Stay Calm, Stay Home. Plan

Sunday Mar 29th, 2020

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I hope you and your family are well and staying healthy. In our family, we've all (myself, my wife, our three kids and dog) been at home for 17 days now, and will likely be here together for quite a while longer.

I hope your self isolation has been smooth - it can be challenging at times!

We are living in these unprecedented circumstances, what we do now will drastically shape our future for the upcoming years and decades.
My message to you today is from the perspective of an experienced and award-winning realtor, regarding real estate: stay calm, stay put and plan for the future.

What you need to know for your real estate

Real estate will go through booms and busts. But - Real estate goes up in the long run.
Check out this chart below from an article in the Huffington Post from 2017.

It shows what I want to share with you perfectly. Focus on the Trend line -- notice how through the booms and busts the trend line shows a 10-fold increase in real estate values!

 

We live in a highly desirable part of the world, and the influx of people moving to the GTA/ Ontario/ Canada will continue, keeping our real estate market in good shape.

Speaking more practically, we all need a home to live in, and real estate values in a market are relative.
In other words, if you sell high, and buy around the same time, you will buy high too and if you buy low, you sell low. Sure, the ideal is sell high, buy low, but where will you live in the meantime? Are you willing to play that game?

I’ll give you an example:

  • In 2017, we sold a client’s previous home for $1,200,000 and bought current home for $1,200,000. A lateral move.
  • In late summer 2018, about a year later a similar home to their new one sold for around $1,050,000.
  • SAY WHAT?!?! $150k gone? Nope, not at all. Their old house wouldn’t have sold for more than $1,050,000 in summer 2018.
  • Lateral move either way. We bought and sold at the same time. We facilitated calm, smooth transactions - no panic needed!


In 2017 as the market was rising fast, I generally advised my clients who were ready to move to:

  • Get your house ready to sell, we’ll photograph and get everything ready to go so that when we buy something, we can be on the market the next morning (so we sell in the exact same market we bought in)
  • Buy first – with bidding wars, you don’t want to panic buy (if you had already sold with nowhere to live) and overspend. And it’s always best to know where you’re going.
  • When we sell, CLOSE QUICKLY. If the market turns, we don’t want to be caught holding two properties (plenty of people got caught in May 2017 when the market slowed down)


Today, as I continue to track the real estate market, I'd like to share with you my advice based on the numbers I'm seeing every day:

  • The pandemic takes precedent. If you don’t ABSOLUTELY need to move, stay put. It may be fall before this dust settles.
  • If you must move now for whatever reasons, make sure your finances are in order. Job secured, cash on hand for rainy days.
  • Sell first. (Cautiously. Digitally.) – I’d want to make absolutely sure the buyer is going to come through with the cash and close before I commit to buying something from someone else.
  • Buy second. (After first place closes. You can always rent for a period of time if need be – for me, the security of knowing the first buyer’s cash is in the bank is paramount now.
  • Call me, we can chat if you feel you need to make a move now. 

 

Some Homeowner Tips for Now

As a homeowner, some tips:

  • Take stock of the “Fix It” list around your home. Tackle some of the DIY projects. If you need guidance, I’m a skype/zoom/facetime call away and would love to help out (from a safe distance 😊 )
  • If there are jobs that require a trade, itemize them, and contact trades (call me for referrals) to book them for when the pandemic is under control. You don’t need them in your house now.
  • Take stock of your finances. See where you can trim spending and divert it to paying off your mortgage faster.
  • Declutter. You may have plenty of excess things in your home you don’t really need any more. Set them aside, and donate / sell them (safely or store in garage to donate later).


Most importantly:

  • Take care of yourselves and your families.
  • Take care of this wonderful society we all share.
  • Help others when you can, safely.
  • Get your news from reliable sources only (The CBC News App is totally free -- and so is CBC Gem!).
  • Don’t panic. Stay Calm & Stay Home. This too shall pass.
  • Learn something new.
  • Stay connected. Community is more important now than ever. Want to connect? I'm here on your favourite digital platform!


I’m always here to help.

Alexx

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