Tips and Advice for the those interested in or involved in the purchase or sale of real estate.

Real Estate Sunshine

 Monday, May 6, 2019     Judy Marsales      General Real Estate Advice

Featured Photo

New listings are popping up like Spring flowers and it is a wonderful sight. And after a gloomy first quarter in 2019 I believe that the market is warming up. I'm pleased to report that today we're experiencing a balanced market. Simply put, this means there's an equal opportunity for sellers and buyers. We also recently had one of our listings showered with offers and it in fact sold over list price.

This property was located in an area that has seen few listings over the past year and the superior location was recognized by the marketplace. This is a signal that consumers continue to benefit from a professional opinion on the best way to market a home when you’re considering selling. 

Planning to buy will require a well informed buyer equipped with both market knowledge and best practice strategies. In today’s world Google has a wealth of knowledge and information to share. However, there are often small details which can make an impactful difference that can only be obtained from a seasoned and knowledgeable salesperson.

The guidance that is offered by our sales representatives can make a significant difference in the outcome of your transaction. As the demographic shift continues and the market bounces around get the best advise possible when you are buying or selling. We're here to support all your real estate needs.


Call us, email us, or visit our open houses and introduce yourself. As we like to say, “Knowledge is Power – Use our Knowledge to Empower your real estate Decisions”.


 Tuesday, January 15, 2019     Judy Marsales      General Real Estate Advice Real Estate Trends

Featured Photo

The New Year is a great time to reflect on the previous year. Refresh our thoughts and look to the exciting opportunities going forward. Real estate is often one area of our consideration when we’re making plans. Are you thinking about downsizing, upsizing, or buying your first home? All these are important life decisions and have different considerations. Every option requires careful analysis with appropriate information on which to make a well-informed decision.

I often talk about separating facts from fiction when we analyze economic considerations. In the last few months we have seen some dramatic changes in various economic situations, in Canada, Ontario, and our own GTHA. How will these changes impact your decision making? We are starting to see the demographic shift occur. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing statistical data, we’re seeing more Millennials in the Hamilton area then baby boomers for the very first time. What impact will this change have on our housing sector? While some areas witnessed marginal price declines in 2018, most of Hamilton saw a consistent growth pattern. However, housing demand has the potential for easing somewhat this year which is a great opportunity for first time buyers.

We may also see interest rates increase slightly, it’s now even more important to do a financial analysis of your potential affordability range with a professional. A quote from Albert Einstein for the New Year, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Please ask us as many questions as necessary to make the best real estate decision. Call us, email us, text us, whatever form of communication works best for you to build your plans for the future. Happy New Year from all of us at Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.

Mortgage Stress Test Thoughts 

 Thursday, August 16, 2018     Judy Marsales, Broker of Record     General Real Estate Advice

Featured Photo

We have seen a lot of articles recently talking about the financial Stress Test imposed when one applies for a mortgage. The words alone make Buyers worry about the implications of affordability. After all, who needs more stress? Let me help reduce the worry and shed some positive thoughts about these new criteria in applying for a mortgage.

For a better understanding, let’s add a little perspective. Think about mortgage markets in previous years, some of us may recall when the interest rate was 22%. The good news is that interest rate did not last too long and we then moved forward to this past year when interest rates were 2%, much better right? Fortunately, or unfortunately, neither of those extreme rates stayed with us. So it is important for the stability of our purchase, our budgeting and our investments that we take a more balanced approach to the possible costs of borrowing. 

From that perspective the Stress Test is helping all of us to be more prudent in our purchases and the long-term costs. By extension the more stability that each of us have in our personal financial commitments, the more stability we will all enjoy in the housing values. Which in many cases form the very foundation of our investment future. Don't be stressed by the Stress Test. 

The information from the Stress Test will help guide your financial decisions for future comfortable living. The house you purchase is your new home and should be your comfort space. The less worry you have with every new interest rate increase announcement the more pleasant your enjoyment of your new home and yes, less stress.

Understanding Current Real Estate Market Trends

 Friday, July 6, 2018     Judy Marsales, Broker of Record     General Real Estate Advice Real Estate Trends

Featured Photo

There was an interesting article written recently that suggested despite one of the strongest economic business climates, people are uneasy. Our real estate market is reflecting some of this nervous energy.

We have more available properties on the market then we have seen for a while and the demand has also tapered off slightly. These two indicators generally confirm that the market has moved from one of the strongest “Sellers Markets” to a renewed “Buyers Market.” If you are contemplating a move soon, how do these changes impact your decision and your strategies going forward. Let’s break this down in two segments:

  1. Selling your home – make sure you have a well documented evaluation of your home including up to date information. Is your range of value competitive in the current market place and not relying on prices attained last year? Can you identify unique features of your home and property which would attract today’s buyers? Is your home clean and decluttered? Discuss a sound marketing plan, forget all the hype and concentrate on the practical. Understand the various conditions which may be in an offer. Are you purchasing another property? What are the financial considerations in a more volatile market? You want to adjust your timelines in a Buyers market. Homes will be on the market for a longer time period and there are rarely competitive offers or bidding wars. 
  2. Buying a home – decide on an area of the city which you would enjoy living in and is practical for your needs. Do you have children who will be going to school, parks and recreation activities? Do you commute? Where is the GO station or highway access? If you cycle, where are the safe bicycle opportunities? Have you spoken to a variety of financial institutions to have an up to date budget parameter? Have you spoken to a lawyer to establish a readily accessible support system? Have you reviewed all the statistical data to establish your evaluation of a home before you make an offer? Are you knowledgeable about negotiating in this changed market? Understand important clauses and time lines for safe financial decisions.
  3. Commercial Real Estate – Hamilton has attracted a lot of attention and there are numerous opportunities for investment. However, one should approach each segment of commercial real estate with the relevant analysis

Clearly, with all the changes and challenges of the current market, a consumer would be well advised to work with a professional real estate sales representative who has all the data and supporting information to enable the best possible decision. Markets are always changing but recently, changes have been more sudden and require more knowledge and understanding. We are proud of our local knowledge and of all the parameters of good real estate decision making. We are fortunate to have three offices full of hard working knowledgeable people with a wide foundation of knowledge. Please call us, text us, or email us, whichever form of communication works best for you for the latest statistical data.

House Decisions for Boomers

 Friday, June 1, 2018     Judy Marsales, Broker of Record     General Real Estate Advice

Featured Photo

The "Baby Boomers" as they have been affectionately labeled in history representing the largest demographic in North America are at an interesting stage of life…. aging according to birth years but feeling young at heart. How do these two factors influence their housing decisions? The options often explored are: a) do they stay in their home and upgrade to accommodate mobility issues or b) do they sell their home and move into a condominium? c) do they sell their existing home and downsize to a bungalow or smaller property?

Let's explore the first option – staying in your home: The benefits of remaining in your family home are many –1) comfort with familiar surroundings; 2) no upheaval of moving; 3) mortgage is generally paid off. The negatives: 1) mobility up and down stairs; 2) finding the right support people to cut the grass and shovel the snow; 3) potentially dated mechanical equipment needing constant service. Let's explore the second option – purchasing a condominium: The benefits of purchasing a condominium: 1) no worries about constant upkeep and maintenance; 2) some social interaction with other owners; 3) no stairs – generally an elevator for the upper levels and parking garage. The negatives: 1) Condo fees and the constant discussion about the condominium board's priorities. 2) Feeling isolated at times from the neighborhood where one was comfortable. 3) Noise from other condo units and people.

Clearly, there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone must consider their own lifestyle and physical capabilities to make the decision that works best for them. However, it is a discussion which should involve participation from family, accountants, and real estate professionals. What is your home worth? Would it be better to stay put? Would it be cheaper to pay someone to cut the grass and shovel the snow? Or would it be better to consider moving? Decisions…. decisions. Please call us to help you with this process. We will provide you with a "no cost" Opinion of Value on your home which may enable a better decision going forward. We are here to provide the necessary information to assist you and your family. Call us, email us…. whatever works for you.

If you would like a free no obligation estimation of your home's value please complete our simple online Home Evaluation Request form.

Bay Observer Article – written by Judy Marsales, Broker of Record, Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd. Judy is a frequent contributor of articles on the Bay Observer website.