Tag Archives: barrie real estate blog

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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Mortgage Fraud Warning

May 4, 2012

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Courtesy of RECO’s “For the RECOrd” magazine

 

RECO investigators are all too familiar with mortgage fraud and the turmoil it causes for the victims who are left fighting to get their homes back. Unfortunately, in most cases, RECO only becomes aware of the mortgage fraud after the fact when a homeowner realizes they have been victimized. But on one recent afternoon, a tip from a brokerage helped RECO stop a fraudster in his tracks and save a senior from heartache.

“It had many signs of a mortgage fraud including someone misrepresenting themselves as a registrant in order to create the illusion of a legitimate transaction,” says RECO’s Deputy Registrar, Bruce Matthews. “But in this instance, we realized that we had an opportunity to act quickly and prevent a fraud from happening.”

It all started when a legal assistant at the Toronto law firm representing the supposed seller noticed irregularities in the real estate transaction. She inquired with Sutton Group All Po Realty, the brokerage that supposedly represented the seller. But Gail Fulton and Doug Lytle, staff members of the brokerage, were shocked to find that they had no record of such a deal. The pair quickly recognized the seriousness of the matter and immediately contacted RECO.

Within a few hours, the urgency of the investigation became clear as RECO’s Manager of Inspections & Investigations, Brian Prendergast, determined that the transaction was fraudulent and put a face to the fraud’s victim: an elderly minister who had no idea that a fraudster was trying to sell his house without his knowledge.

“Naturally he was shocked and alarmed,” says Prendergast. “We realized that this kind man could have his life turned upside down if he was forced to go through the exhaustive process of rectifying the title to the home he had lived in for over 30 years. Knowing what was at stake left us even more determined to do everything we could.”

Fortunately, it was not too late. Prendergast worked with representatives from Service Ontario’s Policy and Regulatory Services Branch to determine that the Land Transfer Office had indeed received and processed an application to transfer the title of the house and to register a $600,000 mortgage against the property. But, crucially, they had not yet certified the transfer. Once RECO informed them of the fraud they halted the transfer process immediately.

With RECO’s help, the homeowner returned the title to his name. He can now rest easy knowing his home is safe.

“I was surprised and shocked, but even in that first call Brian said everything would be okay,” says the homeowner, who has asked to keep his identity private. “Just an hour and a half later he phoned again to say everything was straightened out.”

While RECO’s quick work played a key role in preventing the fraud, numerous individuals from the brokerage, law firm and Service Ontario also deserve kudos for the roles they played.

“We owe a great deal of thanks to these individuals,” says Matthews. “They paid attention to their instincts and reacted quickly, allowing us to protect this gentleman from fraud.”

This potential fraud has a happy ending, exemplifying one of the ways RECO fulfills its mission to uphold the integrity of real estate transactions.

While RECO’s efforts prevented the fraudsters from making off with over half a million dollars, they remain at large. York Regional Police continue to investigate.

Tips to Avoid Mortgage Fraud:

Avoid being an unwitting participant in mortgage fraud. Be suspicious of situations where you are:

  • Asked to inflate (overstate) your income on a mortgage application, indicate you plan to live in a property being purchased as a rental property or provide other false statements.
  • Asked to sign documents that contain blanks or asked not to complete certain sections of a form or document.
  • Offered a fee for the use of your name and credit information.
  • Discouraged from visiting the property, having the property appraised or inspecting the property you are purchasing.

IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!

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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5 Tips to Sell Your Home

April 27, 2012

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It’s a big decision to sell your house. Here are some easy tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible!

  1. Interview a few different agents before making a decision. Despite what you may think, we’re not all the same! We offer different services for different commission rates. Make sure you’re comfortable with the person you hire and know exactly what you’re getting for what you pay.
  2. Know your rights and obligations. There are so many contracts you have to sign from the listing agreement to the offer you accept. Have your REALTOR explain everything in detail before you sign anything, or have your lawyer go over it with you.
  3. Price it right. Base the price of your home on current market information instead of what you think it’s worth. Even if you put $20,000 into a renovation doesn’t necessarily mean you will get it back when you sell.
  4. Take your agent’s advice. If he or she suggests your home needs some TLC or de-cluttering, do it! It’s not an insult, we’re only trying to help. The better your home looks, the more money you’ll get in the end.
  5. Take the first offer seriously. It’s true what they say; it’s often the best one that comes across the table. Also consider that after your home has been on the market for 45 days (or whatever it has been) the market conditions may have changed from when you originally picked the price. Make sure your agent brings current comparables when you look at the offers.

These are just a few things you can do during the process of selling your home. Ask advice from your agent and other real estate professionals; they know what they’re doing!

Good luck!

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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New Barrie Seniors’ Development

March 9, 2012

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Some exciting news hit Barrie this week! A new seniors’ development is scheduled to be built at Lakeshore Dr and Bradford St. It is common knowledge, and a popular topic of conversation, that our population is getting older. It is becoming increasingly difficult for seniors to find appropriate housing for their “golden years” when owning a large home is too much work and living in a nursing home is not yet on the table.

The new “Harmony Village” by Fortress Real Capital could possibly have over 600 units with a 25,000 – 30,000 square foot community centre. There will be the option of living in a condo-type unit or in assisted living. This type of downtown living with various amenities will bring great value to property in the neighbourhood, much like the condos that currently line the waterfront.

This isn’t the first time a seniors’ development has been considered for Barrie. Back in December 2011, I attended a Barrie City Council meeting where a multi-use building complex for seniors was proposed for the Little Lake community, including a medical centre.

It’s clear that people are thinking about our future population. Certainly there are always concerns with respect to environment, construction, traffic, and noise whenever a new development is proposed to be constructed.

The reality is there are few options for Barrie seniors right now. The vast majority of condos in Barrie are multi-level unless you can afford to live in a waterfront high-rise. Considering the aging population often are on fixed income, it is a growing concern for the future.

Let’s start giving our seniors more housing options. Don’t forget; it will be you someday.

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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Barrie 5th Fastest Growing CMA in Ontario

March 2, 2012

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Courtesy of Invest Barrie Newsletter

Statistics Canada: Barrie 5th Fastest Growing CMA in Ontario

On Wednesday February 8th, Statistics Canada released their latest numbers for population and dwelling counts from the 2011 census.  Canada as a whole has a higher growth rate than any other G8 country with a current population of 33.5 million.  Ontario did not experience the same population growth as other parts of the country and wasn’t able to attract as many new residents.  Ontario posted its lowest rate of population growth at 5.7% since 1986.  One factor driving this movement, cited in the Stats Can report, is the 2008 global recession.  Although one can’t attribute everything to the economy, large demographic shifts often have economic factors involved and Ontario’s economic sectors took a hard hit in the economic down turn.

Barrie has the 5th fastest growing CMA in Ontario with a growth rate of 5.6%.  Back in 1996-2001 Barrie led population growth with 25.1% and in 2001-2006 Barrie experienced a 19.2% increase.  Although Barrie is not growing anywhere near as quickly as it did in the past, “this is good”, states Mayor Lehman.  “Barrie grew so quickly in the late 90s and early part of the last decade that we could not keep up with the demand for growth-our shortage of family doctors, our traffic issues in the south end, our backlog of road repairs are symptoms of growth that was just too fast.”  Despite the drop in the growth rate, more than 10000 people have still moved into the area.  A more sustainable growth rate allows the city to keep up with the services being provided while still contributing to a growing labour base for manufacturers and more customers for Barrie businesses.

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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