October Realty Insights

Have Real Estate Questions? I Deliver Answers.
As the days get shorter and nights become cooler, now's the time when many people are getting their homes ready for winter. Others are thinking that this is a wonderful season for a move.

Low Mortgage Rates continue to attract buyers. Ongoing trade disputes, "cloudy" forecasts for our economy, and the U.S. Federal Reserve lowering their Benchmark Rate has many economists speculating that the Bank of Canada may move the Key Rate down on October 30th. Many Lenders are already offering Fixed Rate Mortgages below Variable Rate options.

Buying or Selling, you may be wondering how neighbourhood statistics line up with what's happening in the rest of the market. And if you know someone who could benefit from my expertise, please share my name.

Seasonal Reminders
Before the snow flies put the air conditioner cover on. A secure cover will prevent damage from water getting into the delicate fins - freezing, expanding and causing costly, yet preventable damage.

Clocks "fall back" an hour on Sunday, November 3rd. Be sure you change smoke and CO alarm batteries when you change the time.

Replace the furnace filter to keep the furnace working efficiently. Keeping the furnace performing at its peak means more even heat distribution and lower operating cost.

Switch the direction of your ceiling fan. During the winter, the fan should run at a low speed in a clockwise direction. Reversing the fan creates a gentle updraft, recirculating heat down.

Draft-proof around windows and doors. Doing it while the weather is still pleasant means a better seal without the frozen fingers.

Disconnect the hose and turn off the outdoor faucet at the indoor source.

Check the emergency generator so it's ready in the event of a black out. Always run it outside, in a well ventilated area.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save the ash throughout the Winter. Wood ash can be mixed into a compost heap to create a valuable soil addition providing nutrients for the spring garden. Or keep slugs and snails out of the garden by spreading the ash around garden beds.

ENERQi Invisible Fast Wireless Charger
Love the convenience of wireless charging, but dislike the look of the wireless pads... and wires? The ENERQi mounts under the surface of a table, desk, or even a kitchen counter while the phone charges on the surface. Charging up to 40mm away, ENERQi can turn practically any piece of furniture into a Fast Wireless Charging Station. Unveiled at CES in January, this device is scheduled to be released for the holiday season. Find out more at: https://enerqi.co

Free Wi-Fi... Is That a Good Thing?
Local coffee shops and restaurants often advertise "Free Wi-Fi" to entice customers to come in and stay longer. And while Free Wi-Fi can seem like a perk, the local barista is not a security expert, which may leave a user's computer open to hacking. Plus, it's easy for hackers to set up a "fake" connection that may seem to come from the shop but is really in place to steal information from unsuspecting users.

September Realty Insights

Looking To Make A Move?
With all of the mixed media messages, it's no wonder that people often wonder - is now is the best time to get into a new place? While nothing is guaranteed to go straight up, real estate is a proven and predictable investment that appreciates over time.

What makes this a great time to explore real estate opportunities?
1) Over the summer we've seen Fixed Rate Mortgages offered at even more favourable rates, with Big Bank Special Offers featuring rates below their Prime Lending Rate.

2) The Bank of Canada Lowered the Benchmark Qualifying Rate on July 17th, giving borrowers a little more leeway to qualify for a mortgage.
3) On September 4th, the Bank of Canada announced that it was holding the Key Rate Steady at 1.75%.

Added to these, the U.S Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark rate a quarter point - from the target range of 2.25% to 2.5% to a target range of 2.0% to 2.25% - the first cut in more than a decade. And while the Bank of Canada is unlikely to follow the downward direction on September 4th, the U.S. Fed has certainly set the tone for the next few months.

If you're looking for opportunities in this Autumn market, I am always here to show you, or people you know, a wonderful place to call home right now.

Looking for market knowledge? Call me.



Heating Season's Coming - Get a Furnace Inspection
Once the cold weather sets in, you want to know the furnace is running reliably. An unexpected breakdown could be more than a chilly night, it may mean frozen water pipes if it happens while you're away. Plus, a well-adjusted heating system saves money on fuel and prolongs furnace life.

Some maintenance is easy, like replacing the filter, however, it’s a good idea to have the furnace professionally inspected and cleaned annually.
It should include:
• Safety test for carbon monoxide (CO)
• Check for debris in the chimney and flue
• Replace air filters
• Check thermostat
• Check and clean gas pilot safety system
• Clean motor and fan
• Clean burners and set for proper combustion
• Check gas connection to furnace

Looking for a heating contractor? Try www.hrai.ca or call toll-free 1-877-467-HRAI. Your connection to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors of Canada (HRAC).

Make Any Window a Fire Escape
Emergency escape ladders are compact and can be used to quickly exit the upper floors of a home. To choose the correct fire escape ladder, determine which windows will be used as emergency exit points and then, for each window, measure the actual height from the window to the ground.

Emergency escape ladders come in a variety of lengths: a 2-storey ladder is about 14 feet long. Plus, they're designed to support different weights.

The roll-up style ladder is compact, so it’s easy to store in a closet, but be sure it’s easily accessible when seconds count.

You'll find them at most home improvement centers.

Is Your Home Empty-Nester Ready?
As the baby-boomer generation ages, sights are set on a different type of home. What's grabbing the attention of these now-getting-older homebuyers?
•    Wider doorways
•    Non-slip floors
•    Lighting, with even distribution
•    Easily accessible electrical outlets and light switches
•    Door levers rather than door knobs
•    Bathroom supports and grab bars in tubs and showers
•    And a big one today, in-house elevators.

YES… today some newly built and/or homes undergoing an extensive renovation are having spaces as small as 5x5 set aside as a roughed-in elevator shaft, for future use.

Summer insights

Happy Summer! 

Golf season, barbeque season, vacation season, friends and family season … with the Canada Day kick-off…yes, it's summer! A time when many of us hit the beach. Some people spend time building sandcastles, and other people build their dream homes in the sand… complete with moat.

When it comes time to buy or sell your own "castle", I am here to assist with a strategic plan and solid negotiating that gets the deal done. It’s important to have a negotiator on your side! A deal can fall apart simply because the two sides don't know how to come together. I look at the deal from various angles. I know where there's "wiggle room" and can guide discussions in your best interest.

The market's normalizing. When you or someone you know is looking for a negotiator, let them know my number. With me, they'll get the results they're after.


Cool Tips to Beat Summer Heat 
1) If you haven’t already: change the direction of the ceiling fan. It should rotate counter-clockwise. In this direction, the air is pushed downward creating a wind chill effect that can make you feel as much as 4 degrees cooler than the room actually is.
2) Open windows in the evening to let cool breezes in. Close them and lower the blinds in the morning to keep out the summer sun.
3) Use Power Bars with timers - Keep all unnecessary electronic devices off when not in use. Televisions, computers, and video-game systems are all heat generators. And keep the lights off, too. Even environmentally-friendly LEDs give off heat.
4) Skip the stove. Use the microwave. Better still, the side burner on the BBQ.
5) Get a de-humidifier. Humid air holds heat.
6) Buy a hot water bottle – put it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.
7) Choose lightweight cotton bed sheets - they breathe.
8) Use a buckwheat pillow – it doesn't absorb heat like cotton and down.
9) Run kitchen and bathroom fans to move humid air outside.

Condo Buying? Estoppel Certificate 
The Estoppel Certificate is a detailed, disclosure document prepared by a Condominium Corporation that contains information about the financial and legal affairs of the Condominium Corporation. 

Upon request, the Condominium Corporation is obliged to provide the Certificate in connection with a sale. It will detail items such as current common element expenses, planned increases and foreseen repairs; special assessments; any legal action currently being taken against or by the Condominium Corporation; as well as a declaration of by-laws and rules.

And important: It will disclose if there are any unpaid common area expenses owed by the "unit" you are in the midst of purchasing.

Considering a Retractable Screen Door? 
There are many inexpensive options available, from magnet click n' stick to higher-end retractable screens. When it comes to this type of home upgrade, paying more means better performance, as well as options like:
• Pet Resistant Mesh - heavier gauge that resists shredding.
• Deep Track - to securely hold the screen in place.
• Slide Bolt - that holds the in-active side of a French or Double door in place for easier entry and exit.
• Speed Reducer - that slows the return of a retractable screen to its housing. Slower or "controlled" screen retraction speed decreases mechanical stress on the screen and also minimizes the chance of fingers or small hands getting pinched as the screen is retracting.
• Visibility Decals - to prevent someone from accidentally walking into the screen.