Roads to Home Realty Newsletter from Val Westgate

Saturday Mar 14th, 2020



Roads to Home Realty Newsletter March 2020

I’ve decided that there is no better way to lift your mood  than to add colour to something  David Hockney style.  Flowers on the table, a house siding that reminisces the Mediterranean even if we can’t be there, a sweater knitted in bright bits of yarn or a  picture that brightens up the room and offers a new perspective on life.  

In my current reading, I came across a mention of David Hockney’s artwork which sent me on a google search of  all his work.  He’s a British painter, well known for his portraits but the landscapes he has done truly capture a new way of seeing the world.  They are vibrant and lively and can brighten any day.

March brings warmer days and a steady  stream of spring housing activity

Although 2019 was considered a year of recovery for housing markets, in response to higher interest rates and tougher mortgage rules last year, Kingston saw a 7% increase in home prices with lack of supply driving up home values.   This year so far seems to have started this way but hopefully more homes will become available.  

In Toronto, sales have strengthened and prices are on the rise, led by strong demand for condos.  The strength and lack of inventory in Toronto has also made Kingston a destination for   families who want to purchase a home and for retirees selling in Toronto and downsizing in Kingston.   

There is little mystery as to what is driving the recovery. The strongest job growth in a dozen years has reduced the unemployment rate to a 45-year low. A one-percentage-point decline in five-year fixed mortgage rates and, more recently, the First-Time Home Buyers Incentive has supported affordability.  Most importantly, international migration is driving the fastest population gains in three decades, lifting  the need for housing.

2020 should see continued strength in home sales and prices, albeit at a more moderate pace than in 2019. Already low mortgage rates just got slashed because of the fears of business activity slowing due to the corona virus.  In response the central bank slashed its key interest rate Wednesday March 4, 2020 to 1.25 per cent from 1.75 per cent to keep the economy humming.  It is still a good time to invest in Kingston as property values are expected to rise. 

Income properties 

I purchased an income property downtown a few years ago to help me with the costs to finish a degree at Queen’s University.  It was a great investment for me at the time.  With the right fit for you, investing in real estate provides potential for another income stream and can help diversify your investment portfolio. A second property may also present an opportunity to increase your wealth through the rental income it generates or through price appreciation after selling the property at a later point in time.   

Before you take the plunge, it’s important to understand  the responsibilities that come with an investment property. Start by reviewing your finances and asking yourself if you can afford to  carry a second property.  Make sure to include these items into your costs: 

  • A minimum 20% downpayment 
  • Real estate agent commissions, lawyer fees and property management fees.
  • Income that can cover your mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, condo fees, insurance and repairs 
  • A budget for maintenance or repairs 
  • Get to know the legal (Landlord and Tenant Act) and  tax obligations as a landlord 

Please call me to discuss your property investment needs.  Whether it’s trying to find a special home or rental investment or selling to make space for something new.  I’m here to  help.

Duct Cleaning

Many people often wonder whether duct cleaning is a valuable service.  My experience says it is extremely valuable. Consider the ductwork in a forced air heated/cooled home as the lungs of your home.

In a typical six room home, up to 40 pounds of dust are created annually.  When not maintained, the air ducts in your home can harbour all kinds of allergens, including dust, mold, fungus, spiders and yes animal fur.  I even recommend that new home purchasers get their ductwork cleaned professionally before they move in because all kinds of drywall dust and loose nails, etc can block the air flow.   

And as for resale homes, I think its always a good idea to clean the duct work right away.  I once bought a home that had kitty litter in the ductwork!  When I was informed of that I was shocked and then relieved that it had been cleaned out before I moved in.  You just never know what is in the labyrinth of metal ducts beneath your feet or above your head.  And clean ducts can also reduce your energy bills by allowing the furnace to work at the optimal performance level.

Please call or text me and I can certainly recommend some good duct work cleaners, as well as any other home professionals you may need.     

Up Front and Personal

My background (1st career) was in filmmaking and producing for television.  I worked as a Producer/Director for the local community channel, now Cogeco 13, for 18 years.  I still work on films on the side and consider it one of my enjoyable artistic pursuits. In 2004 I produced a film on a local printmaker, called Under My Shell: Profile of Printmaker Nan Yeomans.  It was purchased and aired on BRAVO! television.  Her web legacy of work can be seen at  with local exhibits at the TETT centre this month.  To see the film on Nan go to   

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