What’s An ELF? Not Santa’s Helper in the Real Estate World

Clients often ask me, “what’s elf’s?”  Well in the Real Estate world it is not Santa’s little helper but an acronym for Electrical Light Fixture.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of information to give and a limited number of characters allowed. We need room for those descriptive words to paint a picture for you, the buying public.

Here are a few more to help clarify.light

RSA – Room sizes approximate
Reno’d – Renovated
SPIS – Seller Property Information Statement (this requires a whole blog on its own, ask me about it)
F/P – Fireplace
B/I – Built-in
pc – piece as in bathrooms
SS – Stainless Steelchandelier
W/ – With
Sep – Separate
cvac – Central vacuum
TLC – Tender Loving Care
Base – Basement
Prof – Professionally
Hrdwd – Hardwood
GDO – Garage door opener

Let me help you interpret the jargon.  There is a lot said in the remarks of a listing by what is not said and the choice of words used.  Maybe my next blog should be on how to interpret what is not said in a listing remarks section.  Stay tuned.

Contact me with any questions you have or for any assistance with your Real Estate needs.


I’m Trying to Buy a Home In Hamilton!! HELP

As promised here is some advice on buying a home in Hamilton during this incredible booming market.

First find a Realtor® you trust and feel comfortable with and sign a Buyer Representation Agreement. Make sure someone is actively searching for you and is “on it”.  If you attempt to search yourself, you will always be a step behind.  It’s tough for us and we get the information the instant it is uploaded to our Association.

Second, set your search up slightly below where you qualify in this market.  Normally we would search just above where you qualify knowing that the homes will sell slightly below asking.  However, in this market in Hamilton it has become “normal” to sell over asking so this gives you some wiggle room to 2014-07-18 14.12.56offer over asking if you are not looking at your max.

Third, don’t be afraid of competition.  Look at the comparable sold properties with your agent and decide what you feel the house is worth.  There are some who strategically under price their listings so don’t get too caught up on the listing price.  What is the value?  More importantly, what is the value to you?  Does it meet your needs?  What are your short and long-term goals related to real estate? What about the area.  Are there any external factors that affect the value beyond the regular increase in the market?  What is happening there?

What is the magic number in competition?  That is always changing and is different in every scenario.  A question I would ask you after looking at the comparable properties that are similar and have recently sold is; What is the number that you will be okay with if you lose by a little and if you win, you won’t feel you overpaid?  That is the magic number because it’s the one you will be comfortable with win or lose.

I know it is extremely frustrating but this is happening because you are in the hottest market in Canada and there is no sign of that changing. Hamilton is an excellent place to buy and a great investment.

Lastly, don’t let you emotions get the best of you.  Find a Realtor® you trust and have faith.  It is a difficult process but a worthwhile one and the rewards can be fantastic!

For more information on Hamilton and Real Estate in Hamilton, visit my website at www.HamiltonRealEstateSales.com and contact me at 905-574-4600.

Hamilton, Ontario | Hottest Real Estate Market in Canada

Initial reaction, awesome!  Not so if you are a prospective buyer trying to purchase Real Estate in Hamilton. Hamilton’s market is booming due to affordability.  We’re just trying to catch up. We are seeing a huge influx of buyers from the GTA.  Then of course there is our diversification, growing grassroots arts 2014-07-15 16.49.20-1and music community, loads of green space, trails and waterfalls, improved commuting options and just the fact that we are getting on the map.  TheHamilton%20Ontario%20Skyline best kept secret is no more, the word is out.  A strong commitment by city and developers to urban revitalization.  Hamilton is a fabulous place to live, work, learn and play and a great place to raise a family. A great place to invest with no sign of slowing down.  Continue reading Hamilton, Ontario | Hottest Real Estate Market in Canada

What to do in Hamilton on March Break – 2015

Wondering What to Do in Hamilton This March Break.  Let Me Help!
Hamilton, Ontario or #HamOnt and AKA The Hammer is a wonderful city to Live, Work, Learn and Play. With a growing and vibrant arts, music and theatre scene.  We are still flying high from hosting the Juno Awards this past weekend.  What a success JunoFest was especially with the overlap of Hamilton’s own ArtCrawl, a monthly event in the core highlighting the arts.  Then of course the crown jewel, “Supercrawl”, host to over 80,000 people every September.  Art Crawl and Super Crawl are  FREE events.

Boosting being the Waterfall Capital of the World, with loads of green space and conservation lands, walking and biking trails and waterfront.  What more could you possibly want?   If shopping and eating out is your thing, visit and James Street north shopping district, Concession Street shopping district and Locke Street shopping district to name a few.

Are you interested in learning more about Hamilton? Visit my website and contact me.

Here are some links to events in Hamilton over March Break.

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What Is The Right Price To Offer In A Real Estate Multiple Offer Situation?

My clients will ask “what is the right price to offer in competition or when competing with multiple offers in Real Estate?” I tell them the right price is the one where you say                                                 

How To Deal With a Strong Sellers Market
How do you deal with multiple offers when buying Real Estate?

Scenario One: I come back and say “you lost” and you say “that’s Okay because that’s what I was willing to pay” and or I say “you got it” and you are thrilled.


Scenario Two: I come back and say “you lost” and you say “I would have paid a little more” or I say “you won” and you  think, “oh no, I paid too much”.

Having said that you must consider that in competition you will likely pay at the top end or over the current perceived market “value”.

By the way market value is defined as “what a willing educated buyer will pay without undue pressure“.  Is competing in multiple offers undue pressure ? Not if you keep your head on straight and make calm educated decisions.

I can only speak with regards to my local market and my experience and knowledge in helping people with their Real Estate needs in the Hamilton, Burlington,  Ancaster and Stoney Creek area but the basics remain the same.

You must ask yourself 

Does this house meets and exceed my needs and maybe even my wants?
Is what I’m looking for hard to find?
Is time on my side?
Are you in an area that will likely continue to go up in price at a fast pace?
Is your plan to stay in the house for a reasonable amount of time? Say over 3 or 4 years.

If it’s the perfect or near perfect house and time is of the essence then you just might just have to bite the bullet and pay more than you think the house is “worth” (remember the definition of value).
You will get the house you want and need and over time your perceived over-payment will be absorbed.

You have to adjust your behaviour in competition based on your own situation after answering the questions above.

One thing to remember is you have complete control over what you are willing to offer on a house you are interested in. As long as you are willing to put your best foot forward, there is no harm in trying. If you don’t put an offer in on a multiple offer situation, you know you definitely won’t get that house.  So take your best shot and rely on the advice of your local trusted Real Estate professional.

Hamilton, Ontario | A Great Place to Raise a Family

The first European settlers came to this area around the time of the American Revolution and the War of 1812.  In 1815, after the war George Hamilton settled here and created a town site. Hamilton became a city in 1846.

Hamilton became a city of heavy industry and was a hot bed of working-class activism.  In 1872 it was a strong voice encouraging the maximum nine hour work day.  Hamilton became an imprtant city providing iron and steel.  During the First World War Hamilton boomed as the demand for steel, arms, munitions and testiles increased.  This created a building boom.  However, in the 1930’s Hamilton was greatly affected by the Great Depression.  The Second World War created a turn around in Hamilton’s economy but cost the city dearly in lost lives of young men at Dieppe.

Hamilton has been nicknamed Steeltown, Ambitious City, The Hammer, Hammertown, and the Lunch Bucket City all due to Hamilton’s history as a major steel producing industrial city.

Things have changed and today different aspects of Health Care have taken over as the number one employer in Hamilton.  There has also been extensive growth in the areas of Education, Government Services and Technology as well as Agriculture/Food Processing.

It is very exciting for me to watch the evolution of this beautiful waterfront city as we change and re-define ourselves.  All the while we are still enjoying a vibrant manufacturing and transportation sector.

What an incredible location we have in the “Golden Horseshoe“.  We have bragging rights as “The Waterfall Capital of the World“.  Beautifully situated between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment and extending over the escarpment.

Hamilton has a population of over 500,000 people and a stable economy and Real Estate Market.  In 2011 Hamilton was ranked by the Real Estate Investment Network of Canada as the best place to invest in over the next five years and the third best in all of Canada.  The FDI Magazine a publication of the Financial Times ranked Hamilton in third place of the large North American cities for quality of life.

Hamilton boasts a diverse community rich in culture, history and incredible architecture.  Hamilton is also a city with a fast growing vibrant community in the arts, including music, theatre and art.  If this is of interest you won’t want to miss the Art Crawls!

We are a city with a desire to grow and improve and a wonderful city to raise a family.

Contact me for more information on Hamilton and on the Real Estate Market in Hamilton, Ontario

I Love my city!