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THE GRAFF GIRLS BLOG
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March 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market
Posted on Thu, 04 Apr 2019, 10:25:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips, etc.
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March stats 

March #'s are in
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released the housing figures for March, and with 7,187 sales reported across the region, volume was unchanged from the same time last year. The average sales price of all transactions rose to $788,335, representing a year-over-year gain of 0.5%. The average days on market for sold properties was 21.
While March sales and pricing remained flat, the number of new listings fell 5.1% to 13,996. Active listings were also down 2.5%, leaving the current supply at approximately 2.2 months of inventory. Such low inventory would typically suggest seller’s market conditions, however, the OSFI stress test continues to impact buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage, which has largely kept prices and sales volume in check.
As buyers look for more affordable housing options, it’s interesting to note the jump in March’s townhouse sales. Last month, 1,253 townhouses sold in the GTA, representing a 12.1% annual increase. In the 416, where housing is priced at a premium, the increase is even more pronounced, rising 15.2%. We expect to see increasing interest in similar property types until a point where pricing becomes less attractive. At an average price of $741,881, townhomes in the 416 were more than $500,000 less than the average single detached home, and only $140,000 above the average condominium, which went over the $600,000 mark.
While at an average sales price of $603,969, the price of condominium apartments continues to appreciate, sales volume was down notably, as a result. In the 416, the 1,349 condo sales represent a 14.1% drop in sales from last year. As the price gap between condo apartments and high density low-rise continues to narrow in the 416, expect to see increasing demand for multi-unit low- and mid-rise housing or increased sales activity in the 905.

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Have You Ever Wondered What it's Like to Live in a Particular Neighborhood?
Posted on Fri, 29 Mar 2019, 12:15:00 PM  in divorce and real estate,  estate sales, etc.
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Article neighborhood

Perhaps you’ve driven through an area and fallen in love with it. Maybe you have a friend who lives in a community you’d like to live in someday.

How do you find out more about that area?

Well, you could Google it and get some preliminary information on that community.

A better and certainly faster and more reliable method is to call The Graff Girls.

You see, we are experts in the marketplace. We can provide you with in-depth information on the things you’ll want to know about that neighborhood before you buy. For example, we can provide details about a neighborhood:

 

  • Type and style of homes.
  • Local amenities such as schools, parks, community centres, etc.
  • Commuting routes and access to public transit.
  • Properties currently on the market and recently sold.
  • And much more.

So, if you’re researching a community that you might like to consider, we can give you all the information you need.

Give us a call.

Cheryl Graff  416-587-1314    or     Samantha Graff 416-219-2931

 

Sales Representatives

 

Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.,Brokerage

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Important Things NOT to Do When Your Home Is On Sale
Posted on Wed, 20 Mar 2019, 10:20:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  divorce and real estate, etc.
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Things not to do

The Graff Girls like to remain positive and suggest what to do to your home when preparing to go to the market.

However, it is also important to be mindful of what you should NOT do.

1) DO NOT OVER IMPROVE YOUR HOME

Call us in if you are not sure what this means.  You are not wasting our time, but you might be wasting your money with over improvements!

2) DON'T CUSTOMIZE YOUR HOME TOO MUCH 

It's up there with over improving your home. Your goal is to attract as many buyers as possible not a customized group. We also remind you here to de-personalize your home.  Remove all family photos and/or degrees and awards that may be out or hanging on walls.  Again, we are happy to come by to discuss and veto your visions if need be. 

You are okay with us being honest and forthright to sell your home for the highest price the market will bear, right?

3) MINIMALISM IS KEY.

It also means you need to minimize your time in the home.  We understand this can be challenging with a family and your pets or when you are at that stage of life of not being able to leave the home as much but if and when you can it is best not to be home.  The buyers and their agent have a relationship and you want them to feel at ease to express all thoughts and feelings. We then can retrieve more precise feedback from their agent and if need be help address any concerns.  You also want them to envision themselves living here and since you do not come with the home...  If you must stay in the home during a showing, we recommend you stay in one room the whole time.  Do not move from room to room as they go around the house; it causes too much chaos and does not allow the potential buyers to feel at ease and connect with the feeling of your home.

4) DO NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY. 

This is a lot easier said than done. Whether someone wants to admit it or not, buying a residential home to live in alone, as a couple or a family is emotional.  Selling is even more emotional. Many buyers have an idea of their dream home and not always the budget, so they may low ball your home to start and you never know how much they might stretch themselves to achieve their dreams.  During that same stretch, they may say some negative things about the home just to justify their budget and to make themselves feel better if they are not able to purchase your home. 

Want more tips on selling your home? Join our newsletter or follow us on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN

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We Saved One Client $14,000 and Another $24,000 After Renovating Their Home!!
Posted on Tue, 19 Mar 2019, 08:05:00 AM  in My services,  divorce and real estate, etc.
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Savings

WANT TO KNOW HOW?

No matter what stage of life you are selling your home Cheryl and Samantha want to ensure you maximize your profits. 

HST Rebates are NOT just for new condos and homes. 

There are all sorts of regulations, but Cheryl and Samantha have helped multiple clients renovate with extra savings!  

Here are a few tips: 
1) Keep all your receipts for any renovations within the last 2 years that show you paid HST. 
- Unfortunately, they only refund 2 years or less for work completed

2) The maximum rebate amount is $24,000

3) Speak to an experienced and knowledgeable Rebate Professional. 
- We have a few names for you who have done excellent work for our clients. 

There is so much more to putting a sign in the ground and putting your home on MLS when dealing with Award Winning Realtors such as The Graff Girls. 

Cheryl and Samantha are available to meet and discuss further. 

Contact Us:


Cheryl Graff - cheryl@thegraffgirls.com - 416-587-1314

Samantha Graff - Samantha@thegraffgirls.com - 416-219-2931 

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Wine Wednesday with The Graff Girls - El Goru
Posted on Thu, 14 Mar 2019, 09:45:00 AM  in Reviews
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wwelgoru 

Petit Verdot is a red grape that was traditionally reserved as a minor blending grape in the world famous Bordeaux wine blend. However, as the grape has spread to warmer climates, winemakers have realized that Petit Verdot can make intensely bold, fruity-yet-floral, red wines that can and do easily stand on their own. 

The el Goru wine is a blend of 3 grapes 

Monastrell aka as Mourvedre, Syrah and Petit Verdot 

Full bodied and smooth which personally I love, this dry wine is dark fruit forward with hints of vanilla to make it feel creamy.  It's opposite flavour of chocolate is also evident with a Spice finish. 

Our 2nd bottle did not compare that night but our 3rd I will share next week. 

Here is the awesome part... bottle number 2 and 3 were more expensive!! When I went back to one of the LCBO'swhich it is available at in a few of the #TheGraffGirls neighbourhoods #allenby #foresthill #leaside, I was shocked to see the price. When I originally bought it, I was buying a bunch to try and did not realize it was so inexpensive.  

Knowing what you like, can make life a lot less expensive 😉🍷

Let us know your experience. 

We would love to hear from you. 

Cheers 

The Graff Girls 

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The best flooring choices for condos
Posted on Thu, 14 Mar 2019, 08:40:00 AM  in condo living,  Floor Choices, etc.
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Flooring

You have decided to install new flooring in your condominium or update the flooring before you move in. What to buy?

There is more to consider when dealing with a condominium than simply how the floor will look. First, you have neighbors beside, above and under you, and it’s not just how much they might hear you, but how much you might hear them.

Before you start shopping for flooring, The Graff Girls suggest you check into your condominium bylaws.

“With older condominiums, many Boards will absolutely say no to hardwood floors.” You really need to speak to the Board before you do anything else.”

Soundproofing

Noise control is the next consideration. No one likes listening to their neighbors’ pace across a room in high heels or listen to their pounding music. The type of floor and underlay you choose can greatly reduce the sound that travels through the floor.

The key to soundproofing is in the underlay. The Graff Girls suggest you talk to your installer and the sales team if buying a new condo to get their recommendations.

A newer product to the market getting lots of attention is Flexilastic - it is a peel-and-stick sheet coating that reduces impact and airborne sound transmissions. It works great with ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tile where sound absorption is really needed.

Carpets

Although carpeting will provide your condo with the best soundproofing, The Graff Girls admit most buyers do not want it, too but if they do, customers seem to go for a tightly woven wool carpet.

Manufacturers are also creating synthetic carpeting that is more environmentally friendly and a few are actually producing fabric combinations that take softness to a whole new level.

As far as carpet color is concerned, condo owners are sticking to the organic neutrals – greys, and whites but no beige, which “is passé.”

Laminates vs. Hardwood

The biggest craze in condo flooring, hands down is laminate. Today’s laminate looks so much like hardwood, many people would be hard-pressed to know the difference.

There are faux-wood laminates, produced in Europe and in China, that you can’t even tell they aren’t hardwood. They look amazing. Most of our clients are going for the long, wide planks.

The faux hardwood laminates come in a huge selection of colors and options.

The great advantage of laminate flooring is that not only does it have the look and feel of hardwood, but it costs a fraction of the price.

In newer condos, engineered hardwood is not the driving force anymore. Hardwood will always require a lot more maintenance. The Graff Girls have had clients who say their first and only choice is hardwood but, when we show them the laminates, they change their mind.

However, some homeowners will never be convinced away from hardwood, the beauty and feel of hardwood are hard to beat.

Tiling

Tiles that look like concrete are super-hot right now in Europe and gaining momentum here in Canada

These tiles look great and they feature minimal grout joints, so they are easy to clean and almost seamless.

The Graff Girls have noticed the use of tiles that look like hardwood. Another hot trend is decorative tiles for accents.

They look fabulous in larger bathrooms and kitchens. What is vogue right now is moving toward “modular” sizes – rectangular tiles or 12-by-24-inch Size

As a condo owner, you are probably thinking that is way too big for small spaces. Not true. If you avoid dark colors, large tiles can actually make a room look bigger.

A side benefit is that with bigger tiles there are fewer grout joints, so less cleaning.

Vinyl

Vinyl… the word alone conjures up 1950s cheap flooring.  Today’s vinyl is gorgeous and can be pretty pricey.

Although some vinyl flooring choices are quite affordable and look great, others can cost from $18 to $22 per square foot or more.

Vinyl is easy to install and maintain and The Graff Girls recommend it for recreation rooms, offices, gyms or playrooms.

Cork: Yes or No

Made from tree bark, it’s a natural and renewable resource, so it’s environmentally friendly. But is it trendy?

It's not durable at all, and the style is a little outdated.

More questions about flooring? Feel Free to comment below or email or call us here.

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Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait till Spring?
Posted on Tue, 26 Feb 2019, 08:05:00 AM  in My services,  divorce and real estate, etc.
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Winter SeasonThere are many questions homeowners ask themselves during the selling process. "How much will my home sell for?"  "How much should I list my home for?"  "Who should I select as a real estate agent to sell my home?"  "What if the Real Estate Agent over prices my home?"  But it is in January and February, The Graff Girls  receive the following question the most "Is this a good time to be selling a home?" 

There are pros and cons when making a decision in all things in life and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. The Graff Girls have found this to not be true year after year.  Certainly, the Toronto real estate market experiences a "spring market rush" every year. There is no doubt that the "spring market" is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

The following are reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:

Less Competition

One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Serious Buyers Are Out There

Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren't out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn't have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.

Quicker Transactions

Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

By considering all the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

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Staging Makes A Difference
Posted on Thu, 21 Feb 2019, 08:00:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Before & after

The Graff Girls Know....

Staging makes a difference. 

It’s been said, for every $1 you put in you will receive $2 back on the sale of your home but, not everyone has the budget to hire a professional stager and pay for the furniture.  

 

Here are the 5 Golden Rules of Staging when on a budget. However, we highly recommend you speak to knowledgeable and experienced realtors and stagers first.

 

1) DEPERSONALIZE

Remove all your personal photos and degrees.

 

2) MAXIMIZE

Less is more. You want your place to look as spacious as possible. Clear out the closets. If need be store elsewhere.  Light is important and creates a sense of space. Be sure shades are open! 

 

4) MODERNIZE

A dated home will receive less. Simple changes can be spraying kitchen cabinets, changing hardware on cabinets, changing bedspreads, towels, shower curtains if you still have them. 

Remove rugs in front of sinks. It makes space appear larger. 

 

5) NEUTRALIZE 

Paint is your Best friend for making a huge difference in a feeling and style for the least amount of money.  Simply put...Keep it neutral. You want to attract a larger market. 

 

Want to know more specific tips for staging?

Contact The Graff Girls. We will go room by room with you to maximize your home sale! 

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WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2019 HOUSING MARKET?
Posted on Wed, 20 Feb 2019, 02:55:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  My services, etc.
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Expectation 2019

What to expect in 2019 housing market?

According to CTV news, the average price of houses was dropped by 2.1% in 2018. In 2017, the average price was $509,835 where as in 2018 it was $499,100. In the Country’s largest market, that is Greater Toronto Area, the decline was about 4% falling from $822,961 in 2017 to $787,000 in 2018.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) expects the normal Canadian housing prices in 2019 to be under $525,000. Be that as it may, the regional sales and price forecasts contrast significantly. Urban housing markets in Ontario are relied upon to recoup from the "dampened activity in 2018" due to anticipation of strong job growth and immigration.

For potential home buyers especially young families, who are new in the market. Even after this fall in prices they still are not able to afford houses worth more than a million dollars. So, what is the option for them? They have two options, one is to move outside of GTA, or the second option is to live in a Condo Townhouse. Townhouses are the next best thing for the people who are unable to afford million-dollar homes. It is like a house but condominium ownership.

Few things to notice in 2019 are rising mortgage rates, more stringent lending requirements, and of course continued high home prices.

The Graff Girls will keep you informed of the market outlook each month.

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3 Ways The Graff Girls protect our Buyers
Posted on Wed, 20 Feb 2019, 11:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services, etc.
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3 Ways

Your real estate transaction depends upon good faith between you, the Buyer, and Seller.

Unfortunately, Sellers could make changes or damage the property prior to closing.

To protect our Buyers, we take the following proactive steps:

1) We Insert a protection clause in the offer: This would include clauses that refer to the state of the home and its contents on the completion date. If there are substantial changes or damage to the home or its contents, the clauses would reflect the Seller to either restore the property to its original condition or compensate you, the Buyer, for any necessary repairs or replacement.

The offer would also include a clause that allows you, the Buyer, to have a pre-closing visit close to or the day before closing that will enable you, the Buyer, to confirm that the home is in the same condition as when you made your offer. Also, this is to ensure the Seller has completed any repairs that were agreed upon.

2) Take pictures and document serial numbers and model of appliances and other chattels and fixtures that are included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This will protect you, the Buyer, in the event the Seller attempts to replace these items with different models.

3) With assistance from a lawyer, negotiate a hold back: Your lawyer (Buyer’s lawyer) may be able to negotiate a hold back of a reasonable amount to be re- leased to the Seller after closing, once you, the Buyer is satisfied the property is in good condition.

Taking these steps to protect our clients The Graff Girls demonstrate professionalism and complete client satisfaction.

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