KITCHENER-WATERLOO REAL ESTATE-HOMES & CONDOS FOR SALE

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Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market Update for June 2104


It was another solid month for home sales in Waterloo Region. Although the number of sales was down compared to last year they were up compared to the 5 year average. Prices were also up which is  a great sign that the buyers are still out there and looking to make a move. If you have any questions or would like more specific pricing on your home please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

 

STEADY STREAM OF HOME SALES FOR THE MONTH OF MAY

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (June 4, 2014) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing
System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in May were down
5.6 percent compared to last year’s record setting month of May.
A total of 725 residential properties were sold in the month of May compared to 768 the same time
last year. This was only the second time since 2007 that residential sales in May have exceeded 700
total sales. Comparing the 5-year average for the month of May shows a 5.7 percent jump in
residential sales.
“The spring home buying season was in full swing this May” says Lynn Bebenek, President of KWAR.
“Strong sales and price gains reflect the confidence homebuyers have in regional housing market as
a great place to live and invest.”
May’s sales included 514 single detached homes (down 3.4 % from last year) 101 condominium units
(down 17.9 %), 60 semi-detached (up 3.4 %) and 43 freehold townhouses (down 2.3 %).
The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.5 percent
last month to $345,323 compared with May 2013. Single detached homes sold for an average price
of $386,474 an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to last year. The average sale price for a
condominium was $226,157, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to May 2013.


11 Things to Think About When Buying a Home – Kitchener Waterloo Homes and Condos for Sale


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Buying a house is a very difficult decision – there are large sums of money involved, the transaction costs and hassle of moving mean that you can’t just buy another house if you don’t like the one you end up with, and you don’t have enough information to make a completely informed decision. The best you can do is try to educate yourself in all aspects of the house hunt, keep a clear head and buy a house that fits your situation.

Here are some things for house buyers to be aware of when looking for a new home.

1) Location

  • How far is it from where you work? Can you handle the time/money involved in the commute?
  • If you have young kids or are planning to have them – how far from the grandparents from the house? They tend to be the best babysitters.

2) Budget

It’s nice to say “buy within your budget” but that might not realistic. Do a quick budget estimate, look at some houses that you might be interested in and then revise the budget or revise the houses. If you really can’t afford a house then don’t buy one. There is nothing wrong with renting.

3) Know your market

It’s critical that you know the market you are looking in. The asking prices for houses are often not indicative of their true value and the only way to be able to estimate a house value is to look at as many houses as possible. Take notes and find out what they sold for.

4) Trust your real estate agent

I would suggest that most house buyers use an agent. They know the local market, the pricing and can point out things that you may miss on your walk through. They protect you legally but making sure that clauses and conditions are put into the offer making sure you get everything that you are expecting.

5) Don’t end up house poor

Sometimes house buyers “fall in love” with a house or neighborhood or even just the idea of owning a house and they place too high a priority on it. This can lead to regret when the novelty wears off and you don’t have any money to do the things you like to do. Try living for six months on a “pretend” mortgage payment and see how it goes.

6) Take your time

Until recently, many buyers were afraid of missing out on future price gains or being “priced out of the market”. If you are renting and saving as much as you can, then you will be fine. Here are some tips for renters to be able to keep up (or down as the case may be) with their house owning friends.  Note – this one isn’t as relevant as it was last year!

7) Make a decision

Previously, I said to look at lots of houses to learn the market. At that point you should be able to purchase a house fairly quickly. If you are looking for the perfect house or trying to time the market then you will never buy a house. I know people who did ten year house searches which is a big waste of time. The reality is that you will be happy with a good percentage of all the houses you look at, so as long as you can eliminate the worst choices then you will be thrilled with your new home.

8) Don’t worry about the down payment

Yes, I know – it sounds pretty shocking in the sub-prime era to suggest that a down payment of less than 20% is acceptable, but in my opinion, the ability to make the mortgage payments is the main factor for affordability. In other words, it’s the size of the mortgage that matters. Of course you can get better rates with a larger down payment so it’s better if you have one, but don’t sweat it if you have a small or zero down payment.

9) Don’t blow your budget on renovations and furniture

Most people end up buying a house that has mortgage payments large enough that the buyers have to “make the payments fit” into their budget. While this is not the best way to buy a house, some of these buyers then make things worse by spending more money on renovations and house decorations. Unless you buy a total wreck of a house, you do not need to spend big bucks on renovations. You can live with the non-granite kitchen counter and the couch set that doesn’t fit the room perfectly. I don’t care if the house has full-on 70′s decor – you can live with it for a year or more until you can fit the extra expense in your budget.

10) Be careful of flip properties

There are people and contractors who will buy a house, fix it up very quickly and turn around and sell it for profit. The problem with these houses is that they tend to look very good on the surface ie nice paint, trim, granite counters etc, but on the inside they are pretty ugly and might have substandard electrical, insulation etc.

If you are interested in one of these houses then make sure they have closed permits and check with the inspector to see if their inspection notes. Better yet, just don’t buy one.

11) Don’t buy the perfect house

If the house is livable and you have a good life, then you will be happy with whatever house you end up buying. If you spend more money on a “better” house, then you will quickly get used to it and will be no happier than if you had bought an “average” house.

The people inside are what make it special.

Summary

Learn as much as you can about real estate, your budget and your local house market, but be prepared for the fact that buying a house is all about compromise, incomplete information and a lot of doubts! If you keep at it however, the odds are very good that you will end up with a home that suits your needs.


Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Update for May 2014


The nice weather looks like it is finally here to stay which is great news for the local Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market. Over the past months we have been experiencing a slight slow down in sales mostly due to the abnormally cold weather we have been having. The weather man is promising nicer weeks ahead and a warm summer so that is great news.

Although sales in April are up over March of this year, we are down year over year approximately 6%.  The condo market here is Kitchener Waterloo is growing at a fast pace with many new building projects underway but the sales there have remained flat.

The great news is that prices are still climbing. Average price is up 2.9% or almost $344,000.  That means that even with the low inventory levels that we have been experiencing the buyers are still out there and willing to pay to get the home of their dreams.

For a complete rundown on the stats you can read them below. If you have any questions on the market in general or specific pricing of your home feel free to give us a call. We would be happy to come over.

 

APRIL HOME SALES UP OVER MARCH, DOWN YEAR-OVER-YEAR

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (May 6, 2014) – There were fewer residential property sales through the
Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®
(KWAR) in April compared to the same month last year.
A total of 652 residential properties sold in the month of April compared to 691 the same time last
year, a decrease of 5.6 percent. In comparison to March, residential sales grew 21 percent,
continuing the trend of monthly increases in home sales since the beginning of this year.
“We’re continuing to see increasing sales activity month after month,” says Lynn Bebenek President
of the KWAR. “Persistently bad weather seems to have delayed decision to buy or sell homes, but the
combination of increasing monthly sales, lower mortgage rates and some sun should drive increases
in the months ahead.”
April’s sales included 445 single detached homes (down 6.1 % from last year) 121 condominium units
(on par with last year), 38 semi-detached (down 19.1 %) and 41 freehold townhouses (down 2.4 %).
Year-to-date residential sales were 6.6 percent below last year with 1,948 residential homes sold thus
far.
While sales were a little slower this month the average sale price of all residential sales through the
KWAR’s MLS® System increased 2.9 percent to $343,839 compared with April 2013. Single detached
homes sold for an average price of $387,130 an increase of 2.2 percent compared to last year. The
average condominium price was up 9.8 percent selling for $237,008, partially due to the sales of
higher end condominium townhomes alongside traditional condos.


Kitchener Waterloo April Real Estate Update – A slower March to Spring


KITCHENER‐WATERLOO HOME SALES ‐ A SLOWER MARCH TO SPRING

KITCHENER‐WATERLOO, ON (April 3, 2014) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing System
(MLS® System) of the Kitchener‐Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), were down 12 percent last month,
compared to March 2013. There were 536 residential sales reported during the month of March, 23 percent more
than in February.

Looking at the first quarter of 2013, there were a total of 1,293 residential sales, a decrease of 7.3 percent
compared to last year’s 1,395 sales.

“As everyone knows, we’ve just come off of one of the harshest winters on record”, says Lynn Bebenek, president of
the KWAR. “Anecdotally speaking I’ve heard from several business operators who say they’ve experienced a
slowdown this winter because of extreme cold and snow, and our residential real estate market was no different.”
Bebenek adds, “On the bright side, everyone has buyers waiting and hopes are resting on a busy spring.”
Home sales in March 2013 included 347 detached homes (down 13 percent), 98 condominium units (down 4.9
percent), 44 semi‐detached (down 24.1 percent), and 43 townhomes (on par).

The dollar volume of residential sales in the first quarter of 2014 came in at $423,915,584, a 5.9 percent decline
compared to the same period last year.

Single detached homes sold through the KWAR’s MLS® System in March went for an average price of $368,896,
virtually unchanged from the same month last year when the average price was $368,706. On a year‐to‐date basis,
the average price of a single detached home sold for $377,711, a 3.4 percent increase.
The average sale price of all residential sales also increased a negligible 0.1 percent to $322,833 last month
compared to the same month last year. On a year‐to‐date basis, the average price edged up a little higher to
$327,854, representing a 1.6% increase over 2013.

If you have any questions or would like a Pricing Analysis on your home please give me a call at 519-579-4110


Kitchener Waterloo Home Sales Steady For February


With the cold weather still keeping its grip on us here in Kitchener Waterloo, the Residential Real Estate market is starting to  show signs of life. Even though  the volume of sales are down about 4% the prices are still rising steadily. Condos are leading the way for another month in a row up 6.3%.

Have a look at the entire Media release from the Kitchener waterloo real estate board and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give me  a call.

HOMES SALES STEADY IN FEBRUARY

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (March 5, 2014) –– Residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were down 4.0 percent in February compared to the
same month last year and up 34 percent compared to January’s results which were hampered by extreme
cold and snow.
A total of 431 residential properties were sold compared to 449 the same time last year. Residential sales in
February included 274 single detached homes (down 8.7% from last February), 33 semi-detached (down
13.2%), 28 townhomes (down 3.4%) and 93 condominium units (up 16.3%).
“February sales showed a healthy increase compared to January,” stated Lynn Bebenek, President of the
KWAR. “Low interest rates and a diverse and vibrant regional economy will continue to support a stable market
for the Kitchener-Waterloo area.”
Single detached homes sold for an average price of $387,288 an increase of 5.1 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $233,657 an increase of 6.8 percent while townhomes and
semis sold for an average of $281,636 (down 0.7%) and $246,171 (down 3.0%) respectively. The average sale
price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.0 percent to $335,217 compared to
February 2013.
“Following up on what has been one of the coldest winters on record I expect we will see home buyers and
sellers out in full force come the spring time,” said Bebenek.

 


CMHC Premiums are Going Up – Kitchener Waterloo Homes for sale


CMHC (Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation) Announced that their Loan Insurance Program is going to be changing. What does that mean for Canadians purchasing properties with less than 35% down? Have a look at the chart below to see how the costs will be changing. If you have any questions or would like any advice please give us a call

CHMC PREMIUM UPDATE


Mortgage Down Payment – It Might Be Easier Than You Think


Getting that downmpayment: it might be easier than you think!

For many first-time homebuyers, saving the 5 per cent downpayment is one of the big obstacles to home ownership, especially if you’re paying rent, paying down student loans, and trying to live a life. Here are some programs and tips that can give your downpayment a boost – to get you into your home faster:

  1. The federal Home Buyers’ Program (HBP) lets first-time homebuyers withdraw up to $25,000 each (or $50,000 for a couple) tax-free from their RRSPs. You’ll need to pay those funds back, of course, on a repayment plan.
  2. A financial gift from a parent or blood relative can be used as a downpayment. You’ll need to document in writing that the funds are a gift and that you are not required to pay the money back at any time.
  3. A parent or grandparent could also provide a loan with a modest interest rate and reasonable expectations for loan repayment. Or you could look at borrowing the downpayment through a loan or unsecured line of credit.
  4. If your dream home is out of reach, look for a starter home. Use today’s low interest rates to start hammering down your mortgage, then watch for the opportunity to get the home of your dreams – using the equity and credit rating you’ve been building!

If you have any questions regarding down payments or Mortgages in general feel free to give us a call. We are happy to help


How To Cut Your Hydro Bill Without Even Trying – Kitchener Waterloo Homes


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Have you been looking for ways of saving money on your hydro bills? Here is a great article on some simple ways to do just that. How to cut your Hydro bill without even trying…

http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2014/02/16/how_to_cut_your_hydro_bill_without_really_trying.html


February 2014 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market Update


JANUARY’S DEEP FREEZE SLOWS OVERALL HOME SALES
CONDO SALES UP IN JANUARY

With most of the country still locked in the DEEP FREEZE, Kitchener waterloo still remains strong on pricing even though sales are slipping a little. The warm weather approaching soon(i hope), I would expect that the market will kick into high gear with strong sales.

If you have any questions on the market in general or specific pricing of your home please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

See below to read the excerpt from the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Boards stats.
KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (February 5, 2014) –– Homes sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in January were down 5.3 percent compared to January
of last year.
A total of 319 residential properties were sold compared to 337 the same time last year. Residential sales in
January included 207 single detached homes (down 13.4% from last January), 17 semi-detached (down 29.2%),
18 townhomes (down 28%) and 74 condominium units (up 54.2%).
“Coming off a strong 2013, the pace of home sales slowed down somewhat in January,” stated Lynn Bebenek,
President of the KWAR. “The weather didn’t help much either; the extreme cold and heavy snow made
January a less than desirable month to be out looking at houses.”
January’s deep freeze didn’t hamper sale prices however, single detached homes sold for an average price of
$375,009 an increase of 5.7 percent compared to last year. The average sale price for a condominium was
$214,921 an increase of 1.5 percent, while townhomes and semis sold for an average of $263,679 (down 0.9%)
and $254,807 (up 3.5%) respectively. The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS®
System increased 1.1 percent to $323,533 compared to January 2013.
“The winter months can be hit or miss depending on the weather,” says Bebenek. “Buyers and sellers will be all
the more eager once spring hits, and we are expecting a strong spring market.”


10 Tips For Gas Furnace Efficiency – Kitchener Waterloo Homes for sale


Gas furnaces are relatively easy to operate and maintain, but they do require regular maintenance to stay in good condition. Gas furnaces can be dangerous if they are in need of maintenance and you neglect them; for instance if there is a gas leak it could be very dangerous if not addressed early. This article will take a look at 10 maintenance tips for gas furnaces.

1. Check for gas leaks

Gas leaks on gas furnaces are easy to spot, you can tell from gas build up on the floor or from the smell of gas around the furnace area. Gas leaks require a professional to fix the furnace to ensure the safety of the unit.

2. Thermostat working properly?

Have you noticed the house is either really warm or really cold, but the thermostat is set at a comfortable temperature? When a thermostat is not working properly the furnace will not heat the house properly, which makes the unit very inefficient.

3. Control valve turned open?

Is your furnace producing no heat and you can’t figure out what’s wrong? A common problem when getting a gas furnace to run properly is that the control valve is turned off, if the valve is turned off the furnace will not produce heat.

4. When have you changed the air filter?

Regularly changing the air filter is an important part of gas furnace maintenance that should be addressed regularly. Air filters can be purchased at almost any hardware store, and they are not expensive. A dirty air filter will make the gas furnace produce less heat and make it incredibly inefficient.

5. Does your gas furnace need cleaning?

Cleaning is a regular task for proper gas furnace maintenance. Click here for a step by step guide to properly cleaning a gas furnace.

6. When was the last time you checked the tension belt?

If your gas furnace is running loudly and you can’t seem to figure out why the tension belt may be a possible cause.

7. Have you checked the pilot light?

If the pilot light is out the furnace will not work, therefore make sure the pilot light is lit and working properly. The pilot light should be a deep hot blue, but if it is another color then it is not working properly.

8. When was the last time you oiled the motor?

Oil is necessary for proper maintenance on a gas furnace; all you have to do is add a couple of drops, nothing too much. Oil should be added to the motor every season, and when you think the motor needs it.

9. Check the venting regularly

The venting that is hooked up with the gas furnace should be checked regularly for blockages and debris. If the ventilation is blocked it could pose a variety of health hazards including carbon monoxide poisoning.

10. Shutting the system off post cold season

Gas furnaces do need to be shut off after the winter season, and ideally they should be cleaned and the air filter should be replaced. All the above tips should be applied at the beginning of every season for a proper working gas furnace.


Top 10 Mortgage Tips for 2014! – Kitchener Waterloo Homes For Sale


A peek at the year ahead: Our top ten mortgage tips for 2014!

Your home may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. That means you want to be smart with your mortgage. Although we can’t say for sure what mortgage rates will do – or how the housing market will shift – we have compiled our top tips for the year ahead; sensible strategies for today’s homebuyers and owners.

  1. Variables are back. Several lenders are offering strong “prime minus” rates that could save you thousands in interest. And the Bank of Canada is still holding their key “overnight rate” very steady and very low… making variable-rate mortgages a sensible option right now. Fixed versus variable has always been a challenging mortgage decision. Let us help you decide which financing option best meets your needs.
  2. Don’t sleepwalk through your mortgage renewal. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… then it’s time to get an expert second opinion. We’re independent and we have access to over 50 lenders. If there’s a better deal, we’ll find it.
  3. Pay your phone bill on time! Paying your bills on time has always been the most important credit habit. Equifax recently started to include phone companies on credit bureau reports – so your lender can see if you have any delinquencies with your phone bills. Look like a good borrower.
  4. Keep other good credit habits. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 30 per cent of your limit. Don’t cancel an old credit card without getting advice. And don’t sign up for store cards: they often have crazy interest rates, and the application triggers a credit inquiry (you don’t want a lot of those).
  5. Mortgage versus total debt. Do you have high-interest debt outside your mortgage that you won’t be able to pay off in the next few months? Then think about rolling that debt into a new low-rate mortgage. This one, smart strategy could save you thousands… and boost your monthly cash flow. We can analyze your situation to see if you qualify.
  6. What’s the prepayment penalty? Don’t let anyone tell you prepayment penalties are “all the same”. They’re not. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, the right mortgage could save you thousands. Not all lenders calculate penalties the same way, and the differences can be substantial. It helps to know which lenders have the most fair prepayment penalties. With access to dozens of lenders – we’ve got that information at our fingertips.
  7. If one of you wants to keep the marital home. If you are going through a separation or divorce and one of you wants to keep the marital home, we’ve got some great mortgage options, including a mortgage to 95 per cent. Your home can be the asset that gives you both a fresh start!
  8. A paydown will pay it forward. Take every opportunity to beat down your mortgage principal using any prepayment privileges! Use tax refunds, bonuses, whatever. Or switch to weekly or bi-weekly payments. Every dollar you pay down on principal means every future payment goes further.
  9. Thinking renovation? We see what you see. Your reno will add value to your home. That’s why we have a special “Refinance Plus Improvements” mortgage that lets you refinance up to 80 per cent of the new, post-reno value of your home. Cool deal.
  10. Come in for a checkup. Your mortgage needs an annual checkup. Really. Life doesn’t stand still, which means your needs may have changed. Even a minor tweak can pay big dividends.

December 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market Update – The Stats Are In!


The Stats are in and it was another GREAT year for the Waterloo Region housing market.

More homes were sold in 2013 than in the previous two years, and the 6,366 residential sales processed through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) this past year were above the 10-year average.

In a year when troubling news concerning one of the region’s largest employers dominated not only headlines, but the hearts and minds of many, the Kitchener-Waterloo housing market fared remarkably well.

“Throughout last year we saw the fate of Waterloo region called into question by those who didn’t fully grasp the depth of our region’s overall economy,” said Lynn Bebenek, President of the KWAR. “While the strength of our housing market is only one economic indicator, this past year demonstrated the confidence buyers and sellers have in Kitchener-Waterloo’s real estate market.”

Sales of homes got off to a slow start in 2013 before heating up in May and stayed strong through to the end of the third quarter. In December, following two months of slower activity, a total of 279 residential properties sold, representing an increase of 3 percent over the same month last year.

The dollar volume of sales in 2013 increased 6.5 percent over last year, totalling $2,057,707,041 and surpassing the “2 billion” dollar mark for the first time in the KWAR’s history.

Close to half of all residential properties (47%) sold above $300,000 in 2013 compared to 43% in 2012. The average price of all residential properties sold in 2013 increased 4 percent to $323,335. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $366,907 in 2013, an increase of 3.7 percent. In the condominium market the average sale price in 2013 was $216,866, an increase of 1.5 percent compared to the previous year.

Home sales in 2013 included 4,241 detached homes (up 4.2 percent from 2012), 1,151 condos (down 3.9 percent), 505 semis (up 3.7 percent), and 399 townhouses (down 0.3 percent)


How to Hide All Those Cords from Behind Your Desk – Kitchener Waterloo


Do you find that all those, computer, phone, monitor cords etc are a real pain to look at everyday? Do you wish you had a great idea to hide them from sight?

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Well here is a great blog post I found on how just to do that.  Have a look and have  fun with the project

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/20759446/list/Hide-Cords-in-Style-With-DIY-Graphic-Panels


Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Update for November 2013


HOME SALES DOWN IN NOVEMBER, UP ON YEAR-TO-DATE BASIS

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (December 4, 2013) –– Homes sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in November were down 8.2 percent compared to
November of last year. Residential sales have totalled 6,080 on a yearly basis which represents a 2.3 percent
increase over last year, and also a year-to-date record for total units sold since 2007.
A total of 459 residential properties were sold compared to 500 the same time last year. Residential sales in
November included 295 single detached homes (down 9.2% from last November), 41 semi-detached (up
20.6%), 30 townhomes (up 7.1%) and 90 condominium units (down 15.1%).
“Looking back on 2013 as it winds down, we’ve had a strong and stable year of homes sales” says Lynn
Bebenek, newly elected President of KWAR. “The strength of our local economy and low interest rates continue
to support housing demand in Waterloo Region.”
Single detached homes sold for an average price of $370,068 an increase of 3.0 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $214,932 an increase of 3.4 percent while townhomes and
semis sold for an average of $268,194 (up 2.3%) and $240,645 (up 1.7%) respectively. The average sale price of
all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.1 percent to $320,591 compared to November
2012.
“November’s housing sales demonstrate that Waterloo region continues to be a desirable place to live and
work,” says President Bebenek, “With local job creation expected to outpace losses next year, and barring any
drastic changes in lending rates, Waterloo region should continue to enjoy a healthy housing market in 2014.”


Ontario Government Has passed the Carbon Monoxide Bill


A new Bill has passed. Nearly five years after a Woodstock family was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, provincial politicians have passed a bill that mandates all Ontario homes have CO detectors. I think this is a fantastic idea.

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For more info visit

Rosie Del Campo has the latest: http://bit.ly/1igsCR2


October 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Update – Kitchener Homes For Sale


SOLID HOME SALES IN OCTOBER

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (November 5, 2013) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing System
(MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in October were down 4.0 percent
compared to October of last year.

A total of 481 residential properties were sold compared to 501 the same time last year. Year-to-date sales are
up 3.3 percent with 5,620 homes trading hands so far this year. That stands 2.2 percent above the 5-year
average and up 3.2 percent from the same time in 2012. Residential sales in September included 313 single
detached homes (down 2.8% from last October), 44 semi-detached (down 8.3%), 36 town homes (up 9.1%) and
85 condominium units (down 7.6%).

“On a monthly basis the number of sales in October was in line with the average of the past 5 years,” says
Dietmar Sommerfeld, President of KWAR. “Looking at year-to-date figures, homes sales are the highest they’ve
been compared to the last five years.”

Sommerfeld says he is confident about the local economy and the region’s housing market, pointing to a
recent Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) report (Fall 2013) that states steady mortgage rates
combined with stable/increasing employment in the Region will continue to keep housing demand strong
moving into early 2014.

Single detached homes sold for an average price of $352,807 an increase of 3.6 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $214,226 a decrease of 0.7 percent compared to
October of last year. The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased
3.3 percent to $312,785 compared to October 2012.

If you ever have any questions on the information provided or specific pricing of your home feel free to give me a call to discuss. I am always happy to help.


Get the Best Mortgage Rate: 5 Tips for Financial Fitness


When the time is right for you to buy a home, make sure you are financially fit and eligible for the best possible mortgage rates. Here are our top five tips to boost your “financial fitness”:

1. Whip it. Whip your credit rating into shape: pay your bills on time… every time. Keep your oldest credit card for its history, and make sure it’s always paid on time. Try not to apply for any new credit.

2. Follow the 33% rule. Never run up a credit card or line of credit past 33% of its available limit. If you’ve got a $3,000 limit, then $1,000 is your absolute ceiling.

3. Cash is king. Gather up the maximum down payment possible. The more money you put down on a home, the better.

4. Be prepared. Put together a file folder with the following: pay stubs, or proof of self-employment income, list of debts and assets, and current bank statements. We can advise what you’ll need.

5. Start a dialogue. Talk to us about your plans. Find out if you can pre-qualify, and ask about how you might qualify for the best possible rate.

The process of qualifying for a mortgage begins long before you decide to buy a home! But if you make a plan to improve your financial fitness… you’ll have no shortage of lenders willing to compete for your business. For more information or a connection to a great Broker just give me a call. I am happy to help.


2013 Frederick Art Walk


Once again it is time for the 2013 Frederick Art Walk!Artisans come together and showcase their treasures. So if you are interested in seeing some cool things and enjoying all the east ward has to offer you should check it out.

Date: September 9, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Check out www.frederickartwalk.org for all locations

 

Photo: Once again it is time for the 2013 Frederick Art Walk!Artisans come together and showcase their treasures. So if you are interested in seeing some cool things and enjoying all the east ward has too offer you should check it out.Date: September 9, 2013Time: 10 a.m. -  5 p.m. Location: Check out www.frederickartwalk.org for all locations


How to Get the best Mortgage Deal – Kitchener Waterloo Homes for sale


Here is a great resource for trying to figure out what is the best mortgage product out there to fit your needs. This article gives you 63 different things too look for when trying to secure the best mortgage possible.  As always if you have any questions or need any Real Estate Related advice feel free to give me a call or email.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/mortgages/the-ultimate-mortgage-checklist-63-steps-to-navigating-the-best-deal/article14868520/


How To Prepare When Mortgage Rates Start Going Up – Kitchener Waterloo Homes For Sale


Five ways to prepare for higher mortgage rates

Mortgage rates on the rise? No need to panic; what you need is some smart strategies to prepare. Here are our top 5 tips:

1. Don’t take the money. If you’re buying a new home, don’t be tempted to borrow the maximum amount your lender will allow.

2. Do more than the minimum.If you have a variable-rate mortgage, build in some wiggle room by setting your payments higher than required.

3. Plan to pre-pay. Find out what your pre-payment privileges are and pay whatever you can.

4. Conduct a reality check.Find out what your mortgage balance will be at renewal and use our online mortgage calculator to project what your payments could be if you renewed at a higher rate. Start to ease up to your new payment level so at renewal, it’s like a merge lane!

5. Watch your bad debt. Be cautious about any credit card or other high-interest debt.

Getting prepared for higher rates is not about panicking, it’s about being prudent.Give me a call if you have any questions.


Mortgage Renewals – Almost Have of All Homeowners Sleep Right Through Them.


Almost half of homeowners sleepwalk through their mortgage renewal

Given the large financial commitment of a mortgage, it’s surprising that 44 per cent of Canadian homeowners either just accept whatever their lender offers at renewal, or don’t even remember how they renewed!

It’s tempting to just sleepwalk through the mortgage renewal process. But if you’re not doing even the slightest comparison shopping or negotiating, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… what that really means is that it’s time to get advice. Professional, independent advice.

Get an expert second opinion on what you’re being offered. We’ll take a look, and compare it to what we can find out there as an alternative among the 50 or more lenders we have access to.

Got a mortgage renewal coming up in the next six months? Give me a call and I will connect you with someone that can help.


Blackberry and what it means for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate – Re/max Twin City


I have been getting a lot of questions on how the state of Blackberry is going to affect the local Real Estate Market here in Kitchener Waterloo. Have a look at the video to hear my thoughts on what the future holds.


New Class Z License for the Kitchener Waterloo Rental Licensing Bylaw


City of Waterloo Residential Rental Licensing Update – NEW CLASS Z LICENSE

The rental housing licensing by-law has been in effect for one year. City staff have reviewed the by-law for consistency and areas of improvement, and on Monday, August 12, Waterloo city council passed a motion to approve amendments to the by-law.

The amended by-law now includes an additional sixth class of license in order to appropriately capture residential rental units that are similar in nature to apartments but do not meet all aspects of the definition. The new Class Z license will capture rental units that meet two of the three criteria for being an apartment (having four or more dwelling units and being horizontally separated) but do not have an interior common hallway.

City staff have created this new class of residential license to allow properties without an interior common hallway to be licensed and meet safety standards – without having to meet specific bedroom or floor space standards. This amendment ensures consistency in application and enforcement of the by-law.

The application process and deadlines remain the same. Landlords can avoid long waits in line by applying for their license online at mypermits.waterloo.ca.

To review the residential rental housing by-law in its entirety, please visit www.waterloo.ca/bylaw


Don’t Forget Your Fall Home Maintenance To Do List- Kitchener Waterloo Homes for sale


Your fall “to-do”
list for home maintenance!

A few hours spent on fall maintenance will protect the investment you’ve made, and make for a more comfortable and worry-free winter ahead. Get started with our fall “to-do” list:

 

  • Ensure windows and doors (especially the one between house & garage) close tightly; repair or replace weather stripping if needed.
  • Check your roof for loose or missing shingles.
  • Ensure your eavestroughs and downspouts are clear.
  • Check your chimney for nests, other obstructions, or buildup of residues.
  • Get a pro to inspect your heating system. Clean or replace the furnace air filter each month all winter.
  • Have ducts professionally cleaned every few years; vacuum everything you can reach.
  • Check your home safety devices and change the batteries.
  • Change the direction of ceiling fans to push warm air from the ceiling down.
  • Cover outside of air-conditioning unit.
  • Drain and store outdoor hoses. Protect delicate landscaping.

 By doing a few small things you will ensure your home is ready for the winter months and you can enjoy them in comfort.

Have a great fall season!