Toronto Real Estate November 2009 Newsletter

Kinnear's Komments

Volume 17, Issue 6
November 2009

This is a favourite of our team, especially these days in the midst of multiple offers for buyer:

You miss 100% of the shots your don't take

Wayne Gretzky

Julie's Scoop

Pumpkins In the Dark
Pumpkins In The Dark

We're in the full swing of active Fall market and with the beautiful weather, it is hard to believe we are planning our Christmas party in less than a month! Hope everyone's Halloween was fun, thought it was nice to have it on a Saturday night. Our team had extra fun this year with our first Pumpkin giveaway, and getting dressed in costume is such a hoot! Check out the pics on our website or The Julie Kinnear Team Facebook page!

Just to give you an update on the team's whereabouts - Jen is excited these days about her "Hacienda" getting spruced up and painted etc. Our client and friend Toby did a fab job renovating the rental part of it last year, and this year it has been leased to a Caledon skier family for the season. She's also been enjoying plenty of horse back riding and dog walks up north when she's not being the busy city realtor! Jen's been taking numerous courses to increase her skillset re: staging properties and in depth home inspections.

On top of the busy fall real estate market Holly has gotten right back into her heavy duty training schedule - with plans for her 1st Iron Man next summer in Lake Placid. I actually went to Lake Placid in September, and cycled that section of the course - it is so beautiful there. What a great long weekend destination by the way! Holly has started her master swim classes, and been training in a Velodrome in London Ontario, as well as visiting and supporting her brother in Vancouver who has been ill.

Julie Lake Placid in Background
Julie Lake Placid in Background

 KJ happily celebrated his big 4-0 this November. All his family and friends did terrific speeches, and music mixes at a gathering of friends and family - everyone of course was singing his praises!

Stephanie is quite thrilled to have completed and passed her 1st phase of the real estate course. She is now working hard towards phase 2. Steph is living in Bloor West Village and enjoys her early morning runs and walks in High Park.

I've been having fun these days on the social marketing side of the business. We have always had our website which is very much set up as a blog, for you to add comments on virtually every page. Our Youtube videos have been hit for along time, and we've been exposing our listings in places like Craigslist and Kijiji for years, which nowadays we have had better success than ever with. Now, I finally succumbed to Facebook after holding out, as I realize there are numerous benefits, and I want to understand what others are doing. Have you noticed the huge surge lately for Linkedin? Fascinating. And of course, I've become a bit of Twitter junkie. Thanks to a few talented clients helping me, it is a blast keeping in closer contact with our peeps.

I'm sure you've heard a range of reports on the real estate market this Fall. So far, we have continued to have the shortage of listings and buyers have had to compete for many properties. It's more fun for sellers right now! Check out the stats in the Market Watch section. Affordability with the interest rates staying at these record lows has continued to drive a strong market. We have plenty of #'s as well as war stories to share, the bottom line is that if you were serious about selling, now is an ideal time. There are many buyer's out there wanting to find a home.

Our chitchat column is filled with some cool clients... wow, thanks for sharing!


Chit Chat

Very proud to announce the successful new business venture of Heidi Girvan...

Happy Helperz logo

Happy Helperz is a line of 3 educational learning tools for the home, designed to foster personal responsibility and independence in children. These simple, fun & easy learning tools enable kids to "pitch-in" around the house to do things for themselves. A placemat helps kids set the table; toy labels to enable children to tidy up their own playrooms; cards that help children pack their own knapsacks for school. What a great way to teach kids sorting, classifying & early reading skills, as well as bolstering their independence & self-esteem.

All you parents out there can relate: Megan Hatcher, 30 months old, is potty training with great success. Parents Stef and Stuart, and big brother Tim are very proud, and busy cleaning up the odd accident. (important update for her Baby book! :) )

Congratulations Jess and Geoff - After 2 long years of hard work, Jessica Grant and music partner Geoffrey James are FINALLY finished their CD - Here and Now. It is fantabulous, I (Julie) bought a couple of copies and have played it for many friends to show off the grooves.  
More buy or hear a few samples of the tunes at Happy listening!

Studio 31 Album
Studio 31 Album

Lots of news from the Kelly household!
Jeremy Kelly is working hard at building his music school. Not Applicable Music offers lessons in guitar, bass, drums, beginner keys and recording.

Alison Kelly went for it and left her corporate job to dedicate herself full time to her party planning business, A Hot Pink Petticoat. Her motto "our clients don't worry about their event - they're too busy enjoying it"!

Check out Gallery 44 between now & Nov 28th - Gary Cwitco is exhibiting his art work, please drop in to see Les Pieds à Terre (a Contemporary Photo Show). Gallery 44 - 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto

Lou Pomanti (Jr.) is having a street named after him @ Sheppard & Weston Rd. To see some of his musical achievements go to Lou Pomanti Music web site He did 5 arrangements on Michael Bubles latest CD "Crazy Love".


buh buh buh baby by Andrew Vargas
baby by Andrew Vargas

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our little girl Lara Helen Johannson on Oct 8th/09. Stacey Nestruck & Derek Johannson

We're very excited to announce the arrival of our newest little family member: Aubrey Elizabeth Simpson was born on August 11th... we didn't even know that she was on her way when K.J. helped us find our house on Winona Drive, but good thing we bought in such a family friendly neighbourhood! Rosslyn Young & Ian Simpson

Are you Feeling like Giving Back?

Charity of the month

Movember Colm
Movember Colm

Movember is Moustache month - raising $$ and awareness for prostate cancer! Help Change the face of men's health by supporting you favourite Mo Bro today! During his lifetime, 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer, the most common cancer to affect Canadian men. Yet very few men, and their families, know about the risks of developing the disease. 

Mortgage rates

- courtesy of Carrie Davidson of Dominion Lending

mortgage rates nov 2009
current variable rate is 2.15%
current prime rate is 2.25%

Market Watch

TREB Reports Strong Growth in October MLS Transactions

In October 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 8,476 sales, up 64 per cent from October 2008. The average price for October transactions was $423,559 - up by 20 per cent compared to the same month last year.

"Strong sales growth has occurred across many property classes - from price ranges that would attract first-time buyers to luxury properties selling for over one million dollars," said TREB President Tom Lebour. "The highest rate of sales growth in October was experienced for properties selling for over $750,000 dollars. In contrast, luxury home sales declined at an above-average rate last year."

Year-to-date sales, at 74,721, were up nine per cent compared to the first ten months of 2008. Average price, at $392,264 was up by almost three per cent.

"After a short dip in the winter, the average home price in the GTA has rebounded because sales have been high relative to listings," according to Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis. "Watch for listings to rebound in 2010 as home owners react to the strong sales and price growth experienced in the latter half of this year."

Did you know?

Blue Green LED Macro by James Dean
Blue Green LED Macro by James Dean

Free energy efficient LED festive lights this season!

Light up your home, not your bill this holiday season. Toronto Hydro is sponsoring the City of Toronto's Cavalcade of Lights neighbourhood lighting display program and offers its annual Festival Light Exchange. Exchange old incandescent lights for energy efficient LED festive lights.

LED lights use up to 95% less power and produces little heat, generate more light and lasts longer. Last year 18000 strings of lights were collected, and 9400 seasonal LED lights were given out, helping to take 2 megawatts off the grid, that's equivalent of 1360 homes!

For more info on specific dates, times & participating neighbourhoods, visit

Competitive Advantage Series (=more reasons to refer!)

Is there value in working with our top team?

Another Julie Kinnear Team Advantage... Continually Educating ourselves

Our mission and vision statement specifically mentions that we will continually educate ourselves. We know that we can always improve and bring cutting edge technology and effective ideas into creating a better more profitable experience for you!

As you have heard we regularly attend strategic seminars all over North America to bring the most creative and proven ideas back into The Julie Kinnear Team systems. This is all for a future investment in our relationship with our clients. You may or may not know that we read business books all year round and together we analyze and implement ideas to improve the business. Just this Fall alone, we have taken courses on advanced negotiation, on home inspections, on leadership, on green impact and opportunities in real estate, on market forecasts and trends, and on social networking even. We call it sharpening the saw. We believe that to deserve the introductions to your friends and family, we have to be the best in the business. Our marketing systems have to be the best in the business. It is not enough to rely on the past, we are creating a fun filled and successful future together.

What does this all mean to you? You can feel comfortable relying on us! Since we have done the hard homework behind the scenes, you have the peace of mind knowing that you are getting the best representation in the industry.

Curious George

ayumi iizuka
ayumi iizuka

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 Steph at:

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

Dear Julie Kinnear team,

Thank you so much for the cookie flowers! What a nice surprise. I'm overwhelmingly happy about my new house; thanks again Jen for a terrific job!

Cheers, Alex.

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

25 Wildwood Cres
25 Wildwood Cres

The Beach

25 Wildwood Cres
Asking Price $399,900.
Selling Price $395,000.

88 Broadway
88 Broadway Avenue

North Toronto

88 Broadway Avenue #504
Asking Price $439,900.
Selling Price $421,000.

26 Afton Ave
26 Afton Avenue

Beaconsfield Village

26 Afton Avenue
Asking Price $379.900.
Selling Price $481,000.

603 Roehampton Ave
603 Roehampton Avenue

North Toronto

603 Roehampton Avenue
Asking Price $499,000.
Selling Price $581,000.

352 Quebec Avenue
352 Quebec Avenue

High Park

352 Quebec Avenue
Asking Price $609,900.
Selling Price $605,000.

50 Pearson Avenue
50 Pearson Avenue

Roncesvalles Village

50 Pearson Avenue
Asking Price $699,000.
Selling Price $755,000.


Heat Your Home The Green Way

Environmental-issues writer for The Globe & Mail, Adria Vasil released Ecoholic Home, her second book, earlier this month. As the weather turns cool, she shares her tips on how to heat your home the green way.

1. Change the furnace filters

Make a habit of replacing filters every three months, Ms. Vasil advises.

"It takes about 10 seconds to do and a Grade 1 kid could do it."

When she moved into her apartment, the filter hadn't been changed in years. She had the furnace repair guy show her where it was located and put in a new one.

"The curtains were billowing for the first time ever because it was allowing so much air to come from the vents," she says. "You're crippling your furnace if you let it get clogged."

2. Seal up drafts

Even if your home is outfitted with the most efficient heating systems, you're still wasting energy if heat is escaping. It can slip out through spaces around windows, and also cracks in doors, electrical sockets, and around pipes.

"You'd imagine that if there was a big hole in the house, you'd fix it. Essentially, all those drafts add up to a hole," Ms. Vasil explains.

To track drafts, she suggests lighting a stick of incense and walking around your home with it. When you see the stream of smoke shift, you've found one. Use weather-stripping tape, silicone caulking, or electric outlet seals to close things up.

3. Trade in the fireplace for a pellet stove

were not using those graphs
programmable thermostat could mean saving

Ah, the rustic comforts of a crackling fire at home - cozy? Yes. But a good way to heat your home? Hardly.

"Old-fashioned fireplaces leak a lot of heat," Ms. Vasil says.

Not to mention pump a lot of smog-forming pollutants into the air.

She suggests replicating the ambience of the wood-burning fireplace with a pellet stove: They run on bits made out of agricultural waste or compressed sawdust and burn cleanly.

Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail

4. Insulate

If you've sealed all the drafts in your home, there's still one more way to keep that precious heat inside: insulation.

There's a wide array of materials to choose from - fibreglass, mineral wool, natural wool, polyurethane - and each has an R-value that tells you how well the material blocks heat from escaping (the higher, the better).

Ms. Vasil gives top rating to AirKrete, a non-toxic, non-flammable and rodent-proof cement-based foam made of magnesium oxide and ceramic talc. You can install it without worrying about any hazardous properties evaporating into the air.

"I'm a fan of anything where you don't have to kick your families out to put it in," Ms. Vasil says.

5. Get a programmable thermostat

An antiquated thermostat might make your home warm enough when you're there, but there's no point blasting heat when you're away.

With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature to 21 degrees Celsius for when you're awake and at home, and then bring it down to about 18 degrees when you're asleep or at work ("Your pets will be perfectly happy," Ms. Vasil says). For just a $40 investment you'll see a drop in your energy bills.

*And don't do this

Use a space heater. It gobbles up energy without evenly heating a room.

Read: Ecoholic Home

Want more tips?

In Ecoholic Home , the follow-up to the bestselling Ecoholic , Adria Vasil tells you how to give your home a green makeover from the kitchen to the bathroom - and all the way out to the garden.

JKT - A few of our Favourite things

going to NYC for the weekend! What a fabulous weekend jaunt! It's a short flight and just enough time to visit a vibrant, exciting city, (especially with Mary and Julie too)!!

has to say this September weather in November is a pretty rare and wonderful experience. Holly is loving the Forest City Velodrome in London ON, and a new favourite charity: Canadian Athletes Now Fund

Really enjoys her early morning breakfast at the Grenadier Cafe in High Park. Steph's also loving the new Christmas colors from OPI - so sparkly and fun for the holidays.

Inukshuk by Ontario Place
Inukshuk by Ontario Place

is happy to be 40 - his favourite thing is the Paddock bar reminds him of his youth - or at least years well before hitting 40. Great atmosphere, food & music. His wife Tori organized a big semi-surprise party for him there.

Julie's favourite thing is the new Toronto Waterfront path in front of Ontario Place. Wowee - very impressive and smooth after riding and blading for years on the rough sidewalk and ups and downs around the boats and dangerous parking lot. Of course, she loves it more because it goes right by that larger than life huge Inukshuk near the Princess Gates. Loves November because its her birthday month - yes not day or week, the whole month is a good time to celebrate :) And last but not least - Twitter!
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