LRT back to Eastgate Square

If you live east of the Queenston Traffic circle in Hamilton this is great news for you. If you are a transit rider its great news and if you are a home owner in the area, its fabulous news!

The east end of Hamilton has seen a bump in real estate values out performing many areas in the Hamilton area along with the high performing core.

This is primarily due to the new GO station coming to Centennial Parkway near the QEW.  Now that the proposed LRT is to extend to Eastgate Mall again, I feel certain we will see another “bump” in prices in the east end.

Taken from From Hamilton For Transit:

Environment Hamilton and Hamilton 4 Transit welcome Eastgate LRT announcement

Lynda Lukasic from Environment Hamilton and Hamilton 4 Transit, welcomes the news that LRT will be approved to go to Eastgate sooner than originally expected:

“As a resident of the area, I can attest to the community support for LRT to come to Eastgate. This area has one of the largest concentration of transit users in Hamilton, and needs high quality transit options. Eastgate is also a major commercial destination in Hamilton and better transit links will improve the neighbourhood’s economy while protecting its environment. LRT will help to transform Eastgate area into a more walkable neighbourhood, which will improve health and quality of life for all residents.”

The reaction to the extension back to Eastgate is being well received and something I believe is a great move forward.  Being a natural transit hub should actually be more cost effective than creating a hub at the traffic circle.

lrt map

 

Excerpt  article 2011, From Don Campbell, R.E.I.N  Real Estate Investment Network

The City of Hamilton hopes to turn to light rail technology to curb traffic congestion. The announcement of five proposed rapid transit lines in Hamilton lead the REIN team to undertake a research report on the impacted neighbourhoods.

REIN’s detailed research has found that there are three “Tiers of Impact” that will occur in the Hamilton region:

First Tier: Neighbourhoods located near the on and off ramps to the Red Hill Valley Parkway. These include: McQuestern East and West, Barton, Nashdale, Kentley, Glenview East, Corman, Red Hill, King’s Forest and Albion Falls. 

Second Tier: Includes areas that will also be positively impacted by the easier access and traffic flow created by the Highway 8 link to the Red Hill Valley Parkway. This will allow commuters from as far away as Toronto and Oakville to cut key minutes off their drive.

Third Tier: Areas that are within 800 meters of the proposed LRT and GO train stations in Hamilton. These areas will move up to second tier once the official announcements are made as to exact locations, then eventually move to first tier once the actual construction begins. Communities impacted by future LRT lines include: Ainslie Wood, Cootes Paradise, Westdale South, Beasley, Corktown, Kentley, Greenford, Green Acres Park, North Glanford, Ryckmans, Mewburn, Sheldon, Kennedy East, Allison, Greeningdon, Balfour, Bonnington, Yeoville, Rolston, Buchanan, Mohawk, Southam, Centremount, Durand, Corktown, Beasley, Central Hamilton, North End, Ancaster, Mohawk Meadows, Bruleville, Burkholme, northern Crerar, northern Rushdale, Hill Park, Lawfield, Crown Point, northern Homeside, Ancaster, Leckie Park, the Elfrida growth area, Corman, Riverdale, and Winona.

When the LRT stations are completed, communities within an 800-metre radius of these transportation improvements can anticipate a 10%–20% increase in their property values. The largest effect will be felt in older and more established neighbourhoods.

– See more at: http://www.reincanada.com/aboutus/media-news/press-releases/hamiltons-transportation-transformation/#sthash.JMSGkkKc.dpuf

If you’d like to discuss how your home will be impacted in value by the proposed LRT, call or text me at 905-537-6005.

If you would like to discuss the benefits of purchasing a home in this area, contact me.

 

 

 

 

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

I felt this Blog was worth repeating since I am still asked the question.

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

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

The Ladies of Royal Lepage State Realty, Brokerage present….

An Information Seminar Geared to Mature Adults coming this Fall!
Keep watching for details – date and time
It will be at Sackville Recreation Centre on the Hamilton Mountain.

Loads of great information including how to stay in your home long term.
Right Sizing  your home.
What services are out there for you and so much more!

SRES  Seniors Real Estate Specialist

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!

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.

What’s the difference between a FIXTURE and a CHATTEL?

When you are purchasing a home it would seem that “what is the difference between a fixture and a chattel?” should be an easy answer.  Well not always, sometimes there is confusion or the wrong expectations.

First lets differentiate the meaning and use.  A fixture is “a-fixed” to the house and is deemed to stay with the house unless it is excluded from the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  A chattel is not “a-fixed” to the home and goes unless it is included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Some items are clear and sometimes we put them into the offer anyways for clarity and to make sure everyone understand what stays and what goes.

A prime example of something causing confusion in the last few years is bathroom mirrors.  It used to be clear that the “medicine cabinet” would stay.  Now, with more decorative framed mirrors that may just be hung on a nail like a picture, it’s not so clear.  The Buyer has an expectation that they will have a mirror in their bathroom on closing.  The Seller says, I paid a lot for that and it’s not “fixed” therefore not a fixture. For clarity I always included “any bathroom mirrors” in the agreements I prepare.Framed Mirror

The built-in dishwasher is “a-fixed” by plumbing but since it is an appliance most Realtors® would include it in the “Chattels” section to ensure clarity.  Decorative curtain rod could be just laying on hardware.  So does that mean the rod can go and the hardware bolted to the wall must stay?  What about wall shelves that are held on a screw much like a painting can be?  What about the bookcase that has been secured to the wall to prevent tipping?  traditional-bookcases

Not always so clear is it?

If you’re not sure, it’s best to include or exclude in the appropriate areas to make certain everyone has the same expectation.

Helping you through the process.

Expect More, Get More!

Visit http://www.HamiltonRealEstateSales.com for more Real Estate information.

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.

EXPECT MORE, GET MORE!