Rob and Jenn

Welcome to our real estate newsletter

Our Intent

To publish this newsletter four times a year. This will coincide with the changing seasons, keep you informed and up-to-date with what is happening on the local real estate market. Real estate is an ever-changing scene with fluctuating prices, styles and trends in design and décor, along with investment opportunities.

We Are Here To Help

We understand that buying or selling can be a stressful situation with so many details to think about and we would like to make that experience a more relaxed and enjoyable one. We will accomplish this by providing four or five short stories on topical aspects of the real estate business that we believe will be useful to anyone interested in buying or selling.

General Topics

– upcoming events or real estate projects;
– style and décor tips from Jenn;
– home maintenance for the coming season;
– how to prepare your home for sale;
– how to put together an offer to purchase;
– market trends in real estate by Robert;
– highlighting a local business;

Our newsletters will be sent out when published and anyone will be able to access a past issue by going to our website. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our past clients, friends and staying connected with local people. We have also designed our website to help you along with the selling or buying process.  Under the resources tab, you will find mortgage calculators and connections to our community for home inspectors, contractors, lawyers, mortgage brokers, and more.

If there is a topic of interest to you and you want additional information, please contact us at any time to discuss it.

Sales have calmed from earlier in 2021 but tight supply conditions are expected to continue to drive prices higher

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate boards and associations.
Over the past several years, record levels of international immigration (not including 2020), low interest rates, and an increasingly middle-aged Millennial cohort have come together to fuel very strong household formation and housing demand in Canada. Recall that prior to COVID-19, the number of available listings nationally was already at a 14-year low and the national number of months of inventory on the eve of the lockdowns had fallen to below 4 months (seller’s market territory).
COVID-19 only served to supercharge trends that were already present, with even stronger first-time home buying activity teaming up with a surge in existing owners choosing to pull up stakes – everyone trying to find the right place to ride out the pandemic. At the same time, many other existing owners who may have made their homes available to buy in a normal year simply hunkered down. This served to drive prices sharply higher while supply fell further to reach all-time lows. The good news is that the urgency and frenzy of earlier in 2021 have started to fade and the market has settled down a bit, at least in a relative sense.
At this point most housing market indicators appear to be leveling off at a cruising altitude somewhere in between pre- and peak-pandemic levels. The exception is the end-of-month inventory of properties for sale, which continues to hit fresh lows. As such, the market remains historically imbalanced, which could have unprecedented implications for, and presents unprecedented risks in forecasting, both the number of sales and the price of those sales.
Supply concerns aside, the mass vaccination of society and (eventual) reopening of our lives and economies along with the associated migration and international immigration also present a considerable amount of uncertainty to the outlook over the balance of 2021 and into 2022, but only from a timing standpoint. It is hard to see how these will not ultimately act as tailwinds for housing demand. 2021 will almost certainly be a record year for home sales in Canada. While 2022 is expected to see significantly fewer MLS® transactions than in 2021, it is nonetheless still expected to mark the second-best year on record for Canadian home sales.
Of course, another risk to the forecast is the federal election in which ideas on how to fix the housing market have taken a prominent place. While it has been encouraging to see all the major parties looking at longer-term solutions to the supply shortage issue, it also highlights how there are no quick fixes. As anyone who has tried to get even a small project done in the last year knows, availability of
materials and skilled labour are not dials that can simply be turned up to 11 whenever we decide we need them. And that’s not to mention all the other barriers to building, of which there are many. So it may be easier said than done, but the conversation is a welcome change after a decade of demand-side tweaks. We’ll see what initiatives are kicked off after September 20.
Some 656,300 properties are forecast to trade hands via Canadian MLS® systems in 2021. This would be a record-setting number, and an increase of 18.8% over 2020. That said, this forecast does represent a downward revision from previous estimates, as sales fell more rapidly than predicted this spring.
The strength of demand in 2021 has been geographically broad-based and CREA anticipates strong sales growth in every province with the exception of Quebec, where the second half of 2020 was comparatively stronger than the first five months of 2021. That said, timing aside, we are well past the peak of activity everywhere at this point.
The national average home price is forecast to rise by 19.9% on an annual basis to $680,000 in 2021, little changed from CREA’s previous forecast. This historically large increase reflects the current unprecedented imbalance of supply and demand, still close to 2 months of inventory nationally.
On a monthly and quarterly basis, sales are forecast to continue trending slowly back towards more typical levels through the latter months of 2021 and into 2022; although, it is possible that most of that has already happened. Limited supply and higher prices are expected to tap the brakes on activity in 2022 compared to 2021, although increased churn in resale markets resulting from the COVID-related shake-up to so many people’s lives may continue to boost activity above what was normal before COVID-19. Indeed, it is possible that many of the moves associated with changes related to remote work won’t play out until further down the road when we have more certainty about what the future will look like post-COVID.
National home sales are forecast to fall by 12.1% to around 577,000 units in 2022. This easing trend is expected to play out across Canada with buyers facing both higher prices and a lack of available supply, while at the same time the urgency to purchase a home base to ride out the pandemic continuing to fade. Still, with supply at record lows, the national average home price is forecast to rise by 5.6% on an annual basis to around $718,000 in 2022.

Tips for staging your home

Be resourceful with what you already have around your house and what you can borrow. You don’t need to overdue it with expensive home décor items  to make your home shine. Tip: buy new pillow covers instead of the whole pillow. Amazon and Ikea have some good and inexpensive items. Even if you aren’t selling, you can do this to give your home a refresh without breaking the bank.

Painting everything white is all the rage right now. However, you must be mindful not to overdue it and strip your home of character. Add lots of greenery, fresh flowers and soft neutrals to help highlight the beauty of your space. Keep architectural details as the focal point and be mindful you keep them in plain view. A beautiful fireplace might catch a buyer’s eye and be just the thing for them to imagine this being their home. You don’t need your home to be over the top pretty but you do want it to be neat and tidy enough to show the home’s true potential.

Having a fresh baked pie or cookie smell in the air in your home is a great idea before a showing. But, the last thing you want to do is bake and make a mess just when you’re trying to make your home more appealing.

If you burn candles or use wall plugins it can be an overpowering scent and too much for buyers with scent sensitivities and could turn them away. Opt for boiling citrus peels to bring in a fresh scent.

When decluttering, you don’t want the home to be too sterile and lose that home feel. So while you tidy up, don’t remove every last piece of décor. Your goal should be to create an inviting and livable space, and that means having a light personal touch but ensure it’s not with personal family photos. Remember that the outside of your home matters too. Lawns, shrubs and walkways need attention and really help to enhance the curb appeal. If you love and enjoy that front door being an eye-catching hot pink, remember it may be a turn off to a buyer. So repaint those front doors with something more subtle and neutral but ensure it matches the other exterior colours of the home.

I can help you with staging your home or suggest staging companies for you to hire. Just one more way I can help you in the sale of your home so you buy that dream home you’ve always wanted.

Tips for staging your home

Be resourceful with what you already have around your house and what you can borrow. You don’t need to overdue it with expensive home décor items  to make your home shine. Tip: buy new pillow covers instead of the whole pillow. Amazon and Ikea have some good and inexpensive items. Even if you aren’t selling, you can do this to give your home a refresh without breaking the bank.

Painting everything white is all the rage right now. However, you must be mindful not to overdue it and strip your home of character. Add lots of greenery, fresh flowers and soft neutrals to help highlight the beauty of your space. Keep architectural details as the focal point and be mindful you keep them in plain view. A beautiful fireplace might catch a buyer’s eye and be just the thing for them to imagine this being their home. You don’t need your home to be over the top pretty but you do want it to be neat and tidy enough to show the home’s true potential.

Having a fresh baked pie or cookie smell in the air in your home is a great idea before a showing. But, the last thing you want to do is bake and make a mess just when you’re trying to make your home more appealing.

If you burn candles or use wall plugins it can be an overpowering scent and too much for buyers with scent sensitivities and could turn them away. Opt for boiling citrus peels to bring in a fresh scent.

When decluttering, you don’t want the home to be too sterile and lose that home feel. So while you tidy up, don’t remove every last piece of décor. Your goal should be to create an inviting and livable space, and that means having a light personal touch but ensure it’s not with personal family photos. Remember that the outside of your home matters too. Lawns, shrubs and walkways need attention and really help to enhance the curb appeal. If you love and enjoy that front door being an eye-catching hot pink, remember it may be a turn off to a buyer. So repaint those front doors with something more subtle and neutral but ensure it matches the other exterior colours of the home.

I can help you with staging your home or suggest staging companies for you to hire. Just one more way I can help you in the sale of your home so you buy that dream home you’ve always wanted.

Looking to build your dream house – some considerations when buying the land to build.

Quick Hits

  • When buying land in Ontario, you’ll need to figure out the zoning for the land.
  • You can get land loans to finance the purchase or land, or use HELOCs personal loans, or receive financing from the seller of the land.
  • Land loan lenders will require a down payment of between 30% to 50% with higher required down payments for remote and inaccessible land.
  • You can purchase privately-owned land from private sellers, or public land owned by the provincial government, also known as Crown land.

Are you looking to buy land in Ontario to build your future home, for commercial purposes, or as an investment?  Buying land in Canada can be complicated and requires a lot of research.  Here are a few things to look out for when buying land in Ontario.

There are three types of land – raw, vacant and Crown Land.

Raw land is privately owned and has never been developed before with no utilities, such as power and water and/or structures, maybe not even have any road access. 

Vacant land is also privately owned and be partially or fully serviced with power, water, septic, road services and may have existing improvements or developments.  An open field would be considered vacant land, but farmland would not. 

The buying of Crown land has restrictions and conditions on the use of the land, but it can be bought or rented for specific uses.  Applications to purchase or use crown land will be reviewed using Ontario’s Crown Land Disposition Policy, which helps to ensure sustainable development.  Most land in Ontario is Crown land, which is public land owned by the provincial government.  87% of Ontario is Crown Land as nearly all of Northern Ontario being owned by the government.

Raw land is the cheapest to buy, but it also requires the most work to develop as you will need to connect services and utilities such as water, septic and possibly even road access.  Vacant land is more expensive, but it is easier to get financing for and to develop.

Financing
You can get private financing and/or Seller financing when the Seller of the land acts as a lender.  Vacant and raw land is risky for a lender since the Buyer is not directly attached to the land, compared to a residential mortgage.  Depending on how large the purchase is, you may choose to pay for the land using cash, a personal loan, a HELOC, or a combination of these.  If you currently own a home, you may use a home equity line of credit or mortgage refinance to borrow money to purchase the land. 

Zoning
Zoning controls how the land can be used and what buildings can be constructed.  For example, if you purchase land that is zoned for agricultural purposes, then the land will need to primarily be dedicated towards agriculture.  You can request a zoning bylaw amendment or rezoning; however, it is a lengthy process with no guarantee of approval.  You will need to also get a building permit from your municipality. 

Land Survey
You will likely need a land survey done so that the boundary of the land can be determined, along with easements and any structures or features in the lot.

Access and Development Cost
Building a private road extension or driveway to access the property, and having gas, phone lines, power lines run to your home can be costly.  The cost of developing your property will depend on your land, such as removing trees and brush to prepare for construction. 

Soil Test
If the property isn’t serviced by a local municipality, you may need to construct a well and a septic system for water and sewage.  A soil test will be needed to see if the ground of the property is suitable for the construction of a septic system.

Restrictive Covenants
Not all land can be developed.  Land lots might have considerations and restrictions on the land title which may prevent the construction of any buildings or prohibit certain users of the land.  They will automatically be passed along to you during the sale of the land and they will expire automatically after 40 years.

Sales Tax when buying land in Ontario
HST – Vacant Land will apply to vacant land that has been used for business purposes.  If the land was for personal use, such as for a residential home, then there would be no HST charged.  Prior to buying a good idea is you check with your lawyer as to whether HST is applicable or not.  If the land you are purchasing has been subdivided by an individual, such as a subdivision with three or more lots, you will need to pay HST.

Ontario Land Transfer Tax
You will need to pay Ontario Land Transfer Tax when you purchase the land, and you’ll also need to pay Ontario Property Taxes even if you haven’t built a home on the property yet. 

In 1990…

Earl and I moved our young family into a large farmhouse. It became evident soon after the move, we needed to find an inexpensive heat source.

Even though pellet stoves were new to Ontario, and there wasn’t a lot of feedback, Earl preferred “The Harman Pellet Stove” – he liked the concept of the bottom feed system.

We installed our first pellet stove, getting rid of the old wood stove, along with six cords of wood, all the critters and the mess. It didn’t

take long for us to discover the true benefits of burning wood pellets. In fact, we installed a second Harman that same year, replacing our oil furnace. The following year, Ferguson’s Energy Systems was created!

Not only do we sell and install pellet stoves, we also sell wood pellets…. We offer a superior delivery service, right off our truck and into your garage, shed, barn, around back, or at the end of your lane way – NO re-piling needed. The choice is YOURS!

Over the past 25 years, we have opened our home and office to many families interested in wood pellet heating. Today our front door is still open and we personally invite you to come in and explore the wood pellet concept and meet our children!

Both of our sons, Justin and Kyle are involved in our family business. They have worked along side their father from a very young age, mastering the skills of stove installations, stove servicing and cleaning.

Joining us in the office are our two daughter-in-laws, Krista and Ashley. They are the first to the phone, greeting our customers with a warm and friendly voice all year round.

Feel free to call the girls at 1-888-575-2734 (click to call) or even better stop in and meet them in person. We are confident that you will be charmed with their personalities, just as we are. Our ambitions, dedication and hard work have been driven by a dream. A strong, loving and close family, working together to build long loyal friendships with our customers, that dream has become a reality! One which we are extremely proud to share with the next generation. Our five grandchildren Alexa, Lucas, Brooke, Ryder & Mason

Robert and Jenn Ferguson

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