Archive for May, 2010


Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Many canadian investors are heading to Arizona!!! There are obviously many bargains with the dollar near parity but most importantly with foreclosures still high, many past owners are looking for the same style of housing to rent similar to the homes they lost to foreclosure. Many 3-4 bedroom homes are in demand for rent!
A significant number of Canadians are looking at this as an opportunity to invest due to the strong canadian dollar but also the demand by tenants looking for rental properties. I currently have a team of real estate and property manager professionals in the Phoenix and Las Vegas areas to service your needs. Contact me and I can start you in the right direction to invest in Phoenix or Las Vegas!! Below is an article written by Marty Hope of “The Calgary Herald” about this specific topic.

It was the end of the month — and as in every city anywhere in North America, people were on the move.

From Scottsdale to Queen Creek, streets throughout greater Phoenix, Ariz., were dotted with half-ton trucks and rented vans moving families from one home to another.

In this desert state, relocation is always a big deal come month-end.

Some people are taking advantage of foreclosures to move around in the marketplace while others, unfortunately, are packing up because they’ve lost their homes.

Still others are getting into rental digs — a proposition that is becoming challenging, says the Cromford Report, which tracks the current status of the Phoenix area resale market on a daily basis. Earlier this month, the analyst who publishes the report says demand for single-family home rentals is outrunning supply and causing an unprecedented fall in the inventory of available rentals.

I know there are several Calgarians who have become landlords in the Phoenix area, having scooped up firesale-priced homes as income-producing properties.

And as the Canadian dollar fights for parity with the U.S. greenback, there will, doubtless, be another wave of investors from here heading there.

An article in the Arizona Republic says that since last September, the number of available rental homes in metro Phoenix has dropped by 40 per cent.

If you’re looking for family-sized homes in some of the more desirable neighbourhoods, the decline is even more severe, says the article.

The sharp drop, the newspaper article suggests, is another ripple effect of the foreclosure crisis that is playing havoc with real estate across Arizona, but particularly in the Sonoran Valley metropolitan area.

My, how the rental market has turned.

In the early days of the foreclosure fiasco, foreclosures increased the number of houses in the rental market.

People who lost homes, or who just walked away from mortgages that were higher than the value of their home, found they could rent similar-sized houses, often in the same neighbourhood, for less than their mortgage payments.

This was occurring all over, including many of the newer neighbourhoods on the west side where the foreclosure total was huge. Even tenants with bad credit could negotiate lower rents and how long they wanted to stay.

I recall talking with realtor Mike Orr down there and asking why the west side was hit so badly with foreclosures.

“We had a circumstance down here among first-time buyers who would drive until they qualified — and that happened mostly on the west side,” he said.

But back to the rental situation. In the past few months, as more of those former owners became renters, demand for those three-to four-bedroom rental homes climbed.

As lenders foreclosed on more homes, but were slow to resell them, the number of available houses dropped.

When houses do come onto the rental market, rents are rising and landlords of family-size homes are receiving multiple offers and filling houses in days, said the Arizona Republic article. Orr said that while the detached home rental situation is worsening and rental agencies managing properties have waiting lists, many Phoenixarea apartment complexes still are having a tough time attracting tenants.

If you’re the least bit

handy or have the money to hire someone to do some improvements, there are some great foreclosure opportunities at, or just under, $100,000 US in the Phoenix area.

Many of the homes, with posted notices of foreclosure taped to the front doors, are in desperate need of a good cleaning, new paint, flooring and wall repairs — and in some of the more extreme cases, new walls to fix those damaged by frustrated or angry owners prior to leaving the property

Cheapest Canadian cities to buy a home!

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Canada’s housing market has maintained its strength across the country compared to our struggling neighbours to the south. Skyrocketing prices and bidding wars have continued in cities like Toronto and Vancouver to the exasperation of homebuyers, even though some say a housing bubble is on the horizon.

So where are the deals? By comparing average home prices and median household incomes in cities across the nation, we zeroed in on the cities where you’ll find the best bang for your buck. The following prices are all in Canadian dollars.

1. Anywhere in New Brunswick
Low housing prices combined with a higher-than-average income level make Moncton, St. John and Fredericton great options for buyers looking for a deal. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average housing price in St. John and Frederiction is around $169,000, with the provincial average hovering around $155,000. The province’s urban centers have jobs in health care, finance and education. The rural economy depends on forestry, mining and fishing, and both Irving Oil and McCain Foods are based in New Brunswick. The province shares the characteristics of all Maritime provinces, like quaint, clapboard homes and easy access to the great outdoors, but doesn’t have the same schizophrenic weather patterns that affects Nova Scotia.

2. Sydney and Cape Breton County, Nova Scotia
Sample real estate listing: Sydney
Sydney, the largest city on Cape Breton Island, and the rest of the county boast some of the lowest housing prices in the country, with the average cost of a home at just $98,338.

“At the end of 2008, buyers were clearly nervous whether to enter the real estate market based on the economy,” said Linda Smardon, president of the Nova Scotia Board of Realtors. “Towards the middle of 2009, consumer confidence began to build again and the recovery from double-digit decreases in sales and dollar volume indicates a brighter 2010 for the market than some previously thought.”

A slow economy makes it tough for many to find high-quality work in the area, but those in the market for an oceanside cottage with fabulous views who can’t afford west coast prices could find their dream home on the island.

3. Windsor, Ontario
Sample real estate listing, Windsor
Windsor’s close proximity to Detroit, Michigan, and its close ties to that city’s dying automotive industry means there’s a high unemployment rate and housing prices are way down in the area – the average home price is listed at $164,123. But tourism, the University of Windsor and the Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery employ thousands who are able to take advantage of real estate investment opportunities with the hope that the city will recover in the coming years.

A $1.6 billion parkway project and a $900 million border crossing should create jobs and pump some money back into the local economy. And with milder winters and longer, hotter summers than the rest of the province, Windsor’s bargains could be an attractive option.
4. Gatineau, Quebec
Sample real estate listing, Gatineau
Gatineau (formerly known as Hull), found just on the other side of the Quebec border from Ottawa, has become a popular place to buy a house for many who work in the nation’s capital. A mere 10-minute drive away, buyers in Gatineau (who enjoy prices approximately $100,000 lower than prices in Ottawa) also take advantage of Quebec’s subsidized daycare system and tax breaks.

As opposed to other suburban areas, Gatineau sits on the edge of the Ottawa River and still has a small-town feel to it, which also makes it attractive to buyers. Finally, not all locals commute to government jobs across the river – federal government locations have sprung up in the town in recent years.

5. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Sample real estate listing, Charlottetown
A slightly higher than average income level and a low average housing price ($188,000) makes Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island an affordable option for homebuyers. But with a population of just over 32,000, be prepared for a very isolated and small-town feel to the whole province (you can drive around the entire island in less than a day). Government, healthcare and education are the driving factors in the local economy. Like Cape Breton, Charlottetown’s sandy beaches, wildlife, seafood and golf courses make it a great place to put your roots down or find a relaxing summer vacation home.

6. Regina, Saskatchewan
Sample real estate listing, Regina
Regina has a healthy economy, and with average home prices at a moderate $250,826, chances are good that you can find a real estate deal here. A substantial number of people work in the natural gas and oil industries, with Imperial Oil having a refinery here, but there are also vast green parks, recreation spaces, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and the University of Regina. If you can handle a higher crime rate than other parts of Canada, and the flat, seemingly never-ending prairies, Regina has a lot to offer.

The Bottom Line
Before you pack your bags, sell your condo and upgrade to a house in Regina, there are a few considerations that aren’t accounted for in the numbers above. Disposable incomes and the cost of living will vary between provinces, with a range in sales, property and income taxes in different areas of the country. Goods will cost more in some places than others depending on where they are produced and how they’re transported to a city, and some cities have added municipal taxes to real estate sales. And always make sure you do a thorough inspection of any house you’re thinking about buying – it goes without saying that a low price could mean there’s something wrong with it. But that’s not to say your dream of a home bargain isn’t just around the corner.

Forbes magazine.

Michael Pino (Edmonton Luxury Properties), Re/Max Elite
#17, 8103-127 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5Y 3K6
Tel: 780-406-4000   Cell: 780-238-8912   Fax: 780-761-4433   Email: Click Here
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