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Home Connection
Gord Martin Gord Martin &
F. Lee Martin

416.690.5100 (Office)
416.699.5897 (Home)

Royal LePage Estate Realty
Brokerage, Independently Owned&Operated

In this issue...
· Leading The Way ... Home !
· Featured Listing
· Market Update
· Renovations and Returns
· Screen Doors
Leading The Way ... Home !

We are waiting for you.
We are big enough to give you all the marketing and profile possible.
We are small enough to make that marketing custom fit your needs, and to be your personal and sole contacts throughout the process. No assistants, facilitators, buyer agents, or client managers ... just us !
We restrict our client numbers and our primary performance measurement is a survey we ask every client to complete. The results should give you confidence that we are agents who you can trust completely, and who will provide you with great service.
Featured Listing
Featured Listing Nothing to do ...

... just move in to this wide renovated home. Sun room, finished basement, renovated kitchen, 2 baths, parking, professional landscaping and close to absolutely everything.

See more at

Canada’s Housing Market Remains Stable;
Moderate Price Increases in First Quarter
Canada’s real estate market stands on stable footing.  On average, healthy year-over-year house price gains were recorded during the first three months of 2008.  While more modest price increases were observed when compared to previous quarters, the solid appreciations noted in the first quarter are largely due to the shared effects of resilient local economies, high immigration levels, and relatively low interest rates – all leading to enduring buyer demand, according to a House Price Survey report released by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

Of the housing types surveyed, detached bungalows increased to $336,834 (+8.3 %), followed by standard two-storey properties, which rose to $400,647 (+7.1%), and standard condominiums, which increased in price to $240,423 (+6.9 %), year-over-year.

“Canada’s housing market remains on solid footing.  With the notable exception of a handful of small western cities, the country has returned to an environment characterized by moderate house price increases,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive, Royal LePage Real Estate Services.  “These conditions are far more agreeable to those searching for a home, and are more sustainable in the long term than the sharp price increases recently experienced.”

Added Soper: “We know now that the Canadian real estate market has followed a markedly different path from that of the United States.  Our tiny subprime mortgage market has exposed us to very few of the pitfalls that have created the unfortunate chaos south of the border.  While Canada will not escape the negative impact of a troubled American economy, Canadians’ home equity should remain safe, as the market moves into a period of slow growth, but growth nonetheless."

For more information, please see the Royal LePage Survey of Canadian House Prices at

If you are wondering what your home is worth in today's market, please contact me and let me put my expertise to work for you!

Survey of Canadian Average House Prices in the First Quarter 2008

  Detached Bungalow Standard Two Storey Standard Condominium
2008 Q1 Average Annual Change 2008 Q1 Average Annual Change 2008 Q1 Average Annual Change
Halifax $207,333 9.1% $246,333 23.2% $152,000 5.6%
Charlottetown $155,000 6.9% $185,000 5.7% $105,000 5.0%
Moncton $152,000 10.1% $135,300 2.5% - N/A
Fredericton $160,000 2.6% $197,000 5.3% $126,000 -3.8%
Saint John $185,000 14.4% $264,000 25.5% $142,000 19.8%
St. John's $164,000 13.1% $229,333 14.7% $173,333 16.9%
Atlantic $170,556 9.4% $209,494 13.8% $116,389 8.8%
Montreal $227,799 3.9% $332,389 2.8% $201,778 2.2%
London $223,300 9.7% $230,300 8.9% $124,100 7.0%
Ottawa $311,583 4.5% $309,833 5.1% $198,083 5.7%
Toronto $432,679 11.3% $544,150 8.0% $298,662 6.9%
Winnipeg $229,125 19.7% $242,943 10.1% $138,000 13.1%
Regina $237,138 49.6% $227,000 42.3% $160,917 57.0%
Saskatoon $340,000 50.3% $395,000 53.4% $220,000 41.9%
Calgary $442,852 9.9% $445,792 8.3% $281,807 7.8%
Edmonton $330,000 -4.9% $363,707 -3.7% $235,000 -7.7%
Vancouver $852,750 12.5% $948,750 13.3% $455,750 12.9%
Victoria $439,000 14.2% $460,000 10.0% $294,000 18.5%
National $336,834 8.3% $400,647 7.1% $240,423 6.9%
noneRoyal LePage Identifies Top Renovations with the Best Return on Investment

Whether doing-it-yourself or hiring a professional, interior painting, hardwood flooring and kitchen upgrades are amongst top renovations.

If you’ve spent years waking up to wood-panelled walls and soft shag rugs, some home renovations, especially if you’re thinking of selling your home, may be in order.  While some renovations such as updating a kitchen or bathroom may require a trained professional, there are a number of do-it-yourself projects that are sure to increase a home’s resale value.  The Royal LePage Renovations and Returns Survey examines some top renovations that bring the best return on investment (ROI), as compiled by the Royal LePage network.

“Amid today’s competitive real estate market, renovations offer a relatively affordable means to boost the value of a home,” said Lisa da Rocha, vice president, marketing and sales, Royal LePage Real Estate Services.  “Do-it-yourself tasks such as painting walls, changing cupboard knobs or laying new flooring will make a house not only more appealing to buyers, but also offer a great return on investment.”

Reasonable and radical renovations.
  • Freshen up:  Adding a new coat of paint can freshen up a house and make the interior look like new – not to mention more spacious. For homeowners looking to sell in the near term, neutral colours are most preferred.
  • Floors galore:  Today, hard surfaces are all the rage.  If genuine hardwood exceeds budgets, laminate works well.  Buyers like to see hard floors throughout, so if possible, be sure to lay down laminate in dining rooms and living rooms, and even in bathrooms and bedrooms.
  • Lighten up:  Old or standard-grade light fixtures, electrical and light cover plates can easily date a house.  To modernize, add distinct flair to the interior, consider installing new light fixtures.
  • Pebble Beach? Well, close:  The old adage, you never get a second chance to make a first impression is extremely true when it comes to selling a home.  To increase curb appeal and entice buyers, ensure front lawns are tidy and gardening is minimal.  While there is no need to go overboard and plant an expensive Japanese Maple, adding some standard shrubs and flowers will make a home more inviting. 
  • Stylishly steel:  Similar to the issue with old light fixtures, knobs, fume hoods and backsplashes can make a kitchen seem outdated.  Sleek, stainless steel hardware designs have the biggest and most positive impact on those people looking to buy a home.
  • Opening all the right doors: An elegant entrance enhances a prospective buyer’s first impression of the house itself.
  • ROI from the ground up:  To see an even higher return on investment, replace old flooring with new hardwood.  While a range of qualities, textures and colours exist, it’s best to opt for a neutral wood colour to accommodate the widest possible array of tastes and décor.
  • White picket fence?:  Building a fence and a deck instantly boosts a home’s appeal.  Keeping kids and pets in the yard, and nosey neighbours out, fences provide the back and side yards with a sense of being finished.
  • Occupied, no more:  A bathroom situated on the main floor is increasingly seen by homebuyers as an essential fixture in their next purchase.  While many older homes were built with bathrooms only on the second floor, many homeowners are resorting to transforming closets or adding new rooms to accommodate two-piece powder rooms. 
  • Exquisite en suite:  Today’s homebuyer prefers bathrooms that have spa-style tubs and modern faucets.  Granite and marble tiles are now readily available and can be purchased at relatively affordable prices.
  • Everything, and the kitchen sink:  While prices can vary when renovating a kitchen, one thing is certain – updated kitchens bring one of the highest returns on investment.  With homeowners spending more time in the kitchen than any other room, it’s no surprise they want the best possible style and functionality.  Stainless steel appliances, ceramic sinks and clean lines on cupboards rank as the more preferred finish options.   Since kitchens and baths can be such a personal space, it’s wise not to select a dramatic style or colour scheme since your tastes may not be the same as the next owner.

Top ‘do it yourself’ renovations with best return on investment

1. Paint the interior $1,000 50-100%
2. Replace carpeting with affordable laminate $2,000 (for 1,000 square foot space) 50-75%
3. Install new light fixtures $2,000 60-70%
4. Groom the exterior landscape $2,000 25-50%
5. Replace knobs and hardware $2,000 75-100%
6. Update the entryway $3,000 50-75%
7. Replace carpeting and laminate floors with hardwood $5,000 (for 1,000 square foot space) 50-75%
8. Build a fence/deck $5,000 50-75%

Renovations with best return on investment, some help may be required

Install an additional bathroom on main floor Under $5,000 80-100%
Renovate bathrooms $5,000 - $8,000 75-100%
Renovate kitchen $12,000 - $15,000 75-100%

*Assumes mid-grade quality finishes, labour excluded
** Source: Appraisal Institute of Canada RENOVA, Royal LePage

For more information visit and click Press Releases.

noneScreen door décor

Screen doors let the breeze in and keep the bugs out. They open your home to the sounds and scents of summer, and help cool your house without wasting energy on air conditioning. Want to let in a little more summer this year? Here’s what you need to know about picking the perfect door.

Screen doors have come a long way from the hard-to-open metal models and flapping wood doors of your childhood. Available in metal, vinyl or wood, many feature smooth hydraulic or pneumatic closers and springs or chain stops that keep them from slamming shut or swinging open. Designed for both practicality and curb appeal, doors are available in a wide variety of colours, styles and finishes. Your choices include:

  1. Basic vinyl or aluminum. Durable and affordable, these doors come in a surprising variety of attractive styles; you’ll find everything from traditional designs to art deco-inspired geometrics.
  2. Storm/screen door combo. Traditionally, people replace the screen door with a storm door in the winter. A combination door makes the “swap” easier; simply remove or slide the glass down in summer and replace it with a screen.
  3. Wood. From rustic doors featuring carved animals to pretty “granny doors,” wood can really add to the look of your home. However, winter cold and damp can be hard on them, so manufacturers suggest that you take them down when it gets cold to prevent warping.
  4. Sliding. Inexpensive and easy to maintain, sliding screen doors that go with patio doors make it easy to open up your home to a fresh breeze.
  5. Retractable screens. If you don’t like the look of a screen door, these are a great option, and are available at your local home improvement store. Screens pull out from the sides and lock shut with a magnetic catch. Handy homeowners will be able to install them with little effort.

With the right screen door for your home, comfort and curb appeal are a breeze!

Tips for installation
Thinking about installing your screen door yourself? Manufacturers include installation instructions that only require hand tools, but most DIY resources suggest an intermediate level of “handiness.” If that doesn’t sound like you, consider using an experienced carpenter or the store’s installation service.

Condo Cool
You don’t have to live in a house to kick back and enjoy the breeze. Welcome summer into your space by installing a screen door to your balcony. It’s a great way to make your indoor and outdoor spaces feel unified and to make your condo feel more spacious.

No pressure. Call us to help you with the information you need to decide WHAT and WHEN your real estate needs are. Then we will work with you on your schedule and to your needs. Just call and rest easy.
All offices are independently owned and operated, except those offices marked as "Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd." Not intended to solicit currently listed properties. The above information is from sources believed reliable, however, no responsibility is assumed for the accuracy of this information.

©2008 Residential Income Fund L.P.