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August Long Weekend
Thursday, 02 August 2018, 03:35:00 PM

Are you staying in the city for the long weekend? Hamilton and the surrounding areas have a ton of different activities! Whether you’re into music, festivals, outdoors, indoors, or just hanging around there’s bound to be an activity that suits your needs. Check it out

Festival of Friends – Friday 4pm – Sunday 930pm / Gage Park, 1000 Main Street East, Hamilton /

Binbrook Farmer’s Market – Saturday  9am-2pm / 2600 Regional Road #56, Glanbrook

Rockton Festival Of Witchcraft & Wizardry - Saturday 8am – Sunday 8pm /Rockton World’s Fairgrounds, 812 Old Hwy 8, Rockton /

Enchanted Garden Weekend – Friday 11am – Monday 4pm / Royal Botanical Gardens, 1185 York Blvd Hamilton /

Ice Cream Carnival – Monday 10am-4pm / Westfield Heritage Village, 1049 Kirkwall Road, Rockton, Flamborough /

Dusk till Dawn at the drive-in – Friday, Saturday 3 features – Sunday,  Monday have 4 features / Starlite Drive-in, 59 Green Mountain Rd E, Stoney Creek /  

Historic Garden Tours – Saturday, Sunday 12:30-1:30 & 2-3 / Dundurn Castle, 610 York Blvd /

Round the Reservoir Family Race – Saturday 9am-3pm / Valens Conservation Area, 1691 Regional Road 97 , Cambridge

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May 2015 Real Estate Stats
Thursday, 11 June 2015, 04:09:19 PM

Real Estate Market Statistics

Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster,

Stoney Creek, Burlington

MAY 2015

There were 2,587 properties listed in May, an increase of 4.5 per cent compared to the same month the year prior. End-of-month listing inventory was 8.9 per cent lower than last May.

Seasonally adjusted* sales of residential properties were 11.1 per cent higher than the same month of the previous year, with the average sale price up 10 per cent for the month. Seasonally adjusted numbers of new listings were 5.7 per cent higher than the same month the year prior.

Seasonally adjusted data for residential properties for the month of May, 2015:


Actual overall residential sales of 1,752 units were 9.5 per cent higher than the previous year at the same time and also a new record for residential sales. Residential freehold sales were 11.6 per cent higher than last May while sales in the condominium market saw an increase of just 1.2 per cent.

Every community in RAHB’s market area has its own localized residential market. Please refer to the accompanying chart for residential market activity in select areas in RAHB’s jurisdiction.

*Seasonal adjustment removes normal seasonal variations, enabling analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends in the data.

rahb market activity for may

residential market hamresidential market burl


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Thinking of Putting Your Hamilton Home up for Sale?
Thursday, 11 June 2015, 03:50:13 PM
sellers buyers real estate negotiating emotional detached from home hamilton ontario ancaster dundas westdale westend downtown core hamilton ancaster stoney creekThe Emotional Aspect of Selling Your Home...
When selling your home, there will always be an emotional aspect to the entire ordeal. But to successfully sell, the seller needs to realize thatdetaching emotionally will attract buyers. Once you stop seeing the home as YOURS and start seeing it as a source of INCOME you will have an easier time selling and negotiating...
This will help with what awaits you in the sellers market...Things such as,high demand, shorter list time, multiple offers and low inventory. The sellers market can be a very stressful one, so be prepared and don't let emotions get the best of you when a good deal knocks at your door!

Starter Tips to Prepare Your House for Sale...
Get packing! Buyers enjoy envisioning what it would be like to live in the space they are viewing. With clunky furniture and personal memorabilia scattered across the rooms, the buyers have a hard time foreseeing themselves living in the home. Start with the personal stuff: children's artwork, personal albums, souvenirs or any type of 'shrine-like' collections you might have. Keep it clean, neat and open for someone else's mind to visualize what it might be like to live there.
Not necessarily to your liking, but to the liking of the majority of people who will be viewing your home. Your taste might be specific and that might reflect in the layout of your home, but most people want to see an open playing field where they can paint their own picture of what it would be like to live in the space they're looking at. The best combination for the best result is usually neutralizing your home with a modern twist!
The Ready Lifestyle
Choosing the right price for your home isn't easy, that's why asking your Realtor for comparable sales on homes sold or still on the market in your general area is key when making such a decision. The next step after setting your price and putting your home on the market is being ready for buyers to come view your home when applicable to them, that's why your home always has to be in tip-top shape. Vacuumed floors, sparkling kitchen and bathroom, clean bedrooms, neat closets and lit up rooms... Nobody wants to enter a home with all the lights out, keep it lit, this makes it easier for the realtor to show the home without flickering all the lights off and on and also gives a smoother presentation.
Report on Comparable Prices
As previously mentioned, choosing the right price isn't easy, but that's what your Realtor is there to help you do. Finding current sales of similar properties with lots of pictures and details including how long they took to sell, what they sold for compared to what they listed for will make your pricing decision a lot easier. After conducting research of the general area, along with an appraisal of your home, ball parking a price that will benefit you and at the same time attract buyers shouldn't be too hard. Nobody wants to live "the Ready Lifestyle" forever, that's why choosing a reasonable price is key!


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Friday, 29 May 2015, 11:23:45 AM

Construction of single-family homes in Canada’s largest cities is rapidly disappearing, the result of land shortages, changing policies and changing homeowner tastes.

The latest housing market outlook from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. shows that, despite booming home construction, Toronto will see a nearly 13-per-cent drop in the number of single-family homes built this year.

Of 32,400 housing starts forecast for the city this year, only 7,700 will be single detached homes,CMHC reported, down from 10,700 as recently as 2012. Single-family housing starts have dropped for five straight years, the agency said.

In Vancouver, where the shift to condos began earlier than it did in Toronto, less than a quarter of all housing starts this year will be single-family homes. The number built there is also expected to decline this year, b 2.8 per cent, though that decline matches an overall expected decline in housing starts this year.

In Montreal, single-family homes account for only about 15 per cent of all new homes built — 2,500 of 16,100 forecast housing starts this year. (Like Vancouver, Montreal is forecast to see a decline in both single-family and multiple-unit housing starts this year.)

For those still hoping for a single-family home, CMHC suggests townhouses may be the answer. In Toronto at least, “townhouses will become the equivalent of the new single-detached home,” the agency predicts, for the simple reason that they are less expensive.

All the same, townhouses will account for 5,050 housing starts in Greater Toronto this year, compared to 18,550 condos. In other words, most buyers of new housing will have little choice but to buy condos.

Land constraints, such as southern Ontario’s Green Belt, are behind the lack of new single-family homes, CMHC says, as are municipal and provincial development policies that in recent years have mandated higher-density housing. But evolving tastes are also changing the housing market.

For Canada overall, the CMHC sees housing starts slowing by 4.1 this year, and it expects home sales through the Multiple Listing Service to fall by 1.1 per cent.

CMHC’s second-quarter forecast calls for between 166,540 and 188,580 housing starts this year and between 162,840 and 190,930 in 2016.

That compared with a first-quarter outlook for housing starts to range between 154,000 and 201,000 units in 2015 and from 148,000 to 203,000 units the following year.

Regionally, Alberta is expected to see a 13.8 per cent drop in housing starts, while Saskatchewan is forecast to slip 21.3 per cent this year. Offsetting the decreases, Ontario is expected to gain 4.3 per cent.

Sales though the Multiple Listing Service are expected to range between 437,100 and 494,500 units in 2015, while the average MLS price is forecast to be between $402,139 and $439,589.

In 2016, MLS sales are expected to be between 424,500 to 491,300 units at an average price between $398,191 and $457,200.

Alberta is expected to be the big percentage loser with a drop in resales of 19.2 per cent this year, while Saskatchewan is expected to lose 9.8 per cent.

Ontario resales are forecast to gain 1.8 per cent, while B.C. is expected to add 6.5 per cent.

Source: The Huffington Post

Bianca Marijan | |

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Friday, 29 May 2015, 11:19:21 AM


A Diamond In The Rough Is Explored…

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Did You Spend Too Much on Your Wedding?
Friday, 29 May 2015, 11:11:36 AM

Invest in the stock market or get hitched? Not a common question among couples looking to wed, but how much money could you have made if you used it as an investment for the future over taking those steps down the aisle.

Try out the Wedding Calculator!

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LRT Route Hamilton
Wednesday, 27 May 2015, 03:47:00 PM


How to reduce vehicles, reduce traffic & reduce pollution? The LRT seems to answer to all those questions. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Tuesday (May 26th) of a $1B plan to introduce a LRT Route spanning between McMaster University and Eastgate Square. The B-Line trip would make 16 street-stops before reaching its finally destination in either direction.


Planners drew up a route that will go:

  • Main Street: From McMaster to the 403
  • King Street: 403 through downtown to King/Main
  • Main Street: Queenston Road to Eastgate Square (At first, the line will stretch only to Queenston Road.)

Take a ride on the B-Line to see five key places along the route and some of their implications — good and bad, depending how you look at it.


McMaster University

mac logoMcMaster's introduction to a new upper-level source of transit would be targeted at its 23,000 undergraduates and staff. There would also be an influx of patients and staff at MAC's healthcare centre boarding the LRT along with families visting the Children's Hospital.

There would be two stops. One by the hospital entrance and another by Coote's Drive.


King St East: International Village

The road would be closed to cars between Catharine St. and Wellington St. The plans call for redirecting traffic from westbound to eastbound between Catharine St. and Mary St. so people can drive into the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Effort Square parking structure.

King St & Main St

Past downtown, the line would continue on King St. E. until the delta at Main St. E., when it would switch over and follow Main and Queenston roads out to Eastgate.

The permanence of LRT is expected to inspire development along the corridor, and could prove especially influential along the eastern portion of the line.

main st

Eastgate Square

Tuesday's announcement indicates that at first, the LRT line will go only part of the way to Eastgate. That would leave the eastern end of the city off of the economic uplift radar, at least for now.

Want to feel like you're actually riding the rails? Watch a video of portions of the route:

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West Hamilton Real Estate - Westdale/Ainslie Wood, Cootes Paradise & McMaster University
Wednesday, 27 May 2015, 03:45:27 PM

West Hamilton is known for its beautiful array of homes, communities and neighbourhoods. Nestled in between Dundas and Central Hamilton, the West End is home to Hamilton's prestegious McMaster University, McMaster Children's Hospital and Medical Centre, Westdale Village, Churchill Park, and Princess Point, the South West, best known for Locke Street and the Durand and Kirkendall Neighbourhoods, and the North West home to Hess Village and Dundurn Castle.

west endMap Provied by AWWCA (Ainslie Wood/Westdale Community Association of Resident Homeowners Inc.)


AWWCA (Ainslie Wood/Westdale Community Association of Residential Homeowners Inc.) is Hamilton's largest paying and volunteering, non-profit organization in Hamilton with 600+ active members.

old westdaleCinemas, automobiles, radios and airplanes! Bootleggers, booze, flappers and jazz! The twenties seemed to usher in a new modern age. Along with it came the Westdale community. Westdale was intended to function as Canada's first planned community. In 1923, politicians and realtors gathered for the annual "Name the Neighbourhood" contest at the Royal Connaught Hotel in Downtown Hamilton. Rev. Canon Percival Lawson Spencer entered "Westdale" into the competition and won the contest along with $200, which today ads up to $2,800 after inflation. Founded during the Roaring Twenties, Westdale contained all the attributes of an ideal neighbourhood in which to raise a family. There was a shopping district, schools (George R Allan School built in 1927, Westdale Collegiate in 1930 & the originalMcMaster University Campus in 1930), green space & parks (Sunken Gardens, 1930) and a very distinctive oval pattern for the tree lined streets in the neighborhood. The original design came about as the automobile revolution was just starting, so great care was taken to make sure it met the needs of residents to be able to walk or take transit easily.


Real Estate Prices & Homes

Properties for sale in the West Hamilton Area

With such an array of different types of homes, Westdale certainly has what you are looking for. Along with different types of homes, there are different types of homeowners, ranging from long-term residents, young families and McMaster University students scattered across the grid.

Type Of PropertyPrice RangeAverage Sold Price
Detached Houses$200,000 - Over A Million$360,000
Freehold Townhomes$190,000 - $220,000$200,000
Condo Apartments$100,000 - $700,000$180,000

The Westdale/Ainslie Wood area consists of detached homes with lots at 1.5 storey houses and a few 2 and 2.5 storey homes, bungalow brick homes and semi-detached homes.

There are a couple of townhouse complexes on Main St West (an area in which I have SOLD properties), in particular the 1967 Main Street West complex.



Overview of Neighbourhood and Local Schools

Featuring over 80 shops, cafés and restaurants with nature at your finger tips at Churchill Park in Westdale andAlexander Park in Ainslie Wood and just steps away from McMaster University, the Westdale/Ainslie Wood areas are ideal places to live. From Asian cuisine at Saigon, to a night out at Bean Bar, from 20th century brick homes to high rise condominiums, Westdale attributes to what a lot of buyers are looking for. One key thing families look for in a neighbourhoods are near by schools-particularly French Immersion-West Hamilton happens to be loaded with them, check out the chart below and feel free to explore the links!

Click here to see all the cool places you can walk to in Westdale Village.

Schools in Westdale/Ainslie Wood

French Immersion ElementaryGeorge R. AllenSiteSchool Ranking N/A
Public ElementaryGeorge R. AllenSiteSchool Ranking N/A
Public ElementaryPrince PhilipSiteSchool Ranking N/A
Catholic ElementaryCanadian MartyrsSiteSchool Ranking
Public Middle SchoolDalewoodSiteSchool Ranking N/A
Jewish Middle SchoolHewbrew AcadamySiteSchool Ranking N/A
French Immersion SecondaryWestdaleSiteSchool Ranking
Public SecondaryWestdaleSiteSchool Ranking
Catholic SecondarySt. MarySiteSchool Ranking
CollegeColumbia InternationalSiteVirtual Info
UniversityMcMaster UniversitySiteVirtual Tour


Student Housing & Investors

mac logoWhere there are students, there are investors. McMaster University, home to over 30,000 students, pertains a large residential area opposite and adjacent to the main campus. This gives investors the opportunity to provide students with nearby housing accommodations and rentals. If you or someone you know is looking to make an investment please click here and fill out the form, and I will respond directly to your email in less than 24 hours with listings and information in regard to the area!

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A Hundred Years of Toronto's Architectural Past
Tuesday, 10 June 2014, 10:20:41 AM

What would you experience if you were to stand in one spot in downtown Toronto for the past 100 years? This video answers that question for you. Journey through Toronto's architectural history, seeing both past and current landmarks. Some areas look familiar even today, and some don't.

A simulated time-lapse created with elements from thousands of pictures, each scene starts with a historical photograph from the Toronto Archives. From black and white to colour, streets like Bathurst and Queen and the Waterfront are transformed from horse and buggy to cars and streetcars. This amazing short film shows familiar landmarks like St. Lawrence Market and Yonge Street showcasing its original form and buildings. The video previously won for the Best Community Film at the Cabbagetown Short Film Festival.

Original article by Alana Charles

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Multi-Family Investing: Do Not Attempt
Monday, 02 June 2014, 12:01:58 PM

Multi-Family Investing: Do Not Attempt

Don’t misinterpret the title of this column; ‘do not attempt’ does not mean do not ‘do.’ When you decide to progress to multi-family investing the margin for error is much smaller than when buying single family properties, which means you must enter into the multi-family investing category not as something you are going to try, but armed and ready to do it, and do it properly.

The Hunt for Yield has led many an investor to look seriously at adding a multi-family investment property to their lives. The goal is often an increased ROI along with a reduction in management hassles. However, the reality is, if done incorrectly, it can bring the exact opposite and, due to the larger dollar amounts, can lead to financial catastrophe more quickly than a mistake in a single family home investment. Yes, the rewards can be spectacular, but only if you truly understand and implement a proven process.

Multi Family Investing Success Begins and Ends with Reputation

In the single-family home market there are so many players and so many properties that it is easy to make a few mistakes, maybe even leave some promises unfulfilled, and you can continue to operate. However, when you enter the realm of multi-family investing the market is much smaller, the number of players is smaller and most know each other.

This can be a real advantage if you become known in the industry as someone who fulfills their commitments, can get deals accepted and has the financial resources to close. However, if you build a reputation of not living up to that standard, your name will quickly move through the industry like wild-fire and suddenly you will find it much more difficult to learn of good properties or arrange good financing. Not a great place to be.

The Importance of an Experienced Realtor

You will soon discover, especially when first starting out, that there are a number of multi-family properties that change hands in your target city that you didn’t even know were available. These transactions occur usually with a select few realtors/brokers who have developed a quality reputation in their industry. They have their proven buyer’s list, often segmented between A Clients, B Clients and Others and therefore get contacted directly by sellers who wish to move their properties quickly and quietly.

Your job as a multi-family investor is to get to know who these realtors are in your target area and then prove to them that you are a ready buyer. Sounds quite odd, even as I write this. However, it is the reality in 90% of the markets across the country. You, in essence, are trying to sell yourself to someone who makes money selling you something. Bizarre, but true.

As you speak with these realtors, ask them what it takes to move up to their A Client (or first look) list. Each will have their own stipulations. Then, as your relationship grows and you begin to trust each other, a great multi-family realtor will ask you what you are looking for in a multi (size, location, age, condition) and will actively pursue properties that fit that criteria. That is where the hidden gold is found.

Hey, Wait, That’s MY Building!

I cannot count how many times I have received an email, or an actual signed offer on one of my buildings. Even though I don’t have it for sale and nor was it in the plan. This is the sign of a good and aggressive realtor working with a proven buyer. The realtor won’t risk their reputation doing this without a trust that their buyer can close.

I also discovered a great way for a realtor/broker to quickly prove they are out of their depth. He was aggressive yes; detail oriented: not so much. I received a telephone call and an email on a property that sounded like a perfect fit for my portfolio. Even though I had never spoken with them before, they had done enough homework to understand my geographic target market and thus thought this property fit the bill.

Well, much to my surprise when I finally received the proforma on this potential property, it turned out to be one I had already owned for the last 5 years. So, he was trying to sell me my own building at a price I would never sell at. Attention to detail and reputation out the window and now I no longer see him even mentioned in the industry.

Lesson is, you need to protect your reputation and at the same time ensure that you are using professionals with their own good reputation.

The Hidden Benefit of Multi-Family Investing

Strategic investors are always looking for ways to increase the stability of their portfolios while at the same time maximizing their ROI and cash flow. Over the last 22 years we have been working with investors across the country. We have seen economic ups and downs, interest rate gyrations and real estate market swings. That means we have been blessed to discover what strategies work best in economic good times as well as downturns. Access to real life data, such as that created through our Members’ $4.2 Billion portfolio, reveals some very interesting facts.

In a study we completed after the most recent economic downturn that many called the Great Recession we discovered just how important having multi-family properties in your portfolio is. Sure, there are the obvious management and financing benefits we discussed in last month’s column, but there also turns out to be a positive unintended consequence of hold some multi-family buildings.

The reality is in times of turmoil, confusing market signals and economic downturn, those who have a combination of single-family and multi-family properties in their portfolio had better results than those just solely in single family properties. Interesting initial result, which prompted further investigation. This is where the ‘unintended consequence’ revealed itself.

“Why Would A Portfolio Combining Multi-family and Single Properties Perform Better?”

The answer to that question was both surprising as well as enlightening. It proved to be a real lesson from which investors at all levels can learn. It wasn’t that the owners of these mixed portfolios were smarter, wealthier or more experienced. It turned out that the difference was that when you own multi-family properties you are literally forced (by finance companies, CMHC, property management companies and government regulations) to run your portfolio like a business.

These outside agencies force the investor to put checks and balances in place which include regular reporting, maintenance upkeep and professional management. There are market ‘norms’ that are monitored and measured, providing the investor benchmarks against which to measure their performance. And some of these outside agencies will want to know that you will be meeting or beating those benchmarks.

All of these controls, in place before ownership as well as after, force even the least detail-oriented investor to monitor their portfolios, and if they also own single-family along with their multi-family properties, these systems and the underlying analysis is transferred over to them, which makes the whole portfolio perform more like a business.

You Will Be Forced To Be A Better Investor By Adding Multi-Family To Your Portfolio

Following a system and having a business mindset makes your portfolio perform better in both upswings in the market as well as downturns. Systems, especially those that are step-by-step and proven, will make you a better and more successful investor… that’s the bottom line.

We know it, but so do the financing companies, quality property management companies and government regulators. They want to ensure that you are using systems because when you are successful, so are they. It just took the most recent economic downturn to make investors acutely aware of this fact. That is why when adding multi-family properties to your life it feels like your hands are more tied, but over the long haul you will discover that your results improve.


Multi-Family investing can add some stability to your portfolio, however it is not as simple or as inexpensive as investing in single family properties can be. I urge you, before you make the foray into your next multi-family property, that you ensure you have learned the process, language and proven systems so you not only protect your valuable reputation but you also build it along with your portfolio

Original by Don R. Campbell of The Real Estate Insider Blog

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