When existing homeowners decide it’s time to make a move, they sometimes consider turning their old home into a rental property. This month's article offers some helpful advice if you’re facing this difficult dilemma.
Your local market update is enclosed for your perusal. If you have any questions on your property or a property you are interested in don't hesitate to get in touch.
There’s also a look at some of the latest gardening trends that are sprouting up as well as a few tips on how to get your bike tuned up for the beautiful spring weather that’s finally here!
One of my family's favorite recipies is included. As spring arrives this recipie will be a "keeper".
Thank you 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!
Current Market Update
After a fairly strong February, the city of Saskatoon’s March housing market had spring in its step as both new listings and sales rose over last year, by five and 11 per cent respectively.
The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 702 listings were posted to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 668 last March, but significantly down from 850 in 2017.
Sales jumped 11 per cent to 258, up from 233 last year but down from 308 in March 2017. At the same time, the average selling price dropped four per cent to $316,445, down from just over $328,000 a year earlier, partly due to a higher proportion of entry-level home sales below $400,000. There was also a significant decrease in the number of sales recorded between $400,000 and $450,000. Even so, the dollar volume of homes sold increased seven per cent to just over $81.6 million, up from $76.5 million a year earlier.
“We’re coming into the spring market, and the degradation of prices over the last three year has made it a little more attractive out there. People do get a little bit more optimistic in the spring,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR.
“Some of that optimism may have sprung from the federal government’s recent policy announcement regarding changes to home buyers’ plan, which provides a five per cent interest-free loan on existing homes, and 10 per cent on new homes, to first-time buyers. Our industry has been lobbying for changes such as this for a long time.”
The Saskatoon Region, which includes smaller communities in the Census Metropolitan Area, saw a five per cent increase in listings, to 1,084 (up from 1,034 in 2017) and a four per cent increase in monthly sales, to 359 (up from 345). Listings generally begin to trend upward as March, and spring, approach.
Excluding Saskatoon, regional listings were flat with last March and sales fell nine per cent to 77, down from 85. The selling price dropped 12 per cent to $275,000. In 2019 so far, Saskatoon and region listings, taken together, are down two per cent to 2,675, 1,736 of those in the city proper. Sales are up two per cent to 929, up from 909 in 2018, and dollar volume has fallen one per cent to $213 million, down from $215.5 million. Active listings sat at 3,184 at the end of March, down one per cent, with 1,611 of those in Saskatoon, down four per cent.
While the 2019 market has been kinder to home sellers than in the last three years, it remains important to price properties appropriately to present conditions, said Yochim. The sales to listings ratio was 37 per cent in March, which still signifies a buyers’ market.
“Home sellers, not to mention buyers, can benefit from the knowledge a REALTOR® brings to a housing transaction. REALTORS® know how to help a seller arrive at a realistic price, and they are also professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics. They can guide sellers, and buyers, through the process, and help them make the best decisions.”
The spring market has had a slower start in Prince Albert and region, where listings rose four per cent to 128 (from 123 last March) and sales fell 10 per cent to 38, down from 42. Dollar volume was down 29 per cent to $6.7 million, from $9.5 million in the same month of 2018. However, the statistics tend to appear more dramatic to the smaller size of the market.
It was a similar story in The Battlefords region, where listings rose five per cent to 120 units, up from 114 a year ago, and sales fell three per cent to 32. However, that was a drop of just one unit from last year’s 33 sales. Dollar volume fell 37 per cent to $4.5 million from just over $7 million. The region did, however, see an increase in the average price of four per cent to $188,000. Dollar volume was down 22 per cent to $4.5 million.
“The market is considerably more challenged in smaller cities. Saskatoon hasn’t been affected as much on sales activity because of our diversified economy.”
* Above statistics & commentary from Jason Yochim, CEO, SRAR
Selling vs. Renting -- What Makes Cents?
Not ready to sell your home? You could always rent it out instead!
Opportunities usually come out of the blue. For instance, there might be a temporary work contract that forces you to relocate.
Or perhaps a strong buyer’s market means it’s a great time to buy, but you don’t want to be forced to sell your current home at a loss.
Renting your home might be an option but there are lots of things to consider. For starters, you'll want to conduct an in-depth financial analysis. Here are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about renting out your home:
- Step Away - Being a landlord isn't always easy. You’ll need to detach yourself emotionally from your old home.
- Tax Talk - There may be tax implications, so contact your tax advisor as rules can vary depending on individual circumstances.
- Money Matters - Make sure to have a bit of extra money on hand in case the rent doesn’t cover your mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc.
- Playing the Market - You may be able to increase your equity as the market gains strength, but if it tanks, you could end up on the losing end.
- Be Prepared - The future's uncertain so always be prepared for unexpected repairs or if your tenant suddenly falls behind on their rent.
- Raucous Renters - Tenants aren’t likely to treat your home with the same level of care as you once did so when it comes time to sell, your home may need some work.
As with any decision, it’s important to weight the pros and cons. If done right, renting can be one of the best financial decisions you ever make but you'll need to treat it like a business, so evaluate the rental market and research landlord/tenant laws before moving forward.
If, on the other hand, you decide to put your home on the market, make sure you have a professional real estate agent to help advise you on how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding this decision, or any other real estate related matters.
The Secret Garden Inspiration
Create a garden space that'll bring you health and relaxation!
It’s that fresh new time of year when many of us step outside, roll up our sleeves and bring our gardens back to life! Here are a few ideas to help inspire you this spring:
- Grow Local - Flowers, shrubs and grasses that are native to your area are easy to maintain and also provide a natural habitat for birds, pollinators and insects.
- Sky High - Vertical gardening is popular, especially for those with small spaces. All you need is a wall, fence or trellis to grow edibles, annuals and perennials. The sky’s the limit!
- Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.
- Flower Power - Edible flowers such as red clover, bee balm, daylilies and borage are also surging in popularity as they look beautiful and taste even better!
- Child’s Play - It’s important to limit screen time and get kids back into nature so parents are encouraging their children to develop an appreciation for gardening.
The new generation of gardeners are interested in supporting the environment and growing their own food, which is slowly starting to change the way we live and eat. Gardening is also the perfect excuse to switch off your device and get in touch with mother nature!
It’s time to haul your bike out of storage and give it a tune-up!
Riding a bike is a great way to get around as it’s environmentally friendly and a great form of exercise.
There’s no need for gas, insurance premiums, parking fees, etc. and best of all, it makes you feel like a kid again!
Whether you use your bike to get to work or you’re looking forward to hitting the trails, you’ll want to make sure your bike’s safe and reliable. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Get in Gear - Make sure your gears shift smoothly.
- Chain Reaction - Clean your chain before applying oil.
- Sick and Tired - Check your tread and the tire pressure.
- Pump the Brakes - Inspect your brakes for excessive wear and adjust your cables.
If you don’t feel comfortable tuning up your bike, take it to a local bike shop. It’s well worth it as regular maintenance will extend the life of your bike and it’ll also make riding much more enjoyable. Once you get your bike in tip-top shape, make sure you have a strong lock, a good helmet and a bright light!
Parmesan Spring Chicken
- 1 egg white
- 5 tbsp finely grated parmesan
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 400g new potatoes, cut into small cubes
- 140g frozen peas
- good handful baby spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
Heat grill to medium and line the grill pan with foil. Beat the egg white on a plate with a little salt and pepper. Tip the parmesan onto another plate. Dip the chicken first in egg white, then in the cheese. Grill the coated chicken for 10-12 mins, turning once until browned and crisp.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10 mins, adding the peas for the final 3 mins, then drain. Toss the vegetables with the spinach leaves, vinegar, oil and seasoning to taste. Divide between four warm plates, then serve with the chicken.