Competing Offers Part 1: Strategies To Help Buyers Win

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Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about strategies for buyers in competing offer situations.  Looking back, that really was the start of something that has now become common place with the extremely active real estate market conditions we have here in the Collingwood and Blue Mountain areas.  It seems like a good time to recap those suggestions and to add some new ones gained from experience.

While you can’t guarantee success, here are my first five tips you can do as a buyer to improve your chances in a bidding war.

  1. Show Good Faith.When you make an offer, your deposit shows good faith that you intend to complete the transaction. Consider making a larger deposit than what might be the norm in the market and price range. I recently had an offer come in with a deposit of $100,000. While that may be unusual, it certainly got the sellers attention. If $5,000 is normal in the marketplace, consider making a deposit of $10,000 or more. If your conditions are not fulfilled, the money will be returned to you and, if your sale becomes firm, the deposit forms part of your down payment.
  2. Make It Personal.A house is more than bricks and mortar. It’s a home where memories have been created and sometimes it is hard to leave. Include a short and heartfelt note to the homeowner telling them why you love their home and would enjoy living there.
  3. Get Pre-Qualified.It’s always wise to know where you stand with a lender for financing and while I maintain that offers requiring a mortgage should always be conditional on having financing approved, consider sharing a copy of your pre-approval with the seller. Sellers are nervous that buyers are removing financing conditions and then having appraisals completed after the fact. Giving the seller comfort upfront goes a long way.
  4. Always Have An Inspection.No matter how tempting it may be to “take your chances,” having a home inspection is almost always a must and sellers understand this. If there is enough time, consider having an inspection before making an offer so an inspection condition is not included in the offer. Beware: there is always the risk that you will pay for an inspection and still not succeed in buying the home.
  5. Every Day Counts.Most offers have conditions and before bidding wars, we usually saw conditions in our local market place running from 7-10 days. This poses a risk to a seller. If the buyer backs out at the end of the conditional period, the seller may have lost other buyers in the interim so shortening your time frames, reduces the sellers risk. If possible, shorten the conditional period and be ready to act quickly if your offer is accepted.

Stay tuned for five more tips I’m writing and will post in the next couple of days.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer May 12-18, 2017

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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:  62 (60, 58, 47)
Average List Price: $685,280.
Range of List Prices: $259,900 – $2,988,000
Number of Sales: 46 (53, 47, 40)
Range of Sale Prices:  $209,900 – $1,800,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  15 (17, 20, 17)
Average List Price:  $438,673.
Range of List Prices:  $179,900 – $1,495,000
Number of Sales:  13 (10, 17, 21)
Range of Sale Prices:  $129,900 – $725,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  11 (18, 5, 9)
Number of Sales: 12 (9, 10, 10)
Range of Sale Prices: $25,500 – $500,000

Price Changes this week:  17

Notables this week:  

  • 12 Single Family residences sold for more than the asking price and 9 sold at the asking price
  • 3 Condos sold for  more than the asking price and 4 sold at the asking price
  • 2 Vacant Land listings sold at the asking price, and 5 sold for more than the asking price

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

An Unforgettable Video of the Nottawasaga Lighthouse

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The Nottawasaga Lighthouse is one of those iconic symbols of the Collingwood and Blue Mountain areas.  A local condo development, Lighthouse Point, gives not to it’s status.  Built in 1858, this lighthouse is one of the few original such structures remaining on the great lakes and sadly, it is crumbling.  This haunting video will give you a close-up view of the condition.

Nottawasaga Lighthouse from Michael Storey on Vimeo.

Thankfully, a group of citizens has come together to save the lighthouse with a mission statement that aims to “protect the important architectural and cultural significance which makes the Nottawasaga Island Lighthouse a significant part of Canada’s Great Lakes marine heritage for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Leading into this past winter, the group raised sufficient funds to shrink wrap the lighthouse to preserve it from further deterioration.  They continue to work hard to raise the needed funds to both preserve and restore this icon for generations to come.  It’s a worthy pursuit and I hope you’ll take a moment to have a look at their website to learn more and to see how you can help.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer May 5-11, 2017

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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:  60 (58, 47, 55)
Average List Price: $586,950.
Range of List Prices: $224,000 – $1,900,000
Number of Sales: 53 (47, 40, 45)
Range of Sale Prices:  $145,000 – 1,500,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  17 (20, 17, 14)
Average List Price:  $372,418.
Range of List Prices:  $170,000 – $995,000
Number of Sales:  10 (17, 21, 6)
Range of Sale Prices:  $195,000 – $779,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  18 (5, 9, 14)
Number of Sales: 9 (10, 10, 13)
Range of Sale Prices: $39,900 – $425,000

Price Changes this week:  11

Notables this week:  

  • 23 Single Family residences sold for more than the asking price and 5 sold at the asking price
  • 2 Condos sold for  more than the asking price and 2 sold at the asking price
  • 6 Vacant Land listings sold at the asking price

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

New Affordable Housing Units in Collingwood

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When you see something every day in the landscape, you don’t even notice it anymore until something changes. This happened at the cornerscale of High and Second Streets, opposite the Metro store.  All of a sudden, people are asking what’s going on with this property where several brick townhomes are sitting empty and large stands of trees have been cleared.

The 3.5 acre site is owned by the County and the 30 townhomes on the site have been vacated.  The Simcoe County Housing Corporation is proposing to tear those down and to create two apartment buildings on the site:  one being a six-storey building with 55 units geared at families and the second being a five-storey building with 92 units geared to seniors.  The almost $40 million dollar project is currently before council to obtain the required re-zoning and, construction is expected to be completed in 2019.

Given how much attention has been drawn to the site by the mere removal of a stand of trees, it should be quite interesting to see how people will react to five and six storey buildings on that site where nothing surrounding it comes even close in height. It will also be interesting to see how traffic in that area will be impacted by the creation of an extra 117 homes on the same site. Don’t get me wrong – we NEED affordable housing units in the community and I’m glad we are getting these.  I just hope the planning is intelligent.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Apr. 28-May 4, 2017

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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:  58 (47, 55, 61)
Average List Price: $529,538.
Range of List Prices: $200,000 – $1,950,000
Number of Sales: 47 (40, 45, 37)
Range of Sale Prices:  $120,000 – $1,910,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  20 (17, 14, 17)
Average List Price:  $348,275
Range of List Prices:  $179,900 – $729,900
Number of Sales:  17 (21, 6, 16)
Range of Sale Prices:  $158,000 – $849,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  5 (9, 14, 15)
Number of Sales: 10 (10, 13, 6)
Range of Sale Prices: $47,800 – $450,000

Price Changes this week:  13

Notables this week:  

  • 14 Single Family residences sold for more than the asking price and 2 sold at the asking price
  • 5 Condos sold for  more than the asking price and 2 sold at the asking price
  • 4 Vacant Land listings sold at the asking price and 2 sold for more than the asking price

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

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer April 21-27/17

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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:  47 (55, 61, 56)
Average List Price: $522,638
Range of List Prices: $149,900 – $2,895,000
Number of Sales: 40 (45, 37, 46)
Range of Sale Prices:  $100,000 – $1,777,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  17 (14, 17, 18 )
Average List Price:  $421,759
Range of List Prices:  $114,900 – $799,000
Number of Sales:  21 (6, 16, 13)
Range of Sale Prices:  $125,000 – $650,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  9 (14, 15, 14)
Number of Sales: 10 (13, 6, 16)
Range of Sale Prices: $92,500 – $975,000

Price Changes this week:  13

Notables this week:  

  • 20 Single Family residences sold for more than the asking price and 1 sold at the asking price
  • 12 Condos sold for  more than the asking price and 2 sold at the asking price
  • 2 Vacant Land listings sold at the asking price and 3 sold for more than the asking price
  • When you look at the number of sales in each category, versus the number of sales that were at or above the listing price, it is interesting to note that more than 50% of the sales are at or above the list price.  Single Family – 40 sales, 21 of which were at or above the list price.  Condos – 21 sales, 14 of which were at or above the list price.  Vacant Land – 10 sales, 5 of which were at or above the list price.

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

The Painterie in Collingwood

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2017-04-02 15.10.24Even though The Painterie in downtown Collingwood opened last fall, I only just recently was able to stop by for my first visit and I LOVED it!  If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind gifts or unique furniture pieces, you’ve just got to stop in.2017-04-02 15.10.49

Set in a century home, the store brings together the vision of owner Jody DeCoste who says she is passionate about salvaging almost any piece of furniture that passes her way.  With a recycle conscious mind, she paints and reinvents unique, quality, preloved furniture as well as selling off PRIOR TO PAINT pieces for all the “do it yourselfers” and “budget conscious” people out there. Even just chatting with Jody briefly, her passion is indeed evident and contagious.

The store includes prior to paint used furniture, furniture paints for the DYI crowd, completed painted pieces as well as wonderful gifts, collectibles and décor items from over 90 local artisans.  There are beautiful works of art in every corner from soaps to paintings to fibre art and everything in between.2017-04-02 15.13.29

Additional services found in the building include C Beauty which provided aesthetic services using natural, local products on the 2nd floor and, a yoga studio on the 3rd floor.

A peek through Jody’s Facebook page gives examples of some of the great things you’ll find at the shop and includes information on workshops and more.2017-04-02 15.15.24

The shop is located on Elgin St just down from the Collingwood Library and opposite All Saints Anglican Church and is open Monday to Friday from 10-6, Saturdays 10-5 and Sundays 12-4.

The Fair Housing Plan and How It May Affect Grey and Simcoe Counties

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According to it’s recent press release, The Province of “Ontario is taking action to make housing more affordable for home buyers and renters by introducing the Fair Housing Plan. This set of 16 comprehensive measures would help more people find an affordable place to call home, while bringing stability to the real estate market and protecting the investment of homeowners.”

One of these measures includes introducing a 15 per cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax on non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents and non-Canadian corporations who buy residential properties containing 1 to 6 units in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.2017-04-21_14-50-19

Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan wishes to expand rent control to all private rental units, including those built after 1991, thereby strengthening protection for renters against dramatic rent increases.

A tax on vacant homes in Toronto and potentially other interested municipalities will hopefully help to encourage owners to rent or sell  unoccupied units.

The province will also work with municipalities/other partners to identify provincially owned surplus lands that could be used for affordable or rental housing development.

Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan includes an additional twelve measures, such as introducing a $125-million, 5-year program to encourage construction of new rental apartment buildings by proposing to rebate a portion of development charges.

Other items of note:  the government is looking to understand paper flipping, and tax avoidance in relation to speculation in the housing market.

According to the press release, “Taken together, these new policies represent a substantial, multi-faceted plan to address Ontario’s rising housing costs so that families can access housing that meets their needs.  Making it more affordable to buy or rent a home is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives. ”

Read the Ontario Fair Housing Plan here.

So what are the take-aways from this?  Naturally there is mixed reaction from various corners and, it is too early to say if these measures will have any significant impact on the Ontario housing market.  A few things of note though:

  • The new NRST does not apply across the Province but only in the Golden Horseshoe.  For our area, that includes Simcoe county (so places like Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Clearview Township) but it does NOT include Grey County (Blue Mountain, Meaford).  While it is possible that the new tax could drive non-resident speculators to Grey County, I’m not convinced it will as that has not been a driving factor in our market
  • In my opinion, the new tax WILL have a greater impact on the Toronto market than pundits are saying and if it impacts that market, the trickle down effect will impact our market.  The caveat is that there are several loopholes in the legislation so it is possible that creativity will outrank any true dampening effect on the markets.
  • Many investors, foreign and domestic, are driven by potential rental income and we’ve seen buyers lining up to buy multiple new units in new housing developments.  The new cap on rental rates will almost certainly have the greatest effect on the markets.  Having said that, I don’t see it having a direct impact on our market where rents have not been a run-away train like they have been in the GTA.  Again, any impact is more likely to come from the trickle down effect if it softens activity south of us.
  • There really is a huge problem in Ontario with access to affordable housing and while I laud the government’s attempt to address that, I fear the long term effect may be the opposite.  By making it harder for investors to own, rent and make a profit, the fewer people there will be buying properties to create rental housing stock.  The short term may look good but long term I think it is a short-sighted policy.  Time will tell.  I would rather have seen financial incentives given to homeowners to create accessory apartments in existing residences which could quickly have created new and more affordable rental housing stock.

I’d like to add something else.  Real estate will always have ups and downs as it is cyclical in nature.  In the long term, it is always up but the key words here are, long term.  If people are buying to speculate and flip. There is always risk and it may be greater now with the unknown effect of these new measures.  If however your purchase is longer term and, it includes personal use and enjoyment during that time, then you are in a position to ride both ups and downs. Real estate is and always will be, one of the best long term investments available.

Those are my thoughts.  What are yours?

 

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Apr. 14-20/17

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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:  55 (61, 56, 30)
Average List Price: $502,500
Range of List Prices: $169,900 – $1,350,000
Number of Sales: 45 (37, 46, 44)
Range of Sale Prices:  $210,000 – $2,250,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  14 (17, 18, 15)
Average List Price:  $386,257
Range of List Prices:  $254,500 – $650,000
Number of Sales:  6 (16, 13, 7)
Range of Sale Prices:  $140,000  – $611,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  14 (15, 14, 8 )
Number of Sales: 13 (6, 16, 7)
Range of Sale Prices: $35,000 – $350,000

Price Changes this week:  2

Notables this week:  

  • 19 Single Family residences sold for more than the asking price and 5 sold at the asking price
  • 3 Condos sold for  more than the asking price and 1 sold at the asking price
  • 3 Vacant Land listings sold at the asking price and 1 sold for more than the asking price

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

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