Homeowners: How to think like an investor


By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

It’s a new year and a fresh start this January 2019 and I’m excited to get started with some solid info on how you can continue to grow your wealth even if you can’t buy a designated investment property at this time. Ready to invest like an investor? Let’s do it.

Today I’m going to talk about how you can continue to invest in your financial future and grow your wealth like an investor. Before I get started if you like what you hear, go ahead and like comment and subscribe! It’s always a good thing because it lets me know what info you guys are interested in hearing more about.

For many of you who have managed to purchase a home in the last couple of years in KW, you’re very well familiar with the squeeze of the market and mortgage rules. And of course this is true for those of you who are looking to buy this year!

While many of my clients who are current homeowners have been able to also purchase a second or third property as investments, it’s not always possible. After all we live in one of the top 20 best places to invest and buy in Canada.

Seriously, give yourself a pat on the back if you qualify to buy a home or have purchased a home. It’s hard work and a very real investment your financial, and personal freedom.

With the changing market and rates I hear this more often. So what can you do to continue to invest in property if when you don’t qualify to buy a second one?

What you do is think like an investor. After all although you are technically a buyer, our investors are also buyers. Don’t short yourself.  The difference is your objective and how you think about it.

If you’re not able to purchase a second property at this time what you do is take advantage of paying down your mortgage with intention.

It sounds simple and obvious but often overlooked because well frankly it’s a big mountain to chip away at and sometimes it can be confusing.

There are three things you can do they can empower you and your bank account:

1. Switch to bi-weekly payments — paying every 2 weeks which adds an extra payment at the end of the year.

2. Add an extra $20 or $50 a month on top of your regular payments. Yes this makes a difference!

3. If you have a really nice grandma or aunt that still gives you Christmas or birthday money apply these seasonal windfalls to your mortgage.

4. If you got a raise or you get a great job that pays you substantially more than you used to get paid, consider keeping your lifestyle the same for a year and putting that extra money into doubling your mortgage amount for that year. This could be tens of thousands of dollars — or more.

The fact of the matter is that it may seem like a small amount of money that doesn’t seem to make a dent on your mortgage —  which is likely in the few…or several hundreds of thousands.

But what you’re really targeting is the principal — the amount of money that you borrow that the additional interest that you pay is based upon. When you reduce this amount, you start to really build your equity. Those extra payments go directly to paying down the principal.

Which is really what I’m getting to. When you build your equity it allows you to eventually borrow money to purchase another property had a later date if that’s what you choose to do or of course benefit from this equity when you purchase your next home. It’s like a type of personal bank that simultaneously allows you to put money “away” while also reducing the interest you pay on your mortgage. Every. Single. Payment.

Unless you have a savings account that gives you a substantial return with good interest rate or you’re a person who is very familiar with other stocks for investing, then this is a great way for you to continue investing and focusing on what you already are familiar with.

My number one recommendation when looking to secure a mortgage when you buy or when you refinance is to ask questions about their payment options. Not all lenders will allow you to prepay or overpay. And most lenders will have competitive rates that you can work with. This is also a great way to address being locked in at a higher interest rate without having to refinance.

Just remember: Building wealth is a very real and accessible thing when it comes to real estate. Don’t let it scare you.

I hope you enjoyed this episode I found it useful as always I appreciate when you like and subscribe and don’t forget to ring the bell so you get a notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

 

Simplified Market Update – December 2018 – Temperatures cool, homes sales rise


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

While temperatures cooled in October and November, last month ended up being another hot month in real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo and area.

Home sales were up 14.2 per cent in November with 483 homes sold compared to the same month last year, and up 19 per cent compared to the previous 10-year November average of 406 sales, making it the second-best November on record.

Last month I discussed the effect of rising mortgage rates on getting buyers to act before another squeeze on their buying power materializes. In December 2018 Realtors and Mortgage agents cautioned buyers that their buying power would reduced by up to 20% come January 2018 and while some acted, others were cautious and many saw their choice of home style narrow due to the change in budget.

This year, buyers are taking rising interest rates and financing more seriously and  this trend along with others shows in the numbers:

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market Update

NUMBER OF SALES:

265 detached homes were sold in November (up 9.5 per cent compared to November 2017). Of those sold:

  • 152 condominium units (up 52 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.).
  • 27 semi-detached homes (down 46 per cent)
  • 31 freehold townhouses (up 14.8 per cent).

AVERAGE SALES PRICE SUMMARY:

The average sale price of all residential properties sold  in  November  increased 7.6 per cent to $477,526 compared November 2017. Broken down by style of home:

  • Detached homes sold for an average price of $580,551 an increase of 12.8 per cent compared to November of last year.
  •  Apartment style condominiums increased by $305,334 on average (increase of 10 per cent).
  • Townhomes sold for an average of $361,177 (down 2 per cent)
  • Semis sold for an average of $416,878 (up 10.7 per cent)

MEDIAN PRICE:

The middle point that divides all sales prices into two equal parts. Comparing November 2018 to November 2017 median stats:

  • All residential properties – $443,800  (up 6.3 per cent)
  • Detached homes – $520,000 (up 9.5 per cent)

HOMES ARE ON MARKET

Realtors listed 597 residential homes in K-W and areas last month, a 1.1 per cent increase compared to November 2017. Trends:

  • homes listed were 8.2 per cent above the 10-year historical average of 505
  • active listings at the end of November totaled 888 (12.8 per cent lower and 449 units fewer than the 1337 homes listed in November 2017.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Sellers: Prices are naturally rising due to continued demand, particularly for single-detached homes. Waterloo Region is a great place to live and with more eyes on our market from prospective buyers in an outside of our area, we continue to see growth. I expect another very active spring market in 2019. And if your home is listed on the market now, serious buyers are still active and ready to buy before year’s end.

Buyers: Sales prices that are trending up mean that more buyers entering the market are taking advantage of resale and new build townhomes and condominiums. Move up buyers are still aiming to find their right-size home and competing for single-detached properties.

If I were a serious buyer, I would be actively considering homes available on market for the rest of December and take time to view homes if they looked viable. If it’s in the budget, I recommend you contact your agent to explore new-build options.

————————–

I hope you enjoyed my Simplified Market Update. I strive to keep my clients and readers informed and empowered.

Kindly,

Full Official Full KWAR Media Release here.

Simplified Market Update – November 2018 – Higher than normal sales activity


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

October saw higher than normal sales activity and buyers and sellers alike were enjoying the boom.

Rising interest rates lead to buyers getting off the sidelines, ready to buy and sellers wanting to sell before the end of 2018 were ready to list. In fact, 760 homes were listed last month in the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors Board. This was 14% higher than October 2017, and 12.7 higher than the 10 year average for homes listed during October.  Buyers rejoice!

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market  Update

While Year-to-Date sales for 2018 are 12.9% lower than 2017 at this time, we are still enjoying a very strong market here in Kitchener Waterloo.

The average sale price of all residential properties sold increased 7.7% to $489,725 compared to the same month a year ago, with apartment style condominiums continuing to make a huge price gain trend of 24.1% ($310,215), followed by semi-detached homes up 13.8%, ($403,750) then townhomes up 10.9%, and finally detached homes up 6.2% ($576,731).

As for the styles of homes that are trending in sales, we saw 47 freehold townhomes fly off the shelves with an 23.4% increase compared to the number of townhomes sold last October. This was closely fllowed by  128 condominiums of any style up 19.6%, chased by 47 freehold townhomes, up 18.2%, and finally 297 detached homes were sold up 4.6% as compared to last October.

So, let’s cut to the chase. What does this mean?

It means that Buyers are seeing an influx of homes coming to market this October,  and the rising interest rates are getting buyers off the sidelines to act and take advantage of locked in interest rates.  They are also enjoying more choice!

For Sellers, seasonal temperatures remain amiable which always helps home buyers get out for open houses and private showings. Families are also motivated to get in homes before the end of the year and sellers, you too are anticipating a purchase so you’d like to sell and buy sooner rather than later with the interest rate hikes.

All in all, another healthy market here in Kitchener Waterloo. If you’d like more details on this, check out the full Official Full KWAR Media Release here.

 


Thinking about selling?

Book a personal evaluation of your home so you can make an informed decision to net the most money when you list one of your biggest assets for sale. Contact me. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter.

Kindly,

Simplified Market Update – October 2018 – Sales Numbers Down, Prices Up


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

September saw the continuing impact of mortgage rules and housing regulation affect the market as affordability for first-time home buyers continues to be a challenge. Meanwhile, average home prices continue to rise and certain home styles are seeing big changes. Thinking that rising prices means it’s not a good time to invest? Think again!

The average sale price of all residential properties sold increased 10% to $492,398 compared to the same month a year ago, with condominiums and making a huge price gain of 24.1% ($325,378), followed by detached homes increasing by 11.4%, townhomes up 4.7% ($377,442), and semis up 4.1% ($386,670)

There is the continuing trend of fewer homes being sold, but prices continuing to climb reflect the decreased affordability but continuing interest in living in Waterloo Region.

Residential sales in September included 270 detached (down 6.3 per cent compared to September 2017), and 110 condominium units (up 7.8 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 30 semi-detached homes (down 18.9 per cent) and 30 freehold townhouses (down
18.9 per cent).

Great investment opportunities and selling opportunities are arising for those who own condominiums and for those looking to benefit from the trend in rising residential lease rates.

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market  Update

 


Official Full KWAR Media Release here

 


Thinking about selling?

Book a personal evaluation of your home so you can make an informed decision to net the most money when you list one of your biggest assets for sale. Contact me . The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter.

Kindly,

Life in Waterloo Region: Citizenship Ceremony


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Waterloo Region is an amazing place to WORK. PLAY. and LIVE NOW.

That’s why I love to help families from all over Ontario relocate to our wonderful neck of the woods to share in all we have to offer. Sometimes, I even have the opportunity to meet people who have done plenty of travelling to share their stories with me while on their journey to buy a home.

For my clients Gita and Rizal Dharmawan who are originally from Indonesia travel has played an important role in their lives. They found love in the Netherlands while employed there in the tech sector, shortly after which they married and started their family. After a number of years there, Gita and Rizal decided to make a big move to Canada, and after living in London, and Mississauga,  Rizal decided to add to his knowledge and experience and recently completed his education in mechanical engineering in Waterloo Region.

It never occurred to me that Citizenship Ceremonies happened right here in Downtown Kitchener and it was an honour to be invited to their special day.

Here are some facts about immigration in Waterloo Region from CBC:

“The majority of immigrants living in and around Waterloo region were born in the United Kingdom, followed by India and Portugal.

In recent years, since 2011 as noted in the Kitchener CMA, newcomers have mainly come from:

  • India: 1,835 (13.1 per cent) .
  • China: 1,395 (10.0 per cent).
  • Syria: 1,055 (7.5 per cent).
  • Iraq: 850 (6.1 per cent).
  • Pakistan: 625 (4.5 per cent).

According to 2016 census figures, 21.9 per cent of Canadians report being or having been an immigrant or permanent resident, nearly matching the high of 22.3 per cent in 1921 and up from 19.8 per cent in 2006. The number was slightly higher than 21.9 per cent in 1931 too”.

Congratulations to Gita, Rizal and their children but also to the other 40 or so new Canadians that made it official on Tuesday, September 18, 2018!

 

Kindly,

 

Buyers- How to get Value from your Agent


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Once you choose the REALTOR® you’re going to work with and have signed your Buyer Representation Agreement, they’re now representing you as your Agent in your buying transaction and are ready to protect your interests.

But there’s many things that lead up to the actual purchase and plenty of things after the closing that your Realtor can do to help you have a smoother, more successful buying experience.

If you follow these tips in the following situations, you can feel confident that you’re not bothering your Agent and are in fact showing your Agent that you want their help and guidance, and that you value their time so they can continue to do an even better job for you.

1. New Build Developments: Let the representative know if you call or drop in the Showroom that you have your own Agent and that they will be assisting you in the purchase. You can pass on your agent’s name or give the representative your card. You should also let your agent know that you’re interested in new build opportunities so they can give you a helping hand in finding some that might suit your interests as well as follow up with the Representative if you do indeed find a particular development worth looking into further.

2. Open houses: When you visit open houses, let the Agent hosting the open house know that you have your ow Agent representing you, and feel free to pass on your agent’s card.

In both an Open House situation and a New Build situation, there are 3 main reasons you should do these things.

a). It’s courteous to the Representative assisting you so that they can focus on their own clients and developing their business. Realtors are not permitted to solicit business with clients of other Agents so this helps them avoid this faux pas if they forget to ask and saves everyone time.

b) It’s helpful to tell your Agent so that they can understand what kind of homes you’re interested in and help you identify viable opportunities.

c) Your agent works on a commission basis, so it’s good if you help your agent get paid so they can make a living on the time they spend assisting you 🙂

3. Ask your Realtor questions. This is how you and your agent can continue to narrow down what could be a great match for you. This helps you be a more confident buyer, and helps you more purposeful in your home hunt by being prepared with the info you need.

4.  Look at homes within your budget and also consider the other expenses including utilities or property taxes.  It avoids having you feel disappointed or frustrated because your goal is to buy a home that you are financially comfortable with that suits your needs.

5. Be prudent about viewing homes. You should be using the Portal and attending open houses to help familiarize yourself with the current market and what it has to offer. You should also be requesting viewings for homes that you see at viable options. When you do so, think about how the home made you feel regarding location, condition, etc. This will help you narrow down what you do and do not want to see moving forward so you avoid Buyer fatigue and can stay focused on the goal.

Watch the video for additional info not covered here!

Kindly,

 

Simplified Market Update – September 2018 – Sales Up Year-Over-Year


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

The end of summer has brought more action! August was the first month this year that saw a year-over-year increase in monthly home sales. The number of homes sold was up 4.8% compared to August of last year.

The average sale price of all residential properties sold increased 11.5% to $493,358 compared to the same month a year ago, with condominiums and town homes making the greatest gains.

It looks as though buyers are beginning to gain confidence after the affects of the new mortgage rules on budgets that were enacted January 1, 2018 and are beginning to see that while fewer homes are selling, the prices continue to rise.

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market  Update


Full Media Release

MONTHY HOME SALES UP ON YEAR-OVER-YEAR BASIS IN AUGUST FOR FIRST TIME IN 2018

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (Septmeber 6, 2018)

August home sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were down 0.8 per cent compared to last month and up 4.8 per cent compared to August of last year. A total of 505 residential properties sold in August compared to 482 the same time last year.

“For the first time this year we saw monthly home sales increase on a year-over-year basis,” says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President. “On a year-to-date basis, we’re still well below last year’s record-breaking number of home sales but still in line with historical averages.”

Residential sales in August included 301 detached (up 5.2 per cent compared to August 2017), and 129 condominium units (up 25.2 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 35 semi-detached homes (down 30 per cent) and 33 freehold townhouses (no change).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in August increased 11.5 per cent to $493,358 compared to the same month a year ago. Detached homes sold for an average price of $583,564 an increase of 13 per cent compared to August of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $335,827 an increase of 14.1 per cent. Town homes and semis sold for an average of $350,803 (up 4 per cent) and $401,011 (up 13.6 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month was up 10.4 per cent compared to August of last year at $458,000, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 18.1 per cent to $543,450.

REALTORS® listed 670 residential properties in K-W and area last month, up 12.7 per cent compared to August of 2017, and 3.4% above the historical (2007-2016) average of 648. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of August totalled 917, which is 11.5 per cent higher than August of last year but still significantly below the historical (2007-2016) ten-year average of 1,550 listings for August.

 

“More homes selling in the higher prices ranges in August were at least partly responsible for the increase in the average sale price,” notes Schmidt. “But strong demand on the buying side combined with low inventory on the listing side is continuing to keep upward pressure on prices.”

Schmidt is encouraged by the increase in residential listings coming to market in August and hopes to see even more homes listed on the MLS® System in September. “I certainly don’t see interest in Waterloo region as a place to live and work slowing down anytime soon, so we could definitely stand to see some more housing supply.”

The average days it took to sell a home in August was 28 days, compared to 26 days in August 2017.


 

Book a personal evaluation of your home so you can make an informed decision to net the most money when you list one of your biggest assets for sale. Contact me for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter.

Kindly,

5 Tips for Bickering Couples


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

 

Moving in together? Even if you’ve been living together for a while you’re likely arguing some of these top five 💩💩💩💩💩 things! .

Whether it’s hogging the blanket or dealing with that pesky alarm clock, I’ve got you covered! 😇

Watch for my simple solutions so you can live happily ever after!

 

Here are the products I suggested in my video if you’d like to check them out:

Multi Hook Shelf

https://etsy.me/2MMf2da

 

Choose Love shelf

https://etsy.me/2ML8740

 

Blanket Clamp

https://bit.ly/2dXlUU6

 

PHILIPS Sunrise Simulation Bedside Light

https://amzn.to/2HM2hKB

 

More Fancy version of the alarm:

https://bit.ly/2waBumD

 

Kindly,

 

Signing a Buyer Contract


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

For first-time home buyers, or those who haven’t purchased a home in a while, the mention of a Buyer Agreement contract may make you wonder if it’s necessary. It’s not only necessary for great service, it’s also necessary part of the paperwork to buy a home with a Realtor.

In this video I’m discussing what the contract covers in general and what you can expect. I also talk about why signing the contract is an advantage for you!

There are some main points you’ll want to consider:

  • The contract is going to introduce you to the Relationship between you an your Realtor. You’re essentially agreeing that you’re choosing your agent to represent your BEST interest, provide fiduciary duty, and protect your confidentiality as their client. This is known as a Client relationship, the highest form of obligation. The other alternative is to be served in a Customer Service fashion which is more of a way to document the services provided to a buyer or seller and is provisioned with a restricted level of service while maintaining honesty, fairness and integrity.

My clients always choose “Client”. The other way to put this is that I choose to work with Clients and not Customers. It’s simply the most effective, advantageous way to buy a home.

  • You will discuss the term of the agreement ex. 6 months or 1 year
  • There is an understanding that your Realtor is representing the Brokerage and the Agreement is between you and the Brokerage your Realtor is working for.
  • It will outline what commissions are due. In most cases as a buyer, you are not going to be paying a fee to  your Realtor’s brokerage. For the most part, this fee is already decided between the Seller of the home you will purchase and their Listing Agent.
  • If you want to break up with your Realtor, it’s good to tell them why so they can have a chance to do a better job or at least improve their service in the future. If you don’t want to tell them why, then it’s a good idea to let them know you don’t want to work with them anymore before moving on.

Ultimately, having a Realtor to assist you in the buying process is more than just helping you with paperwork. There are a lot of details that happen behind the scenes and you’ll want to work with someone who does this as their full-time job. It’s important that your agent be familiar with the activity in a thriving real estate market like Waterloo-Region.

Watch the video for additional info not covered here!

Kindly,

 

Simplified Market Update – August 2018 – Home sales down, prices up


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

The Trend Continues! Home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo have continued to balance out with home sales numbers dropping while home prices continue to rise.

Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market  Update

 


Full Media Release

SALES RETURNING TO NORMAL WHILE PRICES REMAIN STABLE

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (August 2, 2018)

July home sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were down 16.8 per cent compared to last month and down 10.6 per cent compared to July of last year.  A total of 504 residential properties sold in July compared to 564 in the same month last year.

On a year-to-date basis, there have been 3,601 home sales during the first half of the year, a decrease of 18.0 per cent.

“The story for July is largely more of the same that we’ve been seeing for most of 2018,” says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President. “The number of sales has decreased from what we were seeing the past couple of years to more typical levels, but the value of homes not only remains steady but continues to gradually increase.”

Residential sales in July included 282 detached (down 23.4 per cent compared to July 2017), and 130 condominium units (up 14.0 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 53 semi-detached homes (up 35.9 per cent) and 35 freehold townhouses (down 5.4 per cent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in July increased 5.5 per cent to $480,145 compared to the same month a year ago. Detached homes sold for an average price of $584,337 – an increase of 12.4 per cent compared to July of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $292,714, an increase of 4.3 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $359,278 (up 2.2 per cent) and $387,664 (up 9.8 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month was up 7.1 per cent compared to July of last year at $443,700, and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 12.8 per cent to $530,000.

REALTORS® listed 739 residential properties in K-W and area last month, down 8.9 per cent compared to July of 2017. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of July totalled 1,062, which is 3.3 per cent higher than July of last year but still down from the historical (2007-2016) ten-year average of 1,885 listings for July.

“The competition from buyers is still out there, but not nearly as prevalent as the past two years. This is showing up in the $400,000-$600,000 price point where we continue to see the shortest average days on market,” reports Schmidt. “I think this reflects both the move-up market as well as the typical home that buyers who migrated down the 401 were purchasing.”

“There is no doubt the mortgage stress-test is impacting buyers and the market. Our concern has always questioned the wisdom of introducing policy to respond to temporary market activity, so now the only question is whether this impact is beneficial or not.”

“Either way, Buyers are wise to avail themselves of a REALTOR® to help them navigate local market conditions and ensure the most successful outcome.”

The average days it took to sell a home in June was 23 days, the same as in June 2017.

 


 

Would you  like an practical valuation of your home to help you make an informed decision about selling? Contact me for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter.

Kindly,