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REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive begins November 13

The 24th annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive kicks off November 13 to collect warm winter clothing for those in need across the Lower Mainland.

The REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive is the largest and longest running blanket drive in the Lower Mainland.

Between November 13 and 20, REALTOR® volunteers will collect warm clothing and blankets across the region. The donations are then distributed to partner charities from the same community where the item was donated.

The public can make donations at more than 100 participating real estate offices across the Lower Mainland. Click here for a list of drop-off locations.

The Blanket Drive seeks to collect enough clothing to help more than 30,000 people stay warm this winter.

“A recent homeless count in Metro Vancouver indicates there are more people living in shelters or on the streets than ever before,” Phil Moore, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president said.

“Our partner charities need all the support they can get this winter, so please donate what you can. Every little donation helps.”

Since beginning in 1994, the program has helped provide warmth to more than 345,000 Lower Mainland residents. To follow this year’s Blanket Drive on social media, use #RCBD2018 or go to www.facebook.com/BlanketDrive.

“Anything you can give that’s in good shape – an unused blanket, spare coat, even a pair of mittens – will directly help a person in need in your area,” John Barbisan, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president said. “Please look through your closets and reach out to a participating REALTOR® or real estate office. They can help get your donation into the hands of someone who could really use it.”

Items we need:

  • Blankets or sleeping bags, gently used or new
  • Warm clothing, coats
  • Hats, gloves, scarves
  • New socks and underwear

For more information, visit www.blanketdrive.ca.

The REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive is a partnership between the REALTORS® of the Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver, and Chilliwack and District Real Estate Boards and their communities.

 

COURTESY: https://www.rebgv.org

Get the Best Return on Your Investment in Home Improvements

The ROI on home improvements isn’t always about the money.

 

Often the best return on your home investment is the joy you get from waking up in a home you love more and more with each project you complete.

And the best part? You can sometimes get your money back when the love affair is over.

Which home improvements will pay off when you sell depends on how savvy you are when you remodel.

Here are some of the more popular home improvements, and whether you should do them for love or money (and in some cases, how to have both).

Kitchen Remodel

Do It For: Love

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $65,000

ROI: 62%

Will remodeling your kitchen increase your home value? Sure. Will you love it? Homeowners almost always do, according to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS®.

But you’ll love it even more if you can bump up that ROI.

How to add more money to your love: A little sweat equity can save you thousands if you’re willing to tackle some tasks such as demolition and painting.

Basement Conversion

Do It For: Love

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $40,000

ROI: 63%

Converting a basement to a living area is the very definition of a project done for love. It instantly makes your home more functional by giving you more living space — without increasing your home’s footprint. Just so you know, though, it can be a big-ticket remodel.

How to add more money to your love: Think about how you’ll use the space. Will you be working, throwing parties, or watching Netflix? If you can make an open floor plan work, you’ll save the cost of framing, drywalling, and painting more rooms.

Skip the cost of a drop ceiling, and give your basement the flavor of a downtown loft by painting the ceiling, ducts, and plumbing.

Speaking of plumbing, if you can run upstairs for the loo and your wet bar doesn’t actually need to be wet, skip the extra pipes and save a bundle.

New Wood Floors

 

Do It For: Money (and Love!)

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $5,500

ROI: 91%

One of the best returns on a home investment is hardwood floors. They’re beautiful, durable, and timeless — and one of the smartest things you can do, too.

Many homeowners now want (and even expect) hardwood floors. And when done in keeping with the home’s layout and neighborhood, they can add 2.5% to the sale price.

How to get even more ROI: If you already have wood floors and they’re still in good shape, why not refinish them and save a little money? It costs around $3,000 and recovers 100% of its value at resale.

In-Ground Swimming Pool

Do It For: Love

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $57,500

ROI: 43%

Even if you adore the thought of diving into the clear, blue water of your very own backyard swimming pool, when you hear about the 43% ROI (not to mention the high project cost and the years of maintenance), the idea of installing one may feel like a wet blanket. And let’s face it: There’s no DIYing an in-ground pool to trim costs.

A better bet for your ROI: If you’re more of a sit-by-the-water type, consider a waterfall or fountain. It’ll bring you water-side happiness while also upping curb appeal. Or DIY a small (removable) soaking pool and mini-deck — you’ll get all the watery goodness without the high cost and maintenance.

But! If you just can’t stop dreaming about the real deal, don’t let the low return on investment deter you. Being happy while you’re in your home is just as important, maybe more so.

Bathroom Addition

Do It For: Love

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $59,000

ROI: 50%

Adding a new bathroom seems like an ROI no-brainer. And yet, it’s not. So ask yourself why you’re fantasizing about the update. If it’s because you’re legitimately short on toilets, it’s worth considering.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, buyers tend to favor houses with an equal number of bathrooms and bedrooms. And if you’re in a four-bedroom with one bathroom, you probably do, too.

How to add some money to your love: If a new bathroom will boost your happiness (or sanity), there are ways to make the most of your remodeling budget. Adding one within the existing footprint of your home and next to existing plumbing will save thousands. And like a kitchen update, the bathroom is a place where DIY pays off. Doing your own paint or demo can save a bundle.

New Garage Door

Do It For: Money

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $2,300

ROI: 87%

While it’s not the dreamiest home investment, a new garage door is one of the quickest ways to make your home shine, especially if it’s front and center like many of today’s homes. It’s also one of the most affordable.

How to make your garage door pay off more: In addition to improving curb appeal, an insulated door on an attached garage can help lower energy bills, which will earn back money every month — and generate a little joy in your heart.

Outdoor Kitchen

Do It For: Love and Money (depending on where you live)

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $14,000

ROI: 71%

There’s something dreamy about cozying up to a table under the trees and digging into a meal you’ve cooked under the open sky.

But before you give in to the call of a backyard cucina, consider your climate and neighborhood.

While 71% ROI is good, that’s a number that includes homes from sunny Tucson to frigid Fargo. The more you can use the outdoor kitchen, the better your ROI will be.

If your neighbors prefer a simple backyard grill and plastic lawn chairs, your ROI may not be so great.

How to add even more money to your love: Stick to a built-in charcoal or gas grill and skip the cooktop to avoid running electricity. Use inexpensive string lights from the wall outlet on your home’s exterior to illuminate the space.

Also, situate the outdoor kitchen near the back door, and you can use the plumbing inside rather than paying extra for an outdoor sink.

Plant Trees

Do It For: Love and Money

Estimated Cost: $50 to $100 for a 6- to 7-foot deciduous tree

ROI: 100% or more

Planting trees today is one of the smartest ways to reap financial rewards tomorrow. A well-positioned tree shades the house in summer and shields it from harsh winds in winter, shaving money off your utility bills — as much as $250 per year.

And according to the Forest Service, mature trees contribute as much as 10% to your home value.

 

New Roof

Do It For: Money

Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $7,500

ROI: 109%

Putting on a new roof tops the home project list in rate of return. This is a relatively high-dollar item, but wow — that 109% ROI sure makes your bottom line do the happy dance.

And even better: REALTORS® say a new roof helps them make a sale 32% of the time.

FYI on your roof’s ROI: Naturally, the longer the time span between your roof replacement and your home sale, the lower that ROI becomes. But even if you aren’t thinking of selling right away, if your roof is in disrepair, a new one is the wise choice.

It improves energy efficiency (an Energy Star-certified roof can reduce peak cooling demand 10%-15%); it ups curb appeal; and it protects you from mold, critters, and the dreaded water damage.

COURTESY: www.houselogic.com

7 Ways to Make a lasting First Impression on Buyers

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and when selling your home first impressions can make or break your sale.  Good news, making the best impression on home buyers is not hard (piece of cake, really), so let’s get started on our top 7 ways to get your home ‘sale ready’:

 

  1. Curb Appeal!
  • Mow the lawn, prune bushes, dead head flowers, mulch, edge walk-ways, drive ways & garden beds, pull all the weeds you can find, and remove any toys, lawn furniture or garden implements that are visible.

 

  1. Make a Grand Entrance!
  • Clean your front door, make sure the door bell works, update door handles if necessary, make sure outdoor lighting works, sweep, power wash & add some colourful potted plants near the front door way to add warmth and colour.

 

  1. Get Behind Your Electrical!
  • Walk through your home and turn on every light switch. Do all lights work?  Replace any lightbulbs that are burnt out, and repair any electrical that is not working.

 

  1. Get the Grime Out!
  • Clean, clean, clean, clean & then clean some more. Every room needs to sparkle.  Scrub all bathrooms top to bottom, all kitchen appliances inside & out, floors, walls, windows, closets need to be organized, clean, clean, clean, clean!

 

  1. Go Clutter Free!
  • Buyers need to see themselves living in your home, so store all collections, small kitchen appliances (blenders, toasters, etc), Knick knacks, tooth brushes and bathroom acessories – essentially anything and everything that can be stored, should be stored….Neatly & in organized fashion.

 

  1. Follow Your Nose!
  • Your house should smell good. Whether it’s pets, your cooking, cigarettes, dust & mildew, or just life, your home needs to smell good….It needs to NOT smell like you and your family.  Invest in some good, neutral air freshener scents and make sure to use them prior to any showings.

 

  1. Move From Past to Present!
  • If your home has not seen an update in the last 10 years, it’s likely time to invest in some. Thoughtful updates do not need to be expensive. New hardware (handles) on kitchen & bathroom cupboards, painting existing kitchen and bathroom cupboards, painting walls, updating light fixtures, caulking seams though out your home and new window coverings are all inexpensive ways to add a touch of modern to any home.  For those with larger budgets who ae looking to make a huge impact before selling, concentrate on the kitchen, bathroom, and floors for best return.

 

At the end of the day, when you are selling your home you need to remember that all buyers want to picture themselves living in the homes they are viewing.  This means you need to remove yourself from the eye (and nose) of buyer.

Here’s Where House Prices Have Risen And Fallen Across Canada

Canadian housing markets show “neither strength nor deep weakness” as price growth drops to slowest in five years.

 

  • Toronto house prices are 4 per cent lower than a year ago
  • Vancouver leads in price growth, but has weakened recently
  • Canadian house prices ‘more likely to stagnate than fall outright’

These are uncertain times in Canada’s housing markets.

The house-price boom is over in Toronto, but no one’s really sure where the market is headed next. In Vancouver, solid price growth over the past year has been replaced by a deep sales slump this summer.

The overall market is showing “neither strength nor deep weakness,” says National Bank economist Marc Pinsonneault.

 

The Teranet-National Bank index of house prices rose for the fourth month in a row in July, up 0.8 per cent from the month before. But “these rises were all below the historical average for these months,” Pinsonneault wrote in a client note Tuesday.

Over the past year, the index has grown 1.8 per cent nationally, the slowest price growth since 2013, noted Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics.

“There were disappointing results for Canada’s largest cities,” he wrote.

 

And while Toronto showed some modest growth — up 0.8 per cent in a month — the city’s house price index is 4 per cent lower than it was a year ago. Adjusted for seasonal differences, Toronto house prices have been flat in recent months, Pinsonneault said.

“This means that the recent rises in these indices reflected only seasonal pressures, not an underlying trend,” he concluded.

Similarly in Vancouver, the index rose by a mild 0.4 per cent in July, but if adjusted for seasonal differences, prices have fallen for the past two months, Pinsonneault said. The Vancouver index is 10.6 per cent higher than a year ago, thanks to strength in the market late last year.

The Teranet-National Bank price index attempts to create an “apples to apples” comparison of house prices by tracking “sales pairs” over time — that is, comparing the sold price of homes to their previous sold prices.

 

The Canadian Real Estate Association will be releasing its home sales data for July this week, and it’s likely to show a mixed bag, with sales picking up in Toronto and slowing down in Vancouver.

The nationwide ratio of home sales to new listings — a key measure of the health of the housing market — “implies that house prices are more likely to stagnate than fall outright,” Brown wrote.

“But that could change if rising interest rates cause demand to fall or prompt a rise in distressed sellers.”

Brown added that, even without house prices falling, the slowdown in the market could still prove to be a drag on the housing market, as it will result in slower construction activity.

 

courtesay: www.huffingtonpost.ca

More than 1.4 million boomers across Canada expect to buy a home in the next five years

  • 56 per cent of boomers consider their local housing market unaffordable for retirement
  • 9 per cent of boomer parents do not expect their kids to move out until after the age of 35; this number is almost three times higher in British Columbia
  • 32 per cent of boomers looking to buy in the next five years most likely to purchase a condo

TORONTO, August 8, 2018 – The Royal LePage Boomer Trends Survey, released today, found that 17 per cent of Canadian baby boomers (born between 1946-1964) are planning to purchase a new home in the next five years. This is expected to have a meaningful impact on the housing market, as the group represents 1.4 million[1] potential buyers and sellers. The research, conducted by Leger for Royal LePage, found that more than half (59 per cent) are opting to renovate their current residence rather than buying a new home.

“Don’t count them out yet – baby boomers will impact Canada’s housing market in a big way in the coming years, as another 1.4 million of this large demographic are expected to sell and buy real estate between now and 2023,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “While the wave of older consumers will increase competition for condominium property in particular, there is no single type of home that boomers will be investing in.”

“Our research does indicate that smaller cities and recreational areas will attract more investment than major cities,” continued Soper. “This large segment of the population views our big cities as generally unaffordable for retirement purposes.”

The survey found that 44 per cent of respondents across Canada who still have children living at home expect them to move out between the ages of 21 and 25, and 21 per cent expect them to leave between the ages 26 and 30. Eighteen per cent anticipate their children will move out after the age of 30, with 9 per cent expecting them to depart after the age of 35. This percentage nearly triples in British Columbia, where 24 per cent of respondents with children living at home expect their children to move out after the age of 35. According to Royal LePage’s Peak Millennial Survey[2] conducted last year, 14 per cent of Peak Millennials surveyed are living with their parents.

“Our 2017 research into the largest group of first time home buyers in Canada, which we call the Peak Millennials, showed many were roosting in the family nest well beyond the traditional age of exit,” Soper said. “With this work, we have confirmed that boomers are allowing children to reside at home well into adulthood. Yet they won’t stay forever, and when they go, the folks are going condo shopping.”

Currently across Canada, according to the survey, over three quarters (77 per cent) of boomers own a home, nearly one in five (19 per cent) rent, while a very small number (1 per cent) live with family. When zooming in on current dwellings, the largest number (61 per cent) of boomers across Canada live in a detached home, followed by condominiums (21 per cent) and semi-detached/town homes (12 per cent).  Of boomer respondents planning to purchase a home in the next five years, 45 per cent are most likely to purchase a detached home, 32 per cent are most likely to purchase a condominium, while 10 per cent noted strongest interest in a semi-detached/town home and 5 per cent said a recreational property.

Retirement Plans and Perceptions on Housing Affordability

When asked about plans nearing or during retirement, one in five (20 per cent) boomers intend on buying a new property, while 71 per cent do not plan on buying a new home. Respondent sentiments were mixed on the desire to downsize, with less than half (41 per cent) stating that they would seek a smaller dwelling in retirement, while just over half (52 per cent) have no intention of downsizing.

Considering recent home price increases in several Canadian markets, more than half (56 per cent) of boomers polled said they consider the housing market in their city or region to be unaffordable. This number jumps to 78 per cent and 63 per cent of respondents in British Columbia and Ontario, respectively. When asked about their willingness to relocate, over one-third (34 per cent) of respondents nationally stated that they are open to moving to another city or suburb where property prices are more affordable. Of respondents willing to move for improved affordability, 35 per cent would prefer to stay within one hour of their current residence, 30 per cent would be willing to venture further out (one hour or more away), while 20 per cent stated that they are open to living anywhere.

A minority of respondents plan to purchase or reside in a secondary home or live elsewhere for portions of the year. Ten per cent plan to buy a secondary property, while 15 per cent plan to sell their primary residence and move into their currently owned secondary property full-time. Nearing or during retirement, nearly one quarter of boomers nationally plan to live in another city (24 per cent) or country (23 per cent) for at least three months of the year.

Financial Status and Support for Children

Overall, a large segment of the boomer population is on strong financial footing and on a clear path to being mortgage-free, if not already. According to the survey, over three-quarters (77 per cent) of those who own a home have paid off over 50 per cent of their mortgage, and 61 per cent have paid off over 90 per cent. Meanwhile, half (50 per cent) of boomers who own a home have less than 25 per cent of their retirement savings tied to real estate.

If they were to make a property purchase, 54 per cent of respondents stated having a budget of under $450,000, while 25 per cent possess a budget of $450,000 or higher. In the current market landscape, many boomers perceive very little impact from the federal government’s new OSFI measures on their personal circumstances. Half (50 per cent) of respondents do not feel that the new OSFI measures will impact the type of property they can afford. However, one in four (25 per cent) do believe the measures might impact their options, while approximately one in five (21 per cent) said they have caused them to second guess buying a home.

Many boomers are willing to help their children with real estate purchases, with 47 per cent affirming that they would subsidize their child’s home acquisition to some degree. If asked for assistance by their child, 41 per cent would give less than 25 per cent of the home’s total value, while 5 per cent would give 25 per cent of the home purchase price, or higher.

“Baby boomers are the most affluent generation in Canadian history, yet the journey has not been without challenge and adversity. Through several difficult economic recessions, the equity in their homes has proven to be wealth bedrock. This is a generation that deeply values home ownership and very much wants their children to have the same opportunity,” concluded Soper.

Provincial Summaries and Trends

British Columbia

Affordability is an issue for boomers in British Columbia. Seventy per cent of British Columbians between the ages of 54 and 72 own their home, the lowest percentage among all regions surveyed. Also, boomers in the region are banking on real estate to fund their retirement. Of the respondents who own their home, 26 per cent said more than half of their retirement savings are tied to real estate – the highest rate of all provinces.

With so many boomers relying on their homes to fund their retirement, 43 per cent said they are planning to eventually downsize their principal residence and almost half (42 per cent) would consider purchasing a condominium for their next home. Thirty-seven per cent would be willing to move to a new area in search of affordability.

“More and more we’re seeing baby boomers in British Columbia downsizing from a detached home to a condominium,” said Michael Trites, managing broker, Royal LePage Northstar Realty. “Increasingly they are transitioning into condos to unlock some of the equity they have built up in their homes, while gaining more flexibility as their health and lifestyle preferences change.”

A vast majority (88 per cent) of boomers in B.C. believe that real estate is a good investment, and 42 per cent of respondents with children stated that they would be willing to subsidize their purchase of a home.

Home to some of the most expensive markets in the county, only 19 per cent of boomers in B.C. consider the housing market in their region affordable – the lowest rate in the county.

Alberta 

Like many Canadians, boomers in Alberta would prefer to stay in their homes and renovate instead of buying a new house. While 19 per cent of boomers in the province plan to buy a new home in the next five years, more than half (58 per cent) would prefer to improve their current home than move.

However, as their children leave home and retirement approaches, Albertans are willing to downsize. Forty-four per cent of respondents said they plan to move into a smaller home in their golden years. Almost one-third (31 per cent) said they would consider downsizing when their children leave home, which is tied with Ontario for the highest rate in the country. Fifty per cent of Albertans, with children currently living at home, expect their children to move out for good by the time they turn 25 years old. Forty-five per cent of those Albertans looking to downsize would consider a condominium for their next purchase.

“Boomers in Alberta vary between those who are quite affluent and those who are still working as a means of supporting themselves. Many of them are staying in their jobs longer than we previously expected,” said John Hripko, agent, Royal LePage Benchmark. “Boomers with a financial surplus are choosing to stay in their larger homes for longer, but they’re also increasingly deciding to help their children put a down payment on their first homes.”

Albertans overwhelmingly believe that home ownership is a good investment (94 per cent), which explains why four-fifths (80 per cent) of boomers in the province own their current residence. They are also willing to help their children get on the property ladder. Half of boomers in Alberta (50 per cent) stated that they would give money to their children to subsidize a down payment, which is tied with Saskatchewan and Manitoba as the highest rate of all regions surveyed. Of those boomers who are willing to help with a down payment, three-quarters (74 per cent) said they would give less than 25 per cent of the total value of the house.

Saskatchewan / Manitoba 

Boomers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are split when it comes to real estate purchase plans. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents in the regions combined said they plan to buy a new house in the next five years, the highest proportion of in the country. However, many are planning to stay in their current homes for as long as they can. Sixty-seven per cent of boomers in the two provinces say they would prefer to remain in their current homes and renovate instead of moving or downsizing – the highest proportion in the country. They are also the least likely (23 per cent) to move to a different city or suburb to find more affordable housing.

Boomers in the region generally own their homes (88 per cent) and tend to live in detached houses (78 per cent), both of which are the highest percentages of all regions surveyed.

“Boomers are opting to stay in the homes they raised their children in. When they decide to leave, it’s mostly due to challenging health conditions or being unable to physically maintain their homes,” said Mike Duggleby, broker and managing partner, Royal LePage Regina Realty. “They are also inclined to help their children with down payment funds, usually five per cent of the cost of a home.”

The willingness to stay at home and help their children may be a matter of financial security. According to the survey, almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of boomers in the region have paid off at least 90 per cent of their mortgage, which is the highest in Canada.  In terms of willingness to assist their children, 63 per cent of respondents said they would give their children money for a down payment, the highest of any region.

While many boomers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba want to stay in their homes in retirement, they are not staying put. They are the most likely to say they will spend three months a year in another city (36 per cent), province (22 per cent), or country (35 per cent). 

Ontario

With the rapid appreciation of home prices in the province, boomers in Ontario are the most likely to consider downsizing as they approach retirement. Almost half (49 per cent) of all respondents said they plan to move into a smaller home as they near or enter their golden years, the highest rate in among all regions surveyed. Four-fifths (80 per cent) of boomers in the province currently own their home, and 20 per cent plan to buy a new property within the next five years.

As boomers in Ontario plan their retirement, they are also the most likely to consider changing cities as they look for a home they can afford. Forty per cent of respondents stated that they are willing to move to a new city or suburb where homes are more affordable, the highest rate in the country. Thirty-two per cent of those willing to move would consider moving more than an hour away from their current city.

While most boomers in Ontario would prefer to remain in a detached home when downsizing, many are open to condominium living. Forty-six per cent of respondents said they would consider a condominium for their next home purchase.

“Boomers in Ontario are looking to reduce expenses as they approach retirement,” said Caroline Baile, broker, Royal LePage Your Community Realty. “By downsizing to a condo or moving to a more affordable city, boomers are able to tap into the equity in their homes and have more certainty about their costs. They are looking to transition into a lifestyle that gives them more freedom to pursue other activities without having to deal with time-consuming upkeep and unexpected repairs.”

Half (50 per cent) of boomers in the region said they would be willing to give money to their children to help them purchase a home. Of those that are willing to help their children with a down payment, 44 per cent of respondents would be willing to contribute up to 25 per cent of the total value of the home. 

Quebec 

Boomers in Quebec are the most likely to be content with their current living situation. Eleven per cent plan to buy a new home in the next five years, and 12 per cent plan to buy a new home in retirement – both the lowest proportions of all regions surveyed. Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) said they would prefer to renovate than buy a new home and 77 per cent have no plans to move to a new city in retirement – tied with the Atlantic provinces for the lowest proportion of all regions surveyed.

The survey found that these plans remain intact even as their lifestyles change. Twenty-seven per cent of boomers in the province plan to downsize as they approach or enter retirement and 16 per cent plan to downsize when their children move out – also the lowest percentages in the country.

“When boomers in Quebec sell their property, it’s normally for one of two reasons: to pull out the equity to enjoy life or to help their children purchase a home,” said Pierre Lafond, broker, Royal LePage Tendance. “Those looking to rent a property choose that lifestyle to avoid the potential hassle of being a property owner. If they are looking to downsize, they normally ‘trade up’ into a more high-end house or condo.”

Despite widely believing that home ownership is a good investment (89 per cent of respondents), boomers in Quebec are the least likely to own their home (72 per cent own) slightly higher than those in British Columbia (70 per cent own). Half (50 per cent) of boomers in Quebec believe the housing market in their area is affordable. 

Atlantic Canada 

For the most part, boomers in the Atlantic provinces are staying in their homes as they approach retirement. Eighty per cent of respondents do not plan to buy a new home in the next five years, which is the highest proportion of all regions surveyed. Sixty-four per cent of boomers in the region said they would rather renovate their current home than buy a new property, and 77 per cent do not plan on moving to a new city during retirement, which is the highest proportion in the country (tied with Quebec).

However, almost half (42 per cent) of boomers in the Atlantic region stated that they plan on downsizing during retirement, and they are the most open to spending their golden years in a recreational property. Twenty-three per cent of respondents plan to sell their primary residence and move in to their secondary residence upon retirement, the highest proportion of any region surveyed. If they were to buy a new home as they approach retirement, boomers in the Atlantic are the least likely to consider a condominium (29 per cent), and by far the most likely to consider a recreational property (32 per cent). 

“Many boomers in the region are downsizing into retirement style townhomes or condos, versus smaller single-family homes,” said Donna Gardiner Thompson, broker, owner and sales consultant, Royal LePage Gardiner Realty. “Boomers in this region are very conservative and price sensitive. They need to be motivated to reinvest in another property. Many are looking to simplify their expenses and realize the equity from their primary residence. There is also a trend toward high-end rentals, as that option offers increased financial predictability.”

“We are welcoming baby boomers relocating from the west, including Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, who are taking advantage of cashing out of the big city market and entering into a much more moderate investment for their primary residence,” added Gardiner. “Today’s boomers know what they want their home, and life, to look like. That includes a budget for travel and living close to activities and services within a municipality.”

Like many boomers across the country, those in the Atlantic believe home ownership is a good investment (89 per cent), and they are willing to help their children achieve that goal. Forty-seven per cent said they would subsidize a child’s home purchase. That may be based on the perceived affordability of the region; fifty-five per cent of boomers in the Atlantic say their housing market is affordable, the highest proportion of any region surveyed.

Methodology 

An online survey of 1000 Canadian Boomers, between the ages of 54-72 was completed between July 12 and July 17, 2018, using Leger’s online panel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.0%, 19 times out of 20. To gain additional insight into regional market and demographic dynamics, interviews were conducted with Royal LePage real estate professionals in featured provinces. 

 

 

Canadian optimism toward housing has frayed – report

The latest Housing and Mortgage Market in Canada report by Mortgage Professionals Canada revealed that stricter government measures are pushing consumers towards a more negative outlook for housing and real estate nationwide.

In particular, the study pointed at increasing interest rates and tighter mortgage qualification requirements as the main factors eroding Canadian consumers’ sentiments, despite many respondents still indicating a belief that real estate remains a good investment.

“We are still seeing a high level of desire in home-buying, especially among young people aged 25-34,” MPC president and CEO Paul Taylor said. “Whether they will be able to make that purchase may be an entirely different matter.”

“We support a stress test, albeit at a reduced rate of 0.75%, as it is a useful tool to test a borrower’s ability to make future payments,” Taylor added.

“However, the cumulative impact of rising rates, a 2% or greater stress test, provincial government rules in Ontario and British Columbia, and further lending restrictions are negatively supressing housing activity not just in Toronto and Vancouver, but throughout the country.”

The report warned that federal policies which would lead to a decline in housing prices will trigger a reduction in home equity, thus further wearing down consumer confidence and leading to shrinking spending, slower economic growth, and reduced jobs creation.

10 Paint Colors That Will Never, Ever, Ever Go Out of Style

Use these in your house and you’ll be set for life.

 

Not one to be influenced by what’s “in style”? Don’t care about the Color of the Year? As much as it can be fun to try new trends, who wants to repaint her whole house every few years? “It takes the average consumer more than 100 days from starting to think about a painting project, to completing it,” Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, tells CountryLiving.com. “The majority of that time is spent choosing the perfect color.”

Thankfully, there are a few tried-and-true, timeless hues to choose (and never get sick of). See which swatches Wadden recommends.

From: Country Living

1Poised Taupe
10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Poised Taupe (SW 6039)

“Choosing a neutral, such as our 2017 Color of the Year Poised Taupe (SW 6039), is a smart choice because it is so versatile and has proven to withstand popularity in homes over time,” Wadden says.

2Dover White
10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Dover White (SW 6385)

3Extra White

10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Extra White (SW 7006)

4Cascade Green
10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Cascade Green (SW 0066)

 

5Alabaster
10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Alabaster (SW 7008)

 

6Oyster Bay
10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Oyster Bay (SW 6206)

 

10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Classic French Gray (SW 0077)

 

Sick of white walls? Select a soft shade of gray — trendy and timeless, especially on exteriors.

8Tricorn Black
10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Tricorn Black (SW 6258)

 

“However, if your design aesthetic is drawn to darker hues, deep reds, navy, and black also have timeless appeal,” Wadden explains. “Colors like Tricorn Black (SW 6258), Naval (SW 6244), and Rave Red (SW 6608) are other fan favorites.”

9Naval
10 Paint Colors That Will Never Go Out Of Style

COURTESY OF SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Paint color: Naval (SW 6244)

 

A Return to Balance for BC Housing Market

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,884 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in June, a 32.5 per cent decrease from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $716,326, down 1.3 per cent from June 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $5.6 billion, a 33 per cent decline from June 2017.

Are we about to see a rise in variable rate applications?

Most Canadians have a fixed rate mortgage but is that about to change?

A new survey from CIBC shows that, although 72% of Canadians have an FRM currently, just 54% of respondents said they would opt for a fixed rate mortgage if they signed the papers on July 10th, 2018.

However, the remaining 46% of those who are homeowners or plan to buy a home are not necessarily planning to pick a variable product; just 19% said they would while 26% are undecided and may need some help from a mortgage professional.

The survey also shows that 83% of Canadians would prefer stability over risk, suggesting a shift away from fixed rate mortgages is unlikely.

“Most Canadians believe a fixed mortgage is the way to go – especially those in the early days of paying down their mortgage or juggling household expenses,” says Tracy Best, Senior Vice President, Mobile Advice, CIBC. “Conversely, for those considering a variable mortgage, they may benefit from a lower rate initially but also need to be comfortable that rates may change, potentially several times, over the course of the mortgage. If rates go up, they need to ask themselves how that might impact their lifestyle and financial health.”

Most Canadians have a fixed rate mortgage but is that about to change?

A new survey from CIBC shows that, although 72% of Canadians have an FRM currently, just 54% of respondents said they would opt for a fixed rate mortgage if they signed the papers today.

However, the remaining 46% of those who are homeowners or plan to buy a home are not necessarily planning to pick a variable product; just 19% said they would while 26% are undecided and may need some help from a mortgage professional.

The survey also shows that 83% of Canadians would prefer stability over risk, suggesting a shift away from fixed rate mortgages is unlikely.

“Most Canadians believe a fixed mortgage is the way to go – especially those in the early days of paying down their mortgage or juggling household expenses,” says Tracy Best, Senior Vice President, Mobile Advice, CIBC. “Conversely, for those considering a variable mortgage, they may benefit from a lower rate initially but also need to be comfortable that rates may change, potentially several times, over the course of the mortgage. If rates go up, they need to ask themselves how that might impact their lifestyle and financial health.”

Average mortgage balance
The CIBC research shows that the average Canadian homeowner has mortgage debt of $170,000 but that rises to $252,000 for those earning $100K or more.

Among over 55s, 22% have a mortgage with a balance outstanding of $112,600 on average. Almost half of this demographic expect to carry mortgage debt into retirement while only 22% expect to be mortgage-free within 5 years.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate

Staging Your Home: How to Make Buyers Fall in Love

With these tips and tricks, your house will be swoon-worthy in no time.

 

All the world’s a stage, said the Bard.

That includes your house. Which is for sale. And thus needs to look bee-yoo-tee-ful.

Staging entails hiring experts with a flair for interior design. They reimagine your living space and give your house a makeover (with temporary decor and furnishings) so that it gets “oohs” and “aahs” from the buying masses.

Great staging isn’t an insurance policy — there’s no guarantee it will bring in more money when you sell your home — but it’s an important marketing tool. It presents your house in a flattering light and helps you compete at a favorable price. (In that sense, staging is like dressing your house for the price you want, and not the price you have.)

Staging also leads to eye-catching listing photos, which are especially valuable given that most homebuyers begin their search by scrolling through listings online.

So, are you thinking about hiring stagers for your home? Here’s what to consider.

 

Staging Really Does Help. Like, a Lot.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. A recent survey from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® revealed that:

  • 77% of buyers’ agents said staging makes it easier for their buyer to visualize the property as their future home. It’s like helping the buyer dream it so they can achieve it — and so you and your agent can make the sale.
  • 39% of sellers’ agents said staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time a house is on the market. For you, time saved could mean moving into your new house even sooner.
  • 21% of sellers’ agents said staging a home increases its dollar value between 6% and 10%. Simply put, that may lead to more money in your pocket.

Before You Stage, Budget Accordingly

Many listings agents offer staging services to clients as part of their services. If you want to use someone you find yourself, you typically will have to pay out of pocket.

Staging costs vary depending on where you live and how many rooms you’re staging. On average, home sellers pay between $302 and $1,358 for staging, according to HomeAdvisor.com. If your house is empty because you’ve already moved, you might also have additional expenses for renting furniture and other homey decorations to make it look lived-in.

Many stagers offer consultations for as low as $150, Fixr.com reports. Using the advice you learn during the consultation to try DIY staging may be your best option if you’re on a tight budget. Listen for tips on how to use the furniture and decor you already have to show off your home’s best assets.

 

For the Best Results, Declutter

Spoiler alert: No buyer wants to walk into a messy house.

So, take time to clean and declutter your home. Organize everyday household items into crates and keep them out of sight. Stow away seasonal decorations (that means no Christmas in July). Make time for — or invest in — a whole-house cleaning, including carpet shampooing. Change lightbulbs, finally make those minor repairs, and add a fresh coat of paint to any room that needs it.  Clean out closet spaces — because buyers will want to check out the closets.

Also worth considering? Removing personal items from view, such as copious family photos, artwork, or religious keepsakes. The concern is not that home buyers will be offended by you or your lifestyle. The goal is to neutralize the space and help home buyers imagine themselves living there. (But don’t go overboard. You don’t want rooms to feel sterile, either.)

Yes, we did just tell you to clean out your closets. So where are you supposed to put all this stuff? If you don’t have a discrete place to tuck things away, consider renting a storage unit.

 

To Find the Right Stager for Your Home, Ask Questions

If your agent doesn’t offer staging services, he or she can likely recommend local stagers for you to work with. Before you hire a stager, it’s best to interview at least three candidates in person. You’ll want to get a sense of how much they charge — and whether they have good taste.

To do your due diligence, here are 10 questions to ask prospective stagers:

  1. On average, how many days were your staged homes on the market last year?Experience is important, but it’s not the only factor to consider when vetting stagers. You want someone who stages homes that sell — ideally within 30 days, because that’s when agents often recommend making a price reduction if your house is still on the market.
  2. What price range do you typically work in? Staging luxury homes is a totally different ball game than staging starter homes. Find someone who specializes in homes near your listing price.
  3. What styles of homes do you usually stage? Staging different types of homes also requires different skill sets (think of a penthouse versus a bungalow, for instance). Look for someone with experience working in homes similar to yours.
  4. What formal training have you received? A number of staging organizations, such as the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP), offer certification or accreditation. Training from these associations can distinguish professional stagers from beginners.
  5. Do you have insurance? Your home could get damaged when the stager moves furniture in and out. Find someone with business insurance so that you’re protected.
  6. Can I see your portfolio? One of the best ways to judge a stager’s skills is to look at their work. Ask to see photos from the person’s three most recently staged homes.
  7. Do you select the accessories, furniture, and paint for the homes you stage, or do you collaborate with other experts? Some stagers work independently, while others collaborate with other vendors. Make sure you know everyone who will be involved in staging your home, so you don’t have surprise guests rearranging your living room.
  8. What are your rates? Some stagers charge a fee for decorating services, plus a monthly fee for renting furniture, while others charge a flat fee per room for the duration of the listing. Ask about how a stager determines costs before you commit to working with him or her.
  9. What’s your availability? If you’re on a tight timetable, make sure the stager can get your house ready by the date you want to put your house on the market.
  10. Can you provide contacts for past clients? Get in touch with two or three people who have worked with the stager before. Ask how the stager’s services helped with the sale of their homes, and what they might have done differently.

Focus On the Rooms That Count the Most

You don’t have to stage your whole house to make buyers swoon.

Staging the rooms where people tend to spend the most time usually makes the biggest impression on buyers. Start with the living room,

followed by the master bedroom and the kitchen.

Keep in mind that you’re not going for an HGTV-worthy overhaul: Even small touches, like putting fluffy towels in the bathroom or replacing shabby throw pillows in the family room, can make your home that much more attractive.

 

Oh, and BTW: Stage Your Yard, Too

Your house has to look its best — inside and outside. After all, buyers form their first impression when they pull up in front of your home. It’s no surprise, then, that curb appeal — how your home looks from the exterior — can increase your home’s sales value up to 17%, a Texas Tech University study found.

If you’ve never had your yard professionally landscaped, now may be the time to do it. Landscaped homes have a sales price advantage ranging from 5.5% to 12.7%, according to research by Alex Niemiera, a horticulturist at Virginia Tech. That would mean an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home.

Professional landscaping, however, can cost a lot. You’re aiming for polish, not a new garden of Versailles. If budget is a concern, start with these DIY improvements:

  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery. Even if it’s winter, you can add colorful winter blooms and seasonal touches such as garland or lights.
  • Mow the grass.
  • Reseed bare patches of lawn and add fresh sod, as needed.

Then move on to these easy upgrades to your home’s exterior:

  • Wash the front windows.
  • Power wash siding and walkways.
  • Repaint or stain porches and stairs, as needed.
  • Make sure house numbers are easy to see, visible, and pretty.
  • Make sure important outdoor features such as the front door, porch, and sidewalks and paths are well lit. (If not, install new fixtures or lighting.)

Even basic upgrades — like laying fresh mulch, changing porch lights, or installing a new mailbox — can help a buyer fall in love at first sight.

Just wait ’til they come inside and see what else you’ve done with the place.