Get Away From It All And Just Relax




Imagine how great it would be to get away from it all and just…relax.  Our feature article offers some advice if you’re thinking about purchasing a cottage or vacation property.

There are also some great ideas on how to brighten up a dark basement as well as an easy way to keep track of items you frequently misplace such as your keys.

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!

Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Report 

sResidential sales hit an all time high for the month of May!

Residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) hit an all-time high for the month of May as home sales continue to trend upward in the Region.

There were 752 properties sold in KW and area which represents a 19.6% increase compared to May of 2015, and a 27.7% increase compared to the 5-year average for the month of May.

This is the first time since 2007 that residential sales in May exceeded seven hundred units.  Year-to-date sales for 2016 also hit an all-time high with 2,776 homes sold in the first five months of the year, 19.2% above last year’s total for the same period and 21.0% above the 5-year average.

As sales continue their upward trend, active residential listings are down 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 May is at 1,283 which are 26.1% lower compared to same period last year.  This translates to 35.2% fewer available listings on the market today than the same time last year.

“If you’re a seller, this is a great time to sell,” says Charlotte Zawada, President of KWAR.  “For buyers, the challenge is with our lower than usual inventory, they often find themselves competing with other buyers, for the same property.”  With steady interest rates expected into the later part of 2016 and early 2017, conditions are still favourable from a financial perspective, noted the President of KWAR.

Employment growth will only help fuel continued demand, and we should see balanced market conditions return for the foreseeable future in Waterloo Region.  “In this type of heated market where multiple offers are common having an experienced REALTOR® in your corner can provide you a definite advantage whether you’re looking to buy or sell,” says Zawada.

May’s sales included 474 single detached homes (up 15.6%) and 166 condominium type units (up 37.2%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached, etc).  Sales also included 47 Semi-detached homes (down 11.3%) and 56 freehold townhouses (up 27.3%).

The average sale price of all residential sales increased 7.3% to $378,248 compared to May 2015.  Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $438,708 an increase of 9.8% compared to last year.  The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $221,073, a decrease of 1.2%.  Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $277,355 (up 1.1%) and $296,751 (up 10.2%) respectively.

The Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival 

sDon’t miss out on this year’s Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival!

It’s that time of year again when Uptown Waterloo comes alive with the sounds of various jazz genres.  This year’s Jazz Festival will be held between July 15th - 17th.

This will be the festival’s 24th season and this year there will be an interactive “Jazz for Kids” program which is a fun way for kids of all ages to get involved!

The festival is also teaming up with local restaurants to bring even more jazz music to UpTown Waterloo so there will be special performances at restaurants before, during and after you leave the Festival.

The entire exciting line up of performers is available on the Jazz Festival’s website.  Hope to see you there!

Buying a Home Away from Home 

sThere’s something special about owning your own little getaway.

Owning a vacation property would be a dream come true for most of us!  Here are a few important points to consider if you’re thinking of purchasing your own little piece of paradise:

  1. Motives - Determine whether you’re looking for a spot to enjoy with family on the weekends, an investment property that you can rent out or a retirement retreat.
  2. Income - Renting out the property when you’re not using it makes great financial sense.  Location is critical for renters so make sure it’s in a high demand or up-and-coming area.
  3. Location - Figure out how far you’re prepared to travel and whether or not you need year-round access.  Once you’ve decided on a possible location, spend some time there before you commit.
  4. Numbers - Looking for a vacation home is exciting but it shouldn't be an impulse decision.  Make sure you thoroughly go over all the financials just as you would for your primary residence and don’t forget to include maintenance costs.
  5. Co-Ownership - Purchasing your new getaway with friends or family means you can share the upkeep and expenses.  Just make sure you agree on everything from day one and approach it like a business so you can spend your time relaxing instead of arguing.
  6. Fixer Uppers - Renovating a “diamond in the rough” is a great option as it allows you to add your own personal touch.  Major renovations often require permission though so make sure you’re familiar with local zoning rules and regulations.


Buying a home away from home is a huge decision so do lots of research, get your finances in order and seek professional advice before taking the plunge.  If you’re considering a few different locations or if you have questions regarding financing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How to Brighten Up a Basement on a Budget 

sYour basement doesn’t have to be a dark and dreary spot anymore.

Low ceilings, limited light and general dreariness can make the basement a hard spot to hang out in.  Here are a few ways to brighten things up in this often dark and cramped looking space:

  1. Fresh Coat - Paint the walls a light shade and ceilings even lighter to give the illusion of height.
  2. Lighten Up - Use various lighting sources layered at different heights including wall sconces and lamps to brighten things up.
  3. Mirror Mirror - Place mirrors across from your basement windows in order to maximize the effect of natural light.
  4. Floored - Don’t break up the basement by choosing different flooring materials.  Pick solid, continuous flooring so that the space will appear larger.


These are just a few ways to transform your basement from dark and dreary to bright and beautiful.  All it takes are just a few simple adjustments and before you know it, your basement will become one of your most popular hangouts!

Never Lose your Keys Again 

sA Bluetooth tracker can quickly & easily help you recover lost items.

You know that feeling of rushing out the door only to realize you can’t find your keys!  Instead of wasting valuable time frantically tearing the place apart, you’re now able to track them digitally.

Tile allows you to simply stick a tag on your keys or remote for example so you can keep track of their whereabouts through the Bluetooth functionality on your phone.  If your phone goes missing, you can use the tracker to ring it even if it’s on vibrate!

Tile really comes through if the missing item is out of range as it’ll automatically connect with other users who are close by.  If someone else's phone finds it, you'll be privately notified of its location.  It’s like a community-based electronic lost and found!

 





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