain ownership of of the home itself as well as the land that it sits on.  You in turn are free to maintain the property as you wish.  In condominium ownership you own the interior of the home with all remaining portions such as the land, exterior and any shared areas which all become common elements owned by the condominium corporation.  As an owner you are required to pay a monthly fee (proportionate to your ownership) which most refer to as a condo fee.  These fees are determined by the condominium corporation and made payable and managed by a property management company. These fees are put towards maintenance costs, insurance, reserve funds and more depending on the type of condominium.You may have also heard of a freehold townhouse or housing complex with a condominium road or a road maintenance fee. In this case, you retain all the benefits of a freehold ownership while paying a smaller fee for maintenance of common roadways (light standards, snow removal, parking, maintenance, etc.)

What’s the benefit of choose one over the other? While both have their pro’s and con’s it’s really a matter of what works best for you and your lifestyle. While a condominium can offer lower maintenance, consistency in appearance and appeal to a turn-key lifestyle some feel limited by condominium rules and regulations, fears of mismanagement or simply do not like the idea of added monthly costs.  Freehold ownership does offer much more freedom and control for those able to budget for larger household expenses such as a new roof.

More burning questions on this topic? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Sellers Were Asking: Renovations, Permits, Closing Day

Renovations, Permits, Closing Day

Every once in a while we come across an outstanding permit issue prior to a house closing.  Not often, but, it happens.  Why?  Very simple, actually.  Either you or the contractor you hired did not ensure the City came in and did the final inspection.  I am guessing it happens a lot more than most people realize so figured it might be a good newsletter worthy reminder to just get all your ducks in order before listing your home as if all final permits have not been issued prior to your attempt at closing, you will run into a delay.   So, your next question is ‘how am I to know?’?  My contractor handled it all.  Did he?  Sometimes, preparing for a closing on a home, we are met with a comedy of errors.  Your realtor is typically the very last person to find out as by the time you approach the date set out in your Agreement for Closing, the lawyers have taken over the next stage of the process so, we pretty much are at the sidelines and at the mercy of what information is shared .  It is what is not that becomes the barrier to close.  Inasmuch as we want to help, on day of closing, it often is too late.  And, with most people choosing a Friday to close, you are leaving it to chance all the parties to your transaction will be available to assist in a last minute glitch.  Check with the City and ask the question.  Does my home have any outstanding permits to be issued prior to me selling?  If there are, deal with them as soon as possible.  Although there is a date for the buyers’ lawyer to verify all is ok, sometimes, things fall between the cracks.  And, it is that ‘sometimes’ you do not want to encounter as it can mean the delay in completing your transaction and every other transaction in your string if every buyer and seller in the line is awaiting for their monies to close subsequent home purchases.  If your deal is hung up on a permit requirement, the costs can mount for everyone.  Moving trucks are now sitting idling on the street at hourly rates and you cannot be issued keys for your new home until your money from your existing home arrives from the bank.  Just an unfortunate additional unexpected cost no one needs to bear.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Market Update: Market Conditions & Winter Forecast

Market Conditions & Winter Forecast

What goes up, must certainly come down.  This market has been a hard one to navigate.  Frenzied bidding wars where buyers dropped all conditions, went in strong and firm and now are going through the struggles to close their deals due to a myriad of reasons.  Some, simply cannot sell their homes.  Others, having acted on impulse, dropped their financing conditions only to find out that the banks will not finance the purchase.  

The market ‘shift’ as it is now known, happened just before Easter weekend.  Those who recognized it, pulled back and waited.  Many of those were buyers simply worn out from being battered around at bidding wars in a never ending game of pushing pricing beyond any comprehension.  Sellers still in the throws of preparing their homes waited and felt there was no need to heed warnings of realtors saying that the ‘shift’ had already occurred.  

Those buyers turned sellers got caught in the ‘shift’.  Having purchased in a bidding war, the expectation was to also sell high.  Now, the fall out and it’s anything but pretty.  Emotions and tempers run high.  Our advice to buyers was to simply wait.  Our advice to sellers was to stay the course, but, to relax the expectation of an exorbitant price.  

Now, with increases in rates, buyer uncertainty, sellers demanding multiple offers, it really is a hard market to navigate....for everyone.  Educate yourself.  Establish realistic goals. 

...and...if we can help, we're more then happy to meet!  Contact Us!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

September has come and gone... in a flash!

Let's take a look back at the market statistics now that we've rounded the corner into October.

In Burlington, we've seen a return to some activity... after a bit of a lull we're seeing signs of multiple bids in some areas. A reasonable increase in the average sale price should be expected given we are in the midst of the Fall Market... one final push before snow is upon us. Average days and price ratios remain stable which is a good sign.

Hamilton, although overall has seen a dip in pricing it can't be said for all neighbourhoods. With West End activity and some Mountain neighbourhoods are seeing sales reaching beyond their ticketed price. Another push for listings has erupted with over 200 more new listings over last month. As long as the sunshine stays we should see a steady market through until November.