As someone who's lived in the Galt Core, and given my profession, I take great pride in living in a beautiful town where we can enjoy many old buildings with boundless charm and character. That are half empty. And have been that way since I first moved into the core in 2003. Every time a new shop opens, another can be found shuttering it's door and windows. We want to revitalize the core. We want us to move forward. We want LRT, and GO trains, and to get back to the river. But how are we going to achieve all these things if we don't get warm bodies downtown? We should be so lucky, that someone wants to spend $130m in our core, and we must be willing to work with them instead of putting up roadblocks. We know this to be true from our own gardens and homes. Left neglected, even the pretties gardens will whither and die. If we have to alter the garden to accommodate a caretaker, isn't that a better and more fitting way to protect it, rather then just neglect it? The end result will be more money spent in our core, more businesses thriving and hiring more people, and so on. And just perhaps, Mayor Craig will be able to sleep a little more easier, seeing a lot less people utilizing the Cambridge Food Bank. Let's just build the damn towers already. Are 20 stories too high? Should they be reduce to 18 or 16? Do you think that will make a difference? Post your comments below! :-)
Probably the number one question I get at open houses these days: is the market slowing down? And the answer to that depends on how you look at it. The number of sellers have certainly increased, but the buying pool I think for the most part has remained the same. It seems buyers no longer feel like if they miss out on something, they may not get another chance. I checked to see sales in Cambridge, this week June 5th through June 9th. There were 43 sales that week, and 79% of those sale were at, or above asking price (108% of list price). At first glance that seems like an indication that Sellers are still getting well over asking price in most of the cases. And you'd be right for drawing that conclusion. But when you examine the data from May 8th to 12th, we find 90% of the sales at or above asking price (110% of list price). We also know that inventory levels are increasing so all of this is to be expected. So have potential seller's missed the boat? Certainly not, but more so than a month ago, buyers have options and thus it's crucial that your list price be bang on. Do you have questions about pricing? How do you feel about the direction the market is heading? Comments are always welcomed.
I would never buy a condo! How many times have I heard a client say this to me when we first start seeing some homes together? Yet take a look at all the cranes in Toronto, and also closer to home, you start noticing that we are building up, and not out. The demand from buyers is there, and given that our hands are tied in bureaucracy, we are seeing more and more condos filling our sight lines. But you know what? It's a great sign of our strong economy, and it also happens to be a great option for many people who simply don't have the time, energy or money to invest in a freehold home. Condo construction represents a huge boon to our economy. The list of services employed in the construction of a condominium is as surprising as it is staggering: HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Cable, Concierge, Security, Elevator, Designer, Contractors, Engineers, Lawyers, Pool Specialists, Cleaning Staff, Painters, Flooring, Mat Service, Window, Roof, Landscaping, Energy Auditors, and on and on. Not to mention dental offices, restaurants, coffee shops, fitness clubs, grocery stores, all businesses that can be found in condominiums. Buying a condominium actually contributes so much more than just a roof over our heads, it's a massive boon to our own economy. Of course a lot of these industries and businesses participate in the construction of freehold dwellings, thereby contributing to our economy in similar ways. The usual objection to buying a condominium is almost always centered on the perceived notion that one gets nothing in return for the fees paid, and that they only ever go up. Feel free to use the Globe And Mail handy calculator to determine for your situation whether this statement is true or not, but there is no denying the financial return we all get from people buying more and more condos. So be sure to thank someone who just bought a condo! :-)
Ahead of the Ontario general elections set for June 2018, Premier Wynne has brought about some changes she hopes will win-her-more-votes/save the housing market. One of those changes of course is the "closing" of the loophole, that allowed rents to be increased outside of the Ontario Rent Increase Guidelines for buildings constructed after 1991. Yet its these very same rent controls along with many others (ie the huge imbalance in favour of tenants at the Landlord and Tenant Board... municipalities charging absurd property taxes to owners of multi family residential properties... and putting the charges for delinquent tenant's utility charges back on the landlord), that are making it very difficult to for investors to choose to invest in real estate here.
Unless municipalities start adapting and making it easier for home owners to offer secondary suites, or reducing multi family property taxes to more reasonable levels, where are the affordable housing units going to come from? Those renting will stay in place due to the shortage, the landlord may not be ale to afford renovations, improvements, and who ends up suffering? The tenants do. The same as almost always, when rent control is introduced. Buildings start to fall into disrepair, eventually it ends up at the tribunal, the frustrated landlord sells, and the tenant may have to move out, if they're able to find a place.
When there is a shortage of supply, we should focus on increasing the supply to alleviate the problem for escalating rents. This is done by working with municipalities and builders developers on bringing more units to market, not by adding barriers.
Most everyone is familiar with what the letters in TEAM stand for. It's an acronym popular among the Motivation crowd, but Together Everyone Achieves More, is much more than a simple phrase that goes on a poster, it really should be embraced. You the client are the most important piece of the puzzle, and deserve to have a team built around you, focusing on helping you achieve your goals.
So who should be on team you? The usual suspects obviously, realtor, mortgage broker, lawyer. But also consider some others. Inspector. Accountant. Electrician. Plumber... the list goes on. But the first 3 are probably most important, and you can't/shouldn't purchase or sell real estate, without them. In fact, in today's market, you'd be absolutely crazy to even try. But what about the others? Having access to an accountant to quickly answer questions about HST on a purchase, capital gains tax or residency, is a huge benefit. Similarly, being able to snap and send a photo of something weird you see at a house to a home inspector for his opinion, is truly invaluable. Keep these in mind when assembling your team: The Late Jim Rohn famously said, "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." So doesn't it make sense to surround yourself with successful people? People bringing you closer to your dreams?
Buying and Selling Residential, Condominium and Investment real estate in the Waterloo Region since 2008. Oh, and also Ottawa! :-D