Milton On Homes for Sale

20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

These days, it seems like everyone’s looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their income further. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your household expenses without making radical changes to your standard of living. When combined, these small adjustments can add up to significant savings each month.

Here are 20 things you can start doing today to lower your bills, secure better deals, and begin working toward your financial goals.

1. Refinance Your Mortgage – For prime borrowers, mortgage rates are at or near historic lows. Depending on your current mortgage rate and the terms you choose, refinancing could save you a sizable amount on your monthly payments. There are fees and closing costs associated with refinancing, so you’ll need to talk to your lender to find out if refinancing is a good option for you.

2. Evaluate Your Insurance Policies – If it’s been a while since you priced home or auto insurance, it may be worthwhile to do some comparison shopping. Get quotes from at least three insurers or independent agents. Try bundling your policies to see if there’s a discount. And inquire about raising your deductible, which should lower your premium.(1)

3. Bundle Cable, Phone, and Internet – You can also save money by bundling your cable, phone, and internet services together. Shop around to see who is willing to give you the best deal. If switching is too much of a hassle, ask your current provider to match or beat their competitor’s offer.

4. Better Yet, Cut the Cord on Cable – In many cases, you can save even more if you cancel your cable subscription altogether. An antenna should give you access to the major stations, and many of your favorite shows are probably available on-demand through a less expensive streaming service subscription.

5. Revisit Your Wireless Plan – You can often save by switching from a big brand to an independent, low-cost carrier. If that’s not feasible, ask your current provider for a better deal or consider downgrading to a cheaper plan.

6. Adjust Your Thermostat – Turning your thermostat up or down a few degrees can have a noticeable impact on your monthly heating and cooling costs. To maximize efficiency, change your filters regularly, and make sure your windows and doors are well insulated.

7. Use Less Hot Water – After heating and cooling, hot water accounts for the second largest energy expense in most homes.(2) To cut back, repair any leaks or dripping faucets, install low-flow fixtures, only run your dishwasher when full, and wash clothes in cold water when possible.

8. Lower Overall Water Consumption – To decrease your water usage, take shorter showers, and turn off the sink while you brush your teeth and wash your hands. If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, retrofit your current one with a toilet tank bank or fill cycle diverter. And irrigate your lawn in the morning or evening to minimize evaporation.(3)

9. Conserve Electricity – Save electricity by shutting off your computer at night and installing energy-efficient LED light bulbs. You can minimize standby or “vampire” power drain by utilizing power strips and unplugging idle appliances.(4)

10. Purchase a Home Warranty – While there is an upfront cost, a home warranty can provide some protection and peace of mind when it comes to unexpected home repair costs. Most plans provide coverage for major systems (like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC) and appliances (such as your dishwasher, stove, or refrigerator).

11. Outsource Less – From lawn care to grocery shopping to minor home repairs, we pay people to do a lot of things our parents and grandparents did themselves. To save money, try cutting back on the frequency of these services or taking some of them on yourself.

12. Prepare Your Own Meals – It costs nearly five times more to have a meal delivered than it does to cook it at home.(5) And home cooking doesn’t just save money; it’s healthier, cuts down on calorie consumption, and can offer a fun activity for families to do together.

13. Plan Your Menu in Advance – Meal planning is deciding before you shop what you and your family will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It can help you lower your overall food bill, eliminate waste, and minimize impulse purchases. When possible, buy produce that is in season, and utilize nutrient-rich but inexpensive protein sources like eggs, beans, ground turkey, and canned tuna.

14. Plant a Garden – You can save even more on produce by growing it yourself. If you have space in your yard, start-up costs are relatively minimal. Gardening can be a rewarding and enjoyable (not to mention delicious) hobby for the whole family. And it could save you around $600 per year at the grocery store!6

15. Review Memberships and Subscriptions – Are you paying for services and subscriptions you no longer need, want, or can utilize? Determine if there are any that you should suspend or cancel.

16. Give Homemade Gifts – Who wouldn’t appreciate a scratch birthday cake or tin of cookies? And if you enjoy crafting, Pinterest and Instagram are full of inspiring ideas. Show your recipient how much you care with a homemade gift from the heart.

17. Minimize Your Debt Payments – The best way to reduce a debt payment is to pay down the balance. But if that’s not an option right now, try to negotiate a better interest rate. If you have a good credit score, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer to a 0% or low-interest rate credit card. Keep in mind, the rate may expire after a certain period—so be sure to read the fine print.

18. Get a Cash-back Credit Card – If you regularly pay your credit card balance in full, a cash-back credit card can be a good way to earn a little money back each month. However, they often come with high-interest rates and fees if you carry a balance. Commit to only using it for purchases you can afford.

19. Ask for Deals and Discounts – It may feel awkward at first, but becoming a master haggler can save you a lot of money. Many companies are willing to negotiate under the right circumstances. Always inquire about special promotions or incentives. See if they are able to price match (or beat) their competitors. And if an item is slightly defective or nearing its expiration date, ask for a discount.

20. Track Your Household Budget – One of the most effective ways to reduce household expenses is to set a budget—and stick to it. A budget can help you see where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back. By setting reasonable limits, you’ll be able to reach your financial goals faster.

Want more help getting a handle on your finances? Use the budget worksheet below to track income and expenses—and start working towards your financial goals today! Please reach out to me for a downloadable version.

HOUSEHOLD BUDGET WORKSHEET

  Expected Actual Difference
HOUSING
Mortgage/taxes/insurance or Rent
Utilities (electricity, water, gas, trash)
Phone, internet, cable
Home maintenance and repairs
FOOD
Groceries
Restaurants
TRANSPORTATION
Car payment/insurance
Gas, maintenance, repairs
OTHER
Health insurance
Clothing and personal care
Childcare
Entertainment
Gifts and charitable contributions
Savings, retirement, college fund
INCOME
Salary/wages
Tips and other
MONTHLY TOTALS
Total Actual Income
Total Actual Expenses
ADDITIONAL SAVINGS

WE’RE HERE TO HELP
We would love to help you meet your financial goals. Whether you want to refinance your mortgage, save up for a down payment, or simply find lower-cost alternatives for home repairs, maintenance, or utilities, we are happy to provide our insights and referrals. And if you have plans to buy or sell a home this year, we can discuss the steps you should be taking to financially prepare. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources:

1. Insurance Information Institute –
https://www.iii.org/article/twelve-ways-to-lower-your-homeowners-insurance-costs
2. Department of Energy –
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating/reduce-hot-water-use-energy-savings
3. Money Crashers –
https://www.moneycrashers.com/ways-conserve-water/
4. Harvard University –
https://green.harvard.edu/tools-resources/poster/top-5-steps-reduce-your-energy-consumption
5. Forbes –
https://www.forbes.com/sites/priceonomics/2018/07/10/heres-how-much-money-do-you-save-by-cooking-at-home/#2c53b2f35e54
6. Money –
https://money.com/gardening-grocery-savings/

Posted by Christine Pecharich
Milton April 2020 Market Statistics

Milton April 2020 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release April 2020 Stats
Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Michael Collins released the following key housing market statistics for April 2020:
Home Sales and Listings
• Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,975 residential transactions through TRREB’s MLS® System. This result was down by 67 per cent compared to April 2019. Weekday sales remained within a relatively steady range during the month, averaging 130 per day.
New listings amounted to 6,174 in April 2020 – down on a year-over-year basis by a similar rate compared to sales (-64.1 per cent).
Home Prices
• The average selling price for April 2020 transactions was $821,392 – up by 0.1 per cent compared to the average price of $820,373 reported for April 2019. The semi-detached and townhouse market segments experienced annual average price growth above the rate of inflation. The condominium apartment and detached segments experienced year-over-year price declines on average.
• The trend for the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark, which had been on an upward trajectory since the beginning of 2019 flattened in April. On a year-over-year basis, the Benchmark was up by 10 per cent.
• The MLS® HPI indices represent prices for typical homes with consistent attributes from one period to the next. The fact that the MLS® HPI was up year-over-year by a greater rate than the average selling price suggests that the share of higher end deals completed in April 2020 versus April 2019 was down

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Market Reports, Milton
JULY 2019 MARKET STATISTICS

JULY 2019 MARKET STATISTICS

GTA REALTORS® Release July 2019 Stats

August 6, 2019 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,595 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in July 2019. This result was up by 24.3 per cent compared to July 2018. On a month-over-month basis, sales were up by 5.1 per cent, after preliminary seasonal adjustment.

New listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in July 2019 were up compared to July 2018, but by a much lesser annual rate than sales, at 3.7 per cent. With annual growth in sales far outstripping annual growth in new listings, market conditions clearly tightened compared to last year. Active listings at the end of July were down by 9.1 per cent year-over-year, further reflecting tightening market conditions.

As market conditions continued to tighten in July, the average selling price increased by 3.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $806,755. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 4.4 per cent. Higher density home types continued to drive price growth, whereas detached home prices remained down in many communities throughout the GTA.

Broadly speaking, increased competition between buyers for available properties has resulted in relatively strong price growth above the rate of inflation for semi-detached houses, townhouses and condominium apartments. However, the single-detached market segment, which has arguably been impacted most by the OSFI stress test, has experienced a slower pace of price growth, with average detached prices remaining lower than last year’s levels in some parts of the GTA.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 5.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 19.8%

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 0%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 5.1%

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 0.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 12.1%

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 3.0%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 18.4%

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 5.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 8.3%

 

 

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich, 0 comments
MAY MARKET STATISTICS

MAY MARKET STATISTICS

GTA REALTORS® Release May 2019 Stats

June 5, 2019 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,989 transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2019.* While this result represented a substantial increase of 18.9 per cent over the 15-year low in May 2018, it should be noted that the result was still below the average for month of May sales for the previous ten years, which stands at almost 10,300.

The year-over-year uptick in sales experienced so far in the second quarter of 2019 reflects spring polling results from Ipsos (undertaken on behalf of TREB) suggesting that the share of likely home buyers in the Greater Toronto Area has edged upwards since the fall.

“After a sluggish start to 2019, the second quarter appears to be reflecting a positive shift in consumer sentiment toward ownership housing. Households continue to see ownership housing in the GTA as a quality long-term investment as population growth from immigration remains strong and the regional economy continues to create jobs across diversity of sectors. However, sales activity continues to be below the longer term norm, as potential home buyers come to terms with the OSFI mortgage stress test and the fact that listings continue to be constrained relative to sales,” said Mr. Bhaura.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in May 2019 was up only slightly compared to May 2018, increasing by 0.8 per cent to 19,386. Year-over-year growth in new listings was far outstripped by year-over-year growth in sales. This means that market conditions continued to tighten in favour of sellers. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark price was up by 3.1 per cent on a year-over-basis. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by a similar 3.6 per cent to $838,540. Price growth was driven by the condominium apartment and townhouse market segments.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 5.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 23.3%

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  – 1.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 4.6%

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  – 0.8%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 12.0%

Halton Hills (Georgetown) Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 2.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 55.6%

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 6.0%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 9.3%

Posted by Christine Pecharich, 0 comments
January Market Statistics

January Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release January Stats

February 6, 2019 — TREB President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,009 home sales through TREB’s MLS® in January 2019 – up by 0.6 per cent compared to January 2018. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 3.4 per cent compared to December 2018.

“It is encouraging to see the slight increase in January transactions on a year-overyear basis, even with the inclement weather experienced in the GTA region during the last week of the month. The fact that the number of transactions edged upwards is in line with TREB’s forecast for higher sales in calendar year 2019,” said Mr. Bhaura.

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 2.7 per cent compared to January 2018. The condominium apartment market segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth. The average selling price was up by 1.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis. After preliminary seasonal adjustment, the average selling price edged lower compared to December 2018.

“Market conditions in January, as represented by the relationship between sales and listings, continued to support moderate year-over-year price increases, regardless of the price measure considered. Given housing affordability concerns in the GTA, especially as it relates to mortgage qualification standards, we have seen tighter market conditions and stronger price growth associated with higher density low-rise home types and condominium apartments, which have lower average selling prices compared to single detached homes,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

Milton

Oakville

Burlington 

Halton Hills (Georgetown) 

Mississauga

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville
8 Reasons Why December is a Perfect Time to Sell a Home

8 Reasons Why December is a Perfect Time to Sell a Home

There’s this myth out there that the real estate market slows or even stops in December. It may seem counterintuitive, but the holidays are actually an excellent time to sell your home!

Here are 8 reasons to buy or sell a home during the holidays:

  1. Serious Buyers: People who are looking to buy a home during the holidays are serious about finding their new residence! There may be fewer of these folks out there in general, but the ones who are looking are ready and wanting to buy, and they’re not messing around.
  2. Low SupplyTypically, there are fewer homes for buyers to look at around the holiday season, which means there’s less competition for the attention of those buyers! When the holiday season ends and the new year begins, the supply of homes goes up. More inventory can mean more competition, longer days on market and potentially less money for your home.
  3. Sell High, Buy LowIf want to buy a home in the 2018 spring market, selling now (and potentially renting short term) gives you the chance to be a non-contingent buyer when you’re ready to purchase in the spring. This is ideal. Since the spring time will bring more buyers into the marketplace for you to compete with, now you are set up as a “great buyer” who can compete with anyone, without a house sale contingency!
  4. Holiday DecorThe holidays tend to bring out the best in a home, when it’s all decorated and dressed to the nines! Your home will show beautifully, decked out in wreaths, red bows, and white lights! I particularly love the winter scents of pine, cinnamon and the toasty wood burning fireplace. Plus, the holidays can provide that emotional connection to a home that will help a buyer feel more attached and pay your asking price.
  5. More TimeWhile your first instinct might be that people are too busy during the holidays to look at homes, think again! Many buyers may have less demanding schedules during the holiday season, or time off during Christmas as opposed to a normal work week. Especially the case for relocation buyers… one of the best opportunities for a seller. They need to purchase and only have a short time to find their next home before the new year. (See #8!)
  6. Scheduling ControlDon’t worry—if you’re selling, you can still enjoy the holidays as usual! You can limit home showings to when you’re comfortable. You stay in control!
  7. Move in the SpringYou can sell during this prime holiday time, but still not have to worry about moving until January through March, well after the holiday season is over. You can negotiate a longer closing period or an extended use and occupancy.
  8. Capture the Relocating BuyerJanuary is often a time when employees begin new jobs. Oftentimes, when someone is transferred to a new position, they need a home, and they need it ASAP! This means they can’t necessarily wait until spring to buy, and that means you need to be on the market during the final months of the year to capture this unique buyer opportunity.


We’d love to help you sell your home for the holidays! You can contact us here: JP Team

 

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville
3 Strategies for the Move-Up Buyer

3 Strategies for the Move-Up Buyer

Moving up to your “forever home” is exciting. When you bought your first place, chances are you were young, strapped for cash and prepared – if not warned – to make some concessions. The move-up buyer typically has some savings and home equity to work with, making this next move feel less like a compromise and more a thoughtful selection.
But move-up buyers face their own set of challenges that call for a carefully considered strategy. Here are three options for the smart move-up buyer with a plan!

The “Sell First” strategy is ideal for the move-up buyer who can’t afford to pay two mortgages simultaneously. Selling your property first eliminates the risk of having to carry two mortgages if you don’t sell your existing home in time. It also reduces the chances of having to reduce your asking price in the interest of speeding up the sale. This is a good option for move-up buyers who are banking on the proceeds of their sale to fund their new (and likely more expensive) property. By selling first, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to purchase your next home.

If homes in your area of choice are selling faster than the ‘For Sale’ signs can hit the front lawn, the “buy first” strategy might be the way to go. By buying your new home before selling your old one, you won’t feel rushed into settling for a sub-par property, or having to seek alternative temporary housing options while you shop the market. This move-up buyer still lives in his or her existing home, allowing them time to shop around, and continue looking until they find that perfect place. This move-up buyer typically requires a bridge mortgage.

When all is said and done, this move-up buyer approach is the most ideal, but getting there is another story. Aligning your purchase and sale closing dates can be tricky. Remember that there are three dancers in this tango – you, the person you’re buying from, and the person you’re selling to. You’ll also have to move out and move in on the same day. In this scenario, time is your best friend and flexibility your savior. This means you’ve planned ahead – you’re researched neighbourhoods, gotten pre-approved for a mortgage, and you’ve started the organizing and de-cluttering process before the big move.

The right move-up buyer strategy depends on a number of factors, such as your financial situation, current housing market conditions, your personal comfort level and your personality. Consider all these when making your decision. Plan ahead and work with a pro to ensure a smooth transaction on both sides of the bargaining table.

 

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, 0 comments
Whats Happening in Milton June and July 2018

Whats Happening in Milton June and July 2018

Whats happening in Milton:

For more details just click on the description

June 2nd  Milton’s Downtown Street Fair begins

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June 3rd – 11 am to 4:00 pm

Guided Lavender Farm Tours at Terre Bleu

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June 8th – Relay for life Milton 

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June 8th – Mac and cheese festival

Image for event The Mac and Cheese Festival

June 16th : 11:00 am to 12 pm Milton National Garden Day Event

June 23rd    Strawberry Fair

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July

July 6th – 8th Milton Rib and Craft Beer Fest

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July 21st Milton Night Market

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July 21 st 9:00 am to 11:30 pm Summer Fair and Farm Expo

Country Heritage Farm 

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Posted by Christine Pecharich, 0 comments
Milton April 2018 Market Statistics

Milton April 2018 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release April Stats

May 3, 2018 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,792 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in April 2018. The average selling price was $804,584. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down by 32.1 per cent and the average selling price was down by 12.4 per cent.

The year-over-year change in the overall average selling price has been impacted by both changes in market conditions as well as changes in the type and price point of homes being purchased. This is especially clear at the higher end of the market. Detached home sales for $2 million or more accounted for 5.5 per cent of total detached sales in April 2018, versus 10 per cent in April 2017. The MLS® Home Price Index strips out the impact of changes in the mix of home sales from one year to the next. This is why the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was down by only 5.2 per cent year-over-year versus 12.4 per cent for the average price.

“While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live. This means these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment. A strong and diverse labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation,” said Mr. Syrianos.

“The comparison of this year’s sales and price figures to last year’s record peak masks the fact that market conditions should support moderate increases in home prices as we move through the second half of the year, particularly for condominium apartments and higher density low-rise home types. Once we are past the current policy-based volatility, home owners should expect to see the resumption of a moderate and sustained pace of price growth in line with a strong local economy and steady population growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Market Reports, Milton, 0 comments
Burlington April 2018 Market Statistics

Burlington April 2018 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release April Stats

May 3, 2018 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,792 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in April 2018. The average selling price was $804,584. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down by 32.1 per cent and the average selling price was down by 12.4 per cent.

The year-over-year change in the overall average selling price has been impacted by both changes in market conditions as well as changes in the type and price point of homes being purchased. This is especially clear at the higher end of the market. Detached home sales for $2 million or more accounted for 5.5 per cent of total detached sales in April 2018, versus 10 per cent in April 2017. The MLS® Home Price Index strips out the impact of changes in the mix of home sales from one year to the next. This is why the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was down by only 5.2 per cent year-over-year versus 12.4 per cent for the average price.

“While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live. This means these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment. A strong and diverse labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation,” said Mr. Syrianos.

“The comparison of this year’s sales and price figures to last year’s record peak masks the fact that market conditions should support moderate increases in home prices as we move through the second half of the year, particularly for condominium apartments and higher density low-rise home types. Once we are past the current policy-based volatility, home owners should expect to see the resumption of a moderate and sustained pace of price growth in line with a strong local economy and steady population growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Market Reports, 0 comments