Wednesday, December 10, 2008



In an effort to boost the economy and consumer confidence, many lenders have once again dropped interest rates. What does this mean. Well, I am looking at one rate that is 4.9% on a 5 yr fixed. Last month we were seeing rates around 5.9% which would be a difference of approx at least $50.00/mth in savings and over approx $4500.00 in interest savings on a 5 yr term for every 100,000 in mortgage dollars. Think of what you can do with that savings. Or if you were holding off, waiting to see what the markets were going to do, you are in luck. Prices are down, inventory remains high, and now interest rates are LOW. What better time to buy than in a buyers market with low interest rates!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Interest rates came down today at most major lenders, some as much a .50 basis points! This is a buyers market for list price and negotiating, so why not take advantage NOW! Before prices rise again as they typically do in the spring! Call Jason Steele Broker for more information. 519-377-2147

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Choosing someone to represent you

Shopping for a real estate representative is somewhat like shopping for a car in my opinion. Realiable, always working, and there when you need it! Did you buy your car because of the incentive from the dealer, what happens after when you need service? Is that dealer there for you? Much is the same in real estate.
Just because the deal is done, doesn't mean you should be without someone to talk to. What about Tarion warranty, or re-sale, how about finding out more information on the property, and most importantly DAY OF CLOSING!
Were you offered a "free home inspection" or "Home Staging"? Are you being offered "great service before, during and after the sale as well"? With the free home inspection, is it with the inspector of your choice? Check the fine print, because maybe it's not. What about the home staging. Maybe you will have a conflict with the stager...can you use whomever you wish?

Sure there is value in a home inspection (approx $300-$400) but does the home inspection tell you the MLS stats, or what the neighbor is like down the street or go that extra mile to provide just as important information?

Basically what I am saying is, that no matter who you choose, do your homework on what services will be provide for you, period.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The "NEW" Market

So the hype, the fear, the anxiety...what does it all mean?

Everyone is asking the same question, what should I do?

Well if you ask a Real Estate guru such as Donald Trump, he'll tell ya things like "Be fearful when others are greedy. Be Greedy when others are fearful", meaning now is the time to by as many are fearful.

Prices are down, inventory is high and that equals buyers having the opportunity in many cases to purchase what they want, close to the price they want. Quite a difference over last year, where you bought it because it was all that was available at the time.

Think about it now, prices are down over last year in many markets. Many prices have reduced to a point where they are at their lowest possible price. Now is the time to buy.

Will the prices drop futher? Of course that depends on the market(none of us have a crystal ball) Again, most homes are priced where the seller can afford to let them go. We are not in a forclosure market like in the states, so really there are not many firesales/power of sales here!

Should I wait to see if the prices go down further? Read the paragraph above again. Now ask yourself this, "What usually happens to housing prices in the spring"? That's right, they go up. Can you afford to wait for the prices to go up?

We are in an area where the economy is still level. More employers are moving to town, Bruce Power is still strong and should remain that way for many many years for the most part. Canadian real estate markets are far-better positioned than their American counterparts for a good number of reasons.
1) interest rates remain favourable
2) we have less debt personally than the US per person
3) The Canadian banking system is one of the best and strongest in the world. And the govement jumped on Canadian mortgage rules before havoc starts, not after the fact like in the US.

Real estate has peaks and valleys, and compared to last year(2007) of course we are in a bit of a valley but that is because last year was a tremendous record year.

The time couldn't be better even for Sellers that want to "move-up".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Condominium purchase

Ever thought about purchasing a condo? What is the difference between condo and freehold? What are the rules in Condo living? So many questions.

Freehold is full ownership of the building inside and out and the surrounding property within the ownership boundry commonly shown on a survey of the property.
Condominium in most cases is the full ownership of the envelope(interior walls of the unit) and shared or common area ownership of the surrounding property. Such as the community hall, the hallway, the elevators, the gardens etc.

Condo living can be more exterior maintenance such as lawns or snow, roof or window repair etc, but, condo's also have rules. Make sure to get a copy of the Rules, regs and by-laws of the corporation to be sure you can live by the rules...pets, noise, kids, payment of fees, common element use such as pools, fitness facilities etc., will be just some of the rules contained in the regulations and by-laws.

Condominium Status Certificate: What is it? It is a document prepared usually by the Secretary of the Condo Corporation which details all the happenings with the condo corp...past repairs, future indicated repairs or replacements(usually done by an engineering firm), how much money is in the reserve etc.
Further information on Condominium Act, 1998 can be found at:

The corporation shall give to each person who so requests a status certificate with respect to a unit in the corporation, in the prescribed form, that specifies the date on which it was made and that contains,

(a) a statement of the common expenses for the unit and the default, if any, in payment of the common expenses;

(b) a statement of the increase, if any, in the common expenses for the unit that the board has declared since the date of the budget of the corporation for the current fiscal year and the reason for the increase;

(c) a statement of the assessments, if any, that the board has levied against the unit since the date of the budget of the corporation for the current fiscal year to increase the contribution to the reserve fund and the reason for the assessments;

(d) a statement of the address for service of the corporation;

(e) a statement of the names and address for service of the directors and officers of the corporation;

(f) a copy of the current declaration, by-laws and rules;

(g) a copy of all applications made under section 109 to amend the declaration for which the court has not made an order;

(h) a statement of all outstanding judgments against the corporation and the status of all legal actions to which the corporation is a party;

(i) a copy of the budget of the corporation for the current fiscal year, the last annual audited financial statements and the auditor’s report on the statements;

(j) a list of all current agreements mentioned in section 111, 112 or 113 and all current agreements between the corporation and another corporation or between the corporation and the owner of the unit;

(k) a statement that the person requesting the status certificate has the rights described in subsections (7) and (8) with respect to the agreements mentioned in clause (j);

(l) a statement whether the parties have complied with all current agreements mentioned in clause 98 (1) (b) with respect to the unit;

(m) a statement with respect to,

(i) the most recent reserve fund study and updates to it,

(ii) the amount in the reserve fund no earlier than at the end of a month within 90 days of the date of the status certificate, and

(iii) current plans, if any, to increase the reserve fund under subsection 94 (8);

(n) a statement of those additions, alterations or improvements to the common elements, those changes in the assets of the corporation and those changes in a service of the corporation that are substantial and that the board has proposed but has not implemented, together with a statement of the purpose of them;

(o) a statement of the number of units for which the corporation has received notice under section 83 that the unit was leased during the fiscal year preceding the date of the status certificate;

(p) a certificate or memorandum of insurance for each of the current insurance policies;

(q) a statement of the amounts, if any, that this Act requires be added to the common expenses payable for the unit;

(r) a statement whether the Superior Court of Justice has made an order appointing an inspector under section 130 or an administrator under section 131;

(s) all other material that the regulations made under this Act require. 1998, c. 19, s. 76 (1); 2000, c. 26, Sched. B, s. 7 (5).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Same Question

Over and over again the same question always comes up regarding a multiple offer or competing offer in a transaction in real estate and that question is.......

Well here is the straight forward, no holding back answer....."NO".

In real estate part of our duty as registered real estate representatives is to ensure the best interests of our client(s). To divulge "offer" information does not protect the interest of any parties to the current transaction. So even if I knew the answer, I can't and won't tell you, nor should your representative. The only way to find out if your offer is the "best" offer, is to submit it, have your representative present the offer, and see if it accepted. That doesn't always mean you beat out the other offer monitarily speaking. Your offer could have been the lesser for money, but may have had better conditions or no conditions at all which are worth money in a round-about way.

The best way to ensure you don't end up in a competing offer situation is to get your offer in right away...don't wait around.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Choosing the Right Real Estate Representative part 2

Once you have chosen your real estate representative it is best to stay with them. Providing your representative has given you the ultimate service and commitment you deserve, you should not bounce around from rep to rep. Most reps invest lots of time, effort and money into selling your home, or as a buyers rep, sourcing out homes that meet your needs. Driving here and there, countless hours spent investigating properties and problems, trips to the registry office, municipal office, bringing that offer back and forth etc, showings and more showings. Did you know a rep does not get paid until the deal is done and closes.
Just because the sign on the property has a Brokerage name on it, doesn't mean you have to call that Brokerage. If you are already working with one, call them first. If they are not comfortable with the area, hopefully they will tell you that.
Most representatives know agents from around the area, and can easily refer you to a reputable one that can help, thus taking the trouble of finding a good rep out of the equation for you. Remember I can show you any listed property in the area, and if it is not listed, I will certainly knock on the door for you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Choosing the Right Real Estate Representative

How to choose your Representative for LISTING your home.

Who do I choose to list it with?
What happens when I list my home?
How much do I ask?
How do I present my home for sale?
Do I have to change many things to sell my home?
What fees are involved?
So many questions, where do I turn?


You need to confide in a representative who has the TIME and ENERGY to market your home, and answer those questions to the best of their knowledge. Don't you want your home exposed by someone that has the TIME to give your home the attention it deserves? Have you seen "lots" of signs out there lately? Having far too many listings doesn't make someone the best. If I know I can’t handle it, I will refer the listing to someone who can that way I have time to focus on the ones I already have. I try to keep my listing portfolio under 12 properties. This way, your home gets the attention it needs to be marketed properly.
Really, when listing your home the representative uses their marketing skills to attract buyers or their agents. Just placing a sign on the lawn and a listing on the Multiple Listing Service may not get the job done.
When you list your home, I will go over the details necessary to make this time in your life as stress free as possible. Open houses, Talking House, marketing are all steps that are taken when you list with me.
Closets, kitchens and bathrooms are the key to selling the home. De-clutter, and sometimes just a fresh coat of paint is all it takes.
As far as fees, commission varies, and there is no set rate. It is all dependant on the type of marketing needed, the “list” price of the home and other variables.
When you have questions, I will do my very best to provide YOU with answers. If I don’t know the answer, I will not guess….I will find the answer!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What's the market done so far in Port Elgin

So as of today I have run the numbers on a "search" property basis for "solds".
From May 19, 2007 to August 19, 2007 the number of residential sales were 43.
From May 19, 2008 to August 19,2008 the number of reisdential sales were at 38.
Down only 5 units from last year.

It is the amount of listings that are making the market here look as if it is "cooling" off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Race For Space

Nothing sells a home better than space! The more open, flowing and orderly rooms seem to potential buyers, the easier it will be to sell the home. Whether your home was built in the last year, or the last millennium, there are things you can do to enhance its space. Before you get started, it’s important to ask yourself what a redecorating or home improvement project will do to enhance the space in your home. Even if you’re not thinking of selling today, you may consider it in the future. Making decisions now to enhance the space in your home will pay off in a big way when you eventually do sell. As a real estate professional, homes are my business. I can help you make the most of your investment. If you can think of anyone who would benefit from my world-class service, please have them contact me today.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

So what is happening in the world of real estate in our back yards? In Port Elgin, employment is steady, tourists are here, and money is being spent. So why does it appear that the market is slow? "APPEAR" is the key word here. The difference between a buyers market and sellers market is very evident between the two.

In a buyers market:
- inventory of listed homes is very high
-lower buyers to listings ratio
- buyers have choice which makes purchasing a slower process
- prices correct to the market (price reductions for the most part)
- buyers have a better negotiation strategy because of these factors

In a Sellers Market:
- employment and economy strong
- inventory of homes for sale are low
- higher buyers to listings ratio
- that must have attitude from buyers
- homes sell at or slightly above listed price (multiple offers on one house)

Right now, we are considered to be in a buyers market.
In Port Elgin, we have seen a huge increase in listed homes over this time last year. There are many reasons, such as relocation, vendors wanting to "cash in" on the market, down/up sizing. This has caused the "APPEARANCE of a slowdown in the market when in actual fact, properties for the most part are selling. Not as quickly mind you, but many are selling. We have seen some correction in the market as far as pricing. Last year, many homes lasted no longer than 30 days on the market, this year, it isn't unreasonable to see a home listed greater than 60-90 days which in the past(pre-2007) was normal. 2007 saw a record breaking year around the country. Now the market is correcting itself from that "must have" attitude.
Part of the reason for the "scare" in the market, is people think that if it is happening somewhere else, it is going to happen here. Take the U.S. market for example. That was the big hype for some time. This impacted us, becuase of the fear of it happening here. People also get nervous when they see the layoffs in other markets such as Oshawa. This is very much understandable.
In this type of market, when purchasing a home to "live" in, you can't think of the word "flip". If it is the home you want, and you can afford it, make some negotiations, then make the purchase. Don't hinder on what the value will be in 5 one has a crystal ball nor a theory on what the future will hold for that particular home as there are far to many factors to consider. Most of which are beyond your control.