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Ritch's Real Estate News
News and Views on the Local Real Estate Market
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Suggestions to consider if this is the year you plan to move.
Posted on Wed, 04 Jan 2017, 02:35:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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2017....Happy New Year Everyone!!!

I hope you have had a terrific start to 2017 and feel invigorated and ready to make 2017 a special and rewarding year.

 

Are you dreaming of a New Home in 2017?

Want something larger? Are you downsizing? How should you proceed in the current Real Estate environment?

 

If this year is the year you think a move is likely that's great! I wish you all the best, and of course, if there is anything I can do personally to help you - please know I would be thrilled to be of assistance!

Almost every prediction printed in in the last 4-6 weeks suggests a continuation of last year from a local Real Estate Market perspective. In the Western GTA, Halton Hills, Erin Township, Guelph, Burlington and the areas that surround us, that means we can expect increased demand for homes in the area, and a shortage of listings lasting well into the spring if not all year. Prices will continue to rise, and competition for listings will increase.

This certainly tips the scales in favor of the seller, and if you have a home to sell I can tell you that it will not be difficult generating interest in any reasonably listed home in this area. (Great news you say??) But please remember, unless you are one of the very few sellers who are moving in with family, or long term care, or are deciding against home ownership....most sellers are buyers as well. 

My suggestion to anyone considering moving this year...is to plan the entire process out. 

Buyers...be proactive!

If you think that you will watch Realtor.ca and the paper for open houses, and find your dream home, good luck!

My buyers will have a plan in place, they will know what they can afford, they will have thought about where they are willing to locate to, they will understand and list out needs vs wants, and they will be well informed of the value of homes in their target markets.

When a new listing comes up, they will see it on-line within minutes, and if I think it has potential, we will discuss it the day it is loaded....usually 24-48 hours before the listing even appears on realtor.ca

My clients will be prepared for competition, and have a plan that protects their best interests while not stunting their offer's chances of success. They will have a current value perspective of every home they are interested in and will be able to make informed and educated decisions. 

 

Selling your home in 2017....

This kind of market certainly favors the seller. If your goal is to simply sell your home, this is going to be an easy year for you. If your goal is something more....then I suggest we talk about your situation.

 

My sellers will have a comprehensive value opinion on their current home, a real time view of competitive listings, and I will set a target of achieving optimum value for each listing in 2017. Knowing how to maximize value is just as important in a hot market as it is any other time. My goal is not just to sell as high as possible, but to achieve a timely sale, while maximizing value and minimizing client lifestyle disruptions. 

Knowing what to do to prepare the home for sale, where to spend money on staging, or renovations, when to list vs the market, and how buyers are reacting to listings in the area and price range. 

Any licensed Realtor can list a home on MLS, and put a sign on the lawn, but my idea of marketing a home goes way beyond those functions. Digital marketing, Social media, video, mobile platforms, are all part of selling homes in today's world and optimizing value is about effective use of all the tools buyers are using to find listings.

In a nutshell, if you are considering moving this year, I would like to talk with you now, even if your plan is for later this year, the assistance of a Professional Realtor can be of tremendous value in developing a plan to achieve your Real Estate goals this year!

 

 

 

 

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Looking ahead at Luxury and or Rural homes in Georgetown for 2016
Posted on Wed, 03 Feb 2016, 12:40:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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This week....one of my absolute favorites!

 

Luxury Homes and Rural Homes

 

2016 outlook from a Buyers and a Sellers Perspective

 

Folks generally think that realtors absolutely drool over $1,000,000 dollar listings. With dollar signs for eyeballs, we would do anything to get a listing in this price range. I will let you all in on a little secret....realtor's love listings...any kind, from vacant land to $4,000,000 estates, but of all of the different varieties of listings there are, the listings for luxury homes are the ones realtors can often lose money on. (Lose money you say!!)

Lose Money I say. 

We spend money on every listed property. Staging consultations, photo's, video, high quality Feature Sheets, Web sites, there is a long list of things that a realtor can spend money on to make a listing as attractive as possible to the buying public. At the Luxury end of the market you can imagine that these homes are not quite as easy to sell as say a $400,000 bungalow on Delrex Blvd. There simply are not as many buyers in this market segment. Listings take longer to sell, they are negotiated fiercely, and sellers who are frustrated with the amount of time it can take often place the blame on the Realtor. With a property worth 7 figures, it is tempting for every realtor to do everything that we can to help in the marketing of an expensive home, the best photos, drone video, high value publications for print advertising, the list goes on and on, and after 295 days without a decent offer it is not uncommon for the seller to sit down with the agent and have that talk ;)

I love these listings, yes they carry risk, but I feel that my approach to luxury homes offers me an excellent opportunity to do an outstanding job for my clients. Why do I feel like this end of the market suits me uniquely?

  • At this price range communication is vital....with sellers, with prospective buyers, an agent who is superior at communicating is going to be more successful.
  • It is wise to remain calm and trust your plan, having a process - one proven to work, is key. You will get horrible feedback on your price, people will challenge your thinking, and will try to convince you of fictional facts! Trust yourself, the plan and stay even keeled. Your sellers will appreciate your confidence!
  • Do a ton of research....I love stats, I love math...and I love beautiful homes. All three things make this market a lot of fun for me! My sellers know what is happening, they trust I am working non-stop to ensure their home is positioned where it needs to be in order to get a fair deal for them.

 

What is ahead in 2016 for this category of homes....homes worth at least $750,000 and with no upper limit. 

 

From a Sellers perspective:

I have a very strong sense that the market for this category of homes is getting stronger, there is a number of reasons for this...let me highlight a few:

  • The volume of trades in this price range, we had 155 trades at $750,000 or higher in 2015. Up from just 91 in 2014. Part of that is the average price is getting higher and so we will see more houses at $730,000 last year hit this category this year, but we are up 70%
  • Why so many more trades? For 5-6 years the banks were warning of a steep correction in prices, that interest rates would be going up, that the market was too hot....and when this is all you hear about, the people who buy these homes wait for it before spending $1,000,0000. After 4-5 years of it. they now just no longer believe it. We don't hear about steep corrections, or rapid interest rises....we are hearing soft landing.....need to keep interest rates low until jobs recovery is solid.
  • The average Price of the 155 trades last year was $990,000 and sellers on average achieved 95% of their list price. It took on average 53 days to sell one of these homes.
  • So far in January alone we have had 9 properties sell firm at this price range, and 3 more sold conditionally. If this pace continues this could easily be a record year for this range.
  • There are currently only 45 properties available in all of Halton Hills in this price range. With approximately 3 months worth of inventory in a category of homes that usually has twice that amount, I anticipate sellers will be having a good year. 
  • When people sell a luxury home, it follows that they become (in often cases), buyers for a different luxury home. 

Advice: Choose a realtor with some experience at this price level, look at their stats, look at a plan for marketing your home, and talk to clients of that agent. This is one of your most expensive assets, and there are not likely going to be hundreds of similar homes that have sold to define the market well....you need an agent who knows this market, who has been successful in negotiating deals at this price level, and who will communicate effectively with you and on your behalf. Buyers will be doing due diligence on the internet, this is where they will see the home you wish to sell for the first time, and in most cases they will select or disqualify the home after viewing the digital marketing the first time. 

In general, 2016 should be a great year for people selling luxury homes!

 

From the buyers side:

 

Not quite as rosie a picture, you are looking for something specific....acreage, outbuildings, Log Home, geothermal heating, whatever it is, buyers in this range have a lot of money to spend but are always looking for something unique before putting in an offer. With lower inventories and more buyers, this segment of the market is changing from a clearly Buyer's Market to more Balanced, or even slightly tipped towards Seller's Market. It makes sense that at the low end $750,000 to $900,000 this is more the case, and as the price gets more expensive, the number of buyers drops quickly. 

  • If you are spending 750,000 - 900,000, I suggest you be more diligent, see listings early, see all that are potential ones and as always if you are sure, make your offer. Waiting in my experience just costs more... if you don't lose the home to another buyer who is ready to act, then you are inviting more potential buyers the time to see it and compete when you do make your bid. 
  • Let your realtor know your geographical limits, budgets, and style preferences, and be honest with them and yourself as to what these limits are. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told an absolute must have need from a buyer only to purchase a home that is totally different. Talk things out, what are needs, what are must haves, and what are "would be nice" features....
  • look at the cost of gas, and the commute....it's pretty simple economics, the farther you are away from the CN Tower, the further your dollars go! If you want 10 acres, paddocks, a heated shop and inground pool for under $1,000,000 then it's likely that you need to look in Erin, or even East Garafraxa. They are lovely places to live, and you may actually find a property that meets your needs there. 
  • Choosing a Realtor with experience is critical here, buying a rural home, century home, home with acreage, etc. these homes have different systems for plumbing, heating, sewage, and your value can be affected more substantially if you are not aware of zoning on adjacent and close properties, green belt legislation, severances, Conservation Authorities, you absolutely need a realtor who can coach you through the process and ensure that your rights and ability to inspect and ensure these systems will support your use of the home are protected. 

 

I hope that this information is helpful, it is something that I enjoy doing, looking at the various segments of our market and look at them from both the Buyers ad Sellers perspective, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at any time, through the website or via my email

ritchhouses@gmail.com

 

Next week Condominiums!

 

Ritch Johansen

Sales Representative

Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty

 

 

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Real Estate Blog post on Homes between $550,000 and $750,000
Posted on Tue, 26 Jan 2016, 07:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Homes between $550,000 and $750,000

(Or single family detached houses in Halton Hills)

 

2016 outlook from a Buyers and a Sellers Perspective

 

Homes priced between $550,000 and $750,000....not a typical category of housing seen in newspapers or video updates put together by industry experts. So why am I looking at homes in this price range as a category unto itself? 

The simple answer is that this category (self described as it is) is in my opinion a logical look at local Real Estate here in Halton Hills. With the exception of some condo or condo townhouses that can still be bought for under $400,000 last week's look at the $400,000 - $550,000 price range was the Entry level for houses in Halton Hills. First time buyers and downsizers are looking at these homes, and for almost all of the first time buyers, the next logical step is that fully detached, 3-4 bedroom 2 storey home that was built sometime after 1990. And here in Georgetown, and often in Acton, that home is on most occaisons, going to cost a minimum of $550,000

Where:

There are plenty of homes in Georgetown that are in this price range, but for most buyers you will find this style of home in the following places,

  • Georgetown South, developed from 1990 - present, this area has the highest concentration of homes in this price range
  • Stewarttown
  • Moore Park
  • Poets Path
  • Some of the ravine offshoots within the Delrex Corridor
  • Tanners Subdivision in Acton

 

Sellers:

Sellers can expect more of the same in 2016 as compared to 2015. While the category is extremely active, with a large volume of listings to compete with, the buyers are still coming in droves to scoop up the available inventory. Depending on your selling motivation, this category of homes will continue to sell quickly and at a high percentage of list price again this year provided you list the home correctly. 

I suggest a local realtor, someone familiar with what is happening with homes in your area, where the new developments will be and when, and someone with a plan to market your home the most effective way it can be. 

Buyers in this category will be very well informed, they do tremendous amounts of research, this is not their first purchase, so they have some idea of what to expect and most likely have been looking for some time to find homes meeting their wish list. 

Photos, video, virtual tours, 360 Degree interactive digital media, staging, web exposure, social media, and local print advertising are all tools that in isolation or combination can be effective in setting your home apart from the competition and help you to achieve the highest price possible. 

This spring you will see hundreds of signs on lawns, there will be plenty of transactions, and homes changing hands, your choice of Realtor will one of the most important choices you make if yours is to be one of the few transactions that truly maximize your return, and meet all of your objectives in selling your home.

 

"A word of Warning"

If you list your home, are you prepared for it to be sold within the first few days? Do you know the next steps, if you are buying another home, that process may not be as quick as selling so please have a discussion with your Realtor about how he/she can help. 

 

Buyers:

For those of you buying homes in this price category, it's going to be tough year. You want a good deal, but you also want a home that has been maintained and renovated with all of today's conveniences. You want walk-in closets, ensuite baths, casement windows and more than a postage size lot. 

Some of you have specifically expressed a desire to find a home in need of renovations so you can get it for a significant discount and do the work yourself. (I have three active buyers myself who are looking for renos)

For those of you I see at open houses every weekend, I wish you good luck. (I believe that you will need it)

There are an awful lot of buyers who feel that contacting an Agent is unnecessary until you have found the right home to buy. They scour the real estate ads in Thursday's Independent Newspaper, Realtor.ca is a fixture on tablets and pc's, they see the signs on the lawn telling them when the open house will be, and they make a note of going over on Saturday and Sunday to see it and if it's perfect, then they will call a Realtor. 

 

I currently have between 10 and 20 buyer prospects who I am working with seeking homes. Some are very specific buyers seeking something unique and when it comes they will jump, but most are folks who want good value for homes in a specific price range and location. I send these buyers listings every day, we see homes as quickly as we can, and we do a ton of research on the ones that are high prospects. 

My buyers are informed on what their budgets will buy, they see listings on day one or day two of the listing. They have usually made their decision on the home before the first Saturday and Sunday of the listing's life, and the first open houses are scheduled. 

If you hope to buy a good home, at a fair price given the current market conditions, all of these steps are critical in my opinion. 

You should also make sure that your Realtor is someone who is experienced and equipped to coach you through the many different scenarios that may arise even after you have found "The One"....multiple offers, what conditions do you need, what do you do if the inspection shows some defects? 

2016 is going to be a challenging year for buyers trying to find good value in this price range, not because it isn't out there, but because so many others are looking for it as well. Having someone who's income depends on you finding and successfully buying it, is the most effective way to ensure that you end up on the inside looking out!

 

Next week...."Luxury Homes"

 

 

 

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2016 Real Estate Expectations for the year
Posted on Wed, 20 Jan 2016, 10:10:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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So what will 2016 hold in store for buyers and sellers of Real Estate....

This Week : Homes between $400,000 - $550,000

 

Over the next several weeks, I thought it would be good to take a look at what the year might have in store for buyers and sellers of Real Estate properties. We all know what's happening with the price of oil, the Canadian Dollar, and the many questions around how the economy locally and world wide will perform. On a very local level, (Western GTA, and more specifically Halton Hills and Erin Township) it might be easiest to look at buying and selling on a separate basis and discuss what I think might be helpful information for folks thinking about moving or investing in Real Estate.Today we will look at starter, or entry level homes, those priced below the average selling home in Halton Hills and Erin Township...

In subsequent blogs we will look at:

  • Homes between $550,000 - $750,000 - Detached family homes
  • Luxury Homes
  • Rural Housing (Including Specialty Homes)
  • Condominiums
  • Vacant Land for Building

 


Homes between $400,000 - $550,000 

Overall, I believe that this year will be a terrific year for sellers looking to get good deals on their properties. Limited inventory, a large pool of buyers, and very few new homes being built in this market, all combine to suggest that sellers should expect strong interest and fast deals on well listed homes. (Buyers have access to tremendous data resources and sellers wanting to take advantage of sellers markets to get a significant premium over the house's real worth will struggle)

 

Selling:

In this area these are starter homes, homes at this price might be detached, but also include townhouses and semis, and while generally there will be a large number of listings, this is also the largest buyer pool. There will be tremendous activity around listings in this category, premiums will be paid to sellers who have maintained and upgraded their properties, and "move in ready" will always catch a larger number of buyers' eyes. I suggest to sellers in this market, talk to your Realtor and make sure you are comfortable with the marketing strategy...your optimum value is almost always realized when and if you can generate a high volume of traffic, as quickly as possible and doing that means having the right tools at work for you...

A word of caution, some sellers are thinking, if I put hardwood floors, a new kitchen and redo the bathrooms I will get more money on the sale. You need to understand that depending on the current market activity, and buyer concentrations, you will get more for sure, but if it takes $50,000 of renovations to gain $30,000 on the sale is it worth it? 

Today's buyer is looking online...they will generally see homes of interest on Social Media or on Real Estate specific websites prior to contacting a Realtor to go see the home. In order to attract your share of these potential bidders...make sure your marketing meets the standard they are looking for...quality photos, correct and useful information posted, mobile device friendly...

The difference between offers from a single buyer vs multiple offers can be huge. I would suggest that the minimum impact is easily $10,000 for most homes, and can be as much as $30,000 or more for some. Knowing that your price is correct, that you have the proper tools at work, and you have a competent agent working on your behalf are some of the smartest choices you can make towards maximizing your value.


Prices will be peaking during the spring, so your best time to sell is then, however if you are going to be a buyer as well, moving up or down, may influence your timing. If you want a more expensive home, spring may not be ideal because you will be buying at a time when prices and availability are not optimum.

 

Buying:

Expect lots of activity, homes that show well and are priced right will have significant interest, there will be other buyers who will feel the same way as you do for the ones you like, so my advice is to be vigilant in seeing listings as quickly as possible, and try not to hesitate once you are convinced the home is right for your needs. There will be multiple offers on a large number of listings this spring, don't be discouraged, but talk to your Realtor about how they manage buying homes in multiple offers, what kind of success do they have...do they have a strategy...multiple offers almost always end in a sale...someone wins...the key is having the confidence to know how unique a property is, what it's real value is, and having a Realtor who can help. 

Homes in this category will be among the most frequently listed homes all spring, so be careful not to overpay, or concede conditions meant to protect your interests in buying homes. 

Springtime will be busiest for this market, if you are looking...don't be afraid to start now, the pace of activity is a little lighter right now and can make the process less stressful. We are also expecting that the market will cool in the fall due to the US Presidential Election.

First time buyers: please see your bank or mortgage broker now, get your pre-approval, know what you can afford and share it with your Realtor. We (Realtors with these listings) see a ton of browsers...just looking at open houses, not yet sure of the price they can afford and what they really want but will know it when they see it....this segment of the market is going to be tough this year on buyers...being prepared, and working with a trained and competent Realtor will give buyers the best chances of making a good deal on a great home!

 

Where will you find these homes? 

In Georgetown these homes are frequently found in what I call the Delrex Corridor, the homes in the middle portion of town running off the main artery Delrex and the associated side streets. Some will also be found in Northern parts of town and possibly in Moore Park.

Erin will also have a number of homes in this category as well. Mostly they will be in town in the few subdivisions that Erin and Hillsburgh have. 

 

If you are considering selling or buying a home in this category this year, I would be thrilled to discuss your situation with you personally and provide my thoughts and ideas on a strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Winter Real Estate Transactions Work!
Posted on Wed, 13 Jan 2016, 10:05:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Why would anyone want to sell their house in the middle of winter?

 

Its a terrific question! Why would anyone want to consider selling a home now?

The snow is falling, nobody wants to trudge out in boots and coats through snow banks and slush! 

Let me explain some thoughts with respect to Real Estate sales in Halton Hills, Erin Township and the Western GTA in general.

 

Lets start with some basic facts:

  • In general we have just finished another terrific year of Real Estate activity in this market. Unit sales are up, average prices have risen by 10% over last year.
  • Ontario jobs have begun to rebound and while there are still a number of concerns regarding overall economy health, Ontario added thousands of full time manufacturing jobs in the fourth quarter of 2015
  • Low oil prices in general help Ontario as an oil consumer rather than producer. Heating fuels and transportation costs are cheaper, making Ontario more competitive globally for the products manufactured here. 
  • Ontario and in large part the western GTA remains a preferred destination for many of the country's new immigrants allowed into the country.
  • For the third year in a row we in this market will be looking at low inventory conditions for resale listings. There are more qualified buyers seeking resale homes than listings available, making the process of selling easier than finding a suitable home to purchase.
  • Interest rates are at or near all time lows and there is no reason to believe that large scale increases are looming, moderate and gradual increases may be on the horizon, but most experts agree that this is not to be expected until late this year.
  • There just isn't enough new home building to keep up with the demand for homes in this area. A few small scale projects are under way, and a rather large scale one will begin over the next five years on the property west of 8th line. The truth is we have been adding new builds in the area at an alarmingly slow rate. Ask any builder if they could sell a new 10,000 home subdivision in Halton Hills? They would jump at the chance!

So why do these facts have anything to do with listing in the middle of winter?

  1. The spring market is setting up to be extraordinarily busy once again this year, prices likely will rise rapidly in the early part of the year, then flatten out a bit as the US Election campaign ramps into high gear. As most folks selling a home are also by default needing to buy a home as well, the process of buying will become most difficult over the spring months. Well listed homes will receive tremendous activity, and multiple offers and over list sales will become very frequent. As most buyers are unwilling to move until they have found a suitable new home, they are looking hard right now. 
  2. Buyers searching at this time tend to be very serious, they are looking hard to find that new home before listing their current one, and know that the later into the spring it gets while there will be more listings - competitive buyers out there will also increase.
  3. Sellers listed in the middle of winter have fewer showings, but with more serious buyers. Showing a home is what every seller wants to happen...however this tends to get very difficult especially if you have children, as in the spring months you can have 3-4 showings each evening and open houses all weekend. It can be exhausting, in January and February you wont have that frequency, but the buyers are very serious and have selected yours as one they wish to see....can you say stress reduction?
  4. One of the most compelling reasons to be on the market early is the law of supply and demand. The frequency of new listings peaks in the spring, and unless your home is one of a kind...the number of similar properties on the market as compared to yours has a direct relationship to the price you will ultimately get. Many Realtor's will go on an on about what your neighbors got in the fall, and that will be the primary basis for the suggested list price, I am much more focused on what do buyers have to choose from now? In a market like ours, there are always buyers seeking homes that suit their needs, yours will be more valuable if it is one of 2 or 3 available properties on the market, waiting until spring while yes there are more buyers out there, there could be 30 -40 competitive listings to choose from and buyers will be more willing to lose out on a good one because there are others around as well.

 

Ultimately, in my opinion, wintertime offers both buyers and sellers a more stress reduced environment, where you have some time to look carefully at what you want, negotiate a good deal, and sell your home to serious buyers seeking the same. 

 

 

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Will the Price of Oil affect My House Price?
Tuesday, 03 February 2015, 03:39:02 PM

February started with a bang for those of us in Southern Ontario!.

Most of Southern Ontario was hit by the heaviest snowfall of the 2014/2015 winter season so far. 15 - 20 cm of the white stuff fell overnight on the 1 st of February with the greatest impact felt on Monday Feb 2nd.

So what happened with the Groundhog Day prediction for spring? Punxsutawny Phil, Wiarton Willie or whoever you turn to for such predictions, clearly were not seeing any shadows in the midst of a snowstorm so bring on that spring. 

Now if you are interested in a more logical approach to predictions, and are curious about the impact of these current deflated oil costs on your largest asset...those four walls and roof you live in...have a read of the following comments.

Listening this morning to Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage Real Estate Services, the impact of the deflated oil price will be regional across the country. Clearly for those living in Alberta, belt tightening and cost control will be the new reality until the cost per barrel gets back up to more historical numbers. And with these measures, almost always there will be job losses, lower wages and ultimately less cash and less demand for housing in that market.

The same will be true for other provinces where Oil exportation, and energy related goods and services represent a significant overall portion of the provincial economy. Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, and Alberta will likely see negative impacts on house values as long as the price per barrel of oil remains so low. 

Ontario and Quebec will likely see an opposite impact. We are oil consumers not producers. Just fill your tank today and compare it to what you paid in July of last year, and you can see on a small scale the benefit to lower oil costs to people in Ontario and Quebec. This is exponentially true for companies who manufacture goods in central Canada for export to America and beyond.

Our federal Government will certainly report lower revenues as a result of lower fuel prices as their taxes on gas and other fuels is calculated as a percentage of the total price, not as a fixed price per litre, and lower costs at the pump reflect lower taxes going back into the government coffers. 

Recently due to concerns about missing tax revenues, and overall concern about keeping our economy moving ahead,  the federal government lowered the lending rate set for the nation's banks to use as the key factor for setting mortgages. While this is just now filtering it's way into our mortgage rates, lower rates mean cheaper borrowing costs which have an inflationary affect on house prices. Another important metric to consider is the current exchange rate for our dollar vs most importantly the US counterpart. Goods and Services sold to our largest trading partner, the US, are now significantly more attractive due to the cost of our currency. This will likely mean more (higher paying) jobs in the province, increased production and stronger confidence in the local economy. Combine that with lower energy costs, (one of the long term detractors of local investment) and Ontario and Quebec appear poised to see economic growth and home price escalation in the near term.

 Your home may be your single largest asset, if not, certainly it is one of them. Each year if you pay an adviser to help you with your investments, you are given annual (or often quarterly) reports on your investment portfolio's performance. When was the last time you had a report on the performance of your largest (or one of them at least) investment? Call me today and I will be happy to give you a detailed understanding of what the value of your home is.

 

 

 

 

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Georgetown Real Estate 2014 and into 2015
Posted on Wed, 21 Jan 2015, 05:40:34 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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The Toronto MLS ® System reports 697 Home sales for the Georgetown market in 2014. That number is up from 606 in 2013, an increase of 15% in the volume of transactions. The average price has risen about 6% to $528,000 almost $30,000 up from last year. 

Today, January 21, 2015 the Bank of Canada announced a reduction in the key overnight rate, down 1/4 of 1 %, this typically is what banks use to set their prime rate, so expect interest rates to fall in the short term, with no rebound in sight, especially in the wake of falling oil prices and significant job losses at the likes of Target, Sony and other retailer's who have decided it is not worth investing the time and effort into learning the Canadian consumer wants and needs. 

The general consensus among the top financial minds is that yes Real Estate is overvalued in the GTA, Toronto especially, (just this week a TD Economist called Toronto the New Manhattan of North America. The combined income to carry a detached home in the city required now exceeds $100,000. While the thinking is that we are overvalued, no-one is talking about a crash in Realty value, in fact most are predicting continued rises in value as the core fundamentals of what drives price growth continue to exist in this market. High demand for homes, and a potential shift in location as thousands of displaced Oil-patch employees return to Ontario may actually impact pricing higher!

At the street level, I admit this year is starting off extremely well, personally I have never been busier, and I feel the same is true of showings/listings activity in Georgetown. There is more confidence among Realtors that listings priced well will move quickly, and even in some of the traditionally tougher segments such as rural properties over $700,000 we are seeing sales and showings that last year just did not happen. 

If you are considering your options regarding a potential move, I urge you to give me a call. Most folks I chat with around this subject cite being afraid of a fall in price as soon as they list or buy a new property. While this risk exists in every region of the country at any time, there is ample evidence that the GTA remains a solid housing investment opportunity, and the risk of a crash is currently remote. 

Consider,

  • high demand due to immigration and relocation
  • lower Canadian Currency value vs the US and Europe means more competitive Manufactured goods being available - improving the jobs market and housing demand for Ontario
  • low interest rates continuing for the foreseeable future

If you wish to discuss your particular situation, give me a call!

416-817-4318

 

 

 

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A Look at 2014
Posted on Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 11:40:14 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Another busy year winding down....

 

Well here we are just a few short weeks away from Christmas!

It has been a very eventful year in many respects, last year's famous....or infamous ice storm was the talk of the town through the entire spring. While the most devastating effects of the storm for most of us lasted a couple of weeks, the clean up and cost impact is still ongoing. A story in the media even last week suggests that only 1 municipality in Ontario has completed the Government's onerous and complicated application process for Provincial Funds to offset municipal clean-up efforts!. Congratulations Stouffville! 

Real Estate Markets in an around the GTA also faced a rather tumultuous year in 2014. The Real Estate industry faced it's own unique challenges related to the Ice Storm, spring clean-ups lasted well into the early summer, and with all of the damage done to the tree canopy, and other landscaping, the entire spring market was very slow in developing this year. 

However as is often the case, the delays were simply that, only delays, and after a protracted lull in the spring, markets got rolling and summer/fall results continue to impress the market pundits, and average price increases are flirting with double digits for Detached homes in Halton Hills. For a comprehensive look at Halton Hills results for the third quarter have a look at this link- http://communications3.torontomls.net/statistics/mwatch/2014/09/Halton/HaltonHillsQ32014.pdf

 

 Personally I wish to thank all of the clients who allowed me to help them buy or sell Real Estate in the last year. Your confidence in me has helped me to achieve a significant performance level of Master Sales Achievement within the Royal LePage Performance Awards program. While awards of this nature are not the reason I strive to do my best as a Realtor® it certainly is nice to be recognized among my peers as a professional who achieves results for his client base. 

I would also like to thank each of my clients, recent or former clients, who have referred me to friends and acquaintances  who are looking to move in the near future. This has been a terrific year for referral business, and it is gratifying to know that many of you who have worked with me in the past are letting your closest friends know of my abilities and my willingness to do what is necessary to get the job done well! Thank-you so much!

 

 With the Holidays just around the corner, and a New Year on the very near Horizon, I wish all who are reading this, 

A Very Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!!!

Holly

 

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Royal LePage Meadowtowne
Posted on Wed, 01 Oct 2014, 09:41:29 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty, Brokerage

buys

Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd.

 

What a couple of weeks it has been! Things happen in the workplace all the time, companies are bought and sold, merge, shut the doors, and sometimes just fade away. So why should we be surprised that Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd. has sold it's operations and will cease to exist in Halton Hills?

Well it certainly did come as quite a surprise to those of us who called Johnson Associates home....most of the staff and Independent Contractor Agents have been there for a long time, many with more than 10 years of service. And as the market leader, and a profitable business to boot, you can see why those of us insider's were pretty surprised. But looking back at the last few weeks maybe we shouldn't have been so taken off guard. 

Finn Poulstrup the owner and Broker of Record for Johnson Associates has run this business it seems forever, through many ups and downs in the Real Estate business, through good times and some bad times, and as Finn nears his golden years, he has earned a right to retire at some point when he feels it is time. 

As Realtors® we at Johnson were trained extremely well and always kept the interests of our clients first and foremost in our minds, that's how it was done at Johnson's. Ethical behavior trumps all else, and the way we treat our clients, and everyone else in this business earned Johnson Associates the number 1 position in our trading markets. So why sell it?

If you've been in our head office lately, you will note the building is looking pretty tired. The offices were small, the plumbing has issues, heating and cooling were not ideal, and the image we wanted to portray to clients and peers was just not possible with the tired old buildings located at 247 Guelph Street. As most folks know there was a dream to redevelop the lands at 247 Guelph St. but a lack of outside interest in the long range possibilities, made construction impossible, and time is ticking away. 

One of the most common objections we agents received from prospects, was that we were a small independent operator. Agents looking to join a brokerage want a Brand that will help them, referral networks with hundreds or thousands of agents, better exposure on the web and social networks for listings, client discounts at mover's, furniture retailer's, air miles and other national marketing partners. As is the case in many business markets, it is more and more difficult for small independent operators to thrive without a recognizable and popular Brand image for support.

 So given his options Finn decided as was his right, to try and find a new home more suitable to today's standards, but where the culture and expectations upon staff and agents would be closest to the wonderful environment that took years to create at Johnson's. Finn found this with the owners and staff at Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty, Brokerage. This company has grown to almost 300 agents in the West GTA, with offices in Mississauga, Milton and Georgetown. With world class offices in town near the Tim's on Guelph Street, and a wealth of training materials, marketing support and back-end technology and staff support for the agents, RLP Meadowtowne is ideally poised to bring you the quality, service and expertise that you once relied on from Johnson Associates. The vast majority of agents working at Johnson Associates have now joined Royal LePage Meadowtowne, as have the best in class staff that served you so well. As is always the case with Independent Contractor Agents, some of my peers who were Johnson Agents have made a decision to join other Brokerages. I wish those folks well, will miss the daily camaraderie, and hope to see them across the table very soon! 

As an independent contractor agent, I am very excited to have joined my new team, and now as heads and tails ahead of our competition in market share, transactions and listings available in Halton Hills, Erin and surrounding areas, I look forward to providing my clients, existing and new, with the same great service and care that I learned while working at Johnson. I am also very keen to incorporate into my own business the vast array of marketing support, vendor discounts and client services that come with being a part of a leading Canadian owned brand as respected and popular as Royal LePage!

 

So Surprised or not, the only constant in Life is Change! 

 

 

 

 

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Finding a Realtor
Thursday, 06 March 2014, 04:40:15 PM

How to find a Realtor®.....

Finding a professional to help you buy or sell a home is simple. Announce to some family and friends that you intend to move and see what happens. It is a competitive business, and with over 34,000 licensed Realtors® in the Greater Toronto Area, finding an agent is easy...SELECTING someone to represent your best interests in what is most likely one of your family's most significant transactions is not quite as simple. Finding a Realtor® is easy, choosing a Realtor® is much more involved.

One of the best places to start is with the friends and family that you know who have recently moved....referrals are a tremendous source of business for today's best Real Estate Sales Representatives. People are generally very happy to share their experiences, both good and bad, and any Realtor® who isn't equipped with a list of clients (recent ones) who will explain in detail why this Realtor® is the best....may be someone to avoid. 

Ensure that your Realtor® is fully aware of the both the area that you intend to buy and the area that your home will be sold in. Your Realtor® will be providing you with advice as to how much your home is worth....how is this possible for someone who isn't completely aware of the area and the nuances of this neighborhood. Potential buyers, agents, and interested parties will be asking many questions about the area, schools, shopping, commute times, best routes, and on and on....Your agent will be a key source of information or not....

Know that your agent is fully engaged in this business, the average number of transactions by licensed Real Estate Sales Reps and Brokers in the GTA is less than two homes bought or sold per year. There are hundreds, no thousands of licensed reps who did not do a single transaction last year. The professional you choose should be someone who is immersed in the daily activities of buying and selling homes. You may need to count on someone who knows how to find out what the neighboring lot is zoned for, has there been an environmental assessment completed, how can you check if a septic system is going to last? 

If you are thinking that now is a good time to move, give me a call, I would be happy to provide you with a long list of very satisfied clients who can tell you that I am passionate about getting the best deals done for my clients. From the first moment we meet until long after closing day, my focus is on getting you the best deal possible, and ensuring that your interests are protected. 

 

Ritch

416-817-4318

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