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June Condo Update for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate

It was another solid month for home sales in Waterloo Region. Although the number of sales was down compared to last year they were up compared to the 5 year average. Prices were also up which is  a great sign that the buyers are still out there and looking to make a move. If you have any questions or would like more specific pricing on your home please don’t hesitate to give me a call.



KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (June 4, 2014) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing
System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in May were down
5.6 percent compared to last year’s record setting month of May.
A total of 725 residential properties were sold in the month of May compared to 768 the same time
last year. This was only the second time since 2007 that residential sales in May have exceeded 700
total sales. Comparing the 5-year average for the month of May shows a 5.7 percent jump in
residential sales.
“The spring home buying season was in full swing this May” says Lynn Bebenek, President of KWAR.
“Strong sales and price gains reflect the confidence homebuyers have in regional housing market as
a great place to live and invest.”
May’s sales included 514 single detached homes (down 3.4 % from last year) 101 condominium units
(down 17.9 %), 60 semi-detached (up 3.4 %) and 43 freehold townhouses (down 2.3 %).
The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.5 percent
last month to $345,323 compared with May 2013. Single detached homes sold for an average price
of $386,474 an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to last year. The average sale price for a
condominium was $226,157, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to May 2013.

10 Things to Think About When Buying a Condo – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts


kitchener Condos and lofts


So you are thinking about buying a condo and don’t know where to start.  Before you buy, know the following:

  1. Condo fees-Know how much they are and what they cover. When are they due and what happens if another owner falls behind? Is there a separate fee for garbage disposal or snow removal? Is landscaping included in the condo fees if there are common yard areas? Ask as many questions as you can. You don’t want to be stuck with, “hidden” expenses after you buy.
  2. Know Your Neighbors-What are the approximate ages of the other condo owners/tenants? Do they have little kids or teenagers? Are they college kids who come home late and play loud music? Ask the other condo owners about any issues with noise before you purchase
  3. Check the Reserve-Make Sure the Association has adequate funds to pay for emergency repairs.  When you own a condo you should always have an emergency fund. If there are assessments you’ll be responsible for paying for your “share”, whether the damage or repairs impacted your unit or not.
  4. Condo Association-Does one owner like to throw his/her weight around and dictate how the building is run? Is there a condo association president? Why is his/her role? How often do all of the owners meet to discuss building issues? Is the meeting virtual (skype) or in person? Do you have to host the meeting in your home regularly?
  5. Read the Association’s Rules-If the association has formal written rules, read them. Many of the important things you’ll need to know about living in the building will be included in the association’s rules. Want to know the policy on pets, allowing renters, and who’s responsible for what? Read the rules.
  6. Ask About Pets-Does your future neighbor own a dog that barks all the time? Isn’t house-trained and has accidents on the carpet in the common areas? Is aggressive and scares your kids? Our neighbor’s German Sheppard has lunged at survivor dog. Now we know to pick him up whenever, Karma (dog’s real name, go figure!) is around.
  7. Security-Do your neighbors keep the front doors of the building closed and locked at all times? Is there a security system or a doorman?
  8. Maintenance-If your condo association doesn’t contract with a maintenance company, be sure to ask about who does routine maintenance i.e. who changes light bulbs in the common areas, who salts the sidewalks during snowstorms, and who vacuums the common areas.
  9. Cosmetics-Does the association care about the cosmetics of the building? Do they continuously make improvements to the common areas of the building (which can be expensive)? Or do they let things slide until things are in a bad state of repair and need a total overhaul (also expensive). Are most of the units owner occupied or rented? Typically owners take better care of the building than renters.
  10. Unwritten Rules -sometimes there are ridiculous, “unwritten rules” that pop up once you’re an owner. For example, “We don’t do laundry when it’s raining because the water from the rain combined with the water from the washer floods the basement apartment” or, “We don’t put our air conditioners in the middle window of our units because some air conditioners drip water down the front of the basement and onto the basement apartment’s entrance”. Ask about this unwritten rules and be prepared for them (because inevitability one of these with catch you by surprise.

At the end of the day it is important to know as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision. Remember to use a reputable Real Estate Sales Person who understands the Local condo market here and can assist in showing and taking care of negotiations etc. If you need any advice or are looking to purchase a condo or loft in the Waterloo Region please don’t hesitate to give me call at 519-579-4110 or email direct to


May 2014 Update for Kitchener Waterloo Condo Market

The nice weather looks like it is finally here to stay which is great news for the local Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market. Over the past months we have been experiencing a slight slow down in sales mostly due to the abnormally cold weather we have been having. The weather man is promising nicer weeks ahead and a warm summer so that is great news.

Although sales in April are up over March of this year, we are down year over year approximately 6%.  The condo market here is Kitchener Waterloo is growing at a fast pace with many new building projects underway but the sales there have remained flat.

The great news is that prices are still climbing. Average price is up 2.9% or almost $344,000.  That means that even with the low inventory levels that we have been experiencing the buyers are still out there and willing to pay to get the home of their dreams.

For a complete rundown on the stats you can read them below. If you have any questions on the market in general or specific pricing of your home feel free to give us a call. We would be happy to come over.



KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (May 6, 2014) – There were fewer residential property sales through the
Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®
(KWAR) in April compared to the same month last year.
A total of 652 residential properties sold in the month of April compared to 691 the same time last
year, a decrease of 5.6 percent. In comparison to March, residential sales grew 21 percent,
continuing the trend of monthly increases in home sales since the beginning of this year.
“We’re continuing to see increasing sales activity month after month,” says Lynn Bebenek President
of the KWAR. “Persistently bad weather seems to have delayed decision to buy or sell homes, but the
combination of increasing monthly sales, lower mortgage rates and some sun should drive increases
in the months ahead.”
April’s sales included 445 single detached homes (down 6.1 % from last year) 121 condominium units
(on par with last year), 38 semi-detached (down 19.1 %) and 41 freehold townhouses (down 2.4 %).
Year-to-date residential sales were 6.6 percent below last year with 1,948 residential homes sold thus
While sales were a little slower this month the average sale price of all residential sales through the
KWAR’s MLS® System increased 2.9 percent to $343,839 compared with April 2013. Single detached
homes sold for an average price of $387,130 an increase of 2.2 percent compared to last year. The
average condominium price was up 9.8 percent selling for $237,008, partially due to the sales of
higher end condominium townhomes alongside traditional condos.

February Real Estate Update for Kitchener Waterloo – Condo’s Leading The Way

With the cold weather still keeping its grip on us here in Kitchener Waterloo, the Residential Real Estate market is starting to  show signs of life. Even though  the volume of sales are down about 4% the prices are still rising steadily. Condos are leading the way for another month in a row up 6.3%.

Have a look at the entire Media release from the Kitchener waterloo real estate board and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give me  a call.


KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (March 5, 2014) –– Residential sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) were down 4.0 percent in February compared to the
same month last year and up 34 percent compared to January’s results which were hampered by extreme
cold and snow.
A total of 431 residential properties were sold compared to 449 the same time last year. Residential sales in
February included 274 single detached homes (down 8.7% from last February), 33 semi-detached (down
13.2%), 28 townhomes (down 3.4%) and 93 condominium units (up 16.3%).
“February sales showed a healthy increase compared to January,” stated Lynn Bebenek, President of the
KWAR. “Low interest rates and a diverse and vibrant regional economy will continue to support a stable market
for the Kitchener-Waterloo area.”
Single detached homes sold for an average price of $387,288 an increase of 5.1 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $233,657 an increase of 6.8 percent while townhomes and
semis sold for an average of $281,636 (down 0.7%) and $246,171 (down 3.0%) respectively. The average sale
price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 3.0 percent to $335,217 compared to
February 2013.
“Following up on what has been one of the coldest winters on record I expect we will see home buyers and
sellers out in full force come the spring time,” said Bebenek.


Condo Buying – Finding Your Down Payment May Be Easier Than You Think.

Getting that downmpayment: it might be easier than you think!

For many first-time homebuyers, saving the 5 per cent downpayment is one of the big obstacles to home ownership, especially if you’re paying rent, paying down student loans, and trying to live a life. Here are some programs and tips that can give your downpayment a boost – to get you into your home faster:

  1. The federal Home Buyers’ Program (HBP) lets first-time homebuyers withdraw up to $25,000 each (or $50,000 for a couple) tax-free from their RRSPs. You’ll need to pay those funds back, of course, on a repayment plan.
  2. A financial gift from a parent or blood relative can be used as a downpayment. You’ll need to document in writing that the funds are a gift and that you are not required to pay the money back at any time.
  3. A parent or grandparent could also provide a loan with a modest interest rate and reasonable expectations for loan repayment. Or you could look at borrowing the downpayment through a loan or unsecured line of credit.
  4. If your dream home is out of reach, look for a starter home. Use today’s low interest rates to start hammering down your mortgage, then watch for the opportunity to get the home of your dreams – using the equity and credit rating you’ve been building!

Condo Sales Up! February 2014 Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Update


With most of the country still locked in the DEEP FREEZE, Kitchener waterloo still remains strong on pricing even though sales are slipping a little. The warm weather approaching soon(i hope), I would expect that the market will kick into high gear with strong sales.

If you have any questions on the market in general or specific pricing of your home please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

See below to read the excerpt from the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Boards stats.
KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (February 5, 2014) –– Homes sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in January were down 5.3 percent compared to January
of last year.
A total of 319 residential properties were sold compared to 337 the same time last year. Residential sales in
January included 207 single detached homes (down 13.4% from last January), 17 semi-detached (down 29.2%),
18 townhomes (down 28%) and 74 condominium units (up 54.2%).
“Coming off a strong 2013, the pace of home sales slowed down somewhat in January,” stated Lynn Bebenek,
President of the KWAR. “The weather didn’t help much either; the extreme cold and heavy snow made
January a less than desirable month to be out looking at houses.”
January’s deep freeze didn’t hamper sale prices however, single detached homes sold for an average price of
$375,009 an increase of 5.7 percent compared to last year. The average sale price for a condominium was
$214,921 an increase of 1.5 percent, while townhomes and semis sold for an average of $263,679 (down 0.9%)
and $254,807 (up 3.5%) respectively. The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS®
System increased 1.1 percent to $323,533 compared to January 2013.
“The winter months can be hit or miss depending on the weather,” says Bebenek. “Buyers and sellers will be all
the more eager once spring hits, and we are expecting a strong spring market.”

Top 10 Mortgage Tips for 2014 – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts

A peek at the year ahead: Our top ten mortgage tips for 2014!

Your home may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. That means you want to be smart with your mortgage. Although we can’t say for sure what mortgage rates will do – or how the housing market will shift – we have compiled our top tips for the year ahead; sensible strategies for today’s homebuyers and owners.

  1. Variables are back. Several lenders are offering strong “prime minus” rates that could save you thousands in interest. And the Bank of Canada is still holding their key “overnight rate” very steady and very low… making variable-rate mortgages a sensible option right now. Fixed versus variable has always been a challenging mortgage decision. Let us help you decide which financing option best meets your needs.
  2. Don’t sleepwalk through your mortgage renewal. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… then it’s time to get an expert second opinion. We’re independent and we have access to over 50 lenders. If there’s a better deal, we’ll find it.
  3. Pay your phone bill on time! Paying your bills on time has always been the most important credit habit. Equifax recently started to include phone companies on credit bureau reports – so your lender can see if you have any delinquencies with your phone bills. Look like a good borrower.
  4. Keep other good credit habits. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 30 per cent of your limit. Don’t cancel an old credit card without getting advice. And don’t sign up for store cards: they often have crazy interest rates, and the application triggers a credit inquiry (you don’t want a lot of those).
  5. Mortgage versus total debt. Do you have high-interest debt outside your mortgage that you won’t be able to pay off in the next few months? Then think about rolling that debt into a new low-rate mortgage. This one, smart strategy could save you thousands… and boost your monthly cash flow. We can analyze your situation to see if you qualify.
  6. What’s the prepayment penalty? Don’t let anyone tell you prepayment penalties are “all the same”. They’re not. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, the right mortgage could save you thousands. Not all lenders calculate penalties the same way, and the differences can be substantial. It helps to know which lenders have the most fair prepayment penalties. With access to dozens of lenders – we’ve got that information at our fingertips.
  7. If one of you wants to keep the marital home. If you are going through a separation or divorce and one of you wants to keep the marital home, we’ve got some great mortgage options, including a mortgage to 95 per cent. Your home can be the asset that gives you both a fresh start!
  8. A paydown will pay it forward. Take every opportunity to beat down your mortgage principal using any prepayment privileges! Use tax refunds, bonuses, whatever. Or switch to weekly or bi-weekly payments. Every dollar you pay down on principal means every future payment goes further.
  9. Thinking renovation? We see what you see. Your reno will add value to your home. That’s why we have a special “Refinance Plus Improvements” mortgage that lets you refinance up to 80 per cent of the new, post-reno value of your home. Cool deal.
  10. Come in for a checkup. Your mortgage needs an annual checkup. Really. Life doesn’t stand still, which means your needs may have changed. Even a minor tweak can pay big dividends.