8 Popular Home Design Features for 2022

There’s a lot to consider when selling your home, from market conditions and appraisals to where you’ll go next. Don’t forget, however, the importance of design. It’s often one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a home, and it’s also a detail that you, as a seller, can easily control.

According to Realtor.ca’s 2022 housing market forecast, October of 2021 saw record home sales.1 Even with the pandemic igniting new restrictions in some provinces, the Canadian housing market is expected to remain hot. This means, if you’re looking to sell in the near future, now is the time to consider how you can stand out.

Updating your home design is one way to do that. Changes like eco-friendly fixtures or upgraded siding can add value to your home now and be highlighted when you market it for sale later. To get the most out of your updates, focus on these popular home design features that will wow buyers in 2022.

Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to buy, list, or renovate a property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures

Canada’s largest demographic, millennials, has been a driving force in the country’s real estate market for the past few years. One thing that remains top of mind for this cohort is sustainable living features. A recent Deloitte survey found that one-third of millennials initiate or deepen their consumer investment in products or services that help the environment—this also includes the houses they choose to live in.2

Here are a few eco-friendly design features that will be attractive to these millennial buyers in 2022. Bonus: they can net a significant return on investment (ROI) for you, as a seller, too.

Energy-Efficient Windows: Windows and doors account for up to 25 percent of home heat loss, according to nrcan.gc.ca.3 Therefore, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can help homeowners save money.

  • Low-Flow Water Fixtures: National Resources Canada also recommends replacing your water-consuming fixtures like showerheads, toilets, and faucets with ones that have flow rates of about 7.6 L/minute, 4.8L/flush, and 4L/minute, respectively.4 If you want to take it a step further, ENERGY STAR® certified appliances like dishwashers and washing machines will also make a dramatic difference in water bill savings.
  • Native Landscaping: Perhaps unexpectedly, another eco-friendly ‘fixture’ is native flora. Local greenery helps combat biodiversity loss, creates a better habitat for wildlife, and has a greater resistance to pests, according to HGTV.5 These benefits of native plants add to the eco-friendly appeal of your home.

Wellness Retreat Nooks

As many of our homes became “all-purpose” territory for the entire family, interior zoning efforts were in full effect. From designated offices to closed-door playrooms, everyone needed their own space. Add in mental health concerns, competing schedules, and reduced access to health and wellness facilities, and the result is a huge prioritization of personal care spaces.

At-home wellness amenities, which were once viewed as luxuries, are now on many homeowners’ must-have lists. Intrigue buyers and improve your quality of life in your home with reading nooks, spa-inspired bathrooms, and exercise or meditation spaces. Even if your house doesn’t have the square footage to section off an entire room for relaxation, making simple tweaks to natural light, air purifiers, and indoor plants can help you feel better in your home now, while enabling future buyers to see the opportunity for their own space.

 Calming Paint Colours

Paint colors that produce a calming atmosphere will also be a key selling point in 2022. Soft earth tones and natural hues will prevail this year, including various shades of blue, green, brown, and beige. Recent research suggests steering clear of trendy paint colors in favor of a more classic palette to bring the feel of nature indoors in a subtle and soothing way.6

A survey of American homebuyers found that a certain paint colour was able to increase a home’s value by 1.6%.6 If we Canadians see even a 1% increase, that’s $7,208 more for the average home, which is priced at $720,850, according to the Financial Post.7

A crowd-pleasing hue to refresh the walls with is BEHR’s 2022 paint colour of the year, known as Breezeway.8 This shade of green with silver undertones was created to mimic sea glass. As the BEHR website describes it, Breezeway “evokes feelings of coolness and peace, while representing a desire to move forward and discover newfound passions.”

Outdoor Living Updates

Don’t forget to think about your yard when considering design changes for your home. As interiors become more productive, many Canadians are looking to the outdoors for a break. HGTV predicts the “exterior living room” trend will continue in 2022, so making outdoor upgrades in the spring when the ground thaws could reap serious benefits.9 Whether your exterior square footage looks like a balcony, small patio, or expansive yard, it only takes some imagination and effort to turn it into a comforting oasis.

Front porches, in particular, are seeing a big revival, says Greenhouse Canada.10 Power-washing your siding; adding a fresh coat of paint on the door, brick, or floorboards; and finishing it off with some exterior lighting will go a long way in upping the curb appeal.11 Don’t forget to add window boxes, big planters, and young trees that require minimal maintenance but add more life to the space.

Finish off the space with some comfortable outdoor furniture to make the outdoors as well-designed as the indoors. If you need help deciding how to update your outdoor area, let us guide you.

Designated Work Spaces

It may come as no surprise that after the pandemic is over, 80 percent of new teleworkers want to continue to work at least half of their hours from home, according to Statistics Canada.12 However, this desire needs to be weighed against the availability of space in a home.

If you can, try turning a bedroom or den into a work-from-home office. When designing the space, make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Position a desk near the window for natural light, install a bookshelf unit, arrange a few succulents on the work surface, and hang a few framed posters or a cork bulletin board on the wall. You want the space to foster productivity as well as be a place in your home you enjoy spending time.

When you get ready to sell, we can help you highlight your designated workspace. Given the high demand for this design feature, it can help you interest more buyers and attract more competitive offers—if marketed creatively.

Plus, Canadians who transitioned to working from home because of the pandemic may be eligible to claim a $500 deduction for home office expenses—making this renovation that much more feasible.13

 Luxury Kitchen Retouches

The kitchen has always been a main focal point of interior design, and that’s no different in 2022. Families will always need this space to come together in their own homes.

This year’s buyers want a kitchen with new upgrades and retouches, but you don’t have to renovate the entire kitchen to make an impact. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips on how to create a kitchen that buyers will love without spending too much money on renovations:

  • Repaint the kitchen, keeping the calm and nature-inspired colours in mind that are most popular right now. Taking a kitchen from dark to light by painting cabinets and walls can make all the difference.
  • Update the hardware. These kitchen “accessories” stand out and add personality to an otherwise standard kitchen.
  • Update light fixtures to bring in more light while also adding a fresh look and feel in the space.

Unique Accent Walls

An accent wall gives a home character while balancing it with the calming feel of natural- and neutral-coloured walls. But, we’ve seen accent walls before, so bolder moves are expected for 2022. Here are some on-trend options that go above and beyond a solid-colour accent wall:

  • Jewel or metallic tones
  • Textured wallpaper
  • Painted ceilings
  • Built-in shelves
  • Wood paneling14
  • Sprawling wall tiles 15

If you’re planning to sell in the next year, talk to us before adding an accent wall. Depending on your target buyer, it may be a design feature that actually hurts your home’s value. We can run a free Comparative Market Analysis on your home to help you understand what would resell best in your neighbourhood.

Exterior Siding Updates

An exterior siding refresh can make an old home feel entirely new and have a big impact on its resale value. This primarily affects curb appeal, but it’s also an important factor in keeping interiors warm and protected from Canada’s harsh winters. The average cost for new siding ranges from  .16 That variation depends on which of the many siding materials you choose, from fiber-cement to brick, wood, vinyl, metal, or stone.

While all these options can infuse the exterior with character and curb appeal, there are a few other factors to consider before taking on this kind of project. While brick adds more sophistication, it is on the pricier end and is susceptible to salt erosion, making it a less enticing option for those on the coasts. On the other end of the cost spectrum, vinyl is a very popular option that does not fade, is easy to maintain, and comes in many colour options.17 However, vinyl will crack over time after facing harsh Canadian winters.

Give your home this simple and attractive facelift before putting it on the market. If you’re not sure how to get started yourself, our team can connect you with a trusted vendor to guide you through the process.

Keep These Home Design Features on Your Radar in 2022

These design features can infuse personality into your home while helping to close the deal if you plan to sell in 2022. The average buyer knows just what they’re looking for in a space they plan to call home, so with some investment and foresight, you can give your house an edge over the competition—and boost resale value in the process.

However, you don’t need to make all these changes to attract more buyers. We can help you determine which design features you should add to your home by sharing insights and tips on how to maximize the return on your investment. We can also run a Comparative Market Analysis on your home to find out how it compares to others in the area, which will help us decide what changes need to be made. Contact us to schedule a free consultation!

 

Sources:

  1. ca –

https://www.realtor.ca/blog/what-2021s-housing-market-looked-like-and-whats-to-come/23723/1361

  1. Deloitte –

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/2021-deloitte-global-millennial-survey-report.pdf

  1. NRCAN –

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/make-your-home-more-energy-efficient/keeping-the-heat/section-8-upgrading-windows-and-exterior-doors/15643

  1. National Resources Canada –

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/make-small-changes-add/21850

  1. HGTV –

https://www.hgtv.ca/green-living/photos/native-plants-in-canada-by-province-1938068/

  1. Zillow
    http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2021-07-15-Homes-With-Light-Blue-Bathrooms,-Dark-Blue-Bedrooms-Could-Sell-for-Up-to-4,698-More-Than-Expected
  2. Financial Post –

https://financialpost.com/real-estate/average-home-price-in-canada-hits-all-time-high-of-720850

  1. Behr –
    https://www.behr.com/colorfullybehr/behr-announces-2022-color-of-the-year-and-trends-palette/
  2. HGTV –

https://www.hgtv.ca/decorating/photos/biggest-home-decor-trends-

2022-1952424/#currentSlide=4

  1. Greenhouse Canada –

https://www.greenhousecanada.com/garden-trends-report-sees-a-definite-shift-in-consumer-

tastes/

  1. Toronto Sun –

https://torontosun.com/life/homes/front-porches-make-a-comeback

  1. Statistics Canada –

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/45-28-0001/2021001/article/00012-eng.htm

  1. Government of Canada –

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-22900-other-employment-expenses/work-space-home-expenses.html

  1. Accent Walls –

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ideas-how-to/decor/diy-wall-panelling.html

  1. Accent walls –

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ideas-how-to/decor/accent-wall-ideas.html

  1. Reno Assistance –

https://www.renoassistance.ca/en/siding/house-siding-costs/

  1. D’Angelo and Sons –

https://dangeloandsons.com/best-exterior-siding-for-canadian-winter/

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto
January 2022 Market Statistics

January 2022 Market Statistics

Market Watch

GTA REALTORS® Release January Stats

Demand for ownership housing remained very strong from a historic perspective in January 2022. At the same time, listings remained in short supply, resulting in tight market conditions and very strong year-over-year price growth.

There were 5,636 sales reported through the TRREB MLS® System in January 2022 – down by 18.2 per cent compared to 6,888 sales in January 2021. While sales were down substantially compared last year’s record result, the January 2022 result was the second best in history for the month. This result is in line with TRREB’s forecast for a strong sales result in 2022, but off the 2021 record.

New listings were down by a similar annual rate (-15.5 per cent) as sales. Because sales and new listings moved in relative lock step, active listings at the end of January amounted to 4,140 – down by 44 per cent to the lowest level in more than two decades.

The continuation of tight market conditions resulted in a 33.3 per cent annual increase in the MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark. Similarly, the average selling price was up by 28.6 per cent year-over-year to $1,242,793.

Looking Forward, TRREB’s outlook for 2022 is as follows: Total home sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in the GTA will reach 110,000, representing a dip from 2021, but still a strong result in comparison to previous years; and The average selling price for all home types combined is set to climb to $1,225,000, an approximate increase of 12 per cent when compared to last year.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 25.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  -7.7 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 29.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  -37.8 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 39.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  -16.4 %

 

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 33.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  –

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 29.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  -18.7 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for January 2022   $ 973,031

Percent increase over this time last year +37.2%

Average Days on Market 8

Homes Sold in January 2022 #150  +6.4%

Posted by Christine Pecharich
December 2021 Market Statistics

December 2021 Market Statistics

Market Watch

Details

GTA REALTORS® Release December 2021 Stats

A record 121,712 sales were reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in 2021 – up 7.7 per cent from the previous 2016 high of 113,040 and up 28 per cent compared to 2020. Record demand last year was up against a constrained supply of listings, with new listings up by 6.2 per cent – a lesser annual rate than sales. The result was extremely tight market conditions and an all-time high average selling price of $1,095,475 – an increase of 17.8 per cent compared to the previous 2020 record of $929,636.

“Despite continuing waves of COVID-19, demand for ownership housing sustained a record pace in 2021. Growth in many sectors of the economy supported job creation, especially in positions supporting above-average earnings. Added to this was the fact that borrowing costs remained extremely low. These factors supported not only a continuation in demand for ground oriented homes, but also a resurgence in the condo segment as well,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

One sales trend that stood out in 2021 compared to 2020 was the resurgence in demand for homes within the City of Toronto. Overall sales in the “416” area code were up by a substantially greater annual rate (+36.8 per cent) compared to sales growth for the surrounding Greater Toronto Area (GTA) suburbs combined (+23.6 per cent). The marked recovery in the condominium apartment segment was a key driver of this trend.

“Tight market conditions prevailed throughout the GTA and broader Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2021, with a lack of inventory noted across all home types. The result was intense competition between buyers, pushing selling prices up by double digits year-over-year. Looking forward, the only sustainable way to moderate price growth will be to bring on more supply. History has shown that demand-side policies, such as additional taxation on principal residences, foreign buyers, and small-scale investors, have not been sustainable long-term solutions to housing affordability or supply constraints,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

In December, GTA REALTORS® reported 6,031 sales – a strong result historically, but still down by more than 1,000 transactions (-15.7 per cent) compared to the record of 7,154 set in December 2020. Over the same period, new listings were down by 11.9 per cent to 5,174. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 31.1 per cent year-over-year in December. The average selling price was up by 24.2 per cent annually to $1,157,849.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +21.4 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 18.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +25.8 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 20.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +18.3 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 26%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  -0.7 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 15.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +30.2 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for December 2021   $ 874,673

Percent increase over this time last year +40.2%

Average Days on Market 7

Homes Sold in December 2021 #110 down -13.4%

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts, Brampton, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto
A Return to ‘Normal’? The State of Real Estate in 2022

A Return to ‘Normal’? The State of Real Estate in 2022

Last year was one for the real estate history books. The pandemic helped usher in a buying frenzy that led to a record number of home sales and a historically high rate of appreciation, as prices soared by a national average of 19.9% year over year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.1

There were signs in the second quarter that the red-hot housing market was beginning to simmer down. In June, the pace of sales slowed while the average sales price dipped 5.5% below the springtime peak.2

But just when the market seemed to be cooling, home prices and sales volume ticked up again in the fall, leading the Royal Bank of Canada to speculate: “Canada’s housing market run has more in the tank.”3

So what’s ahead for the Canadian real estate market in 2022? Here’s where industry experts predict the market is headed in the coming year.

MORTGAGE RATES WILL CREEP UP

The Bank of Canada has signaled that it plans to begin raising interest rates in the “middle quarters” of this year.4 What does that mean for mortgage rates?

Expect higher variable mortgage rates to come. In fact, according to industry trade blog Canadian Mortgage Trends, some lenders have already begun raising their variable rates in preparation. And according to the site, “Current market forecasts show the Bank of Canada on track for seven quarter-point (25 bps) rate hikes by the end of 2023, with Scotiabank expecting eight rate hikes.”5

Since September, fixed mortgage rates—which follow the 5-year Bank of Canada bond yield—have also been climbing.5 Fortunately, economists believe the housing sector is well-positioned to absorb these higher interest rates.

Derek Holt, Scotiabank vice president and head of capital markets economics, told Canadian Mortgage Professional magazine in November, “The large increase in cash balances that occurred over the pandemic combined with the record-high amount of home equity on Canadian balance sheets, to me, paints a picture of a household sector that can manage the rate shock we’re likely to get.”4

What does it mean for you? Low mortgage rates can reduce your monthly payment, make it easier to qualify for a mortgage, and make homeownership more affordable. Fortunately, there’s still time to take advantage of historically low rates. We’d be happy to connect you with a trusted lending professional in our network.

VOLUME OF SALES WILL DECREASE

A record number of homes were sold in Canada last year. The Canadian Real Estate Association estimates that 656,300 home purchases took place, which is an 18.8% increase over 2020.6 So it’s no surprise that the pace of sales would eventually slow.

The association predicts that, nationally, the number of home sales will fall by 12.1% in 2022, which would still make 2022 the second-best year on record.1

It attributes this relative slowdown to affordability challenges and a lack of inventory but expects sales volume to remain high by historical standards. “Limited supply and higher prices are expected to tap the brakes on activity in 2022 compared to 2021, although increased churn in resale markets resulting from the COVID-related shake-up to so many people’s lives may continue to boost activity above what was normal before COVID-19.”6

What does it mean for you? The frenzied market we experienced last year required a drop-everything commitment from many of our clients, so a slower pace of sales should be a welcome relief. However, buyers should still be prepared to compete for the best properties. We can help you craft a compelling offer without compromising your best interests.

THE MARKET WILL BECOME MORE BALANCED

In 2021, we experienced one of the most competitive real estate markets ever. Fears about the virus, a shift to remote work, and economic stimulus triggered a huge uptick in demand. At the same time, many existing homeowners delayed their plans to sell, and supply and labour shortages hindered new construction.

This led to an extreme market imbalance that benefitted sellers and frustrated buyers. According to Abhilasha Singh, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, “almost all indicators of housing market activity shot through the roof.” But, she continued, “The housing market is now showing signs of returning to earth.”7

The Royal Bank of Canada expects to see demand soften gradually as rising prices and interest rates push the cost of homeownership out of reach for many would-be buyers.3 And while the supply of available homes continues to remain low, according to Singh, “the pace of building in Canada remains elevated compared with historical averages thanks to low interest rates.”7

What does it mean for you? If you struggled to buy a home last year, there may be some relief on the horizon. Softening demand could make it easier to finally secure the home of your dreams. If you’re a seller, it’s still a great time to cash out your big equity gains! And with less competition and a slower pace of sales, you’ll have an easier time finding your next home. Reach out for a free consultation so we can discuss your specific needs and goals.

HOME PRICES LIKELY TO KEEP CLIMBING, BUT AT A SLOWER PACE

Nationwide, home prices rose an average of 19.9% in 2021. But the rate of appreciation is expected to slow down in 2022. The Canadian Real Estate Association forecasts that the national average home price will increase by 5.6% to $718,000 in 2022.6

Singh of Moody’s Analytics agrees that price growth will slow this year and could “reach a near standstill in late 2022 but avoid any significant contractions.”7

However, some experts caution against a “wait and see” mentality for buyers. “Affordability is unlikely to improve [this] year as prices should march higher, even as interest rates creep upwards as well,” Rishi Sondhi, an economist at TD Economics, told Reuters. “We think rate hikes will weigh on, but not upend, demand, as the macro backdrop should remain supportive for sales.”8

What does it mean for you? If you’re a buyer who has been waiting on the sidelines for home prices to drop, you may be out of luck. Even if home prices dip slightly (and most economists expect them to rise) any savings are likely to be offset by higher mortgage rates. The good news is that decreased competition means more choice and less likelihood of a bidding war. We can help you get the most for your money in today’s market.

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighbourhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2022, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.

Sources:

  1. Toronto Sun –
    https://torontosun.com/life/homes/real-estate-market-on-track-to-break-records
  2. National Post –
    https://nationalpost.com/life/homes/the-great-real-estate-cool-down-has-come
  3. Royal Bank of Canada –
    https://thoughtleadership.rbc.com/canadas-housing-market-run-has-more-in-the-tank/
  4. Canadian Mortgage Professional Magazine –
    https://www.mpamag.com/ca/mortgage-industry/industry-trends/how-likely-is-a-canada-housing-crash/315742
  5. Canadian Mortgage Trends –
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2021/11/fixed-rate-increases-costing-todays-homebuyers-over-10000-more-in-interest/
  6. Canadian Real Estate Association –
    https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/quarterly-forecasts/
  7. Moody’s Analytics –
    https://www.moodysanalytics.com/-/media/article/2021/10-canada-housing-market-outlook.pdf
  8. Reuters –
    https://www.reuters.com/article/canada-property-poll-idCAKBN2IM06V
Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts, Brampton, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto
November 2021 Market Statistics

November 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release November 2021 Stats

Home sales reached a new record for the month of November and the average selling price also reached a new all-time high. New listings were down substantially compared to last year for all market segments – further highlighting the inherent supply issue across all home types in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

GTA REALTORS® reported 9,017 home sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in November 2021 – 3.3 per cent above the November 2020 result, setting a new record. In contrast, new listings were down by 13.2 per cent year-over-year, with double-digit declines for low-rise home types, and condominium apartments.

“Governments at all levels must take coordinated action to increase supply in the immediate term to begin addressing the supply challenges of today, and to work towards satisfying growing demand in the future. The GTA remains the primary destination for new immigrants, and is at the centre of the Canadian economy. For far too long governments have focused on short term bandaid policies to artificially suppress demand. Current market activity highlights decisively that these policies do not work, and unless governments work together to cut red tape, streamline the approval processes, and incentivize mid-density housing ongoing housing affordability challenges will escalate. On this point, we commend the City of Toronto for moving forward with initiatives to facilitate the creation of more mid-density home types, including their current consultations on options to encourage more multiplex development across the city,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark was up by 28.3 per cent year-over-year in November 2021. The average selling price for all home types combined was $1,163,323 – up by 21.7 per cent compared to November 2020.

“A key difference this year compared to last is how the condo segment continues to tighten and experience an acceleration in price growth, particularly in suburban areas. This speaks to the broadening of economic recovery, with first-time buyers moving back into the market in a big way this year. The condo and townhouse segments, with lower price points on average, will remain popular as population growth picks up over the next two years,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +22.6 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 19.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +29.4 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 20.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +19.8 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 14.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +34.4 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 14.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +34.4 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for November 2021   $ 846,634

Percent increase over this time last year +27.9%

Average Days on Market 10

Homes Sold in November 2021 #184 down -5.6%

Posted by Christine Pecharich
20 Unique Home Gifts for Every Person on Your List

20 Unique Home Gifts for Every Person on Your List

Every year, it seems the holidays sneak up on us—and every year, that brings with it the dreaded last-minute gift panic. Finding a present that hits all the right notes can be surprisingly stressful, even when it comes to people you’ve known for years.

But have no fear! We’ve lined up a list of gifts for every “type” on your list. And since we work in real estate, they’re all centered around home life. From the coffee snob to the sports enthusiast, these presents are the perfect way to bring beauty, function or a touch of whimsy to your loved one’s home this holiday season.

 

FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALWAYS IN THE KITCHEN

We all know someone whose kitchen is their happy place—but once all the basics are covered, it can be hard to find the perfect present. These gifts will be a treat for the chef, baker, or food lover on your list, no matter how well equipped they are.

1. The Coffee Snob

Glass Pour-Over Coffeemaker – $75

Have a java lover on your list who just can’t get their brew right at home? This high-end pour-over system makes a smooth brew that can even be refrigerated and reheated so your recipient can enjoy a perfect cup at any time.

2. The Foodie

Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit – $65

Help your favourite gourmand create restaurant-quality meals with this kit, which allows them to grow delicious mushrooms right in their cupboard. All they’ll need to do is soak the package and then mist it with water for a few days, and voila—delicious organic mushrooms!

3. The Baker

Vintage Etched Cake Stand – $87

If you’re lucky enough to have a fabulous home baker on your list, give a gift that reflects the joy their treats bring to others. This lovely glass cake stand is the platform that a beautifully decorated dessert deserves.

4. The Tea Aficionado

Flowering Tea Set – $35

Your favourite tea lover may have tried all of the herbal blends out there, but we bet they haven’t seen tea like this. This set contains two “blossoms” of tea leaves hand-sewn around flowers that bloom when you place them in the included glass teapot and add hot water.

 

FOR THOSE WHO WOULD RATHER BE IN THE BACKYARD

For many of us, time outdoors is the ultimate source of rejuvenation. The nature-lover on your list is sure to appreciate these presents that help them maximize that joy in their daily lives.

5. The Gardener

Large Garden Tote – $66

Dedicated gardeners all need a great bag to carry their gear. This tote is attractive and sturdy and will help them keep their home’s exterior beautiful and welcoming.

6. The Flower Lover

Monthly Flower Subscription – starting at $60/month

If your loved one prefers to enjoy their flora without all the work, a delivery of farm-fresh flowers is sure to surprise and delight. And you can keep the joy blossoming year-round with a weekly, semi-monthly or monthly subscription.

7. The Environmentalist

Reusable Stainless Steel Straws – $14

Know someone who is trying to bring less plastic into their home? This set of reusable metal straws means they’ll never have to buy a box of plastic straws again. And the assortment of sizes ensures that they’ll work with anything from a tall glass of water to a to-go mug.

8. The Outdoor Adventurer

Solar Phone Charger – $50

Have a camper or adventurer on your list? This solar-powered phone charger, which comes with a built-in flashlight and compass, is a must-have. It will also make a great addition to their home emergency kit.

 

FOR THOSE WITH THEIR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE

Like it or not, most of us spend a good chunk of our lives working—whether at a job or on projects and chores around the house. These gifts are designed to make that work a bit easier and more enjoyable.

9. The Remote Worker

Home Office Lap Desk – $45

Working at home can be great—in part because you can work from anywhere in the house. The remote worker on your list will appreciate this lap desk with a built-in mouse pad and phone slot, which will allow them to work comfortably from the couch or the bed without overheating their computer.

10. The Back-to-The-Office Worker

Bento Lunch Box – $35

If your loved one is heading back to the office, it doesn’t mean they have to give up the healthy habit of a home-cooked meal. Send them to work with this stylish lunch box packed full of nutritious food.

11. The Do-It-Yourselfer

Laser Measure – $35

The handy person on your list can say goodbye to unwieldy tape measures with this nifty device. It’s perfect for DIY projects of any size.

12. The Clean Freak

UV Sanitizer and Charger – $70

In the COVID-19 era, we’ve all become a little germaphobic. This UV smartphone sanitizer kills bacteria while it charges. Plus, its clever design enables you to hear your phone notifications while the device is in use.

 

FOR THOSE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR HOBBIES

Of course, there’s a lot more to life than work. If you’re gifting a friend or family member who really lights up when they talk about their hobbies, we’ve got you covered.

13. The Sports Enthusiast

Hockey Stick BBQ Set – $61

Looking for a gift for the sports enthusiast in your life that isn’t another jersey? These BBQ tools made from repurposed hockey sticks are a great pick. Perfect for cooking up food to watch with the game!

14. The Bookworm

The Book Lover’s Journal – $19

Know someone who loves to curl up on the couch with a good book? This journal will help the book-lover on your list keep track of what they’ve read, as well as their ever-growing “to-read” list.

15. The Runner

Marathon Map Hydration Bottle– $49

Help the runner you love to stay hydrated (and motivated) with a water bottle inscribed with their favourite race route. It’s perfect for runs around the neighbourhood or just toting around the house.

16. The Tourist

Travel Backpack – $120

Make it easy for the travel lover on your list to bring back souvenirs. This lightweight backpack folds flat so it’s easy to pack but sturdy enough to carry their new treasures all the way home.

 

FOR THOSE WHO PUT FAMILY FIRST

For many of us, the greatest joy in life comes from our relationship with our family. Help your recipient strengthen and celebrate those all-important connections with these thoughtful gifts.

17. The New Parent

4-in-1 Baby Food Maker – $230

It’s hard to know what to buy for new parents once their registry is cleared out, but if they’re interested in making baby food at home, this tool is a must-have. It makes the process, from steaming to mixing, fast and easy.

18. The Genealogy Fan

DNA Kit – $129

Know someone interested in reconnecting with their ancestral home? This DNA kit can help them trace their geographical heritage and uncover their family history.

19. The Dog Person

Custom Printed Socks – $28

Is your friend’s dog their favourite family member? These adorable socks are sure to put a smile on their face as they cozy up on the couch with their pup. And since you can feature up to two pets on each pair of socks, no one needs to feel left out.

20. The Documentarian

Mini Link Printer – $130

We all have that relative who snaps a million photos at every family event. Help them capture each precious moment with this unique gadget that essentially transforms a smartphone into a Polaroid camera. It makes it easy to customize and print out snapshots to display around the house or insert into a scrapbook for posterity.

 

READY TO GIVE YOURSELF THE ULTIMATE GIFT?

We want to be your real estate consultants through every season of life. So please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to ask for recommendations or referrals any time of year. And when you’re ready to give yourself the gift of a new home, contact us to talk about your options. From finding the right neighbourhood to identifying the amenities that will make the biggest difference to your quality of life, we’re always eager to help

Posted by Christine Pecharich
New Build or Existing Home: Which One Is Right for You?

New Build or Existing Home: Which One Is Right for You?

Homebuyers today are facing a huge dilemma. There simply aren’t enough homes for sale.1

Nationwide, the number of newly listed homes dipped slightly in September, down 1.6% from August. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, that’s only about 2.1 months of inventory, which is far less than the five to six months that is generally needed to strike a healthy balance between supply and demand.2

Given the limited number of available properties, if you’re a buyer in today’s market, you may need to expand your search to include both new construction and resale homes. But it can feel a little like comparing apples to oranges.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you should take into account when choosing between a new build or an existing home.

 

 TIMEFRAME

 How quickly do you want (or need) to move into your next home? Your timeframe can be a determining factor when it comes to choosing between a new build or resale.

 New Build

If you opt for new construction, you may be surprised by how long you have to wait to get the keys to your new digs. Nationally, the average timeline has more than doubled over the past 20 years from 9 to 21 months.1 And according to a survey by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, nearly 60% of builders are reporting delays—averaging six weeks—due to supply-chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic.3

These supply shortages have led to soaring prices, causing some builders to cancel contracts or demand more money from unsuspecting homebuyers long after agreements were signed.4 Unfortunately, this scenario can throw a major wrench in your moving plans and delay your timeline even further.

To minimize these types of surprises, it’s crucial to have a real estate agent represent you in a new home purchase. We can help negotiate contract terms and advise you about the potential risks involved.

 Existing Home

If you’re in a hurry to move into your next residence, then you may want to stick to shopping for an existing home.

You can typically move into a resale home on your closing date.5 While closing on an existing home can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, it’s almost always faster than the time it would take to build a new one.

If you need to move even sooner, it’s sometimes possible to close faster, especially if you’re a cash buyer. In fact, many sellers prefer a quick closing, so it can give you an advantage in a competitive market.

 

LOCATION

 From commute to construction to walkability, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your next neighbourhood.

 New Build

Canada is currently undergoing a major residential construction boom, and rural and smaller urban communities have been the first to benefit—primarily because the single-detached homes located in those areas take less time to build.6 That means, if you opt for a new single-family home, you could be facing a longer commute and ongoing construction for some time.

If you prefer a multifamily unit, there should be an increased supply coming on the market soon. Over the past year, condos and apartments have accounted for 55% of the housing starts. A growing number of these are located in master-planned communities that combine residential, retail, restaurants, and office space—enabling residents to live, work, and play in a single space.7

Existing Home

An existing home is more likely to be located in a neighbourhood with mature trees, established schools, and a deeply-rooted community. As a result, you may find the neighbourhood’s trajectory to be more predictable than an up-and-coming area.

But the amenities may be lacking and the infrastructure dated when compared to newer communities. And while some homebuyers love the charm and eclectic feel of an older neighbourhood, others prefer the sleek and cohesive look of a newer development.

 

MAINTENANCE

 Are you a DIY enthusiast, or do you prefer a low-maintenance lifestyle? Set realistic expectations about how much time, effort, and money you want to devote to maintaining your next home.

 New Build

When you build a home, everything is brand new. Therefore, in the first few years at least, you can expect less required maintenance and repairs. A 2019 survey found that millennials’ homebuying regrets often came down to maintenance issues, rather than other concerns.8 So if you would rather spend your weekends exploring your new neighbourhood than fixing a leaky faucet, you may be happier buying a turnkey build.

That doesn’t mean, though, that a new home will be entirely maintenance-free. In fact, depending on the builder, you could find yourself repairing more than you expected. Some home builders have reputations for shoddy construction and subpar materials, so it’s important to choose one with a solid reputation. We can help you identify the quality builders in our area.

 Existing Home

No matter how good a deal you got when you purchased it, you could come to regret buying an older home if it later costs you heavily in unexpected maintenance and repairs. For example, according to the home service professional network HomeStars, the average price to replace an HVAC system is $4,995. And you can expect to pay a similar amount ($4,750) for a new asphalt shingle roof.9

Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for these large expenditures ahead of time. We always recommend that our buyers hire a certified home inspector, whether they buy a new or existing home. Once we have the inspector’s report, we can negotiate with the seller on your behalf for reasonable repairs or concessions.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

 On a quest for greener living? If so, there are several factors to consider when deciding on your next home.

 New Build

There’s a growing demand for energy-efficient housing, and many builders are rising to the challenge. Currently, more than one million homes in Canada have received an EnerGuide Rating, which measures a home’s energy performance against a benchmark.10 While all newly-constructed housing must meet the National Building Code requirements, there are a number of certifications that homes can earn if they receive an EnerGuide rating that exceeds these minimum standards.

Examples include the Net Zero label from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, which is awarded to homes that are 80% more energy efficient than conventional homes and utilize a renewable energy system to fulfill their remaining energy needs. ENERGY STAR and R-2000 are other well-regarded certifications that can be earned by homes that meet certain performance standards. So if energy efficiency is a top priority, a new home with a low EnerGuide rating or recognized designation may be a good choice for you.10

Existing Home

Of course, a basic tenet of sustainable living is: reduce, reuse, recycle. And since a resale home already exists, it automatically comes with a lower carbon footprint. Research has also shown that remodeling or retrofitting an older home is often greener than building one from scratch.11

With some energy-conservation effort and strategic upgrades, environmentally-conscious consumers can feel good about buying an existing home, as well.

 

DESIGN

Double vanity? Kitchen island? Whirlpool tub? Must-have design features could drive your decision to build or buy resale.

New Build

With a new home, you can bet that everything will look shiny and perfect when you move in. Builders tend to put a lot of emphasis on visual details and follow the latest design trends. For example, newly-built homes are likely to include features that the majority of today’s buyers want, such as double bathroom sinks, kitchen islands, and walk-in pantries. They’re also less likely to include home theatre rooms or whirlpool tubs, both of which have lost mass appeal.12

However, some buyers complain of the cookie-cutter feel of new homes since they are often built with a similar aesthetic. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t incorporate your own style. We can help you negotiate custom features and upgrades to personalize the space and make it feel like your own.

 Existing Home

In some of the most coveted neighbourhoods, an older home with classic styling and character can be highly sought after. But unless the previous homeowners have invested in tasteful updates, an existing home is also more likely to look dated.

While some buyers prefer the traditional look and character of an older home, others prefer something more modern.  If that’s the case, we can help you find a resale home that leaves enough room in your budget to renovate it to your liking.

  

WHICHEVER PATH YOU CHOOSE, WE CAN HELP

When it comes to choosing between a new build or an existing home, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There are numerous factors to consider, and you may have to make some compromises along the way. But the homebuying process doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.

We’re here to help. And in many cases, our homebuyer guidance and expertise are available at no cost to you! That’s because the home seller or home builder may compensate us with a commission at closing.

Some new-construction homebuyers make the mistake of visiting a builder’s sales office or even purchasing a home without their own real estate representative. But keep in mind, the builder’s agent or “sales consultant” has their best interests in mind—not yours.

We are knowledgeable about both the new construction and resale home options in our area, and we can help you make an informed decision, negotiate a fair price, and avoid mistakes that can cost you time and money. So give us a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation—and let’s start searching for your next home!

 

 

Sources:

  1. RBC –
    https://thoughtleadership.rbc.com/home-builders-are-tackling-canadas-housing-supply-shortage/
  2. Canadian Real Estate Association –
    https://creastats.crea.ca/en-CA/
  3. Financial Post –
    https://financialpost.com/real-estate/homebuilders-have-been-busy-during-the-pandemic-but-canada-still-needs-more-housing
  4. Better Dwelling –
    https://betterdwelling.com/canadian-home-builders-are-asking-buyers-for-more-money-to-finish-building/#_
  5. Legal Line –
    https://www.legalline.ca/legal-answers/when-can-you-move-into-your-newly-purchased-home/
  6. Financial Post –
    https://financialpost.com/real-estate/there-has-never-been-more-housing-under-construction-in-canada-but-the-city-that-needs-it-the-most-is-missing-the-boom
  7. BC Business – https://www.bcbusiness.ca/2021-Real-Estate-Report-With-a-push-from-COVID-the-BC-property-market-enters-new-territory
  8. Bankrate –
    https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/homebuyer-regret-survey-may-2021/
  9. HomeStars –
    https://homestars.com/cost-guides/
  10. Canadian Home Builders’ Association –
    https://blog.chba.ca/2021/05/14/are-all-energy-efficient-homes-the-same/
  11. Advanced Materials Research – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271358381_Comparative_Study_of_New_Construction_and_Renovation_Project_Based_on_Carbon_Emission

Canadian Home Builders’ Association –
https://blog.chba.ca/2020/11/26/todays-new-home-buyers-preferences/

Posted by Christine Pecharich
October 2021 Market Statistics

October 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release October 2021 Stats

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) reached the second-highest level on record for the month of October. However, the inventory of homes for sale did not keep up with demand. The number of new listings was down by approximately one-third compared to October 2020. Market conditions tightened across all major home types compared to last year, and the annual rate of average price growth remained in the double digits, including for the resurgent condominium apartment segment.

“The only sustainable way to address housing affordability in the GTA is to deal with the persistent mismatch between demand and supply. Demand isn’t going away. And that’s why all three levels of government need to focus on supply. The federal government has stated that collaboration with provinces and municipalities is required. This collaboration could be spearheaded, at least in part, with housing-related incentives tied to federal infrastructure investment,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

GTA REALTORS® reported 9,783 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in October 2021 – down by 6.9 per cent compared to the October 2020 record of 10,503. A strong double-digit increase in condominium apartment sales mitigated annual declines in low-rise home sales. The number of new listings entered into the system was down by almost a third over the same period, with consistent declines across all major home types.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 24.2 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all homes combined rose by 19.3 per cent year-over-year to $1,155,345. The low-rise market continued to drive price growth in October, but the annual price growth for condominium apartments was in the double digits as well.

“The tight market conditions across all market segments and areas of the GTA is testament to the broadening scope of economic recovery in the region and household confidence that this recovery will continue. A key part of future economic development in the GTA will be the ability to provide adequate ownership and rental housing supply so that people can continue to move to the region to live, work and spend money in the local economy,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +25.6 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 18.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +32.4 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 20.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +22.0 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 25.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +4.0 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 14.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +38.2 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for October 2021   $ 812,588

Percent increase over this time last year +26.5%

Average Days on Market 10

Homes Sold in October 2021 #194 down -26.8%

Posted by Christine Pecharich
September 2021 Market Statistics

September 2021 Market Statistics

Market Watch

GTA REALTORS® Release September 2021 Stats

September marked the transition from the slower summer market to the busier fall market in the in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Every year, we generally see an uptick in sales, average selling price and listings after Labour Day, and September 2021 was no different. Sales increased relative to August and were also at the third-highest mark on record for the month of September. The average selling price was up both month-over-month and year-over-year.

GTA REALTORS® reported 9,046 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in September 2021 – up in line with the regular seasonal trend from August. Compared to last year, market conditions tightened noticeably, with sales representing a substantially higher share of listings, and a significantly lower number of new listings across the board. Resurgence in the condo market was a factor in the higher share of listings sold. The total number of sales was down 18 per cent from 2020’s record September result, in large part due to the lower number of new listings, which were down 34 per cent from the same time last year.

“Demand has remained incredibly robust throughout September with many qualified buyers who would buy a home tomorrow provided they could find a suitable property. With new listings in September down by one third compared to last year, purchasing a home for many is easier said than done. The lack of housing supply and choice has reached a critical juncture. Bandaid policies to artificially suppress demand have not been effective. This is not an issue that can be solved by one level of government alone. There needs to be collaboration federally, provincially, and locally on a solution,” said Kevin Crigger, TRREB President.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 19.1 per cent year-over-year in September 2021. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 18.3 per cent year-over-year to $1,136,280. “Price growth in September continued to be driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semidetached houses and townhouses. However, competition between buyers for condo apartments has picked up markedly over the past year, which has led to an acceleration in price growth over the past few months as first-time buyers reentered the ownership market. Look for this trend to continue,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB Chief Market Analyst.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +32.1 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 19.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +40.2 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 20.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +31.9 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 23.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +43.6 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 14.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +43.6 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for September 2021   $ 776,802

Percent increase over this time last year +18.6%

Average Days on Market 12

Homes Sold in September 2021 #191 down -31.5%

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville
Shut Down Home Intruders With These 7 Safety Strategies

Shut Down Home Intruders With These 7 Safety Strategies

A break and enter occurs every 90 seconds in Canada.1 Fortunately, there are some proven tactics you can use to decrease your likelihood of a home invasion.

Most burglars won’t go to extreme lengths to enter your home. They are looking for easy access with minimal risk. A monitored security system can be an effective deterrent—homes without one are 300% more likely to be burglarized—but it isn’t the only way to protect your property.2 The strategies below can help to maximize your home’s security and minimize your chances of being targeted by intruders.

Thinking about listing your home? We have some additional recommendations for you. Contact us to find out the procedures we use to keep our clients and their property safe and secure during the buying and selling process.

 

  1. Check Your Doors and Windows

According to insurance company SGI Canada, the most common entry point for a burglar is through a basement or ground floor door or window.1 So securing these points of entry is essential.

  • Evaluate the condition of your doors and locks.

A steel door is generally considered the strongest, but many homeowners prefer the look of wood. Whatever material you choose, make sure it has a solid core and pair it with a sturdy deadbolt lock that is a minimum of 2.5 cm long when thrown.3

  • Add window locks and security film.

Aftermarket window locks are an easy and inexpensive upgrade that can provide an additional layer of protection for your home. Choose a lock that is compatible with your window frame material and a style that is appropriate for the window type. And consider using a specialty film on windows that are adjacent to a door. Security film holds shattered glass in place, making the windows more difficult to penetrate.4 

 

  1. Landscape for Security

When it comes to outdoor landscaping, many of us think about maintenance and curb appeal. But the choices we make can impact our home’s security, as well. Thieves target homes that they can enter and exit without being detected. Here are a few tweaks that can make your property less appealing to potential intruders.

  • Increase visibility from the street.

A privacy hedge may keep out nosy neighbours’, but it can also welcome thieves—so trim overgrown trees and shrubs that obstruct the view of your property. According to police officers, they offer an ideal environment for criminals to hide.5

  • Place thorny bushes and noisy gravel below windows.

Don’t eliminate shrubbery altogether, though. Certain hedges can actually offer a deterrent to robbers. Plant thorny rose bushes or sharp-leaved holly beneath your first-story windows for both beauty and protection. Add some loose gravel that crunches when disturbed.

 

  1. Light Your Exterior

When it’s dark outside, criminals don’t need to rely on overgrown shrubbery to hide. Luckily, a well-designed outdoor lighting system can make your home both safer and more attractive.

  • Install landscape lighting.

Eliminate pockets of darkness around your yard and home’s perimeter with strategically placed outdoor lights. Use a combination of flood, spot, well, and pathway lights to add interest and highlight natural and architectural details.

  • Use motion-activated security lights to startle intruders.

The soft glow of landscape lighting isn’t always enough to dissuade a determined intruder. But a motion-activated security light may stop him in his tracks. And if you choose a Wi-Fi connected smart version, you can receive notifications on your phone when there’s movement on your property.

 

  1. Make It Look Like You’re Home

Motion-activated lights aren’t the only way to make an intruder think you’re at home. New technology has made it increasingly possible to monitor your home while you’re away. This is especially important since most burglaries take place between 10 am and 3 pm, when many of us are at work or school.6

  • Turn on your TV and leave a car in the driveway.

A survey of convicted burglars revealed that the majority avoid breaking into homes if they can hear a television or if there’s a vehicle parked in the driveway.7 If you’re away from home, try connecting your TV to a timer or smart plug. And when you travel, leave your car out or ask a neighbour to park theirs in your driveway.

  • Install a video doorbell.

In that same survey, every respondent said they would knock or ring the doorbell before breaking into a home. A video doorbell not only alerts you to the presence of a visitor, it also enables you to see, hear, and talk with them remotely from your smartphone—so they’ll never know you’re gone.

 

  1. Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Few home invasions are conducted by criminal masterminds. In fact, a survey of convicted offenders found that only 12% planned their robberies in advance, while the majority acted spontaneously.8 That’s one of the reasons security experts caution against placing valuables where they are visible from the outside.9

  • Check sightlines from your doors and windows.

Don’t tempt robbers with a clear view of the most commonly stolen items, which are cash (think purses and wallets), jewelry, electronics, firearms, and drugs (both illegal and prescription).5 Take a walk around your property to make sure none of these items are easily visible.

  • Secure valuables in a safe.

Consider the possessions that are on display inside your home, as well. It’s always a good idea to lock up firearms, sensitive documents, and expensive or irreplaceable items when you have housekeepers or other service providers on your property.

 

  1. Highlight Your Security Measures

While it’s prudent to hide your valuables, it’s equally important to advertise your home’s security features. In surveys, convicted burglars admit to avoiding homes with obvious protective measures in place.7,8

  • Install outdoor cameras.

Security cameras are the most common home protection device and for good reason.10 Not only do they help prevent crime (burglars are known to avoid them11), they can offer peace of mind for homeowners who want to sneak a peek at their property while away. And if you do experience a break and enter, security camera footage can help police identify your intruder.

  • Post warning signs.

Security system placards and beware-of-dog signs are also shown to be effective deterrents.8 Of course, you should back up your threats with a noisy alarm and loud barking dog for maximum impact.

 

  1. Limit What You Share on Social Media

Social media platforms can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it’s easy to reveal more than you’ve intended. Be thoughtful about what you’re posting—and who has access.

  • Delay posting photos or travel updates.

It can be tempting to upload a concert selfie or pictures from your beach vacation. But these types of photos scream: “My house is unoccupied!” Try to wait until you’ve returned home to share the photos on social media.

  • Set privacy restrictions on your accounts.

Think twice about connecting with strangers or casual acquaintances on social media. If you enjoy sharing family updates and personal photos, it’s safer to limit your followers to those you truly know and trust.

 

YOUR HOME IS SAFE WITH US

We take home security seriously. That’s why we have screening procedures in place to keep our clients and their homes safe when they are for sale. We also remind our buyers to change the locks before they move into their new homes and provide referrals to locksmiths and home security companies that can help. To learn more about our procedures and how you can stay safe during the buying and selling process, contact us to schedule a free consultation!

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. SGI Canada –
    https://www.sgicanada.ca/news?title=preventing-break-ins
  2. Bankrate –
    https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/house-burglary-statistics/
  3. Square One –
    https://www.squareone.ca/resource-centres/home-personal-safety/preventing-break-ins
  4. SafeWise –
    https://www.safewise.com/blog/10-simple-ways-to-secure-your-new-home/
  5. Toronto Police Department –
    https://www.torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention/environmental.pdf
  6. Canadian Security Professionals –
    https://www.cspalarms.ca/blog/safety/home-robberies-by-the-numbers-when-you-should-be-the-most-alert/
  7. KGW News –
    https://www.kgw.com/article/news/investigations/86-burglars-say-how-they-break-into-homes/283-344213396
  8. Science Daily –
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516160916.htm
  9. org –
    https://www.security.org/home-security-systems/home-invasion-protection/
  10. SafeWise –
    https://www.safewise.com/resources/security-stats-facts/
  11. The Guardian –
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/18/former-burglars-barking-dogs-cctv-best-deterrent

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts