Do Swimming Pools Add Value to a Home?

 Sunday, December 23, 2018     Hilda Campbell     Home Renovations and Maintenance

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I’ve never owned a home with a swimming pool, but have often toyed with the idea of getting one. Aside from the cost, one of the biggest deterrents for me has been whether or not the amount of actual use/enjoyment could justify the cost. I’ve also pretty much always known that homes with pools can be more difficult to sell.

I recently read the following in the Globe and Mail:

“When it comes to assigning a value to something that is beautiful and gives you and your family hours of pleasure, it can be hard to put a price tag on it. However, from a real estate perspective, the value of a swimming pool is strictly in the eye of the beholder – or the potential homebuyer.

It comes as a surprise to some homeowners that although it is one of the most expensive improvements that can be made to a property, a swimming pool does very little to add to a home’s resale value. In fact, having a pool on your property may even have a negative effect on its value. Why? Well, the answer is just simple economics; specifically, the law of supply and demand.

The resale value of a home is influenced to some degree by the cost of the property itself and the structures and improvements upon it. However, resale value is primarily determined simply by what price the market will bear. For example, a beautiful house on a large lot won’t bring a good price if it was built on a toxic waste site and no one wants it. Alternatively, a simple rural shack might command a very high price if it was the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and there’s great demand for it. In a similar vein, the price of installing a pool can’t simply be added to the cost of your home to determine its new resale value. It’s really all a question of who wants it.

In the case of swimming pools, the reality is that not all buyers want a pool. In fact, many buyers give their real estate representative specific instructions that they do not want to view properties with pools. This diminishes the number of buyers that may be interested in your property and, in general terms, the lower the interest, the smaller the chances of getting a top price. If you’re a homeowner who is considering adding a pool to your home, it’s advisable to make your decision solely on the basis on how it will add to the quality of life for your family. If you can afford it and the pleasure it will bring is worth the cost – then go for it! Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that your investment will be recovered when the time comes to sell your home.”

My own personal experience has been that most of my clients with small children, or clients who are empty nesters, do not want a pool. Couples with small children feel pools are a safety concern and older clients don’t want to be bothered with the upkeep.

When you consider the cost of an in-ground swimming pool with landscaping, costs tens of thousands of dollars or more, ask yourself whether you will be staying put for a long time or whether you see yourself moving in a few years. If you think you might move, be aware that you will most probably not re-coup the cost of the pool and that it may take longer to sell your house. Only you can decide what is right for your family. 

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Burlington or Oakville area, or for general real estate advice, please contact me. I can help!

Information contained herein is general information and in no way should be deemed to be specific advice. Data and information relate to and is based on the author’s local real estate market, and is subject to change at any time. This blog represents the opinion of the author. No warranties implied or expressed have been provided. Please contact the author directly if you would like advice relating specifically to your transaction.


Backing Out of an Offer - Can You?

 Thursday, December 13, 2018     Hilda Campbell     Buying and Selling

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Have you ever put an offer on a house you were sure was the one, but then had second thoughts? What if the offer was prepared and submitted to the seller, but not accepted? Can you back out?

There is a standard paragraph in an Agreement of Purchase and Sale that reads, “This offer shall be irrevocable by (Seller/Buyer) until ………………………. on the ………….. day of …………………………………… 20……, after which time, if not accepted, this offer shall be null and void and the deposit shall be returned to the Buyer in full without interest”.

So what if the offer is irrevocable by the Buyer until 11:59 p.m. on September 16, 2014, but they decide before that time they no longer want to buy the house. Can they retract their offer if it has already been presented to the Seller?

In a recent article on this topic, lawyer Brain Madigan noted:

“It is trite law that an Offer can be withdrawn by the Offeror at any time prior to acceptance. This information is easily retrievable from many sources. But, you have to read on, and not just conclude that you have the right answer.
If an Offer is made “irrevocable”, then it cannot be revoked. … you are stuck with your Offer until it is accepted, rejected or expires.”

So, in short the answer is no. You can’t withdraw your offer. The only exception to that would be if there was a glaring error in the offer, such as for example, you have the wrong property address or the offer price is obviously incorrect (eg. you offer $100,000 on a $1,000,000 property).

In my opinion, if at this early stage a Buyer wants to walk away, let them. Otherwise, you may face challenges receiving the deposit cheque, waiving conditions, etc. Do you really want to deal with the potential hassles that may lie ahead? If your home is priced properly you will have more showings with other offers to follow … from someone who really does want to buy your home.

I was in a multiple offer situation recently where my buyer clients were the second of two offers. After both offers were presented, I was advised by the agent for the buyers who submitted the first offer that they were withdrawing their offer. While this agent was not obligated to give me this information, she did. The listing agent could have refused to allow the prospective buyers to walk away, but she didn’t, leaving my clients’ offer the only offer and no longer an offer in competition. That scenario brings with it a whole new issue.

Stay tuned next week to find out how to protect yourself in that type of situation.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Burlington or Oakville area, or for general real estate advice, please contact me. I can help!

Information contained herein is general information and in no way should be deemed to be specific advice. Data and information relate to and is based on the author’s local real estate market, and is subject to change at any time. This blog represents the opinion of the author. No warranties implied or expressed have been provided. Please contact the author directly if you would like advice relating specifically to your transaction.


Are There Really Multiple Offers?

 Thursday, December 13, 2018     Hilda Campbell     Buying and Selling

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Many of us have experienced this. You decide to put an offer on a house only to find out that your offer is one of several. You then have to decide whether you want to improve your offer or leave it as is, hoping it will be accepted. But what happens if you suspect there are no other offers? If the offers are being presented in person your agent will see that there are other agents presenting offers, but what if the seller wants all offers sent in by email? How do you confirm that there are in fact other offers?

Whenever I have been in this situation, I always ask the listing agent to provide the name of all agents and their brokerages who are presenting the offers. I have had some agents share that information while others have not. What if there is only one other offer in addition to yours and they ultimately pull out … a situation I found myself in recently.

Well, the answer is that your agent can and should include a clause in your offer that would protect you in such a situation. Basically, the clause would say that if there are no other offers received by a specific time the seller will let the buyer know and the buyer will have a certain amount of time to either change their offer or withdraw it. If, however, the seller accepts the buyer offer, then you would ask the seller to provide the name and phone number of the salesperson and brokerage that submitted the competing offer within a specified period of time. Your agent can then phone and confirm there was in fact another offer.

I recently had clients who placed an offer on a listing that had been on the market for over a month. We saw the property two or three times before putting an offer on it, and then when we did, we were one of three. Skeptical, I asked for the names of the other agents and phoned to confirm they did in fact have offers. Even so, it is still a good idea to include a clause in the offer in case both of those buyers walk away, leaving only your offer to be considered and potentially accepted. While that may be unlikely, it could happen. Suddenly you are no longer in competition and you probably offered a higher price than you would have had you not been in competition.

Placing an offer on a house can be stressful at the best of times, and usually is even more so when you are competing with other offers. Speak to your agent and make sure you are protected in a multiple offer situation.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Burlington or Oakville area, or for general real estate advice, please contact me. I can help!

Information contained herein is general information and in no way should be deemed to be specific advice. Data and information relate to and is based on the author’s local real estate market, and is subject to change at any time. This blog represents the opinion of the author. No warranties implied or expressed have been provided. Please contact the author directly if you would like advice relating specifically to your transaction.

Real Estate and Mortgage News

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DateHeadline/Summary
Dec 05 RAHB REALTORS® Release November Statistics
(Dec 5, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 862 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in November, 2018. This is a 17.1 per cent decrease from the same month last year. Year to date, sales are 17.4 per cent lower than last year at this same time. The sales-to-new-listings ratio, which can point to whether a market is in favour of sellers (above 60 per cent) or buyers (below 40 per cent), was 71.2 per cent - the low end of a seller's market. For comparison, in November 2017 the ratio was 69.9 per cent.
Nov 05 RAHB REALTORS® Release October Statistics
(Nov 5, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,035 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in October, 2018. This is a 13.1 per cent decrease from the same month last year. Year to date, sales are 17.7 per cent lower than last year at this same time. The sales-to-new-listings ratio, which can point to whether a market is in favour of sellers (above 60 per cent) or buyers (below 40 per cent) was 60.1 per cent. This is higher than last month and on the cusp of returning to a seller's market. For comparison, in October 2017 the ratio was 65.5 per cent.
Oct 03 RAHB REALTORS® Release September Statistics
(Oct 3, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 948 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in September, 2018.This is a 4.6 per cent increase over the same month last year. Year to date, sales are 18.8 per cent lower than last year at this same time. The Sales to New Listings Ratio, which can point to whether a market is in favour of sellers (above 60 per cent) or buyers (below 40 per cent) was 50.1 per cent. This indicates the overall residential market for the RAHB area is in a balanced position (between 40 to 60 per cent). Last year for September, the ratio was at 43.7 per cent - still considered balanced but trending towards a buyers' market.
Sep 06 RAHB REALTORS® Release August Statistics
(Sep 6, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,089 residential sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in August, 2018, less than one percent more than the same month last year and 2.9 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month. Residential freehold sales were exactly the same as August of last year, while condominium sales were 2.9 per cent higher. New residential listings were three per cent lower than the same month last year, and 4.5 per cent lower than the 10-year average.
Aug 03 RAHB REALTORS® Release July Statistics
(Aug 3, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,072 residential sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in July 2018, 4.7 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 16.3 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month. Residential freehold sales were 3.2 per cent lower, and condominium sales were 11.5 per cent lower, than July last year. New residential listings were 8.4 per cent lower than the same month last year, but 1.5 per cent higher than the 10-year average.
Jul 05 RAHB REALTORS® Release June Statistics
(Jul 5, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,257 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in June, 14.2 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 19.2 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month. All property listings were 19 per cent lower than the same month last year, but 1.1 per cent higher than the 10-year average. Residential sales were 13.7 per cent lower than June of last year, with residential freehold sales 13.3 per cent lower and condominium sales 15.6 per cent lower than the same month last year.
Jun 05 RAHB REALTORS® Release May Statistics
(Jun 5, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,317 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in May, 27 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 18 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month. All property listings were 19.8 per cent lower than the same month last year, but 5.4 per cent higher than the 10-year average.
May 03 RAHB REALTORS® Release April Statistics
(May 3, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,185 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in April, 32.4 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 21.7 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month. All property listings were 10.5 per cent lower than the same month last year and 5.2 per cent lower than the 10-year average.
Apr 04 RAHB REALTORS® Release March Statistics
(April 4, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,099 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in March, 38.6 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 18 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month. All property listings were 13.5 per cent lower than the same month last year and 8.1 per cent lower than the 10-year average.
Mar 05 Slowdown in February 2018 Market
(March 5, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 779 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in February, 40.3 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 25.7 per cent lower than the 10-year average for the month. All property listings were 15 per cent lower than the same month last year and 21.4 per cent lower than the 10-year average.
Feb 05 Mid-Winter Chill on January 2018 Sales
(February 5, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 660 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in January, 27.2 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 12.5 per cent lower than the 10-year average for the month. All property listings were 6.3 per cent higher than the same month last year and 22.3 per cent lower than the 10-year average.
Jan 19 Market Turnaround in 2017
(January 19, 2018 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington reported 15,565 all-property sales through the Association's Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in 2017, 5.9 per cent fewer sales than in the record-breaking 2016. Even while sales were down from the previous year, the total dollar volume of sales reached a new high of $8.972 billion, which resulted in a 14.4 per cent increase in all-property average sale price for the year.
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