Vol. 21, Issue 2, March 2013
Jambo! (Hello in Swahili!) Happy March Break! I am excited to be writing this – having spent a good part of February in Africa on an adventure of a lifetime! Mary & I travelled to Kenya – for the Royal LePage Chairman's Club Awards. RLP really went out on a limb this year to make a big splash for the 100 year anniversary of the A.E. Lepage company – and they rewarded their top sales people with a remarkable experience!
Interestingly, I remember back 35 years ago when I was just a 10 year old kid, when my Mom went to work for A.E. LePage on Yonge Street. And now this month marks my 20th anniversary with the company myself! Lots to celebrate! The JKT was #17 in Canada in 2012.
Our trip included unique Safari's, cultural customs, hot air ballooning over the Masai Mara watching the herds over the Serengetti and the sun rise over the horizon, "glamping" in gorgeous tents and seeing zillions of wild African animals right up close. We chose to extend our trip by taking some personal time down in South Africa and enjoy the gorgeous Western Cape – including Cape Town and Stellenbosch. Lots of pics, stories and amazing experiences. At the end of it all it was one of our "bucket list" items and we are extremely grateful to have had it come true! Having witnessed such a diverse culture, we are so appreciative or our extremely high quality of life here in Canada.
The team held down the fort beautifully and the market has kept on chugging. It has been a very happy progress that the interest rates have stayed low, check out the rates in this newsletter – (5 year – 2.84%!!) the banks are even competing with each other to offer extraordinary options for clients, and the buyer confidence is high. There has been a shortage of house listings this year so far, which has been a huge part of why the # of transactions have been down, and we are seeing many multiple offer situations again with high sales prices. Who knew? The affordability offered by low interest rates is still a big driving force, and with our hectic lifestyles, buyers are looking for a long term good quality of life, here in the heart of the city, where transit is close, as are great schools, and walking distance to restaurants and amenities is key.
Not sure if you've checked out our client video testimonials lately on our website – we have had many people willing to go on camera and rave about their experience with the team and their own realtor they spent most time with, be it Jen, Holly, Tyler or myself, with the support of the awesome Steph and Claire. Our purpose is for you and your friends and family and colleagues to be outrageously happy with the help we provide. See our "Julie's Gems" for anyone looking to sell right now – they've summed up the extremely successful sale for their family with our team in January.
Enjoy Easter with your loved ones,
P.S. Enclosed is our annual Easter Kolouring Kontest! Please have your kids fill out and send back today! All entries receive a treat and we love posting the works of art all over our office! FUN!
P.P.S. If you know anyone looking to for a top real estate team offering exceptional service & guidance through the Toronto real estate market or need a fab realtor out of the city? Please be sure to put us in contact. We can only continue to do what we do with your referrals and support!
QUOTE of the day: "Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." ~Carl Sandburg
- Sandy Kiaizadeh wants to share some fun work scoop: "I'm now a psychotherapist in addition to being a life coach! I graduated with a M.A. in Counselling Psychology last spring, and have been seeing clients at my private practice (Mindful Solutions Clinic - www.mindfulsolutionsclinic.com), at two convenient downtown offices - Yonge/Bloor and King/Bay. Daytime/Evening/Weekend appointments available. Insurance accepted."
Photo by Meathead Movers
Claire Hartviksen is so proud of her son Addison for being chosen as student of the month. Every month the teachers & principal at Bessborough P.S. get together to decide which children in each grade have exceeded student expectations in one way or another. Way to go kiddo for being recognized as such a kind, polite and respectful soul to all your peers.
Karin Lunan, Tim & Callum Braund flew to Tremblant for the Family Day weekend to surprise Tim's brother for his 50th! They love Porter Airlines as it is under an hour to Tremblant International Airport and then shuttle to the village! No driving! Two fabulous days of first tracks skiing! Great family trip!
Photo by kris damato
- Amber Sheffield & Derek Night have the most exciting news! Their beautiful son Everett Dennis Knight decided to arrive 6 weeks early on January 13th, 2013. He is home and doing amazing. Congrats Everett on choosing such cool parents!
MARKET WATCH excerpts from Toronto Real Estate Board
Price Growth Continues in February
March 5, 2013 - Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® – a decline of 15 per cent in comparison to February 2012. It should be noted that 2012 was a leap year with one extra day in February. A 28 day year-over-year sales comparison resulted in a lesser decline of 10.5 per cent.
The average selling price for February 2013 was $510,580 – up 2% in comparison to February 2012.
"The share of sales and dollar volume accounted for by luxury detached homes in the City of Toronto was lower this February compared to last. " said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.
"Stricter mortgage lending guidelines that precluded government backed mortgages on homes sold for over one million dollars and the City of Toronto's additional upfront land transfer tax arguably played a role in the slower pace of luxury detached home sales," added Ms. Hannah.
The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price covering all major home types eliminates fluctuations in price growth due to changes in sales mix. The Composite Benchmark price was up by more than 3% on a year-over-year basis in February.
"We will undoubtedly experience some volatility in price growth for some market segments in 2013. However, months of inventory in the low-rise market segment will remain low, resulting in average price growth above 3% for the TREB market area this year. Our current average price forecast is $515,000 for all home types combined in 2013," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer.
Feeling like Giving Back?
Charity of the Month – The Tumaini Children's Project – Partnering with Canadian Youth
Tumaini in Swahili, means hope. The Tumaini Childrens Project is an international youth-focused, non-profit (charitable) organization that provides hope and opportunity to orphaned Kenyan children affected by HIV/AIDS by caring for them, educating them and implementing sustainable development projects.
Photo by mayu
Everyone at TCP wants youth in Canada and Kenya to realize their own power, to understand that by working together, they can make a difference in each others' lives, and contribute to change. TCP wants to show that youth can change the world.
Small and measurable changes can lead to big things. The tenacity and hard work of these teams has a tremendous impact on the lives of orphans with whom TCP works.
As a volunteer-run charity, there are no overhead costs. All money donated goes directly to support programs in the field to the direct benefit of TCP's children. Volunteer staff members pay their own way, using none of the organization's funding.
The Tumaini Children's Project is a children's charity registered in Canada. Canada Tax ID: 88897 7790 RR0001
Even the smallest contribution can make a difference! To donate please contact:
JULIE HAKIM Executive Director Ottawa, Ontario
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 123,495!
What they got!
A continuing column of the Julie Kinnear Team's sales…
50 Shannon St ~ Trinity-Bellwoods
Asking Price: $775,000
Selling Price: : $770,000
17 Abbott Ave ~ High Park North
Asking Price: $779,000
Selling Price: : $762,000
9 High Park Gdns ~ High Park
Selling Price: : $1,950,000
142 Simpson Ave ~ Riverdale
Selling Price: : $755,000
2 Farningham Cres ~ Princess Gardens
Selling Price: : $734,500
1369 Bloor St #509 ~ Dufferin Grove
Selling Price: : $315,000
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!
Title Insurance – Do I Need It?
Editorial by JKT member Jen Palacios
Residential title insurance has been in use in Ontario for around 15 years, but still many people don't understand it. It was a popular option in the States for years before coming here. It does not replace the need for a lawyer, but it does added needed protection after purchase.
Photo by Dr Mo
Basically, for a one-time fee, or premium, title insurance protects you against loss that could result from many potential defects that may be in your title. The policy guarantees you will never suffer loss from those defects. For example:
- Unknown title defects that would affect clear ownership ie. Someone claiming they still have rights to your property
- An old lien from a prior owner of your property that was never properly satisfied
- Encroachment issues, such as a structure on the land that needs to be removed because it sits partly on a neighbour's property
- Title fraud, before or after closing i.e. forged signatures
- Taxes, assessments or other municipal charges that went unpaid
- Mental incompetence of one of the signing parties
- Errors in surveys or public records
Title insurance is never a substitute for a current land survey, however, it does provide coverage for losses suffered as a result of failing to have a current survey.
Based on our experience, we have definitely had clients need to use their title insurance after purchase.
Typical cost is approximately $300.00 for a typical $500,000. property. This expense is offset by less legal fees and title searches.
Bottom line: Most real estate lawyers regard title insurance as an important component of the transaction and highly recommend it. *Information from the Toronto Star*
Mortgage rates – Courtesy of Carrie Davidson - Dominion Lending
Centres Mortgage Connection Inc. www.carriedavidson.com
Phone: 416-693-6946 Fax: 416-693-4103,
CURRENT VARIABLE RATE IS 2.70%
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)
"I was impressed by the way The Kinnear Team went above and beyond to make our house as attractive as possible to prospective buyers. Things such as the friendly, upbeat language used in the MLS listing, including the by-law for commercial/residential to attract a wider pool of buyers, detailed information about the neighbourhood, the fabulous pictures. Also, Julie's recommendation for the listing price led to six offers, with a seventh offer coming in on the phone after we had already accepted an offer. Unbelievable!" Millie Kwan
- Free coffee week at McDonalds – It such a treat not having to go into my wallet for 7 days for my daily fix!
- My new bed frame with tons of storage - I have a small condo and this great bed frame from Ikea has 4 huge storage drawers. It has made my bedroom look so good and organized.
Photo by Doug88888
- Spring Rolls Restaurant on Eglinton – I have been going there often the food is so delicious. The all you can eat tapas lets you sample the endless array of Thai +++ foods.
- Watching Reruns of Murder She Wrote – I was quite excited to find one of my child hood favourites is available on Vision that I record and watch every night. I'm a geek for Angela Landsbury and a good murder mystery. I have my 14 year old son hooked on it as well.
- Professional Sports Calendar Sweet Spot - As a diehard Maple Leafs and Blue Jays fan, there is no better time of year than when the hockey season is in full swing and the baseball season is ramping up. Any day of the week, there is a game for me to watch!
- House smoked Steel Head Trout from Del la Mer on Roncesvalles – addictive!
- Mama Earth Organics: I just started getting delivery from this service and love it. It saves time and I get a good variety of different organic fruits and vegetables every week.
- The antiviral properties of red wine Thanks for the tip Marion!
- When the Leafs are winning They had an awesome first half of the season and much stronger in net, D, coaching etc. Fun! Tyler and I are keeping the faith!
- Grand Electric - this hipster Mexican restaurant in Parkdale – is amazing and worth the wait. The secret is to go for lunch on the weekends when it's not as busy. Real hotspot! Light, flavourful, great atmosphere, cool tunes, off the beaten path drinks.
- Apple TV & Netflix– Loved receiving Apple TV for Christmas (from Mary and Julie I might add) and it is amazing!!! I didn't know what I'd do when Blockbuster closed, then Rogers closed - where on earth would I rent my DVD's from?! Well, along came Apple TV which connects the internet to your television. I now have Netflix, so I can choose whatever I want, and if I don't like it, I just stop watching and choose something else… because it's only $7.99 for the month!! If Netflix doesn't have something I want, then Apple TV has a ton of movies and TV. Programs. Fantastic!
- Ask me about my incredible adventures this year on a bike trip through Burma, and witnessing the breathtaking Aurora Borealis in Yellowknife!