Buyers beware: New Homes in Ontario MUST be Tarion Registered

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caution

Did you know, that it is illegal to build and sell a new home in Ontario without being a builder who is registered with Tarion?  It is also illegal to build and sell a new home if the home is not enrolled in the Tarion Warranty Program.  According to it’s blog, Tarion states that, “in 2015, Tarion was involved in 241 illegal building investigations which resulted in 105 convictions, over $330,000 in fines and two jail sentences. We have had eight defendants sentenced to jail. The longest of which was 6 months served in full and was upheld by the appeals court.”

Tarion’s enforcement arm is now targeting real estate professionals who are in some way involved in selling homes that are not registered.   Real estate representatives who are  a party to illegal building or who abet an illegal builder can face charges under Tarion’s governing legislation.

As professional real estate salespeople, we have a duty to understand that the law REQUIRES that new builds are to be enrolled in the Tarion program in order to protect buyers from illegal building activity.  Conviction for selling an unregistered home could affect a real estate salesperson’s licence and registration with the RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario).

 

 

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Nov. 18-24, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.  Previous week(s) in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  27 (20, 34, 30)
Average List Price: $687,030
Range of List Prices: $159,900 – $2,400,000
Number of Sales: 31 (27, 27, 27)
Range of Sale Prices:  $196,000 – $1,225,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  10 (9, 8, 9)
Average List Price:  $313,660
Range of List Prices: $199,900 – $625,000
Number of Sales:  6 (4, 6, 5)
Range of Sale Prices:  $155,000 – $420,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 5 ( 8, 12, 17)
Number of Sales: 5 (2, 11, 6)
Range of Sale Prices: $83,000 – $650,000

Price Changes this week:  18

Notables this week:  

  • 4 Single Family residences sold for more than the asking prices and 1 sold at the asking price
  • 2 condo listing sold for more than the asking prices
  • 1 vacant land listing sold at the asking price

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

Buying an Investment Condo at Blue Mountain

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So many people suddenly seem to be interested in buying an investment condo at Blue. Most people I talk to are looking for something they can rent out as a recreational unit in or around the Village at Blue Mountain.

I’ve written a number of blog posts on this topic such as this 4 part series but there still seems to be some confusion about the money side of things so hopefully this video helps somewhat.

Generally, recreational condos are great for people who want personal use of a vacation home and who wish to offset their operating costs by renting it out when they are not using it.  As a straight investment though, the expenses associated with a vacation condo really reduce the cash flow.  When you have short term guests, you are paying for things like the rental management, utilities and cleaning fees every time someone checks out.  In an annual rental, residential property, you don’t have many of those expenses so the return is usually better.

It comes down to what you are trying to accomplish with your purchase. Are you looking for cash flow?  Return over time? Are you counting on property appreciation? Are you risk tolerant? do you wish to just offset some costs in your vacation home?

It makes sense to know your goal first and if it is straight investment for wealth creation, this may not be the very best option.  If it is to offset operating costs with personal usage the rest of the time, then it’s perfect.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer November 11-17, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.  Previous week(s) in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  20 (34, 30, 26)
Average List Price: $504,580
Range of List Prices: $159,900 – $2,195,000
Number of Sales: 27 (27, 27, 35)
Range of Sale Prices:  $184,000 – $1,775,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  9 ( 8, 9, 11)
Average List Price:  $391,378
Range of List Prices: $199,900 – $679,900
Number of Sales:  4 (6, 5, 13)
Range of Sale Prices:  $190,000 – $749,900

Vacant Land
New Listings: 8 (12, 17, 14)
Number of Sales: 2 (11, 6, 11)
Range of Sale Prices: $5,000 – $70,000

Price Changes this week:  9

Notables this week:  

  • 2 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices and 3 sold at their asking price
  • 1 condo listing sold for more than it’s asking price, and 1 sold at it’s asking price

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

What do X and Y REALLY want? or… This post is X-rated.

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According to research conducted by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), young Ontarians are focused on becoming homeowners in the next two years.House piggy bank

The number of Generation Y (millennials) who are likely to buy a home in the next 2 years has reportedly increased to 24 percent this year (2016) compared to 16 percent in 2015. This year, 18 percent of the slightly older Generation Xers expect to buy in that same time period, compared to 12 percent in 2015.

The intended property type of the majority of the Gen X buyers at 63 percent and Gen Y at 51 percent – are detached homes. Apartments or condos are the intended purchase of 28 percent of Gen Y and 17 percent of Gen X, according to OREA’s research.

Ray Ferris, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, commented: “Based on their intentions to buy, and the kind of real estate they’re looking at, it is evident that ‘stage-of-life’ is a motivating factor for Gen Y.” He added, “Also, given the strength of real estate markets lately, it is understandable that a growing number of millennials would like to own a (detached) home and why so many [81 per cent] believe real estate is a good investment.”

If you are Gen X or Gen Y, tell me what you think.  I’m listening.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Nov.4-10, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.  Previous week(s) in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  34 (30, 26, 30)
Average List Price: $480,047
Range of List Prices: $197,900-$1,295,000
Number of Sales: 27 (27, 35, 33)
Range of Sale Prices:  $147,000 – $2,300,100

Condominiums
New Listings:  8 (9, 11, 10)
Average List Price:  $241,606
Range of List Prices: $124,900 – $359,450
Number of Sales:  6 (5, 13, 7)
Range of Sale Prices: $225,000 – $850,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 12 (17, 14, 9)
Number of Sales: 11 (6, 11, 16)
Range of Sale Prices: $52,000 – $385,000

Price Changes this week:  15

Notables this week:  

  • 5 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices and 4 sold at their asking price
  • 1 condo listing sold for more than it’s asking price, and 3 sold at their asking price
  • 2 vacant land listings sold for more than their asking prices, and 4 sold at their asking prices

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

What To Do About An Ash Tree on Your Property

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I guess the title should really say, What To Do About An Ash Tree On OUR Property.  As I blogged a few weeks ago,  the issue of the Emerald Ash Borer and the guarantee that it will kill all un-inoculated trees soon, is going to become a much bigger issue soon.  It is not a question of IF but rather a question of WHEN the pests will arrive and kill all the ash trees.

file-2016-10-19-6-47-18-pm

Since discovering that the big, shade giving and healthy tree in our backyard is an ash, we’ve been contemplating our options.  Do we have it inoculated given that the process must be repeated every two years, potentially forever?  Do we cut it down?  Is it healthy and worth saving?  If we save it, could it become part of the problem by being a host in our neighbourhood?

With all these questions, we decided to call in an expert.  Ryan from Arbtec Tree Care Services is a Certified Arborist with a good reputation in our area.  He verified that the tree was healthy aside from some environmental stress caused by the extreme heat and temperature changes we had this year. He pointed out that the beetle is not yet here but is coming and, inoculations can only be done starting again in June next year.  In other words, we had time to decide.  So, we asked him for a quote on all options and I learned that the price of inoculating depends on the size of the tree as of course does the cost to cut it down.  Honestly, the cost of either option was less than I thought.

In the end, we’ve made the decision to cut down the tree.  What if in future we forgot to inoculate it or, if we sell the house and a future owner has to take on the stewardship which they may or may not do? As sad as it is to me to see a tree come down, it seems like it is the right thing to do in this case.

So for now, we are enjoying the grace of our bug free tree while we can.  Time to contemplate what will go in its place in future. Damn beetles.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.  Previous week(s) in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  30 (26, 30, 37)
Average List Price: $623,060
Range of List Prices: $218,000 – $1,899,900
Number of Sales: 27 (35, 33, 35)
Range of Sale Prices:  $210,000 – $2,275,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  9 (11, 10, 10)
Average List Price:  $452,800
Range of List Prices: $165,000 – $749,900
Number of Sales:  5 (13, 7, 10)
Range of Sale Prices: $158,000 – $390,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 17 (14, 9, 4)
Number of Sales: 6 (11, 16, 5)
Range of Sale Prices: $40,000 – $185,000

Price Changes this week:  13

Notables this week:  

  • 3 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices and 3 sold at their asking price
  • 3 condo listings sold for more than their asking prices

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

October Market Conditions in Collingwood-Blue Mountain

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With just two months left to go this year, we can say with certainty that 2016 will be an all-time record year for sales in the regions covered by our Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.  Sales have been very strong although the declining supply of properties available for sale are placing a limit on how many transactions are possible every month.market-snapshot

Year-to-date sales in our region were up 14.6 per cent from 2015.  The overall supply remains at the lowest levels in more than a decade with just 397 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of October 2016, down 48.4% from the year-ago level.

“There were just 397 active residential MLS® listings available at the end of October through-out the Southern Georgian Bay Western Region.”

The continued strong demand for properties versus the low supply has resulted in several situations of multiple offers and in many cases, resultant sales in excess of the asking prices for single family homes, condos and vacant land.prop-sold-at-or-over-list

In the condominium market, the demand for units near Blue Mountain where short term rentals may be permitted, are at an almost frenzied peak outside of the village with very low supply, multiple competing offers and records prices being posted.

12-month-average-prices

So far, we have not seen any real fall-out from the new mortgage rules introduced last month and, there is significant pent-up demand suggesting strong market conditions are likely to continue for some time.  Despite headlines that talk about bubbles and crashes, economists and industry experts disagree suggesting that at worst, we will see a decline in the speed of the run-up in pricing as demand may moderate in 2017.

residential-sales-by-area

What Happens When The Same Brokerage Represents Both The Buyer and a Seller?

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buyer and seller green sign

Maybe I should say, what DOESN’T happen in this scenario? It’s all about disclosure as you’ll see below.

As a real estate buyer, chances are you assume that your “agent” is representing you. If you have entered into a Buyer Agency Agreement, chances are that is correct.  But first let’s define the word AGENT.  When you enter into either a Buyer Agreement or a Listing Agreement, the contract is with the Brokerage and it is the Brokerage who is your agent.  The physical person you are dealing with is your salesperson and not your agent.  So, it is not uncommon that you may be interested in a property that is also listed by the same Brokerage as the one you have hired to represent your interests.  So what happens in this case?

When two parties both have contracts in effect with the same brokerage, this is known as dual or multiple representation. The rules in this case are pretty clear within the real estate industry and, they have been heavily promoted, publicized and discussed with the public for years and years yet few people seem to know the answer.  In all cases, your salesperson must discuss this issue of agency relationship with you and explain the various forms of representation.  In all cases, the nature of the agreed upon representation must also be disclosed in writing to all parties in a transaction and further, the parties must consent in writing to this form of representation.  The specifics can be found in this Registrar’s Bulletin issued by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

In practical terms, multiple representation limits some of the information that can be shared with the parties as the obligation on the REALTOR® is treat each party impartially and to equally protect the interests of both the Buyer and the Seller. While this includes disclosing all factual information about the property that is known to the Brokerage, the Brokerage cannot disclose:

  • That the seller may or will accept less that the listed price unless otherwise instructed in writing by the seller
  • That the buyer may or will pay more than the offered price, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the seller
  • The motivation of or personal information about the buyer or seller, unless otherwise instructed in writing by the party to which the information applies or unless failure to disclose would constitute fraudulent, unlawful or unethical practice;
  • The price the buyer should offer or the price the seller should accept and,
  • The Brokerage shall not disclose to the buyer the terms of any other offer.

On November 4th, CBC will air an episode on Marketplace, complete with hidden camera videos,  featuring unethical real estate practices uncovered while investigating multiple representation.

In my view, this is a good thing.  I agree fully with our industry representatives that salespeople who are not telling the truth about this important issue to consumers must be strongly condemned and punished as these cases put the reputation of our profession at risk and undermine both consumer confidence and protection.

RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, brokerage  ♦  67 First Street Collingwood, ON L9Y 1A2  ♦  705-445-8500