K-W Real Estate News from Suzanne Denomme March 2019   

 
The world of real estate is full of ups and downs so trying to figure out when to buy or sell can be a real challenge. This month's article offers some useful strategies for those who are looking to make a move in today’s ever-changing market.

There are also some great ideas for upcycling old household items into something new and unique as well as a few of the latest tech trends from the recent Las Vegas Electronics Show!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general. It'd be great to hear from you!

Suzanne

In this issue...
Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 
Frigid February for Kitchener-Waterloo home sales.

There were 343 residential sales in February through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), a decrease of 8.3 percent compared to February 2018.

“The series of winter storms in February not only kept buyers indoors and off the roads, but also away from open houses and viewings,” says Brian Santos, KWAR President. “This was the lowest amount of sales we’ve seen in February in a long time, but it really isn’t surprising given the wild weather we experienced last month.”

Total residential sales in February included 178 detached (down 14.8 percent), and 105 condominium units (down 11 percent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 23 semi-detached homes (down 8 percent), 36 freehold townhouses (up 112 percent).

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in February increased 3 percent to $490,668 compared to February 2018. Detached homes sold for an average price of $597,965 an increase of 3.9 percent compared to February of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $319,536 for an increase of 20.5 percent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $395,331 (up 2.6 per cent) and $448,123 (up 14.4 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month increased 6.9 percent to $465,000 and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 2 percent to $533,500. “Despite the chill we saw in the number of sales last month, the price gains reflect that demand continues to outpace supply,” says Santos.

REALTORS® listed 562 residential properties in K-W and area last month, a small increase of 1.1 percent compared to February of 2018. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of February totalled 785, which is 9 percent more than February of last year, but still well below the previous ten-year average of 1,296 listings for February.

The average days it took to sell a home in February was 25 days, which is 4 days longer than the amount of time it took in February 2018. Santos says, “the market remains very much as it has been for the past several months, but the delayed winter weather finally caught up with it.” Santos says, “while the market is coming in like a lamb in March, I’m expecting it will go out like a lion.”

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival 
The Maple Syrup Festival offers something fun for the entire family!

Elmira has hosted this annual event since 1965 which attracts nearly 70,000 people who come to sample delicious, locally made maple syrup along with thousands of pancakes.

In fact, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival has now grown into the world’s largest one-day maple syrup festival and last year, it raised over $45,000 to help support various local charities and non-profit organizations.

There are loads of activities to enjoy including a pancake flipping competition, sugar bush tours, various live performances, the famous outdoor vendor mall and of course, an endless assortment of maple related goodies!

The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival is a fun-filled day that runs from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 6th. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for good weather!

Is it a Good Buy or Good Bye? 
Will the housing market cool down, level out or gain steam?

No one can say for sure what’s around the corner when it comes to the real estate market but there are steps you can take ahead of time to prepare yourself. If you're currently considering home ownership, here are a few points to consider:

  1. Planning Makes Perfect - It's important to plan ahead so research local amenities and consider features like parks and schools if you’re planning to start a family.

  2. Know the Numbers - Ensure you're financially ready to buy a home. There are many other costs aside from mortgage payments so know what you're getting yourself into.

  3. Stick to Your Budget - Examine your individual needs so that you don’t overextend yourself financially. Make a list of the features that fit your family's lifestyle before looking at homes.



  4. Go Pro - Have a real estate agent help guide you through the entire process. Start with a market evaluation of homes that have recently sold in your area along with an analysis of community trends.

  5. Think Straight - It’s normal for home buyers to experience a full range of emotions during the complex real estate rollercoaster ride. House hunting should be fun though, so don’t take things personally or let your emotions rule every decision.

  6. Inspect the Unexpected - Just because you've checked over the house thoroughly doesn't mean all’s well behind the scenes. Making an offer conditional on a home inspection will help you avoid any nasty, expensive surprises.

An uncertain real estate market can make it difficult to know whether you should hold off purchasing a home in case prices fall, or jump right in before prices skyrocket. One thing’s for sure though. The time to buy is when your budget matches your needs, so always consider your personal circumstances before making a decision. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever have any questions!

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle 
The junk in your attic may be a treasure trove of opportunities!

Upcycling is a popular trend where existing items that would normally make their way to the curb are instead transformed into something useful and stylish. Here are a few creative ideas to help inspire you:

  1. Tub Chair - Cut an old claw foot tub in half and add a few seating pads for a very unique set of chairs.

  2. Bike Sink - Transform an old bicycle into a bike sink and use the basket for towels, plants or toiletries.



  3. Stylish Shelf - Turn an old ladder into a cool spot to hang towels or fix it to the ceiling and hang photos or lanterns from the rungs.

  4. Picture Perfect - Love an old painting but don’t have anywhere to hang it? Just add some handles to create a unique serving tray!

  5. Door Designs - Salvaged doors can be upcycled into tables, headboards or a storage bench. You can even create a folding screen divider by fixing a few of them together.

The opportunities for creative upcycling are endless, so give your old items a new lease on life while adding your own twist to them. Not only will you save money but you’ll also help the environment while injecting some fresh new creativity into your space!

Home Is Where the Smart Is 
Check out the latest and greatest in household smart gadgetry!

Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas introduces new and exciting technology. Here are a few of the latest innovations in smart home gadgetry:

  1. Smart Plank - This smart home hub looks like a smooth and simple piece of wood but it has an integrated touch sensor that will help control your home.



  2. TV Be Gone - Now you can literally not watch TV as the latest models will magically disappear and turn into an attractive piece of furniture when not in use.

  3. Sleep Easy - There’s a new headband for those not getting enough shut-eye. Sensors detect when you enter a deep sleep cycle and then play sounds to help you remain there.

These are just a few of the latest technologies to hit the market. As homes get smarter and more connected, homeowners will continue to benefit by enjoying unprecedented levels of convenience and comfort.



PS ARE YOU TIRED OF SCOURING THE PAPER and MLS SITES LOOKING FOR HOMES?  Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.