Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Year, New Market, New Rules

One Home Turf correspondent has been back in touch to relate his good news for the New Year: The reader and his family of six are finally preparing to leave a two-bedroom rental apartment for a roomy house in Georgetown, Ont.
The cramped living quarters were sufficiently motivating to prompt the dad to sweeten his offer a couple of times and vanquish the competition.
You may remember this family from a previous post in October when they were lamenting their bad luck and bad timing. The family sold a house in Brampton last spring when house sales were still sluggish. Then, just as they began a search for a new house in a better location, the market took off again.
Every time they found a house that seemed to suit their family, it would sell within hours. Once they got into the contest in time but lost out to a higher offer, with no chance to increase their own bid.
“We wait for the next one to come along,” he wrote at the time. “Very frustrating situation.”
As the fall season wound down, fewer listings were coming to market, but they continued to drop in on open houses.
Then, one weekend they stumbled upon an open house for a recently-listed property on a quiet street in pretty Georgetown. The house, with 2,700 square feet, had an asking price of $514,000. It contained a basement apartment that they could rent to help with the mortgage.
They jumped right in with an offer for 97 per cent of the asking price ­­-- which the seller totally ignored.
Already they were dabbling in a much higher price bracket than they had previously considered, so they continued to look around while they hoped that the seller would soften up a bit.
A few weeks later, their agent called and said that two offers were on the table for the Georgetown house. The family decided to go ahead and offer the full asking price with no conditions.
Wouldn’t you know it, it still wasn’t enough. But this time they did have the opportunity to increase their bids.
“The thought of future months with all 6 of us squeezed into this tiny apartment quite motivated us to increase our offer.”
After the third round, the family prevailed with an accepted offer of $516,000. Their agent said they beat the competition by only several hundred dollars.
Now they’re packing, finalizing details, and trying to draw a tenant who won’t mind renting a basement apartment with a rambunctious family living above.
“It feels good to have the housing plan in place instead of the stumbling-in-the-dark feeling you have when things don’t go smoothly,” he says after that trying ordeal.
Economists and real estate agents are predicting that listings will rise in the spring - which they always do, of course - but this year they are looking for an effect more pronounced than the usual seasonal bounce.
We’ll have more detail about the listings outlook in a feature in Globe Real Estate on Friday. But all of the harbingers are pointing towards a frantically busy spring.
For now, though, the Georgetown family is just happy that they don’t have to wait that long.

For Twitter Updates go to 

No comments:

Post a Comment