Hamilton-Burlington Real Estate News from Laura Doucette April 2019   

 
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.

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!

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 
Home sales down slightly compared to last year.

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,032 sales of residential properties located within the RAHB market area were processed through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in March 2019.

This is a 1.2 per cent drop from March last year; however, a 40 per cent increase over February 2019 and a 74 per cent increase over January 2019. The average price was up from March 2018 by 4.9 per cent to $575,099.

“The increase in the number of sales from January and February shows that we are full steam ahead and anticipate a healthy spring market,” says RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “We experienced a two per cent increase in the number of listings over last year, which means more overall choice for buyers.”

The number of sales for single family properties within the entire RAHB market fell by 2.7 per cent compared to the same month last year, and the average sale price increased by 5.6 per cent. Townhouse sales activity across the entire RAHB market area increased from March 2018 by 8.6 per cent, while the average townhouse sale price rose by 1.2 per cent. Apartment-style property sales were exactly the same as in March 2018, and the average price increased by 3.5 per cent to $376,391.

“Our market area includes Hamilton, Burlington, Haldimand and Niagara North, and within these areas are smaller communities that each have their own distinct characteristics,” add O’Neill. “The trend over the past several months has been that buyers are choosing more affordable properties and more affordable communities. We expect this to continue throughout the spring market.”

Specific neighbourhoods within the overall RAHB market area see results that often differ from the average of the entire RAHB market area. Because neighbourhoods vary, determining the right price and conditions when buying or selling a property can be challenging. Local RAHB REALTORS® have the experience, knowledge and tools to help buyers and sellers make those big decisions.

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:

  1. Step Away - Being a landlord isn't always easy. You’ll need to detach yourself emotionally from your old home.


  2. Tax Talk - There may be tax implications, so contact your tax advisor as rules can vary depending on individual circumstances.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. Be Prepared - The future's uncertain so always be prepared for unexpected repairs or if your tenant suddenly falls behind on their rent.


  6. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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!


  3. Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.


  4. 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!


  5. 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!

Stay Tuned 
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:

  1. Get in Gear - Make sure your gears shift smoothly.
  2. Chain Reaction - Clean your chain before applying oil.
  3. Sick and Tired - Check your tread and the tire pressure.
  4. 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!



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.