It’s been headline news across Canada for years that real estate prices are soaring in a number of markets, most notably Vancouver and Toronto. Everything from fixer-upper tiny bungalows to remodeled three-story mansions have seen their values increase exponentially. Salaries have not increased at the same rate as real estate in cities like Toronto, where I live, which poses a frustrating challenge to both first-time buyers and people looking to move up to the next size home. With prices so out of control, real estate agents and professionals in the building and renovating industry have seen nice profits and are aggressively going after more and more business. It leaves home owners like me inundated with requests to sell or renovate my home.
I do want to state publicly that I am not looking to sell my home nor do I want to renovate it. Responsible home ownership requires regular maintenance and light renovation, but right now I’m happy with my home just the way it is. But that does not stop the daily onslaught of flyers, postcards, letters and even knocks on my door asking me if I have an interest to sell or renovate my home.
Yesterday my mailbox was stuffed with junk mail, including seven oversized postcards from local real estate agents. The cards boasted about everything from news that a charming home sold in my neighbourhood, that a “magnificent family home” was just listed or that they have the most spectacular home available for me to purchase. I particularly enjoyed the small print that asked me, “Thinking of selling? Now is the time, as the Toronto housing market remains strong,” or “NOW could be the time to list your home for sale.”
I also received a stack of pamphlets, flyers and cards full of home renovation ads. Do I have a wet basement? How about a leaky roof? Has my air conditioner seen better days? How about my tired looking backyard? It goes on and on, page after page.
Maybe I am just cranky because I really do not want to sell or renovate my home and have had enough of dumping a seemingly endless pile of junk mail into my oversized recycling bin. Everyone is trying to make a living and when the real estate market is hot there are more people in my city getting a real estate license or becoming a roofer, landscape designer or general contractor.
Now that the Government of Ontario has brought in housing reforms, will the market calm down? Just from my own observations, I see that homes in my neighbourhood that were snapped up in days are now sitting on the market much longer. But is that because the market has cooled or are there other factors such as an asking price that’s too high or a challenging location such as one or two houses in from a major street?
I do see many homes for sale in my neighbourhood right now and even more homes undergoing various levels of renovation. I know that my area is clearly ripe for the picking for real estate agents and renovation professionals. But I love my home, I love its location and I love it just the way it is. So, maybe calm down just a bit about asking me to sell or renovate my home. Thanks.