Vol. 20, Issue 1, January 2012
JULIE' S SCOOP
Happy New Year! Life is good with The Julie Kinnear Team. We had a terrific experience working together on a Habitat For Humanity project in mid December – a worksite in the midst of building 6 townhomes in Toronto. It is everything you might imagine – early mornings, dirty work, steel toed boots and hard hats, working in the rain... and they let you really build! That is the coolest part – with the help and guidance of veteran trades people, we actually erected walls, worked with drywall, gravel, hammers, nails etc. It is incredible to imagine the improved life of the new family that will be moving in this year. We are committed to volunteering as a team every quarter this year with Habitat. Check out our website or Facebook pages for pics.
Our team was also named #20 in Canada out of 14200 Royal LePage realtors in 2011. It is always a great honour to be named to the Chairman's club. We are in the top 5 in Toronto and # 1 in Toronto's West End. All amazing results. We are so very grateful to our loyal clients and the trust you have given us.
Mary and I hosted our annual holiday open house in early December. My Mom and Jay flew in from Vancouver, and with the nice mild weather and the warm welcome of friends it was a great success. This year there were well over 100 toys donated to Sick Kids Hospital from all the gifts brought to the party. We also had wonderful relaxing holidays at our cottage in the Haliburton Highlands – not many cottagers go up so it is very quiet. The Palacios clan joined us for part of the time to share great food, company, games, holiday movies and fires. We even celebrated a white Christmas!
Jen split her time between the family Christmas and then New Year's at her Hacienda. It was a chance to really bond with her horse (ask her about those crazy stories some time!). Steph was a buzz with family events and the most fun New Year's family game of Minute To Win It! Claire as you'll read in the Favourite Things write up below – loves the Christmas spirit – and even decorated our office as of November 1st to really show the love! Hilarious! Holly had an exciting little get away weekend to the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool St London, England for New Years Eve!
The market continued to generate lots of action – the lack of inventory made November an especially busy month with many offers over asking. December was solid, although with the timing of the holidays and the school break, it was not quite as brisk as the rest of the year. The buzz going on now are the interest rates – how BMO just offered 2.99% for a 5 year fixed! That is pretty incredible. This New Year has started with a bang – and feels very strong right now, which is a happy reason to get going early – especially those of you selling.
Guiding you home,
P.S. We are all about giving the type of experience and service that you would be proud to recommend and refer. Thank you once again for making us one of Toronto and in fact Canada's top real estate teams.
QUOTE of the day: Happy New Year
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
- Beth & Kevin Hamill are so happy to be settled into their new 130 year old brick farmhouse in rural Shelburne. They are enjoying the beautiful snow, rolling hills, and farmers fields on the horizon. Sounds like a little piece of heaven!
- Beth & Kevin told us how thrilled they were that we helped them sell their Roncesvalles Victorian on Pearson last summer for nearly 20% over asking, and hooking them up with a great "By Referral Only" realtor in the country, and as they said "kept with us all through the year-long search for the perfect farmhouse." We can do that for you too – find you an exceptional agent, if you're looking to buy or sell out of town.
- David Banks is excited to have found his new home that checked everything off on his wish list! We are all so happy for you David & Sarah! Congrats!
- Julie O'Toole raised over $800.00 worth of toys for Sick Children's Hospital this holiday season through her Discovery Toys fundraiser. What a great contribution and cause Julie!
- Kath Perry has a new venture called Cancer Conversation. Cancer Conversation, a new service started in Toronto, aims to bring a community of cancer patients, their families and their friends, some much needed support, comfort and compassion. The mission is simple – to help people who are living with cancer, or who are supporting someone with cancer, identify and prioritize their needs, develop a plan of action, and implement their plan using a comprehensive toolkit of resources. For more information please visit http://cancerconversation.com
- Tara Williams and Richard Moura got engaged over the Christmas Holidays. Congrats guys that is so exciting!
Babies! Sincere Congratulations!!
Baby Feet by Sabianmaggy
Christina & Josh Murray are very happy to share some good news about their new bundle of joy! Devon Graham Clayton Murray was born on November 14th at 6:14 pm, weighing 6lbs 14 oz.
2nd Best Year on Record for Sales
MARKET WATCH excerpts from Toronto Real Estate Board
January 5, 2012 — Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,718 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in December 2011. The December result capped off the second-best year on record under the current Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) boundaries. Total sales for 2011 amounted to 89,347 – up four per cent in comparison to 2010.
"Low borrowing costs kept Buyers confident in their ability to comfortably cover their mortgage payments along with other major housing costs," said TREB President Richard Silver. "If Buyers had not been constrained by a shortage of listings over the past 12 months, we would have been flirting with a new sales record in the Greater Toronto Area," added Silver.
The average selling price in December was $451,436 – up 4% compared to December 2010. For all of 2011, the average selling price was $465,412, an increase of 8% in comparison to the average of $431,276 in 2010.
"Months of inventory remained below the pre-recession norm in 2011. Very tight market conditions meant substantial competition between Buyers and strong upward pressure on selling prices," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
"TREB's baseline forecast for 2012 is for an average price of $485,000, representing a more moderate 4% annual rate of price growth. This baseline view is subject to a heightened degree of risk given the uncertain global economic outlook," continued Mercer.
Are you feeling like Giving Back?
Charity of the Month – The Donaldson Children's Trust
In Memory of Lisa Lebitka: A caring mother, daughter, sister and friend, a pioneer of women's hockey in the Leaside community she loved! A senseless violent loss at the age of 45. A Trust Fund has been established for her 3 young children Paige, Holly & Charley.
To Donate: Donations can be made to The Donaldson Children's Trust at The Bank of Nova Scotia, 1547 Bayview Avenue M4G 3B5 (416) 487-2826.
Did You Know?
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 68,219 hits!
What they got!
A continuing column of the Julie Kinnear Team's sales…
63 Sorauren Avenue – Roncesvalles Village
Asking Price: $874,900
Selling Price: $912,500
389 Merton Street – Davisville Village
Asking Price: $699,000
Selling Price: $699,000
21 Harcourt Avenue - Riverdale
Asking Price: $579,900
Selling Price: $662,000
94 Hamilton Street – Leslieville
Asking Price: $649,000
Selling Price: $632,500
93 Fuller Avenue – Roncesvalles Village
Asking Price: $419,900
Selling Price: $415,000
600 Queens Quay Boulevard #329 - Waterfront
Asking Price: $294,800
Selling Price: $292,000
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!
Buyer Better Believe It! editorial by JKT member Jen Palacios
How does a mortgage pre-approval help when buying?
The benefit of having a pre-approval is that it gives you a realistic idea of what you can afford. The banks/lending institutions take a look at your personal situation and advise you as to what they will lend you and will let you know the highest price you can look at.
Photo by Martin Cathrae
It gives you the price range that you can start looking within. Often the pre-approval will be for a larger amount then you may be comfortable with the monthly payments, so you can always go with what YOU want!!
Another way that a pre-approval helps is when it comes time to putting in an offer.
Ideally, when you put in an offer, you want to have as few conditions as possible, to ensure your offer is the most attractive to a seller, without actually having to pay more money.
By having a pre-approval in place, you can possibly eliminate the need for a condition of financing. This may become very important in the negotiations, especially in a multiple offer situation. Any seller will be much more comfortable with your offer if you have done the important step of getting pre-approved before coming to the table.
Most importantly - it is free to get a pre-approval and you are not obligated to use the mortgage broker or bank or lender who actually gives you pre-approval. You can shop around after you have a deal in place. It truly is a worry free option for buyers.
FYI - we can recommend mortgage brokers and lenders to help get the ball rolling...
So, tell your friends, your neighbours, your colleagues at work - get a pre-approval and let the home search begin!!
Next issue: Home inspections - what's the deal with them?
Mortgage rates – Courtesy of Carrie Davidson AMP, Dominion Lending
www.carriedavidson.com Phone: 416-693-6946 Fax: 416-693-4103
CURRENT VARIABLE RATE IS 2.90%
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)
"Dear Julie, We first and foremost would like to thank you and your team for doing an excellent job in the sale of our condominium. In a market where it's hard to differentiate yourself from your neighbour's, you and your team came in with fresh ideas and a plan. You executed it timely and to our joy and with the proceeds we were able to find a home that fit our location, lifestyle and all (most) of our furniture. Once again thank you so much for your attention to detail and constant professionalism." David B.
The JKT – A Few of our Favourite Things:
- My new iPad – my 2 dogs and horse bought me an iPad for Christmas, and I love it!! The possibilities are endless. I'm still trying to figure it all out – and I'm enjoying every minute of it!!
- Christmas Holidays – spending time with my family and friends was amazing. It is a time to give thanks and reflect on how blessed we really are!!
- Andaz Hotel, Liverpool St London, England.
Beautiful and modern with incredible service. Awesome place to spend New Years Eve! An interesting fact is that when the former Great Eastern Hotel was refurbished years ago they discovered a Masonic Temple behind false walls. The temple was built in 1912 for the equivalent of about $100k and is now valued at over $8mil! I've heard that it has been in some music videos. Lady Gaga?
- Patisserie 27 at 401 Jane just north of Annette St. A new gem in Bloor West Village. Everyone who has been there raves about it. I've only had an almond croissant so far but it was the best one of my life!
- Pajama Jeans! Not only comfy but stylish (haha)
- Time spent with all my family over the holidays! It always goes too quickly! It was extra special having my relatives here from Scotland.
- The New Year! Not knowing what 2012 will hold for me is so exciting and I love the feeling! As long as I have my girlz Frenchie and Rizzo with me, it will be a fantastic new year!
- My new Tassimo coffee maker – it makes a great quick cup of coffee/cappuccino in the morning. What a time saver from having to brew a whole pot of coffee. Thanks Wynne!
- Christmas Holidays – My favourite time of year! I love shopping for my cute little nieces and seeing how excited they are to open their gifts. Time off with my son is the best and we do enjoy sleeping in probably the most.
- Summerhill Market's prepared turkey dinner at my sister's house. The food was great! I had at least 4 plates sad to say! There is no minimum amount required to order as other catering places. Amazing gravy and stuffing.
- Apple TV. - it was a bit of a mystery to me! I would go to friends and they said it casually – now I realize it is less than $100 easy to install gadget that hooks your computer to your TV via wifi. Easy peasy to access your itunes and movie/tv show library, music vids, netflix, rent movies, go on youtube etc.
- Cold Hard Truth – new business book by venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary. My Mom & Jay gave it to me for Christmas to give me another perspective on the biz world! Kevin is most famous for his work on Dragon's Den – but this is really long after he made his mark and billions in the business world. His philosophy's on protecting and growing $ are fascinating, although can be harsh and ruthless at times.