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Teri Lynn & Norm Hilson

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  • Downtown Milton has something for everyone

    Downtown Milton has something for everyone 


    Milton Canadian Champion

    With its historic charm and 180 shops and services, Downtown Milton is a preferred destination not just for locals, but those throughout the GTA.

    People love Downtown Milton for its small town character and wide variety of unique stores and restaurants, as well as the vibrant events organized by the Downtown Milton Business Improvement Area (DMBIA).

    The area is defined by Bell Street to the west, Fulton Street to the east, Mill Street to the north and Mary Street to the south.

    Of all the fun events offered throughout the year, one of the most anticipated is always Downtown For the Holidays. The area is lit with sparkling Christmas lights, carolers come out to sing, businesses offer special promotions and horse drawn wagon rides are offered.

    In the summer, people flock to Main Street for The Chamber of Commerce's Farmers' Market, where fruits and vegetables picked fresh that morning are available.

    The DMBIA always makes sure children love visiting the downtown area, with their annual Easter Egg Hunt and Tiny Tots Trick or Treat.

    The diverse events organized to bring the community together also include Classic Cruise Night in July and the Downtown Milton Street Festival in June, co-hosted by The Town of Milton.

    Even when there's not a specific event officially on, the heart of the community is a special place. There are local small businesses you just can't find anywhere else. Locally owned and operated shops and services offer unique items and experiences. Whether you want a pedicure, a new outfit, updated eyeglasses or a delicious meal, Downtown Milton has it all. Click here for the Downtown Directory of shops and services.

    Milton's downtown is nestled in a picturesque setting and the DMBIA always makes an effort to compliment the natural beauty of the area with hanging flower baskets and garden beds.

    The Downtown business owners take pride in their neighbourhood and enjoy giving back to their community. Every September, participating businesses support The  United Way of Milton through the Paint the Town Red campaign by donating proceeds from their sales.

    To find out about all the latest events that you can enjoy in Downtown Milton, click here to visit their Facebook page.

  • Quebec boards file motion against FSBO


    In what will surely become a landmark move, the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) has filed an application for authorization to institute a class action suit against a major for-sale-by-owner player in the province.
    The proposed lawsuit accuses for sale by owner (FSBO) company DuProprio of “systematically engaging in deceptive advertising campaigns for years, misleading Québec consumers about the so-called savings associated with DuProprio's services, and about the supposed advantages of its real estate services compared to those of brokers,” the QFREB said in a press release this morning.
    The board conglomerate, which represents the province’s 12 real estate boards and 13,000 real estate professionals, says DuProprio explicitly promises its clients they’ll incur less financial strain by using its services as opposed to paying a real estate agent’s commission. The QFREB says that statement fails to consider the various real estate commission structures available to buyers and sellers.
    Further, the QFREB asserts DuProprio slanders the industry by claiming agents do not protect consumers from the perils of purchasing real estate. Again, the FSBO company fails to consider the insurance programs offered by many brokerages for the purpose of consumer protection, the federation argues.
    "In Québec, the legislator has ruled that real estate brokers should have received professional training and hold a licence issued by the OACIQ,” says Éric Vallières, a lawyer with McMillian, the Montreal firm representing the QFREB. “They are also subject to strict requirements and high standards of service."
    The fight against FSBO models is prevalent across the country, leading to advertising campaigns on both sides of the argument. Agents in the REP forum, however, have been pushing back against companies like DuProprio and Property Guys, arguing an agent’s services go well beyond an MLS post.
    “If you get an experienced agent who knows how to negotiate, who spends money on advertising, who can do the open houses, who ensures they have a legitimate buyer, then you’re way better off than selling by owner,” Janette Graf-King, a real estate agent with Re/Max, says. “You get what you pay for.”

  • Real estate is only viable retirement strategy

    It may be a bitter pill to swallow for boomers headed into retirement with only meagre returns on fixed-income investments, but the advice of a leading real estate expert may keep others from following their lead.

    “Many Canadians today are having trouble with their retirement strategy and they are worried about outliving their money,” says Bruce Firestone, an investor and broker from Ottawa.

    “There are a few reasons for that: inflation, low interest rates and saving. Most people don’t have defined benefit pensions anymore.”

    Firestone will share his secrets on how to develop successful real estate investment alternatives during his keynote session atCREW’s Toronto InvestorForum, which will be held on March 28 and 29 at The International Centre.

    He will also speak about finding ways to improve returns by adding differentiated value and diversifying, which he says should include owning your own home, buying some residential rentals, investing in small commercial properties and holding some land.

    “The longest journey is the one where you never take the first step,” adds Firestone. “People think nothing of buying $100,000 of poor returning mutual funds, but hesitate to buy a duplex or industrial condo with double-digit returns.

    “Real estate is the one retirement strategy that really works for the average person.”

    Written by Jamie Henry Real Estate Magazine 

  • Buyers Awaken

    Buyers finally out of hibernation

    Written by  Grainne Burns
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    Buyers finally out of hibernation

    Home buyers are finally stepping out of their winter slumber and snapping up new listings.

    Property seekers are finally seeing some sunshine in the market with a litany of new listings coming onto key markets in recent weeks, according to a new report.

    There is also some good news for buyers from the new Royal LePage House Price Survey with most regions recording year-over-year price growth, with the average price of a home in Canada rising between 2.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent.

    “Suggestions of an overheated real estate market and bubble continue within the mainstream dialogue, but are becoming less frequent,” says Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage . “Of the core housing types, the condominium segment remains the most vulnerable to short-term price softness in light of increased inventory, but the situation is limited to only a few cities.”

    In the first quarter of 2014, the average price of a two-storey home increased 5.4 per cent to $428,943, while detached bungalows rose 4.4 per cent year-over-year to $380,765. Standard condominiums posted slightly lower gains of 2.5 per cent to $252,174.

    While Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton enjoyed the highest prices, parts of Atlantic Canada, which is still suffering the wrath of winter, posted the lowest gains overall.

  • Canadian homes now more affordable

    Canadian homes now more affordable

    At last, homeownership is within the grasp of some Canadians but their choices may be somewhat limited.

    Houses have become “slightly” more affordable for the average Canadian but they will have to think small.
    According to RBC’s latest Housing Trends and Affordability report, household incomes outpaced a modest rise in mortgage carrying costs associated with a buying a home in the fourth quarter of 2012.

    "When you look at Canada's year-on-year affordability trend, 2013 was little changed from 2012, and even from 2011 or 2010, for that matter,” says Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist with RBC. “That being said, this stationary trend also means that a divergence still exists - owning a detached home at market value is more of a stretch for homebuyers than owning a condo."

    RBC says they expect home resales to rise 0.6 per cent to 461,000 units in 2014, keeping Canada’s housing market near its recent “not-too-hot and not-too-cold levels.”

    Regionally, it was a mixed bag of results. While conditions have improved in B.C., housing affordability remains “relatively poor” while a surge in new listings in Manitoba has allowed greater affordability. Ontario remains unchanged while houses have become more in reach in Alberta.

  • New To Canada??

    Qualified homebuyers who have immigrated or relocated to Canada can qualify for mortgage insurance.


    Borrower qualification:

    Must have immigrated or relocated to Canada within the last 36 months.

    3 months minimum full time employment in Canada (borrowers being transferred under a corporate relocation program are exempt)


    Must have a valid work permit or obtained landed immigrant status.
    For LTV's 95% or greater, down payment must be from own resources. For LTV's less than 95%, the remainder may be gifted from an immediate family member or from a corporate subsidy.


    All debts held outside of the country must be included in the total debt servicing ratio (Rental income earned outside of Canada is to be excluded from the calculation).

  • The Canadian Mortgage Myth

    It is all over the news - That Canadians have debt levels that are skyrocketing, particularly when it come to home ownership and mortgages.  

    If you listen to what a lot of the pundits are saying it means that in the event of a softening of the real estate market most home owners will find themselves in a negative equity situation.  That constant barrage of negative news is a burden on the average Canadian who has a limited understanding of credit, and in particular mortgages.

    For most of us our day to day concern is how much money is coming out of our pocket each month.  We pay a rather significant portion of our incomes each month to tax and what is left over seems to slip through our fingers before we realize it is gone.  Living in Canada is an expensive proposition, albeit in most people's opinion very worth it.  We have one of the highest standards of living in the world and for the most part the economy is stable and even robust.  When the media prints a story they know that bad news sells, and so very often we see a doom and gloom approach to reporting.  What is interesting is that government officials are also quick to ring the alarm bells.

    In Canada we have an amazingly robust housing market despite what is happening around the world or what is being reported to us in the media.  As of March 2013 CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) reported that the average Canadian home owner has 45% equity in their homes and that delinquency rates on mortgages are at less than half a percent.  You can view CMHC's report HERE.  This would indicate that Canadians, although they may have larger mortgages than 20 years ago, are successfully building equity in their homes and they are making their payments on time.

    Based on the information provided in the report we also have to consider that the possible "crash" of property values would have to be very significant, by at least 45%, before the average Canadian would be in a negative equity situation.  A 45% slide in the value of homes would also mean that other aspects of the Canadian economy would have to tumble, like the energy sector, stock market, resource market, and unemployment would have to suddenly skyrocket.

    Could all of this happen?  Of course it could, but given that the United States economy is growing (our largest trade partner) and much of the rest of world is recovering, it is not likely.  If we factor in the recent strict changes to mortgage lending in Canada, we can only expect that equity in homes will continue to climb enhancing the personal wealth of home owners.  True the reduced amortization and stricter guidelines have created challenges for some Canadians when they attempt to purchase a home.  If these challenges are understood and a careful plan is put into place however, home ownership is not as far out of reach as some believe.
  • 5 issues you'll miss without a home inspection

    In hot housing markets, buyers sometimes offer to waive the inspection to help their offer stand out from the crowd. But most real estate professionals agree this is a bad idea. Here's 5 reasons why.

    Mice and insects are easy and fairly inexpensive to treat, but the damage they leave behind isn’t always. A good inspector can identify termites, carpenter ants and other critters. Replacing or repairing the damage can be costly. Knowing about it before you move in is key.

    Structural Defects:
    Pests, settling or poor construction can cause serious problems and lower your home’s value over time. Many times this damage isn’t immediately visible to the untrained eye.

    Electrical Wiring:  
    Improper, rusted or other problems with a home’s wiring can lead to serious dangers and expensive repairs. Because most of the wiring is covered, it takes a professional inspection to identify potential problems. 

    Mold is a common problem and proper removal can be very expensive. Savvy sellers will often cover visible signs of mold with paint, carpeting or tile. They may also be unaware of mold lurking behind walls and cabinets. A trained home inspector can alert you to potential problems and allow you to request further inspections.

    Depending on the type of roof on a house, it has to be replaced every 10-50 years. While it doesn’t have to be done very often, it is a huge expense. And, an improperly replaced roof can lead to water damage, premature aging and other serious problems. Your home inspection will alert you to potential problems, such as damage from insects and other pests, and whether or not you will need to replace the roof in the near future. Because the roof isn’t easily visible when you look at the home, the inspection may be the only chance you have to gather this information.

  • Is the government set to heat up the market?

    Is the government set to heat up the market?

    Is the government about to reverse its aggressive market cool down strategies?

    In the face of idling home sales, there is growing speculation among economists that the BoC will soon have to fight deflationary trends, in part fueled by idling home sales.

    “The inflation right now is very low and it will stay very low in the coming months,” Benoit Duricher, senior economist for Desjardins Group said to the Canadian Press. “So the Bank of Canada should be worried about that.”

    That concern was front and centre for industry players expected to parse every word of Wednesday’s BoC rate update. The bank, as expected, held its overnight rate at one per cent, although it lowered its forecast for inflation at the same time suggesting the economy is strengthening.

    The bank anticipates that economy grew by 1.8 per cent in 2013, but will expand another 2.5 per cent this year.

    That may be overly optimistic, say some analysts, given recent comments by the bank’s governor, Stephen Poloz.

    “If the U.S. economy is strengthening as we believe, those will be very welcome kinds of market pressures,” Poloz said on CBC’s the Lang and O’Leary Exchange earlier this month. “But it’ll still be up to us what our monitored policy should be, independently of what’s going on in the U.S. and that will depend on where is inflation relative to where we expect it to be. Right now it’s expected to be too low for too long so that’s where we sit.”
    Many pundits are pointing to the aggressive measures the federal government has taken to rein in a hot housing market as a main contributor to slower-than-expected inflationary growth, which has been held below the two per cent target for 19 consecutive months.

    It remains to be seen if the central bank will lower interest rates in a bid to encourage positive inflation.


    No risky business in 2014, Scotiabank says

    Investors should calm down and carry on in 2014. That is the word from Scotiabank who are playing down the so-called risks that may affect market conditions next year.

    The big risks – high household debt, affordability issues and muted wage growth – should not pose a serious threat to the Canadian housing market in 2014, despite what the naysayers say.
    That is according to the new Global Real Estate Trends report by Scotiabank Economics. They say that improving global growth, attractive borrowing costs and population growth in key demographic segments should be enough to support housing demand next year.

    The rental market will also remain strong in 2014 thanks to the “widening cost premium between owning over renting” in major centres. However, they do warn that vacancy rates “could edge up next year alongside an increase in supply from recently completed investor-owned units."

    Alberta, in particular, is tipped to outperform national housing markets.

    Scotiabank is also expecting a moderately lower level of resale transactions next year with home prices also remaining relatively flat. “Downside price risk is greater in the more amply supplies high-rise segment than for single-family homes,” the report says. Investor interest in renovation projects may also wane in 2014 as more people focus on their spending and general pricing environment.

  • Check Your Insurance Policy

    With the ice storm causing havoc across the country, homeowners are being advised to safeguard their properties and remove any debris that may cause damage.

    As Quebec, Southern Ontario and the Maritimes continue to battle against the elements, affected homeowners need to check their policies as soon as possible, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
    The ice-storm has caused widespread damage to many homes across the provinces, with many owners uncertain of what is and is not covered under their insurance policy.
    Damage to homes from falling trees or ice is generally covered by a homeowner’s policy, including damage to contents when water or snow enters through opening caused by high winds. 
    The IBC says homeowners need to contact their own insurance company if there is damage caused by a neighbour’s tree and to take images of all incidents. 
    Many homeowners’ policies have standard deductibles of $500, while a claim of burst water pipes or food spoilage caused by power failure could also be made. 
    With Christmas just one day away and many homes still without power, the IBC warns those that are choosing to stay hotels that such expenses may not be covered.

  • Team Hilson Business Page On Facebook

    We would like to invite everyone to our business page on facebook. Just log in to your account seach Team Hilson Real Estate and click LIKE we will keep the page updated with listings, and important news in the Real Estate world.


                                                     Team Hilson

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