KITCHENER-WATERLOO REAL ESTATE-HOMES & CONDOS FOR SALE

Posts tagged “kitchener

No Signs of Cooling the Hot Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market


The trend continues here in Kitchener Waterloo with no signs of cooling. The demand for homes is Hot Hot Hot.

A total of 540 residential properties changed hands in Kitchener Waterloo and area though the MLS® System.  This represents a 29.2 percent increase in sales compared to September of 2015, and is a new record high for the month.

On a year-to-date basis 5,241 residential units have sold compared to 4,456 during the same period in 2015, an increase of 17.6 percent. This is the first time sales have exceed the 5000 unit mark at the end of the third quarter. The demand is strong but the supply of homes still continues to lag well behind. Residential listing inventory  totaled 815, a decline of 51 percent compared to September 2015.

Showing the most traction, were the sales of condominium type units, which include any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, town homes, apartment, detached etc.), increasing 80.6 percent to 130 transactions in September relative to the same month a year ago.

Meanwhile, 333 single detached homes sold last month, an increase of 19.8 percent, compared to last year. September’s sales also included 31 Semi-detached homes (down 18.4 percent) and 33 freehold townhouses (up 22.2 percent).

The average price of all residential properties sold year-to-date was $380,692, a 9.7 percent increase over 2015. The average price of a detached home to the end of the third quarter was $443,554, an 11.8 percent increase over 2015. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $231,187, an increase of 4.5 percent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $281,709 (up 8.3 percent) and $293,167 (up 8.5 percent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold year-to-date increased 9.9 percent to $350,000, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 10.9 percent to $400,500. Like many other markets in Ontario, it continues to be a sellers’ market here in Waterloo region. Due to the outweighing demand over supply, its putting upward pressure on prices.

With the new changes by the federal government, introducing the mortgage rate “stress test” on all new insured mortgages, could delay home purchases for some first time home buyers, as they assess what they can afford, and possibly save for a bigger down payment.

I don’t believe that these changes will impact our area to a large degree, the very fact that the government is taking steps could cause a slight cooling of the market.

If you have any questions or are thinking of buying or selling this fall please give me a call and we can discuss some strategies that would work best for you.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Kevin


Another Hot Month for Kitchener Waterloo Home Sales


Hi there and hope you had a fantastic summer!

The housing market here in Kitchener Waterloo is as hot as the weather has been this past summer!  There were a total of 598 home sales in KitchenerWaterloo and area though the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in August. This represents a 26.4% increase in sales compared to August of 2015. It also ranks as the most active August on record and 37.6% above the 5-year average for the month. That is simply amazing.

Year-to-date sales also climbed to new heights with 4,703 residential sales so far in 2016. Again, this is the highest on record for this period and 23.4% above the 5-year average.

We are still experiencing a lower than normal listing number with active listings almost half of what they were last year at this time. Active listings through the  MLS® System to the end of August sat at 863, which is 46.6% lower compared to same period last year’s 1,616 homes that were on the market. That means we are still experiencing a very tight market in terms of availability of homes which continues to push up home prices in the region.

August’s sales included 353 single detached homes (up 19.7% compared to August 2015) and 151 condominium type units (up 36.0%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc). Sales also included 40 Semi-detached homes (up 14.3%) and 49 freehold townhouses (up 69.0%).

The average sale price of all residential sales in August increased 15.2% to $402,000 compared to August 2015.  Its clear that as a result of the strong residential activity  that buyers remain confident about home values here in the region.

Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $487,050 an increase of 20.9% compared to last year. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $233,302, an increase of 7.9%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $298,148 (up 10.2%) and $299,353 (up 5.5%) respectively.

Overall. the market is extremely competitive and if you are thinking of selling your home now is a great time to take advantage of the strong home prices. If you have any questions or would like to get together for a coffee and discuss how we can help with your housing needs please give me a call or text  at 519-497-4646. You can also email me at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca


Kitchener Waterloo Posts Record Number of Sales for First Half of 2016


It is another fantastic month for Real Estate here in the Waterloo Region.  The Region had another record setting month with 740 properties sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area in the month of June. This represents a 13.1% increase compared to the June of 2015, and ranks as the most active June on record. Honestly in my 15 years as a Realtor I have not seen a market like this one.

During the first half of 2016, there were 3,519 home sales, 18.0% above last year’s total for the same period and 22.8% above the 5-year year-to-date average. That would make the highest number of home sales we have ever recorded in the first half of the year.

On a monthly basis, home sales were 29.7% above the 5-year average for the month of June. As sales continue their upward trend, active residential listings continue to remain depressed in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, the number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of June sat at 1,199, which is 33.9% lower compared to same period last year. This translates to 51.4% fewer available listings on the market today than the same time last year. That means the market needs more sellers to keep up with the high demand of buyers that are looking in the area.  With some of the prices that homes have been selling for, now is a great time to get your home up on the market.

June’s sales included 485 single detached homes (up 13.6%) and 145 condominium type units (up 2.1%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc). Sales also included 46 Semi-detached homes (up 9.5%) and 54 freehold townhouses (up 42.1%).

The average sale price of all residential sales in June increased 11.2% to $390,144 compared to June 2015. With fewer listings on the market combined with an increased interest in people wanting to live in the Region, we’re seeing upward pressure on home prices.

Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $451,289 an increase of 10.7% compared to last year. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $232,999, an increase of 8.0%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $277,672 (up 14.5%) and $296,572 (up 10.6%) respectively.

If you have been tossing around the idea of selling your home, give me a call and we can sit down and look at the best options for you and your family.

Have a great July!

Kevin


October Home Sales Ease in Kitchener Waterloo


Home sales in October showed some signs of easing in Waterloo Region with an overall decrease of 9.4%. The Multiple listing System (Mls) showed a total of 435 home sales compared to 480 during the same period in 2014.
Here is the breakdown:

Residential sales this October included 284 single detached homes (down 6.9% from last October), 20 semi-detached (down 23.1%), 37 townhomes (up 5.7%) and 92 condominium units (down 19.3%).

The great news is average prices are up again with an average price for a single detached home in October selling for an average price of $417,891 an increase of 8.9% compared to the same month last year.

The average sale price for a condominium was $242,280 an increase of 14.3%, while the average sale price of all residential sales in KW and Area increased 9.9% to $363,438 compared to October 2014.

Townhomes and semi-detached properties sold for an average of $300,724 (down 2.5%) and $265,000 (up 2.2%) respectively.
The Kitchener Waterloo housing market continues to show long term stability and strength and the shifts in average prices and month to month fluctuations are normal, along with sales easing as we approach the end of the year. Keep in mind you always need to use caution when looking at averages. The increase in detached and overall home prices are due in part to six home sales in October 2015 over $900,000 compared to zero sales in that range the previous year.

If you have any questions on any of this information or are thinking of making a move before Christmas or in the spring please give me a call. Knowing what your home potentially could be worth is the one of the first steps to making a decision on whether now is the right time to make a move.

For a Free Report on your home’s value, take a moment to email me at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca or call or text to 519-497-4646. I am always happy to help

Have a great week

Kevin


Are you ready for Double Land Transfer Tax here in Kitchener Waterloo?


People of Ontario get ready. The provincial government is talking about giving each municipality the power to implement its own Land Transfer Tax in addition to the federal one that we all pay for purchasing a new property. It’s a tax realtors have never stopped fighting in Toronto since it was introduced seven years ago, and now our  worst fears may  be coming true.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) insisted Tuesday the governing Liberal party is going ahead with plans that will allow municipalities to follow Toronto’s lead and implement their own land transfer tax. Ontario government officials deny anything has been decided. The plans were revealed by the Toronto Sun Tuesday.

Picture this,  buyers in Toronto purchasing a $1 million home get slapped with a $32,200 tax to transfer property, $15,725 of which is the city of Toronto’s portion.

We have seen an influx of people moving west of the GTA to purchase homes in the Waterloo Region, due in part to prices as well as avoiding the Double Taxation in Toronto.

I have little doubt that once the province allows the tax to proceed, municipalities will take advantage of it. Once one starts I believe they will all fall like dominoes. This means that the Ontario home buyers will pay the highest land transfer tax in North America.

 

When Toronto implemented the double tax, they saw lower prices equal to if not greater than the amount of the tax. The problem is that it is just not one tax, but every purchase after that as well.

So what does that mean for the Residents of Waterloo Region?  If the tax does come into effect it could be a major factor in deciding between buying or waiting.  The effect on prices and availability of homes could certainly be affected. With the economy here in the region still very strong and housing prices showing no signs of any significant slow down, this may not be the news that we want to hear. We will just have to wait and see what the result will be if the plan does move forward.

If you have any questions on any real estate related topic feel free to shoot me an email at kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca or give me a call at 519-579-4110.

 

 


Getting Your Home Ready For Fall – Kitchener Waterloo Homes and Condos for sale.


Getting Your Home Ready For Fall

It’s that time again, the kids are heading back to school, the leaves are beginning to change, and the hockey season is finally about to begin. Here are some great tips for getting your home ready for the fall:

Home Exterior: It is recommended that you check your home siding for cracks and holes; clean all debris from your gutters. If you have a fireplace that you use regularly, it might be a good idea to have it checked as well. If you don’t want to do any of these tasks yourself, there are professional services that you can hire to do them.

Thermostat: Programmable thermostats have become more popular among home owners. Raise or lower the temperature remotely and program settings for the temperature to automatically lower during the night. A Programmable thermostat can not only increase your enjoyment of your home, it can save you money as well.

Drafts: You don’t want heat to escape during the colder months of the year. Check for drafts to ensure your home is as efficient as possible.

Organize: As the summer winds down, take some time to clean and organize your summer furniture, tools, etc. This will make your life far easier come next spring/summer. If you are already organizing in your garage, it may be a good time to do a clean or purge while you are there.

Roof: Before every fall and winter you should at least do a visual check of your roof. Has there been significant wear since last year? Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, it is recommended you remove debris from your roof.

Landscape: Check trees to ensure there are no damaged limbs that could fall on your home or power lines during a strong wind or snow storm. Trim back shrubs, flowers, and bushes in your yard. If you plan on planting bulbs for next spring, the fall is the time to do so. You can also fertilize your lawn, this will help to prevent damage to it over the course of the winter.

Proper maintenance of your home enhances the appeal and value of your home. Also, it can prevent critical emergencies from taking place, which are typically more expensive, time-consuming, and stressful when they occur. Ensure that when the cold weather arrives, your home is ready.

If you have any questions at all or thinking of selling this fall please don’t hesitate to give us a call for a Free Market Evaluation of your home

Have a great day!


Strong Home Sales In May Continue To Drive Prices for Kitchener Waterloo


It was another fantastic month for the local real estate market here in Waterloo Region .There were 553 home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area through the Mls system.

This represents an 8.4% increase compared to May of 2014, and 9.6% above the 5 year average for the month May. With a total of 2,926 home sales occurring through the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Board, year-to-date sales are 3.3% above the five year average.

Although sales numbers in Kitchener-Waterloo are higher in comparison to May of last year, they are on par with the month of April, at 1.7% above last month’s residential sales numbers, a difference of nine home sales. It’s been a very busy but typical spring market. Low mortgage interest rates and a diverse local economy continue to support home buying in Waterloo region.

Much like the month of April, sales activity in the $300,000 – $349,999 posted a healthy increase in the month of May with 126 homes sold in that range, a 24.8% increase from the same time last year. Sales in the $400,000 – $499,999 also increased with 81 sold in this price range, a 28.6% increase.

Sales in KW included 355 single detached homes (up 4.7 %), 113 condominium units (up 28.4%), 44 semi-detached (up 2.3%) and 40 freehold townhouses (up 8.1%). The average sale price of all residential sales through the Mls, increased  1.6 percent to $343,750 compared to May 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $390,704 an increase of 1.1% compared to last year. Condominium market prices were up 7.1%, with the average condo unit selling for $237,649.

If you have any questions or are thinking of buying or selling in the coming months feel free to give me a call.

Have a great week!

Kevin

 


January Home Sales Cool Off Slightly in Kitchener Waterloo – Market Update


After a busier than normal December, home sale in the Kitchener Waterloo region have cooled off slightly.  Sales were down in January compared to January of 2014, with 290 residential properties being sold last month. A 9.9 percent decrease compared to the same month last year. This isn’t unexpected as the winter months are typically not as active leading up to the busy spring market.

January’s residential sales included 188 detached homes (down 9.6 percent compared to January 2014) 57 condos (down 24 percent), 18 semis (up 5.9 percent), and 25 freehold townhouses (up 31.6 percent).

The average sale price of all homes sold in January was $318,075, a decrease of 1.6 percent compared to the same time last year. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $357,018, a decrease of 4.6 percent compared to January 2014.

In the condominium market the average sale price in January was $230,216, a 6.6 percent increase compared to the same month a year ago.

With the recent interest rate cuts and the positive economic predictions for the region by a number of outside sources, this should continue to draw people looking to live and invest in Waterloo Region. The general consensus is that the spring market will again be a very active one.

If you have any questions or are thinking of buying or selling this spring please give me a call and we can discuss how to get started.

Have a great family day weekend everyone!


September Kitchener Waterloo Home Sales Reach Record High!


All i have to say is WOW!  It was a very busy month in the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate market.

Here are the numbers…A total of 553 residential properties were sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) in September, marking a new record high for the month on September. Home sales were up 14.3 percent over last year.

On a year-to-date basis 5,210 residential units have sold compared to 5,138 during the same period in 2013.

This confirms my thoughts that due to the traditional slower than usual spring market  was pushed into the summer months because of the brutal winter weather we experienced earlier in the year. It also followed up on a very active month of August.

More sales in the higher price ranges in September contributed to an 8.8 percent increase in the average price of a detached home to $385,780 compared to last year.  The average price for a condominium was $233,321, an increase of 4.8 percent over September 2013. The average sale price of all residential sales increased 7.7 percent to $338,350 over September 2013.

Residential sales in September included 359 single detached homes (up 15.1% from last September), 48 semi-detached (up 6.7%), 35 townhomes (on par with last year) and 108 condominium units (up 27.1%).

The average price of all residential properties sold year-to-date was $337,661, a 4 percent increase over 2013. The average price of a detached home to the end of the third quarter was $383,885, a 4.3 increase over 2013.

This is fantastic news once again for the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market and we are looking forward to another above average month in October.

If you have any questions on the information above or would like to discuss any of your Real Estate needs whether buying or selling, feel free to give me a call at 519-579-4110 or email direct to kevinbaker@kwhometeam.ca

Have a wonderful month

Kevin


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.


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


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)


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 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.


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.


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!


No Bank of Canada Rate Change – Kitchener Waterloo Homes and Condos for sale


Today in Stephen Poloz’s first policy decision since he replaced Mark Carney as the Bank Governor he has kept the prime rate or the benchmark rate unchanged. This rate has held steady at 3% since September of 2010.

Today’s announcement noted that there will be a continuation of steady rates “as long as there is significant slack in the Canadian economy, the inflation outlook remains muted, and imbalances in the household sector continue to evolve constructively.”

The prime rate for most lenders should stay at 3%, great news for variable rate holders. In regards to fixed rates, that market is in a state of flux. With bond prices dropping of the past month that has put upwards pressure on yields which in turn raise interest rates. If you have any questions on what to do or who to call to get  a great rate locked in before your next home purchase please give me a call and I am happy to help.


April 2013 Market Update for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate


APRIL SHOWERS BROUGHT MAY FLOWERS…AND HOME BUYERS


KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (May 6, 2013) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing
System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in April were
identical compared to April last year.

Home sales in April were 1.9 percent above the 5-year average for the month. There were a total of
683 residential properties sold in the month of April compared to 683 the same time last year. In
comparison to March, residential sales grew 11.6 percent, continuing the trend of increasing home
sales since the beginning of 2013.

“Low interest rates and a strong local economy continue to make it favourable for people to invest in
homes in the Region,” says Dietmar Sommerfeld, President of KWAR. “This April set a record for dollar
volume of sales compared to the last 10 years.”

April’s sales included 471 single detached homes (up 3.5 % from last year) 117 condominium units
(down 7.9 %), 47 semi-detached (down 14.5 %) and 41 freehold townhouses (down 2.4 %). Year-todate residential sales were only 1.1 percent below the 5-year average with a total of 2,085 units to date.

The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 6.2 percent
last month to $334,777 compared with April 2012. Single detached homes sold for an average price
of $378,936 an increase of 6.1percent compared to last year. The average sale price for a
condominium was $216,209, a decrease of 0.7 percent compared to April 2012.


Mortgage Pre-Approvals VS Approvals and why they are different. Kitchener Waterloo homes and condos


Thinking of buying a home?  A great first step is to talk to the bank or a mortgage broker to find out how much you can afford. Keep in mind though that getting pre-approved is very different then getting actually approved.  Have a look at this video where I explain the differences.


August Stats are out and Kitchener Waterloo Home Prices still Strong! – Kevin Baker Remax Twin City


 KITCHENER-WATERLOO HOMES SALES EASE IN AUGUST

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (September 6, 2012) –– There were a total of 495 home sales through the
Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in August,
a decrease of 4.4 percent compared to the 518 homes sold in the same month last year.
On a year-to-date basis, residential home sales remain on par with last year – with a total of 4,492
sales recorded.
August’s residential sales included 322 detached homes (down 7.7 percent), 35 semi-detached (up
6.1 percent), 37 townhouses (up 32.1 percent), and 97 condominium units (down 4 percent).
The average sale price of all residential properties sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area rose 7.3
percent in August to $314,623, up from $293,303 one year ago. Condominium units increased 9
percent to $231,654, up from $212,513 a year ago. Single detached homes sold for an average price
of $354,064, a 7.6 percent increase compared to a year ago.
“While sales were down in August, we saw fairly strong price gains last month, says Sara Hill, president
of the KWAR. “This was helped along by the fact that 3 residential properties sold for over 1 million
dollars in August, compared to no sales in that price range last August.”
Also putting pressure on August’s average residential sale price was the increase in the number of
homes that sold for more than $400,000. 96 homes were reported sold that came in over $400,000,
representing an increase of 37 percent compared to the 70 homes that sold above that mark in
August 2011.

Information taken from Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Board and MLS.


Know Your Closing Costs and Planning For Them! – Kitchener Waterloo Homes for Sale


Closing Day is fast approaching and one of the most important things is to make sure you have planned for all the closing costs that come up when you are buying or selling a home. Have a look at the video I did to learn why this is a very important step in the process.