Monday, March 16, 2009

Mandatory Green Audits

Thinking of selling your home? You won’t be able to sell your home or condo without first getting a home energy audit, which will cost you $300.

Under the New Green Energy Act, you will now have to get a private contractor to do an energy audit before selling, but there will be no requirement to take any action. This audit is simply intended to inform potential buyers what state of energy efficiency a property is in so they can take action if desired.

While this adds an expense to homesellers, it is predicted that 50,000 new jobs will be created.

This is anoter step to encourage electricity conservation and encourage renewable sources of energy. In Portugual, solar systems are required in new houses.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Advanced warning

If you’ve ever waited a long time for a train to clear a crossing – and it’s a rite of passage for Londoners – then here’s news: City council has approved a pilot project to provide advance warning a train is crossing.

For starters, the project will be centred on the CN Rail crossing of Colborne St. south of Bathurst. Signs will be situated on York and Horton, about two blocks east and west of Colborne, that will signal approaching motorists the Colborne crossing is blocked by a train. Motorists can then plan a different route.

If the idea works, it will be rolled out to other locations in the city.

Free Home Buying/Selling Seminar

Tomorrow I am hosting another Home Buying & Selling Seminar, with Andrew Young of Scotiabank.

We have added new topics; learn about the different types of Government Programs, Incentives & Grants that can help you own your home quicker than you think. Currently, there are several programs available that is offered by the local, provincial, and federal governments.

It will be hosted at the Scotiabank on 301 Oxford St. W (right inside Cherryhill Mall) 7-9pm. If you would like to RSVP, give me a call 519-642-0619 or send me an email

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's that time of year again!

The March edition of my newsletter, 'Bricks & Mortar REAL ESTATE REPORTER' is now available. Visit to read the newsletter today. You'll find valuable real estate information & tips such as: "New Building Code Requirement", "Home Improvement on a Budget", and much more. This is your link to realty.

If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, just send me an email, and the next edition will be emailed to you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The media never prints about planes that land safely…only the ones that crash!

Real Estate Market UpdateThe same can be said with the Media’s current comments about the Real Estate Market. Consumers lose confidence and buyers become more cautious.

What should you do, where are we headed?

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) predicts a fairly stable market with some sectors showing declines and others remaining stable. New homes are hit the hardest and builders will offer more incentives especially if they have an over supply of ‘spec” homes.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) predicts a decline in activity of 19.1% and a decline in value of 7% overall for the province. The hardest hit areas in the province are projected to be in Windsor, Oakville, and Oshawa where the impact from the declining auto sector will be felt the most.

If you treat your investment like a stock, put in a purchase order and buy more, your cost base goes down and as the market recovers you take advantage of the increase/spread.

If are thinking of selling then price vs. show ability vs. timing will determine the difference between success and “long time” on the market. Make sure your research is accurate and thorough for the best decision.

MacCleans magazine published an article last Monday predicting the market will go down 20% and they used Teranet as a basis for this assessment. Teranet is a company who records all property transfers within the province. My belief is that MacCleans did not analyze the Teranet information objectively.

Let me explain: Let’s say you inherit a property and there is a transfer of ownership recorded at $1 or you buy the water frontage in front your cottage from the township for closing costs totaling $700. All these transfers are recorded at Teranet including selling your property on the open market (mls system). Let’s say you sold your cottage for 60% of value to one sibling and your principal residence for 60% of value to the other sibling to be “family” fair. Those amounts are recorded in the Teranet system.

So my question is: How can anyone take all the transfer prices of all real estate and predict what the market is doing without doing the objective research to find out the “why” of a sale, which would help enable you to determine where the real market is headed.

MacCleans sold a lot of magazines this past week. However, it is this writers’ opinion that they sent out some misleading information to sell those magazines and that’s bad news; a plane crash!

The press to some extent helps control our attitudes and our knowledge. If you are hearing bad news and thinking bad thoughts then good opportunities will not present themselves.

London is generally a white collar town and the market reflects this. Health and Education are the major employers. Yes we will have a slow down and there are hiring freezes and research freezes in those sectors but not mass lay offs. Our housing market is inexpensive compared to so many other centers: for example, Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto. Our market doesn’t and hasn’t fluctuated as other markets have.

London is a great place to invest, work and live.