Are you ready to buy your first home? These 5 signs show you are!

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Are you ready to shell out for your down payment, closing costs and start paying for the ongoing maintenance of your own abode? Here are a few good signs that suggest you are:


1. You’ve got a game plan.
Most people stay in their home for about 7-9 years. With land transfer tax, moving expenses, mortgage and other real estate fees, it’s wise to stay in your home for at least four or five years. This helps you build equity and offsets some of those costs. Since it makes sense financially to stay put, you should be confident that your living and employment situation won’t be changing drastically in the near future.


2. You have a solid source of income.
We can’t anticipate everything and job security isn’t a guarantee; however, a stable income and an established career can help you greatly in obtaining a mortgage. What’s more, you want to already have established good financial habits to help you maintain healthy credit so you can successfully juggle your mortgage, monthly expenses and ongoing maintenance with ease.


3. You’ve saved your nest egg.
If you’ve sweated and saved a big chunk of cash, you’re on your way to home ownership. Often a minimum of 5% is required but ideally 20%-25% is most advantageous. When you speak to a mortgage broker or financial planner about your goals, they will be able to help guide you in making the right decisions so you can make home buying plans that are best for you.


4. You’ve got a reasonable idea of what you can afford.
Yes, we’d all love to have our dream home but it’s important that you’re practical and understand your needs and your wants. While three bedrooms may be a need, a fireplace may only be a want. Buy wise and don’t max out the upper end of your approved mortgage amount.


5. You’re ready for the responsibility of home ownership.
You’re willing and able to recognize that the work and maintenance on a home never ends. You’ll need to protect your investment and that can mean hiring a plumber or spending your weekend doing yard work. Are you ready for lawn maintenance, painting, or budgeting for the replacement of your roof?


If you said yes to these basic guidelines for home-buying readiness, then go ahead and feel good about yourself. You’re definitely on the right track!


And when you’re ready to get familiar with our real estate market and make an informed and confident decision about one of the biggest investments you will ever make, I’ll be here to help you.

Think big,

Market Update: Solid sales in September

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

This September, 470 residential properties were bought and sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR). This is a 12.8 percent decrease from September 2016, but still above the 5-year average of 437 home sales for September.

While the number of sales have dropped, the average sale price of all residential properties sold last month continues to climb by 12 percent compared to last year. On a year-to-date basis, the price of a detached home is an average of $553,029, an increase of nearly 25 percent compared to 2016.

Homes prices are continuing to rise after a mild summer slowdown. The appearance of a stabilization of prices may be accredited in part, to the make-up in the price points and types of homes sold in September. In the month of September, nearly a third of homes sold were in the $300,000-$399,999 range, while fewer homes over the one million dollar mark were being sold as compared to earlier this spring.




Homes in Waterloo Region continue to be attractive to buyers from in and out of the area, but the inventory remains at less than half of the number of homes available in the previous 5 years (2011-2015) for September at 843.



Listed properties are seeing more time on the market at 26 days as compared to the spring months, but homes are still being sold quickly as compared to this time last year when homes were on the market for an average of 57 days.


All in all, the Region continues to grow as investment in homes remains a good decision for those looking to own a place of their own. Steadily increasing prices allow sellers to continue to capture strong value for their homes, while buyers can welcome a more balanced market that provides some choice and room for consideration.

Detached homes made up about 60 percent of the sales recorded in September,with price increases over the previous September, and townhouses leading the way with a 20.9 per cent increase in prices.

If you’d like an accurate valuation of your home, contact us for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on September’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

Think big,