Home sales slip further in February

Home sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association numbered 181 units in February. This was a decline of 26 per cent from a very strong February 2012.

Sales of all types of properties numbered 209 units, down 23 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

“It’s important to remember that last February was the strongest month for activity in the region in three years on a seasonally adjusted basis, which means even after accounting for the fact that 2012 was a leap year, so that explains at least some of the big year-over-year decline in sales this February,” said Tim Barber, President of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association. “Having said that, February’s year-over-year decline also reflects the fact that demand has quieted down in recent months. At the same time, new listings have generally been trending up, and that’s resulted in a rising trend in the overall number of homes on the market.”

The average price for homes sold through the Association’s MLS® System in February 2013 was $274,562, up five per cent from February 2012.

There were 546 new residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System in February 2013, down two per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 1,347 units at the end of February, up 10 per cent from the same month in 2012.

There were 7.4 months of inventory at the end of February 2013. This was up from five months at the end of February 2012, and also stood above the long-run average for this time of the year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The value of all home sales was $49.7 million in February 2012, down 23 per cent from a year earlier. The total value of all property sales declined 20 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $55.3 million.


The information contained in this report has been prepared by
The Canadian Real Estate Association, in co-operation with the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association.
The information has been drawn from sources deemed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.
In providing this information, neither The Canadian Real Estate Association nor
the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association assumes any responsibility or liability.
Copyright © 2013 The Canadian Real Estate Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission.

 

Home sales remain at more moderate levels in January

Home sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association numbered 147 units in January. This was decrease of 17 per cent from a very strong January 2012, but stood even with the five year average for the month.

Sales of all types of properties numbered 161 units, down 16 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

“Home sales activity has actually remained pretty stable since the market initially geared down in the wake of changes to insured mortgage lending rules back in July last year,” said Tim Barber, President of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association. “The apparent deepening of year-over-year declines in recent months is really a reflection of rising demand at this time last year, with last January marking some of the strongest activity we’ve seen in the entire post-recession period.”

The average price for homes sold through the Association’s MLS® System in January 2013 was $275,287, edging up one per cent from January 2012.

There were 574 new residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System in January 2013. This was up six per cent year-over-year.

Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 1,176 units at the end of January, up 11 per cent from the same time in 2012.

Months of inventory numbered eight at the end of January 2013, up from six months at the end of January 2012 but still below the long-run average for this time of the year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The value of all home sales was $40.5 million in January 2012, down 16 per cent from a year earlier. The total value of all property sales declined 12 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $44 million.

 


The information contained in this report has been prepared by
The Canadian Real Estate Association, in co-operation with the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association.
The information has been drawn from sources deemed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.
In providing this information, neither The Canadian Real Estate Association nor
the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association assumes any responsibility or liability.
Copyright © 2013 The Canadian Real Estate Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission.

 

Joint Ownership of Property: Pros & Cons

Married spouses commonly hold property jointly with right of survivorship. In certain circumstances, there are several benefits to this ownership structure. For example:

  • Each spouse has the ability to manage the property without written consent of the other.
  • Upon the first death, the surviving spouse automatically owns 100% of the property.
  • Probate tax is payable on the value of the property only once (i.e. at the time of the second death).


However, joint ownership for couples may not be appropriate if one of the spouses wishes to benefit children of a previous relationship, or other family members, friends, charities or other beneficiaries. In addition, conflicts can arise during the administration of the estate of an individual who had transferred property into joint names (with a right of survivorship) with another person who is not a spouse or where the spouses do not have common children.

Disgruntled beneficiaries, heirs at law or creditors, may try to claim that the property held jointly should form part of the deceased’s estate to be distributed in accordance with the terms of his or her Will , or be subject to estate liabilities.

Where a parent transfers property into joint names with only some of the children, there is potential for conflict among the children and other beneficiaries as to whether an immediate gift was intended at the time of transfer, or whether the surviving joint owners hold the property as a Resulting Trust for the parent’s estate.  In addition to potential conflict, a host of other problems may be associated with the transfer to joint tenancy. For example, if the property transferred has an accrued gain, there could be immediate tax liability triggered, upon transfer.

If the family home is transferred to joint tenancy, there may be loss of some of the Principal Residence Exemption, in the future. In general, property should be transferred into joint names with children only when an immediate gift is intended. If you are contemplating joint tenancy with right of survivorship, you should be aware
of the following:

  • All owners have immediate, full access to the property.
  • The property passes to the surviving owners on the death of one joint owner by right of survivorship, bypassing the deceased’s estate and possibly conflicting with distribution plans in his or her Will. For example, the Will may provide for an equal division of the estate among surviving children. If property is held jointly with only one of the children, was it intended that that child receive this asset in addition to an equal share of the estate? 
  • If there is an out of order death, family members may be disinherited. For example, what if one of the children dies before the parent? Usually grandchildren receive a gift over of their deceased parent’s share under their grandparent’s Will. However, with joint tenancy, grandchildren who are the surviving children of a predeceased child of the testator will not receive their deceased parent’s share. On the grandparent’s death, the property will pass only to the surviving children who are joint owners.This could occur where there is a common accident that claims the parent and grandparent.
  • The property may become subject to the claims of creditors of all joint owners. In the event of divorce of one of the joint owners, a creditor could include an estranged spouse of one of the joint owners.
  • A transfer of property into joint names, unless to a spouse, creates a deemed disposition or sale at fair market value for income tax purposes on the portion passed to the other joint owners.The death of a joint owner also generates a deemed disposition on that person’s share. 
  • All joint owners must declare their portion of the income and capital gains from the jointly held property, if any, annually.
  • A portion of the Principal Residence Exemption will be lost if the jointly owned property is a principal residence for only one, or some, of the joint owners and other joint owners have their own residence on which they intend to claim the exemption.

If property is held jointly and you want to avoid the previously discussed negative consequences, professional advice is recommended. If you are a joint owner or are considering becoming one, talk to your tax and legal advisors about the benefits and risks. Your BMO Nesbitt Burns Investment Advisor can help introduce you to a professional advisor upon request.


Posted with permission

Pierre L. Gaumond,
CFP, CIM, FMA, FCSI

Investment Advisor
& Financial PlannerContact Info:
67 Bock St., Kingston ON
(613)-547-5214
(613)-547-5288

website

The Trouble With Mold

The last thing you want to hear when buying a house is that there’s a mold problem. These sneaky little spores aren’t easy to detect. Mold is a fungus and although some molds are visible and even odorous, mold can also grow between walls, under floors and ceilings. Or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics. Mold flourishes in water-soaked materials (paneling, wallboard, carpet, paint and ceiling tiles), and will survive in almost any damp location.

There are thousands of disputes over mold between sellers and buyers through the years. Both parties should protect themselves up-front. A wise seller should put a mold disclaimer into the sales contract and encourage in the sales contract that the buyer hire and rely upon the buyer’s own independent mold inspection and testing of the home by a certified mold inspector.

Conversely, a buyer should ask the seller about mold and hire an inspector who can seek it out. While it’s not the inspector’s job to look for mold, most home inspectors will mention obvious signs of water damage and the possible presence of mold. Because the inspector will poke around in spaces you might not, he or she may see things you wouldn’t. Don’t be shy. Ask whether the inspector saw signs of mold or potential mold dangers.

In some states, real estate agents have a duty to disclose problems they know exist. Appraisers should also notify you of any obvious sign of a mold problem if the value of the property can be affected.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mold and mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, including hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.

Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Easily aerosolized once they are disturbed, hundreds of thousands of spores can fill the air within a short period of time. Containment procedures are necessary to prevent contaminating the entire house or building. Preventing water damage is key in stopping mold. Many indoor mold problems begin with an aging, weathered, leaky roof that allow waters to enter the home.

If your home or property has a water, mold, other environmental problem or if there’s a reasonable suspicion of a problem, you should remedy the water problem, mold infestation, or environmental threat prior to even offering the property for sale.

Learn to detect mold in homes. Get the seller to disclose mold issues and negotiate around any mold problems in the course of the sale.


THE PRUDENTIAL REAL ESTATE ENEWSLETTER – VOLUME 57

Home Sales Edge Lower in December

Home sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association numbered 205 units in November, a decrease of three per cent from the same month last year. Sales of all types of properties numbered 228 units, down five per cent on a year-over-year basis.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, home sales edged back five per cent month-over-month in November 2012, reversing some but not all of the gains made since August.

“Home sales activity in the Kingston area has held up pretty well in the wake of stricter mortgage rules that came into force in mid-July,” said Tim Barber, President of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association. “To put it in perspective, demand in the past four months has been running, on average, just four per cent below levels observed in the first half of the year, and those were actually quite strong.”

A total of 3,197 homes have traded hands so far this year. This remains six per cent ahead of the first 11 months of last year, and stands above levels in the same period in 2010 as well.

The average price for homes sold through the Association’s MLS® System in November 2012 was $273,902, up 10 per cent from November 2011.

There were 400 new residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System in November 2012, rising 15 per cent from year-ago levels.

Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 1,276 units at the end of November, up nine per cent from the same time last year.

Months of inventory numbered 6.2 at the end of November 2012, up from 5.5 months at the end of November 2011, but below the long-run average for this time of the year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The value of all home sales was $56.1 million in November 2012, up six per cent from a year earlier. The total value of all property sales increased four per cent on a year-over-year basis to $60.9 million.


The information contained in this report has been prepared by
The Canadian Real Estate Association, in co-operation with the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association.
The information has been drawn from sources deemed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.
In providing this information, neither The Canadian Real Estate Association nor
the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association assumes any responsibility or liability.
Copyright © 2013 The Canadian Real Estate Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission.

 

Credit Scores – Improving and Protecting Them

 


 

With tighter regulations, credit is playing an even bigger role than ever before. There is A LOT of mis-information out there. I have attended 2 seminars with representatives from Equifax to explain it to me. Below is a very rough guideline how it is calculated. NOTE: even the rep from Equifax said they don’t even understand how exactly it is calculated as it is so convoluted and there are so many variables….(seriously that is what they said LOL)

Payment History

35%

Factors in the recency of, and number of, payments over 30 days late, collections, judgments, and bankruptcies. A single 30-day late payment can drop your score 15-20 points.
Current Debts

30%

Considers how much you currently owe (in absolute terms and compared with your credit limits), how many creditors you owe money to, and how much you could owe if you maxed all your available credit.
Age of Accounts

15%

The longer your accounts have been opened the better. You generally need at least three accounts over one year old.
Type of Credit

10%

Bank loans, credit cards, and revolving credit accounts all impact you differently.
Credit Enquiries

10%

Numerous credit applications in the past 12 months is a no no. This is a big benefit of mortgage brokers, who pull your credit only once for multiple lenders.

 

Besides the obvious (bankruptcies, judgments, etc.) the top Beacon killers are:

  • Payments over 30-days late
  • Maxing out credit cards (i.e. using over 70% of a high credit limit)
  • Seeking too much credit in a short period of time (e.g. applying for 4 credit cards in one month)

 

If you have a lot of maxed out cards, bring them at least below 70% of their limit (Below 50% is better. Below 30% is best). Your credit score can jump considerably in as little as a month.

GREAT TIP – it may not be realistic for the client to come up with a few thousand dollars to reduce their balances. As such, have them call the credit agency to increase their limit. Ex – if a client has a $10,000 line of credit with $9,000 against it, have them get the limit increased to $15,000. This is a VERY easy way to keep under the 70% rule without having to spend $$$ to do so. This isn’t a good idea for those clients that use the room they have been given however as they will just put themselves deeper in debt.

What does this mean for you?

With more restrictions and smaller pool of qualified buyers going forward, it will be increasingly critical to counsel those around you about the importance of protecting their own credit. I work with credit everyday and find myself educating and informing everyday as well. I would have absolutely no problem (in fact I would welcome it) sitting down with someone you know and discussing and informing them about credit and how they can prepare and protect themselves for when they are ready to buy. Far too often I meet with someone ready to buy, only for them to be surprised / disappointed about their credit situation. It is no easy or quick fix. Often times it takes months or years to fix. In the past we have said “call me when you have fixed it” and moved on to the next client, but with a shrinking pool of qualified buyers, etc. it may be best to be proactive. I would welcome playing a role in that.


Permission was obtained by Chris to post this article.  If you are interested in more information about your credit score and how best manage your finances, please contact Chris

 

 

 

Chris Matthey, AMP
Mortgage Agent
License# M08000692
Office: (613) 384-4000 x 243
Toll Free: (866) 384-4855 x 243
Cell: (613) 561-5850
Fax: (613) 384-4047

 
 

VERICO -The Mortgage Professionals
775 Blackburn Mews West
Kingston, Ont.
K7P 2N5
Mortgage Brokerage License #10280

 

BACK to News & Tips

Homes Sales Rise in October

Home sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association came in above year-ago levels in October 2012.

Residential sales numbered 249 units in October, an increase of 12 per cent from the same month last year. Sales of all types of properties numbered 286 units, rising 13 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

On a seasonally adjusted basis home sales edged up two per cent month-over-month in October 2012, building on the six per cent gain in September.

“Home sales activity in the Kingston area remained on a solid footing in October,” said Al Sytsma, President of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association. “It was actually the best October sales figure in five years.”

A total of 2,992 homes have traded hands so far this year. This remains six per cent ahead of the first 10 months of last year, and stands above levels in the same period in 2009 and 2010 as well.

The average price for homes sold through the Association’s MLS® System in October 2012 was $269,944. This was up four per cent from October 2011.

There were 524 new residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System in October 2012, jumping 21 per cent from year-ago levels.

Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 1,386 units at the end of October, up three per cent from the same time last year.

Months of inventory numbered 5.6 at the end of October 2012, down from 6.1 months at the end of October 2011 and well below the long-run average for this time of the year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The value of all home sales was $67.2 million in October 2012, rising 17 per cent from a year earlier. The total value of all property sales increased 18 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $75 million.


The information contained in this report has been prepared by
The Canadian Real Estate Association, in co-operation with the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association.
The information has been drawn from sources deemed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.
In providing this information, neither The Canadian Real Estate Association nor
the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association assumes any responsibility or liability.
Copyright © 2012 The Canadian Real Estate Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission.

 

What is a SPIS (Seller Property Information Statement)?




The SPIS will provide information related to defects, renovations and other pertinent property information, based on the seller’s knowledge and experience.The Code of Ethics, a regulation under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, contains specific provisions related to the Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS). However, it does not oblige a seller to complete one.

If a broker or salesperson has a seller as client and knows that the seller has completed the SPIS, the broker or salesperson is required to disclose its existence to every buyer interested in the property. They are also required to make the SPIS available to any interested buyer upon request, unless the seller has directed them not to.

Brokers and salespersons are also required to disclose material facts. This means they have an obligation to disclose any fact they are aware of that, with respect to the real estate transaction, that might reasonably affect a person’s decision to buy or sell a property.

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Why are home inspections necessary?


When you purchase a home, it’s often recommended that you have a home inspection done. In fact, a typical Agreement to Purchase Form will include a standard preprinted clause with respect to home inspections. This is one of the most common conditions in an offer to purchase a property. When real estate markets are extremely active and you really want a particular home, skipping the home inspection and not placing this kind of condition in an offer can be tempting. Before you make the decision, consider the benefits of a home inspection.

If there is a Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS), you may receive a copy and have a general sense of comfort about the history of the property. However, you should keep in mind that the person selling the home may not be aware of property defects and that the information provided in the SPIS is based only on their personal knowledge.

Similarly, the broker or salesperson representing you in the transaction may have the experience to identify visually obvious defects, but underlying problems can exist.

A qualified and experienced home inspector will examine the major systems in the home such as:

  • Electrical

  • Roofing

  • Plumbing

  • Heating/Air Conditioning

  • Foundation

  • Septic Systems

Many home inspection companies encourage you to attend the inspection and ask the inspector questions during the process and about the results of the inspection. The decision is yours to make, but you will be better informed and able to assess whether or not you want to invest in any upgrades or repairs that might be needed.

<Click Here> to download RECCO’s Consumer Publication on this topic

 

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Can you sell real estate if you are not registered?


In Ontario, in order to trade in real estate, brokers and salespersons must be registered under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002. Before you begin working with a real estate broker or salesperson, make sure you confirm that they are registered by using the online search feature.

The information available to you includes the registration status, the current expiry date of registration and regulatory activities related to the brokerage, broker or salesperson, such as:

  • Registrar’s Proposals to refuse, revoke, suspend or apply conditions to a registration

  • Charges under REBBA 2002 and related convictions

  • Immediate suspensions ordered by the Registrar

  • Decisions of Discipline and Appeals Panels related to ethical conduct

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