The Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Vicki Sweeney reported 1,515 residential transactions in August, a significant 45 per cent increase from August 2019.
The number of new listings increased on a year-over-year basis by 19 per cent reaching 1,839 new listings in August.
“Our market has experienced a strong rebound as home sales continue to hit record results this summer,” said DRAR President Vicki Sweeney.
“There is an increased demand for housing and we’re seeing this activity reflected in the average days on market. In August, the average days on market reached 14 in comparison to the average of 29 days reported in August 2019.”
The average price in Durham Region reached $734,136 a 19.5 per cent increased compared to the same time last year. On a month-over-month basis the average price increased slightly by 3.5 per cent.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 15.06 per cent in August 2020. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite price in Durham Region reached $653,400. The benchmark price for a detached home in Durham Region reached $706,300 representing a 14.60 per cent increase from last year.
“As we continue to see a demand for homeownership, it is important our policymakers remain focused on bringing more supply to our markets,” said Sweeney.
“We have to focus on supply, the economic recovery and low interest rates coupled with the pent-up demand from the spring market will continue to drive sales. In Durham’s Clarington market, days on market reached 11 days with 103 per cent sales to new listing ratio.”
For Sale By Owner
If you're planning on selling your home, you may have considered putting up a "For Sale" sign and doing it yourself but there are many potential pitfalls that could end up costing you far more than you’d save.
Just as it's not recommended to represent yourself in court, marketing and negotiating your biggest asset on your own can be a very risky move. Here are ten reasons why you should use a real estate agent to help sell your home:
1.) Mass Exposure
Your pool of potential buyers will be very limited, whereas an agent can expose your home to the masses which will dramatically increase demand and hopefully trigger a bidding war!
2.) Marketing Fees
Advertising fees can quickly amount to a small fortune but when you list your home with a real estate agent, they’re responsible for shouldering those costs.
3.) Time Is Money
Your time is very valuable so it may make more financial sense to spend it on other projects that will deliver a higher return.
4.) Carrying Costs
Selling privately usually takes longer which quickly drives up carrying costs such as mortgage interest payments, insurance premiums, taxes, utilities, etc.
5.) Stigma Status
The longer a home sits on the market, the harder it is to sell as its extended time on the market gives the impression that there’s something wrong with the house.
6.) Expert Advice
Real estate agents are experts when it comes to local market conditions so they’re in the best possible position to advise you on multiple and counteroffer scenarios.
7.) Qualified Buyers
If you sell your home on your own, you'll have to show it to complete strangers on short notice which can be inconvenient and also dangerous. Real estate agents on the other hand will only show your home to qualified buyers.
8.) Third-Party Negotiator
Buying or selling a home is an emotional roller coaster where just one wrong remark can cause a deal to fall apart. A third-party negotiator provides a buffer between the buyer and the seller to help ensure things go smoothly.
9.) Corona Crisis
The pandemic has added an extra layer of stress with safety protocols that must be adhered to. Staging and virtual tours are therefore more important than ever and if you don’t get it right from the get-go, you’ll lose out on a large pool of potential buyers.
10.) Splitting Headache
Most buyers are represented by real estate agents who are paid directly by the seller. That means you’ll be giving away half the amount you’re trying to save unless the buyer also chooses to go it alone. If that’s the case though, buyers will expect to pay less which also cuts your savings in half.
Selling a home privately can be risky which essentially means you're gambling with your biggest asset. Do-it-yourself jobs are great in certain situations but when it comes to selling your home, it's best to have a professional on your side who will look out for your best interests during this complex transaction.
Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week begins on October 4th and this year’s theme is “Kitchen Safety”.
Kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fires and while they have the potential to take down entire homes, they’re almost always preventable. Here are a few simple precautions that will help you protect your family from a kitchen fire:
Never Leave a Stove Unattended
Monitor your stove at all times, especially if you’re cooking on an open flame. The single leading cause of fires in the kitchen is an unattended stove so don’t allow yourself to become distracted with other tasks.
Timing Is Everything
It’s easy to get distracted as life at home can sometimes get hectic, but leaving a tray of cookies or a roast chicken in the oven for too long can lead to disaster so it’s important to always set the timer.
Give Yourself Some Space
Make sure any rags, napkins, packaging or wooden spoons you’re using are well away from the stove. Also, too many cooks in the kitchen can lead to a crowded and confusing space where accidents are more likely to happen.
Clean Up As You Go
Grease is a particularly hazardous component of kitchen fires as water further spreads a grease fire. If you properly dispose of any excess grease and keep your area wiped down, you’ll limit the risk of this added danger.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Ensure you have a fire extinguisher that’s rated for kitchen use on hand in case of an emergency. Keep it stored under the sink or hung up behind a door so that it’s out of sight but easily accessible and make sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.
Most fires are caused by human error, not by malfunctioning devices or freak accidents. Your home is your zone of safety and security. It’s your space for building loving memories that’ll last a lifetime but in its most basic sense, it’s your place of shelter so it’s important to keep it safe for the protection of you and your family.
It’s that time of year when the “fall crawl” gets underway!
As the weather cools and we spend more time inside, the last thing we want is for insects and rodents to follow and make themselves at home. Here are a few tips that will help keep unwanted guests away:
Seal of Approval
Inspect your home’s exterior for any potential access points and then seal any cracks or gaps with caulk and steel wool. Also, repair window screens and fill any gaps under the doors.
Wood Not Be a Good Idea
Never store firewood right up against your home as it provides a temporary shelter for rodents, termites and other insects to hang out at before they head in for winter.
Mice are great climbers who use vines, shrubs and overhanging branches to gain access to your roof so cut back any excess foliage so they're not able to get a leg up on entry points.
Food for Thought
Make sure all of your loose food items are properly stored. Pet food is also a huge draw for critters so store their food in a sealed container rather than leaving it in the bag.
When it comes to pest control, it’s important to be proactive because once critters make their way into your home, it can be very hard to get rid of them. Like any type of maintenance work, prevention is key as you don’t want these pests hunkering down and causing all sorts of chaos in your home this winter.
P.S. Please let me know if you'd ever like a hand finding your dream home or even if you're just curious about what the house down the street sold for. I'm always happy to help
Buying a home is a big deal, especially for those who have had credit problems in the past. The most common way to buy a home is with a mortgage loan, which requires both a credit score that the lender finds acceptable and enough cash on hand for a down payment (and usually some other costs). For some, this can be a barrier to home ownership because they either have previous credit problems or are unable to get the cash together to cover down payments and other costs. Fortunately, there are some alternatives available. One option that can put home ownership within reach is rent to own housing. As the name implies, this provides an option where the would-be homeowner can actually take possession of the house as a renter before the purchase is finalized. While this may not be available as an option for everyone, here are some details about rent to own housing in case you’re considering a rent to own purchase.
The basic idea behind rent to own housing may seem pretty simple. Instead of having to buy a house outright, you rent the home from the current owner instead, in much the same way that you would if you were only acting as a renter. The rental payments that you make typically cover both the cost of rental and pay a portion toward the asking price of the home itself. After a specified period of time has passed, you will either have paid off the balance of the property or (as is more common) will have a final lump-sum payment to make that finalizes the purchase of the house.
The Rental Contract
The lease that you sign when entering into a rent to own agreement is a bit different than your standard rental agreement. In most cases, you will agree to stay at the home for a longer period of time than your standard lease, and you may have an initial up-front payment to make that goes toward the cost of the house as well. The contract will detail exactly how much the owner wants for the home, what percentage of your rent will go toward that amount, and will also provide information about how you’re actually buying the house when the lease ends.
In most cases, a rent to own contract features what’s known as an “option to buy” which gives you the option to pay any remaining cost to finalize your home purchase when the lease ends. Depending on the wording of the contract, you may also have the option to pay off that balance early and finalize the purchase even if the lease isn’t yet set to expire. You do need to be careful and read and pay attention to the details of this, however. While a “lease-option” contract like this gives you the option (but not the requirement) to buy at the end of the lease, some contracts actually contain what’s known as a “lease-purchase” clause, under which you have a legal obligation to buy regardless of whether you can actually afford it.
When you rent a home, maintenance and other upkeep is generally the responsibility of the landlord. In a rent to own situation, however, the lease will sometimes specify that the would-be homeowner is responsible for some or possibly all of the upkeep and maintenance instead. You may even encounter sellers who gradually shift the responsibility to you the longer you stay in the property, though this is less common than some other setups. Still, it’s important to know from the start who is going to be responsible for things that come up before the lease expires.
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