Category Archives: Real Estate Tips

January 2016 – Market Speedometer

Wonder What Happened in 2015?

2015 was another blazing year for real estate.  Those of you who used a Realtor® saw this first hand with multiple offers, and often times over asking sale prices.  Those who didn’t use a Realtor® still benefited by selling in a reasonable time frame, and acceptable price.  The strong market was caused by the lack of inventory in Guelph.  The simple answer is that more people wanted to move here, rather than leave.  Our strong local economy, low unemployment and low vacancy rates all assisted in creating an appealing housing market.

Guelph Real Estate Market Stats Great Investment

In 2015 over 86% of properties that were listed sold! That may not sound very good to some people, but remember this includes ALL properties and as we know not all properties are sellable.  Out of 2769 properties listed, 2399 sold!  The average days on market was 21.  Yes, 21 days to sell your house firm!

What Happened in January This Year?

January continues to be hot!! Although the snow hasn’t melted from the heat! The January market has some people scratching their heads, as traditionally January is dead, but to those of us who do this every day, it is actually predictable.  The factors are nearly always predictable, at least in the last 10 years.

  • The first reason is pent up demand from the Christmas holidays, buyers are finished with the festivities, and now focus on buying a house again.  Many people still have not secured a home from the fall because of the brisk market.
  • The second influence is the student rental market.  Investors and parents scramble to secure a property in a short window of time while students simultaneously search for properties to rent.  This creates excitement and an early start to the year.  The energy of this period is sensed by the local “regular” buyers and sellers and the transition to normal real estate market activities is smooth as the snow melts away. The spring market springs early!

January 2016 Guelph Housing Market Report

What Does This Mean?

What it means is that if you own property in Guelph, you have a great investment!  People want to live here and you can enjoy the equity that creates.  If you want to sell, you will get top dollar if planned correctly.  If you buy and you also plan correctly, you will join a healthy real estate market and start building your dreams with confidence. Please consult with us BEFORE you make any decisions so that we can guide you through the process, and get you the best outcome for your situation.

Get The Full Guelph Market Report!

Please fill out the form below and we will send you the full 3 page PDF January 2016 Guelph Real Estate Market Report.

January 2016 - Real Estate Market Speedometer


How Does a Rent to Own Work

How Does a Rent to Own Work?

A Rent to Own program, also known as a Lease-Option Agreement, is designed to assist individuals who have difficultly obtaining a mortgage or have credit issues. It provides a way to re-build credit scores and accumulate a larger down payment before they need to qualify for a mortgage. In other words you get to live in the house of your dreams now.

rent to own homes in Guelph can be an exciting opportunity

What Are the Benefits?

A potential home buyer may be able to pay for their current rent without difficulty, yet cannot qualify for a mortgage because of credit difficulties in the past even though often times a mortgage is less than their current rent. On top of that the real estate market continues to grow every year at an average rate of approximately 6%, which keeps many people from ever saving enough money to buy a house. It reminds me of dangling a carrot in front of a disabled rabbit on a treadmill.

A rent to own program solves these problems by allowing you to live in your dream home now, build your credit, save money, and stabilize a future purchase price.

The Rent to Own program that we offer includes a consultation with a Credit Specialist. This person will give you a snap shot of your finances and help create a road map of your future. They will also work with you one on one and provide credit counseling to you throughout the term. This FREE service provides guidance to you on how to efficiently and effectively rebuild your credit. It is not a magic potion, or a quick fix diet, you have to do the work, but you will have expert guidance along the way.

What House Do I Buy?

In our rent to own program, we sit down with you and decide what properties fit your requirements. We are real estate sales professionals so we shop for the property with you just like a regular buyer would. When you find the right house, we may buy the property ourselves, or have one of our investors purchase it for you to move into as a Rent-to-Own tenant. A portion of your monthly rent will be credited each month to apply toward your down payment when you exercise your option to purchase.

rent to own homes in guelph are an excellent opportunity for investors and buyers

Rent to Own Step-By-Step

You fill out an online application for the Rent to Own program or print one out from our website and fax or e-mail it back to us.
We review your Application and have our mortgage specialist check your credit to get a financial snapshot of what your credit looks like today. Our mortgage broker will get back to us with your approval and let us know what maximum house price you can afford based on your income.

You start looking for properties on the MLS or Private Sales in the area(s) of your choice within the price range you have qualified for.
Once you find a home you are interested in, we will draft an offer to purchase and negotiate the deal with one of our investors as the purchaser. You will also sign a lease with the option to purchase for this house. This agreement will be between you and the investor.
You put down a small down payment that is 100% credited toward your purchase price when you buy at the end of the term. (example $5,000).

You get to move into the home under the Lease to Own program!
You will accumulate monthly credits toward your down payment each month as you pay rent. Any improvements you make are yours because you will eventually own it. We will pay for a credit specialist to work with you during the Lease to Own term to help you repair any credit issues that need to be taken care of for you to be able to qualify for a mortgage to buy your home.

When the lease is up you will get a mortgage of your own or assume the current mortgage in your own name and be the proud owners of your home.

Here is an example of a typical rent to own program:

Example Rent-to-Own


Initial Down Payment


Generally about 2.5% of the purchase price of the home, or $5000, whichever is greater.
Total monthly payment
Monthly Rent portion
Monthly Option portion


Utilities not included.* Numbers vary depending on the property.
Lease Term

2 Years

1-3 years based on your credit
Agreed to purchase price at the end of the lease period


Locked in at the beginning of the term when you sign the Option to Purchase Agreement.
Down payment saved over the lease period


($300 x 24 months)
Total down payment saved


$7200 + $5000 (initial down payment)
Amount owing to purchase house after 2 year lease.


This amount can be financed with a first mortgage from a bank or other lending company.

We are delighted to help people attain their goals of home ownership. We pride ourselves with our out-of-the-box thinking to help people get a leg up on life. Your experience with us will be positive and enjoyable. We want you to refer us for everything related to real estate!

Rent To Own Homes

Want to find out more about our rent to own program?

Contact Us: 226-780-0202

For more information visit us at or

Bathroom Remodel in Your Future?

New Year’s Resolution: Remodel the Bathroom?

It’s no secret that bathrooms are a popular room to remodel—because of outdated features, different decorating taste from the previous owners or simply normal wear and tear on a very functional room of your home. If the New Year has you thinking about remodeling a bathroom, here are a few things to consider:

  • luxury bathroom in guelphTimely or Timeless Style – Before you remodel, picture what it will look like in a couple years when you sell your home. Will you still enjoy that trendy sink? Make sure future buyers will, too. Otherwise they’ll factor in the cost of their own remodel when making an offer.
  • Costs—Good News – Right now many contractors are eager for work, and prices are lower for their materials and labor, so now may be an ideal time to make your bathroom more livable.
  • Resale Value – You may have heard during the housing boom that bath remodels add value to your home. These days you can recoup about 64% of the costs of a minor bathroom remodel, according to Remodeling magazine’s “2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report.” If your bathroom is especially in need of updates, you may recapture more.
  • Too Much? Think Small – If you’re not ready for a full remodel, then a fresh coat of paint, new towels and a pretty framed print can do wonders to update your bathroom—and give you a new look for 2016.

Remember: you and your family are the ones using your bathroom on a daily basis, so think about whether it makes you feel good when you brush your teeth every morning.

Bathrom - Guelph Real Estate

If you’d like more information about how a remodel can affect the value of your home, please don’t hesitate to call or email.

Spruce Up the Kitchen for the Holidays

Spruce Up the Kitchen for the Holidays

Most of us spend a great deal of time in the kitchen—and not just while cooking. The kitchen is the traditional heart of the home. And with the holidays coming up, you may be looking for fast and easy ways to make your home more welcoming to guests.


Whether yours is a huge kitchen with a family room attached or a cozy convenience kitchen, several quick and inexpensive tricks let you spruce up your kitchen without undertaking a complete overhaul:

  • Nothing changes a room faster than a fresh coat of paint. It immediately brightens the walls and ceilings.
  • If your cabinets have seen better days, consider painting them—even if they are natural wood.
  • Express your style and liven up your cabinets with unique knobs, handles and hinges. Kitchen cabinets are a popular do-it-yourself project and can enhance the beauty of your home.
  • New linoleum is fairly inexpensive and provides a clean, fresh look.
  • Get rid of the refrigerator magnets—unless of course, they hold your family’s art gallery.
  • Select a brightly colored rug and dish towels to provide accent color.
  • Hang a window valence to tie it all together.
  • Line the windowsill with pots of herbs grown from seed.

Redecorating your kitchen is an easy way to change the whole look and feel of your home. And here’s something to remember when you decide to sell: the kitchen is considered by many to be the most important room in the house.

These tips can also be used to help stage your home to sell for the best possible price. If you’d like more ideas for getting your home ready to sell, feel free to email or call any time.

What's Your House Worth?

Closet Organizing Tips

Organizing Tips to Remove Closet Clutter

Do you save everything? Are you sentimental about the ill-fitting sweater your aunt knitted five years ago, or your ragged alma mater sweatshirt? If so, your closets may be very full.

Fall is an ideal time to clean out your home. Cleaning out your closets regularly will save you time and energy and keep you from feeling overwhelmed by the task later on. Plus, if your closet is packed with old clothes that you don’t or can’t wear anymore, you may hesitate to update your wardrobe.

Here are some tips to help you organize and unclutter your closet:

  • Get rid of the clothes you haven’t worn in over a year.
  • Store out-of-season clothes in a different location.
  • Try on the clothes you can’t seem to get rid of—it will help you make a decision.
  • Buy good hangers: wire hangers don’t give good support and leave marks on your clothes.
  • Hang clothes according to style (i.e., shirts, suits, pants) or color.
  • If space permits, add a bar for shirts and pants.

When you clean your closets on a regular basis, you may find you don’t need some of the clothing you thought you did. And you’ll actually wear and enjoy the clothes you do have.

What’s more, cleaning out your closets is a small but important step towards clearing the way to move into your next home. If you’d like more information on getting rid of clutter in your home, please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Find houses with walk in closets: Click Here

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Fall Home Maintenance Check List

Fall Home Maintenance To-Dos

As autumn is quickly approaching, here are some areas of your home to inspect and repair now so you can relax and enjoy a safe and cozy fall season:

Fall Maintenance Tips


Mice are excellent climbers and only need an opening the width of a pencil (¼ inch) to sneak inside your home to search for food. Protect yourself by sealing all cracks and other openings into your home and blocking off ventilation ducts with heavy-gauge wire mesh.

Fire protection

Open your fireplace damper and inspect the chimney flue for any nesting birds or animals. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that all chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected every year to reduce the danger of house fires caused by excessive creosote build-up.

Nooks and Crannies

Replace worn or missing caulking and weather stripping to keep energy costs down.


If you use storm windows to protect against the cold weather, make sure they are clean and free of cracks before installing.

Air Circulation

Clean and adjust ceiling fans so that air circulates more efficiently. This allows fans to gently mix warmer air (which naturally rises) back into the room.


Whether you do it yourself or hire a handyman, have your all dead leaves and debris removed from rain gutters.

These are just the basics—but they’re important. And while you’re at it, take care of two more items on your home maintenance to-do list: Clean in and around dryer lint vents and replace all smoke alarm batteries. Enjoy the upcoming cooler weather!

Don’t forget to check out our current home listings at:

Overpriced Homes – Sell Slower and For Less

Overpriced Homes-Sell Slower and For Less If there’s anything we can take away from the plethora of Bank Owned Foreclosuresis they certainly know how to price a home to move!

I maintain that you almost always shoot yourself in the foot by overpricing your home. Your home will almost always sale at or above market value by pricing at or below market value.House Price Thumbs Down

So why is that? Well think back at when YOU were buying a home. Remember when a “great deal” came on the market and everybody and their agents were “swarming” to the open house? You placed your offer only to find out their were 10 other offers and they were going above the asking price? This “bargain price” created an auction affect and got people excited. THAT is how banks are pricing their homes andif you want your home to move quickly and for the most amount of money, this is a winning strategy.

So why don’t sellers do it? I think it’s because there’s a little voice inside of our head (and pocketbook) that says “what if”.

“What if”- I can get $50K over market value. (even if someone were excited enough about your home to pay $50K over appraised value, their lender won’t loan the money if the value isn’t there. No loan, no buyer)

“What if”– I don’t get multiple offers and I only get one offer (May be still overpriced!)

Often fear (and greed) hold us back from making smart choices! Don’t feel bad though, even Real Estate Agents are guilty of senselessly overpricing their homes. Somehow when it’s our turn to sell all of our “market knowledge” becomes goo and leaks out of our ears! It’s like the hairdresser with bad hair!

The bottom line is, almost always, an Over Priced House will sit on the market longer and sell for less than it should have had it been priced strategically from the beginning.

Copyright © 2010 By Stephen Munson,Munson RealtyPasadena|Overpriced Homes-Sell Slower and For Less*overpriced homes,overpriced house

Home Inspections for Sellers

Home Inspections… for Sellers

Most people think a home inspection is something that happens somewhere between making an offer and before closing on a home. But for a number of reasons, more homeowners are choosing to have their own home inspected before putting it on the market.

home inspectionThe reason is simple: uncovering problems early on enables you to fix them, often making it possible to add value to your sale price. An inspection is designed to reveal any potential problems a house may have—and that’s true for both buyers and sellers. Sellers may benefit from gaining this kind of detailed information about their home, so that they can choose to handle problems long before the negotiation process is underway.

Many sellers also report that their buyers feel more comfortable when the information from a pre-sale inspection is shared early on, even if the buyers choose to have their own home inspection as well.

In short, a pre-sale inspection can reduce the chance of a surprise and help speed the closing process, which would otherwise have been delayed by scheduling repairs and having the buyers confirm they were completed properly. Because for buyers, making an offer contingent upon a home inspection is about saving expenses and trouble—not to mention providing confidence in what may well be the biggest investment they ever make.

Even if you’re not a buyer making an offer, or a seller thinking of listing a home in the next few months, a home inspection can provide homeowners with a thorough to-do list for maintenance—or even a little peace of mind. If you have any questions about inspections, please don’t hesitate to call or email.

Student Housing – Changes Looming

Student housing has been a lucrative venture for landlords for decades. There are estimated to be around 900 houses that are rented exclusively to students and having 4 or more tenants sharing the house. A large portion of these houses are considered by definition, to to be lodging houses, but are not registered. Here is the official definition of a lodging house cording to the City of Guelph..

Student Housing – Changes Looming.

Another New Listing

Ok, so I haven’t been blogging too much about our new listings but since I have been on the internet band wagon, I thought I should.  So you will see a few posts about our guelph real estate listings.  The first is the most recent: 45 Moss place.

45 Moss Place is a fantastic opportunity to own a well kept investment property or starter home.  The current owner is not a renter and has put a lot of love into the upkeep and maintenance of this property.  This home is ideal for a young couple looking to start out and not break the bank on a home. Townhouses are selling for more than this plus additional condo fees, making this detached home a bargain.

New flooring has been put in all through the home, starting with the ceramic entrance way.  The hardwood laminate flows nicely into the living room area, and transitions back into a large tiled ceramic in the kitchen.  Upstairs you will find new neutral coloured carpet.

The backyard is large and the green grass is very desirable for your family activities.  Being completely fenced for your beloved pets and young children.  The house is also located on the curve of the street which makes the yard a pie shape for more room.

In the basement you will find a finished rec room that is also suitable for a 4th bedroom.  The rough in for the extra bath is conveniently located for a quick and painless new bath room installation.  The laundry area is large and exceptionally clean.

For more information visit: