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  • 1. Low-Rise Homes Drive Higher-Rising PricesInformation courtesy of the Toronto Real Estate Board.TREBWhile Toronto’s residential homesales were down in the month ofAugust, the average selling pricerose to $479,095 – an almost 6.5percent increase compared to thesame time last year.The annual rate of price growthwas driven by the low-rise homesegment in the City of Toronto,including single-detached homeswith an average annual priceincrease of 15 percent.“While sales were down year-over-year in the GTA, so too werenew listings. As a result, marketconditions remained quite tightwith substantial competitionbetween buyers in the low-risemarket segment,” said JasonMercer, Toronto Real Estate Board(TREB) Senior Manager of MarketAnalysis. “The trends for sales andnew listings are moving somewhatin sync, suggesting that therelationship between sales andlistings will continue to promoteprice growth moving forward.”TREB President Ann Hannah,addressing the fact that residentialtransactions were down in August2012 compared to August 2011,suggested the stricter mortgagelending guidelines that cameinto effect in July, coupled withrelatively higher home prices,together with the upfront costassociated with the City of Toronto’sLand Transfer Tax, all played rolesin the decrease.Wondering about the value of yourcurrent home? Curious about otherhouse and condo prices in yourarea? Even if you’re not planningto move at the moment, but areinterested in local market activity,please remember that you’re alwayswelcome to call for a no-obligationreal estate update.Sales & Average Price By Major Home TypeAugust 2012 Sales Average Price416 905 Total 416 905 TotalDetached 706 2,323 3,029 $746,300 $564,571 $606,929Yr./Yr. % Change -19% -7% -10% 15% 7% 8%Semi-Detached 219 471 690 $540,204 $390,421 $437,961Yr./Yr. % Change -22% -9% -13% 11% 4% 6%Townhouse 258 804 1,062 $418,548 $351,201 $367,562Yr./Yr. % Change -13% 6% 1% 11 % 4% 5%Condo Apartment 1,072 440 1,512 $349,489 $275,150 $327,856Yr./Yr. % Change -22% -24% -22% -4% 2% -2%Recine Team ReportCompliments of Melanie & Fabio RE/MAX Premier Inc., BrokerageEach office is independently owned and operated.Melanie Maranda Recine &Fabio RecineSales Representatives"Its your callCall Melanie and Fabio"RE/MAX Premier Inc., Brokerage9100 Jane Street, Bldg. L, Suite #77Vaughan, ON L4K 0A4Office: 416-987-8000Fax: 416-987-8001Direct Melanie: 647-836-4062Direct Fabio: 416-828-5441mmaranda96@hotmail.comfrecine@trebnet.comwww.RecineTeam.caGreetings! You’re receiving thisnewsletter with hopes that you find itinformative and entertaining.If you’re thinking of making a move, orare just curious as to real estate trendsin your area, please feel free to call atany time. It’s always good to hearfrom you!Best wishes,Melanie and FabioVolume 8, Issue 10
  • 2. 2Did you know indoor air quality is often worse thanoutdoor air? It’s actually not surprising when you considerthat just about everything in our homes – from the carpetunder our feet to the paint on our walls, and the productswe clean with to the adhesives in our furniture – containstoxic chemicals that emit volatile organic compounds(VOCs) like benzene and formaldehyde into the airwe breathe.Many people buy expensive air purifiers to combat poorair quality and help mitigate the health risks thereof, butwhy not use plants, Mother Nature’s own air purifiers?Not only do plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen,they filter toxins like those mentioned above from theair, turning them into plant food. They also emit moldinhibitors from their leaves and add humidity to the air,helping combat respiratory problems and allergies. Plus,houseplants are actually more effective than commercialpurifiers at filtering pollutants from the air, they don’trequire electricity to do their job, and they add to, ratherthan detract from, the aesthetics of your décor.Here are some tips to help your houseplants be the mosteffective natural air purifiers they can be: choose organichouseplants grown without pesticides; pot them incontainers not made of plastic; allot one plant for every100 square feet, avoid placing them in areas where they’llbe susceptible to drafts and temperature fluctuations;use a damp cloth to keep their leaves, which absorb thetoxins, free of dust; and remember, the healthier thehouseplant, the more potent a purifier it is.While all houseplants are helpful in removing toxins fromthe air, some are especially effective. Below are a handfulof top performers whose names you’re probably alreadyfamiliar with.Areca Palm: An excellent natural humidifier, these are astriking addition to interiors due to their height.Bamboo Palm: Fast growing, these air-moisturizing plantsare great for combating dryness.Boston Fern: Considered the most efficient filtering plantoverall, these thrive in humidity.Dracaena: Particularly effective at removingtrichloroethylene, dracaena come in all shapes, sizesand colors.English Ivy: Great for those who suffer from asthmaor allergies.Peace Lily: Easy to grow and unique due to their beautifulwhite blooms.Philodendron: Effective in filtering high concentrations offormaldehyde, these require little attention.Rubber Plant: Tough and requiring little light, these excelat filtering formaldehyde.Spider Plant: Fast growing and resilient, these are idealwhere carbon monoxide accumulates (e.g. kitchens,near fireplaces).Snake Plant: Nearly indestructible, these are great inbedrooms as they produce oxygen at night.(Note: Many plant species, including some listed here, canbe toxic to pets or people if ingested, so choose carefully.)The Purifying Power of PlantsWith an especially hot summer behind us – during which the need for air conditioning no doubt had manypeople keeping their windows and doors closed – and with winter just around the corner, now seems like agood time to talk about how to improve your home’s air quality with household plants.
  • 3. Seeking ApprovalVolume 8, Issue 10 3What’s one of the smartest things you can do toensure your next home purchase goes smoothlyand quickly? Get pre-approved for a loan before youstart shopping. Here are five ways a pre-approvalmay benefit you.Settling for LessStatistics have shown that the average selling priceof a FSBO home is significantly lower than theaverage selling price of a home sold with the help ofa professional real estate representative. Why do somany FSBO sellers make less money on their homesale than they would have if they’d worked with a realestate licensee?As do-it-yourself sellers tend to factor in sentimentalvalue when establishing their asking price, and becausethey don’t have access to the information needed toassess their home’s market value (like comparable salesstatistics), many FSBO sellers overprice their properties,which is the top reason why many FSBOs fail to sell.In addition, FSBO sellers often don’t have enough timeor money to devote to marketing their property, nordo they necessarily have access to the Multiple ListingService®(MLS®). This means a lack of exposure to buyers,as well as to real estate professionals who use the MLS®to find homes for the clients they represent.A home that’s overpriced and underexposed isn’t goingto generate much interest and, as such, won’t attractas many offers. As a result, the property lingers on themarket, and as the FSBO seller becomes increasinglydesperate to sell, their asking price gets slashedever lower.If you want to sell your home more quickly, for moremoney and with far less work, call your real estatesales representative!Homeowners are often tempted to sell “by owner,”thinking they’ll make more money on the sale by nothaving to pay anyone a commission. But going theFSBO (For Sale By Owner) route could actually endup costing you – literally. Pre-approval means knowing how much your lender islikely to let you borrow, allowing you to narrow yoursearch to those properties that are within your budgetrather than wasting your time looking at homes youcan’t afford. This means a more efficient home-huntingprocess for you. Being pre-approved allows you to shop around withthe peace of mind that comes from knowing thatyou won’t have to worry about your purchase fallingthrough at the last minute and losing out on yournext dream home, due to your inability to secure amortgage loan. The loan approval process takes time. Wait until you’vemade an offer to get approved and you might lose thehome to a pre-approved buyer who can close fasterthan you, especially in a fast-moving market. Pre-approval means being able to act more quickly whenyou find the right home. As a pre-approved buyer, you’re in a stronger positionat the negotiating table because you can assure theseller you’re serious about buying, as well as assuringthem of a faster closing and that their sale won’t fallthrough because you couldn’t secure financing. You’ll have a good idea of interest rates beforeyou’re ready to buy. If you find you don’t qualifyfor a low interest rate, you’ll know that beforeyou start shopping, so you can adjust your pricerange accordingly.
  • 4. Tackling a fixer-upper can be a very rewarding experience,but it’s not for everyone. Is it for you? To help you decide,below are some pros and cons of buying a house thatneeds work.Pros Most buyers want move-in ready homes, so you’ll likely faceless competition from other house hunters for a fixer-upper. Houses needing work are often significantly cheaper; there’susually more room for negotiation when it comes to price. Purchasing a house in need of significant improvementcan be a great way to buy into a neighborhood that wouldotherwise be too expensive to move into. A fixer-upper allows you greater flexibility to customizeyour new house to your liking – every renovation is achance to do things your way, instead of living with theseller’s choices.Cons Turning around a fixer-upper requires a great deal of timeand know-how. If your life is already busy and/or you havelittle to no renovation experience, you may not be suited forthe task. Renovating can be very stressful, disrupting your life formonths at a time, depending on the work being done– especially because renos tend to drag on longer thananticipated. It may be more inconvenience than you’rewilling to put up with. Depending on the nature of the repairs that need to bemade, renovating might not increase the house’s valueenough to be worthwhile. “Invisible” improvements such asstructural, plumbing, or electrical repairs, for example, maynot pay off in terms of resale value.Rooms for ImprovementTerminology TipGood Faith Estimate — A document thatlenders typically provide to prospectiveborrowers. It lists all closing expenditures,fees and estimated costs of the mortgageloan, including but not limited to thelender’s origination fee, attorney closingfees and appraisal fees, plus estimatedprepaid expenses (i.e. property taxes)and costs for inspections, preparationof documents and title insurance.4The information and opinions contained in this newsletter are obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but their accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The publishers assume no responsibility for errors and omissions or for any damages resulting from the use of the publishedinformation. This newsletter is provided with the understanding that it does not render legal, accounting, or other professional advice. Not intended to solicit properties or businesses listed for sale and agency agreements in place with other real estate brokers. Whole orpartial reproduction of this newsletter is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. © Market Connections Inc.® 2012, Phone: (800) 387-6058.www.RecineTeam.caMelanie Direct647-836-4062Fabio Direct416-828-5441Fabio and Melanie RecineSales RepresentativesCompliments of Fabio & Melanie Recine RE/MAX Premier Inc., Brokerage