Hamilton-Burlington Real Estate News from Laura Doucette 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!

All the best,
Laura

In this issue...
The Hamilton/Burlington Real Estate Market Update 
Is the real estate market starting to bounce back?

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,317 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in October, 6.5 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 10.9 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

All property listings were 12.2 per cent higher than the same month last year, 14.3 per cent higher than the 10-year average, and set a new record for the month of October.

“We are continuing to see more listings come onto the market after the severe shortage we saw earlier this year,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill.

“Sales have also rebounded a bit after the lower sales we saw over the last three months, resulting in a sales-to-new-listing ratio at 69 per cent in the residential market.  After a few months in a more balanced market, we have just had a month where we moved to the lower end of a seller’s market again.  We don’t know if this one month is indicative of a shift in the market or just a one-month result.”

Seasonally adjusted sales of residential properties were 18.7 per cent lower than the same month last year, with the average sale price up four per cent for the month.  Seasonally adjusted numbers of new listings were 17.1 per cent higher than October of 2016.

Overall residential sales of 1,272 units were 4.9 per cent lower than the same month last year.  Residential freehold sales were 12 per cent lower than October of 2016 while sales in the condominium market were 23.6 per cent higher than the same month last year.

The median price of freehold properties increased by 9.5 per cent over the same month last year while the median price for condominium properties increased by 2.4 per cent compared to the same period.

The average price of freehold properties showed an increase of 11.4 per cent compared to October of last year; the average sale price in the condominium market increased by 3.9 per cent compared to the same period.

The average number of days on market increased to 31 days from 22 days in the freehold market and increased to 27 days from 24 days in the condominium market, compared to October of last year.

“One of the unknowns right now is how new mortgage guidelines coming into effect January 1, 2018 may influence listings and sales over the next two months,” noted O’Neill.  “Buyers and sellers who are contemplating buying or listing their home in the near future should contact a REALTOR® to find out how the new guidelines may affect them.”

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.