Free Solar Panels for Your Home, Good Idea or Bad?

I have recently been asked this question by 2 clients so I think it’s time to blog about it.

Question “what do you think about putting these free solar panels on my house?”.

It seems there is a program being offered to put “free” solar panels on homes and pay the homeowner a cash outlay of approximately $3000 or a monthly fee over 20 years.  After 20 years you own the panels. The solar panel provider sells the energy to the grid during the 20 year contract.

The problem as I see it is, you aren’t actually getting the benefit of the energy being sourced, just the cash or monthly payment. You own the solar panels after 20 years but is the technology now dated?

I called the one company to get more information. This is what I was told. If you need to replace your roof they will remove for a few days and re-instal after the roof is on.  However, if you put your home for sale and a buyer wants the panels removed it is NOT an option.  They must accept the solar panels along with the house for the duration of the 20 years.  If you took the initial cash outlay, the new owner would get a cash outlay of approximately $ 300.  If you are on the monthly plan, they new owner would now get those monthly payments.

In my opinion as a Realtor®, the lack of option to remove the panels if you sell makes this a bad idea. I’m all for green energy so if you are planning to be in your home for more than 20 years, go ahead and research it further.solar panels

I would think that a better option would be to purchase the solar panels yourself, use the energy and sell the surplus to the grid for a profit. Having said that, I have no idea of the cost of solar panels.

I would also advise that you research the impact on your roof shingles as well since I have heard some reports of problems in that regard.

Buyers who are not familiar with this program, as most of us are not, will be put off of your house. It is something they have no say over, and in my opinion it has very little benefit to them. It will affect the saleability of your home in my opinion.

Have any questions concerning your home’s value and the things you should and/or shouldn’t do to maintain and increase the value…. contact me.  Helping you is what I do!

Expect More, Get More!

www.HamiltonRealEstateSales.com

Home Buyers Beware | Watch Out For Kitec Plumbing

I always say, “hire a professional” and it is very important when hiring a home inspector to check out your potential new home.

I hadn’t heard of Kitec Plumbing a couple of years ago until a trusted home inspector found it in a home that my Buyer Clients were trying to purchase in Burlington.  It was a gorgeous, nine year old town-home in great condition.

kitec plumbing
copied from kitecsettlement.com website. Typically orange and/or blue.

What a heart-breaker when the home inspector told us that Kitec Plumbing was found and that it has a high failure rate and was the subject of a class action law-suit.  

My clients were still interested in the property but could not live with the lack of peace of mind that this plumbing would bring. Visions of arriving home to a flood was more than anyone should be expected to endure. Now that the Seller knew about the issue, there was an obligation to disclose. This requirement varies by province so speak to your trusted Real Estate professional if you are selling a property which has Kitec Plumbing.

We had an estimate done to totally replace the plumbing and repair any wall damage.  Basically fix it and make it look like nothing was touched.  We were able to negotiate the price of this repair from the cost of the property and my clients were very happy.

It is vital that you have professionals protecting you and your largest investment.

The moral of the story is “always use a professional”  and “make sure you have a great home inspector”.

The other lesson in this is don’t give up on a property you love because of a defect.  Let your Realtor® work to help to make your dreams come true.

Contact me for more information and visit my website www.HamiltonRealEstateSales.com

How Do I Prepare my Home for Sale?

I’ve written a lot about timing and this is also a factor in the time you take to prepare your home for sale.  Yes there are things you definitely should do, but there are things that can slow you down to the point of costing you money.

Not to mention the return on investment you get from different home improvements.  It is very important to get your Real Estate professionals opinion on what to do and not do before spending the money.

One of the most gratifying things, other than negotiating a great deal for my clients or seeing the joy on clients faces, is when someone says “I never would have thought of that”.

When I go through the house with a client preparing to sell their most valuable asset, I look at it objectively  with fresh eyes.  I can always give a suggestion and often one that will save time and money.  How about just painting that one wall that needs it and creating an accent wall?  How about some new hardware on those cupboards instead of new doors?  A new kitchen is great but you are unlikely to get 100% of the value back.  Spending $ 20,000 to get $ 15,000 doesn’t make sense unless you are in a Buyers market and you need to also increase the saleability.

There is almost always and “UNLESS” so ask a professional first!realtors_know_real_estate_

I’d be happy to have a look at your home and give you my professional advice.

For more Real Estate and Hamilton information visit my website at HamiltonRealEstateSales.com

Wondering If You Are Over Paying For Your Home in Hamilton, Ontario?

Hamilton’s Real Estate market is healthy and strong and on a huge upturn, just trying to catch up you might say. I see it increasing at least over the next few years.  Having said that, I don’t have a crystal ball…..gosh I wish I did.  There are always unforeseen things that impact our local markets.  Global events, mortgage rule changes, economic events, local events to mention a few.

Let’s talk about spikes.dollarsign

Even in the rising graph there can be spikes.

As a Buyer, I caution you to be careful in a spike.  These can be influenced by the time of year but lately it seems to be more about supply and demand.  Of course the supply and demand issue is partially influenced by time of year.  Lately in Hamilton we have had a shortage of homes to sell to an extreme and I believe we have been in one of those spikes.  Depending on your urgency to buy you may want to adjust your timeline even if just by a few weeks.  Timing is everything.  However, be careful not to wait to long or you can see the prices rise before your very eyes.

If you are a Seller, waiting too long could mean lost dollars if you end up in the fray with other Sellers putting their homes on the market. This could negatively impact the supply and demand from your perspective.  Waiting to get the landscaping done might be a costly decision. Timing IS everything.

Interesting to go back and read this article in The Hamilton Spectator from 2011.  The word definitely has gotten out. I believe Hamilton still has some catching up to do and is thriving and growing. DowntownHamilton

Hamilton is a pretty safe investment and in fact a very smart one in my opinion.

Ask your Hamilton area Real Estate professional for advice on Real Estate decisions in Hamilton.  There are many factors that should be considered as you make decisions regarding your biggest or one of your biggest assets or largest purchases of your life.

Contact me for more information at 905-574-4600, toll free 1-877-574-4601 or direct 905-537-6005.

Expect More, Get More!

Good news isn’t often sexy, but be wary of media stories……

Good news isn’t often sexy but be wary of the media stories that are based on global, national or provincial information and even some of the stories generated about our neighbouring cities.

Talk of bubbles bursting and condo markets collapsing may get your attention but be sure your real 2014-07-15 16.49.20-1estate buying decisions, even though affected by the world and the nation are based more on the information about the local market.  Also that your information and advice is obtained from a trusted source like your Real Estate professional.

Hamilton survived the 2008 downturn quite well,mostly due to the fact that Hamilton had already started to diversify and we had been adjusting to a weakening steel industry for years. We were ahead of the problem so to speak.Gore Fountain - mine

It was said not so long ago that Hamilton real estate was 40 % under-valued.  If this is true, we are just playing catch up. I don’t see any signs of Hamilton taking a down turn in the near future. That may not be sexy but it is a GOOD news story. We have the interest, we have the desire, we have the cranes and we have the change needed to keep going onwards and upwards.

Join the movement to Hamilton, it is a great place to live, play, work and learn.Proud-Hamilton-Official-Logo-150x150

To find out more about investing and living in Hamilton visit my Hamilton pages in my website and contact me, I’m happy to help.

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I Love Hamilton and Real Estate Sales!

The Pitfalls of Under-Pricing Your Property in Hamilton. That’s a switch!!

If you haven’t heard,  Hamilton’s Real Estate market is on FIRE!  There is a strategy of under pricing properties to create an even more frantic bidding war.  What are the pitfalls of under-pricing your property in a market like Hamilton is experiencing now?

Properties are selling for over asking price even if they are priced “bang on” or at least what we perceive to be “bang on”.  So if  the property is under-priced as well, there is a strong possibility that the difference between asking and selling price will be quite large.  At what point does this trigger red flags and an appraisal from the lender or the insurer?  That is the million dollar question.  It depends on the location and the perceived risk that the area poses to the lender or insurer.  I’m sure there is a formula so that when the details are input into the lender’s system, it can either go through without a hitch or trigger that appraisal.danger image

So what if an appraisal is called and the property does not appraise at the value it sold for?  If there is a condition on financing the buyer could walk away from the transaction.  In this case at least you would know within the time allowed for that condition. Usually 3-7 days.  What if the buyer came in without a finance condition because they were in competition and “really wanted the house”?  Here is where is gets tricky.  The Buyer needs to understand that if the property does not appraise at the sold value, they will have to come up with their down-payment as well as bridge the difference between the appraised price and the sold price.  This can be quite significant.

There may be a temptation to accept offers without a financing condition but I would want to be assured that the Buyer is of course pre-qualified, can come up with extra cash if there is a shortfall with the appraisal and has been advised that this is a possibility.  Some times it is better to deal with a short finance condition and make sure you know what to expect as opposed to getting a surprise down the road when you find out the Buyers have been unable to procure financing.  Make sure you and/or your agent ask the questions that need to be answered to protect you.

In my opinion, do not under-price your property to create a crazy bidding war.  Price it right, with a good chance of still creating that bidding war. Without sending up RED FLAGS to the lender because you have a sale price that is way higher than the asking price.

If you have any questions about this or want other Real Estate and Hamilton area information, contact me at 905-574-4600 or email kathydellanebbia@royallepage.ca

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Why There is Such a Shortage Of Inventory in Hamilton. The Perfect Storm!

There an incredible imbalance of buyers and sellers. A huge shortage of homes for sale in Hamilton and area. It is What has caused this PERFECT STORM?

There is the pent-up demand from the Buyers who were taken out of the market due to mortgage rule changes in 2012. Many are coming back into the market now.

There is a huge migration of  buyers from the GTA  due primarily to affordability.  Also the fact that there are more commuting options now and even more in the near future. The construction of a new GO Station with “all day” GO service sure to be a reality in the near future.

Incredible mortgage rates further drive and assist the Buyers make their homeownership dreams come true.

and

Hamilton reinventing itself with a diversified economy and changing job market.  No longer the Steel industry as the primary employer but instead everything to do with the Medical Field, education, research and the world class hospitals.  A booming and  changing demographic with a thriving grassroots Arts/Music/Theatre Community.  Hamilton is no longer a secret and is on the map for many reasons.  A mecca for the outdoor enthusiasts with greenspace, waterfalls, beach front, harbour and amazingly located between a Great Lake and an Escarpment.  Then of course, the people, recognized as a very generous and caring community.

Move up Buyers who are nervous about putting their homes on the market in case they can find anything or who are waiting for the “spring market” to list their homes.

The pressure comes from the bottom, from the First Time Buyers.  Hopefully the “Spring Market” will bring more product on the market to help alleviate some of this pressure.  After all a little more balance is always healthier for everyone.

My best advice….If you are a Seller, LIST your home now and beat the rush of Sellers.  If you are a Buyer without the pressure of time.  Breathe for a few weeks and hopefully you will have more product to pick from soon.

Next I will address the so called benefits and pitfalls of under pricing your home in this type of market.

Visit www.HamiltonRealEstateSales.com for more Hamilton and Real Estate information.