David’s Newsletter

MAY 2012

Market Update

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Welcome! As you probably know, we are well into the military House Hunting Trip season with approximately 6 weeks of prime marketing left for DND sellers and buyers. Our Team had one of its best Aprils on record for homes sales and we’ve received great comments on our professional listing photographs and internet marketing.

Though the real estate market in the Quinte area remains strong, it should be noted that the average sale price of a residential property, compared to one year ago, has increased by less than 1%. Almost 45% of residential sales in the Quinte region were below the $200K mark, with sales from $200K to $400K being responsible for over 50% of sales volume. Over $400K had a total of less than 4% of total sales for April. Please be sure to give me a call if you’d like to discuss the real estate market for this year or next.

Here are the numbers to date. Keep in mind that these are ‘residential’ statistics only.

2012 2011 %Change
Total # of Listings in April 684 652 4.9%
Total # of Sales in April 308 246 25.2%
Total Sales Dollar Volume in April $69,224,988 $55,526,546 24.7%
Total # of Listings (Year to Date) 2,258 2,143 5.4%
Total # of Sales (Year to Date) 851 682 24.8%
Total Sales Dollar Volume (Year to Date) $180,995,277 $143,904,646 25.8%

Finally, before you scroll down and find out how many Timmies there are in Canada, let me reiterate that we appreciate your business and referrals. We know this is a very competitive industry and that you could choose one of many REALTORS® in the area. As always, we continue to provide the best service possible and strive to make your real estate experience as stress-free and profitable as possible.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the national and local real estate markets. Be sure to give us the thumbs up if you ‘Like’ what you see and you’ll automatically be entered in our iPad draw!

David Weir BA, CD

NO MORE CELL SHOCK

The Ontario government is taking strong action to help eliminate the shock many consumers get from opening their cell phone and wireless services bills.

The province is introducing legislation to make it easier to understand the costs and terms of wireless services agreements while ensuring service providers are upfront with information before contracts are signed.

Here’s how consumers will benefit if the legislation is passed:

• Contracts will be written in plain language;
• Contracts would spell out which services come with the basic fee, and which would result in a higher bill;
• Providers must get it in writing before they renew or amend a contract;
• A cap on the cost of cancelling a contract;
• Only a modest fee for walking away from fixed-term contracts.

QUICK FACTS

> The proposed legislation, which would affect new contracts, would take effect six months after being passed.
> It would also cover existing agreements that are amended, renewed or extended after that date.
> More than 70 per cent of Ontarians have a wireless services agreement.
> About 62 per cent of all complaints received by the federal Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services in 2010-2011 were about wireless services. More than 41 per cent of those complaints came from Ontarians.

 

STAINING YOUR DECK WITH THE BEST RESULTS

Keeping your deck in good shape and looking its best is a lot easier today than it used to be. In fact, you can do everything you need to in one rain-free weekend.

The first step is to thoroughly inspect your wood. If you find mildew or mould, remove it with a product specifically designed for the job. If not, you should still clean your wood with a deck cleaner before staining. Cleaning will give you a much better-looking and longer-lasting finish and is well-worth the small investment of time and money.

So, what type of stain is best to use? Clear sealants, toners and semi-transparent stains are actually absorbed into the wood. If you deck was built with high-grade wood such as cedar or redwood, using a clear sealant will seal and protect it but will also allow that high-quality grain to show through.

A semi-transparent stain will have more colour pigment and hide more of the grain. It’s a better choice for standard-grade woods that may have more blemishes and imperfections. Solid-colour stains sit on the surface of the wood in the same way that paint does and are a better choice if you only want the texture of the wood to show through. Solid-colour stains are probably best for older decks that are past their prime.

Whichever type you choose, it’s best to invest in the highest-quality stain you can afford. Better stains come with longer warranties, look attractive when applied, and will hold up better over time.

 

1st TIME HOME BUYERS AND YOUR RRSP

I’m sure most people know that there is a government program that allows you to take money from your RRSP without tax implications in order to use it as a down payment on a property. But did you know the following?:

The money must be in your RRSP for at least 90 days in order to qualify for taking it out
The allowable withdrawal has been increased in the past few years from $20K to $25K
If you have a spouse you can both take out $25K
You have the year you took the money out plus 2 additional years before you have to start paying it back into your RRSP
You have 15 years to pay it back to your RRSP
You might want to transfer the balance into something that does not fluctuate as you move closer to the possibility of using it
It can take anywhere from 2 days to over a week to get the money out. This is important to know as you may need the money even sooner than this if you have to put a deposit on a property in order to purchase it
The easiest way to get it back into your RRSP is through an automatic savings plan
The property must be your principal residence

The Homebuyer’s withdrawal plan is a government program so please check out Revenue Canada’s website for the latest details and qualifications.

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCE FOR PLANNING RENOVATIONS

If you’re thinking of purchasing a fixer-upper or are just looking to do some much needed renovations to your existing home, check out Ontario’s Ministry of Consumer Services website. This is a home renovation resources for homeowners to help them know their rights when hiring a contractor and to provide them with helpful tips along the way:

1. Have a Detailed Plan – Before you start your renovation or repair work, make sure you know exactly what you want and how much you want to spend.

2. Choose a Reputable Contractor – Ask for recommendations from friends and neighbours. Check websites like RenoMark or call your local homebuilder’s association.

3. Make Sure You Have a Complete, Written Contract – Never sign a blank contract!

4. Be Prepared When You Pay – Never pay the full amount of the contract before the work is completed to your satisfaction!

 

BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY LAWN

A well-fed, healthy lawn acts as a water filtration system, reduces water run-off, and provides a soft, safe outdoor space for people to rest and play. Here are some other, less obvious benefits:

• Lawns have a dramatic cooling effect compared to hard surfaces. Healthy lawns, trees, and shrubs can reduce air temperature around a home by 4 to 8 degrees celsius.

• Lawns can help muffle street noise and provide cool, restful places to enjoy a hot summer day.

• Dense grass traps significant amounts of dust and dirt particles. An acre of grass will absorb hundreds of kilograms of sulfur dioxide every year.

• Lawns reduce soil erosion and water run-off, helping to prevent sediment from making its way into waterways.

Grass that is lacking nutrients cannot provide the same environmental benefits. Apply fertilizer, in proper amounts, but keep clear of ponds, streams, rivers or lakes. Alternatively, use a low or no phosphorous fertilizer on established lawns. Lawns less than 2 years old will benefit from fertilizer that contains phosphorous.

More Info at www.GreenerWorld.ca

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Of the 3,169 Canadian Tim Horton’s locations, 1,942 feature a drive-thru window. And right now, there’s probably a long line of cars at every one of them!
  • If you say “good night, sleep tight” you are referring to a time when people slept on a bed supported by ropes. Each night before they retired, they had to make sure the ropes were pulled tight before climbing into bed.
  • Barnacles can stick to boats because they secrete a cement-like formula that ‘glues’ them to the side of watercraft. This natural glue does not dissolve in water.
  • Since the Aztec empire, chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac used in the pursuit of love.
  • Although today’s Egyptian pyramids have a brown colour, they were originally built with white stones. They remained that way until Arabs invaded Egypt in approximately 500 AD. They took the white stones and used them to build mosques and palaces in Cairo.

Know Someone Who May Be In Need of Real Estate Services?
We Would Love to Compete for Their Business!