BY: MAURICE ANDERSON
The process of finding your home is not an easy one but it is definitely worth it. Knowing your money is going to a secure investment that is tangible and transferable is inequitable. The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) report for the first two weeks of June shows detached homes sales have slowed 56.2% from a year ago while condominium sales are off 39.2% during the period. On a year over year basis, average prices in the detached category are up 7.7% from a year ago while condominium prices are up 25.5%. We are in a market with a ton of inventory and a ton of choice. We are definitely not in a seller’s market now but it could become a full-out buyer’s market if inventory increases. The decline in activity looks dramatic but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Falling sales in more expensive detached homes are driving down overall prices, even though the condominium market is relatively strong and other sub-markets in the GTA for townhomes and semi-detached prices have seen a surge in activity and price growth. Once you find you home you can start to add your own personal touches to it. The good thing about purchasing in the summer is you do not have to wait until next year to make changes to your backyard or add to your curb appeal.
It always starts with such a burst of enthusiastic ambition. When it comes to summer renovations, nothing teases our aesthetic taste buds more than perusing well-decorated showrooms and professional designs in the living room, bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. The biggest reason to take care of your summer renovations is the cost. When you’re on a budget but desperately in need of new laminate flooring or a fresh paint job, it’s easy to justify the cost of the materials because the biggest cost is the labor required, which you’re avoiding. Molding and trim go a long way in making your home look and feel more custom and expensive. Add a slim place of trim a few inches between your baseboard and paint in between. As you’ll shortly discover, contractors who’ve made a living installing drywall, framing basements, or tiling bathrooms make that living for a reason. It can be hard, intricate, skilled work, and there’s no guarantee the finished product will look anything like the vision in your head. DIY renovations offer homeowners a unique sense of accomplishment. But the time and effort required to make it a reality just might not be worth it in the long run. It will be difficult to find time during the evenings on weekends to commit to the work, especially in the summer when the sun is shining well into the night. Devoting an hour here or there without anything resembling a professional work schedule could make the renovation stretch out far longer than you initially assumed.
Ultimately, you can combine DIY renovations with professional work based on your particular skill set, your budget and how much time you’re going to have this summer to get to work. If you’ve never picked up a hammer, then it’s probably a good idea to leave the internal renovations such as the electrical and plumbing work and insulation to the professionals. There is no renovation (summer or winter) that is worth risking you and your family’s safety. If you find a property you still need to act fast because I am now beginning to see properties up for sale on a first come, first serve basis which means you should still have all your documents in order and finances prepared to avoid multiple offers where you can.