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#16
(05-19-2016, 11:04 AM)zanate Wrote: Kitchener 2015 final rate: 1.18477%   link
Waterloo 2015 final rate: 1.15969%   link

Thank you for linking this so I don't have to! It's amazing this myth goes on.

(05-19-2016, 11:17 AM)panamaniac Wrote: Suddenly the budget problems of WPL make sense to me!  Wink

Note, the city of Waterloo will still be collecting more taxes per household, because the value of the houses are higher. So you pay less taxes in Waterloo (assuming equal value), but the city collects more, in comparison to Kitchener. There are some areas of Waterloo where house prices are the same as Kitchener,  most things comparable, so it pays to know this.
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#17
Welcome to the forum, and (soon) to Waterloo Region!

You're allowed to move here only if you put those awesome photography skills to work and take some great shots of our new Light Rail system once it becomes operational. Big Grin
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#18
(05-19-2016, 11:48 AM)Andy Wrote:
(05-19-2016, 11:04 AM)zanate Wrote: Kitchener 2015 final rate: 1.18477%   link
Waterloo 2015 final rate: 1.15969%   link

Thank you for linking this so I don't have to! It's amazing this myth goes on.

(05-19-2016, 11:17 AM)panamaniac Wrote: Suddenly the budget problems of WPL make sense to me!  Wink

Note, the city of Waterloo will still be collecting more taxes per household, because the value price of the houses are higher. So you pay less taxes in Waterloo (assuming equal value), but the city collects more, in comparison to Kitchener. There are some areas of Waterloo where house prices are the same as Kitchener,  most things comparable, so it pays to know this.

Fixed that for you zanate.  Smile
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#19
(05-19-2016, 06:56 AM)panamaniac Wrote:
(05-18-2016, 11:17 PM)Cartcanuck Wrote: My wife's office will be in Kitchener and we have been looking at homes in both Kitchener and Waterloo.  

So far the areas we seem most drawn to are Waterloo: Beechwood and Westvale, and Kitchener: Forest Heights, Country Hills, or maybe Stanley Park areas.. The top end of our house budget is $400k and we appreciate the areas with mature trees and yards.    We have even seen some homes in the Chicopee and Breslau areas that look nice.  But so far it's been online shopping for homes.  Wifey has a realtor she is working with and she will be in Kitchener in early July to start work and will be able to look more in person.

Should we be avoiding any of these  communities?

I don't think there's anything on that list to avoid.   In Kitchener, my preference from your list would be Forest Heights (or Forest Hill if you're willing to go older), Stanley Park, and Country Hills, in that order.   You've probably already noticed that you pay a premium for equivalent houses in Waterloo over Kitchener.  Kitchener taxes are also lower than those in Waterloo.  The new subdivisions in Breslau seem nice, but it's a "full car-dependent" kind of place.

If you haven't already seen it, and I'm not sure where to find it, there is a list on-line ranking primary schools in K and W, so you might like to look at that in the context of the neighbourhoods you're considering.

Yeah, I can't remember what it's called, but we've been looking at that ranking.  The schools in Laurelwood seem to rank best, but we can't afford to get what we want for a house in that area  :Smile   Coming from a smaller city, we have gotten used to mature trees and we currently have a HUGE lot (18,000 square feet with an inground pool).   I know we won't be replacing that in KW, at least not within our budget, but we would at least like a decent size yard and some mature trees.  So that draws us to the older, more mature communities.
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#20
(05-19-2016, 07:33 AM)Spokes Wrote:
(05-18-2016, 11:17 PM)Cartcanuck Wrote: My wife's office will be in Kitchener and we have been looking at homes in both Kitchener and Waterloo.  

So far the areas we seem most drawn to are Waterloo: Beechwood and Westvale, and Kitchener: Forest Heights, Country Hills, or maybe Stanley Park areas.. The top end of our house budget is $400k and we appreciate the areas with mature trees and yards.    We have even seen some homes in the Chicopee and Breslau areas that look nice.  But so far it's been online shopping for homes.  Wifey has a realtor she is working with and she will be in Kitchener in early July to start work and will be able to look more in person.

Should we be avoiding any of these  communities?

I live in Forest Heights and absolutely love the area.  I recommend it 100%

If you're looking to top out at $400k, that might be your best bet.  I don't know how much you can get in Beachwood for that price.

Are you looking for something newer/older or doesn't matter?  I'm near Fisher Hallman and Victoria and that neighbourhood was built in the early 90s.  On the other side of Highland for example my friend owns a home that was built in the mid 70s.  Depends what you're looking for.

Awesome, good to hear a good review for Forest Heights.  

We're not picky on age, but we want some mature trees in the yard and neighborhood.  That usually means 20-30 years old or older.  We aren't into the newer communities with postage stamp size lots (within our price range anyway).  We had been looking in the Millen Woods area, but anything with a yard and trees like we wanted was quite a bit out of our range.  So a middle aged (just like me!!) updated home would be just fine.
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#21
(05-19-2016, 11:59 AM)Canard Wrote: Welcome to the forum, and (soon) to Waterloo Region!

You're allowed to move here only if you put those awesome photography skills to work and take some great shots of our new Light Rail system once it becomes operational. Big Grin

Deal!!

I'm looking forward to the LRT.  In my 13 years in Calgary, I used the LRT there a LOT! It's great to see one coming to Waterloo Region.  Now if they can just stop finding those corduroy roads during construction, they'll get 'er done much quicker   LOL   Cool history they are finding though.
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#22
(05-19-2016, 12:03 PM)panamaniac Wrote:
(05-19-2016, 11:48 AM)Andy Wrote: Thank you for linking this so I don't have to! It's amazing this myth goes on.


Note, the city of Waterloo will still be collecting more taxes per household, because the value price of the houses are higher. So you pay less taxes in Waterloo (assuming equal value), but the city collects more, in comparison to Kitchener. There are some areas of Waterloo where house prices are the same as Kitchener,  most things comparable, so it pays to know this.

Fixed that for you zanate.  Smile

Don’t be so sure. I think A price is the amount of money for which something is offered to be purchased or sold, or the amount for which it was or is agreed to be purchased or sold. A house that is not on the market does not have a price. For tax purposes, however, all properties have a value assessed. Similarly, my computer does not have a price. It had a price when I bought it, and if I sell it when I’m done with it it will again have a price — first my asking price, later the price at which it is actually sold.
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#23
The best way to replicate mature trees and large open green spaces in KW is to live near Waterloo Park or Victoria Park Wink (also gets you very close to LRT)
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#24
We have noticed that homes listed with COMFREE are staying on the market a lot longer than homes listed with realtors. Homes listed with realtors have been selling in 9-14 days from what we've seen, while many Comfree houses from a month ago are still listed. It's possible there may be issues with the home or sellers with excessive price expectations with the Comfree homes, while realtors may be pricing their homes more aggressively to get their commissions more quickly. We don't have a lot of COMFREE out here or even a lot of sale by owners of any sort. Does anyone have any insight or experience dealing with real estate deals using Comfree?

Either way I know I'll be needing a good local lawyer to help us with our transaction, and a home inspector. I'm thinking that if we go with a Comfree sale, these people would be even more important in the sale.
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#25
I’m not a real estate agent, don’t have any in the family or as more than acquaintances, but I think it’s important to get a real estate agent, especially if it’s an area you are unfamiliar with. I have dealt with for-sale-by-owners in the past, and it hasn’t always been pleasant: in most of the cases, they seemed to price the property too high without much thought to comparables, and were very sticky on the price because of their emotional attachment to the property. My sample is small, and I’m sure not all of them act that way, but I believe you’re right about them taking a while to sell because of unrealistic listing prices.

Most of the sellers who post on Com Free or even just put up a sign are willing to pay a commission to a buyer’s representative. Ultimately you’ll be paying that, but I think it might be worth it for the knowledge that a (good) agent would have. No doubt it’s entirely possible to close a deal with a good real estate lawyer and save a lot of money. Since you’re still thinking about which neighbourhoods might suit you, and aren’t as familiar with the area, I’d say it would be prudent to find an agent.
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#26
(06-01-2016, 12:13 AM)Cartcanuck Wrote: We have noticed that homes listed with COMFREE are staying on the market a lot longer than homes listed with realtors.  Homes listed with realtors have been selling in 9-14 days from what we've seen, while many Comfree houses from a month ago are still listed. It's possible there may be issues with the home or sellers with excessive price expectations with the Comfree homes, while realtors may be pricing their homes more aggressively to get their commissions more quickly. We don't have a lot of COMFREE out here or even a lot of sale by owners of any sort.  Does anyone have any insight or experience dealing with real estate deals using Comfree?  

Either way I know I'll be needing a good local lawyer to help us with our transaction, and a home inspector. I'm thinking that if we go with a Comfree sale, these people would be even more important in the sale.

We bought our house that was listed with ComFree.  Noticed the same thing, it was on the market longer than I thought it should have been.  I think sometimes the seller not having any guidance hurts them.  It did in our case.

That being said, we used an agent.  There are too many things I just don't know about that it was the right call for us to have one.
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#27
(06-01-2016, 12:13 AM)Cartcanuck Wrote: while realtors may be pricing their homes more aggressively to get their commissions more quickly.

This. Several agents suggested pricing our house 20% below what we finally got. No one came close to suggesting the proper list price. However I'd tracked real estate prices in the area and I knew they were low-balling the price and we sent them packing.
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#28
(06-01-2016, 08:00 AM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(06-01-2016, 12:13 AM)Cartcanuck Wrote: while realtors may be pricing their homes more aggressively to get their commissions more quickly.

This. Several agents suggested pricing our house 20% below what we finally got. No one came close to suggesting the proper list price. However I'd tracked real estate prices in the area and I knew they were low-balling the price and we sent them packing.

While it may seem at first that agents want to maximize the listing price (they are paid as a % of selling price), actually they usually want a low selling price as they want to minimize the time required to sell.  That said, a high asking price will tent to increase the length of time the house is on the market, so need to balance the time vs money equation when deciding the selling price.
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#29
See below for theoretical Real Estate Agent motivations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFYlgqv3T-w
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#30
(06-01-2016, 08:00 AM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(06-01-2016, 12:13 AM)Cartcanuck Wrote: while realtors may be pricing their homes more aggressively to get their commissions more quickly.

This. Several agents suggested pricing our house 20% below what we finally got. No one came close to suggesting the proper list price. However I'd tracked real estate prices in the area and I knew they were low-balling the price and we sent them packing.

That word "aggressively" is being used a lot in corpspeak lately to forgive a multitude of transgressions.
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