There is little doubt COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on more than one wedding this season. And while I’m truly disappointed for couples who had big plans for their special day, the average cost of a wedding is not insignificant. Using a rough estimate, let’s call it approximately $30,000. This is a big expense for one day, plus a honeymoon. Saving this sort of money takes discipline and hard work. Marriage is a huge milestone and can be celebrated in many ways.
1. In a unexpected twist, couples planning to tie the knot — while disappointed their wedding plans have been cancelled due to COVID-19 — are not letting that money sit idly. COVID-19 is not stopping them from building their life together emotionally and financially.
According to Rakhee Dhringra, CEO of Mortgage Savvy, “We recently had the pleasure of assisting a few first-time homebuyers who were scheduled to get married this summer. Unfortunately, due to the current environment they had to postpone their wedding. Based on the money they received back from their deposit cheques, they were able to allocate those funds towards buying their first home — one where their family can build long-lasting memories and grow into long-term.”
2. Another emerging trend is the backyard and home renovation. It is safe to say many are hesitant to travel this year until at least a vaccine is found and the result — a staycation option. Rakhee herself has been putting off her backyard reno in favour of travel but has decided this year the travel budget is being shifted toward home investment.
She went on to say, “during COVID-19, we’ve been able to support many clients on the refinancing front. By leveraging existing equity in their homes, many clients have been able to do some much needed home renovations. Doing so, not only gives them the opportunity to invest back into their home and appreciate the overall value of their property, but also design their home to reflect more of their current needs.”
Weeks of isolation has given us a very clear idea of where we spend our time in our home and highlights what has worked and what has been working as well. Our son Kev and his wife Ellen are literally expecting their second child in days. Currently living in a two-bedroom home is ideal for their current situation but are concerned as the family grows and did I mention their two dogs, their home isn’t going to be as ideal as it once was. Thoughts of moving were explored and then tempered by the sheer logistics of it during a pandemic and the costs. Their solution is to build on the existing structure with great savings from the land transfer tax costs combined with real estate fees being redirected towards their home renovation.
For families that are growing, backyards that have overgrown, and with more Canadians working from home, a renovation can be both financially savvy and emotionally satisfying.
3. Cottage life isn’t for everyone and travel to the cottage due to the pandemic has been restricted in some communities for now. However, that hasn’t stopped people from exploring in a low-interest rate environment a second or even investment property. Land, water, fresh air and no air travel can be very appealing. It is still early days however, based on the number of requests I’ve had — 3 to date from people thinking about buying in cottage country, you know waterfront supply and demand will soon kick in and prices will continue trend higher.
Real estate for most is our largest asset and our greatest liability. But our home is so much more, it is also a place of pride and comfort. During periods of difficulty hunkering down in your home can have a calming influence in a time when you feel you have little control over much else.
These may be just a few of the early and unintentional trends in real estate that have evolved out of a pandemic but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad thing.
Real estate: These are Ottawa's five hottest neighbourhoods – CTV News Ottawa
Ottawa’s July real estate market was as hot as the temperatures.
Despite these uncertain times, the market experienced double-digit growth.
Taylor Bennett of Bennett Property Shop Realty says a normal July would mean a slight dip in the number of sales, and the average sale price of properties.
“As we all know, 2020 hasn’t been your normal year, and unsurprisingly the historical trend was broken,” he says.
Bennett explains that even though the market prices continued to climb during lockdown, inventory levels were at an all-time low.
“Buyers had fewer options to consider during a time of the year when we normally see the highest levels of inventory. But now that we are entering our 4th week of Phase 3, we are seeing activity we normally see in the spring.”
Residential numbers are up more than 15.7 per cent over July of 2019. The condo market has had even more growth, up 18.2 per cent over last July.
“Properties are selling faster than they are being listed, creating an extremely competitive market for buyers. They have to be more prepare than ever to enter into negotiations, especially if they are looking in some of the more sought-after areas.”
As for the hottest neighbourhoods: Hintonburg, Dunrobin, Vanier and Greely are up by more than 45 per cent over last year.
Manotick and Overbrook are tied for fifth place, up by more than 37 per cent.
“Hintonburg and Manotick have appeared on this list before. But both Dunrobin and Greely likely make this list due to the new societal working habits – the need to be close to your office may not exist as more people are telecommuting and both of these neighbourhoods offer more home for your dollar,” he said.
Bennett says Vanier’s popularity is no surprise.
“As the city population continues to grow we are seeing more gentrification, and Vanier is perfectly positioned for that – great proximity to downtown and the Queensway & next to Rockcliffe and New Edinburgh, a new pedestrian bridge connecting it to Sandy Hill, new infrastructure project being completed by the city and an LRT stop to the south.”
Kelowna real estate agent fined $6500 for 'misleading' website – Kelowna Capital News
A Kelowna real estate agent has been fined $6,500 for creating a website that advertised services he was not licensed to provide.
According to a July decision from the Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC), James Kevin Adams, an agent who used to work with local real estate firm Sage Executive Group, created a website called “K-O Properties” in 2017. The site advertised property management services around the Okanagan and Kootenay regions.
In its decision, the council called the website “false and/or misleading” as neither Adams nor anybody else affiliated with the site was licensed to provide such services in B.C.
Adams said the K-O Properties site was a working prototype, which he planned to have fully-running only after he was licensed to provide strata and rental property management services. He argued he only published the site to “work out the bugs” and “see how it would work by having [his] friends interact with it.”
The web designer Adams hired to build the website said Adams “most likely was not aware that [the website] was live.”
While the council said no evidence existed of Adams actually providing such services through K-O Properties, it still deemed his actions constituted professional misconduct.
Adams signed a consent order on July 16, agreeing to pay a $5,000 fine and a further $1,500 in fees to the council. He also agreed to complete a real estate and trading services remedial education course at his own expense.
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Real estate market in Durham advantageous for sellers during coronavirus pandemic – Global News
Industry leaders are reporting a resurgence in the real estate market in Durham after the region took an initial hit in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Vicki Sweeney, president of the Durham Region Association of Realtors, if you’re looking to sell your home in Durham, now is the time.
“The pandemic hit and obviously our numbers went right down,” Sweeney said. “But now we’re seeing unprecedented numbers for a summer market.”
According to housing reports released by the association, in July there were 1,583 homes sold at a record-high average of $709, 640.
This is a notable difference compared to sales in April, when only 513 homes were sold at an average of $612,563. What’s more, in July, properties only lasted on the market for an average of 16 days compared to 23 days this time last year.
Sweeney says right now the competition is fierce for buyers, with sellers getting multiple offers. She says the sudden increase in sales could be due to a number of factors.
“I think there’s also another trend happening right now, where before living in (Toronto’s) downtown core was important for avoiding long commutes,” she said.
“Since COVID, we’ve had to adapt to the online platforms, and people have realized, if they can work from home they don’t have to live in the downtown core.”
Mortgage brokers say another reason for the spike in interest for homes in Durham is a significant drop in mortgage rates, which currently hover around two per cent.
Mortgage broker Craig Howie says that while the current state of the market has posed a challenge for first-time home buyers, it’s proven to be even more difficult for those who are self-employed.
“Previously, lenders would look at a two-year average and look at what their self-employed income was,” Howie said.
“Now they’re looking at whether or not the job is going to be feasible, if it’s going to be around in the next couple of years because of everything that’s gone on with the pandemic.”
Howie adds that with the value of homes going up, there have also been difficulties when it comes to appraisals.
“When a lender is, say, lending 95 per cent of the value of that home, there’s concern that maybe the value isn’t there and some appraisals aren’t coming in the way we need them to be.”
Realtors in Durham say Clarington is currently the region’s largest hotspot for buying homes.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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