First impressions are critical when it comes to real estate so if you’re thinking of selling your home, you’ll want to ensure your foyer feels spacious and inviting. This month’s newsletter discusses some ideas to help revamp this often neglected space.
We’ve also included some tips that will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions as well as a few apps to help make your life a little easier throughout 2016!
Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!
GTA REALTORS® report record year for TREB MLS® home sales!
The second best sales result on record for December capped off a record year for TREB MLS® home sales in the GTA.
Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that there were 4,945 sales reported in December bringing the 2015 calendar year total to 101,299 – a substantial 9.2 per cent increase compared to 2014 as a whole. Strong annual sales increases were experienced for all major home types last year.
"Home ownership is a quality long-term investment that families can live in while the value increases over time. A relatively strong regional economy in the GTA coupled with low borrowing costs kept a record number of households – first-time buyers and existing homeowners alike – confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term," said Mr. McLean.
"If the market had benefited from more listings, the 2015 sales total would have been greater. As it stands, we begin 2016 with a substantial amount of pent-up demand," continued Mr. McLean.
The average selling price for 2015 as a whole was $622,217 – up 9.8 per cent compared to $566,624 in 2014. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark Price was up by a similar annual rate of 10 per cent in December. GTA home price growth was driven by the low-rise segments of the market, but condominium apartment price growth was generally well-above the rate of inflation as well through 2015.
"TREB will release its official 2016 outlook later in January, but suffice to say that the demand for ownership housing is expected to remain very strong in 2016. Despite stricter mortgage lending guidelines and the possibility of slightly higher borrowing costs, on average, there will be many buyers who remain upbeat on the purchase of ownership housing," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
Be sure to set some time aside for Toronto’s Winterlicious 2016!
Winterlicious 2016 is Toronto's winter culinary celebration. It offers the perfect opportunity to discover delicious cuisine at more than 200 restaurants and experience unique culinary events around the city.
Winterlicious kicks off on January 29th and runs until February 11th. This culinary adventure gives you a chance to indulge in creative cuisine from around the world at great prix fixe value.
Try something new, exotic, traditional or try it all! Just be sure to set some time aside to experience Winterlicious as there’s something for every foodie at this festival!
Enhancing your home’s entryway can make a huge difference!
Your foyer's the first impression people get when they enter your home so it’s critical to properly showcase this severely underrated area, especially if you’re trying to sell your home.
Transforming your foyer from a dumping ground into a grand entrance is easy! Here are a few ways to create an amazing first impression in an area that typically experiences a lot of wear and tear:
Clear Clutter - A chaotic looking hallway will turn buyers off so remove clothing that’s no longer in season. Organize hats and scarves in stylish baskets and stack footwear in an orderly fashion.
Lighten Up - Foyers are usually fairly dark so clean light fixtures and use a brighter bulb to cast more light. Painting the walls a light shade will open up the area and a strategically placed mirror will create the illusion of additional space.
Add Some Style - Check out antique markets or yard sales for unique pieces of furniture. A small bench for guests to sit on while taking off their shoes works well for larger areas while a small table to catch keys is perfect for compact spaces.
Spruce It Up - Breathe some life into your gloomy hallway by adding a few plants or fresh flowers. If you’re selling, don’t forget to replace the cluttered mass of family photos that creep up the stairs with a few neutral pictures.
A functional yet welcoming foyer will create an amazing first impression that'll maximize your home's appeal to potential buyers. Transforming your lacklustre hallway is important even if you’re not selling because this space sets the tone for the rest of your home. If you walk into a dark, cluttered mess it won’t generate the positive feelings that help put a smile on your face :)
Sometimes it’s easier to break them than it is to make them!
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably set a few New Year’s resolutions. Making them is one thing but keeping them is a whole different story!
Setting goals instils a sense of discipline but it’s easy to become disillusioned if you’re not achieving them. It’s therefore important to set realistic goals and then break them down into bite-size pieces.
If you find yourself giving up after a few weeks because your enthusiasm tapers off, it might be time to try something new. Instead of just setting a traditional goal, try exploring how you’d like to feel in 2016.
For example, if you want to feel healthy this coming year then you may want to set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day. If on the other hand you want to feel calmer, you could reduce your caffeine or join a yoga class.
When you focus on the positive feeling behind your goal, it’s easier to achieve because you’re not just blindly saying “go to the gym” which likely won’t last. If you write down your goals, review them regularly and place them in a prominent place so you can visualize the end result, you’re sure to succeed!
Apps can help kick-start new habits that will change your life!
If you’re looking to make some changes in the coming year perhaps your smartphone can help you out! Here are a few apps that are worth a look:
Duolingo - An absolute must if learning a new language is on your to-do list for 2016.
Walk Me Up - Instead of just hitting snooze, this app forces you to get up and walk a number of steps before you’re able to turn off the alarm.
Happify - This app is designed to help you overcome negative thoughts by offering a series of games that train your brain and build skills for lasting happiness.
There are a variety of apps that will help you set and monitor your goals for 2016. Some even give you the option to make them public in order to motivate you further. Whatever your goals or interests are, you’ll most definitely find an app to suit your needs!
Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let us do the work for you! Just visit The Johnson Team website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home.
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