Real Estate News from Thom Gallagher February 2017   

It's always good to be aware of the latest home and garden trends, especially if you're looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers.  This month's article highlights a few of the latest trends.

There are also some tips on how to clear up your digital clutter as well as a few ideas on how to naturally clean your home using lemons.

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 Interest Rate Update 
Bank of Canada keeps rates on hold amid growing uncertainty.

The Bank of Canada announced on January 18th, 2017 that it was keeping its trend-setting target overnight lending rate at 0.5 per cent.

The announcement was accompanied by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Report (MPR), which indicated that the Canadian economy and job market remains slack.

Both the Bank’s policy interest rate announcement and MPR keyed in on headwinds and uncertainties facing the Canadian economy.  Moreover, it expects Canadian housing activity to weaken in the face of “previously announced changes to housing finance rules and by mortgage rates that have risen in response to higher bond yields.”

Government spending was singled out as one of few strengthening sources of economic support.  However, Bank’s views on balance suggest that Canadian economic growth will remain lacklustre over the next couple of years.

In its economic forecast, the Bank stressed that its projections “needs to be viewed in the context of elevated policy uncertainty at the global level,” and stated that global uncertainty was undiminished, “particularly with respect to policies in the United States.”  Should U.S. trade policy become more restrictive under a Trump administration, the Bank may lower its economic projections.

The announcement and its forecast both strongly suggest that the Bank is in no hurry to raise its trend-setting overnight lending rate.  That said, higher bond yields in Canada and recent regulatory increases in capital requirements for lenders means Canadian homebuyers will likely be facing higher mortgage rates in 2017.

As of January 18th, 2017, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from both the previous Bank rate announcement on December 7th and one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on March 1st, 2017.  The next release of the Monetary Policy Report, which will update the Bank economic forecast, will be on April 12th, 2017.

Hot Home Trends for 2017 
The new year is a great time to update your living space!

It’s fun to follow the latest home and garden trends, especially if you're hoping to make your home more attractive to buyers.  Here are a few of the latest trends to look out for:

  1. Shedquarters - A “shedquarter” is a private, backyard spot that can be used as an office, artist workspace or party area.

  2. Docking Stations - Small, pull down desks can be added almost anywhere as wireless technology enables us to shift away from traditional home offices.

  3. Vintage Vanities - Putting your bathroom sink on just about anything is huge this year!  Old dressers, filing cabinets and even tree trunks can be converted into unique vanities.

  4. Laundry Love - Homeowners are giving their laundry rooms some serious love with innovative storage solutions, bright lighting and even stylish wallpaper!

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

  6. Smart Windows - Cutting edge window technology now allows our windows to be programmed according to the weather outside as well as the air quality inside.

Just like fashion, home trends can come and go so it’s important not to overcommit.  Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration as to what’s coming next, whether you’re thinking of selling or just simply looking to update your home.

Clean Up Your Digital Clutter 
Get a jump on spring cleaning by clearing out your digital clutter.

Paper files are often the first items we purge during a spring clean but many times we neglect our digital files.  Kick off your spring clean this year with a deep, digital cleanse:

  1. Get a Pass - Use a password manager to encrypt one master password that can be used on all websites.

  2. Address Your Apps - Uninstall apps you no longer use to clear up space and keep your phone running smoothly.

  3. Manage Mail - Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read and delete old emails or organize them into folders.

  4. Clear Cache - Regularly clear your browser history, cache and cookies in order to create more storage and speed up your browser.

  5. Back it Up - Make sure all of your important files and photos are automatically backed up to the cloud to increase storage space.

This digital cleanse applies to your computer, smartphone and all your social media accounts.  While you’re at it, you should also review your privacy settings on apps and social media platforms to make sure you’re sharing information with the right audiences.

The Power of Lemon Aid 
The lowly lemon can make quite the impact around the house!

Load up on lemons if you're searching for a powerful, environmentally friendly cleaner that can tackle virtually any household chore!  Here are just a few ways they can make your home naturally sparkle:

  • lemon juice is great at absorbing stains on countertops

  • soak carpet stains for 20 minutes then rinse and blot

  • mix lemon juice with baking soda to create a scouring paste

  • heat a bowl of water with sliced lemons in the microwave for a few minutes before wiping it down

Lemons are an excellent alternative to toxic cleansers plus they'll fill your home with a refreshing citrus scent!  A great tip for squeezing as much juice as possible from your lemons is to microwave them for 30 seconds, wait a minute, then cut and squeeze.

PS Let me help you, or someone you know, achieve your residential or investment real estate goals. You bring the vision and I help you get it done. Call me today at (416)524-6530 to discuss your plans or visit my web site to start your search. I look forward to wowing you with top notch service. 

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.