March 23 – Update

Guelph Real Estate Results amidst Covid-19

Well, the world has changed in a week! Many people are returning home from March Break vacations, some of which were cut short. Snowbirds have returned home earlier than normal and Ontario has just announced the closure of all non-essential businesses for the next 2 weeks to further the message of social distancing and self-isolation.

I don’t know how that will impact the Guelph Real Estate Market long term. The market was VERY Hot entering March break with a low inventory of homes for sale and what seemed to be a growing number of buyers. Between March 16 and March 23, 2020 (the last 7 days) we saw a net gain of just 4 homes for sale. In that time period, Guelph itself saw 82 new listings, 19 conditional sales, 31 firm sales along with an additional 28 sales firm up from conditionally sold to sold.

Now, with all of the scrutiny on many businesses to help “flatten the curve” Real Estate is no different. We must as an industry continue to service and do a good job for our clients, whether they are a buyer or a seller. However, we also have an obligation to our communities to take every precaution reasonable to ensure our, our clients and public safety in these unprecedented times.

Royal Lepage Royal City Realty announced several changes early last week. These changes are to allow us to still service existing and new clients while maintaining the utmost sensitivity to the current situation.

  • Not hosting public or agent open houses.
  • Not allowing “shared” showings with multiple Realtors and clients of currently listed properties at the same time.
  • Closing our offices to the public.
  • Requesting that all showings include sanitization procedures, before, during and after.
  • Using electronic signatures whenever possible.
  • Encouraging virtual tours, virtual open houses, and virtual showings when possible.

While this list isn’t complete, and it changes daily if not hourly at times, working for a Real Estate Brokerage that puts our clients, staff and public safety at the forefront is something that makes me proud.

If you would like to discuss how the current situation affects your home value, or how it affects the buying process, I would be happy to set up a phone call, coffee or home evaluation. If you just wanna chat real estate over a virtual coffee… I can arrange that as well. E-mail Me Here

What to do during the Covid-19 Self-Isolation Period

Take a look at your home from a buyer’s perspective.

Well, you are stuck at home, and solitaire gets boring after a while.  One of my suggestions is that you take the self-isolation time to start thinking about how a potential buyer would view your home?  Even if you aren’t planning on selling today, tomorrow or as one client puts it… “that’s for my trustees to worry about”  It’s a good perspective to take as you purge and evaluate your home?  

There had been a lot of social media banter on what to do during the Covid-19 Self-Isolation period. Taking the time to give your home a deep clean will have lasting benefits, and of course, free up more time for social activities when this is over.

Go out to the street…. look at your house?  Compare it to houses you’ve driven past that you liked.  Is there something simple you can do during this break to improve the “curb-appeal?

Next, pretend you are me, showing a prospective buyer, your home.  Walk in the front door, turn on the light and look around.  Is it clean, tidy, and inviting?   After all, this is the first impression of your home.

Take this same approach room by room, along with doing that deep clean you’ve wanted to do for a while anyway, and soon your home will feel like a model home.  

Please don’t do too good of a job, I don’t want you to love your current home and decide you are staying until the 50th anniversary of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

When the dust settles, and we look back on this chapter in our lives, I hope we look at it with a sense of, that wasn’t so bad. Either way, give me a call, I’d love to see how your cleaning and purging worked out.

What’s going on in the world

….of Real Estate in Guelph?

I’m sure you’ve been inundated with the news of what to do during Covid-19.  It’s really the only topic on any of my news feeds.

So, if you are wondering how all of this is going to affect the world of real estate, I can assure you that right now, things are still trucking along.  Clients are still asking to see homes, and deals are still getting done.  There were several instances of multiple offers this past weekend.  I do say that with caution because I expect that if everyone does as we are being asked, we’ll see a couple of weeks where that will slow down. Above you can see how February looked, but for the good of all of us, I hope it does pause so we as a community can “flatten the curve”.

Today we had an office conference call (the new normal) about the hourly changes to our processes, policies, and procedures to protect our clients, staff and the community at large. After all, the community is our clients, staff, friends, and family. It’s “Business NOT as usual,” says Des Von Teichman, our Broker/Owner. Royal LePage Royal City Realty is continuing to support us as Realtors and you as home buyers and sellers 100%, we just have to do it differently.

Here are some of our current adjustments. There are many more and the change daily/hourly at times.

  • Offices closed to the public, but still serving the public.
  • Electronic Communications/procedures to be used wherever possible.
  • Social distancing in the office includes a request to work from home if at all possible.
  • Most support staff working from home, but still providing our clients with the same great service.
  • Private Showings are preferred to Open Houses as this possibly reduces exposure.
  • All showings to include sanitization kits/wipes for any contact with doorknobs etc.
  • All showing instructions to cooperating Realtors to include reminders of sanitization practices.
  • Deposits and other transfers to be done electronically whenever possible.

So, yes, I expect that a superheated market that has defined January and February will change. But, after a very calm next few weeks, what will that market look like? I don’t know, but I think the 1% reduction in prime lending rates announced last week will certainly help many remain in the market and find a home in the months following this dramatic change to our lives.

2020 Real Estate Update

Setting goals, budgets and targets for a new year is what January is filled with for many business people and industries. My business as a full time professional real estate agent entails exactly that every January. Whether it’s developing marketing budgets and plans or just budgeting for the vacation of a lifetime, it always helps to look back at trends and statistics.

To help you better understand how what for most people is their most important and valuable asset, I take a look at the local Real Estate market in this video.

Student Rentals


AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS

If you have a University or college student in your family, or you’re planning on your kids moving on to post-secondary education, you already know there are a lot of costs beyond tuition. Budgets need to be considered for food, books, entertainment and the big one…. housing.
 
Whether a student stays on campus or off, a university or college education can cost thousands by the time they are celebrating graduation.  One way to offset that cost is to purchase a home for your student and rent the extra rooms to a few of their friends or classmates.
 
There are a number of advantages to owning the house your child lives in during school:
 

  • The other tenants are able to offset many of the costs of carrying the home.
  • The house can be sold once the kids are done school, with the possibility of making a profit.
  • The money you budget for student housing can stay in your bank account.
  • You have some control over who your child’s housemates will be.

In addition to the financial benefits of owning your student’s house, your child may also learn some valuable life lessons in maintaining a property, budgeting for repairs and emergencies and being responsible for a home while still “under your watch”.

Owning your child’s home-away-from-home is appealing. But you do need to do your research as there are differences between owning your own home and just renting a house. Each municipality has its own bylaws around student investment properties. And condominiums, which are popular for student homes, also may have rules and restrictions.

Local Realtors in University and College towns can be your best resource for learning about the municipal rules and the best areas for student housing. The last thing you want as a parent and a real estate investor is to purchase a house and then find out that the rules restrict student rentals.

Michael Bennett has knowledge of the regulations and bylaws related to student housing. And, with helpful contacts regarding property management, maintenance, and repair, can guide you in the right direction. If you’d like to learn about owning a student rental property, we’d love to chat with you more about this great opportunity for you and your student.