News Articles & Blog

Changing Market Conditions

 Saturday, July 29, 2017     Judy Marsales     Local Hamilton Market Conditions

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Real estate markets are never static! The market has enjoyed a very strong Sellers' Market for the past year based on a lack of supply of available properties, combined with the very low interest rates.

However, over the past couple of months, we started to see more properties coming to the market and the real estate market slowly moving to a more balanced supply of available homes.  The increase in interest rates, while very minimal, sent a slight shiver through the market signalling a potential change in lending rates.  However, based on the information to date,  I believe that we are moving into a more balanced market environment. 

There is no need to panic.  We are watching a demographic shift as one of the largest demographics in history - "the baby boomers", consider what their next real estate move might be... should they downsize, buy a condo, or stay put.  The bottom line is that in a time of change and potential challenge, it is even more important to get the most up to date information on which to make a good decision.  Your decision will influence your future and we want you to be comfortable with your decisions.

Let us help to inform your decision and provide you with all the necessary information to be relaxed with your future.  Call us, email us, or stop by one of our offices.  We know real estate and we are here for you.   

May You Live In Interesting Times

 Tuesday, June 13, 2017     Judy Marsales     General Real Estate Advice

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"MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES" is a quote from history and is certainly applicable today both globally and in the current real estate market.

There is no shortage of opinions, theories, or general ideas floating about across a variety of medium. Every social setting provides an opportunity for questions and forecasts.  The range of analysis is from the potential of a housing market crash to the suggestion of values continuing to escalate.  It is difficult to project which direction we are currently headed in… the “crystal ball” seems a bit foggy.

However, it is safe to suggest that change will be coming.  Let’s step back and look at some practical facts.  

We are experiencing some of the lowest interest rates in our lifetime, some of the highest debt levels in history, some global economic instability, and a demographic shift.  What does all this mean?  Simply, make good real estate decisions taking all the known facts into consideration.  Your house is your principal investment but it will also be your home… the place where you live, entertain, and enjoy life.  Your home is not a guaranteed GIC that you file in a drawer.  There will be times when the value goes up, a time when the value stagnates, and times such as between 1990 to 2001 when the average value went down.  Plan accordingly.

While sheep are cute and furry and follow one another without question…..don’t be a real estate sheep. Make real estate decisions with current information from knowledgeable sales representatives.  Call us and we will provide the latest data together with the many options to consider as you move forward.  Make your interesting times also positive times.  Call us, email us, or drop by our office.

Hamilton Music Festival - April 17 to 28 2017

 Tuesday, April 18, 2017     Judy Marsales     Community Events

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Special Fundraiser… the committee's students are performing a fundraising concert at St. Pete's HARRRP, 705 Main East.
Amazing young musicians to support – Free Will Offering.

This year we have added Strings and have increased the festival run from 5 days last year to 10 days this year. April 17 to 27.
Our Web site is
Venues are all in the Locke Street area. There is a $3.00 fee to see these wonderful performances. We hope that the community will come out and support these performances.

Hamilton had been without a festival for about 15 years. Co founder, Diane Manojlovich (Mano Music Studio - piano studio) and myself Tom Oliver (Voice Concepts Music Studio) brought 10 colleagues together to re introduce the festival to the community.

Last year about 30 private music studios were represented and this year over 60 private music studio are represented with approximately 600 entrants.

We are thrilled to have the blessings of the Mayor’s office and many sponsors, including the Hamilton Duet Club, and Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.
This Saturday April 15 at 7:30 pm, the committee's students are performing a fundraising concert at St. Pete's HARRRP, 705 Main East. Free Will Offering.
We are close to raising 10 K for scholarships.
NOTE: Hamilton has also been selected to host the PROVINCIAL MUSIC FESTIVAL this JUNE. We are absolutely thrilled that our inaugural year had such an impact. The Provincial competition will be housed in ten venues throughout Hamilton downtown core. It will feature students from regional festivals selected by adjudicators to compete. It is such an honour and at the same time a huge project to organize. Diane Manojlovich has offered to organize the event. However, our Hamilton Music Festival Committee will all volunteer to help her with this enormous task.

Festival at a Glance

First Unitarian Church on Dundurn
Monday April 17, 1 pm to 8 pm - Senior Piano
Tuesday April 18, 9 am to 5 pm - Senior Piano
Wednesday April 19, 9 am to 9 pm - Senior Piano
Thursday April 20, 9 am to 5 pm - Junior Piano
Friday April 21, 9 am to 4:30 pm - Junior Piano
Saturday April 22, 1 pm to 4:30 pm Orchestras

St. John's the Evangelist "Rock on Locke" on Locke Street.
Monday April 17, 9 am to 5 pm - Junior Voice
Tuesday April 18, 9 am to 4:30 pm - Junior Voice
Wednesday April 19, 2 pm to 9 pm - Senior Music Theatre
Thursday April 20, 12:pm to 5:30 pm - Senior Music Theatre
Friday April 21, 9 am - 9 pm - Strings
Saturday April 22, 9 am - 11 am - Strings
Monday April 24, 9 am to 5 pm - Senior Classical Voice
Tuesday April 25, 1 pm to 9 pm - Senior Classical Voice
Wednesday April 26, 9 am to 9 pm - Junior Music Theatre
Thursday April 27, 9 am to 4 pm - Junior Music Theatre

Erskine Presbyterian Church - Pearl Street.
Wednesday April 19, 9:30 to 12:15 pm Senior Music Theatre
Monday April 24, 7 pm to 9 pm Senior Classical Voice

Saturday May 6, 7 pm at the Grand Hall, Conservatory of the Performing Arts, James St.

Buying Your First Home

 Monday, February 27, 2017     Judy Marsales     General Real Estate Advice

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There is a wonderful excitement about buying your first home but there are also a lot of things to consider.

The current trend of first time home buyers living in a more urban setting brings the challenge of balancing gorgeous heritage architecture with the uncertainty of the function of older wiring, plumbing, or heating systems. These house functions are clearly very important but they can also be improved whereas the location is a fundamental contribution to value….location, location, location.

The key to your decision with respect to the older homes is understanding the costs, the breadth of work necessary, and above all - your safety. There is an old saying "just because you own a hammer, it does not make you a carpenter". There are many tasks that anyone can do which can add great satisfaction to calling a house "your home".  Your challenge is understanding the difference between doing something yourself and calling in a certified professional….again, safety first! I recall when we purchased our first home, we stripped wallpaper, we painted, we tore up old carpet and while these activities were exhausting with a young family,  the action also imprinted a family ownership.

A home inspection by a professional inspector before buying will outline the strengths and weaknesses of a home. Buy with a good knowledge base. My favourite saying is "don't be penny wise and pound foolish".   Many of the professional electricians, plumbers, roofers and heating contractors will give you a very clear analysis of immediate improvements necessary for safety in addition to those improvements which can be done at a later date. Decorating can make a home attractive and welcoming but good utilities can allow you to sleep at night.

Buy smart. Make well informed decisions. Never be afraid to ask questions. Call us, email us, or drop by our office.

Selling Season Is Now

 Wednesday, February 8, 2017     Judy Marsales     Local Hamilton Market Conditions

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There is often a misconception about the best time to sell your home is Spring. Where did that concept originate? Is it the perception of our great Canadian Winter? The snowy days suggesting that we like to hibernate in Winter and the warm sunshine of Spring will bring us out of our ice castles to look for a new home?

Interesting thought but it does not allow for the changing economic trends which have occurred from time to time. This year is a prime example. The latest statistics from our Realtors Association indicate that the decrease of available properties year over year is one of the highest experienced. Harkening back to basic economic theory, with low supply and continued demand, there is going to be an upward push on price…..and that is exactly what we are seeing in the Hamilton-Burlington marketplace. Prices are up in all areas of Hamilton, Burlington, and surrounding communities.

Therefore, if you have been considering selling your home, do not wait until the official start of Spring… it now! When the supply of available properties is so low, don’t waste time because you think the house needs some TLC. In many instances, a Buyer will want to make the improvements that they feel suit their needs and often discount a homeowners hard work in favour of their own style.

The most important advice to a Seller is to clean, declutter, and get your home on the market while the economic factors are in your favour. We would love to share all the statistics and market knowledge with you so you can make the best decision. Call us, email us, or visit one of our offices.