London, ON Real Estate News

By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Well of course I have a listing that has been on the market for about 40 days now. I previously sold the condominium of the mother for this client after her mother recently passed. She had moved to our city to assist with her ailing mother but has now returned to the mountains in British Columbia to continue her work as a Search and Rescue Dog Trainer and have hobby horses again. Honestly she couldn't wait to go back. So, the day she leaves, I get an offer. She is enroute via her van with three large German Sheppards in tow and we are communicating during the sign back period via hotel fax machines and email. The 10 day conditions on the property were: 1/ Financing 2/ Water Potability 3/ Home Inspection Today was the deadline and the other Realtor called me to inform me that they were w...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Your kitchen is probably the most used room in your house. Poor layout, inadequate lighting, cramped spaces, outdated fixtures and old cabinetry are common complaints of homeowners. Before you decide to go ahead with a kitchen renovation, it is important to clearly identify the features you want in your new kitchen. Just as important is a thorough pre-renovation inspection to identify any existing problems. Healthy HousingTM Renovating is an ideal time to make your house healthier for you, the community and the environment. When planning your kitchen renovations, be sure to consider: ■ Occupant health-moisture control strategies, low emission materials and products, ventilation for improved indoor air quality (IAQ). ■ Energy efficiency-effective air barriers and insulation, energyeffici...
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By Ryan Hodgson
(Coldwell Banker 1st London)
Homes sales for May in London, Ontario stayed steady. Thanks to record low interest rates, home buyers are purchasing at a steady rate, particularly first time home buyers. While the economy has taken a beaten in the manufacturing sector, overall it's steady enough and combined with the low interest rates, people are purchasing homes. It is not uncommon to see multiple offer situations if a home for sale is priced at market value or below market value in the first time homebuyer price range - $200,000 and under. The full market report can be read HERE.In unrelated (yet related news) one has to wonder why the general population is completely unaware that private banking corporations own and run the Federal Reserve Bank in the USA. Yes, that is correct, private banks are in complete charg...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Many condominium owners have questions or concerns regarding their condominium home. Owners should put all their concerns in writing to the attention of the Board of Directors where their concerns can be dealt with by the entrie board at a properly scheduled meeting. Once your concerns have been put in writing you should expect to see a response within 30 days assuming the board meets monthly. Of course, you should always keep a number close by which would allow you to access a 24 hour emergency line should a flood occur. I had an elderly client who has a fire in her condominium garage and called the maintenance emergency line provided by the Board of Directors. She said it never even occured to her to call the fire department. OOPs. The same of course holds true for a medical emergency...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
However, there are a few hoops you have to jump. First before your purchaser buys, the status certificate, declaration, by-laws and rules should be reviewed by their lawyer. The lawyer should then look at whether or not specifications have already been determined. The corporation may have even seen fit to do a bulk title registration on all units for alterations such as screen doors, satellite dishes etc. This is called an Indemnification Agreement which is identified under Section 98 of the Condominium Act 1998. A bulk indemnification agreement can save you lots of money because the proper way to make any alterations is to write to the Board of Directors and request permission. In your request you should provide every specific bit of information regarding the change you are seeking to ...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
I was taking a client from Toronto around for 3 days looking for student rentals. We looked through many homes and many bedrooms and saw many half naked students and saw lots of beer bottles. Finally at a really excellent property in terms of what my client was looking for, we were in the back yard and there were several beer bottles and empty Harvey's bags on the picnic table which attracted bees. One of the bees stung my client. The next day, the client decided to low ball an offer on the "bee property" which was a perfectly viable property in terms of it sellability. When I say low ball I mean $100,000 less on on $340,000 property. Embarrased to write the offer I called the other agent and informed him that it was coming in and that it was not on my advice (which was the truth). The ...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Many of us are avid users of these devices please read:   BOSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd has issued a security patch for the popular device, whose users include President Barack Obama, warning that it is vulnerable to attacks by hackers.   Research in Motion issued the security warning last week in a bulletin on its web site, but officials could not be reached to comment on details of the patch.   If the patch is not applied, security experts said, there is a risk that hackers could exploit the vulnerability, though they have not done so yet.   Such problems are not unique to Research in Motion. Technology companies constantly battle to stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated hackers. Every time a vulnerability is identified, there is potential fo...
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Spring. When the wind is whistling around your ears and the snow is blowing across the yard, it's hard to remember there's a lawn under the snow, waiting for the warm spring sun. It also seems that as soon as the grass pokes through the snow the yellow flower everyone loves to hate, the dandelion, appears. Controlling dandelions in your lawn or yard can be a real challenge. Treating your entire lawn with pesticides is rarely necessary. This method may also damage the beneficial organisms in your lawn and leave your lawn vulnerable to new pest problems. Pesticides give a short-term solution to a problem, but rarely solve it in the long term. If you feel you have to use a pesticide, follow the directions on the label and only apply it where the pest is present. So the question is, do you ...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Market Report for April 2009 Market Activity Last month, 804 homes exchanged hands in the jurisdiction of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR), including 666 detached homes (up 1.8% from April 2008) and 138 condos (down 26.6% from April 2008). Year to date, 1,840 detached homes and 414 condos have been sold - down 15.1% and 26.9% respectively compared to the same period in 2008. Type of Market Balanced Listings Active detached home listings end of period were up 4.1%. Active condo listings end of period were up 7.9%. Average Price for April 2009 (April 2009 compared with April 2008) All detached homes in LSTAR's jurisdiction $219,817, down 2.3% ($224,905) All condos in LSTAR's jurisdiction $155,394, up 3.6% ($149,963) All two-storeys in LSTAR's jurisdiction $282,49...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
National Housing Outlook Key Housing Market Indicators   2008Actual2009Forecasts2010Forecasts Total housing starts (units) 211,056 141,900 150,300 Forecast Ranges   125,000 - 160,000 130,000 - 180,000 Total single-detached houses 93,202 62,400 68,000 Forecast Ranges   53,800 - 71,000 60,500 - 81,200 Total multiple housing units 117,854 79,500 82,300 Forecast Ranges   71,200 - 89,000 69,500 - 98,800 Total MLS® sales1 433,990 357,800 386,100 Forecast Ranges   320,000 - 380,000 350,000 - 430,000 Average MLS® selling price ($) 303,607 283,100 283,100 Forecast Ranges   $270,000 - $295,000 $270,000 - $300,000   Provincial Housing Outlook Total Housing Starts   2008Actual2009Forecasts2010Forecasts Newfoundland and Labrador 3,261 2,675 2,975 Prince Edward Island 712 575 625 Nova Scotia 3,982 3,...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Home Renovation Tax Credit will provide a one-year, temporary 15% income tax credit on eligible home renovation expenditures for work performed, or goods acquired between January 27, 2009 and February 1, 2010. The credit may be claimed on eligible expenses exceeding $1,000, but no more than $10,000, for a total credit of up to $1,350. Eligible renovation expenditures include: renovating your kitchen, bathroom or basement; installing new carpet or hardwood floors; building an addition, deck, fence or retaining wall; installing a new furnace, central air conditioner or water heater; painting the interior or exterior of your house; resurfacing a driveway and laying new sod. Renovations which are not eligible for the credit include: purchase of ...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
What Makes Mold Grow? Mold requires both nutrients and moisture to grow. It is important to remember that mold does not grow in a dry environment. Why Are Molds a Concern? Health experts indicate that the health effects of mold depend on the amount and type of mold in a home, the degree of exposure, and the health condition of the people living in the home. Some people are not affected by mold while others may suffer allergic reactions and illness. Damage to your home is also a concern. Materials get stained or discoloured by mold, and over time they are ruined. Continued mold growth can cause wood rot and structural damage. How to Know if You Have Mold in Your Home Discoloration is a sign of mold. However, all discoloration is not due to mold. Put a drop of bleach onto a spot that you...
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How It Works Step 1: Obtain an energy rating for your home NRCan offers an energy assessment and labeling system to help homeowners make energy-saving choices when buying or renovating a home. An NRCan qualified energy advisor will evaluate the house to determine its energy efficiency rating on a scale of 0 to 100. To be eligible for the refund, your renovations must show an energy rating improvement by at least five points, and must achieve an overall rating of at least 40 points. Visit www.ecoaction.gc.ca/buildings to find out how you can obtain a home energy evaluation and rating, and learn more about federal and provincial grants. Step 2: Discuss CMHC-insured financing Talk to your mortgage professional or your financial institution about the options that are available to you. Step...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Using CMHC-insured financing to purchase an energy-efficient home has many benefits. You may be eligible to obtain a 10 per cent CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium refund and extend your amortization period without a premium surcharge. This can add up to savings of $1,688 for a typical $250,000 mortgage with a 5 per cent down payment amortized over 35 years. Is the home I'm buying eligible? Homes built under the following CMHC-eligible energy-efficient building programs qualify: R-2000 (National) GreenHouse (Ontario) GreenHome and Super GreenHome (Yukon) Built GreenTM Gold Label Homes (British Columbia and Alberta) NovoclimatMC (Quebec) ENERGY STAR ® (Ontario and Saskatchewan) Power SmartTM (Manitoba) Power Smart New Homes (British Columbia) For the latest listing of eligible programs...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Is the home I'm building eligible? Homes built under the following CMHC-eligible energy-efficient building programs qualify: R-2000 (National) GreenHouse (Ontario) GreenHome and Super GreenHome (Yukon) Built GreenTM Gold Label Homes (British Columbia and Alberta) NovoclimatMC (Quebec) ENERGY STAR ® (Ontario and Saskatchewan) Power SmartTM (Manitoba) Power Smart New Homes (British Columbia) For the latest listing of eligible programs, please visit www.cmhc.ca, search key words "my energy savings". If you are not sure whether your home was built under one of these programs, simply ask the builder. Other energy-efficient homes can also qualify If the home you are building is not part of these programs, it may still be eligible. Homes that have an NRCan energy efficiency rating of 77 (on o...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Get to Know Your Home One of the best things you can do is get to know your home. Every adult member of your household should know the location of the following: Main shutoff valves for water, fuel and natural gas Emergency switch for the furnace or burner Hot water heater thermostat Main electrical switch Fuse box or circuit breaker box Home Improvements Home improvements can make a home more pleasant to live in and may also increase its value. Here are some things to keep in mind: Think about changes that would appeal to someone buying your home in the future. Updating the bathrooms and kitchens in an older home can increase its resale value. Updating the paint on the outside of your house, installing a new roof, redoing your walkways and driveway, adding attractive mailboxes and lan...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
What Home Inspectors Do A properly trained home inspector will: perform a visual inspection to assess the condition of a house and all of its systems; look at the house in terms of how one component of the house might affect another; find out if any components are not working properly and if any parts are too old or unsafe; and identify areas where repairs may be needed or where there may have been problems in the past. The home inspector generally provides a written report within 24 hours of the inspection. Finding a Home Inspector Check association websites, the Yellow PagesTM or home magazines. Ask friends or family members for a referral. Talk to your real estate agent. The Home Inspector's Qualifications Usually, the longer a home inspector has been working, the more knowledge he ...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Condominium Fees When looking for a new condominium, it is important to know what is and what's not included in the purchase price, such as: Are utilities covered in the monthly fees? Is parking included in the purchase cost? Are finishes within the units included in the purchase price? Are there other charges in addition to the purchase price that you should be aware of? Rules and Restrictions Every condominium comes with its own set of rules to ensure that it is properly operated and maintained. These rules can also help protect the rights of each condominium owner and ensure that the living environment stays peaceful. Such rules can include restrictions on the number of occupants allowed to live in each unit, limits on pets, noise, parking and times when certain amenities may be use...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Each Canadian generates, on average, five tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation offers 10 simple steps you can take to help keep our planet healthy and make your home more comfortable and healthier, while saving you money, and increasing your home's resale value. Step 1 - Switch to Public Transit By simply switching from a mid-size car to public transit for your local travel, you can save up to 230 kg of CO2 per year for every 1,000 km you don't drive. Step 2 - Think Smaller Downsizing to a smaller car can eliminate 1,100 - 2,600 kg of CO2 each year - and save you dollars at the gas pump! Step 3 - Stay Grounded For short out-of-town trips, taking the bus or train instead of traveling by plane could benefit both the planet and your wallet. Step 4 ...
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By Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I.
(Realty Executives Elite Ltd.)
Regular maintenance is an important part of keeping your home in top condition, both for your enjoyment and for the future resale value of your house. Spring Clean or replace furnace filter Check/clean heat recovery ventilator (HRV); wash or replace filter Clean humidifier and turn it off Check sump pump Check gutters and downspouts and clean if needed Inspect air conditioning; service, as needed (usually every two or three years) Inspect basement or crawl space for signs of seepage/leakage Ensure that ground slopes away from the foundation wall Open outside hose connection Open vents to outdoor crawl spaces Clean windows, screens and hardware; install screens Check that air intake and exhausts are clear of debris, nests, etc. Clean range hood filter You can turn off your HRV if your wi...
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