Friday, December 29, 2017

Buyers Were Asking: House Hunting Tips

House Hunting Tips
Many people find looking for a house to be an overwhelming experience, but it really shouldn't be.  Just keep these few house hunting tips in mind... 

First of all, make lists. Think about things like how far you are willing to commute and what kinds of services you need to be near. Zero in on what you must have in a home, what you would like to have, what you definitely don't want and what you would prefer not to have. 

If you are already a homeowner, start by compiling lists about what you like and dislike about your current home. Let your Realtor see these lists. It will save time by helping your Realtor narrow down the list of homes to show you based on your criteria. 

Lists will also help you find the right home without falling in love with the one that doesn't suit your needs. Make copies and take the lists with you. Your Realtor will no doubt show you multiple homes and using your checklists and making notes about each home will help you avoid becoming confused. On the days you go house hunting, wear comfy clothes and sturdy shoes, preferably slip-ons.  You'll be taking your shoes off and on several times and slip-ons will make your life a lot easier.

Friday, December 15, 2017

You Were Asking: Co-Housing


Co-housing or co-living has been around for years, but, the concept is emerging in our neighbourhoods more prevalently in response to our long wait lists for retirement residences. Originating in Denmark in the 60’s, the premise is a shared home, shared workload within that home and shared skill set.  

Take a traditional family home and turn it into a co-housing dwelling is certainly attractive to like-minded seniors who love living in their own residence but don’t want the upkeep and general overhead that the large family home carries. The benefits of this type of living are numerous.  The sharing and caring concept is turned into an economically beneficial solution to those considering a downsize.  

The shared kitchen helps in a more balanced and healthy eating plan for those who normally would have, say, a bowl of cereal or soup for dinner.  The social isolation many seniors start to experience as winter sets in, is one of the most dramatic benefits.  A family room becomes a shared space for everyone in the home to relax and socialize.  It’s been estimated that co-housing not only removes the burden off the system, it allows seniors 8-10 additional years living on their own. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

November Statistics and a look back to last year..

If you watch trend most sources are projecting a steady and balanced market through the Spring rather than a return to what was brewing this same time last year. The truth is in the numbers as we watch the Fall market near it’s completion November brought us some tell tale signs that speak to that balanced market.

First up, in Burlington we saw a rise in not only the number of listings on the market and a 12% increase in the average sale price over last month. The trend of homes remaining on the market for 30+ days seems to continue through this fall market with an average of 34 days across the City. Although we don’t have the statistics to show the number or extent of price reductions you may have noted, we can calculate the average sale to price ratio for both original list price and for price at time of sale… 98.1% average for list price at time of sale but 96.9% price ratio as compared to the original list price. This should give you an indication there is still a bit of price confusion from Sellers and Buyers are continuing to be selective of how and where they spend their dollars.

In Hamilton, a similar story is playing out. An increase in new listings from 311 in October to 642 in November maintain a steady Hamilton housing market with 435 sales in the last month and a 2% average price increase from October. Again, longer days on market (at 35 on average) point to a balanced market ahead as this same time last year saw early signs of what was to come with 22 days on the market on average in November 2016.  Sales data will show the price to list ratio at 97.8% and original list price at 96.5%.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

You Were Asking: TREB Loses Competition Tribunal Appeal

TREB Loses Competition Tribunal Appeal
Just this month the Toronto Real Estate Board lost its appeal against the Competition Board with regards to the advertising of sales information on its virtual web site  One of our primary focuses as realtors is the dissecting of information we provide to our clients and as such, it really is important to focus on the power of information and the educational benefits on ‘reading’ a market and its data.  

TREB does focus on the protection of consumer information, which, while is important, the Competition Bureau’s argument is based on allowing consumers the freedom of gaining their own information and analysing it to make an informed decision when buying and selling in a current market.  Sounds pretty fair, I’d say.  

We, as realtors, provide the information when counselling our clients.  A general consumer seeking out information on their own does that now anyhow.  From the realtor’s perspective, it is in the educational framework where that information gets misconstrued.  Case in point this past market.  We had many consumers attempting to ‘read’ the market trend, which is very difficult to do.  

When you are in the trenches, you have a certain read on your own industry.  That is why you are trained to do what you do and remunerated.  A mechanic is relied upon for not only his/her training, but, also the years of work experience.  This is not to say the public should not have access to the information, I believe, they should, but, having had many consumers try to tell us what the market is doing over the years, I beg to differ that simply by having the information, the average consumer will know exactly what it means in terms of reading the current market and making a planned purchase.