Get outta’ town!

Have you ever dreamed about a lake life but don’t like the idea of purchasing bug spray in bulk or endless hours going up highway 400?

What if there was a beautiful executive home that was on the teal waters of Lake Huron, close to shopping, dining and on the front porch of a golf course?

Enjoy the best of both worlds at 5 Manor Wood Crescent in Kincardine, Ontario, rated 28th best place to live in Canada and 9th in Ontario!

Maybe a move closer to one of our most beautiful great lakes is the next step! Have you considered moving, and want to truly get value for your money?

With 5 bedrooms and 4 baths and nearly 4000 square feet of living space, you’ll find this is a beautiful home you could get used to! You can find more information about this home at 5manorwood.com

Moving out of town, can be a great way to capitalize on the sale of your home in Waterloo Region and take advantage of lower average home sale prices in other areas in Southern Ontario. This home is part of our Sunset Collection of Listings. Contact us and we can help you find the perfect place to start a new beginning!

Home Renovations — Building Value with Equity

In a healthy real estate market, with steadily increasing appreciation rates, purchasing a home can be a great investment! But buying property isn’t the only way to benefit — you might want to consider taking advantage of the equity you’ve built since purchasing your home.

But before you grab the cheque book and credit card, and start logging on to Houzz.ca and Instagram for inspiration, remember that your home’s equity and the return on investment from each project is not realized until you actually sell your home. So what to do? Renovate S.M.A.R.T.:

how-to-decor-nordic-interior-style-in-home-new-home-design-trends-scandinavian-home-decor

Stay on track
When you have your budget lined up, stick to it! The middle of a kitchen reno is not the time to go over budget by falling in love with Italian sourced marble rather than domestic quartz. Remodelling projects inevitably have some bumps and delays, so staying on track, with some financial wiggle room for delays, will help you keep your sanity and keep your finances on track.

Make sensible choices
Your budget, no matter how big it is, is limited. Prioritize the bones of your home, including HVAC, roofing, structural issues, and the correction of problems such as mold or moisture problems before you decide to add a patio in the yard, or change the flooring in the main floor because you think it’s outdated. This will not only help you maintain your home better, it will also add buyer confidence when you decide to sell.

Always check your finances and see your REALTOR®
See your financial advisor or mortgage broker to find out what your options are for secured credit lines, home equity lines of credit, and more. Not only will they be able to help acquaint you to the products available to you, they will also help you come up with a budget that is compatible with your financial goals.

Alongside your financial planner, make sure you ask your REALTOR® for a valuation of your home’s value, which is changing all the time in this dynamic market. Your REALTOR® will also have their finger on the pulse when it comes to understanding the impact of renovations and remodelling decisions that will either help or hinder the sale of your home. Getting your real estate agent’s input on these decisions is a great way for your to balance your desires with saleability and market value.

Research, research, research.
Whether you choose to use a company that is well-known in the trade, or a smaller one-man-show, do your research. Get references, read online reviews, and even ask for their HST number, official business name or full name, WSIB number, and insurance number. This way, you can keep track of who you are paying and may also use this information to confirm that they are a registered business that is legitimately covered by insurance. You might also want to check that they have the intention to submit the HST that you are paying as part of your work order invoice by confirming the registration of their business with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Try small projects before large ones
A full kitchen gut isn’t always necessary and fresh paint, new knobs, and updated quality flooring can go a long way. What else can help you make an impact? Replace builder-grade and outdated lighting with new custom options. Increasing your curb appeal is also a great place to add value, such as adding perennials, or simply replacing old hardware on your entrance door.

If you’re intent on making an impact with your remodelling project, you’ll see a higher return on kitchens and bathrooms. You can also stretch your dollar more if you sway more toward classic finishes rather than more trendy colours, such as bright red or sunshine yellow when it comes to more permanent features such as tile or appliances.

Uncommon Tips for Making Your Home Show Better

Most people know the basics of preparing a home for a viewing or an open house: make sure everything is clean and tidy, mow the lawn, sweep the walkway, etc.

But there are a number of lesser known tips — tips you often don’t hear about — that can make your home even more attractive and desirable to potential buyers.

home

In the kitchen, for example, it’s obvious that the stove, sink, and countertops should be spotless. But did you know that grinding a lemon will help eliminate any lingering smells? Want to go a step further? You should also arrange the contents of your cabinets and refrigerator to face forward.

In the bathrooms, make sure the toilet lids are closed. Hang matching towel sets.

Moving on to the bedrooms, check that nothing is lying around. Even a shirt draped neatly over a chair can appear messy to some people.

In the kids’ rooms, the toys should be “staged”, not just flung around. For example, set up a train set like an appealing store display. Don’t just have bits and pieces scattered on the floor.

If possible, move half the contents of all closets into storage. This makes a big difference in how spacious they’ll appear.

Turn on everything: all the lights (even the one above the stove), the fireplace, the lights in the basement.

Finally, here’s another uncommon tip. House plants look their best — brighter, more upright and alive — approximately four hours after you water them.

All these tips take just minutes to implement, but they can make a big difference in how your home shows. Studies prove that a well prepped home will often sell faster, and for a higher price, so it’s worth the effort.

Before a showing- A quick to-do list

Good news! You’ve got a showing request (or many!) What now?  When preparing your house for a viewing, you’re going to want to make sure it’s clean and tidy. After all, you want to make the best impression possible on potential buyers. But in the minutes before the buyers are due to arrive, there are a few final touches you need to do in your house to ensure it looks its best:

traditional-living-room

  • Put away coats, hats and shoes. Focus around the foyer. You want a sharp first impression.
  • Round up any clutter like slippers, errant toys or books and put them in a basket and away in a closet.
  • Wipe off counter tops and get mirrors sparkling
  • Turn on all lights and lamps. Don’t forget darker areas like nooks and corners. A house that is bright looks more roomy and highlights architectural features
  • Make sure the toilet lids are down. Even when a washroom is sparkling clean, a raised toilet seat gives the impression – however incorrectly – that things are less than hygienic.
  • Open all curtains and blinds. This makes rooms look bigger and brighter, even at night.

It only takes a few minutes to do these few final touches, and your home will show better as a result!

 

Prepping for spring market

Spring market is the busiest selling season when it comes to real estate! With all the buzz about the market favouring sellers, does that mean that you should just sit back and wait for your home to sell?

You can. But we suggest continuing to put your best foot forward. When selling your home, it really does make a difference if you commit to refreshing, cleaning and staging your home.

kitchen stage

Top 5 classic quick tips:

  1. Get your home spotless – this includes inside closets, baseboards, cupboards, around the stove, under the sofa, and definitely every inch of your bathrooms. People love a clean home when they see one!
  2. Stow away your valuables– That antique jewelry your Aunt Edith gave you when you turned 16 can find a new temporary home. Better to keep it out of sight for security and peace of mind.
  3. Clear up clutter – Extra furniture, old clothes and toys, fridge magnets and an abundance of decor can be packed up to make way for more space on tables, floors and counter tops, allowing buyers to focus on your home. Bonus points if you donate your extra stuff to a local charity.
  4. Depersonalize – Family photos should be packed up carefully and removed from walls, and tables. For example, a family photo gallery in the foyer brings the buyers attention to the pictures and the sellers, and not to the house. If your goal is to sell the house, best to remove all distractions from the eyes and minds of the buyers.
  5. Call in a professional – Sometimes, it best to call in a professional stager. In some cases, staging can increase the selling price of your home by up to 17%. Looking for a referral? Ask you Real Estate Agent who will gladly assist!

February Market Update for Waterloo Region

There was a frenzy of home sales in February as 474 residential homes were sold in February through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), an increase of 4.2 percent compared to February 2016.

A lack of listings to satisfy the strong consumer demand is fueling multiple offers often resulting in sale prices above the actual asking price, which pushed the total residential average sale price in February up 27.5% compared to the same month last year to $463,355.

54ff822633182-living-rooms-masculine-de

“The dream of homeownership is very much alive and well,” says, Craig. “It’s a challenging time to be selling or purchasing a home and sellers may be tempted into thinking they can simply stick a sign in the yard because it’s such a strong sellers’ market.” But Craig notes that in these market conditions it is even more important than ever to avail yourself of the professional knowledge of a local REALTOR® to guide you through these unique and evolving market conditions.

For more details on February’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

 

January Market Update- Waterloo Region

While demand remained strong in January, the number of active listings was down significantly: There were 367 active listings at the end of January, compared to 1,068 in 2016.

“The continued strong demand combined with a tight supply of listings means that many properties are not on the market for very long,” says James Craig, President of the KWAR. “This has created an extremely competitive buying environment.”

interior-design-modern-dining-room-design-with-white-kraftmaid-and-enchanting-kitchen-design-with-kitchen-images-unique-rustic-bar-kitchen-design
The average days on market in January were significantly shorter than a year ago: 22 days, compared to 47 days, and six days quicker than in December. The average sales price of all residential properties sold in January was $421,104, a 0.5 percent decline compared to the
previous month, and a 19.1 percent increase compared to January 2016.

Reaching a new milestone in December, was the average price of a Detached home sold through the KWAR’s MLS®
System which for the first time surpassed the half million mark; a benchmark that was repeated again in January, with the
average detached home selling for $501,821, an increase of 22.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

President Craig points out that Waterloo region is in high demand. “Getting into the housing market at the moment is not easy, and buyers need all the help they can get. It is more important than ever that you avail yourself of the professional knowledge of a local REALTOR® to guide you through these unique market conditions”

For more details on February’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

2016: Unprecedented year for home sales in Waterloo Region

hi-uptown-waterloo-night-852

December 2016 topped off an unprecedented year in real estate in Waterloo Region as prices for homes along with numbers of homes sold reached new heights.

According to market statistics, “dollar volume of all residential real estate sold last year increased 30.9 percent to $2,578,176,468 compared with 2015”, and “a thousand more units than sold in 2015, amounting to an increase of 18.1 percent and setting a new record for total annual sales”.

November set another all-time high in market sales, with one month still to go in 2016. “Year-to-Date Sales to the end of November have now exceeded any previous end-of-year totals on record,” says James Craig, president of the KWAR.  But greater sales numbers were not due to greater inventory. With a substantial shortage of homes, many properties are selling above list price, as more buyers compete for fewer homes. According to the report:

Craig says that he expects demand for home purchasing in 2017 will continue to be strong. “There is no smoking gun to explain the current market. Mortgage rates remain low, inducing more consumers to get into the market. We have an extremely attractive community, with a growing population and diverse economy bringing in new residents to the region. Home prices remain affordable when compared to the average GTA prices.”

“The challenge is inventory levels remain low, as homeowners are staying in their homes longer and some who might have otherwise moved up are choosing to avoid the hot market. What I hope to see is more balance returning to the market, because I sure don’t see the appetite for home ownership in Waterloo region letting up anytime soon.”

For more details on December 2016’s K-W Market Update that includes statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.

 

What’s in store for 2017?

As construction of the light rail transit system (LRT) continues, Kitchener-Waterloo is expected to continue to thrive economically. In combination with the continued increase of Go-Train frequency between Kitchener and the GTA, along with the healthy tech sector growth, the region will continue to attract buyers looking to find more value for their money arriving from Toronto and area, as well as commuters, and those employed or looking to become involved in K-W’s technology parks and increased business growth.

The RE/MAX 2017 average residential sale price expectation for Kitchener-Waterloo is an eight per cent increase in home prices, increasing to $413,313 for the average residential sales price, up from $382, 687 in 2016. Spring 2017 should also bring increased inventory levels, along with some new developments coming to market. However, 2017 is expected to stay a seller’s market with an expected 8 per cent increase in home prices.

For sellers, these numbers provide even more incentive to ensure you present your home in the best light, to make the most out of the sale of one of your biggest assets. This includes making repairs, maintaining home systems including HVAC, and water lines, as well as keeping your curb appeal in tip-top shape.

If you’re thinking about selling your home and want to maximize your profits, ask us how! We’ll provide you with a free home evaluation and get you started on understanding the value of your home in our current market.

Real Estate Report on Kitchener-Waterloo 2016

The Kitchener-Waterloo Housing Market saw significant growth in 2016.  The average residential sale price rose approximately 10 per cent to $382,697 up from $348,220 in 2015. Many residential listings received multiple offers, with pre-emptive or bully offers being a common occurrence.

Housing Market Kitchener-Waterloo

Attracting Out-of-Towners – Greater Toronto Area buyers continue to drive demand in Kitchener-Waterloo as they seek out affordable housing options along the GO Train line. Waterloo’s economy and consumer confidence were boosted in 2016 due to substantial growth in its tech sector as the low Canadian dollar encouraged increased investment from American tech companies.

Outlying Towns Heating Up- New Hamburg and Baden, located on the outskirts of Kitchener, are becoming increasingly popular with move-up buyers and retirees. For young families, the areas offer good schools and nice properties at affordable prices, while retirees are attracted to the adult retirement villages, which feature bungalow-style homes, amenities and activities.

First-Time Buyers- First-time buyers are a key driver of the Kitchener-Waterloo market. Young couples looking to enter the market typically prefer low maintenance condo properties that provide easy access to the downtown core.

Condo market – Condo sales were up in 2016 between January and October to 1,358, compared to 1,029 properties sold during the same period in 2015. Due to a surplus of condo inventory near Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, it’s expected that some of the housing initially intended for student rentals may eventually shift to wider availability residential rental units.

Source:  REMAX 2017 HousingMarketOutlookReport