Toronto Real Estate July 2008 Newsletter

Kinnear's Komments

Volume 16, Issue 4
July 2008

They always say that time changes things, but you have to actually change them yourself.
Andy Warhol

Julie's Scoop

As the dog days of summer set in, we hope you're all enjoying or planning relaxing summer time off. and of course the Olympics next month.

Our team is excited about our plans to expand over the next few months. Though still in the preliminary phases, the drive to change has come about as we've found that in recent years, the face of real estate continues to evolve. As you know the web has been a strong suit of ours, and more and more of the public use the web as their primary source to find a realtor they can trust. Our business continues to flourish with repeat and referral business as the focus of our business remains on providing you and the friends, family members and colleagues you introduce to us with world class service. Thankfully our cutting edge and content rich websites ,, & have become an increasing source of business for us. In the past year, we have helped people from Sudbury, Guelph, Pittsburgh, Kitchener, Grand Cayman & Europe realize their buying & selling dreams, as well as assisted countless others from Toronto and around the world with information and data - all of whom heard about our Team and our listings just through the web!

We'll be expanding in this area to help a greater number of people have a referable real estate experience. Remember, our focus remains on you and guiding you safely & comfortably through this changing market with wisdom, understanding and exceptional service.


On a personal note, after an intense few months of an active real estate market, I'm looking forward to some down time at Crooked Creek with Mary and visiting friends and family. In fact, the entire Team with spouses are invited up north for a weekend of R&R and team building - an annual tradition! Mary and I just bought a new home and sold the house we have lived in for the past number of years in Roncesvalles and let me tell you, I can now personally relate even better to our buyers and sellers! They say all realtors should go through this every few years - ha!  What an emotional rollercoaster. Mary and I are super excited about our move this fall - we're staying in the same great neighbourhood!

As for the rest of the Team. Nicole will be taking a week off to celebrate her 30th birthday - a big milestone! Jen is also planning to spend some time at her own cottage later this month. She recently purchased a garden shed to continue to get "the hacienda" organized and looking its best! KJ will have a busy summer with Cassidy turning 4 at the end of the month, and weekends in Kingston visiting family. Elise is spending plenty of time redecorating her apartment with help of husband Steve - their new bathroom has the refreshing feel of mint chocolate chip ice cream - the perfect image to leave you with this summer!

Wishing you a safe and happy summer,


Kinnear's Summer Photo Kontest!

Dawn lakeshot
  • Attention camera lovers! School is out, the kids are energized and the weather is just too beautiful to stay inside. This can all only mean one thing. It's the perfect time for road trips! We realize that lots of our clients are packing their families into cars and hitting the open road. We here at the Julie Kinnear Team hope that while you're out exploring the great outdoors you'll still take a moment to think of us! As you all know, our team has chosen the Inukshuk as the symbol for our business. Since Inukshuks are also increasingly serving as a mainstream Canadian national symbol (and the official logo of 2010 Olympics!) you never know where you'll find one, even in your own backyard, and certainly all over cottage country. This is why we're so excited to announce our newest contest!

  • Running from July 10th to September 10th we're asking you to send your best Inukshuk photos to decorate our website.
  • If you come across one of these landmarks in your travels please think of us, pull out your camera and ask it to say "Cheese"!
  • When the contest closes we'll post the pics and choose our 3 favourites to announce in the September issue of Kinnear's Komments.
  • The winners will each receive a hand-crafted, pewter inukshuk letter-opener to serve as their own personal symbol of Canada, as well as a reminder that we at the Julie Kinnear team are always here to 'guide you home'

Chit Chat

  • Congratulations to Jenn Tung & Edwin Ng! Edwin proposed to Jenn during a recent trip to California. They also just bought their first condo with us.
  • All the best to Scott Turner & Nancy Houle, who were married on June 21, 2008! The happy couple is still house-hunting.


  • Rachel Houpt & Craig Atkinson welcomed Tessa Gabrielle, their second daughter, into the world on May 28, 2008!
  • Deb McCain & Matt McPherson were thrilled to announce the birth of their second daughter, Daphne, on June 12, 2008! Davis is a loving older sister!
  • Neeta Logsetty and Joey Ryan and big brother Kiran eagerly anticipated the arrival of Bodhi Devan Ryan born July 8, 2008.

Are you feeling like Giving Back?

Q: How do you achieve lasting satisfaction that money can't buy?
A: By supporting a great cause!

Our charity of the month is Pathways to Education, so successful in its pursuit that it continues to expand Canada wide. Pathways provides an innovative blend of support to help at-risk youth succeed and graduate from high school and go onto post secondary education. Actively supported by Julie and her stepmom, founder Carolyn Acker.

Did you know...

Some loopholes in mortgage insurance might affect your ability to make a claim? According to a recent CBC Marketplace article, there are several ways to buy insurance that will really protect you, but it might take shopping around and asking the right questions. Learn what to watch for here

Market Watch

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resale housing market continued at a moderate but healthy pace, Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O'Neill announced in June.

Prices continued their upward trend. The GTA average price is currently $398,542, up four per cent over the $384,576 average from the same timeframe a year ago and up 11 per cent from the $358,648 recorded at mid-June 2006.

In the City of Toronto the current average price is $439,469, up three per cent over the $424,888 average a year ago and up 14 per cent over the $386,960 average in June 2006.

"Sales in the GTA declined 14 per cent compared to the same timeframe a year ago," said Ms. O'Neill. "However, compared to June 2006, this month's activity is up seven per cent.

"With employment and interest rates holding steady and a 17 per cent increase in available listings compared to a year ago, it is an ideal time to take advantage of all that the market has to offer," said Ms. O'Neill.

In Riverdale (E01) transactions increased 28 per cent compared to the first half of June 2007 driven by strong condominium apartment sales. Neighbourhood corner - nothing this month - pls delete that section temporarily..

The JKT-List: A Few of Our Favourite Things!

fell in love with A free social networking/micro-blogging service that lets her send and receive updates to and from her cell phone and computer! It's great for staying in touch with friends and keeping up with news.
fell in love with Centerville on Center Island as a great place to take the kids for a summer daytrip. Charlotte and Cassidy loved all the different amusement rides and games. It's also a great trip on a hot day thanks to all the water rides and the cooler temperatures on the island.
Julie and Mary
fell in love with the patio of the Palais Royale. They attended a women's dance there during Pride Week and were amazed at the restoration and view overlooking Lake Ontario
fell in love with the hit series Lost - thanks to Elise for getting her the first two seasons on DVD! You've heard the hype about the show, well, it's all true - absolutely addictive!

Curious George

See a For Sale Sign/Sold you were wondering about? We are happy to let you know about houses in your neighbourhood - feel free to contact Nicole directly at:

The Julie Kinnear Team's GEMs (Genuine Evidence of Merit)

I felt extremely supported for each step in the process which started with Julie being available to meet with me on such short notice then reassuring me that we could get the house on the market in the short time period that I had. I appreciated the helpful suggestions about what I needed to do to get the house in shape for the market. I appreciated your prompt responses to all my queries...

Carolyn Cho

What They Got! A continuing column of the Julie Kinnear Team's Sales

94 Amelia Street
94 Amelia Street
94 Amelia Street
Asking Price: 1 139 000
Selling Price: 1 239 000
217 Bain Avenue
217 Bain Avenue
217 Bain Avenue
Asking Price: 539 000
Selling Price: 539 000
311 Forman Avenue
311 Forman Avenue
311 Forman Avenue
Asking Price: 499 900
Selling Price: 520 000 - your online resource for Real Estate info in Toronto.

Mortgage Rates courtesy of Carrie Davidson, Dominion Lending for July 2, 2008

july08 rates table
Rates are subject to change without notice. *OAC E&OE
Prime Rate is 4.75%.

Variable rate mortgages from as low as Prime minus 0.65%.

17 ways to landscape cost effectively

It's easy to spend thousands cultivating an idyllic lawn and garden. But a little ingenuity and patience will go a long way in keeping some green in your wallet.

Traditional thinking says you should expect to pay anywhere from 5% to 10% of your home's value on landscaping. Even at the low end of that range, you're looking at spending $20,000 if you live in the median-value Canadian home worth $300,000.

That's tough to stomach no matter how much you love the outdoors. Thankfully, you can do it right and still spend a fraction of that amount.

  • Here's how:

    Get the most visual bang for your buck: First of all, realize that budget gardening can still be beautiful. Let's say you've got less than $1,000 to spend. The first things you should focus on are improving your soil and adding trees. Amend your soil with compost and other ingredients to improve its quality.
  • Take advantage of freebies
    Your city, your friend: Some cities often give away free trees, mulch and compost.
  • Demolition sites: These are great sources for bricks and stones, but make sure you have permission to remove them.
  • Fellow gardeners: See something you like in a neighbour's yard? Offer to trade cuttings. Also, set up seed exchanges with other gardeners or check out existing exchanges online such as and .
  • Avoid costly mistakes: Really think about how you're going to use your outdoor space. If you plan a water feature but are annoyed by the noise of babbling brooks, you're going to spend more money ripping it out and replacing it with something else later. Take the time to educate yourself and you'll avoid common pitfalls such as planting a tree too close to your house.
  • Work with what you have: Preserving existing plants and trees can help you save the cost, materials and resources needed to establish a new planting. Hire yourself: The best way to save money in landscaping is to do as much work as possible yourself. A 3-gallon bush may cost $20, but the price skyrockets to $30 or $40 when it's planted by a landscaping professional. Know when to hire the pros: There are times when it makes sense to hire a pro. It is suggested to hire help for jobs that take more muscle or design skill than you have, such as creating hardscapes.
  • When using pros, try to get a packaged deal: Check out nurseries that offer landscaping services. Many will offer discounts on plant material to their landscaping customers.
  • Hire a consultant: A full landscape design that includes drawings and a planting plan can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to more than $1,000, depending on the complexity of the design and the overall budget of the project.
  • Take a phased approach: Divide your plan into phases and pay as you go with funds on hand. You'll save on loan or credit costs and be able to evaluate your progress and adjust plans before moving to the next phase. Time your purchases: Buy trees, shrubs, perennials, soil and mulch late in the season when retailers want to be rid of them.
  • Check alternate resources: Look beyond stores for bargains. Arboretums, botanical centers, plant societies and gardening clubs often hold plant sales.
  • Buy small: Purchase small-sized plants; five 1-gallon Shasta daisies at $3 apiece cost the same as one 3-gallon plant at $15 purchased at a Nursery. Protect foundations: Roots can damage concrete blocks, driveways and sidewalks, so plant large trees at least 8 meters from those areas.
  • Divide: Look around your yard for any perennials that can be divided and used elsewhere in the landscape.
  • Compost: Save money on fertilizers and mulch by composting your own, using yard waste and food scraps. Compost piles can be made of recycled 2×4s and chicken wire. All you need is access to the pile and enough space to turn it every now and again. You'll pay as much as $5 per small bag of compost at your local home improvement store.
  • Think about maintenance: A large lawn is great if you don't mind mowing. But if paying a yard guy $50 a week is part of your plan, make sure that goes into your budget.
  • Be water smart: According the Environmental Protection Agency, outdoor water use constitutes almost 10% of total home water use. Look for plants that are drought-tolerant to save on your water bill.

    Finally, be pent. Plants will not fully mature for a good two to three years, longer for trees and many shrubs.
    Enjoy the process - and the money you saved.
    -courtesy of Carrie Davidson, Dominion Lending

Thanks for reading. The Julie Kinnear Team: Your online resource for Real Estate in Toronto.

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