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Displaying blog entries 81-90 of 95

Planting a Forest for the Future: Kleinburg New Forest North

by Claire Franceschetti

 

It rained on us, and it was a blustery, cold Sunday, but on Sunday October 16, 2011, Kleinburg residents got together and planted a new forest; Kleinburg New Forest North was truly born. Over 100 residents--mostly youngsters-- came out despite the rotten weather and helped to plant over 400 trees and shrubs that were donated by the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority.

They brought their shovels and wore rubber boots and in less than 2 hours, the first part of the southwest corner of the vacant park land was planted. (Who needs a Playstation when you have shovels, dirt and a few friends!) It was great to see everyone working together, and with such a strong community effort, the task was completed in half the scheduled time!

I was happy to help organize this event. I was really encouraged by the local business that donated their time and resources to making this a great afternoon. Special thanks to Jeff Wright from State Farm Insurance, The Kleinburg BIA, Avlyn Gardens Restaurant, Take 5, Frank Mazzuca, Big Top Carnivals and all the fire fighters at the station who pitched in and made things happen!

Kleinburg New Forest North is located at the corner of Treelawn Blvd and Islington Avenue (You might recognize it as the vacant land behind the Old Fire Hall.) Sunday was Phase One, but the entire planting project for this forest will take approximately 3 years with future plantings scheduled for both spring and fall.

I know that my kids will remember planting the trees in this park. I hope that they take pride in their part of creating a local green space.

I have just reviewed the sales numbers that were released by the Toronto Real Estate Board yesterday, and thing in Toronto continue to be stron. Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,658 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in September - a 25 per cent increase over September 2010. Sales during the first three quarters of 2011 amounted to 70,588, representing a 2.6 per cent increase compared to the first nine months of 2010.

"We have experienced strong growth in sales so far this year, with a much more active summer compared to 2010. However, while sales have been strong, we have continued to experience a shortage of listings, resulting in more competition between home buyers," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver.

"Over the past few months, the listing situation has started to improve, so we expect home buyers will have more homes to choose from in the months ahead." With annual growth in sales (+25 per cent) outstripping annual growth in new listings (+15 per cent) in September, market conditions became tighter and the average selling price continued to grow by close to 10 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

"Strong price growth through the first nine months of the year was mitigated to a great degree by low interest rates and rising incomes," said the Toronto Real Estate Board's Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer. "As buyers continue to take advantage of the affordable home ownership options in the GTA, we remain on pace for the second best year for sales under the current TREB market area."

While the Toronto real estate market continues to grow, it is becoming the envy of Canada. I recently met with Re/Max agents from across the country at the Re/Max Annual Fall Connect convention. Several Vancouver agents expressed a sense that things were flattening in the west, and this was echoed by another agent just outside Edmonton. Closer to home, a Wasaga Beach agent mentioned that listings are taking much longer to sell.

I believe that the Toronto market enjoys a certain amount of insulation. We have enjoyed a strong economy with healthy job prospects. Further, we benefit from ongoing immigration which fuels market growth also. However, I caution investors to be prudent. Recall only 3 years ago--the infamous October 2008 adjustment--we need to make sure not to over extend our borrowing, and buy within our means. In more difficult times, this strategy will ensure a good night sleep, and no drastic change of lifestyle.

Bindertwine Festival Rocks Kleinburg!

by Claire Franceschetti

Kleinburg’s Bindertwine Festival is my favourite community event.  As a proud resident of Kleinburg, I may be slightly biased, but I believe it’s one of the best community run festivals in all of Canada. Without a doubt, it’s a great day of fun for all the family and this year’s festivities were no exception!


Back in the late 1800′s, Kleinburg was a primary producer of twine, and farmers came to the village to buy their supplies in order to bind their wheat harvests. Charlie Shaw, owner of Shaw’s Hardware Store in Kleinburg, was a generous and good natured merchant. He offered food and entertainment to the visiting farmers and an annual celebration began. The farmer’s festivities became a large draw amongst the local area and it continued until he passed away in 1931. (The old Shaw’s Hardware Store is still standing in the village today, and coincidentally is up for sale at the moment.)

In 1967 as a centennial project, the Binder Twine festival was reborn. It was such a hit that it soon became an annual event. Today, there is a wide variety of activities: juried craft exhibitors, assorted vendors, children’s games and craft making, a children’s parade, live music featuring local bands, and delicious treats to eat. (Personally, I enjoy the bacon on a bun booth the most, and not because I love back bacon. I love the bacon on a bun booth because every year, my neighbours volunteer to man the booth, and I love to see them dressed up like short order cooks, flipping bacon and cracking eggs. They have a great time, and it’s a great community effort.)

Every year, Kleinburg pulls together as a community and makes this great event happen seamlessly. The Festival is organized and run entirely by volunteers: close to 1000 locals chip in and do their part. Its success has resulted in benefits to the community, such as Binder Twine Park (with fabulous fireworks on July 1), financial support for local schools and clubs, Kleinburg New Forest, many more efforts! But by far, the greatest result of the Bindertwine Festival is that it unites a small community, and celebrates the history of a beautiful Canadian village.

Mark it on your calendar for next year: this annual highlight happens the first Saturday after Labour Day in September, right in the heart of the historic village. If you’d like more information, visit: http://bindertwine.ca/

Toronto Numbers Are In...

by Claire Franceschetti

GTA REAL ESTATE MARKET SHOWING NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN!!!

I just reviewed the stats from the Toronto Real Estate Board. TREB reported that in August, there were 7,542 sales for the month. August 2010 there were 6,083 sales so we have experienced an approx 20% INCREASE in the number of sales compared to last year.

At the end of August there were only 17,248 homes for sale on the Toronto Real Estate Board, compared to 18,823 at the end of August 2010. That represents about an 8% drop! To put these numbers in“English”, we’re not getting enough new listings coming on to keep up with the number of sales that are happening. We are still in a very active market.

So the question remains ....what will happen to the market? My prediction remains the same. The market will continue to be very strong until at least the end of the year and well into 2012. There should still be price increases but a slower rates than we’ve experienced over the past 2 years. Inventory levels will likely increase slightly, however in most areas and price ranges, conditions will stay favouring Sellers.

Despite some troubling financial news we are hearing about what’s happening in the U.S. and Europe, in Canada and our area in particular, all indicators seem to point us out to be in pretty good shape. I’ll keep my ear to the ground and keep you posted if I hear anything change!

Whether selling OR buying, the key to taking advantage of current market conditions is working with the right realtor. When you hear of anyone who may want to buy or sell, please contact me at the office. I promise you that I will take care of them, do a great job and provide them with the best customer service. If you would like any more information, I’m here to help.

What Part of the Part-Time Agent is Going to Bite You???

by Claire Franceschetti

Part Time Sellers? Part Time Buyers?

Are you a part time seller or a part time buyer? Of course not. When you're looking to sell or find a new home, there is no half way about it. So why do people hire Part Time Agents?

(You know them, they are all around us. They are your mechanic, yoga instructor, waitress, or worse your cousin who passed his exams last spring because he didn't know what else to do after college!!!)

With more than 31,000 registrants on the Toronto Real Estate Board, the vast majority of agents don't even write one deal a year. Most of these people are "secret agents", but they are a liability when
they swing into action. 

Let me share a story that will demonstrate the possible liability of using a part time agent.

Recently I sold a property just north of Toronto. When I received the offer, I was surprised to see that the buyer had excluded all the stainless steel appliances, window coverings, and light fixtures. 
Although not common, occasionally buyers want to purchase their own items, and don't want any "used" chattels at all.

In this case, this exclusion totaled about $10,000 worth of of washers, dryers, fridges, stoves, dishwashers and light fixtures for the entire home. I suspected that the agent had made a
mistake and excluded all these items in error. Perhaps the agent had intended to include them in the offer?

Acting as the agent for the seller, I explained the offer as it was submitted, and explained that my client was in a position to keep all the appliances for her next home. This was ideal since she was building a new house, and would need to purchase new appliances when the project was completed. We discussed the possibility that this was an error on the part of the buyer's agent, and that it was likely a major oversight.

My client (such a lovely lady!) decided that rather than accepting the offer as written, she directed me to verify whether the buyers really wanted to exclude all the appliances etc.

Sure enough, the agent had excluded all chattels in error and her clients wanted every inclusion. She suddenly realized that the seller was in a position to accept the offer and keep close to $10,000 in appliances. I am certain that the agent would have been held liable for this mistake, and would have to pay for all the missing items.

Now, a $10,000 error can be corrected with some effort, but there many liabilities involved in Real Estate transactions. I have to ask people who are using part-time agents: What part of professional service is not important? There are liabilities that can cost lots of money, aggravation and invaluable time.

For a list of important questions to ask an agent and make sure they are not a Part-Timer before hiring them, check out my blog on Interview Questions!

Termites: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

by Claire Franceschetti

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Recently, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board Richard Silver published an article regarding termites in the Greater Toronto Area. Although termites are not typically a consideration in Vaughan, I wanted to share this article as an informative reference when buying a home. Here it is:

 

What the heck is the market Doing???...Time to Sell.

by Claire Franceschetti

We're seeing crazy things happen on the TSX and Dow Jones. It's shocking to me to see the fall in market points, only to see it regain the next day. These types of market swings shake consumer confidence, and frustrate most investors.

Personally, I don't invest in stocks and funds...I am a huge proponent of buying real estate as a solid investment. However, there is a growing feeling among real estate investors that perhaps we are at the top prices right now. I tend to feel that this might be the case.

Historically, we have seen significant market adjustments occur in the middle of the fall market. The most recent adjustment occurred in October 2010.  With this in mind, I am suggesting to my investor clients that they consider selling immediately where possible. Depending on the location of the property, we typically see homes for sale on the market for an average of 30-40 days. With that in mind, we would need to get things going right away to avoid the October crunch.

Give me a call if you'd like to discuss this issue further. I always love talking real estate!

Buyers Beware: Buying Direct from Listing Agent

by Claire Franceschetti

If you are a buyer who is looking to buy direct from the listing agent with a goal of saving commissions on the purchase price, I have some words of advice: BEWARE!!!

Recently, I sold a beautiful property in a hot little pocket of Woodbridge. The home was immaculate and showed very well. As is the case with hot properties, the sellers received multiple offers, and buyers were competing for the home.

One buyer came to me and asked if I would present an offer to the sellers. I obliged, and was happy to bring another offer to the sellers. In discussing the details of the offer, the buyers told me that because they were using my services, they expected that their lower priced offer would appeal to the sellers because the sellers would save on real estate commissions. They assumed that by using only one agent in the buying process, they were benefiting themselves.  

When presenting all the offers to the sellers, the buyer who was dealing through me was the weakest offer price. I explained to the sellers that the buyers expected the sellers to save on commissions and that their offer price took this savings into consideration.

The sellers were furious with this low-ball offer. They were shocked that the buyer would assume that any savings of commissions would be a benefit to the buyers. The sellers told me without any hesitation that any savings of commission was to benefit themselves, as they are the party that pays the commissions in the transaction. They were not impressed by this offer, and didn't want to deal with these buyers further.

In this scenario, the buyer's assumption was detrimental to themselves. In assuming that the sellers would automatically save commissions and attribute this savings to their offer price, they compromised their overall offer. Not only was their offer price low, but they unwittingly offended the sellers, and undermined their position.

In my experience with Woodbridge properties in particular, many buyers try to get a deal by buying through the listing agent. This strategy is risky...Not only can sellers get offended by a low offer, but depending on the agency agreement in place, the buyers may not have proper representation at the negotiating table. I suggest that there is a benefit to working with an agent as a buyer agent in all real estate purchases. Buyer agents are hired to represent the buyers interests at all stages of the buying process.

Final June Sales Numbers Are In...

by Claire Franceschetti

It seems the market headings have remained the same over the last few months, June being no exception.

Sales transactions are up, the average price is up, and as usual, more listings would result in steadier price in-creases rather than the dramatic ones we have experienced thus far. GTA REALTORS® reported 10,230 sales transactions in June 2011, up 21-percent compared to June 2010. The average price was $476,371, a 9.5-percent increase compared to the $435,034 average in June 2010, while the median rose by 10-percent from $367,750 in June 2010 to $405,000 in June 2011.

What does this mean for buyers? On occasion, I have heard buyers say that they will wait and build a larger down payment before they purchase their first home. In this escalating market, waiting to get into a first home is a serious mistake. With an average appreciation of 9.5% in only one year, consumers are hard pressed to find a better investment than their first home. Simply put, waiting to get into the market only makes the first step more difficult.

What does this market mean for sellers? I continue to see multiple offers and homes selling for more than their asking price. This is especially true in the more popular areas in Vaughan. I beleive that this is an excellent time to sell, as home owners can now actualize the appreciation on their home.

As we sizzle with record breaking temperatures in July, keep in mind that the real estate market is also sizzling!   

Price Crunch: Over Pricing is Death to Home Sales

by Claire Franceschetti

Many sellers believe that if they price their home high initially, they can always  lower it later if they don't see any acceptable offers.

Often, when a home is priced too high, it experiences little activity. Gradually the price will come down to market value, but by that time the home has been for sale too long and some buyers will be wary and reject the property ie. "Something must be wrong with that house since it's been on the market for so long."

On occasion, the seller runs out of time or patience, and the price is dropped below the market value. As a result, the property finally sells for less than it is worth.

You may think that interested buyers "can always make an offer," However, in my experience, if the home is overpriced, potential buyers looking in a lower price range will never see it. Those who can afford a home at your asking price will soon recognize that they can get a better value elsewhere. After all, buyers are very well educated today, and know home values to within a few thousand dollars.

As soon as a home comes on the market, there is a flurry of activity surrounding it in the first 3 weeks. This is a crucial time when Real Estate Professionals and potential buyers sit up and take notice.

If the home is overpriced, it doesn't take long for interested parties to lose interest. By the time the price drops, the majority of buyers are lost or have already purchased another home.

Pricing your home must be based on current market activity, and recent sales. It is important not to look at current listings alone, since these properties have not sold yet, and their true market value is still to be determined by buyers.

Displaying blog entries 81-90 of 95

Contact Information

Photo of Claire Franceschetti Real Estate
Claire Franceschetti
Right At Home Realty Inc.
190 Marycroft Ave.
Vaughan ON L4L5Y2
Direct: 416-918-6325
Office: 416-391-3232
Fax: Fax: 416-987-8001