David Weir • Donna Weir • Chelsea Weir • Kyle Weir • Victoria Parker • Kevin Gillis

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Welcome to our first newsletter of 2017! … but be sure to read through to get to the great contest stuff  LOL.

In 2016, our Team once again earned the distinction of being the #1 Royal LePage Realtor® Team in southeastern Ontario, ranking 64 of 17,400 nationwide. As always, we couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of our loyal clients who continue to refer us to their friends and family.  We were also recently awarded a highly competitive contract to sell dozens of homes for the County of Hastings. We look forward to working with the County!

As for 2017, the real estate market is off to a great start … and not just in Toronto and Vancouver! In the Quinte Region, we are seeing a greater number of buyers from the Greater Toronto Area who are purchasing a nice, new home AND putting money in the bank from the proceeds of the sale of their Toronto homes.  Of course, the arrival of the Ottawa Senators American Hockey League farm team to Belleville and the opening of the Shores Casino will attract even more new residents to the area! In fact, Team Weir is thinking about purchasing a pair of season tickets to the ‘baby Sens’ games that we can share with our clients who are looking for a night out. If this is something that appeals to you, let us know so we can determine if there is sufficient interest.

Finally, we are once again looking for different ways to give back to our community and clients this year.  We have recently donated to the local Women’s Shelter, as well as the national organization. As a company, Royal LePage has raised over $22M for the Shelter Foundation since 1998!

In this vein, on Sunday, February 12th, Team Weir will be out collecting donations of food and money for the local food bank. If you live locally and want to help those who need a hand up, please send us an email and we will drop by and pick up your donation. Last year we collected approximately 600 lbs of food and $1K in donations on one Sunday morning.  As always, Team Weir will match all donations!

In 2017 we would also like to offer one of our clients a gift or donation of $1,000 to be awarded to a charity of their choosing.  To be eligible, simply share our Facebook page or send us a testimonial that we can use on our website. It’s that easy!

With regards to local real estate activity, have a look below at the numbers for 2016.  The housing market in Quinte was strong last year and we’ve already seen several sales with multiple offers in January!

2016 2015 %Change
Total # of Listings in December 205 243 -16%
Total # of Listings YTD 6,252 7,197 -13%
Total # of Sales in December 174 188 -7%
Total # of Sales YTD 3,927 3,399 16%
Total Sales Dollar Volume December $46,717,013 $45,615,928 2%
Total Sales Dollar Volume YTD $1,006,561,531 $818,804,843 23%

For more detailed information keep an eye out for our upcoming newsletters and our Facebook updates. Or, if you would like specifics with regards to your location, price range, or style of home please call or send us an email anytime for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We’re already talking to inbound house hunters and clients with posting messages.

In the meantime, keep warm as we slowly leave the winter months behind us!

Cheers for now,


Ontario’s New Land Transfer Tax Rebate

In an effort to help first-time homebuyers, the Ontario government has recently doubled the first-time homebuyers’ Land Transfer Tax refund to $4,000. This increased rebate took effect January 1, 2017 and means that eligible homebuyers in Ontario will pay no Land Transfer Tax (LTT) on the first $368,250 of their home’s purchase price. With the doubled refund, more than half of first-time homebuyers in Ontario will pay no LTT on the purchase of their first home.

To qualify for the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund for First-Time Homebuyers, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older,
  • You must live in the home within 9 months of purchasing it,
  • You cannot have owned a home before, and
  • If you have a spouse, they cannot have owned a home during the time they have been your spouse.

Based on the Ontario land transfer tax rates, the rebate will cover the full tax amount up to a maximum home purchase price of $368,250. For homes with purchase prices over $368,250, homebuyers will qualify for the maximum rebate, but will still owe the remainder of their land transfer tax. If you are buying your home with your spouse, but only one of you qualifies for this rebate, you can still receive 50% of the rebate.

You have to apply within 18 months of the date of transfer to qualify for this rebate.

For more information, visit the Land Transfer Tax Refund for First-Time Homebuyers website.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums Are Going Up!

New home buyers taking out insured mortgages will have to pay a bit more effective March 17th, 2017.  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the increases would amount to an extra $5 a month for the typical insured mortgage. The changes apply only to new insured mortgages.

The premium changes represent the latest move in an effort by regulators to protect the financial industry and consumers from rising household debt and soaring house prices in some markets.

Federal rules require lenders to take out mortgage insurance for any loan in which the borrower has a down payment of less than 20 per cent. The insurance protects lenders in the event that a borrower defaults on the mortgage, but the premiums are typically passed onto borrowers and folded into monthly mortgage payments.

Unlike past premium increases, which have predominantly affected borrowers with small down payments, the changes that take effect in March are more significant for home buyers with bigger down payments.

This means that on a purchase price of $250,000, the insurance payments will be as follows:

•  5% downpayment ($12,500) – insurance payment goes from 3.6% to 4%, an increase of $4.44 a month

•  10% downpayment ($25,000) – insurance payment goes from 2.4% to 3.1%, an increase of $7.36 a month

•  15% downpayment ($37,500) – insurance payment goes from 1.8% to 2.8%, an increase of $9.93 a month

•  20% downpayment ($50,000) – there is no requirement for mortgage insurance with downpayments of 20% or more

As long as you have an offer to purchase in place by March 16th, you will get the lower premiums. Let us know if you need the name of a mortgage specialist in this area who can help you with your mortgage financing!

Portable Space Heaters

Space heaters are a handy way to add a little extra warmth to one corner of the house without turning up the furnace.  But space heaters can be a hazard if used improperly.  Consider these safety tips to stay safe and warm:

•  Never use fuel-burning portable space heaters (such as propane or kerosene) in any enclosed space, as it can lead to deadly  carbon monoxide exposure.
•  Never use space heaters to dry flammable items such as clothing or blankets.
•  Keep all flammable objects at least one metre away from space heaters.
•  If you use an extension cord, make sure it is the right size and gauge to carry the electrical load being drawn by the space heater.
•  Never use an electrical space heater in a wet area or any area that can be exposed to water.
•  Only purchase or use electric space heaters that bear the mark of a recognized certification agency or regulatory body.
•  Never leave an operating space heater unattended and always turn off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep.
•  Supervise children and pets at all times when a portable space heater is in use.

Interactive Municipal Property Tax Calculator

Quinte West’s Municipal Property Tax (MPT) Calculator is the City’s innovative online interactive property tax calculator developed by City staff for use by the residents of the City of Quinte West, potential new residents, and developers.

The tax rates used in MPT Calculator are for the current taxation year.  The tax rates are updated annually towards the end of May. Therefore, from January to the end of May MPT Calculator inquiries will be based on the previous year’s tax rates.

Visit the City of Quinte West for more information or to try out the tax calculator.


Did You Know?

  • The colours of the first Montreal Canadiens jerseys were blue and white.
  • The Maple Leafs were named by Conn Smythe after the Maple Leaf Regiment in WWI.
  • Pucks were returned to the ice during war years because of a shortage of rubber.
  • The first defenceman to win the Art Ross trophy was Bobby Orr, in 1970.
  • With 472, Dave Schultz holds the record for the most penalty minutes in a season.
  • The red line on the ice is broken because it was difficult to differentiate between the red and blue lines in the days of black and white television.

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