Vol. 22, Issue 7, January 2015
Dear Clients & Friends,
Happy New Year! We wish you much Joy in 2015!
The new year is off with a bang – the real estate market has taken off quickly, similar to last year, with the exception of much less snow on the ground! We have been experiencing multiple offers already, steady open houses and bookings. We have quite a few new clients that are ready to make their dreams come true this year, and their enthusiasm is infectious!
The holidays do seem far away already, although happy memories to carry with us. I think the timing of the national holidays helped make it a more relaxing time for most people. I personally was THRILLED with the exciting World Junior Hockey tournament – with non-stop wins, it was a welcome surge, after a bit of disappointment from our Maple Leaf boys in Blue!
Our JKteam certainly was very busy in December, participating in many holiday activities. It was an honour to volunteer at the Daily Bread Food Bank again helping wherever we could in their warehouse, and we brought along some extra Santa helpers. Our KW office had a really fun holiday event learning how to curl at the High Park Curling Club. Who knew it would be living on the edge, with the potential to fall on the ice! What a super enjoyable total Canadian sport!
If you're not connected with us on Facebook, please do – we have a team page called The Julie Kinnear Team, and you'll find many pictures of the excitement!
After much celebrating pre-holidays in Toronto with family here, Mary & I were out west in Vancouver to see family and share Christmas with Jay and my Mother Brenda this year. Unfortunately she had a bad fall and has eventually ended up with a hip replacement – I'm very grateful she is on the mend and feeling better. In all the mayhem there were many silver linings to be found. It was also really special to meet their new dog Effi the German Sheppard! Brenda & I are looking forward to a big cruise together up the Danube and visiting my brother Alec & family in June.
Everyone on the team had a chance to see family and take some much needed down time to recharge over the holidays. It is an opportunity to reflect, relax and count our blessings - and you are a big part of that. We are extremely grateful for your continued trust as well as the introductions of your friends, colleagues and family.
guiding you home,
P.S. Hopefully we all have much to be excited about in 2015. If you or any of your friends or family are in need of trusted real estate advice, please get in touch with us today! We can help them navigate this crazy Toronto scene.
QUOTE of the day:
"Another fresh new year is here. Another year to live! To banish worry, doubt and fear! To love and laugh and give!"
William Arthur Ward
✦ Peter Morgan is helping to organize the ReFrame Peterborough International film festival running from January 23rd – 25th it’s a great way to spend the weekend and see some amazing documentaries with diverse subject matters. Check it out http://reframefilmfestival.ca/
✦ We are so proud of Logan Palacios graduate of Niagara College Culinary School. If you are ever at The Garrison House at Niagara on the Lake pop in and say hi to him.
✦ Nadia & Darcy Richard happily shared that on December 18th, 2014 they received the best possible Christmas present anyone could hope for and welcomed there 2nd child Brendan, weighing a healthy 9lb 6 oz. "We know that his big sister Catriona is watching over all of us, and while we miss her more than we could ever explain, welcoming Brendan has brought some joy back to our lives. The inclusion of Catriona's fund in your newsletter and the donations made by you and your team to her fund were much appreciated." We are all so happy for you.
✦ Sarah McCallum & Rob Duinker had an early Christmas present this year as they welcomed their daughter Harper Pauline Marie Duinker born on December 21st, 2014 big brother Noah is super happy. A big congrats Sarah & Rob on the newest addition to your family.
MARKET WATCH excerpts from Toronto Real Estate Board
Near Record Sales in 2014
January 7, 2015 – There was a 6.7% increase over the 2013 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system in 2014, just short of the record set in 2007.
"TREB's 2014 sales figures are a testament to the importance Greater Toronto Area households continue to place on home ownership. GTA households realize that home purchases have been a quality long-term investment. While home prices certainly increased substantially in 2014, the purchase of an average priced home remained affordable, in terms of the average household's ability to comfortably cover their monthly mortgage payments, relative to accepted lending standards. This is coupled with the fact that housing has proven to be a quality long-term investment," said Mr. Etherington, President of TREB.
The average selling price in the GTA continued to grow on a year-over-year basis in calendar year 2014, with an 8.4% increase over calendar year 2013 to $566,726. Throughout 2014, annual increases in the average selling price and the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark were consistently reported on a monthly basis for most market segments, from detached homes through to condominium apartments.
"The strong price growth we experienced in 2014 can be explained with two words: listings shortage. The constrained supply of listings was especially evident for low-rise home types like singles, semis and town houses. The number of households looking to purchase these home types increased, while the number of homes from which they could choose decreased. This situation resulted in more competition between buyers and more aggressive offers," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
For the month of December the average sale price for a home in Toronto (416) areas based on type was:
$934,039 – Detached
$615,794 – Semi-detached
$474,874 – Townhouse
$387,612 – Condo
Feeling like Giving Back? Habitat for Humanity Dog House Build
Many youth may be too young for a Habitat work site, but they aren’t too young to begin learning about building. As a hands-on building activity, the dog house is a great way for younger Habitat volunteers to build a home – not for man but for “man’s best friend.”
Utilizing as few building materials as possible, this new building activity is a lesson in economical, environmentally friendly construction. It also provides youth with a fun opportunity to obtain valuable skills they can later utilize on a Habitat worksite.
Encourage youth to have fun with this project by adding their own personal touches. Most importantly, allow the youth to take ownership of the experience, assure them that their contribution to the project is valued.
Jen on our team is participating in a build as well. For more information contact:
www.habitat.org email or call 1-(800) 422-4828 ext 7545
Many of our clients have had their personal experiences with The JKT caught on video instead of the regular written word – they're even posted on YouTube! We so appreciate your kind testimonials. Our YouTube channel is growing exponentially and has had now over 209,215!
What they got! More of our happy buyers have found their new home!!
A continuing column of the Julie Kinnear Team’s sales…
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:
Our purpose is for you to be so outrageously happy with the service we provide that you gladly refer us to your friends and family before you’ve even bought or sold with us!
5 Easy Ways To Update a Room (excerpts from HGTV)
You don’t have to hire a decorator (or break the bank) to give a room a quick update with lots of impact. So whether you’re getting ready to sell, have just moved in or feel like a mini overhaul, these five tips will have you enjoying the room of your dreams in no time.
Change Your Fabrics
Replace your curtains, re-cover your throw pillows, buy a new rug, Any one of these easy fixes can make a big impact; but all three will completely change the entire room! And if it’s a bedroom you’re tired of, same rules apply: Replace the duvet cover, re-cover the headboard, and toss a few new pillows on the bed.
Freshen Up With Paint
Whether you tackle an entire room, or maybe an accent wall or two, a new coat of paint is probably the easiest way to change a room. From light and bright to dark and dramatic, paint can completely alter the mood.
Re-Organize A Bookshelf
Bookshelves are amazing; not only do they keep your books organized, but they can also serve as great focal pieces. Try colour-coding your books or arranging them in stacks instead of side-by-side. Remove an entire row of books and replace them with framed family photos or bright accent pieces. Sometimes all a room needs is a shift in thinking about it.
Bookshelf by Lucy Orloski
Update Your Art
Updating the art on your walls is a great way to showcase the family talent. Frame your daughter’s sketches from high school (no one will know it’s not a real Picasso) or your son’s first finger painting. Or grab a blank canvas and paint it a bright colour to hang in the kitchen (you don’t have to be a Fine Art grad to add some basic pops of colour!). And the best part of this approach is once you’ve bought the frames, the art can be rotated throughout the year at no extra cost.
Add An Accent
Is your bathroom feeling boring or your living room giving you the yawns? Pick bright, colourful wallpaper and add an accent wall! Paint stripes in your dining room, or buy a chandelier for your front hallway. Adding an impressive accent is a fun way to give the room some personality without a complete overhaul (of the room OR your bank account).
Mortgage rates – Courtesy of Carrie Davidson - Dominion Lending Centres Service First Mortgages #12089 License #M08003121 www.carriedavidson.com Phone: 416-693-6946
VARIABLE RATE as low as 2.35%
CURRENT PRIME RATE IS 3.00%
Some conditions may apply. Rates subject to change without notice! *O.A.C. E. & O.E.
The Julie Kinnear Team's GEMs (Genuine Evidence of Merit)
"The speed of service from your team was amazing! I heard great things about you and knew you had sold my house before. You had excellent knowledge of the neighbourhood and there is nothing else I can think of that you could ever have done better." Teresa
The JKT – A few of our Favourite things:
✦ Nashville on the horizon! I am heading to Nashville for my sisters 50th birthday with a great group of friends and completely looking forward to a fun adventure.
✦ Pizza Defina – I can’t say it enough it is my favourite pizza place in Roncesvalles
✦ iPad Air 2 – Julie gave me my favourite present this year and also my newest addiction to sugar crush, hot dog bush and many more games that I have downloaded. It’s super compact and convenient for everything I need without having to lug my laptop around.
✦ My new car – I just love it! An early birthday present to myself.
✦ Macbook Air - I have always used a PC, but since I have an iPhone and iPad, I thought it was a natural progression. It's taken some getting used to but so far so good!!
✦ Second City - every holiday season Steph & Claire generously take the Team to see the Second City Comedy show. It never fails to make me laugh - talented comedians performing outrageous skits - what's not to love!! A fantastic afternoon of laughs with great friends. Thanks again Steph and Claire!!
✦ Surface pro3 - It’s a laptop, it’s a tablet, it’s everything.
✦ Red & Green lights in the Green P parking garage across from St. Mike's hospital – it is an easy visual over each spot to let you know when a space is available! Fantastic idea!
✦ Love the Grokker website – grokker.com – I found this free site that is focussed on healthy lifestyle – and I use it for all kinds of quality gym type work outs – they basically sort through all the different videos on-line and feature the best trainers. Also food, other healthy areas.
✦Coconut Bliss. Coconut milk-based ice cream that's dairy, soy and gluten free and sweetened with agave syrup. The taste and creaminess rivals Haagen Dazs! Favourite flavours: Capuccino, Ginger Cookie Caramel, Cherry Amaretto and Chocolate Walnut Brownie.
✦Garden Foods, 1964 Bloor St West. Small grocery store right across from High Park that has pretty much everything one could need. It's where I first discovered Coconut Bliss "ice cream." It can be a bit pricey but it's great in a pinch. Open until 10:00pm every day including Christmas and New Years.