Tag Archives: real estate agent

April Showers Love on Barrie’s Real Estate Market

May 11, 2012

0 Comments

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.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

Residential Rentals Scarce in Barrie

April 7, 2012

4 Comments

Before most of us become homeowners, we rent apartments or sometimes houses. More often than not, however, many people are renting someone’s basement. As most people in Barrie know, the vast majority of basement (or “second suite”) units are technically not legal. In fact, there are only 676 registered second suites in the city. We all know the actual numbers are way higher.

Right now, CMHC is predicting an even lower than originally expected vacancy rate  at 1.5%, and it continues to drop as the number of bedrooms increases, like a 0% vacancy rate for 3 bedroom units. In comparison to other Ontario cities, Barrie has the lowest vacancy rate for 2- and 3- or more bedrooms.

Over the past several years, it is clear that there is a lot of construction happening in Barrie, but it’s mostly homes and condos. In fact, only 2 apartment buildings were constructed in 2011 (from CMHC report). Many residents seem to be against building rentals for some reason, but that only means people have to rely on those unregistered suites.

The unfortunate reality is that Barrie’s vacancy rate has been well below Ontario’s average for 20 years with the exception of 2008-2010. The good news is that our rental rates have remained within a few dollars of the Ontario average, but are generally $100-$150 above the national average. In 2011, the average cost for a rental in Barrie (registered, mind you!) was $1000.

We need to start attracting builders in Barrie to construct apartment buildings for rent. Especially considering our student population (recall my article on Student Housing in Barrie) is already having difficulty finding appropriate accommodation. And if/when the university is built in Barrie, think about all those students, professors and staff who will need a place to live. We also need to encourage the city to increase registered second suites. It will increase the tax revenue, and make those units a safer place to live for those tenants.

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.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

5 Tips to Beautify Your Garden

March 30, 2012

1 Comment

Due to some technical difficulties last week, this post never made it to its final stages. My apologies, and hopefully it was worth the wait!

We all know how important curb appeal is when selling a house. Sure, you can hire landscapers, or get your mom to come over! If you’re not a green thumb (probably because you never tried) like me, here are some great tips I got from our friends and neighbours at Bradford Greenhouses. Your garden doesn’t have to be complicated. Just enjoy it!

We have been incredibly lucky with record-breaking warm weather this month (except this past week…brrr). You may be getting the gardening bug, so keep reading to help you start your journey!

  1. Plant native plants. If you’re new at the gardening game, using plants that are native to our geographical area will help ensure a successful garden. Native plants are anything that you might find naturally, say if you went for a walk in the forest. Luckily, Bradford Greenhouses are local experts and they can guide you toward plants like honeysuckle which grows wonderfully here.
  2. Plant bulbs. Bulbs are very attractive to me…drop them in a hole in the ground, water, and wait. Not a lot of room for me to mess up! My favourite flowers are lilies, and they’re so easy to grow. Every bulb has different planting instructions, but maintenance is easy; keep the soil moist and add some fertilizer.
  3. Plant perennials. Some of us can never remember the difference between perennials and annuals. But the important thing to remember is that, because perennials come back year after year, the long-term maintenance is manageable. Plus they often bloom from April to October, so you get the biggest bang for your buck!
  4. Plan your design. It may seem unnecessary, however taking an hour or so to properly plan where everything will go will make all the difference in the world. The shape, the soil type, the sun or shade factor – these all play a part in the success of your garden. Plus, you want all the colours and plant height and size to make sense. And if you need help with this, the lovely people at Bradford Greenhouses can help you with a consultation.
  5. Maintain your lawn. With all this garden talk, you don’t want to ignore your grass. Especially if you’re considering selling your house (even next year!) this is an important factor to curb appeal. A potential buyer who sees a dead or weedy lawn will think a lot of work has to be done. Keep it watered and fertilized, and you will notice the difference.

Following these tips is a great way to start your Spring garden. Keep in mind our local weather and various soil types, and when you visit your local garden centre you should be in good shape.

Our friends at Bradford Greenhouses gave me some fun extras to share with you. Enjoy!

  • To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.
  • Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you’ll already have a measuring device in your hand.
  • To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.
  • The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you’ll be amazed at how the plants respond to the “vegetable soup.”
  • Always misplacing garden seeds, gloves, and your hand fork?¬† Try placing an old mailbox in your garden. With a new coat of paint, you have the perfect spot to place all those little things!

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.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

Barrie sales HOT in February

March 16, 2012

1 Comment

If you are thinking about selling your home in Barrie or the surrounding area later this Spring or in the Summer, don’t wait! Now is the time to sell. Buyers are seriously looking, and inventory is very low. As we get into May and June, inventory will be up again and it will turn into a buyers’ – or at least a more balanced – market. Take advantage of your sellers’ market in March and probably April.

We saw 223 home sales in February compared to only 179 at that time last year. Buyers are eager!

You’re also getting the most money right now for your homes. In February, the average sales prices for a home in Barrie was $290,231 getting 97.9% of their asking prices, whereas in February 2011 it was only $264,553.

For example, I put a house on the market a couple of weeks ago and it sold the day after the sign went up…and the sellers got exactly what they wanted.

I know statistics can be boring. Hopefully I’m getting my point across here! Numbers talk! You may think “I’m not ready yet, I still need a month to unclutter” or “I wanted to paint the kitchen” or “there’s just so much work to do before I can put my house on the market!”. Your Realtor can help you make some decisions. We have the expertise to give you proper advice; you may be surprised at how little you actually have to do in your home. Often just a good deep clean will make all the difference.

Either way, if you’re thinking about selling this year, call your favourite Realtor to ask their opinion. As I said, the numbers don’t lie. Make the smart decision, and act now!

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.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...

Marijuana Grow Houses

February 10, 2012

0 Comments

When you’re buying a house, there’s always the possibility that you’ll find an old grow house on your search. Unfortunately, the signs can be very hard to spot. Before a grow house goes on the market, it should be extensively renovated to correct the problems, but sometimes the only corrections are cosmetic.

Here are some common signs that the house you’re interested in may have been a grow op:

  1. A tampered electrical panel and exterior meter
  2. Fireplace alterations
  3. An unusual amount of venting on the roof
  4. Mould spots in corners of rooms
  5. Fresh paint and/or condensation around windows

Like usual, always make sure to get a home inspection before you finalize the deal on any house you’re buying. Although an inspector cannot guarantee that a house was never a grow op, most trusted home inspectors have enough experience to notice the signs. You can also contact your local police department to find out if they have ever dismantled grow ops at a specific address.

Here are some of the dangers that result from a grow house:

  1. Fire and electrocution
  2. Booby traps
  3. Toxic mould and chemical fumes
  4. Potential violence if the house is well-known by drug dealers
  5. Environmental damage

Check out this YouTube video from CBC’s “Marketplace” on a grow op bust in Brampton.

Another benefit to using a REALTOR is that we are obligated to disclose the fact that a house is a grow op if we’re aware of it; buying privately gives you no guarantee on anything!

Good luck, and always ask lots of questions!!!

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.

More Posts - Website

Continue reading...