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As we approach the half way mark of 2013, I have to say that it has been an ‘interesting year’ in the local real estate industry … to say the least.
This industry is very much driven by the weather; when the weather is good Buyers are out looking at property. Needless to say with our unpredictable and, at times, foul spring weather the market definitely got off to a slow start.
In addition to fewer sales attributable to bad weather, we also had a major cut back in the number of military postings this summer. There’s no denying that the Quinte area relies on military personnel to drive our spring real estate market! Witness an 11% drop in sales to date this year and the fact we now have a 9 month supply of homes on the market.
These two factors, combined with the mortgage tightening rules that came into effect last year, have certainly made it a Buyer’s market as Sellers compete for fewer qualified Buyers. With this in mind, Sellers are demanding a higher level of service to make their listing stand out amongst other homes for sale. Whether it be a greater online presence, professional staging, or videos of their homes, Sellers want to be assured their listings are presented in the best possible way to encourage more in-person showings.
In other news, Robyn, who many of you have had the pleasure to meet or speak with, joined Mark Rashotte, owner of Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty, at the recent MFRC Invisible Ribbon Gala. Thanks to Robyn for representing Team Weir at this very worthy cause!
Don’t forget to 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. If you’re not on Facebook, just send Donna an email and she will enter your name. Have a look at our Giveaways page to see our past winners! Good luck!
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has passed our names along to friends and colleagues in need of real estate services.
Have a great summer everyone!
LOCAL REAL ESTATE
As with all my newsletters, I like to pass on some information about how the Quinte real estate market is doing. Note that the following table reflects Residential statistics only. In addition to what you see below, it is worth noting that more than 50% of Residential Sales for the month of May were the result of transactions between the $200,000 to $349,999 price range. As per the table, Residential Sales for 2013 have declined by 11.3% to date. June will be a revealing month as it will bring us to the half-way point of 2013! Both the Average Residential Price ($226,373) and Residential listings (651) have seen an increase for the month of May, compared to 2012.
If you, or someone you know, would like a complimentary market evaluation specific to your property, we would be happy to visit you at your convenience!
RBC WAIVES PRE-PAYMENT CHARGES
Mortgage prepayment charges are now waived for military personnel relocated outside of Canada!
This is a change from the current policy of 3 months interest and became effective mid-May. To be eligible for waiving of the prepayment charge the client must provide a copy of the Posting Message, which outlines the details (such as date and location) of the transfer abroad.
All other transferees should select the term that best matches the expected duration of their posting in order to avoid breakage costs. They have options of 6 month to 10 year fixed rates, variable closed which is always only 3 month breakage, variable open, 6 month and 1 year open, the latter three of which have no breakage penalties.
For more information, your point of contact is Mary Rushlow, Senior Mortgage Specialist and she can be reached at 613.966.5515 or by email at email@example.com.
HEALTHY HOMES RENOVATION TAX CREDIT
If you are a senior 65 years or older and live in Ontario, you could qualify for a tax credit to help with the cost of making your home safer and more accessible.
The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a permanent, refundable personal income tax credit for seniors and family members who live with them. If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return. The amount of money you get back for these expenses is calculated as 15 per cent of the eligible expenses you claim. For example, if you spend and then claim $10,000 worth of eligible expenses, you could get $1,500 back.
To qualify for the credit, you have to be 65 years old or older by the end of the year for which you are claiming the credit or be living with a family member who is a senior.
Before you start any modifications to your home, check to see that the work qualifies. Some examples include walk-in bathtubs, wheel-in showers, widening passage doors, lowering existing counters/cupboards, grab bars around the toilet, tub and shower, handrails in corridors, wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators, non-slip flooring in the bathroom, motion-activated lighting, touch-and-release doors and cupboards, amongst others.
To learn more about the Healthy Homes program have a look at the website or call:
1-800-263-7776 for teletypewriter
SMOKING AT HOME REDUCES PROPERTY VALUES
A recent survey of Ontario real estate agents in Ontario found that smoking in a home could lower the value of your property by up to 30 per cent. The survey was sponsored by Pfizer Canada and besides the obvious damage by staining walls and carpets, it can leave a smell that is very hard to eliminate. It makes sense that a home with a smoky smell or strong odour will be harder to sell as it will deter most buyers.
Buyers, be suspicious if you notice the fans going or electric air fresheners whenever visiting a home for the first time. Sellers, don’t try to cover up or hide odour issues that you know about. Get rid of any foul odour before putting your home for sale, to maximize your return.
Check out Mark Weisleder’s entire article in The Star HERE.
IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT OIL TANKS
Unpredictable fuel oil tank failures have resulted in millions of dollars of property damage and environmental contamination. Many failures occur at the bottom of the tank from internal corrosion and occur without warning.
In an effort to address this and to prevent and detect tank bottom failures, steel tank manufacturers have developed new designs for tanks which include a double bottom so that a leak from internal corrosion at the bottom of the tank can be prevented from escaping by the second bottom, and include a means to discover if the tank has leaked at the bottom.
Effective 1 January 2013, in Ontario, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) requires that all new tanks, both indoors and outdoors, be installed with a double bottom, double wall or secondary containment. Contractors and installers are required to ensure that TSSA approved double bottom tanks are installed.
Buyers should be aware that the cost of tank removal and replacement with one of these new tanks will be at least $500 more than tanks previously sold. Before finalizing an agreement, be sure to contact at least one local fuel supplier or heating contractor to verify the updated cost of a tank replacement.
In terms of environmental protection and reduction in liability and cleanup costs, there may be benefits to homeowners in terms of insurability and potentially reduced premium rates as a result of the risk reduction represented by installation of a safer, more secure type of oil tank.
DID YOU KNOW?
- New Year is the oldest holiday, first being observed in ancient Babylon as many as 4,000 years ago.
- December 31, 1907 saw the very first ball lowering in Times Square
- The ball was not lowered in 1942 and 1943 due to wartime restrictions
- The song, Auld Lang Syne was composed by Robert Burns sometime in the 1700s. The term means ‘old long ago’ or ‘the good old days’.
- It was once believed that the 1st visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good or bad luck for the rest of the year depending on who he/she was.
- Many cultures believe that anything given or taken on New Year in the shape of a ring is good luck because it symbolizes ‘coming full circle’.
- In various South American countries, yellow underwear is worn immediately after midnight as yellow brings good luck. All women in Mexico who want to find their love in the new year have to wear red underwear.