Smart Home

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, 0 comments
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
August Market Stats

August Market Stats

MARKET STATISTICS FOR AUGUST 2018 ARE IN: See below Market watch summary by Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis

GTA REALTORS® Release August Stats

September 6, 2018 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced sales and price increases on a year-over-year basis in August. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,839 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2018 – an 8.5 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Both the average selling price, at $765,270, and the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2018 were up compared to the same month in 2017, by 4.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively. The average selling price increased by more than the MLS® HPI Composite due, at least in part, to a change in the mix of sales compared to last year. Detached home sales were up by double digits on a year-over-year percentage basis – substantially more than many other less-expensive home types.

“It is encouraging to see a continued resurgence in the demand for ownership housing. Many home buyers who had initially moved to the sidelines due to the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and new mortgage lending guidelines have renewed their search for a home and are getting deals done much more so than last year. In a region where the economy remains strong and the population continues to grow, ownership housing remains a solid long-term investment,” said Mr. Bhaura.

Month-over-month sales and price growth also continued in August. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, August 2018 sales were up by two per cent compared to July 2018. The seasonally adjusted August 2018 average selling price was down slightly by 0.2 per cent compared to July 2018, following strong monthly increases in May, June and July.

“Market conditions in the summer of 2018, including this past August, were tighter than what was experienced in the summer of 2017. In August, the annual rate of sales growth outpaced the annual rate of new listings growth. We only have slightly more than two-and-a-half months of inventory in the TREB market area as a whole and less than two months of inventory in the City of Toronto. This means that despite the fact the sales remain off the record highs from 2016 and 2017, many GTA neighbourhoods continue to suffer from a lack of inventory. This could present a problem if demand continues to accelerate over the next year, which is expected,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Milton August 2018

Oakville August 2018

Burlington August 2018

Halton Hills (Georgetown) August 2018

Mississauga August 2018

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, 0 comments
June Market stats are in, see below for all the details

June Market stats are in, see below for all the details

TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD : Market Watch 

GTA REALTORS® Release June Stats

July 5, 2018 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura, in his first market release as TREB President, is pleased to announce some positive signs with respect to the housing market.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,082 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2018 – up 2.4 per cent compared to the low June 2017 result. After preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales were also up 17.6 per cent on a monthly basis between May 2018 and June 2018, continuing the trend of somewhat volatile month-over-month changes over the past year as
home buyers reacted to various policy changes impacting the market.

“Home ownership has proven to be a positive long-term investment. After some adjustment to the Fair Housing Plan, the new Office of The Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) stress test requirement and generally higher borrowing costs, home buyers are starting to move back into the market, with sales trending up from last year’s lows. Market conditions appear to be tightening,
with sales accounting for a greater share of listings, as new listings have dropped compared to last year,” said Mr. Bhaura.

The average selling price edged up by two per cent on a year-over-year basis to $807,871 in June 2018. After preliminary seasonal adjustment, the average selling price was also up by 3.3 per cent month-over-month between May 2018 and June 2018. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was down by 4.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis but remained basically flat month-over-month. The difference in the year-over-year rates of change between the average price and the MLS® HPI was likely due, at least in part, to a change in the mix of properties sold in June 2018 compared to June 2017, with low-rise home types accounting for a greater share of sales in June 2018.

“The expectation is to see improvement in sales over the next year. Over the same period, however, it is likely that issues surrounding the supply of listings will persist. This suggests that competition between buyers could increase, exerting increased upward pressure on home prices. With a new provincial government in place and municipal elections on the horizon, housing supply
should be top-of-mind for policy makers,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW: MILTON, OAKVILLE, BURLINGTON, HALTON HILLS (Georgetown) and MISSISSAUGA (If there is another area not listed here that you are interested in, please let us know and we will email you the details).

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, 0 comments
May 2018 Market Statistics

May 2018 Market Statistics

Following the summary below are the charts for the Month and year to date for Milton, Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills (Georgetown) and Mississauga. (If there is an area you are interested in and its not here, please contact us and we will send you the information)

GTA REALTORS® Release May Stats

June 4, 2018 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,834 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2018. This result was down by 22.2 per cent compared to May 2017. While the number of sales was down year-over-year, the annual rate of decline was less than reported in February, March and April, when sales were down by more than 30 per cent. On a month-over-month basis, seasonally adjusted May sales were basically flat compared to April.

Supply of homes available for sale continued to be an issue. New listings were down by 26.2 per cent. The fact that new listings were down by more than sales in comparison to last year means that competition increased between buyers. Recent polling conducted by Ipsos for TREB suggests that listing intentions are down markedly since the fall.

“Home ownership remains a sound long-term investment. Unfortunately, many home buyers are still finding it difficult find a home that meets their needs. In a recent Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis study undertaken for the Toronto Real Estate Board, it was found that many people are over-housed in Ontario, with over five million extra bedrooms. These people don’t list their homes for sale, because they feel there are no alternative housing types for them to move into. Policy makers need to focus more on the ‘missing middle’ – home types that bridge the gap between detached houses and condominium apartments,” said Mr. Syrianos.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was down by 5.4 per cent year-overyear. The average selling price for all home types combined was down by 6.6 per cent to $805,320. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 1.1 per cent compared to April 2018.

“Market conditions are becoming tighter in the Greater Toronto Area and this will provide support for home prices as we move through the second half of 2018 and into 2019. There are emerging indicators pointing toward increased competition between buyers, which generally leads to stronger price growth. In the City of Toronto, for example, average selling prices were at or above average listing prices for all major home types in May,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Milton May Market Stats:

Oakville May Market Stats:

Burlington May Market Stats:

Halton Hills (Georgetown) May Market Stats:

Mississauga May Market Stats:

 

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Market Reports, 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
Smart Home Guide

Smart Home Guide

Smart Home” is definitely a buzz term that has been thrown around a lot lately, and having a smart home can help make your home sell faster and for more money. In an article by The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, they highlight smart home features that  “luxury” buyers look for… and are actually more affordable than you might think. In this blog post, I’m going to give you some of the easiest and coolest (and relatively inexpensive) ways to up your smart home game.

1. Add Smart Plugs

There are actually a few manufacturers of these, but after reading reviews and compatibility with various systems, I think Wemo plugs, by Belkin, are the best, while still being reasonably priced. These plugs allow you to plug them into an outlet, and then plug various things into the Wemo plug, to operate either via the Wemo app or IFTTT (See #7 below) or an assistant (see #3 below).

These plug and switches (see #2) below are great because not only can you use them to simply turn off your lights using your phone or assistant, you can also schedule lights to turn on or off at specific times. For example, you could have a lamp or exterior light turn on at dusk and then turn back off at sunrise. Or if you are traveling and want your house to look like someone is home, you could have lamps or exterior lights turn off and on, at different times. With these switches, you can buy them singularly, in a two pack, or even a three pack.

2. Add Smart Light Switches

These are a little more complicated because they are actually hardwired into your electrical and are used to turn on and off, whatever is connected to the switch. So, you could turn on lights or a fan remotely or use your assistant. They are available as a traditional on/off switch or as a dimmer.

One caveat to this type of switch is that they don’t currently work with a two-way switch system. So, if you have a light that is operated by two separate switches, skip the Wemo option for now.

3. Add Amazon Echo/Echo Dot or Google Home

These are basically a hub that pulls all of your smart accessories together. I’ve not used a Google Home, but the Amazon Echo is pretty cool. Both systems allow you to play music directly from the device, by giving it the command to play music. With the Amazon Echo, you can set up various cloud-based music services (Spotify, Sirius XM, Amazon Music) to play for you. So, whether you’re in the mood for some Sam Smith, Grateful Dead, Pop, or 80’s music, you just tell the device what you’d like to play. Playing music is only the tip of the iceberg with these hubs though. You can give the device a number of commands, to help automate your house or condo. You can tell it turn on lights (see #1 & #2 above), adjust the temperature in your house (if you have a supported wifi enabled thermostat), or tell you what the weather forecast is for the week. If you’d like to explore some of the things you can do with the Amazon hubs, take a look at this link on Alexa.

* Apple’s Siri using HomeKit has been intentionally left off this list because, at the time of writing this, HomeKit seems to connect to far fewer devices, than Amazon or Google’s assistants/hubs. However, as with most Apple products, I feel pretty confident that they’ll catch up to the other two leaders in this space, with some excellent options.

4. Add a Wifi Enabled Garage Door Opener

Chamberlain makes a device that you can add to your existing garage door opener. What I love about this system is that not only can you automate the garage opening and closing through other items on this list of 10, but you can also receive alerts if the door stays open for an extended period of time. It only takes one time leaving your garage door open all day, before you can appreciate this feature!

5. Add a Wifi Controlled Thermostat

There are quite a few companies that offer these, but I’ve used the Nest Learning Thermostat and find it pretty intuitive. After installation, during the setup, Nest asks you what your desired temperatures are (heating and cooling), when you are wanting to be more energy efficient. Then the Nest has tracks motion in your house/condo so that if it detects that you aren’t at the house any longer, it will adjust the thermostat automatically, to the more energy efficient temperature.

You can also adjust the thermostat from your phone, through the Nest app. This is helpful if you just lay down to go to sleep and realize that you wanted to alter the temperature setting before you sleep. In addition to being able to adjust the temperature with your phone, you can also adjust it with a hub (see #3 above or any number of other wifi controlled devices using IFTTT (see #10 below).

6. Add a Wifi Controlled Alarm

If you’ve already decided to take the plunge and buy #5 on this list with a Nest thermostat, Nest now offers a home alarm. Their system is extremely easy to set up, using their app or Youtube video to guide you through the setup. A standard system comes with a main hub (keypad and motion detector), two fobs (for arming and disarming), and two window/door sensors. The hub can be armed and disarmed by using either the keypad or app on your mobile device. You can set up different keypad combinations for different people if you’d like to track people coming and going.

With the window/door sensors, not only can they detect whether or not the window or door it is mounted to has been opened, it can also detect motion. These sensors can be deactivated temporarily without disarming the whole system, if you’d like to open the window or door that it is mounted to, to let the dog outside for example.

One of the best features of the Nest alarm is that you don’t have to pay for monthly monitoring unless you want to. The system will still work without monitoring, and can even send alerts to your phone. However, if you’d like to have the system monitored, Nest offers that through Moni with a $24.99/month (3-year commitment) and $34.99/month (month-to-month).

7. Add Cameras

Wifi enabled cameras, whether interior or exterior, can be a great way to help keep your home or condo secure. Most have motion detection, which triggers the camera to record. Those same motion detection triggers can also be set to interact with other devices on this list. For example, if you have an exterior camera that detects someone on your front porch, it can begin recording and also trigger one or more Wemo enabled lights to turn on.  Because the cameras record, they can catch would-be thieves, if you find a package has been stolen.

 

8. Add a Smart Home Lock

It seems like nearly all major lock manufacturers have some sort of wifi enabled door lock, but I like the Schlage version because it seems to be compatible with more devices. I also like the fact that if you don’t have your phone or another device with you (if you’re out for a run or mowing the grass), you can still manually punch in a combination code, to unlock the door.

These smart locks can also be used in conjunction with some of the other items on this list. So, you could have it automatically unlock or lock, based on interactions with other devices. For example, you could have it set to automatically lock when you leave your driveway or automatically unlock when you return home.

9. Add SnapPower Receptacle/Switch Plates

While these aren’t necessarily connected to wifi, like the other items on this list, these are plates used to replace your current plates covering receptacles or switches. SnapPower makes these with a nightlight and also a USB charger built into the actual plate. With the nightlight, the plate detects when a room is dark, and when it is, the plate lights a small LED light. This LED light stays on until it detects that the room is light again (from someone turning on a light or it becoming daytime). So, think of it as a bit of a high-tech night light.
With the USB charger, there is a place to plug a USB cord into the plate, while still leaving two receptacles open, for plugging in alternate items.

 

With the USB charger, there is a place to plug a USB cord into the plate, while still leaving two receptacles open, for plugging in alternate items.

 

10. Use IFTTT

IFTTT is an abbreviation for “if this, then that.” This is actually an old computer programmer’s lingo and is designed as a command to have one function occur if triggered by some other function. The IFTTT has hundreds, if not thousands of ways that you can tell your various devices to work together. For example, you could use IFTTT to set up a “recipe” where when you arrive home (by using your cell phone location), your garage door opens for you, specific lights turn on inside or outside of your house, and your thermostat turns up a specified number of degrees for a more comfortable temperature. Or you could set up a “recipe” to alert you if rain is in the forecast tomorrow so that you’ll remember to take your umbrella. The recipes are really limited to your imagination of how to get your various devices to work harmoniously together, assuming your devices are supported by the IFTTT platform.

 

10.5 Upgrade Your Wifi

With nearly all 10 of these “ways to make your home smart” requiring a wifi connection, you could notice a slowdown in your wifi. So, if you decide to put a few of these into your home, you may want to think about upgrading your wireless router as well. Google has a new system that allows you to put their wifi routers in various places throughout your home, to create a “mesh” network, so you can continue to have high-speed internet, with no “dead spots.” You can read more about it here. They recommend one Google wifi point for a home/condo roughly 1500 sq. ft. If you have a larger home, you’ll want to get additional wifi points, to create that mesh network I mentioned above. (If you have a 3000 square foot home, you’ll need two Google wifi points.)

 

Google’s system has a couple cool additional built-in features. For those that have children always on the internet, you can “pause” the internet at specific times, to limit wifi usage. They also have an easy way to set up a guest network/password, if you have guests staying over, that you don’t want to give the main wifi password to.

 

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich, 0 comments