Thursday, September 27, 2012
A few weeks ago I wrote about the 10 worst improvements. Now here are the 10 best improvements.
1. Your kitchen! This kitchen is the centre point and the heart of your home. For a few hundred dollars you can do some minor improvements that have a huge impact. Replace the kitchen faucet, add new door handles to your cabinets, and update a light fixture. On a larger budget you can give the cabinets a make over by refacing the current doors. Make the kitchen warm and inviting with a modern touch!
2. Appliances! If your kitchen appliances are different colours you may consider replacing them. Nothing kills the kitchen improvements by unmatched appliances.
3. Make that Bathroom shine! Next to our kitchen improvements, bathrooms are also one of the most important rooms to improve. As with the kitchen, small changes can make drastic results. Simple things like replace the toilet, seat and sink. Replace the old flooring. Don't forget the shower; make sure the caulking is clean and not black.
4. Paint! New paint makes your house look clean. Don't forget the ceiling.
5. Storage! Especially with older homes, storage seems to be lacking. With your current storage space, make sure it is effective with shelving.
6. Mechanics! Spend a few bucks on a plumber and electrician to make sure the plumbing and electrical systems on the house is neat and tidy. Nothing worst then a rat's nest of wires, faulty plugs or leaking plumbing to turn off a home inspector.
7. Carpeting! Have you carpets professional cleaned and ready to go. If the carpet is worn and in bad shape consider replacement.
8. Light fixtures! Replace the old looking light fixtures with new modern fixtures. Make sure the light brightens the room for a comfortable feel. You can be creative and add accent lights or spotlights to emphasize art or plants.
9. The entry! Make sure your front door is new or newly painted. Make sure the complete entrance is inviting. The impression the buyer gets is here is huge as they are spending time here as the Realtor is opening the lockbox to gain entry into the house.
10. Curb Appeal! Sounds obvious right? Well it does not happen. Keep the lawn mowed, the walkway swept, the gardens weeded. You never get the first impression again so make it a good one.
After having very encouraging numbers for the first seven months of the year our real estate market did cool slightly in August compared to 2011. August 2012 has seen a decrease of listings from 2011 of 8%. Number of sales also decreased from 2011 by 2%. Year to date we are still up in 2012 by 4% from 2011 for sales. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), has now updated the forecast of the Canadian market to reflect some changes in our market conditions.
“Recent changes to mortgage regulations are likely to sideline some potential first-time home buyers, particularly in some of Canada’s priciest housing markets,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “That’s likely to result in slower momentum for resale housing activity, with an increase in the amount of time it takes for move-up buyers to sell their current home. Job growth is widely expected to continue at a modest pace while interest rates remain on hold, so the economic outlook is absent the factors that typically result in forced sales and a dramatic swing in prices.”
I do not see these changes in the market forecasting to make a huge impact in the Peterborough and area market. CREA’s numbers are mostly based on the major cities of our country. I forecast that our market locally will remain balanced and steady with our 2011 sales especially in the residential market. Waterfront properties have been slow to sell but that is expected as the market in Toronto cools.
On another note, and as most of you know that I am a loyal Peterborough Lakers fan. I would like to congratulate the organization on their Mann Cup win last week. It is exciting to have the privilege to watch Canada’s best Lacrosse team win again. Wow, 5 Mann cups in the last 9 years.
July’s statistics have been very encouraging for the real estate market in our area. We are still in a very balanced market between Buyers and Sellers. According to Peterborough and Kawarthas Association of Realtors, July has seen a decrease of listings from 2011 of 12% but number of sales in 2012 have remained consistent with 2011. Year to date we are up in 2012 by 4% from 2011 for sales. This has been consistent across the nation. According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national resale housing activity remained stable from June to July 2012.
“Some first-time home buyers may have difficulty qualifying for mortgage financing due to shortened amortization periods included in recent changes to mortgage regulations,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist “As the lynchpin of the housing market, lower first-time buying activity will have knock-on effects over the rest of the market. It will likely take more time for move-up buyers to sell their current home.”