Barrie Real Estate News from Sheila & Stephanie November 2017   

Having your home broken into is a traumatic experience that you definitely want to avoid so this month's article shares some tips on how to increase your home's security.

There are also some great feng shui ideas to help you create a harmonious home environment as well as a few tips on how to build a more close-knit community.

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!

Sheila & Stephanie

In this issue...
Barrie Real Estate Market Update 
Barrie area home sales continue to improve in October.

Residential property sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. numbered 378 units in October 2017, falling 21.4% from an unprecedented month of October in 2016.

October 2017 sales stood in between the five and 10-year averages for the month – a marked improvement from the low reached in August.

On a year-to-date basis, home sales totaled 4,390 units over the first 10 months of the year, down 18.3% from the same period in 2016.

Within the City of Barrie, sales activity declined 23.3% on a year-over-year basis.  The City of Barrie saw 204 residential sales in October.  A year-over-year decrease of 25% was recorded in surrounding areas, where sales activity totalled 159 units.

“While home sales in the region are still well off last year’s record levels, they have been recovering over the last two months, quite sharply in fact,” said Rob Alexander, President of the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS®.  “With 378 sales in October, activity has returned to average levels for the month, in keeping with the five-year average of 410 and the 10-year average of 369.”

The year-to-date average price for all homes sold via the association’s MLS® System was $528,484, up 21.6% from 2016.  The year-to-date average price figure for homes sold within the City of Barrie was $503,511.  This was an increase of 23% compared to the average selling price in 2016.

The year-to-date average price figure for the surrounding areas in 2017 was $548,676, an increase of 20% from the average selling price in 2016.  The dollar value of all home sales in October 2017 was $183.7 million, falling 16.9% from year-ago levels.

New residential listings rose 13.6% from October 2016 to 734 units in October 2017. This was the highest October level on record.  Active residential listings on the association’s MLS® System numbered 1,235 units at the end of October 2017, rising 55.3% from very low year-ago levels but still below average.

There were 3.3 months of inventory at the end of October 2017, up from 1.7 months a year earlier but still well below the long-run average for this time of year.  The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

Sales of all property types in the Barrie region numbered 395 units in October, down 24% compared to October 2016.  The total value of all properties sold in October 2017 was $193.5 million, down 18.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Smart Home Security Made Simple 
A fully secure home will provide you with peace of mind.

Whether you’re at home sleeping or away on vacation, it’s important to know that your home is secure.  A secure home is also much more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell.

Smart lighting, remote locks and wireless cameras can all make your home safer; however, the issue of cyber criminals hacking into smart home systems is a valid concern so homeowners shouldn’t forget about the basics.

Eliminate potential hiding spots by trimming down bushes that are around your windows and doors.  Most thieves are opportunists who see an open door or window and decide to take a chance and see what they can make off with.

Next, install strike plates on your doors to help protect the deadbolt from crowbars or kick attacks.  Thieves want to get into your home as quickly as possible so if one forceful kick doesn't work, they’ll likely turn and run.

Windows are also popular break in points so install heavy sash or keyed locks.  Installing an eyebolt in window corners also prevents the window from being opened from the outside.  Glass block windows are an excellent choice as they look attractive, can't be opened and are extremely difficult to break.

Give the impression your home is lived in while you're away on vacation by installing a dusk-to-dawn porch light.  Although technology allows you to control blinds and lights right from your smartphone, you'll still need to find someone to rake your leaves as there isn’t an app for that yet!

When it comes to home security, paying attention to the little things can often make a huge difference so take time to "case the joint" and list all the security failures that burglars would appreciate.  Potential buyers will prefer a secure home as it's one less thing for them to worry about so you may as well do it sooner than later so that you can enjoy the benefits as well.

The Feng Shui Way 
Creating good feng shui around your home is easier than you think!

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that helps achieve a harmonious living environment in order to promote happiness and prosperity.  Here are a few ideas to enhance the energy flow around your home:

  1. Think Outside the Nest - Birds bring great energy so add a few feeders and a bird bath in your backyard.

  2. The Right Path - Place a few plants and wind chimes on your porch and make sure the path to your front door is unobstructed.

  3. Fire & Ice - Essential oils, crystals, candles and water features such as fountains and fish bowls will bring calm and balance into your home.

  4. Mirror, Mirror - The strategic placement of mirrors helps improve feng shui by drawing more sunlight into otherwise murky rooms and by expanding narrow areas such as hallways.

  5. De-clutter - Clearing your home of clutter will introduce a smoother flow of energy.  Clutter is a sign of trapped energy so be ruthless and get rid of everything you don’t need.

Feng shui emphasizes that our physical surroundings have an impact on our emotional well-being so it’s important to be aware of how we arrange our space.  Buyers often feel certain vibes when they enter a home so a "harmonious feel" could be the difference between a quick sale and one that drags on.

Building a Better Community 
Getting to know the people living around you offers plenty of benefits!

Research shows that there are many physical and mental health benefits to enjoying a sense of belonging.  Here are a few ideas to help you build community spirit:

  1. Rags to Riches - Organize a garage sale or clothing swap in your ‘hood.  It’s also a great way to get rid of clutter!

  2. Clean Green - Coordinate a park clean-up and then enjoy drinks and snacks that will hopefully be donated by a local business.

  3. Book Smart - Build a “Little Library” at your local park or on your front lawn and enjoy watching people gather to exchange books.

Getting to know people who live close by will really improve your quality of life and foster a sense of belonging.  Social media can also help build a safe, connected, friendly place to live by providing a platform to share events and ideas.

PS Are you sick 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.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.