Explore St Johns, NL
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 0
Before you buy, contact the condo board with the following questions.  In the process, you'll learn how responsive - and organized - its members are.  You'll also be alerted to potential problems with the property!   What percentage of units is owner-occupied? What percentage is tenant-occupied?  Generally, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the more marketable the units will be at resale. What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the property? What grandfather clauses are in place?  You may find, for instance, that those who buy a property after a certain date can't rent out their units, but buyers who bought earlier can.  Ask for a copy of the bylaws to determine if you can live with them.  And have an attorney review property docs, including the master deed, for...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 3
You've heard it a million times from friends, family, relatives, colleagues and even people you don't know: "When you rent you're throwing your money away!" Very true.  And the longer you rent, the higher the rent rate becomes and you'll throw more and more of your hard-earned dollars away. Here's an example.  If you're paying $700 a month for rent and you do so for the next 10 years you will have spent $84,000 and have absolutely nothing to show for it.  And if you paid that much for 25 years - a common mortgage period  - you'll have shelled out $200,000 and still have nothing! If rents went up over that time frame you would have paid much more.  Maybe it's time to consider the benefits of having a home of your own. With today's low interest rates owning your home is more attractive t...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 2
You've shopped around, seen many fine homes, decided on the one you want, made the offer, worked your way through negotiations and finally have an accepted offer.  Once the legal part of the transaction is completed, you'll be a home owner! Congratulations!   Unfortunately, the costs associated with the purchase of property in Newfoundland are high (but not as high as other parts of Canada).  The following descriptions and estimates are intended as a general guide and are as accurate as possible. Every real estate transaction is unique and some figures mentioned are subject to change.  It is, however, a guideline accurate enough to give you a good idea of what the general costs of purchasing a property would be and the specific items that are required. A Sheriff's Certificate is needed ...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 0
After you've made up your mind to sell your home, the next thing to do is to contact a Realtor to draw up a Listing Agreement which is a contract between you, your Realtor and the real estate office he or she represents.  It must clearly outline the rights and obligations of all parties and define clearly what is and is not included in the transaction to ensure there are no misunderstandings. Once signed by both parties, it becomes a legal agreement that binds both parties to all its terms and conditions.  Therefore it is exceptionally important you understand and agree to all the clauses to avoid any possible future conflicts.  Also, ensure you receive a copy of any document you sign. Generally in this agreement, you appoint a specific Realtor and firm to act as your agent in attemptin...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 0
A Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is a system by which real estate salespeople share information with other salespersons by means of a centralized computer database to help market a property. Before the computer era, MLS providers kept their information on properties for sale on paper, and often printed a book or catalogue to distribute to Realtors.  As these came out every other week, the information contained was often outdated by the time it was printed.  Today we rely on computers for more up to date information. Approximately 500 Realtors belong to the MLS system in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Whenever a listing of a home, land, condominium or any other real estate for sale is taken by anyone of them, all important facts concerning the property are computerized and made available...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 1
Not so many years ago, the thought of an inspection on a home you were buying was basically never considered.  When you viewed a property, you looked at the roof, open and closed the windows, flushed the toilet, checked the basement for signs of water, and did a number of other things.  Then, relying on these impressions, you made an offer. Times have changed.  Today, perhaps 85 percent of all home buyers rely on a professional inspector to evaluate their homes (it was less then 10 percent 20 years ago!)  Such inspections help ensure many, if not all, of the problems your new home may have are discovered before you take possession and get stuck with unexpected repairs.  Its condition is exceptionally important to you because you are about to put down a huge down payment and commit to a ...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 0
The money you pay each month to "keep a roof over your head" should be money that's invested in your future.  If you own a home, then each mortgage payment you make is actually money you are saving.  When you eventually sell that home you will have "saved" a certain number of dollars that are yours to do with what you will - invest in a larger home, buy a cabin, go on that long-planned vacation, etc.  If you are renting you won't have that pride of ownership and feeling of stability and security. As buying your home is probably the single biggest and best investment you'll ever make, you should begin well in advance to plan for its purchase. The first thing you will need is a down payment, which is basically the amount of money you require upfront.  The money you can come up with for a ...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 0
Once you've made that major decision to buy a new home and know what you would like to have in it, your next step is to determine what you can afford.  There are two ways this can be done - get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a mortgage through a bank, credit union or mortgage company/broker. You should however be aware that there are major differences between pre-qualification and pre-approval! Pre-qualification for a mortgage loan is a relatively simple process.  Your mortgage counselor will ask you basic information concerning your income, your debts, etc.  From that, he or she can give you a verbal pre-qualification which is based solely on the accuracy of this information.  You will be told the amount of a mortgage loan you might be given - provided all the information is correct...
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 1
    They see a home they like, take too much time deciding to put in an offer, and the house gets sold to another buyer.    They don't take the time to find out about their mortgage options and oftentimes miss out on the best deal.   They don't make their offer appealing to the seller and don't realize that a win-win result is best.   They don't look for an agent who they feel comfortable with and who they know will work with and for them.   Not realizing that the average first time buyer moves within the first five years of purchase, they don't consider the sale value before they buy.
By Bill Dilny
(RE/MAX Realty Specialists)
Comments 0
It's that time of year again and as we all know the rain and the shoveling snow are soon to come.  What to do and actually doing it today before the wet weather comes and water penetrates your home can save you thousands of dollars of repair work tomorrow. Here goes: Roof - Perhaps the most vulnerable part of your home as it's the part most prone to the weather and hence it's the area to be looked at first.  Take a nice day, go up on the roof or (if you're afraid of heights) use binoculars to check for broken, curled or missing shingles and fix them as soon as possible.  If there are a number of these seen you can be guaranteed that your shingles are in their last days and will soon need replacement.  Be warned - the cost of new shingles on an average Newfoundland home is between $6,000...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 7
So what was I thinking when prices for real estate were as low as they were?  I have asked myself that question a few times.  In St. John's we have seen real estate prices surge in the last three years.  Those who were "smart" enough to buy investment properties with record low interest rates and un-inflated real estate prices have enjoyed one of the best growth markets in North America.  I have been in the real estate business for over 21 years and have had the opportunity to buy rental properties several times; but I did not do it.  Well, I did not buy them to the extent that I might have or dare I say, even should have.  Instead, I invested some of my hard earned cash in the stock market.  With the exception of a few lucky trades, I watched my invested assets dwindle to losses or at...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 4
A St. John's, Newfoundland mortgage broker is going to jail. This week a St. John's mortgage broker who owned the firm Newfoundland Mortgage Brokers has been found guilty of running a ponzi scheme and defrauding investors of over $500,000.  Mr. Stirling Norman will be sentenced on June 24, but according to the Judge, is headed to jail before the sentencing hearing.  Both the crown and the defence have recommended a 2 year term in a federal prison.  It is sad to see people with such potential lacking the principals to make a solid career for themselves and their family.  According to reports, Sterling had been promising investors a return of 48% taking advantage of his clients trust and desire for gains.  It is well worth noting that many ponzi schemes are easily developed by appealing t...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 2
Real estate values are up again in Newfoundland?  A recent BusinessWeek headline about real estate values in Canada reports that new-home prices rose 0.4 percent in January from the previous month, the seventh straight gain.  The data, taken from Statistics Canada, shows that St. John's, Newfoundland was leading the way with the new house price index gaining 1.7 percent.  After St. Johns came a 0.7 percent increase in Winnipeg, Manitoba.    Canada's mortgage rates are close to the lowest since the Korean War.  Its no wonder home sales and prices indexes have been spurred upward.  The country is slowly emerging from a recession but evidentally the real estate market didn't feel much of a recession in St. John's, Newfoundland.  Housing starts rose to the highest since October 2008 in Febr...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 4
Housing starts in St. John's, Newfoundland were strong in February.  According to a CMHC release today, urban housing starts in Newfoundland increased during the month of February 2010.  There were a total of 68 this past month throughout the St. John’s area versus 45 starts in February of 2009.   There were no additional starts recorded outside the St. John’s area.  “February’s brisk residential construction activity was attributed to a combination of continued demand and an unseasonably mild winter month,” said Chris Janes, senior market analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. He indicated that the local economic and demographic conditions continue to support new home construction throughout the St. John’s region and the first two months of 2010 indicate a solid start to the y...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 6
The Google Street view of St. John's Newfoundland will allow you to walk down Duckworth Street looking for the Thai Restaurant, check out the bars on George Street and then take a spin up to Signal Hill and have a look at the ocean.  I have posted a couple of things about St. John's previously with stills.  Here are three examples.  I am St. John's After The Great Fire of 1892, Some Moose Love The City Life and one of my favourites A Badge Of Honour For The Taking.  All of them give you a little different perspective on the city.  But now you can have a look at the historic landmark Signal Hill almost as if you are standing right at the edge of the road.  If you have never been to St. John's before, play around with this Google Street view map of St. John's.  There are a few people who ...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 45
Today is the first anniversary of my blogging about Real Estate in St. John's, Newfoundland.  I began blogging on ActiveRain one year ago today.  The last year has gone by in a flash.  I have written 108 blog posts (including a couple of reblogs) with 3 of them being featured posts.   Many of them have been about St. John's, Newfoundland or some other community that I serve.  I have 35 subscribers from AR and a few from outside who subscribe by RSS feed.  I have gained a total of 61,248 points (I can fly anywhere ActiveRain flies). ;)    As of today, I am ranked by ActiveRain as number 1 in  Newfoundland, number 1 in Avalon Region and number 1 in St. John's.  I have established at least 50 new friends both on ActiveRain,  Facebook and Twitter as a result of my blogging about real estate...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 5
We have a heady real estate market in St. John’s, Newfoundland right now.  Perhaps we should ask, "Is it getting a little too heady?  Are buyers beginning to be too aggressive?  Are consumers just resigned to the fact that prices are climbing more?"  For many years our market in St. John's was balanced and prices were advancing modestly.  A two to three percent rise was the norm.  Then, Newfoundland's average prices were third lowest in the country.  But things are different today.  Annual increases in average prices have risen by >10% in the last two years.  Average prices in Newfoundland are now 5th lowest in Canada.  Current listing prices are now pushing the limits.  I have recently seen some regular single family bungalows listed and selling for over $300,000 and some rather ordina...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 3
PETA gets pied in the face in St. John's Newfoundland today.  A local radio station VOCM reported on their website today that a planned protest by PETA against the seal hunt was sabotaged.  The deed was done by a pie throwing puppy dog know as The Downhomer magazine mascot 'Salty Dog'. Apparently the PETA protester, a young woman from Vancouver, Emily Lavender was standing outside the Delta Hotel, in St. John's protesting the seal hunt holding a sign saying "Stop the Seal Slaughter".  Prime Minister Harper was inside the Hotel addressing the Canadian Construction Association conference at the time.  Soon after the PETA protester was joined by someone dressed in a seal suit.  That person, a Newfoundlander, took off the outfit and began saying "Down with PETA".  Apparently she was visibly...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 7
"Oh the horror of it all!"  So goes the story of the newest proposed development in St. John's.  This week Fortis Properties Corporation announced plans to build a 15 story office building in downtown St. John's.  It seems some residents of St. John's are still in shock that development of the capital city might lead to new construction in the downtown core.  But the thought of building a high rise tower that exceeds the city's height restriction is pushing some to such states of alarm on a par with those reactions to the earthquake in Haiti.  The sensationalizing CBC news article "Critics Slam St. John's Highrise Proposal" quotes Shane O'Dea, a herritage advocate in St. John's, "I was horrified.  There is no design.  These are two blocks."Others left their comments at the end of the a...
By R. Greg Osmond, MBA, Red Maple Realty
(Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.)
Comments 11
You cannot escape through The Narrows with your eyes closed.  Clinging to the cliffs along the shoreline of the St. John's harbour, homes just in from “The Narrows” have one of the most spectacular views of the city.  They peer through to the end of the harbour where for centuries ships and sailors have found respite from the Atlantic.  Each home owner seems to have assumed a duty to display the brilliant colors of blue, green, red or yellow as though the signature theme of St. John’s residential architecture is "iridescence".     The Narrows is a small channel  between the Southside of the harbour (on the right) and the rocks of Signal Hill (left).  It  is the one and only entrance to St. John's harbour.  Its depth of 11 meters and at its span of only 61 meters wide has long provided a...

St Johns, NL Real Estate Professionals