Toronto Real Estate News from Helene Kerr June 2018   

 
Preparing your home for showings can be a lot of work, especially if you have kids running around.  This month's article discusses some strategies on how to prepare your home to show with kids in tow.

There are also some valuable debt management strategies to help keep you and your loved ones profitable as well as a few tips on how to de-stress your home.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Cheers!
Helene

In this issue...
Toronto Real Estate Market Update 
Home sales down from same time last year.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,834 sales through TREB's MLS® System in May 2018. This result was down by 22.2 per cent compared to May 2017.

While the number of sales was down year-over-year, the annual rate of decline was less than reported in February, March and April, when sales were down by more than 30 per cent. On a month-over-month basis, seasonally adjusted May sales were basically flat compared to April 1.

Supply of homes available for sale continued to be an issue. New listings were down by 26.2 per cent. The fact that new listings were down by more than sales in comparison to last year means that competition increased between buyers. Recent polling conducted by Ipsos for TREB suggests that listing intentions are down markedly since the fall.

"Home ownership remains a sound long-term investment. Unfortunately, many home buyers are still finding it difficult find a home that meets their needs. In a recent Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis study undertaken for the Toronto Real Estate Board, it was found that many people are over-housed in Ontario, with over five million extra bedrooms. These people don't list their homes for sale, because they feel there are no alternative housing types for them to move into. Policy makers need to focus more on the 'missing middle' – home types that bridge the gap between detached houses and condominium apartments," said Tim Syrianos, TREB President.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was down by 5.4 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined was down by 6.6 per cent to $805,320. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 1.1 per cent compared to April 2018.

"Market conditions are becoming tighter in the Greater Toronto Area and this will provide support for home prices as we move through the second half of 2018 and into 2019. There are emerging indicators pointing toward increased competition between buyers, which generally leads to stronger price growth. In the City of Toronto, for example, average selling prices were at or above average listing prices for all major home types in May," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.

Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival 
Come out and enjoy the biggest street fiesta in Canada!

Get swept up in the fun and flavours of Canada’s biggest Latino-themed cultural celebration!

Enjoy vibrant music, dance performances, an amazing festival parade and some of the tastiest Latin foods around!

You won’t be able to stop dancing the day away at the Sala on St. Clair Street Festival but help is at hand if you’re a novice as salsa and bachata lessons will be offered all day at no charge!

The action will be taking place on St. Clair Ave. West between Christie Street and Winona Drive on Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th starting at noon. Come out and enjoy the very best in Latin food, music and entertainment. Let the fiesta begin!

Preparing a Home for Show with Kids in Tow 
Have your home “show ready” at a moment’s notice!

When your home’s on the market, getting ready for showings can be a real challenge but it's even harder when you share your home with little ones!

The trick to selling a house with kids is to try and make it appeal to buyers who have children as well as those who don’t. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for show with kids in tow:

  1. Depersonalize - It's important that buyers are able to imagine themselves living in your home so clear the kids’ artwork off the fridge and take down photos, awards and mementos.


  2. Play Time's Over - Keep just one box of toys on hand and pack up the rest as too many toys look messy and make rooms appear smaller.


  3. Clean Your Room! - Pack up stuffed animals, books and trophies in the kids’ rooms. Any remaining items should be placed on shelves instead of the floor.


  4. Behind Closed Doors - Buyers can never get enough closet space so get rid of any clothes and shoes that are out-of-season or that your kids have outgrown.


  5. Time to Grow Up - Buyers should be able to visualize your playroom as their rec room so get rid of kid clutter like arts and crafts so it’ll appear large enough for their pool table.


  6. Curb Appeal - Don't leave toys, sidewalk chalk or bikes strewn outside your home as drive-by viewings can occur at any time.

  7. Ready to Go - Have a diaper bag that’s ready with everything you need in case you have to make a quick getaway for a last minute showing.


Selling your home is a great opportunity to declutter and by doing it now, you’ll have less to pack when it comes time to move. Showings can happen in an instant so make sure you have a system in place that enables you to vacate in a matter of minutes. Although keeping everything perfectly staged with kids can be a challenge, it'll be well worth the effort!

It Pays to Pay Off Debt 
Getting out of debt can be tough, unless you have a plan.

Debt management isn't a popular family topic but talking about it with your kids and loved ones can help them avoid a lifetime of financial woes. Here are a few of the basics:

  1. First Things First - Focus on paying off high interest, non-deductible debt first.


  2. Budget Crunch - List all income and fixed expenses such as house and car payments. Next, list variable expenses to see what can be reduced or eliminated.


  3. Consolidate - Monthly payments can likely be lowered by consolidating debt through a home equity loan as the interest rate will be much lower.


  4. Reach Out - Creditors will often reduce monthly payments if a debt repayment plan is arranged through a reputable credit counseling service.


Managing debt may seem like a daunting task but it can help avoid a financial crisis that could devastate a person's credit rating and their ability to borrow money at attractive rates. Almost everyone feels the credit crunch at some point in their life but with a little planning, it can almost always be overcome.

De-Stress Your Home 
Your home should be a refuge from all the stressors in your life!

Life can sometimes be stressful so ideally, your home should feel like a sanctuary for you to relax in. Here are three easy ways to de-stress your home:

  1. Meaningful Memories - Hang photos and artwork that remind you of happy times in your life.


  2. Mess Causes Stress - Studies show that clutter overloads our senses so take a few minutes each day to clean up.


  3. Natural Cure - Bring nature into your home with some fresh flowers or a few potted plants to help restore a sense of balance.


Life can sometimes be overwhelming but an organized and tidy home means you’ll have a relaxing space to unwind in at the end of a long day. Just a few little tweaks can make a huge difference!



PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.