Contact Me

Iris Khodkar & Evelyn Lee Sales Representatives
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage Independently owned and operated
148 King Road
Richmond Hill, Ontario   L4E2T4

Office 289-234-8552Toll Free 1-866-787-1629

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  • Updates On The Canadian Housing Market

    Although house prices are still high locally and nationally, data still suggests a moderating real estate market with lower sales and declining month-to-month prices. The CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) announced that home prices have declined nationally at a rate of 2.1% month over month since July of this year. Activity in July this year around stood at a rate of 11.9% lower than the rate of the same month last year. Furthermore, the number of newlt listed homes declined 1.8% from June to July. 

    In terms of price statistics, the MLS Home Index was up 12.9% year-over-year in July 2017,  while the national average sale price was down 0.3% year-over-year in the same month. 

    In terms of the dip in sales, the July dip makes the 4th consecutive monthly decline. Even though that decline was one third the magnitude of the declines in may and june, it leaves sales activity 15.3% below the record set in March. 

    While low inventory was a MAJOR concern during the winter months, more homes made their way to the market in the spring and summer. However, now it seems sellers are holding back due to the Ontario governments fair housing plan and it's proposed taxes on foreign buyers and sellers. With sale down by the same amount as new listings in July, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was little changed at a well balanced 53.5% compared to the high 60% in the first quarter of 2017. According to CREA, a national sales-to-new listings ratio between 40-60% is consistent with a balanced national market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers and sellers market respectively. 

    Although prices are still high, benchmark price gains slowed on a year-over-year basis in greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. However, it remains well above levels a year ago with Greater Toronto being +18.1%, Oakville-Milton +12.7% and Guelph +23% 

    The actual national average price for houses sold in July 2017 was $478,696, down 0.3% from where it stood exactly a year ago. CREA says that this was the first year-over-year decline in the measure since February 2013, reflecting fewer sales in the GTA and Vancouver. 

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Bank of Canada Calls a Second Interest Rate Announcement

    If you're about to renew or take out a mortgage, you might want to take note of the Bank of Canada's second interest rate hike. 

     

    The interest rates have increased twice in less than two months in an effort to adjust to Canada's recent economic growth. The April-to-June performance led to a surprisingly healthy growth in the first three months of 2017 and easily exceeded the Bank of Canada's projections, deeming it to be "self-sustaining." Increased consumer spending was also a sign that Canadians are enjoying employment and income growth which prompted the Bank to increase their rates. On top of that, widespread strength in business investment and exporting seemed to have an effect on it as well. The financial institution raised its target for the overnight rate to one per cent (up from .75 per cent). The BOC says The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1, 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.​ 

     

    The Bank continues to expect a moderation in the pace of economic growth in the second half of 2017, for the reasons described in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), but the level of GDP is now higher than the Bank had expected," the report reads. Given the stronger-than-expected economic performance, Governing Council judges that today's removal of some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus in place is warranted. Future monetary policy decisions are not predetermined and will be guided by incoming economic data and financial market developments as they inform the outlook for inflation.

    Looking in the future, there's a range of factors to consider when making a decision regarding the interest rates in the coming months. The Bank of Canada might have to take a simmered approach when the economy cools down from it's current pace. The main focus will be the evolution of the economy's potential and labour market conditions. The bank will also look at household indebtedness, a key consideration when it comes to elevating interest rates (as Canadians are quite in debt, especially regarding housing).

    The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is October 25, 2017.

  • Continued -- Ways to save for a Downpayment for any BIG Purchase!

    Saving for a new home can be very hard, but NOT impossible. Here are more ways to make saving money more doable:

    5. Look for cheaper ways to do things

    One thing smart people do to save a lot of money is adapting to a cheaper lifestyle or look for cheaper alternatives to do things without diminishing their fun.

    For example, for someone who likes to eat out a lot, they can look for cheaper places which that offer the same food choices. Also, some offer 2 for 1 coupon deals which can help in cutting your eating budget in half. For someone who loves to travel, they can opt for a cheaper destinations such as Cuba rather than a 2 week vacation in Hawaii. â€‹If you have a busy family, you can really save money if you eat at home more often.

    If you are able to work some of these changes into your lifestyle, you will definitely save money. However, the key to saving money is to resist the temptation to spend it on something else right away, and to start considering the cheaper alternatives.

    6. Borrow from your RRSP

    RRSP allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 to buy your first home which is a great way to use as a down payment. If you don't, start saving money for your RRSP and on top of that you can get tax credit to help reduce your taxes making it a win-win situation.

    7. Use the Tax Free Savings Account

    A Tax Free Savings Account is a great way to save money for your future home as it lets your savings grow without having to pay income tax which means more money on your end. Consult with your financial planner or advisor.

    8. See if your city has a First Time Homebuyers Program

    As a first time homebuyer, you'll want to take advantage of various programs offered by various levels of government that will help make purchasing a home more affordable. â€‹

    These programs help by:

             1) making it easier for first time home buyers to afford a home in an expensive city

             2) redeveloping a part of the city that is struggling.

    These programs usually have very specific requirements. You can check with your city hall to see if your city has any sort of program like this to help first time home buyers.

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Ways to save for a Downpayment for any BIG Purchase!

    There are MANY great ways you can save up for your dream home. Fortunately, you can use these same tips and techniques to save up for other purchasable matter like a car, vacation, paying off your debts or simply saving for your retirement! It's been proven that once you achieve your financial goal, you build a habit of maintaining these strategies to achieve other aspirations as well! It all depends on how motivated you are to accomplish these goals. Here are the tips: 

    1. YOU MUST PRIORITIZE

    Saving for something important, like a home, is all about priorities. If saving for a home is one of your top priorities, then you should try to identify other areas where you can cut back so that you can put more money into your savings. The BEST way to identify areas to cut back on is to formulate a budget. 

    2. PAY OFF YOUR CREDIT CARD DEBTS 

    You cannot save money if you are paying alot of interest to someone else. The first priority before saving up should be paying off all your debts. Start with your smallest high interest debt. Then take the minimum payment from that debt and use it to help you pay off the next small debt that has the highest interest rate. Once that's paid off, the 2 minimum payments that you used to pay for the smaller debts can help you pay off your next debt faster. You will notice a snowball effect as the minimum payments you are freeing up help in making larger and larger payments against one debt at a time. This is one of the FASTEST ways to pay off debt. 

    3. GET RID OF ONE CAR

    If you can get ride of one of your cars, then do it! This can save you thousands of dollars per year. You could consider walking, taking transit, car pooling or even cycling to your job. If you can make this work, you can potentially save, not only on monthly car payments, but gas, maintenance, and insurance. There paymetns add up to approximately $9000 for the average person, which is saying something. As a start, try parking your car for a couple of months first to see if it will work for you! 

    4. SAVE MORE FROM WORK 

    When you get a raise at work, take that extra money and save it in a seperate savings account. Try saving bonuses, extra sales commissions or tax refunds in your separate savings account.

    Like what you read?? Stay tuned for more ways to save up on our next blog! 

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Why Bother Hiring a Real Estate Salesperson?

    One of the biggest objections a Real Estate Salesperson faces when interacting with a potential client is "why should I hire you?" Now before we get into this, you're probably thinking "oh, this blog is going to be bias towards agents!" Before you make these conclusions, just hear us out! With so muh information readily available online, consumers wonder, and rightfully so, if they should sell their home online, through regular marketing and advancing channels without representation or with a real estate professional.

    Here are 6 reasons explaining why a homeowner should consider hiring a Real Estate Professional to sell their home: 

    1) KNOWLEDGE

    Ever heard of the saying "Knowledge is Power"? Well what you don't know can absolutely hurt you! A Real Estate Professional's knowledge is PRICELESS! You do not need to know everything about selling Real Estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said "When you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are". Why not hire the person with the education and experience? An agent knows what the internet doesn't tell consumers and they can provide insight that consumer's can't get online! 

    2) TIME 

    Everyone's time is valuable, but do you, Mr/Ms homeowner, truly have time to attempt to play the real estate professional role? Let me tell you one thing, depending on the market, you as a seller need to dedicate a SIGNIFICANT amount of time if you decide to sell on your own. Here are some of the things required of you as a sole seller: 

    - You need to dedicate time to show the home safely on a moments notice

    - You need to dedicate time to scheduling and showing appointments

    - You need to educate yourself in order for you to ask the right questions when inquiring feedback on your home 

    - You need to be in contact with furnishing expert resources like architects, contractors, designer and others 

    - You might need to handle items that are flagged to be repaired or replaced by an inspector

    - You need to have a roster of repair people that will come on a moments notice 

    -  You need to understand the difference between making an improvement and not a repair.

    All those mentioned above can be done by an agent and can be done in not only a professional but also an efficient matter while you sit back and not worry about a thing! 

    3) PRESENTATION 

    Here's the deal, you NEVER get a second chance to make up from a bad first impression. This rule is especially true when putting up a property for sale. You need to prepare the house for sale with the proper pricing techniques based on the market data and conditions along with having solid negotiating skills when that first offer comes your way. Real Estate Salespeople can help you with that! With their experience, they can make your homes first impression on the market a very good one! 

    4) MARKETING 

    One of the biggest factors and advantages of hiring a Real Estate Professional is their means of providing extensive marketing! Agents study buyer demographic for a respective home and neighbourhood. They have strategic ways on how to promote a listing to other agents in the community as well as social media! 

    5) NEGOTIATION EXPERIENCE 

    The Seller received and offer. Now what?? How do they respond? What do you look for in that purchase agreement? What terms and conditions could be disadvantageous to the sellers? Do they know how to negotiate to keep the buyer in the game versus walking away? How do they strike a delicate balance between projecting their interests as a seller and working with the buyer toward the goal of putting an agreement together? If you're in a "hot" market, how do you manage multiple offers? 

    If there's one thing Real Estate Agents are good at, its negotiating. Period. This skill is very necessary in the home buying or selling process. 

    6) TRANSACTION MANAGEMENT 

    So the home is under contract, what do sellers do next? Do they know who they need to be in contact with? Who is going to be handling the closing? What items should they be following up on? How they will handle challenges like the property not appraising for the contract sales price or things potentially derailing due to home inspection issues? Shaky financing? What about the closing? What is the closing protocol in their market and what are the expectations? 

    If you want me to be completely honest and blunt with you, selling a home ignorantly without the knoweldge and expertise is a setup for disaster. We have seen it time and time again. The perceived savings of selling without representation can come back to bite sellers in terms of uninformed decisions and costly mistakes that- in the long run- end up costing sellers more money that if they hired a real estate profesional initially! Hiring a Real Estate Professional will protect consumer's interests, manage the risks, and help justify their homes value in the first place! 

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • It's Solar Eclipse Day

    News is buzzing around about today's solar eclipse! Anyone within the path of totality can see one of natures most inspiring sights that happens once every 18 Months on average! However, North America is not expected to see a Solar Eclipse until 2024! This path will be seen fully in completion where the moon covers the sun from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Toronto and the GTA only got to see part of the eclipse (about 70%). Although to some individuals it did not seem very impressive, for those who watched, a part of the sun was hidden by a "dark" body, aka the moon! This is known as a PARTIAL eclipse. For those curious poeple out there, you might be wondering, what exactly is a solar ecclipse and how does it occur?? Well my friend's you have come to the right blog post: 

    Sometimes when the moon orbits the Earth, it moves between the sun and the Earth. With that being said, at a certain point of time, the moon and sun align at a point where the moon blocks the sun from the Earth making a solar eclipse. There are 3 types of Solar Eclipses: 

    The first Solar Eclipse is known as a total solar eclipse. This eclipse is only visible from a small area on Earth. During today's eclipse, this small area is between Salem and Chalreston. This area is in the center of the moons shadow where the sun is almost completely blocked. During a total eclipse, the sky becomes very dark, as if it were night and temperatures drop below normal! 

    The Second type of Solar Eclipse is called a partial solar Eclipse. This eclipse happens when the sun and moon are not exactly lined up. This is the type of eclipse we experienced in southern Ontario. The sun appears to have a dark shadow on only a part of its surface.

    The third type of solar eclipse is called an Anular Eclipse. This happens when the moon is farthest from the Earth. Becuse of that, the moon might seem smaller. When an eclipse happens at this point, the moon in front of the sun looks like a dark center of the suns bigger disc creating what looks like a ring of light around the moon! 

     

    DISCLAIMER: Never look directly at the sun during an ecclipse! It can permenantly damage your eyes! Make sure you use proper safety equipment! 

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Canada's Unemployment Rate Reaches its Lowest in Nine Years!

    This summer has brought upon a series of amazing news! Not only has the housing market been in a stabilizing transition but the economy extended its winning streak in July, posting its 8th consecutive month of job growth! This led to the unemployment rate to drop to its lowest ever since the finnancial crisis 9 years ago! 

    Unemployment rate dropped a drastic 0.2% leading to a total of 6.3%. According to statistics Canada, the number of people looking for work declined significantly. A staggering employment growth of 45,300 was acheived in June along with a growth of 54,500 jobs back in May of this year! The July data was fuelled by an additional 35,100 full time jobs which was offset by the loss of 24,300 part time jobs. Compared to a year ago, the number of jobs increased by 388,000, driven by a surge in 354,00 full time positions! Prosperity is in the air! Aren't you glad to be Canadian?! 

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Updates on the Toronto Housing Market

    After the introduction of the foreign buyer's tax last spring, which included a 15% tax on foreign buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, expanded rent controls and legislation allowing Toronto and other cities to tax vacant homes, the downturn of the Toronto Real Estate Market was initiated. However, this downturn is expected to be brief, according to the federal house agency. 

    Property prices in Toronto fell from an average of $919,589 in April to $739,915 last month. This fall is said to come to a halt with prices picking up in the near future, thanks to supply constraints and a stronger economy! Like Toronto, Vancouver also experienced a Real Estate slowdown following the implementation of a tax on foreign buyers a year ago. There have been signs this year that the Vancouver housing market is heating up again. It was reported in April that sales in Vancouver's housing market jumped by almost 50% on a month-to-month basis

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Places to go for the Summer in York Region!

    With the temperatures finally rising in southern Ontario, there’s a lot to take advantage of in the community. If you live in York Region, we have news for you! Below are five locales, you, your friends and family can use to enjoy the sun:

     

    1. SWAN LAKE PARK

    • This beautiful park is located at 25 Swan Park Road, Markham. It consists of a large splash pad, a gazebo, nearby playground and trails around the lake! It also consists of a former gravel pit filled with water teeming with wildlife for you and the family to enjoy!

    2. NORTH THORNHILL COMMUNITY CENTRE

    • This centre, located at 300 Pleasant Ridge Ave, has something for everybody! It includes a big splash pad with a gazebo, an indoor swimming pool. It also includes the Pleasant Ridge Library next door for those who do not like getting wet!

    3. THE WAVE POOL

    • This public facility located at 5 Hopkins Street in Richmond Hill offers a 100-foot water slide, on deck sauna, warm water swirl pool. You can enjoy your stay in peace as the facility is monitored by trained life gaurds

    4. GORMAN OUTDOOR POOL

    • Want to get wet and enjoy the sun at the same time? This outdoor, heated public pool located at 424 D’Arcy Street in Newmarket is accessible with a slope from the shallow end to a depth of 5 feet in the deep end! There are lifeguards, picnic benches and chairs for you to be safe, enjoy and relax!

    5. THE ROC

    • This Sprawling outdoor recreation facility, 26479 Civiv Centre Road in Georgina, features a splash pad with vertical jets, dump buckets, a high volume and ground spray nozzles plis nearby structures and a forest with walking trails! 

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Keeping Deals Alive in Our Current Real Estate Market

    Nowadays, buyers are having a tougher time closing their Real Estate Deals. This is due to the buyer not being able to sell their existing home for what they exected or reasons like  the lender re-appraising the property they bought lower than what they paid, resulting in a lower mortgage being approved. Either way, the deal cannot close without further negotiations. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are a buyer or seller trying to maintain a deal: 

    Keep The Deal Alive Whenever Possible: 

    According to Mark Weisleder, partner, author, and speaker at Real Estate Lawyers.ca, keeping a deal alive, no matter what the cost, is still better than cancelling and going to court. Whenever the deal breaks down and ends up in court, the only winners are the lawyers. People do not appreciate the time, costs and stress a Real Estate lawsuit provides. 

    Forget About Blaming Your Real Estate Agent: 

    When a deal goes bad, it's easy to try and blame your Real Estate agent for your misfortune. However, it is rarely the agents fault a buyer put in an offer without any conditions during the unbelievable bidding that was witnessed a few months ago. In addition, buyers and sellers must remember that while they have to pay for their lawyers upfront in any lawsuit, an agent has virtually all their legal fees paid for, through their insurance. 

    Remember What To Ask For In An Extenstion:

    If you are going to agree to keep a deal alive by extending it, sellers should try and ask for TWO main terms of extension. The first being an additional deposit, usually non-refundable; to be paid to the seller immediately and to be credited to the purchase price on closing. These funds can then be used by the seller to help pay for unanticipated costs that incur as a result of the extension. Secondly, a request for interest on the balance due on closing at anywhere from 3-7% should be put forward. This compensates the seller for avoiding the use of their closing balance during the extension period and helps pay the extra interest the seller may be paying on their own mortgage. 

    Get Lawyers Involved Early In The Process: 

     In order to try and reduce everyone's losses, sometimes you will have no choice but to put the house back in the market without agreeing to a mutual release. This will involve a more complicated agreement, as the parties will not want to place any conditions on the listing like the deal being subject to a release of a prior agreement. Sellers will need a lawyer to assist you both in the legal processes and someone who understands the MLS listing and selling process! 

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

Contact Me

Iris Khodkar & Evelyn Lee Sales Representatives
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage Independently owned and operated
148 King Road
Richmond Hill, Ontario   L4E2T4

Office 289-234-8552Toll Free 1-866-787-1629