Should I Buy or Rent?

I am often asked which is the right decision? You might guess that I would always suggest that if you can, you should buy, but do you know why I would recommend that? No, not because it will generate income for me or one of my sales reps, but because it is one of the best decisions you can make to help build your financial and mental health, and also help build stronger families.

I have outlined below a number of documented benefits of home ownership

• Homeowners report higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, happiness, and higher perceived control over their lives
• General positive outlook to life
• Increased charitable activity
• Greater awareness of the political process
• Greater attachment to the neighbourhood and neighbours.
• Higher student scores by children living in owned homes
• Higher rate of high school graduation thereby higher future earnings
• Children more likely to participate in organized activities and have less television screen time
• Better health outcomes, better physical and psychological health
• Wealth gains for homeowners under normal housing market conditions
• Less likely to be victims of crime

These are just a few of the benefits enjoyed as a result of home ownership. For more information on the study, click http://economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org/2012/03/27/social-benefits-of-homeownership-and-stable-housing/

I believe that owning a home makes people feel more a part of a community. Your family is involved in the local sports activities, or schools. A family has more feeling of permanency through home ownership.

If you are currently renting, and wonder whether home ownership is attainable, why not contact one of our sales professionals. They can help you with the details, and also connect you with a qualified financial advisor who can help you determine if you are financially ready, and if not, help you to start saving so that you too can enjoy home ownership.

BUYER’S MARKET? – SELLER’S MARKET? THAT IS THE QUESTION!

house_graphIt seems like we are being bombarded daily with information, statistics, and some very long term predictions regarding the Canadian real estate market. This information is all based on national averages and statistics. And the media tries to make it all sound DOOM AND GLOOM because that sells newspapers.

“Experts” are predicting very flat growth nationally for the next decade – approximately 2% annually. That’s still higher than the return on most GIC’s.

Many consumers are asking their REALTOR® is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? The answer to that question – it depends on where you live. Currently in the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington trading area we are experiencing a Seller’s Market.

The number of listings is down from last year but we are still seeing multiple offer situations when a home is properly priced. Although the number of sales is down from last year we are seeing continued growth in the average sale price. This is due to continued buyer demand and a lower inventory.

Over the years many consumers have tried to plan their home purchase on waiting for a buyer’s market, only to find that prices continued to rise therefore costing them more money.

Anytime is a good time to buy real estate. It is a long term investment in both your financial future and your lifestyle. Historically real estate values have always appreciated over the long haul, regardless of periodic downturns in the market.

Ann and I have always said that real estate is a very local market. You can’t take national statistics and apply them to your neighbourhood and your current housing situation. So before you start to panic on whether you should buy or sell take the time to talk to a local REALTOR® about what’s happening in your area.

Where is that Spring Market?

Daffodil Flower

Buyers, sellers and even REALTORS® keep asking me, and all I wonder is, where is that crystal ball when I need it?

About the first week of January each year, as REALTORS® we start to try and guess when the traditional ‘Spring Market’ will begin.  We do this in spite of knowing that we left the traditional market behind a number of years ago, no longer waiting for nice weather for buyers and sellers to get into the home buying or selling mood.

I believe this year’s Spring Market began a couple weeks ago.  All of a sudden buyers at the open houses were asking the serious questions, and sellers got serious about getting their homes ready to sell and on the market.

Contrary to what the media would have you believe, the Hamilton area real estate market has not been in the dumps.  What we have is a lack of properties for sale.  We started to see more homes coming on the market in mid December, yes before the holidays began.  Since the new year, the pace has picked up, but there is still no where near enough properties on the market for the number of buyers that are looking.

Well priced homes are generating multiple offers, which may seem good to the home owner, but is extremely frustrating to the buyers who have been looking for some months. During that time there was little to chose from, and now they find themselves paying more than their perceived market value for a home.  Unlike the Canadian real estate market in general, Hamilton is experiencing a Sellers Market.

If you are thinking of selling, NOW is a great time to put your home on the market.  Interest rates are at historical lows, so buyers can afford your home, and if you are looking for another, you have a chance to buy up and keep your payments low.

If you are thinking of buying, NOW is a great time to buy.  Be sure you have a skilled negotiator working for you.  They can find you the right home, and if they are at the top of their game, they may even get it for you for less than you expect.  A skilled REALTOR® can advise you how to make your offer more appealing, and can strategize with you to find the right home, at the right price!

Thinking of Buying?

I strongly recommend you call one of our skilled professionals, many of whom have earned the Accredited Buyer Representative Designation, indicating that they have honed their skills to help you achieve your home buying goals.

Thinking of Selling?

I strongly recommend you call one of our skilled professionals, many of whom have earned the Ultimate Service Award, indicating that they are skilled at meeting their client’s needs, and more importantly, they KNOW HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE!

This may sound like too much of a sales pitch, but I believe that Coldwell Banker Pinnacle sales professionals are some of the best trained in the business, and are uniquely qualified to serve their clients.  Why not call one today, and find out for yourself why I say this.

MERE POSTING BROKERAGES – HOW DO THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY?

A few months back Ann talked about different business models and the different levels of service provided to the consumer. Today I would like to talk about the mere posting business model and how they make their money.

The mere posting business model is when a seller wants to try to sell their house themselves but want their property listed on realtor.ca.  The brokerage lists the property on their local MLS® and the listing is uploaded to realtor.ca. The seller is happy because their house is on the MLS®. What they don’t realize is that although their house is listed on realtor.ca it may not be listed on their local MLS®. Local REALTORS® who may have a buyer are likely not aware the house is available for sale.

The mere posting brokerages make their money up front. It doesn’t matter if the house doesn’t sell because they have already been paid. What the home seller has to ask is how many of these mere posting listings actually sell. You should also ask from the houses that did sell, how many were sold through a buyer’s REALTOR® whom the seller had to pay over and above the flat fee.

I’m not saying mere posting listings don’t sell. I’m saying the home owners that don’t get their house sold have incurred an extra cost in the overall process to get their home sold and move on with their housing dreams.

I think it’s great the consumers have different choices when it comes to selling their home. What I don’t like is the consumer paying for something that doesn’t work every time, and not being fully aware of the possible costs.

When you buy a TV and it doesn’t work you can return it and get your money back. When you choose to list your house with a mere posting brokerage and your house doesn’t sell, the money you paid up front is gone forever.

When you hire a full service brokerage to sell your house you DO NOT pay them until they get the house SOLD!

Be sure to do your due diligence before you put your home on the market. Make sure you know what your expenses are going to be so you can make an informed decision.