Saturday, December 20, 2008

Should I List Now... Or Wait Until Spring?

Should I List Now... Or Wait Until Spring?

I met with three clients last week who said, "David, I know it is not a great time to sell. Should I put my property up now or wait until spring?" What's interesting is that I've found myself answering this question frequently... so, I figured it made sense to write about it as it relates to the Greater Toronto and Orangeville real estate market.

If a seller has no place to go or plans on purchasing in the future or there are other external factors that pushes their timeline out, it might make sense to wait until those answers are figured out. This is the case for any seller at any time of the year.

But if there's a real need to sell in the next six months... to me, the answer is obvious. List now.

Take the plunge, so to speak. :)

There are six main advantages for a seller to list now in December or January instead of waiting until spring:

1. Inventory - In the spring, how many other sellers will have ended up waiting as well? They may have been waiting a year or so until the market got better or perhaps just figured it was the best time to list their property. So come March, April and May, there will be that much more competition to potentially go head-to-head with. By listing now, you avoid all that potential competition. In Milton for example, there are a LOT of homes closing through builders like Mattamy, Arista, Sunvale and Montgomery Homes that will be ready between March and July, and there will be a flood of inventory as the buyers of these homes try to sell their homes in order to "move up". I predict Milton will experience more inventory (read: competition) than it's ever seen before in Spring 2009. Not particularly good news if you are trying to sell.

2. Motivated Buyers - Often many buyers will just wait until spring to start their search as well. They will just be beginning the process. Believe me... the buyers that are out house hunting during the Thanksgiving and Christmas timeframes are serious and motivated. By listing now, you will potentially get one of these buyers to write an offer on your property.

3. Mortgage Rates - The mortgage rates right now are at their lowest point in months. This is actually causing an uptick in buyer traffic and activity. If you list now, you will catch this wave of increased buyers shopping for houses (instead of Christmas gifts) because of these lower rates.

4. Buyers Confidence - Further, buyer confidence is starting to shift which is also increasing buyer traffic. The November stats from the Toronto Real Estate Board's Market Watch report show an upswing in prices in November after a very poor October, which saw a stock market meltdown and an always slow real estate market during the end of the election campaigns.

5. Accomplish Your Goals Now - When it's all said and done, wouldn't you rather have your house sold by March and April and moving on with your life than potentially just listing your house at that point in time. I love it when we accomplish our goals ahead of schedule - it's a great feeling. By listing now, you are positioning yourself to accomplish your goals sooner than later. By the way, what would happen if a traumatic life event happened in the spring and you couldn't put off your plans? Nobody knows what will happen in the future, but we do know about today.

6. Reverse Fear - Lastly, not to buy into the media's doom and gloom, but there is always risk that the housing markets could deteriorate more instead of picking up by the middle of 2009. In addition, the reality of the market getting that much better in a short period of time is remote. I doubt that just by waiting until spring, a sales price could be higher by 10 percent. In fact, it could even be a little worse if you think the economy is going to deteriorate as the automakers struggle to survive. By listing now, you avoid that extra layer of uncertainty.

To summarize, you know a great deal more about TODAY than TOMORROW, so go ahead and be proactive.

I'm curious - what is your opinion?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Amazing Opportunity! Don't Miss Out On This 2 Storey Home In The Safe Community Of Shelburne

Spectacular - Is The Best Description Of This Open Concept 3 Bedroom Home With A Fenced Yard Backing On To Conservation/Green Space. W/O To Huge Deck And Enjoy The Sunsets. Bright, Sunny Atmosphere Created By Tall Double Windows, Pastel Decor In Solarium. Immaculate Inside & Out, Just Move In & Enjoy The Great Location & The Many Amenities. Master Bath Has Jet Tub, Access To Garage (Mudroom) This Home Shows Like A Model Home! Ready For Your Family.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ornageville Summer Events

Well here it is again, what better time to take a stroll along Broadway (main street in Orangeville) than the weekend of Friday, July 11th and Saturday, July 12th as downtown Orangeville celebrates its heritage at the 39th Annual Founders' Fair celebrations.

This annual summer celebration takes its direction from the original Fair celebrated in 1970 and offers free fun, entertainment, demonstrations & events throughout the weekend.

Shopkeepers have stocked their shelves with delightful summer treats, downtown restaurants are highlighting the abundance of summer produce on their menus and cafes and coffee shops offer cool summer treats to satisfy your summer cravings.

I hope everyone will enjoy an Ontario summer with a stroll along Broadway and discover all there is to see and do in historic Downtown Orangeville.

Friday, July 11th - 6pm to 10pm
Saturday, July 12th - 10am to 10pm

A celebration of heritage
Visitors and residents alike are invited to celebrate the heritage of Orangeville at the 39th Annual Founders' Fair. A festival atmosphere will prevail with young and old being entertained with a myriad of activities beginning on Friday evening at 6:00 pm. Broadway will be closed from Wellington Street to First Street, and so will Mill Street, starting at 4:00 pm on Friday evening until midnight on Saturday.

Downtown shopkeepers will be offering special sales & products throughout the celebration, entertainers and local musicians will be performing on stages located throughout the downtown area, and buskers will be performing and strolling along the streets entertaining visitors of all ages.

Opening ceremonies feature entertainment on several stages
Opening ceremonies take place beginning at 7:00 with the Town of Orangeville's Official Town Crier, Betty Kading, ringing in Mayor Rob Adams to officially declare the opening of the 39th Annual Founders' Fair. The headline performer for this year's opening ceremonies is Danny Marks, an iconic rocker, guitarist, bandleader and songwriter who will keep the streets hopping until 10:00 pm.

Festival atmosphere & free Family Fun Zone on Saturday
On Saturday, the weekend gala celebration continues with our Market on Broadway, a strong man demonstration, birds of prey demonstrations and internationally recognized ventriloquist Mark Crocker performing throughout the day on our Broadway Grande Main Stage. A FREE FAMILY FUN ZONE on Mill Street featuring the Boston Pizza rock climbing wall, an exotic petting zoo, pony rides, crafts, a bouncy castle, children's musical entertainment and so much more!

Spot the Dot Penny Sale
On Saturday, shoppers will delight in the Penny Sale taking place throughout the downtown area. Pick up your "spot the orange dots" card, for only $0.25 (that's just twenty-five cents), and see if you can win one of the many items being offered by downtown merchants.

Saturday night street dance to close the festivities
To close out the festivities a Saturday Night Street Dance is planned from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm featuring the Brokenjoe Trio on the Broadway Grande Main Stage and the Campfire Poets on the Meridian Credit Union Stage. The night sky will provide the perfect backdrop as A Different Spin entertains with their evening fire show, and the Family Fun Zone will stay open throughout the evening.

Be sure to DISCOVER BROADWAY and celebrate summer and the founding of Orangeville, with downtown Orangeville's 39th annual Founders' Fair! Bring your family and friends and enjoy the festivities.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Welcome To Dufferin County Ontario Canada

Welcome To Dufferin County Ontario Canada

Welcome to my neck of the woods. This sign should sum it up for anyone asking the question "How safe is it here". If you have any doubt about it ask any police office in the area and they will tell you the same thing. Dufferin is the smallest County in Ontario but we have some if the best folks around including Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings, his hometown is Shelburne Ontario.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tim Hortons Coming To Shelburne Ontario

Well it's been a long time coming but according to head office, a Tim Horton's store should be built sometime in 2009. The new location is at the South West conner of Hwy 124 and Hwy 89, right across from the No Frills. I don't have any other information on the store but only time will tell.

Tips to Noise-Proof your Home

The other day I had a client call me and ask the follow question "How do I reduce the noise in my house"

The way I see it, whether it's an aircraft overhead, traffic on the street, a neighbour practicing the saxophone, or your own kids at play, often our homes are not as quiet and peaceful as we would like them to be.
That’s why taking some measures to soundproof your home has lots of pay-offs. Not only will you reduce noise and add value to your property, but you will be helping to reduce the stress that excessive noise can cause.
If you’re tired of excessive noise, start by determining which areas of your home are most in need of soundproofing. Noise can be annoying when it comes into the house through windows, the basement and attic. Noise from inside your home can also be annoying to your neighbours, as well as others in your home.
But whether you are trying to keep noise from getting into your home or preventing it from getting out, if it’s anything but a simple problem it may be wise to seek the help of a soundproofing expert.
First, use this handy check list to determine what your problem areas are:


Windows are the most common way for noise to get in or out. Single glass panes and wood window frames are the least resistant to noise. Double pane glass can reduce noise by about 20 per cent, while vinyl frames can reduce it by as much as 50 per cent.

If replacing the window with a double pane glass or vinyl frames is too expensive an option, consider using a “removable” plug to block the sound coming through the window. A plug will also block light, but it will make little difference if it’s your bedroom window and the noise is keeping you awake at night.
And let’s not forget the added benefits -- the extra insulation of a plug will keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Many attics, especially in older homes, lack insulation. Adding insulation can not only help cut down on your heating bills, but it can help to soundproof your home. Materials used to insulate your home also help reduce noise.
Extra layers of asphalt roofing can also increase your home’s noise tolerance, especially to aircraft. If you live near an airport, try stapling extra asphalt sheeting on the roof rafters inside the attic. This is a cheap and effective way to reduce noise.

In well-built homes you’ll notice that doors in a hallway don’t line up across from each other. This is to prevent sound from travelling across and through the open doors. Staggering entrances is one way of minimizing noise. Another, of course, is keeping doors closed.
Helpful hints
At least 25 per cent of a room should have some absorbent material, like carpeting or furniture, to reduce reverberation from footsteps.
Rooms located right over living areas should have some form of carpeting for soundproofing. Special carpet padding and floorings are available for use in soundproofing, but these tend to be more expensive. Often, a thick rubber padding and carpet are all you need.
One way of soundproofing walls is to add another layer of drywall. Double drywall on walls facing a noisy street can substantially reduce noise in many homes.
Never soundproof a garage when you can soundproof a basement. The cement foundation of a home absorbs noise. However, you’ll still need to soundproof the basement ceiling

Stanley Cup Parade In Shelburne & Honeywood.

Monday, June 30, 2008

When is the Right Time to List your Orangeville Home?

When is the Right Time?????

One of the most frequently asked question I get this time of the year is when should I list my home on the market? The answer is , it all depends. There are some Factors that need to be considered I have listed only 2 but the list is much longer.

1) Does your Orangeville/Dufferin County home cater to singles or couples?

2) Would your home be suited for families with school age children? Is it a detached semi-detached or town home in Orangeville/Dufferin County?

If you own a county home, be preparded to wait longer, Country sales are have been slower this year due to the US problems and the price of gas.

Of course, depending on supply and demand, if there is limited inventory in your neighbourhood, now would be good time to be in the market.

If your own a detached, semi detached or a town home in the area, the Late summer is the ideal time for sellers to list their home. The fall market is typically the seconds busiest time of the year. Inventory levels are high and demand is usually quite high. The fall market usually starts in August and ends in early November. Buyers purchase in the fall and close in early spring or early summer so they can familiarize themselves with their new neighbourhood.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board statistics, May 2008 set a new all time record with the highest inventory of homes ever recorded.

If you are thinking of selling this year, now is the time to get ready for the fall market. Be the first one in your area to be on the market. Let's get started by having a pre sale consultation so if there are significant work to be done before listing your home, it can be completed before the end of August.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Real Estate Title Fraud - Protect Yourself

According to the RCMP, one in six Canadians will be victims of some sort of fraud in 2008. This will result in losses estimated to be close to $3 billion, while in the U.S., the FBI estimates losses there will reach as high as $30 billion.

Title insurance is necessary to help protect consumers against real estate title fraud. In 2007, more than 42,000 transactions were subjected to closer review by our fraud underwriting process. This vigilance prevented more than $23 million in potential claims related to fraud.

Although real estate title fraud is far less frequent than other forms of fraud arising from identity theft, it is a violation that can have devastating and long lasting effects on its victims. One of the great injustices about this type of fraud is that perpetrators are rarely caught.

Real estate title fraud can take several forms, and it often starts with identity theft. A basic scam can be simple: a fraudster targets a house, forges a transfer deed using a stolen identity, registers title to the property in his or her own name, forges a discharge of the existing mortgage and borrows against the clear title.

Real estate title fraud can happen to anyone. It’s up to you to get informed and protect yourself. Speak with your lawyer for more details .

Plant a Tree

Friday, June 27, 2008

Why didn't my house sell?

Don't be discouraged that your home didn't sell. The sinking feeling may begin long before your listing expired, but your home might not have sold for reasons that have nothing to do with how desirable it is, or how fast the local market is moving.

So Why Didn't Your Home Sell?

Don't risk making the wrong choices and losing both time and money on your investment--Again. Before you hire your next realtor, ask the right questions to save your time, money, and frustration.

Expired: Selling Your Home After it Didn't Sell

You are probably wondering what went wrong? Like all homeowners, once you put your home on the market you expected it to sell. Most homes do sell but as you’ve found out some don’t sell.

If you are still interested in selling, then the home sale you want is still within reach. Below are some thoughts to take into account before you decide to put your house back on the market.

First of all, ask yourself…Are you committed to selling? Are you committed to do what it takes to properly market your home for today’s market? If not then don’t sell. It will only cause you stress. Life by itself is crazy enough. Why add the stress of selling a home when you are not willing to do what it takes to sell it in today’s market.

If you are committed to selling then read on.

There are four reasons why I think a home did not sell. They are lack of communication, price, condition and marketing.

Lack of communication

Teamwork between an agent and a seller is very important. Did you get the proper feedback? What did buyers say about price and condition? Was this communicated back to you? What did other agents say about your property? Was this communicated back to you? What did you do with the feedback you received from your agent? Our team uses an automated response request to all agents who show your property. They are emailed a short commentary to complete and together we can review the resulting comments.


Was your home priced correctly? Did you price your home based on what you “need” to get from your home or did you price it according to the current market? An overpriced home reduces buyer’s interest and it also makes competing homes look better. Experience has shown, the longer a house is on the market the lower the initial offer will be.


Going back to communication, what was the feedback you received from the showings? Was it positive or negative? If negative, was it something you could change? If someone didn’t like the floor plan, well there is nothing you can do about that. But if several mentioned your paint job, then you may have to consider hiring someone to repaint. Again, it goes back to “how committed are you to selling?” We offer the services of a professional Home stager to help with the presentation issues.


How was your home advertised? Gone are the days when all an agent had to do was place a sign in the yard and it would be gone. I have found it takes more than just putting a house in MLS. Look for an agent that is willing to go beyond just putting a sign in the yard. Thinking outside the box is my way of thinking. If you need help call me at 519-215-0107

Monday, June 23, 2008

Personal Information Now Mandatory

Realtors required to confirm the buyer's ID.

Canadian realtors are bracing for a customer backlash starting today, as they become foot soldiers in the battle against money-laundering. Federal regulations that kick in today will force realtors to start asking property sellers and buyers personal information never before required.

In Ontario alone, 47,000 realtors will be expected to fall in line or face stiff penalties. "We know there is going to be consumer rejection on this and we are just following the law," said Gerry Weir, a London realtor and president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

Realtors will be required to ask for the name, address, date of birth and occupation of property buyers and sellers, plus ID such as a driver's licence or passport.

Weir said Ottawa has made little effort to educate people about the changes, and realtors feel they're being forced into an uncomfortable enforcement role. He said realtors will have to keep the information for seven years and submit it on request to the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), a federal agency set up to track suspicious transactions that could be related to money-laundering or terrorism.

If the buyer is foreign or from another part of Canada, the real estate broker will be required to hire an agent in the buyer's community who can confirm the buyer's ID.

If a client refuses to disclose the information, Weir said, a realtor would have to walk away from the deal or report the person to FINTRAC.

"Even if I have known you for 30 years, I still have to ask for that information," he said.

Weir said it could get even worse.

He said Ottawa also wanted to require a receipt-of-funds record, with information on anyone who actually supplied money for sales, including relatives or friends.

Weir said the government backed down on that, but he expects it will only be temporary.

"That is the next step; that will happen," he said.

FINTRAC officials appear confused about the new rules.

Spokesperson Peter Lamey at first said one piece of ID was needed from buyers and sellers, and information such as date of birth and occupation wouldn't be required.

He later said the information wouldn't only be required from buyers and sellers, but also from anyone who contributed money to a deal as part of the receipt of funds record, contradicting Weir's belief that Ottawa had backed down on that provision.

Negotiations on the rules were handled by the federal Finance Department and not FINTRAC, Lamey said.

For years, realtors have been required to report any suspicious financial transactions to FINTRAC, especially those involving cash payments of more than $10,000. Weir said he's reported three transactions in recent years, and two involved someone trying to buying a house to set up a marijuana growing operation. Still, he said only a very small number of real estate transaction are suspicious.

Weir said the government will only do spot inspections during the next six months to ensure realtors and brokers are meeting the requirements.

After that, any realtor or broker who doesn't meet the requirements could face hefty fines or jail time. Weir said the OREA wants to educate people about the changes, but there've been long negotiations with the government and the rules weren't firmed up until last week.

Stanley Cup To Visit Dufferin County

Community invited to celebrate with Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings

SHELBURNE, Ontario, June 18, 2008 - History will be made when the Stanley Cup makes its very first visit to Dufferin County later this month. Shelburne-area native Aaron Downey, a member of the 2008 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, will be bringing hockey's greatest prize to the area for a day. All are invited to join in the community celebration.

Date: Sunday, June 29, 2008

Schedule: 12:30 p.m.: Parade begins at the Shelburne Arena

3:00 p.m: Arrival at the Honeywood Arena and welcoming ceremony

3:30 - 7:00 p.m: Autograph and photo availability with Aaron and the Cup at the Honeywood Arena

3:30 p.m. - 2:00 a.m: Food, live entertainment and a licensed beverage area at the Honeywood Arena. Proceeds will be used, in part, to support minor hockey in Honeywood and Shelburne.


The parade will include and also honour the Shelburne novice league Champions, the Honeywood novice rep Ontario champions, the Honeywood girls hockey club, the Shelburne Veterans junior lacrosse team, and figure skaters from the Honeywood and Shelburne communities. Area public officials.

Born in 1974, Aaron Downey's hockey career began in the Honeywood and Shelburne minor systems. He played on junior teams in Grand Valley, Collingwood and Guelph. He entered the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins in 1998 and subsequently played with Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis and Montreal before joining the Red Wings in 2007.

It's A Change Of Perspective

Once you list your home for sale you must take 'you/your' out of the equation. It's no longer your home, but now the home of the prospective buyer. Go outside, and come back in and really look at your home like it's the first time you've seen it. Would you buy it or do you think the price is too high? Do you notice the peeling paint, missing calking, shabby light fixtures and cracked tiles? These are the things the buyers will notice and evaluate your home on.

Use Lighting To Add Value To Your Homes Bathroom.

Lighting is a great way to give your bathroom a whole new look and feel – and it’s an easy way to add value to your home.

Keep in mind that you can never have too much light in the bathroom. It is recommended that you layer light sources to provide enough illumination for applying makeup and for shaving while reducing glare.

  • Begin by selecting an overhead fixture for general lighting in the room; cove and recessed lighting are popular.
  • Recessed lighting in the shower area makes shaving and shampooing easier.
  • Your tub area needs good general light, which call also be offered by recessed or pot light. To avoid glare, aim the lights at the outside edge of the tub.
  • For vanity areas, keeping in mind that recessed lighting tends to cast shadows on the face, consider adding lights on both sides of the mirror, set at eye level. Coated or frosted bulbs are a good choice because they enhance facial features and reduce glare, while warm fluorescent bulbs offer even illumination for the face. Good picks for vanity lighting include vertical strip fixtures or decorative wall sconces.
  • Linear lighting systems are great for illuminating the floor. Place them in the toe space below the vanity and cabinets.
  • Don't block out the light from windows - it will supplement or replace electric options.
  • Remember that fixtures in wet areas must be approved for such use.

Buyers Need Help Too!

Buyers - Why you need your own agent

You're looking for a house and making the rounds at the Saturday & Sunday open houses. Now you've found a house you love, and you'd like to put in an offer. The listing agent offers to help you with the offer. Great, right? Unless you sign a Buyer Representation Agreement the agent is working in the best interest of the Seller, NOT the buyer. That's their job, to work for the Seller.

As a buyer you need a Realtor in your corner. Talk to some of the agents to you meet, get some referrals from friends and family, heck you can even call some of the local real estate offices. Select an agent who understands you needs, timing and style, and whom you have a good rapport with. Then sign a Buyer Representation agreement with them and start them working on finding the perfect home for you!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Real Estate Market Watch

Market Watch (Jan 07 – May 07 VS Jan 08 – May 08)

The Orangeville market has certainty slowed down with regards to sales of homes priced under $400,000. This price range has dropped 16 percent in the over the same time last year. However the number of sales in the $400,000 plus price range only dropped slightly in 2008.

The Dufferin market has also slowed significantly in both price ranges. Homes sold under $400,000 have dropped 30 per cent when compared to the first 5 months of last year; sales over $400,000 have dropped 40 percent.

The Shelburne market has also shown a slowed down with regards to sales of homes priced under $300,000. This price range has dropped 19 per cent in the last year. However the number of sales in the $300,000 plus price range increased by 50 percent in 2008.

Buyers really do have lots to choose from, so if your thinking about a purchase or want more information please call me at 519-215-0107

Shelburne Gas Price Watch!

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Orangeville Gas Price Watch!

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