Tips and advice related to buying or selling a home.

Real Estate Facts You Should Know

 Friday, December 21, 2018     Hilda Campbell      Real Estate Market Buying and Selling

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I have had a wee bit of a stressful week and felt like putting out a light-hearted blog today. I hope you enjoy these fun facts.

Real Estate Facts

  1. The median age of the average Realtor is 57.
  2. The average age of a first-time buyer in Canada is 29. The average repeat buyer is 52.
  3. The average cost of a home in Canada is just over $389,000.
  4. The average cost of a home in the GTA is just over $523,000.
  5. The two amenities that most convince couples to buy their first home are the master bathroom and the walk-in closet.
  6. At the opposite end of the spectrum, having a swimming pool ranks as the least important amenity when deciding on a first home.
  7. Only 48% of first time buyers are married couples.
  8. 74% of unmarried renters living alone are at least somewhat willing to live with their significant other to save money.
  9. Only one third of all home buyers are buying for the first time.
  10. Unsurprisingly, the internet is now the main source for people to search for homes (92%) and real estate agents (88%).
  11. On the flip side, only 17% of people now use home/real estate magazines to find the same information.
  12. Buyers search a median of 12 weeks and visit 10 homes.
  13. 57% said they would give up a home with a larger yard if it meant they could have a shorter commute.
  14. TGIF! The best day of the week to list your house is Friday.

 Contact Me Today! 

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

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Source: http://www.realestate411.ca/15-fun-real-estate-facts-figures 


Real Estate and Divorce

 Monday, November 19, 2018     Hilda Campbell      Buying and Selling

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When a couple decides to separate or divorce one of the things they will probably have to deal with is what to do with the house. Should they sell? Can one spouse buy the other out? Will the spouse who moves out allow the remaining spouse to stay and delay selling until the children are finished school? Having gone through this myself, I know first-hand that this is not an easy decision.

Making The Decision To Sell  

If the decision is to sell, try to work through the process together. Interview prospective agents together.  Hire someone you are both comfortable with.  You want to work with someone who will be impartial while trying to do what is best for both of you – selling your house quickly at the highest price possible.  Pricing a property well or “correctly” is always very important, but even more so when the sale is because of a marriage breakdown.  Whether the split is amicable or not, you will probably be eager for closure and ready to move on to start your new life.  Waiting for weeks or even months for your home to sell could be unbearable. Hire an agent who knows your neighbourhood well and who will price your home to sell in a reasonable amount of time.

If the split is acrimonious and being in a room together is out of the question, try to hire one real estate brokerage to sell your home.  It is possible to hire two, but that usually screams that the house is being sold because of a marital split and that it’s acrimonious.  You don’t want to give prospective buyers the impression that you’re desperate to sell as it will probably be reflected in the offer price.

Listing Your House 

Once the house is listed for sale, if one spouse has already moved out, try to make it appear as though you are both still living there.  Take only the clothes and shoes you need for that season, for example, so that the closets have both sets of clothes in them.  If you have family portraits on the walls keep them there (and don’t deface them in any way :-). Again, you don’t want to make it obvious why you’re selling. 

Your House Sold 

Finally, don’t assume that once your house is sold and the deal closes you will receive the money right away. This is not information your real estate agent will be privy to.  Ask your lawyers about this so there aren’t any surprises.  Find out whether you will get the money the day of closing or not. There is the possibility that it could be several weeks or even months before you see any of that money.

Selling a house because you have to can be very emotional and stressful, but take heart. Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side!

Contact Me Now

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!


The life cycle of a Neighbourhood

 Monday, October 22, 2018     Hilda Campbell      Real Estate Market Buying and Selling

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Did you know that most, if not all, neighbourhoods experience four distinct phases of a life cycle? Some may even go through the cycle more than once, depending on the age of the neighbourhood. Each phase will have an impact on property values as well as demographics. Do you know which of the following four phases your neighbourhood is in?

GROWTH PHASE

This is the phase in which a neighbourhood is first being developed. It is becoming popular and building construction is replacing much of the vacant land. New construction includes not only residential housing, but the development of amenities such as schools, plazas, parks, etc.

STABILITY PHASE

In this phase the neighbourhood has been completed and has reached the height of its popularity. Property values are at their highest in comparison to other similar neighbourhoods and a full range of amenities are in place.

DECLINING PHASE

In this phase a fully developed neighbourhood is losing its appeal and popularity. Properties tend to look less well maintained. Retailers and commercial businesses are either closing or moving away, leaving higher than usual vacancies. Property values tend to decline as compared to other similar neighbourhoods. This phase may be caused by the growth of other neighbourhoods or high unemployment rates.

RENEWAL PHASE

This is the phase in which a neighbourhood is bouncing back from a period of neglect or decline and which is becoming popular and in demand again. New construction, home renovations and the reappearance of retailers and commercial businesses are evident.

Knowing the phase a neighbourhood is in can make a big difference, especially when purchasing an investment property. For example, if the neighbourhood is in decline, the vacancy rate will probably be high which can translate into lower monthly rental income. If you have school-aged children and you live in an area of decline, your children’s school may close due to declining enrolment.

Contact Me Today to Learn More 

I can provide you with advice on when to buy or sell depending on your specific situation and circumstances and can explain the affect each phase could have on your finances and lifestyle.

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!


The Value of Curb Appeal

 Friday, August 31, 2018     Hilda Campbell      Buying and Selling

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Now that the nice weather is here, I’m noticing all the damage done to trees and shrubs in the wake of this past winter’s ice storm. I have boxwood hedges lining the walkway at the front of my house that were pretty much destroyed. They are an eyesore and are definitely not adding to the curb appeal of my home. Curb appeal is very important to a home and can either add or detract from its value, but how much effect does it have?

There are a wide range of opinions out there as to how much value landscaping adds. Studies show anywhere from 5% to 50%. Even at the low end of a 5% increase in value, that amounts to $25,000 on a $500,000 home. Not bad.

Some tips to consider before undertaking any major landscaping project:

  • Hire a professional. You can almost always tell the difference between a professionally designed landscape vs. a DIY project. Yes, it can be expensive, but it’s worth the investment.
  • If you are going to do your own landscaping take into consideration how your gardens will look once they start to mature. That little tree that you plant a few feet away from the house might become a problem when it’s grown to 20 or 30 feet.
  • Don’t forget to include hardscaping in your landscaping plan. A nice stone walkway or driveway can make a big difference to the curb appeal of your home.
  • Pay attention to your front door. Make sure it is nicely painted and avoid using outrageous shades of paint colour. If the door contains a lot of glass, keep the glass clean.
  • Adding lighting can have a very dramatic affect, but don’t overdo it. Sometimes less is more. Too many lights can take away from the landscape itself.
  • Be sure to include colour. Vary the shades of green when planting trees and shrubs. Include flowers for a burst of colour, using both perennials and annuals.
  • Try to keep your gardens low maintenance. Most people don’t want to spend hours maintaining their gardens.

Landscaping Projects 

If you do decide to undertake your own landscaping project, but aren’t sure what to do, many landscape companies will do the design work for you. You simply pay for the plans and then do the work yourself. The cost will probably be several hundred dollars for the plans, but that’s a lot less than if you were to hire the landscaper to do the work for you.

Hopefully these tips will inspire you to make the most of the curb appeal that your home has to offer.

Contact Hilda Campbell Now

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


Is Buying a Property Under Power of Sale a Good Deal?

 Sunday, July 22, 2018     Hilda Campbell      Buying and Selling

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Many buyers feel they are getting a steal buying a property under power of sale, but is it really that good a deal? The following are some things to consider before deciding to put an offer on a bank owned property.

Often times buyers expect the listing price to be greatly reduced. However, the bank/lender is obligated by law to get market value for the property. So, if similar homes in the neighbourhood are selling for $500,000, the listing price should be around that amount, all things being equal. 

However, the condition of the property is usually poor. When reading through real estate classified ads have you ever noticed a property being sold in “as is” condition? This is usually an indication work is required and that the bank is basically saying “take it or leave it”.  While you can ensure any offer you submit is conditional on your satisfaction with a home inspection, it may take you out of the running in a multiple offer situation. Since buyer perception is that a power of sale property is a great deal, multiple offers are often received thereby driving up the selling price. It is important to keep your emotions in check and to not get caught up in the frenzy. Offer what you think the property is worth and be prepared to walk away if necessary.

As an aside, many years ago neighbours of mine lost their home to the bank.  While I can’t say I knew them well, I was surprised to see they had ripped out and taken the central air conditioning unit and had done some major damage to their two storey deck.  These were not bad people, but stressful, life-altering events can cause us to make poor decisions.

The bank may give the owner the opportunity to bring the mortgage back into good standing before the deal closes. Great for the homeowner, not so great for the buyer. The consequences of this could be huge, depending on your living arrangements at the time of purchase. Have a backup plan in place in case the deal falls through.

Finally, don’t expect any appliances to be included in the purchase price. If the bank doesn’t own them, you probably won’t get them! This coupled with the fact properties often have significant damage to walls, doors, windows, you name it and any money that might have been saved will instead have to be spent on repairs. Keep in mind the cost to replace appliances and make repairs to damaged items when submitting an offer. It could make a significant difference to your bottom line.

As always, do your homework and ask your real estate agent for advice before purchasing a home under power of sale. You may not be getting the deal you expected!

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!

Real Estate and Mortgage News

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DateHeadline/Summary
Oct 02 RAHB REALTORS® Release September 2019 Statistics
(Oct 2, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,020 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in September 2019. September sales are down from August and July, but are up from September 2018 by 3.2 per cent. The average price for residential properties increased by 8.5 per cent from September 2018 to $609,562. "With an increase in the number of homes currently available, and a more relaxed pace in the market, this may be an ideal opportunity for buyers to purchase their dream home," says RAHB President Bob Van de Vrande."
Sep 03 RAHB REALTORS® Release August 2019 Statistics
(Sep 3, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,067 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in August 2019. August sales are down from July and June of this year, as well as August of 2018; however, the 2019 year-to-date number of sales is up 10.2 per cent over 2018. The average price for residential properties increased by 6.4 per cent from August 2018 to $599,589. "The year-to-date number of sales is higher in 2019 compared to 2018 because we had a stronger spring," says RAHB President Bob Van de Vrande. "If the average price continues to increase and inventory stays low, we may shift out of the balanced market we???ve been experiencing over the last year and a half as we move into a busy fall."
Aug 01 RAHB REALTORS® Release July Statistics
(Aug 1, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,170 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in July 2019. This is a 10.3 per cent increase from July last year; however, a 2.7 per cent decrease over June 2019 and a 12.9 per cent decrease from May 2019. The average price for residential properties increased by 0.9 per cent from July 2018 to $593,702. "A yearly real estate cycle sees peaks in spring and fall, with a typically slower summer," says RAHB President Bob Van de Vrande. "Average prices have stayed fairly stable since the spring high, which could point towards a healthy fall market when we could see the number of sales edge higher again."
Jul 02 RAHB REALTORS® Release June Statistics
(Jul 2, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,203 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in June 2019. This is a 4.2 per cent increase from June last year; however, a 10.5 per cent decrease over May 2019 and a 1.9 per cent decrease from April 2019. The average price for residential properties increased by 5.2 per cent from June 2018 to $593,549; however, decreased from May 2019 by 0.03 per cent. "The number of sales and average price is up over 2018, showing that the market is edging higher since it balanced out last year," says RAHB President Bob Van de Vrande. "Sales have dropped compared to May and April of this year, but paired with a decrease of about four per cent in the number of new listings this could indicate the market is tightening."
Jun 18 Renters beware: Rental scams continue in Hamilton
(Jun 18, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) would like to issue a warning to the public that rental scams continue to take place within the City of Hamilton. RAHB continues to receive reports from REALTOR® members who find their for-sale properties posted without permission for rent on various online classified websites. RAHB encourages potential renters to be aware of a listing that seems too good to be true. "Prospective renters should always view a property beforehand, and obtain a phone number and office location for the landlord. When working with a REALTOR®, a business card would be provided," says RAHB President Bob Van de Vrande. "With increasing demand for rental housing, renters need to be extra cautious and exercise good judgement."
Jun 03 RAHB REALTORS® Release May Statistics
(Jun 3, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,344 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in May 2019. This is a 10.9 per cent increase from May last year, as well as a 9.6 per cent increase over April 2019 and a 30.2 per cent increase over March 2019. The average price for residential properties increased by 0.9 per cent from May 2018 to $593,702. "The number of sales increased double digits over last year and the number of new listings decreased by 5.2 per cent, indicating that we are in the thick of a busy spring market for sellers," says RAHB President Bob Van de Vrande. "And prices only increasing an average of 0.9 per cent over last year means buyers haven't watched prices soar while they find the perfect home."
May 09 REALTORS® raise $76,525 for the Children's Fund
(May 9, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) Many children throughout Hamilton and Burlington will have a brighter holiday season this year, thanks to the generosity of those who attended and contributed to the REALTORS® 4 Kids Charity Auction held on November 15, 2018. The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) raised $76,525 for the 900CHML/Y108/Fresh Radio 953 Children's Fund through the Auction, which was held for its 30th year. "This goes to show that great things can happen when REALTORS® come together to support the children in our community," said Jack Loft, RAHB President. "The support our members and community show every year is amazing."
May 01 RAHB REALTORS® Release April Statistics
(May 1, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,226 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in April, 2019. This is a 6.3 per cent increase from April last year, as well as an 18.8 per cent increase over March 2019 and a 66.8 per cent increase over February 2019. The average price for residential properties increased by 3.9 per cent from April 2018 to $589,324. "It's encouraging to see the overall number of sales increase since last year when the market balanced out from 2016 and 2017," says RAHB President Bob Van de Vrande. "Paired with a consistent increase in new listings month over month, Hamilton, Burlington and the outlying areas provide choice for buyers and a healthy market for sellers."
Apr 01 RAHB REALTORS® Release March 2019 Statistics
(Apr 1, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,032 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in March, 2019. This is a 1.2 per cent drop from March last year; however, a 40 per cent increase over February 2019 and a 74 per cent increase over January 2019. The average price was up from March 2018 by 4.9 per cent to $575,099. "The increase in the number of sales from January and February shows that we are full steam ahead and anticipate a healthy spring market," says RAHB CEO George O'Neill. "We experienced a two per cent increase in the number of listings over last year, which means more overall choice for buyers."
Mar 01 RAHB REALTORS® Release February 2019 Statistics
(Mar 1, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 735 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in February, 2019. This is a 4 per cent drop from February last year; however, a 24 per cent increase over January 2019. The average price was up from February 2018 by 1.9 per cent to $557,135. "Last year this time we saw the beginnings of a more balanced market," says RAHB CEO George O'Neill. "The data for January and February is trending upwards and could lead into a healthy spring market for both buyers and sellers."
Feb 04 RAHB REALTORS® Release January 2019 Statistics
(Feb 4, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 593 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in January, 2019. This is a 3.6 per cent drop from the same month last year. The average price was up by 4.7 per cent to $550,058. The number of sales for single family properties within the entire RAHB market fell by 2.8 per cent compared to the same month last year, and the average sale price increased by 7 per cent.
Feb 04 RAHB REALTORS® Release 2018 Year End Statistics (REVISED)
(Feb 4, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) has revised the 2018 year-end market data and reports. Inconsistencies were found within the 2017 data related to listings posted on multiple MLS® systems. These "double listings" resulted in the sales and listings figures being higher than what actually took place in 2017. In August of 2017 RAHB and the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS) entered into a data sharing agreement, whereby a REALTOR® would be able to view a property on both MLS® systems without having to list it on both.
Jan 02 RAHB REALTORS® Release December Statistics
(Jan 2, 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 534 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in December, 2018. Although this is 26 per cent lower than the same month last year, the average price was up by 2.6 per cent to $543,210. Year-to-date (YTD) sales activity was down by 17.6 per cent from this time last year, and down 12.2 per cent from a decade ago. Average YTD price was also down from a year ago by 1.4 per cent, but up by 90 per cent from 2008.
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