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#1) Get in the market. There is no perfect time to get in, just get in.
#2) Regulation Changes Everything. The window of opportunity opens and shuts all the time. When I started 13 years ago we had 100% financing for rentals and 105% financing for home buyers. Those days are long gone and the mortgage “rules” have drastically changed. It’s not often we get regulation to make things easier. Things don’t get better the longer you wait in real estate.
#3) Buy and Hold to get Rich. I’ve had the pleasure to meet some very wealthy people who tell a similar story. They came to the country with literally nothing, learned the language, found a job, sacrificed heavily to obtain a home and used that home to leverage their life and grow their wealth.
#4) 4 Green Homes = 1 Red Hotel. If you remember the game of monopoly you know this rule. Why this is important, read the next point.
#5) Leverage 1 home to buy the 2nd, the 3rd, and so forth. I always wanted to know how someone can build great wealth in Real Estate. I think that's why I became a Realtor. The secret? Next point.
#6) Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. It might sound silly for real estate but the truth is most investors don’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from their job. They bought real estate, found a tenant to cover the costs and let time do its thing. Typically, they have investments that come up for renewal just like your home (5-year terms) and at that point they leverage the equity from house 1 to buy house 2, and 3, and 4, and so forth.
#7) Learn and play by the rules. I know for a fact there are people out there who own tons of real estate and never made a mortgage payment in their life. What’s the secret? They use leverage and O.P.M. (Other people's money, usually a bank)
#8) Leverage Real Estate with OPM. Using your property as a tool to help you get to where you're going is critical. The banks will loan you 95% of the money to buy a home provided you meet their criteria. 95% of the risk and the reward is all yours. You don’t have to give the bank 95% of your profits when you sell. What other investment vehicle lets you do that? Even if it’s an investment with 20% or 25% down. You keep the profits.
#9) Generate Income. If you entered real estate when you were young (I was in my early 20’s) living with room-mates was great. I had a 3 bedroom town-home and rented 2 rooms to cover most of my operating costs. I was able to save money and build equity at the same time. We all have to live somewhere, why not be a live in landlord? If your an older home owner (that's okay too) you can use the equity in your home to buy another. You have hundreds of thousands just sitting there… why not use it or at least explore the idea?
#10) Don’t Fear Tenants. This is the #1 reason I hear from those who know real estate is great, but never took the leap to buy that investment. I can tell you from experience that 99 times out of 100 you’ll get a good tenant who will care for your home. Do you have friends who rent? You can find a family just like them.
#11) Ask for Help. I’ll be the first to say I don’t know everything but I do know the right people to ask for help. There is a wealth of information available to you from Google. You have millions of articles, videos and audio recordings right at your fingertips. There are seminars and workshops going on around you everyday. Connect with the right “help” to help you get to your goals.
#12) What goes up, must come down. In the last 18-24 months, real estate has been a hot topic. When you compare Real Estate in 12 month intervals you will see big ups and big downs. Real Estate has never been a short term game. It’s possible to make a lot of money buying and selling homes but only on TV. There is no short term, little money down, huge reward at the end system that you can do over and over. Sure there is deals here and there but generally speaking real estate is a long term system. If you look at Amazon, Apple or Google you will see a steady growth chart of the value over the years (yearly view). If you look at it in only 12 month spans you’ll see drastic ups and downs in price, and not a steady flat predictable increase. You can lose a lot of money buying/selling in the short term but it’s hard to make a mistake if you keep it for 5+ years.
#13) Do it. Don't get stuck with analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis. It’s state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. One of the worst things (to me) in my line of work is meeting lovely people who “wish” they can go back in time and buy more real estate. It’s hard for me because I’ve been very lucky to be around very intelligent real estate people (not agents, but people) and I took the advice. I bought very young, I learned how to leverage OPM, I learned how to attract the right tenant, I learned how to deal with the banks and so much more.
Before we begin, It is important to acknowledge that the following data analysis may differ from CREA(Canadian Real Estate Association) due to how they pull info from our data system known as Matrix. The following info is for February 2018 Cambridge area sales only.
The title to be awarded to February 2018 sales should be, “Waiting to Exhale”. This is due impart to the declining listings to sales ratio just ahead of the traditional peak spring market.
There were 215 listings processed this February (Freeholds and Condos). Of that number, only 124 were sold. This represents just over half of the listings or more precisely, 57%.If you remember, last month’s ratio saw 2 out of 3 listings sold. Compare this February sale to that of 2017 and we are down 32.97%. The number of listings processed in February 2017 was very similar at 212 with 185 sold.
However, in a shorter time span, there were 11 more sales in February than January 2018. This is an increase of 9.7% (113 in Jan and 124 in Feb). The average price for both segments ( freehold and condo combine) has shown a moderate 1.2% upswing from one month to the next ($451,259 Jan & $456,460 Feb 18).
We have dissected the different types of homes ( freehold from condos) and found that both sales numbers declined at the almost even percentage for the month from a year ago (approximately 34%). The champion of the two segments is Condominium! The average condo value has increased by 12.4% from a year ago and 7.6% from last month. That average price is now $345,740. Freehold is down from a year ago by 1.3% to an average price of $477,752 but up 2.1% from January this year.
It is not hard to establish the reason behind the surge in condo sales. It is the most affordable segment and the average price is still 100k below the average home price (freehold & condos) in the city/region.
Pull apart the semi’s and freehold towns from the equation and you will find Single detached home value remains consistent at approximately $515,777, a meagre 0.3% down from the same month a year ago. However, that average price rose 5.8% from it's January 2018 average of $487,274.
Although this is early in the year, this moderate 1.2% overall month increase if hold steady could result in 12.24% at year-end. A more tolerable increase from last year and an excellent indication of appreciation compared to the average yearly 4-5% we saw over the past 15 years prior to 2017.
Cambridge Association of Realtors.
After a robust market in 2017, it is safe to say the Cambridge housing market remains strong. The number of listing for January 2018 was (167) almost the same as January 2017 (163). Of those listings, the sales were 112 (2018) and 108 (2017). Take the spring anomaly of 2017 out of the market and you still have an identical start to both years. The average sale price ( single-family including freehold & towns) came in at $450,368, up 5.1% from the same month a year ago. When we separate the two types of homes, the numbers appear totally different. Single-family freehold homes sales only rose 2.9% ( average $453,732 to $467,297) from the year previous while average condo price jumps to 19.2 % ( $269,559 to $321,446) from 2017.
The number of sales has fallen from December 2017 down 12.6%. As we can see, there were 55 unsold listing for each year in the same month of January. The old adage still lives today. People buy listings that are priced right, shows well and fits the norm for the average home buyer.
With mortgage rule changes in full swing, time is the unknown factor lurking behind the scene. It usually takes a few months for everyone in the related industry (mortgage and real estate) to get a full view of the effects of implementation.
The Spring market has always been the peak for sales in real estate. The most common question the consumer asks is, “When is the best time to sell or buy?”. We should always make decisions on knowledge! The facts we know are the ones at present. We know the prices of homes now and we can calculate mortgage payments today. Let’s take speculation out of the picture. As the saying goes, “one in hand is better than two in the bush”. Like all things though, people do what they think is best based on their wants and needs. Share those wants and needs with your Realtor so they can advise you accordingly. This is our business and we know it!
Sheldon Barclay, President
Cambridge Association of Realtors!
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James Johnson has been trying to sell his Colorado ghost town – a café, motel, gas station and two homes (just $350,000!) – for months without success. And it's not just because it's in the middle of nowhere that the property isn't selling. While offloading your sofa or lawnmower on your own doesn't take a lot of sales skill, working with a professional real estate agent is one of the best ways to make the most money in the shortest time when selling your home – or ghost town. Here are the top reasons why.
1. An agent may increase your profit
Many people think they'll make more money if they avoid paying an agent a commission and instead handle their own home sale, but the statistics show otherwise. According to the National Association of Realtors, selling with an agent brings in a higher profit, enough to cover the commission and then some. For one thing, a Realtor has the experience and tools to price your home appropriately. Studies show that homes priced correctly when they first hit the market sell faster, and for a better price, than those that linger with a decreasing price tag.
2. An agent can save you time
While it may take just moments to upload a Craigslist ad, handling prospective buyers, inspectors and appraisers can suck up your time. From screening out unqualified buyers to helping you prepare your home for inspections, agents drive the process more efficiently.
3. An agent often makes a better deal
You might be proud of your poker face, but are you really a savvy enough negotiator to put one of the biggest deals of your life on the line? As most buyers use a buyers' agent, you'll probably be going toe-to-toe with a professional negotiator. When you list your house through an agent, you not only get their marketing power and connections, you get a pro negotiator advocating for you during the initial offer, the counter offer and the post-offer period, which includes inspections and requests for concessions.
4. An agent can lower your risk
The potential for making mistakes (with potential legal ramifications) among the reams of paperwork involved in a home sale is huge. Agents know how to do things exactly right.
If you are thinking about selling, I can provide a complete market analysis and help you price your home so that it sells fast and that you get the most out of your investment.
Patrick Kozierowski Your Wicked Awesome Agent
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THIS PAST YEAR SAW THE SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED HOME AND CONDO MARKETS DIVERGE ON DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT PATHS IN CANADA’S TWO HIGHEST-PRICED REAL ESTATE MARKETS, GREATER VANCOUVER AND THE GREATER TORONTO AREA, AS REVEALED IN THE 2018 HOUSING MARKET OUTLOOK.
The trend is expected to continue into 2018 as a mix of relative affordability for condo units and price appreciation for detached homes in recent years, combined with government policy changes in both markets, has helped push an influx of buyers toward condo ownership.
In Greater Vancouver, demand for condos continues to outpace supply, resulting in the average price of a condo rising an estimated 16 per cent year-over-year, from $553,604 in 2016 to $643,778 in 2017. The GTA’s condo market also saw price appreciation of 22 per cent in 2017, as the average sale price for a condo rose to an estimated $523,437, up from $429,241 in 2016. As condo prices rose, sales for single-family detached homes declined 25 per cent in Greater Vancouver and 22 per cent in the GTA year-over-year between January and the end of October 2017.
The RE/MAX 2018 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of 2.5 per cent as the desire for home ownership remains strong, particularly among Canadian millennials.
According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX, the appetite for home ownership remains strong with roughly half of Canadians (48 per cent) considering the purchase of a home in the next five years. Of those who are considering purchasing a home, the top three reasons for doing so are to upgrade on their current home, to purchase a starter home as a means of entering the housing market and to upsize from their current home to accommodate a change in family make-up. The survey also found that access to outdoor spaces was a key factor for many Canadians when considering purchasing a home, with 87 per cent agreeing that access to green space was important to them and 82 per cent agreeing that having a backyard was important.
In order to find a balance between the home features they’re looking for and affordability, many buyers are continuing to look at real estate markets outside of the country’s largest urban centres. These move-over buyers leaving the GTA and Greater Vancouver have contributed to increased demand and considerable year-over-year average price increases in Kelowna (nine per cent), London-St. Thomas (18 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (15 per cent), Barrie (19 per cent), Durham region (19 per cent), Niagara (23 per cent), Kingston (eight per cent), and Ottawa (10 per cent).
Much of the activity in regional markets across Ontario was fuelled by price appreciation in Toronto during the first four months of the year prior to the introduction of the provincial government’s Fair Housing Plan. The 16-point plan introduced a 15 per cent non-resident speculation tax, which slowed demand from overseas buyers in the upper-end of the market. The policy changes as a whole curtailed activity significantly for single-family detached homes throughout the GTA in the short-term.
The new OSFI mortgage qualification rules that come into effect on January 1, 2018 also impacted housing market activity toward the end of this year and are expected to slow activity in real estate markets across Canada in the first part of 2018. This fall, a number of regions including Fraser Valley, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Mississauga and Oakville experienced increased demand from buyers looking to purchase homes before the new stress test regulations take effect.
It is expected that the new mortgage stress test will slow activity across Canada during first few months of 2018 and at the end of November, the Bank of Canada predicted that the new regulations could disqualify up to 10 per cent of prospective home buyers who have down payments of 20 per cent or more. The regions expected to feel the greatest impact of decreased buyer purchasing power are Victoria, Greater Vancouver, Kelowna, North Bay, London-St.Thomas, Barrie, Hamilton-Burlington, the GTA, Durham region, Kingston, Ottawa, Halifax and St. John’s.
As oil prices continue to stabilize, both Calgary and Edmonton have experienced modest average residential sale price increases in 2017. In Calgary, the average residential sale price rose by approximately two per cent, to $487,931 up from $478,100 in 2016. Buyers and sellers remain relatively tentative, but the city’s ongoing evolution into a major tech and distribution hub, as seen with Amazon’s recent announcement that Calgary will house one of the company’s key distribution centres, is expected to increase confidence in the real estate market moving forward. In Edmonton, sales rose by an estimated five per cent year-over-year, from $357,916 to $375,788 in 2017, with a variety of new infrastructure projects, including construction on the Valley Line expansion of the LRT system, expected to contribute to increased activity in the coming years.
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There were 102 single family residential units sold through the Cambridge MLS® housing market in December 2017 - this represents a 7.4% increase in levels reported in the same month a year earlier. Of the 102 residential units sold, there were 81 single family freehold detached residential units which represents a 9.5% increase in levels reported a year earlier, says Sheldon Barclay, President of the Cambridge Association of REALTORS® Inc.
“December marked an average end to a volatile year in which the highs more than offset the lows,” said Sheldon Barclay, President of the
Cambridge Association of REALTORS®. “2017 was the best year for sales in the region since 2003. Activity also looks like it may have been building again heading into 2018, but part of that could be the result of a pull-forward of demand in advance of new mortgage rules. We’ll have to get a few months into 2018 to say for sure.”
The average MLS® single family freehold residential unit price was $468,612 in December which represents an increase of 11.5% over the same month a year earlier. The average MLS® single family detached residential unit price was $491,995 which represents an increase of 9.2% from a year ago.
The dollar volume of all single family freehold sales in December 2017 was $47,329,774 which represents an increase of 18.5% from a year earlier. The Cambridge Association of REALTORS® promotes its Members professionalism and dedication to building a strong community through homeownership and quality investments.
Disclaimer: Effective March 1, 2017 the statistics for the Cambridge Association of REALTORS® represents only single-family freehold & single-family freehold detached properties sold in the City of Cambridge and the Township of North Dumfries and does not include condominium sales.