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Keep Your House Comfortable

July 27, 2012

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This is a guest post by Caroline Doherty of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty & COMDA.

 

The heating and cooling systems in your house play vital roles when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. It’s important, therefore, to ensure that the equipment that keeps the temperature just right is maintained properly. Nothing is quite so frustrating, and potentially expensive, as having a major appliance on which you rely on a daily basis, like your refrigerator, furnace or air conditioner, break down when you need it most.

There are a few things that you can do on a regular basis to help ensure their longevity and effectiveness. Pull your refrigerator out from the wall and vacuum off the condenser coils, as they rely on air flowing around them to work efficiently.

Your furnace should be serviced by a qualified service company annually. Proper maintenance can save you money by making sure that the unit is operating at peak efficiency and can also translate into extended life for this major appliance. On your furnace, it’s easy to replace (or clean, on some models) your filter in order to keep it in good working order.

On your air conditioner, make sure that you either replace or clean, if possible, the filter and inspect the drain pan under the cooling coil to confirm that it is draining properly and that it is clean. Seasonal check-ups will help to maintain the ideal home temperature all year long. To keep your air conditioner in top form, keep the grill and register clean and it will keep working for you when you need it most.

Look after your home and it will look after you.

Guest Authors

BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca occasionally features guest posts from a variety of real estate professionals around Simcoe County. This is one of those posts (check out the top of the article to find out who contributed this article!).

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Lazy Days of Summer… Creating a Balanced Barrie Housing Market

July 13, 2012

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This is a guest post by Caroline Doherty of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty.  Information provided courtesy of CMHC.

 

Summer is now in full force. With the increase in temperatures be sure to hydrate regularly and stay cool. Remember not to leave children and/or pets in your vehicle unattended.

You may think that with this heat no one would be interested in buying/selling real estate but you’d be wrong. Local real estate has been going through many changes so far this year. Due to the strengthening US recovery our local employment has been greatly impacted. Stronger employment and income growth will provide support for our housing demand by 2013.

The increase in buyers coming from Toronto explains the decrease in choice and supply in the Barrie resale market. A widening gap between prices in Barrie and Toronto gave buyers in the GTA an incentive to consider the Barrie market.

Stronger new listings growth in the back half of 2011 will push total new listings higher in 2012 from the final tally in 2011.

Given the strong sales and easing listings in the first quarter of 2012, the sales-to–new listing ratio indicated the market had tightened to the point that conditions were favoring sellers. By the second quarter conditions were easing and, on average, the market will be in balance in 2012. In 2013, conditions will ease slightly, but the market will remain balanced.

The average price of an existing home in Barrie will come in higher in 2012 compared to 2011 due to increased demand and compositional effects in the early part of the year. In 2013, cooling demand and more supply will lead to slower price growth than in 2012.

Low mortgage rates make single family dwellings more attractive. On average, single starts will be up nearly eight percent in 2012 but then fall back somewhat in 2013.

Land constraints and demand for more affordable housing options will support growth in starts of higher-density housing types. Apartment starts were unusually high in 2011 and will fall back from that level. However, in both 2012 and 2013 they will be well above the average of the previous ten years.

The average price has been trending up at a rate of over three percent since 2010. This pace will slow over the course of 2012 and into 2013. Most of the increase will be due to rising costs, particularly the price of land.

I hope that you have found this informative… stay tuned for more!

Guest Authors

BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca occasionally features guest posts from a variety of real estate professionals around Simcoe County. This is one of those posts (check out the top of the article to find out who contributed this article!).

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Simple Ways to Live a “Greener Life”

June 15, 2012

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This is a guest post by Caroline Doherty of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty.

 

The economy has shifted and people are more interested than ever in living “GREEN”. There are so many more things we can do in our day to day lives than consuming less energy and conserving water.

Many environmentally and budget friendly ideas hail from the post war days. Grandma always reused tinfoil, wax paper, and bread bags. She greased cake pans and baking trays with the butter wrapper she kept in the fridge. She turned stale bread into stuffing, bread pudding and French toast. She minced any leftover meat and made shepherd’s pie. Nothing went to waste, so if you think like grandma would have done, you might be inspired to reuse, recycle and repurpose.

Be sure and remember you can do these types of things outside as well as in. Think about starting your own compost bin in that corner of the yard you never use. Start using a rain barrel to capture and reuse water, your garden will thank you for it.

I’ll leave you with this… why use chemicals and pesticides that are harmful to humans, pets and the environment if you could use an alternative, non-toxic option. Here are five great tricks to ward off home and garden pests:

  • Diatomaceous Earth is one of the safest pesticides for ridding homes and gardens of unwanted insects. This fine, soft powder looks harmless, but under a microscope is actually made up of tiny glass-like shards. As pests such as ants and cockroaches crawl over the earth, they are injured and eventually dry out and die. Diatomaceous earth is available at most garden centers.
  • Beer is a natural way to prevent slugs from chewing garden plants. Pour beer into a shallow plastic container and leave it in your garden overnight. Slugs will be attracted to the beer, fall in and drown.
  • Dish soap mixed with water and sprayed on plants will help control aphids. Leave the mixture on plants for approximately 30 minutes before washing off.
  • Boiling water, when poured between the cracks of pavement stones, will help to destroy weeds and ants.
  • Mint is an effective natural pest deterrent. Plant it in your garden to ward off mice, ants, fleas, flies and moths. Gardeners recommend planting mint in pots and then placing into bedding soil – mint can take over your garden if allowed to grow freely.

Think, live… go Green!
Thank you to my sources: Melanie Wren – Our Homes Magazine & Century 21 Canada

Guest Authors

BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca occasionally features guest posts from a variety of real estate professionals around Simcoe County. This is one of those posts (check out the top of the article to find out who contributed this article!).

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Protecting Your Investment

June 1, 2012

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This is a guest post by Caroline Doherty of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty.

 

Barrie Real Estate is at a prime. We are in what you would call a “Sellers Market.”  This means, any of you out there thinking of selling… Carpe diem! (Latin for “seize the day”)

Warm weather always creates a buzz for buyers and this year is no exception. Curb appeal can go a long way, but it’s all about the things you don’t see when protecting your investment.

For most of us our home will be the largest investment we make in a lifetime. Why not take care of it the best you can in order to get the most return when it comes time to sell. Regular maintenance is the easiest and best way to look after your home; keeping you and your loves ones happy, healthy & safe.

While most maintenance is seasonal, there are some things you should do on a regular basis (Courtesy of CMHC):

  • Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris.
  • Check and clean range hood filters on a monthly basis.
  • Test ground fault circuit interrupter(s) on electrical outlets monthly by pushing the test button, which should then cause the reset button to pop up.
  • If there are young children in the house, make sure electrical outlets are equipped with safety plugs.
  • Regularly check the house for safety hazards, such as a loose handrail, lifting or buckling flooring, inoperative smoke detectors, and so on.

Click here for a great list of Seasonal Maintenance Tips.  Remember, if you are not that way inclined you could always hire a professional to do it for you.

Guest Authors

BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca occasionally features guest posts from a variety of real estate professionals around Simcoe County. This is one of those posts (check out the top of the article to find out who contributed this article!).

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April Showers Love on Barrie’s Real Estate Market

May 11, 2012

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April in Barrie and the area has been another blockbuster month for the real estate market. We’ve broken the record in Barrie for 2012 with a stellar 271 sold residential properties. The average selling price is up once again at $301,390 which is a 6.25% increase from this time last year. The average days on the market are at 32 with a list-to-sale price ratio of 97.9% (which means sellers are getting almost 98% of asking price) indicating that the sellers market continues.

This doesn’t mean that buyers shouldn’t be out looking! In Barrie alone, 421 new homes came on the market (802 new listings on the entire Barrie board). There is definitely something out there for everyone. The bonus being a buyer right now is that the mortgage rates have remained stable…for the time being. You probably read Tim’s “Mortgage Monday Rate Update” this week that talks about great 5-year, and even 10-year rates!

Another aspect to keep in mind is that every neighbourhood has its own market conditions. If you have a question about a specific neighbourhood, or how your own house might fare on the market, talk to your favourite REALTOR to get the best advice.

Stay tuned for more real estate statistics every month!

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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