K-W Real Estate News from Kenny & Lori Chen December 2018   
  Real Estate News

Kenny & Lori Chen
Broker & Sales Represtative

901 Victoria St. N.
Kitchener, Ontario
519-500-3588 or 1-888-615-9231
Fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese & Cantonese

A new year brings new ideas on how we can be happier and healthier but it’s also a great time to set goals for our home. This month's article offers some advice to help you get your home in order.

There are also a few ideas that will help you reduce your carbon footprint this holiday season as well as a delicious recipe for candied pecans that will have everyone coming back for more!

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!

Kenny & Lori

In this issue...
Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 
November home sales were second best on record!

Last month a total of 483 residential properties sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR).

Home sales were up 14.2 per cent in November compared to the same month last year, and up 19 per cent compared to the previous 10-year November average of 406 sales, making it the second-best November on record.

November’s sales included 265 detached (up 9.5 per cent compared to November 2017), and 152 condominium units (up 52 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 27 semi-detached homes (down 46 per cent) and 31 freehold townhouses (up 14.8 per cent).

“For the second straight month we are reporting stronger than average sales,” said KWAR President Brian Santos. “The prospect of further interest rate increases that were indicated last month could be responsible for the current surge in home sales.”

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in November increased 7.6 per cent to $477,526 compared to the same month a year ago. Detached homes sold for an average price of $580,551 an increase of 12.8 per cent compared to November of last year. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $305,334 an increase of 10 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $361,177 (down 2 per cent) and $416,878 (up 10.7 per cent) respectively.

The median price of all residential properties sold last month was up 6.3 per cent compared to November of last year at $443,800 and the median price of a detached home during the same period increased 9.5 per cent to $520,000. “Waterloo region continues to be a very desirable place for purchasing a home,” says Santos.

“Affordability is a concern in Waterloo Region as we continue to see prices increase, especially for detached homes. While we believe this is more a reflection of our region being “discovered” by buyers from the GTA, it is resulting in more entry-level clients pursuing condominiums and townhomes. Combined with an ongoing tight supply of listings buyers are facing continued upward pressure on sale prices in the region.”

REALTORS® listed 597 residential properties in K-W and area in last month, a 1.1 per cent decrease compared to November of last year, but 18.2 per cent above the historical ten-year average of 505. However, the number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of November totalled 888, which is 12.8 per cent lower than November of last year and 449 units fewer than the previous ten-year average of 1,337 listings for November.

$849,900 This fully finished, 4+1 bedroom, executive home offers more than 3000 Sq Ft of total living space! Enjoy entertaining your family and friends in this spacious main floor, which includes: 9-foot ceilings, a large front foyer, spacious kitchen with an abundance of maple cabinetry, plenty of room for dining, and garden doors from Dinette to a spacious deck to enjoy outside entertaining. Later enjoy cozying up in the living room next to the fireplace, watching your favourite movie on the mounted 55 inch TV! Relax and unwind in one of the 4 spacious bedrooms. Enjoy a relaxing bath in the ensuite soaker tub. The basement of this home was professionally finished in 2013, with a large Rec Room, bedroom and 3-pc bath. This home is just steps away from plenty of scenic trails, parks, desirable schools, shopping plazas, bus route #13, YMCA and library. Updates: crown moldings on the main floor, new carpet in 2nd floor, pot lights added throughout the main floor, whole house (including ceilings) repainted, the basement was professionally finished, new washer & dryer, and installed Culligan Reverse Osmosis drinking water system in 2013. New Stainless steel Stove, Fridge and microwave 2014. New Bosch dishwasher, New high-efficiency furnace, and New roof installed in 2015. Culligan Water softener in 2018. Showing AAA and move-in ready. This house won't last long! Call us to book your private showing today. MLS®#:30697984.

$299,900 Welcome to Queens Place, unit# 201- 150 Queen St. S, Kitchener. This is a great corner unit featuring 1174 Sq Ft with a large master bedroom with 4 pcs ensuite and 2 good size bedrooms. Needs some TLC but great value for under $300K in today's market for 3 bedrooms. Great view of city core with large windows surrounding the unit. Short walking distance to downtown Kitchener, LRT, Shopping, Bus Station, Tech Hub, Victoria Park. Condo fees include Heat, Water, Central Air, Building Insurance, Parking, and Maintenance. Perfect for the 1st-time homeowner, investor, and the mortgage helper. Hurry to book your viewing before it is sold. MLS®#:30685949

For sale, $149,900. Welcome to #705- 64 Benton St. Kitchener 
$149,900 Welcome to #705- 64 Benton St. Condo in the "Heart of the City". Perfect for the Investors or First-time buyers! Why pay rent when you can own your own condo. Well Maintained building. Large beautiful living room with an amazing view, four-piece bathroom, kitchen and large bedroom. Water, heat and hydro are all included in the condo fees. Only a minute walk from new LRT station. Right in the downtown core near countless restaurants like The Tannery and bars like Abe Erb, entertainment areas such as Centre in the Square, The Museum, and close to major shopping attractions like the Kitchener Farmer's Market. Close to tech employers like Google and Desire2Learn. Perfect to buy for first time buyers, as an investment and/or rental income property. Condo Fee $613.00 Included: Building Insurance, Common Elements, Exterior Maintenance, Heat, Hydro, Water. Call us to book your private showing today! MLS®#:30701748.

New Year's Eve Celebrations in K-W 
Make it a New Year's Eve to remember with a family-friendly celebration!

The cities of Kitchener and Waterloo will both be hosting family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties on Monday, December 31st to officially ring in 2019!

Waterloo Public Square will be the venue for the City of Waterloo’s festivities. The fun kicks off at 6 p.m. where you can skate around the rink to the sounds of a live DJ! Agnes from Mindful Makers will be putting on an interactive wearable activity and there’s even a fire and ice photo booth where you can capture your memories forever before the early live countdown at 9 p.m!

The City of Kitchener, on the other hand, will be holding a Ghostbusters themed New Year’s Eve celebration at City Hall with cool decorations, photo opportunities and lots of fun activities! Have your picture taken with a replica Ghostbusters vehicle, enjoy ice skating on Carl Zehr Square and be entertained by a live musical performance by Clean SL8 from 10 p.m. to midnight.

If you’re able to make the festivities, please consider bringing along a donation for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region as they need all the help they can get this time of year. Whatever you decide to do this New Year’s Eve, here’s wishing you a very happy and healthy 2019!

New Year's Resolutions for Your Home 
Think outside the box this year by setting resolutions for your home!

January opens up new possibilities for our health and wellbeing but have you ever thought about making resolutions for your home? Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Just Do It! - Tackle a major item on your to-do list such as cleaning out the basement or painting the bathroom.

  2. Cut Back - Seal and insulate your ductwork then set goals to reduce bills such as turning off lights and reducing water consumption.

  3. Plant It - There are many ways to improve the quality of your indoor air but start off by adding plants to naturally filter the air you breathe.

  4. Basket Case - Purchase baskets to organize everyday items such as remotes and controllers so they don’t just get tossed around the room.

  5. Keep it Clean - Take just 10 minutes each day to walk through and put everything back in its home. Get the entire family involved!

  6. Safety First - Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are in good working order and that you have a family escape plan in place.

  7. The Purge - Go through your home one room at a time each month and purge any items you no longer have interest in and instead, fill your home with things that make you feel good.

In addition to the above tips, you can also introduce a new resolution for your home each month to help break up the year. For example, in January you can declutter, in February you can brush painting off your list and so on. Home is where the heart is, so it makes sense that a harmonious home will lend itself to a happier overall life.

Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season 
A few small changes will have you dreaming of a green Christmas!

The holiday season is a magical time of year but it can also be a time of great waste. It’s easy though to enjoy Christmas cheer and still cut your carbon footprint. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Decorate Naturally - Bring the scent of nature into your home with evergreens, fir cones and cranberries.

  2. Think Outside the Box - All those gift bags, ribbons and bows account for an incredible amount of waste so try and reuse old wrapping paper.

  3. Light Up Mindfully - Everyone loves the twinkle of holiday lights but for the sake of the environment, use LED lights and remember to turn them off before going to bed.

  4. One, Two, Tree - Real trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen all while sustaining the local economy. Artificial trees, on the other hand, can't be recycled and may contain toxins.

The holiday season is a great opportunity to start eco-friendly family traditions that will hopefully be passed down for many generations to come. Better still, these methods are as easy on your wallet as they are on the environment!

Wildly Addictive Candied Pecan Recipe 
Not only are they delicious, but your home will smell amazing too!

Candied pecans are delicious! They’re so good that they’ll likely disappear before they make it to the salad, cake, gift jar or dessert they were intended for. Here’s how you make them:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water (or substitute vanilla extract)
  • 1 pound of pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250°F and mix the sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Whisk the egg white and water together in another bowl until frothy. Next, toss the pecans in the egg white mixture then coat the pecans with the sugar mixture. Finally, spread the coated pecans onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for an hour, making sure to stir every 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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.