List Now…Changes Are Coming

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

The question I’m most asked right now in the depths of winter is: Should I list my home now or wait until spring? I say NOW’S THE TIME!! Inventory is currently low, therefore following the Economics 101 rules of Supply and Demand, prices are somewhat higher. The forecast for Spring is that more homes will be on the market, driving prices downward. If you are ready, list now and look for a longer closing. That way, you can begin your new home search in March. Overall, we expect resales to slide in 2011 given our still weak economy, slow job growth, poor consumer confidence and the presumed impending interest rate hike mid-year.

Add to that the Government’s move to tighten mortgage eligibility, thus eliminating a number of potential Buyers’ ability to secure a mortgage or forcing some Buyers to borrow less in order to keep their payments affordable. Citing valid concerns that Canadians are taking on too much debt, the government would no longer insure mortgages higher than 30 years. You can take a look at the chart I’ve included from BMO Capital Markets and the Toronto Star which outlines the difference in payments in a 30 vs. 35 year mortgage. As well, they are tightening the rules for existing homeowners who want to refinance their homes by lowering the maximum amount Canadians can borrow to 85% of the property’s value and will no longer insure personal credit lines secured by homes. Ultimately these moves will impact home sales and home prices. As well, there is a move afoot to include 100% of Condo Fees in eligibility for a Condo mortgage (vs. 50% previously). For Condo Buyers, this will impact the amount they can borrow for a Condo purchase. For First Time Buyers, CMHC is tightening the process of qualifying for the 5% Down privilege. They are going to make the approval much harder and will look very closely at Credit Ratings. To qualify, First-Timers must have immaculate credit and I feel this will also eliminate a number of potential Buyers from the market.

I do not, however, expect any of this to impact my personal volume of business. With low interest rates, mortgage carrying costs are still very affordable. I continue to be busy in the Oakville real estate market and Jennifer Patterson, my newest Team Member, is busy serving the Toronto market (as well as backing me up here in Oakville). Although some of you have already met Jennifer, I will be introducing her via a YouTube video in the near future so that you may all see what I saw – the great qualities she brings to the table and the great fit she is to my Team. And to underscore my confidence in business for 2011, I will be further expanding my team to serve you better.

Looking Forward. Looking Back

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

It was hot then it was cold. It was up then it was down. The 2010 Real Estate Market felt like the lyrics for a Katy Perry song! Or a rollercoaster at Canada’s Wonderland – one wild ride! (For the record I’m looking at 2011 more as a Carousel – slow, solid, stable with just enough colour and interest.) Now back to 2010. Last winter I can only describe as typical. Generally slower, although I was steadily busy. Spring brought on the pre-HST/pre-Interest Rate Hike buying hysteria. Summer saw a slowdown – equal parts post-HST, post-Interest Rate Hike and the general lazy hazy days of summer. Fall saw prices realigning themselves with normal cyclical corrections. Houses were still selling. Prices were still reasonably high versus years past. But overall, fewer transactions. Of course, well-staged/well-priced/well-marketed homes still moved quickly although the days of multiple offers were over. (Which of course translated into: SELL FIRST then BUY – which still applies to today’s market.) There were a number of listings that expired from the summer due to unrealistic seller expectations. I’m proud to say that none of my listings had that dubious honour, although I did take over some expired listings. And then December came. This was the month of Stoli. Not the vodka. Well maybe some vodka, it was the season after all. But I mean my new horse, of course. Stoli. Stoli. Stoli. So luckily for me, I had time in the slower holiday market to acquaint myself with my newest family member, brush up on my riding skills and find my boy a new home in Oakville. (Just as with my clients, I put extensive research into this decision, visited a number of properties and then weighed the pros and cons of each potential stable – I know Stoli appreciated that!!) On the Real Estate front, I had the good fortune of adding 2 new Team members in December: Jennifer Patterson – a Sales Representative specializing in the Toronto condo market, and Veronica Thompson – an Office Assistant who is able to work alongside my Office Manager Cathy Braun who coordinates my marketing programs & computer support services and provide our Clients with exceptional service. Having the office in good hands enables me to devote my time worry-free in the field with my clients where I’m most effective. 2011 looks to bring more expansion to my team, so I’ll keep you posted! Why expand now? Despite the rollercoaster of 2010, I had a great year – I’m busier than ever right now and am looking forward to 2011 being another solid year. BE PREPARED!! That’s what my Mother always said!! If it were a song, I’d say The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” or Enrique Iglesias “I Like It”!!