Muskoka & Haliburton Real Estate News from David Thorpe March 2019   
  Real Estate News

David Thorpe
Sales Representative

Lakes of Muskoka Realty
100 West Mall Road
Bracebridge, Ontario
705-644-9819 or 1-800-606-2636

The world of real estate is full of ups and downs so trying to figure out when to buy or sell can be a real challenge. This month's article offers some useful strategies for those who are looking to make a move in today’s ever-changing market.

There are also some great ideas for upcycling old household items into something new and unique as well as a few of the latest tech trends from the recent Las Vegas Electronics Show!

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!


In this issue...
Bank of Canada Rate Update 
The Bank of Canada keeps interest rates on hold.

In line with financial market expectations, the Bank of Canada announced on Wednesday, March 6, that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 1.75%.

The Bank’s announcement indicated it is in no hurry to raise interest rates against the backdrop of a further slowdown in Canadian economic growth.

Indeed, the Bank said it “expects CPI inflation to be slightly below the 2% target through most of 2019.” It also signaled its “increased uncertainty” about the timing of future rate hikes. The bottom line is that the Bank will be keeping interest rates on hold until it sees improved household spending, oil prices and U.S. trade policies.

On the morning when the Bank made its interest rate announcement, financial markets put the odds of seeing higher interest rates by 2020 at just under 20%. After the announcement, those odds were pared to less than 15%. Indeed, financial markets put the odds of interest rates remaining on hold for the rest of 2019 at just under 80%. The odds of a cut in the interest rate by the end of 2019 also rose from less than 2.5% before the announcement, to almost 9% immediately after the announcement.

On March 6, the benchmark five-year lending rate was still 5.34% — where it has been since May. This is 0.2% higher than one year ago and 0.7% above what it was during most of mid-2015 through mid-2017. All mortgage applicants must qualify for financing based on an interest rate no less than the benchmark five-year lending rate, even if the mortgage is for less than five years.

Canada’s major chartered banks are currently advertising five-year fixed mortgage interest rates ranging from 3.64% to 5.34%. Home buyers can often negotiate a rate below lenders’ advertised rates depending on their creditworthiness and the degree to which they do other banking business with the mortgage lender.
The Bank of Canada’s next interest rate announcement will be on April 24 and will be accompanied by its updated outlook for the economy and inflation.

Is it a Good Buy or Good Bye? 
Will the housing market cool down, level out or gain steam?

No one can say for sure what’s around the corner when it comes to the real estate market but there are steps you can take ahead of time to prepare yourself. If you're currently considering home ownership, here are a few points to consider:

  1. Planning Makes Perfect - It's important to plan ahead so research local amenities and consider features like parks and schools if you’re planning to start a family.

  2. Know the Numbers - Ensure you're financially ready to buy a home. There are many other costs aside from mortgage payments so know what you're getting yourself into.

  3. Stick to Your Budget - Examine your individual needs so that you don’t overextend yourself financially. Make a list of the features that fit your family's lifestyle before looking at homes.

  4. Go Pro - Have a real estate agent help guide you through the entire process. Start with a market evaluation of homes that have recently sold in your area along with an analysis of community trends.

  5. Think Straight - It’s normal for home buyers to experience a full range of emotions during the complex real estate rollercoaster ride. House hunting should be fun though, so don’t take things personally or let your emotions rule every decision.

  6. Inspect the Unexpected - Just because you've checked over the house thoroughly doesn't mean all’s well behind the scenes. Making an offer conditional on a home inspection will help you avoid any nasty, expensive surprises.

An uncertain real estate market can make it difficult to know whether you should hold off purchasing a home in case prices fall, or jump right in before prices skyrocket. One thing’s for sure though. The time to buy is when your budget matches your needs, so always consider your personal circumstances before making a decision. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever have any questions!

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle 
The junk in your attic may be a treasure trove of opportunities!

Upcycling is a popular trend where existing items that would normally make their way to the curb are instead transformed into something useful and stylish. Here are a few creative ideas to help inspire you:

  1. Tub Chair - Cut an old claw foot tub in half and add a few seating pads for a very unique set of chairs.

  2. Bike Sink - Transform an old bicycle into a bike sink and use the basket for towels, plants or toiletries.

  3. Stylish Shelf - Turn an old ladder into a cool spot to hang towels or fix it to the ceiling and hang photos or lanterns from the rungs.

  4. Picture Perfect - Love an old painting but don’t have anywhere to hang it? Just add some handles to create a unique serving tray!

  5. Door Designs - Salvaged doors can be upcycled into tables, headboards or a storage bench. You can even create a folding screen divider by fixing a few of them together.

The opportunities for creative upcycling are endless, so give your old items a new lease on life while adding your own twist to them. Not only will you save money but you’ll also help the environment while injecting some fresh new creativity into your space!

Home Is Where the Smart Is 
Check out the latest and greatest in household smart gadgetry!

Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas introduces new and exciting technology. Here are a few of the latest innovations in smart home gadgetry:

  1. Smart Plank - This smart home hub looks like a smooth and simple piece of wood but it has an integrated touch sensor that will help control your home.

  2. TV Be Gone - Now you can literally not watch TV as the latest models will magically disappear and turn into an attractive piece of furniture when not in use.

  3. Sleep Easy - There’s a new headband for those not getting enough shut-eye. Sensors detect when you enter a deep sleep cycle and then play sounds to help you remain there.

These are just a few of the latest technologies to hit the market. As homes get smarter and more connected, homeowners will continue to benefit by enjoying unprecedented levels of convenience and comfort.

PS Are you sick of scouring the web looking for cottages? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear that it's already been 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 or cottage matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing out.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.