David’s Newsletter

SEPTEMBER 2014

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Another summer has come and gone and we all seem to be getting into the familiar routine of work and school. It was sure nice to see some warmer weather after such a ‘challenging’ winter.

Similarly, the real estate market also gets back into its groove during September. I used to wonder why autumn is the second best time to buy or sell a house but over the past 20 years I have learned that not everyone has children in school and, those who do don’t necessarily need to change schools when they move.

It has been a different year with regards to military transfers and how they have affected markets influenced by DND relocations. The Quinte West, Trenton, Brighton and Belleville areas certainly got off to a slow start with delayed posting messages. Of course, the bad weather slowed us down as well! Reflecting on the first eight months of the year, we have made up for that slow start and now find ourselves in a fairly balanced position.

As you can see from the figures below, the number of residential units sold is close to what it was last year. On an encouraging note, the average sale price is up 2.7% (year over year), putting the average sale price for our real estate board at $227.4K.

2013 2012 %Change
Residential Sales to 31 August 2014 1,838 1,817 1.2%
Average Residential Sale Price to 31 August 2014 $227,420 $221,470 2.7%

Given that most people do not have their homes paid off, this percentage increase is actually much better in that the percentage increase is based on the entire value and not just the invested amount. In other words, if your $200K home went up in value by 2% but you only had $100K invested, you would actually see a 4% return. Not great, but better than the bank offer and it’s tax free!

Finally, I would like to thank all our clients who trust us with their most important investment and who refer us to their family and friends. Your support has allowed us to expand our family business to include our two children and to continue to donate to those individuals and organizations in need of assistance. At this end of this year our team hopes to receive the only Royal LePage award that we have not obtained to date. 2014 will be the 10th consecutive year in which we have ranked in the Top 1% of Royal LePage Realtors® nationwide. We will be the first in our market to do so and we are most grateful to you for helping us get there!

As always, check out our Blog and follow us on Facebook for updates on the national and local real estate markets. Be sure to ‘Like’ us and you’ll automatically be entered in our annual iPad draw which takes place in January of each year.

 

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CHANGES COMING FOR RETIRING MILITARY MEMBERS

This information will be or particular interest to our retiring, or recently retired, military clients. Global News reported that the federal government will no longer reimburse Canadian Forces members’ same-city moves, with some exceptions for sick or disabled military members. The Department of National Defence’s retirement resettlement policy was designed to allow soldiers who spend their careers being posted around the world, to expense one final move to choose where they will live on retirement. However, skyrocketing costs at tax payers’ expense will mean changes in the near future.

Click HERE for the entire Global News article.

 

CLEANER AIR FOR HOMES

The air in our homes can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Toxins in the air can lead to headaches, sore throats, runny noses, allergies and more.

However, improved health can be obtained with a focus on building houses with clean air. This can be achieved by:

1. Reducing Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants – volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted from many traditional building materials such as paints, carpets, adhesives, and cabinetry. You can reduce the sources of these toxins by using materials that have fewer VOCs.

2. Bringing Fresh Outdoor Air Inside – proper ventilation is the key to bringing in fresh outdoor air but leaks in the walls and around windows are inefficient. A new energy-efficient home should have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) which draws fresh air from outside while expelling stale indoor air. A heat exchanger pre-heats the cold outdoor air with waste heat from the warm indoor air being exhausted, so that the indoor air is constantly being replenished with fresh outdoor air without sacrificing energy effciency.

3. Filtering Indoor Air – electronic air cleaners are more efficient than standard filters because they don’t become loaded with dirt, which can cause the heating and cooling system to work harder. An electronic air cleaner will remove up to 98 per cent of bacteria, dust, pollen and other microbial indoor air pollutants from the air you breathe. With both traditional air filters and electronic air cleaners, regular maintenance is key.

 

DAYS ON MARKET MATTERS

When buyers see extensive days on market, they figure the seller is desperate to sell because the home is still on the market. Buyers also believe there might be something wrong with the home that caused other buyers to pass it up. Both of those assumptions, however, can be wrong and a specific property can be on the market longer than necessary for various reasons:

• The most common reason is overpricing. Some Realtors® ‘buy’ listings by misleading the seller into believing the home was worth more than the market will bear. It’s not unusual for an agent to deliberately take an overpriced listing.
• Little seller motivation. Sometimes sellers want to ‘test the market’ by pricing too high, just to see if they can find a fool to pay that price. It’s known as a seller’s worst mistake.
• Stubbornness. Sellers could be stuck on the price and willing to wait out the market until the market catches up to the asking price.
• Down real estate market. In buyer’s markets, it can take longer to sell a home than in seller’s markets. A home that would sell in five days in a seller’s market might sell in 90 days in a down real estate market.
• Unavailable to show. If the property is tenant occupied, it might be difficult to obtain an appointment from the tenant. In most cases, homes with a lockbox get shown more often than those without.
• Unsuitable to show. Sometimes sellers put homes on the market before they are ready to let buyers see it. They might be finishing resale repairs or painting during the first 30 to 60 days of a listing.
• Reduced commission. Although buying agents are required to show all listings, many agents refuse to show homes that don’t pay the same commission as competing homes. Often these homes are listed by discount brokers.
• Little Internet or MLS exposure. If the home has one photograph in MLS, buyers are likely to pass on the listing and instead choose homes to see that have multiple photographs.

 

TANKLESS WATER HEATERS

water_on_demandTankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. However, a tankless water heater’s output limits the flow rate.

Typically, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2.5 gallons (7.6 – 15.2 liters) per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. Sometimes, however, even the largest, gas-fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. For example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a tankless water heater to its limit. To overcome this problem, you can install two or more tankless water heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances — such as a clothes washer or dishwater — that use a lot of hot water in your home.

For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24% – 34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8% – 14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water

around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27% – 50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet. ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.

The initial cost of a tankless water heater is greater than that of a conventional storage water heater, but tankless water heaters will typically last longer and have lower operating and energy costs, which could offset its higher purchase price. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10 – 15 years.

Tankless water heaters can avoid the standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters. However, although gas-fired tankless water heaters tend to have higher flow rates than electric ones, they can waste energy if they have a constantly burning pilot light. This can sometimes offset the elimination of standby energy losses when compared to a storage water heater. In a gas-fired storage water heater, the pilot light heats the water in the tank so the energy isn’t wasted.

Information Courtesy of US Department of Energy

DID YOU KNOW?

  • On the first day of autumn, the sun is aligned with the centre between the North and the South of the planet. On that day, the light and dark hours are exactly the same length.
  • There are only two days of the year when you can stand an egg on its end, the autumn and spring equinox.
  • Plants use sunlight to create nutrients and feed themselves, keeping their green color. As the days become shorter and plants get less sunshine, they stop producing those nutrients and display a different color. Yellow and oranges sit below the green all the time and red and brown are made from wastes and nutrients trapped in them.
  • Autumn gets its own full moon, the Harvest Moon, which is closest to the autumn equinox. From Wolf , Sturgeon, Hunter & Harvest, full moons are named for the month or season in which they rise.
  • In Greek mythology, fall was supposed to be the time when Persephone rejoined Hades in the underworld.

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