Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate News from Denise Braun October 2017   

 
Purchasing a rental property can be a wise investment decision but being a landlord isn’t for everyone.  This month's article outlines the various pros and cons of this real-life monopoly game.


There are also a few tips on how to take great photos with your smartphone as well as an amazing recipe for a ghoulish Halloween punch that your guests will never forget!

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!

Denise

In this issue...
Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Update 
Kitchener-Waterloo saw solid home sales in September.

A total of 470 residential properties changed hands in Kitchener-Waterloo and area through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in September.

This was a decrease of 12.8 percent compared to the record number of sales in September of 2016, but still ahead of the previous 5-year September average of 437 sales.  On a year-to-date basis 5,357 residential units have sold compared to 5,239 during the same period in 2016, an increase of 2.3 per cent.

“We are seeing strong demand continue into the autumn” said KWAR President James Craig.  Residential listing inventory on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of September totalled 843, which is ahead of September of last year, but represents just half the number of listings that were on the market in the previous five years (2011-2015) for September.

September’s sales included 285 detached homes (down 14.2 per cent), and 105 condominium units (down 19.2 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.).  Sales also included 38 semi-detached homes (up 22.6 per cent) and 37 freehold townhouses (up 12.1 per cent).

The average price of all residential properties sold last month increased 12 per cent to $455,079 compared to September 2016.  The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $261,337 for an increase of 6 per cent.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $359,448 (up 20.9 per cent) and $372,226 (up 19 per cent) respectively.

Detached homes sold for an average price of $513,873 in September for an increase of 10 per cent compared to a year ago.  “Our local residential real estate market continues to show solid price growth and unit sales,” says Craig who points out that year-over-year price appreciation peaked in April of this year when the average price of a detached home increased 40 percent to $594,108.  Today, on a year-to-date basis, the price of a detached home has averaged $553,029, an increase of 24.7 percent compared to 2016.

“What might seem to be a stabilizing of prices in September may have more to do with the price ranges that people were purchasing in,” says the president of the KWAR.  Craig notes that last month 32% of all residential transactions were in the $300-399,999 range; compared to just 15.6% in April.  “We also saw more transactions in the higher price ranges during the heat of the spring market.  There were 20 sales that occurred over the one million dollar mark in April, compared to only 5 in September.

The average days on market in September was 36, compared to 57 days a year ago.  On a month-to-month basis, it took ten additional days on average from list to sale date in September compared to August.

“The feverish spring conditions have given way to a saner playing field, however an increase in listings would be a welcome shift for homebuyers who would benefit from increased selection across the more affordable price ranges.”

The Frederick Art Walk 
Mark your calendar for the annual Frederick Art Walk!

What started out as a pottery sale is now a thriving craft tour featuring over 70 artists in 28 heritage homes.

The Frederick Art Walk is a 4-km walking tour through one of Kitchener’s oldest neighbourhoods, bounded by Victoria and Krug Streets, Lancaster Street and East Avenue.

This year, the Frederick Art Walk will be held on Saturday, November 11th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. which marks its 17th anniversary!  It falls on Remembrance Day this year which will give everyone the chance to donate to the Poppy Fund.

There will be a variety of original arts and crafts such as stained glass, wood crafts, candles, soaps, photography, paintings, fused glass, sketches, skincare items, stationery, jewellery and various delicious edibles.

Enjoy a relaxing fall walking tour through one of Kitchener’s oldest neighbourhoods while getting a head start on your holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind crafts from local artisans.  Hope to see you out and about!

The Lowdown on Being a Landlord 
Rental properties can be appealing but they’re not for everyone.


Purchasing a rental property that you yourself can also live in is a great way to get your foot in the door, so to speak.

It's much easier to afford a property if you have someone paying rent and the best part is you don't even have to put up with a roommate!

It's also easier to maintain your investment property if you're on site to cut the grass and perform other general repairs.

Finally, you’ll be able to write off a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc. come tax time.

There are however a few points you’ll want to take into consideration as being a landlord can sometimes be challenging and if you don’t treat it like a business, it won’t be a success.

For instance, having an emergency fund is essential as you’ll be responsible for immediate problems such as a broken furnace or leaky roof as well as overseeing ongoing maintenance.  It's also common to be in between tenants from time to time so you'll have to budget for lost rent.

Furthermore, even the most reliable tenants can be late with their rent which will turn you from investor to collector.  Dealing with disagreeable tenants can also be hard work.  If this is something you feel uncomfortable with, you may want to consider hiring a property manager.


As with any property purchase, it's important to seek professional advice from your real estate agent to ensure you buy the right property, at the right time, in the right location.  If you'd love to operate your own business and are able to plan for the unexpected, being a landlord might be a great fit for you!

Picture Perfect Smartphone Snaps 
Fancy filters aren’t the only way to make your photos pop!

Smartphones now have digital cameras that are capable of almost anything!  Here are a few simple tips on how to take fantastic photos:

  1. Avoid the Zoom - The quality of your photos will be much better if you crop instead of zoom.


  2. Clear View - Clean your lens as the grime that collects will cause your images to turn out dark and hazy.


  3. Rule of Thirds - Create natural looking photos by positioning the focal point a little to one side instead of in the middle.

  4. Add an App - Android and iPhone devices have various apps that are loaded with great features to help make your pictures pop!

  5. Play with Perspective - Take photos from unique angles such as kneeling or lying down.  If you’re taking a selfie or a portrait of another person, hold the phone a little higher.

These tips will help you take professional looking photos that you’ll be proud to show off!  Just be sure to keep an eye on your storage space as there’s nothing more frustrating than getting the “insufficient storage” message when you’re trying to take the perfect shot.

Worm Juice Anyone? 
Mix up a ghoulish drink that your Halloween guests won’t forget!

Send chills and thrills to your Halloween guests this year by brewing up a batch of scary punch!  All you need for this spooktacular blood red drink is:

  • 4 10-oz. pkgs. of frozen strawberries, defrosted
  • 2 6-oz. cans of lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 bottle of lemon lime beverage
  • 1 bottle of cranberry or grape juice
  • ping pong eyeballs & plastic spiders
  • gummy worms & candy corn

Freeze some candy corn in ice cube trays.  Next, blend the lemonade concentrate and strawberries and transfer to a punch bowl with the lemon lime beverage, cranberry juice, candy corn ice and ping pong eyeballs.  Finally, garnish the punch bowl with gummy worms and plastic spiders.



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. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.


Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.