Archive for the ‘Buyers’ Category

The Cambridge Market Snapshot compares September 2014 to September 2013 Real Estate activity for Cambridge Ontario and also a five year comparison on the number of homes listed and sold and average price of list and average price of sold. All information refers only to single detached homes for the five listed area.

Cambridge Market Snapshot


Now is a good time to sell your home. Start now with a FREE HOME EVALUATION!

640 Honeywood Pl

640 Honeywood Place, Waterloo ON $744,900


This beautiful home is located in a great area of Laurelwood and backs onto greenbelt. You will love the great layout and spaciousness of this home. A large front porch gives this home a homey feel and when you walk into the large foyer you will see that this is the home for your family. Down a short hall we find a large kitchen that is bright and open and you won’t believe the amazing view that the adjacent dinette gives you with large windows facing the back yard and green space. The kitchen and dinette are open to the family room and the garden door gives you access to the two tiered deck and the large back yard. The kitchen has a large island with double sinks and also serves as a breakfast bar. The family room also has large windows with view of the back deck and an opulent gas fireplace grounds the room and is a beautiful focus point. From the kitchen we access the formal dining room which is big enough for any family, friends or business function and the formal living room next to it is the place to entertain your guests. On the main floor we also have the 2-pce powder room and the laundry room with secure access to the garage. As we walk up the stairs you will notice the large landing area which could be used for a reading nook or computer area. The large master bedroom is complete with walk in closet and a large 4-pce ensuite with Whirlpool tub and separate shower. On this floor we also find three large bedrooms and a 5-pce bathroom. Down the lower floor is the fully finished basement with a large rec room from which we can access the back yard. We also have an office, a kid friendly playroom, storage, and a 3-pce bath on this floor. This home combines hardwood, carpet and tile floors beautifully. The double car garage and driveway completes the distinction of this home. See the Visual Tour Open House 24/7 at

Dream Home Finder

Summer came and left just like that! August market was slower for the Cambridge area but September is starting out like a lion. We’ll have to wait and see  how it all unfurl.

Here are the results for August:

Cambridge Market Barometer for  August


Dream Homes still available! Right Here!

Buying a resale condo is similar to buying a house but there are a few differences that you should be aware of if this is what you are planning.

Is condo living for you?
Condo living can require more give and take than a house as they might have rules regarding pets, noise, even window treatment and balcony furniture. You will want to consider that before launching into condo hunt.

The status certificate
Finding out about the condo corporation is most important and a status certificate will include such critical information. When you make an offer on a condo, it should be conditional on a review by your attorney of the status certificate. The certificate will cost you about $100 but is well worth it. Some of the key points that you will find in a status certificate include but are not limited to:

  • By-laws and rules~unlike apartments if the condo by-laws state that pets are not allowed then they are not. Make sure that you can live with the condo’s rules.
  • Financial records for the condo corporation~including most recent budget and the reserve fund. If costly repairs are required in the near future could require a steep increase in condo fees if there is insufficient cash in the reserve fund.
  • Utilities~some condos have their own hydro and water meters others share the cost equally or are included in the condo fee. You will want to know this to better budget.
  • Rental Status~you will want to know if there are other units that are rented. The corporation keeps a tally and includes the figure as part of the status certificate.
  • Parking Details~parking spaces can be owned or could be common element owned by the condo corporation and assigned to you

Ultimately when you buy into a condo, you are also choosing your community. It’s a big commitment, so take the time to find a place that suits your personal needs.



688 Preston Pkwy

302-688 Preston Parkway Cambridge ON


$229,900 ~ Great central location is 5 minutes to 401 and close to amenities. Close to nature trails. This large condo has 2 bedrooms 2 bath and 1390 sq. ft. It is located in a smaller building with 40 units which is geared to seniors. Nice open main living area has great features which include oak cabinets in kitchen, ceramic flooring in the kitchen, foyer and baths, in-suite laundry, whirlpool tub, super large master bedroom – 2 bedrooms were converted – could be converted back to 3 bedrooms. Storage area has water softener and water heater. A good size balcony surrounded by greenery is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

See Visual Tour Open House 24/7 at

Living Room

Living Room

This is not the place to find a Realtor!

This is not the place to find a Realtor!

We always encourage Sellers to do their homework when hiring an agent and many do but there are those who just can’t seem to grasp the idea that the agent’s fiduciary duty is to represent the Seller and not himself. With increasing home prices in the KW region some have used  “Pocket Listing” as a mean to sell homes. This is an american term which Wikipedia explains as a property where a broker holds a signed listing agreement (or contract) with the seller, whether that be an “Exclusive Right to Sell” or “Exclusive Agency” agreement or contract, but where it is never advertised nor entered into a multiple listing system (MLS), or where advertising is limited for an agreed-upon period of time.

A ‘pocket listing’ gives that agent exclusive rights to sell the home and does not expose it to multiple buyers other than his own. This really raises questions about the value and role of the Realtor who cuts off the exposure to the MLS system. The promises by an agent that the sellers home will be sold right away is misleading and unscrupulous in the sense that the home might sell right away but will the sellers interest be looked after.

Even though a seller might be getting full asking price as established by the listing agreement he might not be given fair exposure to other buyers who would be willing to pay more. So on one hand the seller might look at that agent and think that he did well because he listed and sold his property and didn’t have to split the commission with another broker, and he got full price for it. But did he give himself the best exposure to get the best price?

The best way to get the highest price and best value for a property is with market exposure.

In the state it has been proven that pocket listed homes sold for less than those which had MLS exposure – in some cases significantly less.

The pocket listings are introduced to a small group – like members of a team – and kept hush, hush until a buyer is found. This could be a limited time agreement (2 weeks) where the agent has to find a buyer from his list of contacts. The marketing restrictions to such a small group poses the questions of discrimination and anti-trust that can emerge. This could become a price fixing arrangement which is violation of antitrust laws, subjecting all participants to potential liability.

Pocket listings can have undeniable attractions but sellers should beware of agents who offer them for their own gain and not for the sellers best interests.

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Find Your Dream Home!

Landscaping to Sell Your Home


You hear it all the time “Curb Appeal”. Your home must have “Curb Appeal” if you want to sell. Where do you even start? Can I suggest across the road. Yes, you read it right. Stand across the road from your home and look at it. That will be your first observation. Now look at it from a buyer’s point of view. Does it look fresh and inviting? Or is it looking old and tired without too much attraction to make you want to see the inside? Next take a look around at your neighbours homes. Would a buyer want to look at their home instead of  yours?

Now you have an idea of what is an eye sore and where you could improve. If you have budgeted for a professional landscaper that’s great as they can help you to make the right choices but if your budget is limited you can still come up with some serious landscape gems that will give your home the lift it needs.

Start with the trees as these take longer to mature. If you have a newer home with little landscaping done it’s probably easier as you can purchase the correct tree and place them at the right place. Too many people crowd the trees close to the home which might look good when the tree is young but in 5 to 10 years from now you could have a major root issue in your foundation or plumbing. Do your homework either online or visit your local nursery and ask the questions. You might even want to draw a rough plan of your home and property pointing out where the sun rises and sets so they will get a better idea as to what would grow best. If you have older trees on your property check to see that are healthy with no dead branches. Trees are not meant to grow in the fences so if you have old, old trees that infringe on any part of your home, you might want to consider getting them removed. A mature tree can have an appraised value between $1,000 and $10,000. Do use a professional for this and especially for large tall trees. The last thing you want is a branch of your tree in your neighbour’s roof.  It’s ok to replace an old tree with a younger one. The same would apply to the bushes. If the thing is 40 years old and shabby looking then get rid of it. Sometimes we see bushes that have overtaken the front stairs because they are so old and have not been trimmed properly.

Another landscaping issue would be the driveway. Whatever the paving material make sure that it looks clean and if there’s any cracks or grass growing in between the stone or cement get that cleaned up.

Next would be the grass. It should go without saying that it should be nicely trimmed but not too short especially in the summer as it will dry up and burn. With the water restrictions imposed by most cities you want to make sure that the grass is long enough to retain some moisture therefore staying green longer. If weeds are an issue check online for homemade people and pet friendly solutions which are very effective or get the help of a lawn specialist. Trimming around the edges of the lawn and walkways can seem like a tedious job but the visual impact is powerful. All that is required is a bit of stamina and endurance to do the work.

Finally, choose your smaller plantings carefully. You know that less is always best.  Again check on-line or with your nursery professional for ideas and groupings that will give new life to the house. Depending on the exposure you could have an area with perennial and another with a few seasonal for a splash of colour. Keep the elves and the gnomes out of the front garden (and the back for that matter) until  your house is sold. You might like them but most buyers do not.

So now you might be asking why you should spend so much time or any money on landscaping? Here it is: Landscaping can add as much as 14%  (you do the math) to your home’s resale value and sell faster too.  Properly placed trees and plants can also lower your home heating and cooling costs by as much as 20%.  Those are pretty good reasons, I would say, to consider landscaping a key issue to the sale of a home.

If you would like an objective opinion value of your home and some landscaping pointers give me a call.

If you are still looking for that “Dream Home” to landscape, sign up to get direct access to homes as soon as they go on the market. Visit


BEFORE visiting a model home here are some things you need to know.

Comparing Existing and New Homes

You will find that existing homes on average are less expensive and more likely in an established neighbourhood thatBuild-Buy has been there for a number of years. New homes on the other hand being more expensive have the ability of offering you a chance to get it done to your liking rather than what’s just there. Working with the home builder you might decide on upgraded flooring, light fixtures, energy efficiency, and finishing touches such as crown molding, hard wood flooring or even higher ceilings. All of this will play a part in deciding which way to go. An existing home will have settled and the street leading to it are probably all lit and paved along with the driveways which is not always the case for new homes. You could be sitting next to a mud pile for a while, sometimes even a few years.

First Thing First

You should know that the home builders hire Selling Agents to promote their homes. These agents have the builder’s interest at heart. When you hire a Realtor to represent you as a Buyer’s agent you have the best of both worlds. His fiduciary duties or obligations are to represent you and your interests as he verifies plans, warranties, financing, building material and even lot and services.  So when you are hiring a Realtor find out how much he knows about new homes so that if you decide to go that route you will have the best representation. If you visit the model home first and you sign your name as a visitor most Realtor will not represent you as the Builder will then consider you their client and will not negotiate with them.


Buy-BuildThe price range that you want to pay for a home and what you can afford will always be your primary concern. Knowing the bottom line and what kind of mortgage you will be carrying will be a big help in the decision making. If you have to sell a home first will also play part in the whole calculation. You may also want to move into a new home before you sell your home so that any extra work could be done before the big move. It’s much easier to paint a home or add finishing touches before the furniture gets all moved in. You might opt for a bare bone home and do the finishing yourself or pay the builder to upgrade some of the basics such as hardwood flooring, ceramic tiles, and stainless steel appliances. In a new home having a finished basement or a deck might not be a priority and could be done later. On the other hand adding a master ensuite or an extra room could prove to be beneficial when comes time to resell. These are some of the options to consider but there are many more.

Choosing a Builder

Your Realtor can help you with this as they know who they are and what they produce. Depending on the type of home that you are looking for they will be better equipped to inform you of all the variance. Like doctors or lawyers not all home builders are the same. From a master builder to space innovator to technology and energy expert, there are many different kinds of builder. Your needs, financial situation and what is available will all play a part.

Neighbouring Facts

Whether you are buying existing or new home you will want to know the neighbourhood. In an existing home-buyingneighbourhood you might want to drive around and check other homes for cleanliness, yard embellishment, general maintenance and you will want to know who lives next door, across the road and across your back yard too. Is it a quiet street or is it being used as a freeway for the motorcycle club down the road? Is it near schools, shopping, church and work? How about the accessibility to these things? It might take six minutes to drive from work to the entrance of the new subdivision but if it takes you thirty minutes from the entrance to your home you might rethink the idea. If a new neighbourhood you should know what else will be built around there. If there’s a green area will it be removed to make room for more homes? Don’t take anything for granted. Even a lake can be dried up.


A good Realtor will be a master negotiator for you whether in an existing home or a new home. Look for builders packages offered that could save you a lot of money in upgrades or financing. Sometimes a less desired or even a premium lot could be obtained at a lesser cost. The model home or other homes from a series that are finished but still not sold or even another contract that fell through could mean a reduced price. There is always room to negotiate.


New Home ConstructionCertainly when you purchase an existing home you know what you are buying because you can see it all from the neighbourhood, the attic to the basement of the house. Neighbourhoods are established and you can see how easy it is to access. Landscaping and fencing are usually done. You might be lucky to find a home that was upgraded already by a past owner. You don’t have to pay the GST/HST unless the home was substantially renovated and then the taxes are applied as if it were a new home. Some people prefer the challenge and flexibility of building their own home. A new home has up-to-date design, material and features. You may be able to choose certain features such as style of siding, flooring, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures. Other features could be upgraded such as adding a fireplace, trees and sod, or a paved driveway. GST applies to new homes but you could be entitled to a rebate from the New Housing Rebate Program. Check Canada Revenue Agency’s website or check with your Realtor. Other than lower maintenance costs many items in new homes are covered by a warranty.

There is certainly a myriad of choices when it comes to purchasing a home. We’ve looked at existing and new homes here but now the real homework begins as you decide what type of home you would like but we will leave that for another report.