Keith Marshall gives his opinion about real estate trends in Kitchener and Waterloo.

keith marshallBeing a Realtor, people often like to tell me about their real estate experiences, some good, some bad. Some, I’ve already retold here as I think there is a lot to be learned from the experiences of others. If you have a story to tell, please contact me. I’d love to tell your story.

People also like to ask me my opinion. They ask about what needs to be done to get their house ready for sale, what’s happening in the local market, what I think will be happening three, or six months in the future… I like to give advice and opinion. I’ve collected some questions and answers from recent discussions. Here they are:

Q: The local market isn’t as hot as it was a few months ago, is it?

KM: No. It hit the brakes in June and is much slower this summer than it was in the spring. Summer is always a slower time though.

Q: Real estate is so expensive. But renting doesn’t help me build up any equity. Is it better to buy or rent?

KM: If you are going to live here more than a couple of years, it is better to buy. There are cost associated with buying and selling real estate but depending on the factors the break-even point is often only a couple of years in. I have a formula I can send you. What’s best is to buy something that you can rent part of out to a tenant. That way you hit the break-even point much sooner.

Q: What do you think will happen to interest rates over the next two years?

KM: Interest rates will likely rise. I think the unemployment rate is declining so the Bank of Canada will finally start bringing them up.

Q: When’s the best time to buy. We are ready to buy now but if we wait, maybe we’ll do better. What do you think?

KM: You never know what the market is going to do. I’d start actively looking now, gather information, see if you can spot any trends. Things cooled in June. Prices are under pressure to come down. But that could all change in a month’s time, late August is only a month away. Then things may change

Thanks for your questions. Keep them coming, in person or by email.

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