Posts tagged “lofts in kitchener

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.


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


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


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…

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.

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

Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Update for November 2013


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
“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.”

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


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.

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.

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.

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

To review the residential rental housing by-law in its entirety, please visit

First Time Home Buyer? A Key Tax Credit Is Still Available

If you’re buying your first home, take advantage of the Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC).

The credit is designed to assist first-time home buyers with the extra costs associated with buying a home, like legal fees, disbursements and land transfer taxes. The $5,000 non-refundable HBTC amount provides up to $750 in federal tax relief. You qualify if neither you nor your spouse (or common-law partner) have owned and lived in another home for the past five years*. If you have a disability – or are purchasing the home for a relative with a disability – you may also qualify for the program, even if you are not a first-time buyer.

* For more information, visit the Action Plan website

Interest Rates Hold Steady For Now – Kitchener Waterloo Homes and Condos for sale

Rates Stay Put in Carney’s Last Announcement

The Bank of Canada is keeping the key policy rate unchanged in the last rate announcement under outgoing Governor Mark Carney. The Bank said that Canadian “growth in the first quarter was stronger than the Bank projected” and that looking ahead “consumer spending is expected to grow at a moderate pace, business investment to grow solidly,” and inflation to remain subdued. The Bank also noted that “growth in total household credit is slowing.”

As we’ve seen in previous announcements, the Bank indicated that our historic low rates “will likely remain appropriate for a period of time” as a result of continued weakness in the economy, but hinting that any future rate move will likely be a modest rate increase.

The prime rate for most lenders should stay at 3%, exactly where it has been for almost three years, since September 2010.

The Bank’s next rate decision is scheduled for July 17.

If you have any questions on rates or the Real Estate market in Waterloo Region feel free to give me a call.

Bank of Canada Keeps Benchmark Rate Unchanged!

Key Interest Rate Stays Put

With a lower growth forecast, the Bank of Canada is once again keeping its key policy rate unchanged, noting that our historic low rates “will likely remain appropriate for a period of time, after which some modest withdrawal will likely be required.” With a weaker second half of 2012, the bank projects that growth in Canada will regain some momentum through 2013, with the economy “reaching full capacity in mid 2015 – later than anticipated.”

The prime rate for most lenders should stay at 3%, now unchanged since September 2010.

The Bank’s next rate decision is scheduled for May 29.

As for fixed rates, we continue to enjoy historically low rates for those looking to purchase or refinance, perfect for the spring market!

Some of the Best Rates out there give me a call and I can connect to you to a great Mortgage Broker!
Terms Posted Rates Our Rates
6 MONTHS 4.00% 3.95%
1 YEAR 3.00% 2.65%
2 YEARS 3.04% 2.69%
3 YEARS 3.70% 2.65%
4 YEARS 4.64% 2.85%
5 YEARS 5.24% 2.84%
7 YEARS 6.35% 3.49%
10 YEARS 6.75% 3.69%
Rates are subject to change without notice. OAC E&OE





Spring Market update for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate – March 2013

Here is the latest report on how the market is doing in  Kitchener Waterloo  and the region of Waterloo. As always if you have any questions or need any advice as to when a good time to buy or sell is please give me a call at 519-579-4110 or email

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (April 4, 2013) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing
System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were in keeping
with the 10-year historical average for the first quarter.

During the first quarter of 2013, there were a total of 1,397 home sales, 7.6 percent below last year’s
total for the same period.

“Home sales have been affected by tightened mortgage rules,” says Dietmar Sommerfeld, President
of KWAR. “First time buyers are most impacted but at the same time low interest rates should help
foster a healthy upcoming spring market.”

Home sales in the month of March totalled 607 units, 9.4 percent lower than the same month a year
ago and 1.5 percent below the 5-year average. March’s sales included 393 single detached homes
(down 12.1 %), 107 condominium units (down 12.3 %), 58 semi-detached (up 5.5) and 43 freehold
townhouses (up 7.5%).

While sales were down last month compared to the same period a year ago home sales have
increased month over month since January of this year and the average sale price of all residential
sales increased 2.9 percent to $320,229 compared with March 2012. Single detached homes sold for
an average price of $367,714 an increase of 3.4 percent compared to last year. In the condominium
market prices were up 3.6%, with the average condo unit selling for $206,298.

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.

Boost your Down payment and get a RRSP Refund using Federal Home Buyers Program for First Time Buyers

The Deadline for this RRSP season to help with your first home; contribute before March 1, 2013!

It’s RRSP season! If you’re a first-time buyer, consider how the Federal Home Buyers’ Program (HBP) and a tax refund can boost the funds you have available for your purchase.

If you have RRSP contribution room, you should contribute your savings before March 1, 2013 so you can qualify for a 2012 tax refund based on the amount you contribute and your marginal tax rate.  Then, after 90 days, you can redeem those funds under the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP).  The 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, but this strategy can make a substantial difference in the affordability of home ownership!

While your funds are tied up for those 90 days, we can get you an interest rate hold. Let’s have a conversation about the HBP and determine if this strategy can work for you.

For more information on how to use this tool for the purchase of your first home please contact myself at or Tracy Bennett at Bennett Capitial

Energy Efficient Home Insurance Rebate – Get 10% of your premium refunded! – Kitchener Homes and Condos For Sale.

Energy Efficient Home Insurance Rebate – Get 10% of your premium refunded!

CMHC-Green-Home Refund

Genworth Energy Rebate Form

Consumers can receive a 10% refund of their mortgage insurance premiums as well as their extended amortization surcharge if they their amortization is more than a 25 years.

Mortgage Insurance Premium Refund 25 years:

$300,000 mortgage @ 95% LTV Premium Payable*
Standard Premium (95% LTV = 2.75%) $8,250
Energy-Efficient Premium Refund (10%) ($825)
Total Premium $7,425

Mortgage Insurance Premium Refund 30 years:

$300,000 mortgage @ 95% LTV Premium Payable*
Standard Premium (95% LTV = 2.95%) $8,850($600) surcharge refund
Energy-Efficient Premium Refund (10%) ($1425)
Total Premium $7,425

The following chart will give you an idea in Ontario for the rating required for the year you purchased.  You will need to have the rating from the builder or qualfied energy advisor.

* Depending on the closing date of your purchase, the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Energy-Efficiency Rating required differs:

For purchases with a closing date… EnerGuide Rating Required
On or after January 1st, 2013 82
From April 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2012 80
From July 27st, 2005 to March 31st, 2010 77

In order to make an application for a refund you will need to  fill out one of the attached forms and send it to your insurer along with and EnerGuide  report showing your house rating.  The supporting documents cannot be older than five years or a new energy efficiency evaluation will be required.  If you renovate your existing home to increase it’s EnerGuide rating by at least 5 points(to a minimum of 40) you can apply for the refund as well.

I have applied and received funds for those that fit the requirements when my clients have bought a house that meets the guidelines.   Please contact me if you are looking to purchase an Energy Efficient Home in 2013 that is 82 or higher.   At Bennett Capital, we will get you the best rate and apply for the refund for you at closing.

Information provided by Tracy Bennett of Bennett Capital. For More information please contact myself or Tracy at  January 25, 2013


Hiring a Realtor and What To Look For – Kitchener Waterloo Remax Twin City Realty Sales Rep

With availability of information, mobile phones and websites it is even more important to hire a Realtor based on what they can do for you to get the home sold quickly, efficiently and for the most amount of money. Have a look at this video to hear my thoughts on what you should be looking for when interviewing your Realtor.

When is the Best Time to Sell? – Kitchener Waterloo Homes for sale

One of the questions I get asked a lot is….”is now a good time to sell my home?  With Christmas and winter just around the corner the answer might be different than you think. Have a look at the video to hear my thoughts.

Why Are Status Certificates So Important When Buying Your Next Condo – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts

Are you in the market for your next Condo or Loft space? Make sure if you are making an offer on a unit that you make it conditional on getting a status certificate reviewed by your lawyer. To hear how you can save yourself thousands of dollars by doing this one step, have a quick look at this video.

Resale vs Condo Conversion vs New Construction

If you are thinking of buying a condo there are 3 types to choose from. Here I talk about the differences between new construction condo’s vs condo conversions and the resale condo market.

Market Value, Appraised Value and Assessed Value… What do they all mean? – Kitchener Homes for sale

The value of your home is different depending on who is looking at it. Have a look at the video I shot to explain the differences between the 3 very different types of values for your home.