Windsor and Essex County’s real estate market continues to be hot. Heartbreakingly hot
Home sales in Windsor-Essex rose 20.4 per cent last month compared to June 2015 and the average sales price was $231,880 — up from $198,801 a year ago.
It’s so hot veteran real estate agents haven’t seen anything like it in 30 years, Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors president Norman Langlois said Wednesday.
“We try not to create pandemonium and we don’t want to get everybody all excited, but it is moving very fast and it’s because we’re probably the best area in southern Ontario to buy in,” Langlois said.
Homes can sell within days and the listings aren’t increasing fast enough to keep up with sales, he said. On average, houses are going for $5,000 to $8,000 over the asking price and he knows of some that fetched $30,000 to $100,000 over the list price.
Great for sellers. Tough on potential buyers.
“Some of them are now at their sixth offer and missed out on the first five,” Langlois said. “They are getting overbid. It is heartbreaking.”
Lakeshore, South Windsor and LaSalle are the hottest markets. Langlois said downtown Windsor is starting to see a small increase in property values so it may be a good time to consider investing there. Prices downtown haven’t been on the rise in 30 years, he said.
“Downtown has finally reared its head and started to increase a tiny bit in value, a tiny bit, which probably makes it the best investment in the city or the county, for that matter.”
Buyers need to be patient and beware. Langlois offers a few tips for house hunting in a sizzle of a seller’s market:
Use a real estate agent. It may sound self-serving but Langlois said home buyers need the expertise of a real estate agent who will know the market, such as what other homes sold for in a neighbourhood now and in the past and what homes may not be worth getting into a bidding war to buy. If you outbid other buyers and pay $50,000 more for a house and the housing market drops, you could be in trouble. “You really need a Realtor. This is a dangerous market to go in by yourself.”
Expect multiple offers and don’t put conditions on your offer. Many buyers are being forced to go without a home inspection or the condition to sell their home first.
Get pre-approved for your mortgage. Remember that the bank looks at the appraised value so you will need extra cash. If you are approved for 85 per cent of a $100,000 house and end up paying $10,000 more for the house, you have to come up with a bigger down payment ($15,000 plus $10,000).
Speaking of having extra cash, that goes for updates. Don’t cut it so close in a bidding war that you don’t have money to paint or do repairs.
Be careful on power of sale and houses that stay on the market for weeks. You need to know why it didn’t sell quickly, which Langlois adds is another reason to go with a real estate agent.
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