Volume 18, Issue 3
If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.
Strength in Numbers
by Graham Ballantyne
Well spring has sprung, and we really have been blessed with weeks and weeks of warm weather. Fortunately Mary and I are not really green thumbs, so planting too early was not a risk for us – hee hee. Remember how early Easter was this year being in March? I was up at our cottage preparing for the Ride to Conquer Cancer enjoying riding in shorts and t-shirt in 24 degrees!
It has been an early spring in real estate too! As you know the market came out with a bang at the beginning of this year, with lots of confidence and rising house prices. It has been pretty intense. Buyers wanting to lock in their purchases with their low low low pre-approvals in hand, and sellers wanting to take advantage of the plethora of interested parties. Ironically there seems to be a perpetual shortage of "good" listings. Those never go out of style. Glad to see the interest rates went up almost a point in the past month, but eased back to very affordable 5 yr fixed around 4.35%. Strong spring market continues. HST is making its mark with many of the sales closing on or before June 30. That is going to be "the big moving day" certainly for many of our clients, and others in Toronto and around Canada no doubt. Book your movers and be prepared to be patient!
This weekend is our Royal LePage annual garage sale to benefit the Redwood Shelter (for abused women and children) – and our team is once again participating. Hoping to see some of you in Bloor West Village!
Julie & Steph working @ Garage sale 2010
I keep hearing snippets that there are so many requests for donations from friends who are running/biking/baking etc. for a good cause. I LOVE IT! All these participants are out there wanting to give back to their community and share their good fortune and help others. How inspirational – so we are dedicating this month's newsletter to more of that. SPREAD the love. People helping people. It is humbling and admirable that to witness the generosity on both sides, including all of you who choose to donate…wait til you hear just a few of the stories and how you can help!
Excerpts from Toronto Real Estate Board
GTA market keeps the fast pace, despite the rising inflow of new listings. Toronto realtors recorded 10,898 sales during April 2010. The overall number is comparable with last month's results (10,430 in March 2010).
As predicted, market has begun to respond on the demand pressures. There was inflow of 20,683 new items into the inventory, slightly more than in March (18,914 items). However, the market is far from being oversupplied. Days on Market indicator reached exactly three weeks (was 20 days month ago).
Both sales level and new listings figure are highest ever for the month April under current TREB boundaries. Tom Lebour's comment: "The GTA resale market is functioning properly. Sales were high as buyers continued to take advantage of affordable home ownership opportunities. Listings grew as home owners reacted to strong sales and price growth. More balanced market conditions will result in sustainable rates of annual price growth in the second half of 2010."
Average price continued to climb and reached $437,600 (13% growth since April 2009). Jason Mercer, Senior Manager of Market Analysis: "Home sales continue to be driven by many different segments of the market, with sales growth for all major home types in both the City of Toronto and surrounding 905 regions. Home sales will remain strong in the second half of 2010, but will slip from the current record pace as borrowing costs rise."
Did you know?
Manufacturing that Protects and Sustains Natural Resources: Over the past three years, Charmin and Bounty have both reduced their energy usage by more than 15% in their plants - that's enough to light and heat 100,000 average-sized homes in the U.S. per year. In addition, Charmin and Bounty will only work with forestry companies who plant or ensure the re-growth of more trees than are used from their forests.
10 Impossible Plants to Kill
Bamboo Bokeh by Steve Webel
Anyone who complains about having a brown thumb may simply be choosing the wrong plants to grow. Some plants are exceedingly sensitive, needy, temperamental and difficult. These are plants that go into extreme shock if the soil gets a bit too wet or dry, or if the light or air temperature is not just so. Stay away from those plants.
Instead, if you want things growing in and around your home (other than mold spores), choose plants that have a history of hardiness. Some plants actually thrive when the soil dries out completely between watering. Plants whose native habitat is on forest floors prefer that dark corner of your living room. So even if you're a little forgetful with your plant care, or your house is not flooded with natural light, you can still enjoy green success inside and out.
* Taken from TLC website
Tara Shelton is having an arts & crafts show in Komoka, just outside London, at her Schoolhouse Studio. It is a charming 1837 building with an orchard setting. She is offering to waive the $110 entry fee to any artist or craft maker receiving this email. The show is June 12-13th. Limited spaces for this offer. Send an email to for an application or information!
These are great businesses that our clients have used & been very happy with, and wanted to recommend to all of our JKT peeps:
Sweethearts by Patrick
Iris Consulting For Seniors - is full service help for seniors and their families as well as their financial, legal and healthcare advisers make sense of the eldercare system and navigate the gaps within it. They can assist with seniors care in their homes, choosing a retirement home or long term care facility. They also provide seminars & workshops.
Contact: Jill O'Donnell – she is supportive & knowledgeable! 416-444-7598
A treat for you & your car as spring is upon us - makes it look feel and smell like new!
Maximum Car Detailing
519 Eastern Avenue
Contact: Dewry McLaughlin 416-361-0002
Baby and Godmother
by Tony Kwintera
Elia Edwards and Nadine D'Aigle – Life is great - the brood is now up to 4 – as they had their little guy, Caleb, about 7 1/2 months ago and the three sisters all love their new toy...(ie brother!)
Are you Feeling like Giving Back?
Charity of the Month –7th Annual K9 Rescue Me Walk-a-Thon 2010
Walk to support dogs in need throughout Ontario! The 7th annual K9 Rescue Me Walk-a-Thon is schedule to take place on Sunday, June 13th 2010 at Woofstock in Toronto. The booth is located in Berczy Park, and the walk kicks off at 11:00 am!
This year's walk is hosted by Ann Rohmer, news anchor at CP24 and host of Hot Property, Animal House Call, and On The Quarter. The walk will support canine rescue across Ontario and will give needed financial support for care of dogs currently in the program.
K9 Rescue Me is a non-profit organization consisting of breed-specific rescue groups who work together to raise awareness and funds, and to provide health care and homes for unwanted dogs.
Last year 500 people walked in the K9 Rescue Me Walk-a-Thon, raising just over $100,000! The fundraising goal for the 2010 walk is $125,000 – to do this we need your help!
This is just one of many activities in which you and your dog can participate during Woofstock.
For more information or to download a pledge from visit: www.k9RescueMe.com
Our client and friend Michelle Wasylyshen is heavily involved in making this a success. Good luck!
Keep up the Hard Work! People You Know Paying it Forward…
As you probably know, Julie and Holly are cycling in the Ride to Conquer Cancer again this year – and it seems that they'll see see a lot of other clients and friends on the 2 day trek who are also out there training and raising money right now. If you're reading this and know someone – please go on the website and press the green button to donate now – raising funds for cancer research & treatment @ Princess Margaret Hospitale is an amazing cause, and we all need all the help we can get. www.ConquerCancer.ca
People you may know riding – Tony Valle – his Dad died of cancer and he has challenged himself to ride 200 MILES (not km). Holly Chandler is riding 200 MILES (not km) and needs your donations. Kristi Herold & Rolston Miller – husband & wife team which is even more of a challenge to raise over $5000…. Kristi's Mom passed away from cancer. Jeff Verhiel - Jeff's Mother passed away from Leukemia. Also teaming up with Julie & Holly on our "Proud Mary's" bike team are: Rick Scott, Wayne Shea, Kelly McCahill. They definitely also need your help – today!
Other inspiring stories…
- Andrew Grimes (investment advisor extraordinaire with RBC) has taken time out of his busy schedule to co-chair of the "Spring For Life" flower campaign in support of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). So how can you help?
1) If in downtown Toronto, on May 17th/18th, show your support by buying individual $5 bunches of daisies at subway stations and "the Path" in Toronto's downtown core.
2) On your mobile phone, text SPRING to 30333. A $5 donation will be added to your phone bill.
- Amy & Jeff Magwood and kids Signy & Gavin will be participating in the Ottawa Race Weekend. Amy is running in the 1/2 marathon, the kids will be pushed by grandparents in the 2km. Jeff will be cheering from the sidelines while nursing his bum knee (ski injury!). 20 of Amy's family incl. parents, siblings, their spouses & children will also be participating. The family is raising funds and awareness for the Ottawa Rotary Home. Imagine having a disabled child that requires care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is the reality these courageous families face.
To donate: direct your funds to the "Halpenny Family Race Weekend"
Ottawa Rotary Home Foundation
- Carol & Brian Kim are supporting We Animals is an ambitious project which documents, through photography, animals in the human environment. The project began in 1998 when I was becoming more aware of the abuses animals suffer at the hands of humans.
You can check out the website at www.WeAnimals.org. Beware that some of the photos in her portfolio are graphic, but I guess sometimes that's what it takes to stimulate change.
Carol is organizing a silent auction & poker tournament fundraiser at the next show. Jo-Anne MacArthur of We Animals will be presenting and showing some of her work. It's taking place May 29th @ 6-10pm at Queen St. W. and Bathurst. Consider attending.
- Jen Tassie: is on the committee of The Stop's What's on the Table Fundraiser (www.TheStop.org). The event is for an outstanding cause and the event is ALL about GREAT food so go for it and stuff your faces! Located in Toronto's west end, The Stop works to increase access to food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community and challenges inequality.
- Katherine Pollock & Orysia Semotiuk - on Saturday, June 5, 2010, the ALS Society of Ontario will be holding its 10th Annual Walk for ALS at 10:00 a.m. at Wilket Creek Park, Toronto. This is one of many Walks For ALS that will take place across Canada on this day. Consider walking with them on that morning, making a donation, if you cannot. Katherine's mother, Mary, died of ALS 10 years ago, only 6 months after she was diagnosed with this wretched disease.
KP's father John, introduced into Canada the first Annual Walk to D'Feet (now Walk For) ALS. Since then, millions of dollars have been raised across Canada through numerous Walks for ALS.
Mary's Messengers Website
Mortgage rates – found on our website
- courtesy of Carrie Davidson of Dominion Lending
current variable rate is 1.75%
current prime rate is 2.25%
Some conditions may apply. Rates subject to change without notice. *O.A.C. E.& O.E.
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)
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how amazing Holly is (although I'm sure you know that)! As a single, first time home buyer in this crazy market, I can't tell you how much it meant to me to know I had Holly (and your team) on my side. It made the whole process so much easier to know that I could implicitly trust Holly's advice always knowing that she had my best interests at heart, and that her #1 goal was to find me the perfect home. In the end I've found myself the proud soon-to-be owner of a home that I'd almost given up hope in finding - it has everything I wanted and more, and I know that it is all thanks to Holly's guidance and unwillingness to let me settle!
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I will happily recommend Holly and the Julie Kinnear team to anyone and everyone; it is clear from all the little touches (I loved the surprise blockbuster gift card, it came at JUST the right time), that your whole team is a step above.
Thank you. Kind regards, Naomi Clement
What They Got!
A continuing column of the Julie Kinnear Team's Sales
1864 Lake Shore Boulevard E.
1864 Lake Shore Boulevard E.
Asking Price $789,000
Selling Price $779,000
308 Soudan Avenue
308 Soudan Avenue
Asking Price $549,000
Selling Price $549,000
438 Richmond 1010 Street W.
438 Richmond Street West #1010
Asking Price $429,900
Selling Price $429,900
245 Dalesford #421
Asking Price $289,900
Selling Price $308,000
Bloor West Village
67 Vernon Avenue
67 Vernon Avenue
Asking Price $.499,900
Selling Price $530,000
70 Lobo Mews
Islington & Bloor
70 Lobo Mews
Asking Price $599,900
Selling Price $620,000
JKT – A few of our Favourite things
I'm on a team with 6 other camp people. It is basically to get the world walking! We have to do 10,000 steps a day - you input it into the computer and our team progresses to various locations around the globe! It is a fun way to get exercising - 10,000 steps is not as easy as it may sound (unless, of course, you have two large dogs)!
My friend and our client Jen Kruger works with Global Corporate Challenge. "The GCC is all about getting your workforce active, healthy and more productive. Lost productivity and absenteeism costs organizations worldwide billions every week." www.GetTheWorldMoving.com
Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier
This book is great. By following some of it's principles, I'm recovering better from my Ironman training and the hectic life of a Toronto Realtor. It has great explanations of how certain foods can minimize stress, vegan recipes for salads, smoothies, sports gels, energy bars etc. A friend that I swim with told me about it. Thanks Sandra!
I'm also loving being a pet owner. I never thought I'd get over having a litter box in my house. Okay maybe it's till somewhat traumatic but the good company makes up for it.
The Geek Squad! A service that for the single home-owner was a godsend! I thought they were only into computers but they set up all my home entertainment equipment for me! They were so neat they even vacuumed up after and took all my boxes to recycling.
AND…Pizza Libretto! I now officially crave their warm olives! Funky, fun, always lined up but sooo worth it!!
My new living room finally furnished almost 2 years after we moved in! It is such a pleasure to have a quiet sitting room away from TV etc. now with cosy gas fireplace and all. We had a lot of help in choosing and sorting – who knew you'd have haul 8 + carpets home before the "one" was right. Patience and kudos to all those designers out there, especially our fabulous interior designer Heather Giffen of HG Management Renovation 416-436-3599, or !
Early morning light, so much more enjoyable to wake up to.
Journalling – love taking a few minutes every morning to count my blessings and sort through all my thoughts and get clarity and balance on priorities.