Multi Generational Living




Multi-generational living is making a huge comeback as it provides solutions to a variety of social and financial obstacles.  This month’s feature article offers a few points to consider if you're thinking about sharing a home with extended family.

There are also some suggestions on how to create a backyard sanctuary for birds and butterflies as well as some simple ways to help your home feel more spacious.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out this month's newsletter.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Report 

xRecord number of home sales during the first half of 2016!

Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) had yet another record month with 740 properties sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area in the month of June.

This represents a 13.1 per cent increase compared to the June of 2015, and ranks as the most active June on record.

During the first half of 2016, there were 3,519 home sales, 18.0 per cent above last year’s total for the same period and 22.8 per cent above the 5-year year-to-date average.  “This is the highest number of home sales we have ever recorded in the first half of the year” said Charlotte Zawada, President of the KWAR.

On a monthly basis, home sales were 29.7 per cent above the five-year average for the month of June.  As sales continue their upward trend, active residential listings continue to remain depressed in comparison to the same time last year.

Currently, the number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of June sat at 1,199, which is 33.9 per cent lower compared to same period last year.  This translates to 51.4 per cent fewer available listings on the market today than the same time last year.

June’s sales included 485 single detached homes (up 13.6 per cent) and 145 condominium type units (up 2.1 per cent) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc).  Sales also included 46 Semi-detached homes (up 9.5 per cent) and 54 freehold townhouses (up 42.1 per cent).  The average sale price of all residential sales in June increased 11.2 per cent to $390,144 compared to June 2015.

“With fewer listings on the market combined with an increased interest in people wanting to live in the Region, we’re seeing upward pressure on home prices,” says Zawada.  Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $451,289 an increase of 10.7 per cent compared to last year.  The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $232,999, an increase of eight per cent.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $277,672 (up 14.5 per cent) and $296,572 (up 10.6 per cent) respectively.

Mark Your Calendar for the Kitchener Blues Festival! 

xDon’t miss the incredible lineup at this year’s Blues Festival!

The Kitchener Blues Festival, which is one of the largest of its kind in Canada, returns to downtown Kitchener this August to celebrate its 16th anniversary!

This fantastic festival includes multiple stages throughout the downtown core between Thursday, August 4th - Sunday, August 7th.

The musical lineup this year has some big names including Eric Burdon, Cowboy Junkies and Big Sugar!  This family friendly, non-profit festival presents a blend of local, provincial, national and international blues artists.  Hope to see you there!

Sharing a Home with Extended Family 

xMultigenerational living is a trend that continues to gain popularity!

A growing number of buyers are looking for homes that will accommodate extended family in order to reduce costs and bring them closer together.

A primary reason is that debt saddled millennials oftentimes can’t afford their own place.  This is especially true given the rising price of homes.

From a social perspective, feelings of isolation and loneliness are often alleviated when grandparents live with extended family plus it’s much easier to care for an ailing parent when you’re living under the same roof.
 
The shift has also been fueled by parents wishing to cut childcare costs.  Having a live-in babysitter is extremely helpful and the close relationship children build with extended family is a huge bonus.  Conflicts can however arise when relatives live in close quarters so here are a few things to consider:

  1. Know Your Needs - Think about the type of home that will best suit your situation.  Garage apartments, in-law suites and refurbished basements are all popular options.  Spacious rooms to accommodate large family gatherings are also a huge plus.
  2. Buffer Zone - Determine how much space you’re willing to share and discuss boundaries and what exactly constitutes privacy.  You don’t want to constantly be arguing about how your father-in-law hogs the bathroom every morning!
  3. Be Clear - Agree on each family member’s obligations in advance such as childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc. so that everyone’s clear from day one.  Regular house meetings will also help minimize disagreements.


Multigenerational living is definitely becoming more and more popular.  The key to successfully living under the same roof is being able to compromise, to have mutual respect for one another and to have an open line of communication.  If this can be achieved, living with extended family can be a true joy!

A Quick Chat About the Birds and the Butterflies 

xYour garden will spring to life with the addition of birds and butterflies!

Creating a haven in your garden for birds and butterflies takes a little planning but it’s well worth the effort.  The following simple tips will help you turn your garden into a sanctuary:

  1. Go Natural - Avoid using pesticides as they’re harmful to both birds and butterflies.
  2. Water Works - Install a bird bath or fountain for your feathered friends to bathe and drink from.
  3. Food & Shelter - Trees and shrubs that bear fruit, nuts and berries not only provide food but also offer shelter.
  4. Bloom Boom - Butterflies are attracted to pink, orange, yellow, red, purple & blue shades while butterfly larvae feed on dill, fennel and milkweed.
  5. Sun Seekers - Butterflies like sunny locations that are sheltered from the wind.  A few flat stones will give them a place to rest while warming in the sun.


If you're looking to breathe some new life into your garden, just take a few steps to rally up some winged wildlife!  Not only will you provide a place for them to call home but you’ll also create an oasis that the whole family will enjoy.

A Complete Waste of Space 

xStorage space sells so don’t forget to clean out your closets!

When selling your home, it’s often the small things that make a huge difference.  Storage can be a critical factor for buyers so here are two simple tips that will make your home seem larger:

  • Remove at least half of all items from closets and cupboards so they appear larger and get rid of anything on the floor.  Use the same hangers (no wire!) throughout.
  • Organize the remaining items so your closets and cupboards look tidier.  Make sure to neatly fold up towels and linens and use attractive bins and boxes to organize any loose items.


The points above may seem obvious but they’re often overlooked.  Remember that storage space sells and if buyers see your closets bursting at the seams, they’ll assume your home isn’t big enough for you…or for them.

 

 





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