Montreal Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2019

montreal real estate

The Montreal real estate market is one of the major markets in the entire country, alongside that of Toronto and Vancouver. Right now the market for Montreal is on a hot streak, and that predicted by experts to continue well into 2019 and beyond. In fact, many see the Montreal real estate price growth to exceed to that of other cities in the whole of Canada.

montreal real estate

Here are some trends to look forward to in the real estate market of Montreal in 2019:

Home Prices Will Still Rise

This is also predicted for many other cities, but the confidence that experts have for the Montreal market is quite strong. In fact, the median prices for homes in the Greater Montreal Area are expected to go up by 3%. In contrast, the increase in the median prices for homes in the Greater Toronto Area is only expected at 1.3%, while it’s only 0.6% for the Greater Vancouver Area. Nationally, median prices in Canada as a whole are expected to rise by 1.2%.

It does seem like the growth rate is decreasing all around, even with the prices climbing up. That is due to certain factors, such as regulatory real estate intervention, the consistently low price of Canadian export oil, rising interest rates, and the inherent risks of global trade.

Demand Will Remain Strong

What’s fuelling the rise in prices is the constant demand for homes from potential buyers with the budget to afford them. The demand is partly due to increasing population growth along with the strong migration, and so these new immigrants to Montreal will certainly need new homes.

The huge peak millennial group consists of the 25 to 31-years old buying a home for the first time, and most of them plan to own their homes instead of just renting. Baby boomers are also planning to sell their empty nest oversized family homes for more suitable smaller houses.

The unemployment rate has also reached historically low numbers. This means more people in the city have jobs and are saving money to buy a home, while new professionals come in to meet the demands for more workers.

There is still high consumer confidence, and economic growth in Montreal is steady. The new Canada-US-Mexico Agreement has also renewed confidence in trade south of the Canadian border.

Finally, it helps that prices on the whole in Montreal are comparatively more affordable than the homes in Toronto and Vancouver. The median prices for the Greater Toronto area are expected to rise to $854,552 in 2019. For the Greater Vancouver area, these prices will be even higher, with forecasts predicting median prices of up to $1,291,144 in 2019.

In contrast, the median prices for homes on Montreal are downright cheap even with the largest jump in prices. Experts say that these median home prices in the greater Montreal area will still be only $421,306 in 2019. That’s less than half the price in Toronto, and less than a third the price in Vancouver!

Continuing Interest from Foreign Investors

When Montreal real estate professionals talk about “foreign investors”, they’re actually referring to Chinese investors. The Chinese economy is still booming, and it’s predicted that the upper-middle and affluent class in China will reach 220 million by 2022. So far, the number of individuals with high net worth has increased by a factor of 9 over the last 10 years.

About two-thirds of these affluent Chinese have international real estate investments. In 2010, Chinese investment in international property was only $5 billion. By 2017, this has increased to almost $120 billion.

Canada has been one of their favourite real estate targets, but lately this interest has been waning. Chinese investment in Canadian residential real estate decreased by 55% in 2017, while interest for commercial property it went down by 61%.

Montreal is the most notable exception to this trend. More Chinese investors are becoming interested in the Montreal real estate market. Experts attribute this to the lower prices of homes in the area, and the taxes imposed by Vancouver and Toronto on foreign buyers surely didn’t help.

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Turn Your Home Into An Income Stream While Working Remotely

The ability to work from home, also known as working remotely, is a relatively new option for most people. Thanks to the rise of mobile technology and the internet, it has never been easier for employees to perform their jobs from anywhere while staying connected to their supervisors. If you work from home, the chances are strong that you want to maximize the money you bring in. In many cases, employers may offset the convenience of a remote position by reducing the amount of compensation they offer. Thankfully, if you own your own home, it is possible to utilize your home to generate more income.

Rent Out a Spare Room Via Airbnb

If you already have the space, you might as well consider renting it out. Because you work from home, you will always be available if a renter has an issue. You likely already have the amenities, like Wi-Fi, that the average renter wants, and you’ll be busy during the day, giving them space and time to enjoy the accommodations.

That doesn’t mean you have to live with a roommate. Far from it, in fact. Short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb are often much more lucrative than renting a space by the week or month. In addition to generating revenue for your household, renting out your spare bedroom can also be an opportunity to meet new people and learn about different cultures.

It’s also worth exploring what you can do if you don’t currently have the spare room. Is there potential in your property to create additional space which would turn into an ongoing investment? You have to spend money to make money so they say. In terms of coming up with the cash, releasing equity from your property is one way to fund an attic or basement extension project – both these areas of the home would make excellent rooms to let.

Consider Renting Storage Space to Others

If the idea of having someone live in your home with you or spend the night in your spare room bothers you, there are many other options. If you have a mother-in-law’s apartment over your garage, for example, you might consider renting that to someone. Alternately, you might consider renting space in your garage, basement, attic or storage shed for people to store their possessions. People will pay good money to have a dry and secure place to store their possessions. Whether you have space for a boat or RV or just want to rent out an empty room in your basement for dry storage, you could generate hundreds of dollars a month this way.

Renting out space in your home or running a small Airbnb is relatively simple if you already live at home. If your renters have any issues, you will be right there to address them. You will also be close at hand to ensure that no one violates the terms of the rental agreement by throwing a party or damaging your property. If you’re going to spend most of your work week at home, you might as well think of additional ways that that time at home can help generate income.

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Ways to Enjoy Your New Home and Not Feel Bad That You Moved 

As soon as you arrive in your new place, you might start thinking of reasons why you decided to leave. You also worry that things won’t go as planned. You have a lot of worries on your mind, and you might eventually despair. Before you reach this stage, you need to realise that you are sad not because you moved, but because you chose to be sad. There are ways to enjoy your new home and not regret this decision. 

Know your neighbours

Introduce yourself to the people around you. They are the first people you will call in case of an emergency, so you want to establish a good relationship with them. You might also invite them to come over for dinner or a game night in the future. It helps if you have the chance to know them well. 

Join clubs and organisations

You can join local organisations depending on your interests. There could be book clubs worth joining. You might also enroll in a fitness centre. You can meet friends while you are there. You don’t need to lock yourself up in your room to avoid feeling sad. 

Start decorating

For some people, decorating their homes can be therapy. It might have the same effect on you. You will feel more excited about living in your new home when you start seeing how lovely it is. Now, you don’t feel good about it because it looks messy and disorganised. You will get over that feeling after seeing it tastefully decorated.

Discover places

You are new to the city, and you have a lot to discover. There might be a local library that you can enjoy or a museum with lots of interesting information. You can head to a park and play with your kids. You can also go on a date night with your partner. You can discover a lot of things when you don’t stay at home all the time.

There is no reason to be sad

In the end, you feel bad about your decision because you choose to feel that way. With these activities you can do, to make things more fun, you won’t stay sad forever. You will feel like you have a new community that is just as fun as the one you had before, or even better.

If you are yet to move, and you are having second thoughts because of mixed emotions, you need to get over it now. Get your packing boxes. Take your clothes out of your closet. List all the things you need to take with you, and start packing. If you can’t do everything alone, you can count on Malvern removals for help. They will find a way for you to have everything you need ready when you decide to move to a new place. 

Always choose to have fun with whatever decision you make in life. Nothing is perfect, and there is no guarantee that leaving is the right decision. However, you can make the most of any experience if you decide to be happy.

Image: Unsplash.com 

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3 Crucial Factors to Consider Before Tackling a Home Improvement Project

For most of us, our homes are perhaps our most significant investments. As such, we often find ourselves spending a great deal of time and money on making our dwellings not only much more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to live in but to ensure that we minimize depreciation and maintain its value. To get the best value for our money, however, it’s essential to have an objective and pragmatic approach. To this end, here are a few crucial factors to consider before tackling a home improvement project.

  1. Will it fit within the allotted budget?

Not many of us have the luxury of having a substantial amount of resources to work with. In fact, the chances are that you’ll have no more than a reasonable or modest budget allotted for the materials or labor that the home improvement project will require. Before making a decision, it’s always good standard practice to make sure that the project won’t break the bank. After all, the costs of many home improvement projects can quickly spiral out of control if left unchecked and no one wants to be left with an unfinished product.

One top tip is to never skimp on looking for cheaper and inexpensive alternatives. Research is often a tedious task that a lot of us would rather do without, but you’ll be surprised at how useful it can be in reducing expenditure for any services or materials that may be needed.

  1. Will the project affect the value of the property?

Since properties are often considered as investments, it makes sense to be certain that any changes or upgrades made do not affect its value negatively. We may not necessarily be thinking about parting with our homes right at this moment, but in the event that we do, it pays to make sure that any home improvements made will allow the property to maintain its value or even increase it. From choosing to have more modern and durable luxury vinyl flooring over its antiquated alternatives or opting to go for energy efficiency through LED lighting or solar panels, it’s always critical to prioritize projects that can benefit the value of the home.

  1. Is it possible to tackle the project yourself?

In this day and age, a lot of people tend to go for a do-it-yourself method of approach when it comes to home improvement projects. It is, after all, an effective way to avoid the high costs that labor and services usually entail. However, it’s always important to be aware of what we can and cannot do. There are times when it’s much more cost-effective to acquire the services of a specialist since it can help you avoid potentially costly mistakes and gives you more time to focus on other areas that may require your attention more.

Home improvement projects may be more common today than they ever have been in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be taken lightly. By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll not only help yourself stay within budget but choose projects that can be much more beneficial to the value of the home in the long run.

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The Best Ways to Improve How Your Bathroom Looks

After spending the whole long day at work, it’s nice to sit in a tub of warm water with your favourite bath soak while aromatic candles burn and mellow music plays in the background. What a relaxing treat! However, as you snap back to reality, you realise that your bathroom is far from your dream. In fact, it looks dull, boring, and untidy.

If you want to be that relaxed woman in your dream, you should start planning for a bathroom remodel. Sure, it might cost you hundreds or thousands of pounds, but at least you’re putting your money to good use.

Start getting rid of unwanted moisture

Bathrooms turn messy when there is too much unwanted moisture coming from the shower. That’s why it’s better to install shower pods. These bathroom structures will allow you to keep the moisture contained. You can finally put an end to your mould and mildew problem if you eliminate unwanted moisture in your bathroom.

There are many shower pods sold on the market today. All you need is to check the specification of the pods. This way, you can pick the most suitable option for your bathroom. It is also advisable to  start finding a splashback to match the shower pod.

Maximise your storage area

Regardless of if you have a small, large, or medium-sized bathroom, expanding your storage area can help. If you have extra space, you can buy a small cabinet for your towels and toiletries. If the area is small, you should opt for hanging cabinets instead.

To keep the room spic and span, you must remove any unnecessary objects. Get rid of all those empty shampoo bottles. If you can, try to purchase glass containers with pumps for your bathroom toiletries. Also, don’t forget to discard small bits of soap and clean the drain.

Repaint the walls

Repaint jobs are very cheap, but they can instantly spruce up a room. If you’re tired of the same colour that you have, we recommend repainting the walls. Pick a cheerier tone if you have a small bathroom. Darker shades tend to make a room appear smaller. If you have a large or medium-sized bathroom, you can use a monochromatic palette.

Choose an environmentally-friendly paint product when you repaint your walls. These mostly come with a milder scent, compared to the usual types of paint products sold in DIY shops.

Buy a larger mirror

Mirrors make any space appear bigger. If you currently have a small mirror, you should consider installing a new, large one. Apart from the illusion that it provides, it will profoundly impact the overall appeal of your bathroom. If you already have a large mirror, be sure to wipe it clean every once in a while.

It’s high time to have your bathroom revamped. After all, it’s one of the rooms in your house where you spend the longest time each day. A simple addition of a bathroom fixture, regular bathroom clean-up, and compartmentalisation can help you enjoy a more relaxing bath time.

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Start-ups: Don’t buy into all of the myths

Over the last few years it would be fair to say that the start-up culture has really come into its own. Whether it was the economic dip, or a completely unrelated reason, we’re not going to speculate. However, start-ups are popping up in all sorts of places, and entrepreneurs are constantly being bred.

At the same time, the surge in start-up culture has led to a lot of misinformation being published about new businesses. Myths have been developed and as the title of today’s post might have already suggested, we are today going to scrutinize some of these misconceptions and reveal the real truths behind them.

Myth #1 – You need too much capital

Once upon a time, this was completely true. After all, most new businesses were started in a bricks-and-mortar form, and this in itself added more costs. However, through the power of the internet there is no doubt that this myth has been reset so to speak, and you don’t necessarily have to have a lot of capital to get going.

Of course, there are exceptions. If a bricks-and-mortar store is going to be at the forefront of your enterprise, you do need some form of funding. However, don’t be put off by the suggestion that items such as point-of-sale terminals are going to hike up your costs – these are low cost, or even free, to install with vendors making their money on small transaction fees (that will barely touch your bottom line).

Myth #2 – Customers will flock to your great store or product

This next misconception is at the other side of the spectrum. A lot of new businesses are under the belief that customers will flock to their new product, under the “build it and they will come” philosophy. Without trying to be party-poopers, this isn’t going to happen. Sure, you may have released the best product of its kind on the market, but if nobody knows about it this is all for nothing.

You need a solid marketing plan in place long before your product hits the shelves. People need to be aware of it and without this awareness, you really will be on a hiding to nothing.

Myth #3 – You can do it all yourself

With funding low initially, this next myth is hardly surprising. However, as much as you might want to carry out every task yourself, we would advise exercising caution. Sure, you’re not going to be in a position to afford full time staff, but the rise of the freelance economy means that there are a whole host of skilled, temporary workers out there who can help you with everything from marketing to product design.

Remember, if you do it yourself you might save money, but by just having one extra pair of hands you can effectively double your output.

Myth #4 – Big companies eat start-ups for breakfast

It can be hard to not be scared by the big competitors in your field, but this should only occur if you can’t differentiate yourselves from them. If your service is the same, you are destined to fail. If you can offer differences, and ultimately an advantage to the customer, this is where you can prosper.

Remember, some customers are just scared and put off by big brands – and this is a unique advantage that you hold in itself. You can give a personal service, which is something that is greatly appreciated in the modern-day market.

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What is the crack with foundation problems?

What is the crack with foundation problems?

They are one of those areas of the home which are out of sight, but to say that foundation issues are out of mind would be a gross understatement. In truth, they are one of the most important elements of a home and if they fail, you can be left with all sorts of problems.

These problems can result from cracks emerging in the walls, to full-scale flooding that will require emergency water damage repair. In short, it’s a costly affair, and the one expense that insurers are the most afraid of.

To highlight the different types of problems that can impact foundations, let’s take a look at some of them in-detail.

Soil that expands or heaves

One of the big complications about foundations is that they all depend on the type of soil that your property is built on. If we turn to the likes of clay, momentarily, this is something that can be subject to expansion. This is because as soon as clay comes into contact with moisture, it has the habit of expanding.

Clearly, if we’re talking about small amounts of water, this isn’t going to be a problem. However, if your local area is subjected to heavy rain, there’s a chance that this can leak into the soil and make it expand. From that point on, it can cause the soil to heave upwards and ultimately, cause those dreaded cracks that are an insurer’s nightmare.

Soil that consolidates

Whilst clay soil is renowned for expanding, the opposite can be said of other types of soil. There are some types out there that when they dry, they constrict. This means that it starts to pull away from your foundation.

You’ll start to see your house settle if this occurs, which effectively means that it moves downwards. Again, it can cause all sorts of cracks, and even leaks, if these cracks become substantial enough in size.

Large trees growing near to your home

This is perhaps one of the more interesting points we will talk about. While trees are utterly desirable for most people, whether it be for privacy or beauty, from a foundations point of view they can be terribly damaging. For those of you who have filled out a home insurance questionnaire, you’ll have probably stumbled across the question asking if your home is near any large trees, so let’s now delve into the true answers behind this.

As we all know, large trees have large roots. This poses a problem for foundations in particular, as the roots will attempt to consume all of the water that surrounds them. In the case of some soils, that are subject to shrinkage, this can cause settlement.

Some people therefore take it upon themselves to cut the tree down. Unfortunately, this brings even further issues, as the water that was previously used by the roots is returned to the soil. As such, the foundations are provided more water than ever before, leading to even worse foundation issues.

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Home Insurance when Working From Home

home insurance when working from home

Working from home has a number of great benefits. No commute, flexible schedule and lower stress are just some of the advantages of running your business from your house. However, it also comes with certain complications. Protecting your home from ruin is now tied up with protecting your business from going bust. You need to make sure you have both business and home insurance when working from home. When it comes to home insurance, have you taken into account your business insurance needs as well? You’ve built your dream home office, now make sure everything is covered!

home insurance when working from home

Theft and Fire Insurance

Working from home can have its perks in the world of insurance. Your home is actually significantly safer with you being there most of the time. When purchasing home insurance when working from home insurance from your chosen provider, be sure to let them know that you spend your working day occupying the house.

Your presence will deter burglars and mean that you can stop the spread of a fire. This should lower your premiums. If you are buying home insurance in New Jersey, you will already have a lower premium compared to a state such as New Mexico. This is because of differing state by state crime rates. However, being home all day reduces the risk of theft even further.

Public Liability Insurance

Unfortunately, there may be some extra costs that come with running a business from home. If you have customers and clients regularly visiting, then you may need to invest in public liability insurance. This means that if anyone is injured in your home (if they’re there on business), your insurance company will pick up the cost instead of you.

Your home insurance won’t be enough to cover this. So if part of your business is having members of the public over, be sure to cover yourself. Otherwise you could be facing a pricey court case.

Dedicated Business Insurance

Beyond public liability insurance, you will need home insurance with a dedicated business service. Home insurance when working from home may not automatically cover your business entirely. If you have employees working in your home, then they need to be insured. Likewise, your home insurance may not cover specialist work equipment. If your business relies on any technology or machinery, then it makes sense to cover this under a dedicated business insurance plan.

Running your business from home is increasingly common and makes financial sense.  Working from home is the future! However, remember that your home insurance may not cover business costs. Get dedicated business and public liability insurance to keep your company protected. You can also use the fact that you are always home to try and get a discount on your regular home insurance.

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5 ways to protect your floor during remodeling

When you are remodeling your house and you don’t protect your floor, sometimes it can make the job bigger than it needs to be. When you are finished and everything is done, suddenly you realize you have to redo the floor as well because of damage. You might find lumps of plaster or concrete glued to your wooden floor or, even worse, embedded in your carpet. We have all seen it in DIY paint jobs with friends and family, where they were painting the walls, there is suddenly dried paint over the carpet and the edges around the room. You could have rips and grooves torn in the floor when workers move equipment in and through the house. This is one of those issues that is easy to fix with just a little forethought. The easiest way is to put down some flooring protection. We have written out a couple of different things you can use and some things to watch out for. They are as follows.

Plastic film for carpets

Carpet, unfortunately, is one of the easiest things to ruin. If you get too much dust and debris down in the roots or the shaft of the carpet, it can be almost impossible to get out. Use carpet protection film. After your renovation, you really should use a HEPA vacuum cleaner, something that can pull out the smallest of particles, to fully clean the carpet of any small debris. You only want to do that after you have already protected your carpet with plastic film. The plastic film is a bit like a saran wrap that sticks to carpeting. You can lay it down or top the carpeting and protect it from dust and other things that may fall on it and ruin it. It also works well for differently shaped areas such as stairs, as it will just stick to the carpet over the twists and turns. Plastic film will actually give the carpet more traction as well, so there’s less chance of a slip during the renovation.

Paper coverings

Craft paper or rosin paper is a heavy duty paper that you can roll out over the floor surface and tape down with non-residue tape such as painters tape or masking tape. This covering is better used on hard surfaces as it can easily tear on softer surfaces such as carpet. There are also reinforced papers that you can use. These papers have a moisture barrier on the bottom that can protect from spills such as paint or any other liquid. This will give you a time to clean it up without its seeping through. Many people try to use newspaper; however, newspaper is not appropriate for protection in any home renovations. Newspaper is made from the cheapest possible paper which tears very easily. You are better starting with a thicker paper and use a paper that is made for the purpose.

Ram board

Ram board is it for heavy protection. Ram board is generally made from recycled fibers and constructed in a way to make it gas permeable. You can use this as a much higher level of protection on your floor. Ram board is a reusable and very heavy duty. It is made with a special kind of process which allows the vapors from a newly installed floor below it to pass through. This allows you to walk on the new floor while it is still curing and keep it safe.

Corrugated plastic

Corrugated plastic is also a heavy-duty floor protection. This is best used for areas with a more fragile floor, such as tile, marble, or an unfinished wood floor. Dropping a tool on one of these floors may crack or shatter a tile, or marble surface, and make it almost impossible to fix without having to replace that area.

Sticky mats

Not exactly a floor covering, sticky mats still protect your floors. They are a large sticky mat that you would put near all the doorways. As you walk on them, the sticky surface will remove dust and particles from your shoes. There is less chance of your shoes grinding in a small stone you have tracked into the house and into that floor surface. We would not rely on these alone but they are definitely something good to add to the arsenal of keeping it all clean.

If you going to be doing the renovation yourself or you are going to hire a contractor to do it, it is still in very good idea to make sure that everyone understands that all the floor services are to be covered and protected. This protection also extends to other delicate items such as banisters, balustrades, or any wainscoting and might be showing. You get the idea. We wish you the best of luck with your renovation and we hope one of our ideas has saved you some heartache in the future. Good luck with that renovation and may it go smoothly.

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Self Employed Home Owners and Mortgages

Mortgages are an incredibly useful tool for anyone to set a foundation for owning a home. Unfortunately, lenders have made it difficult for the self-employed to get a mortgage. What this means is that – on average – for every 10 quotes someone gets in a salaried position, a self-employed person will only get 6.

At times it can feel impossible to prove that you have the income and stability to be an attractive prospect to a mortgage lender. What, then, can a self-employed person do to get mortgaged? Don’t fret – there are plenty of ways to convince lenders that you’re a reliable borrower.

Types of Lender

The good news is that since the financial crash of 2008 and the ensuing recovery, lending has been relaxed once again (to a degree). Accordingly, there’s been an upwards trend in new lending businesses and also a diversification in the types and size of loans offered by the established companies.

The result is that there’s a great depth of mortgage companies each with their own benefits and particular areas of expertise. If you do a good bit of research and are willing to put time and focus into finding the right company, there should be a company out there that will listen to the case you make.

Preparing Your Documents

Keep an absolutely comprehensive record of all of your incoming and outgoing funds is essential. What is more, you may also want to look into hiring a qualified accountant to help you go over your books. If you’re able to find one with a specialization and experience in dealing with mortgage lenders, you will be able to create a targeted document to ensure you get a good deal.

Income Reporting

Given the various tax loopholes and allowances, you need to take advantage of getting the most out of your income as a self-employed person; many self-employed people will report income differently. Whilst this is often necessary, it can affect your chances of getting a mortgage if it appears that your income is lower than it should be.

Again, you need to find balance. Get quotes and advice from the lenders, and assess your financial management scheme to make sure that you’re maximizing your income without jeopardizing the superficial appearance of your accounts.

Self employed people have historically suffered when asking for credit. Similarly, the financial crash brought about less favourable conditions. However, banks are tentatively dipping their toes back in the water, and if you have a solid case, you can get yourself the funding you need for your new home.

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