One Good Earth Blog

Westmount Village Walking Tour

Westmount Village Walking Tour

Westmount Village Walking Tour is what I decided to do this past weekend, to take advantage of our beautiful summer day. There are several parts of Westmount which are truly wonderful which I’ll cover in another post, but for now I thought I would share two short videos of what it feels like to walk in and around Westmount’s Victoria Village. The homes are older but rich with character and warmth. The shops are diverse and stretch right to the heart of Sherbrooke West. The beauty is that everything is in walking distance! The florist, supermarket, vet, Organic food store, cafés. restaurants, and shops too numerous to mention, this neighborhood has it all.

 

Here’s a link to one of the Westmount Village Facebook pages to keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood

 

Canada’s 10 Best Neighborhoods To Raise Kids

Canada’s 10 Best Neighborhoods To Raise Kids

Article Via Moneysense

Canada’s 10 Best Neighborhoods To Raise Kids includes a fantastic neighborhood called St Bruno De Montarville. In fact, according to an article by Moneysense, St Bruno ranks number #1  as one of the best places to raise kids.

I recently worked with a lovely young family looking to purchase their first home. They told me about St Bruno and off we went to visit homes. It did not disappoint! I can see why the data showed that St Bruno proved to be one of Canada’s best neighborhoods to raise kids. Only 30 minutes from Montreal, this small community with tons of green space, has a tight community of residents that have made St Bruno their home for decades. There’s a small village with shops and a beautiful national park. Although prices have climbed over the past two years, homes prices are still reasonable and your dollar goes along way in what you’ll get compared to home prices in Greater Montreal.

You can learn more about St Bruno by visiting the municipality’s website,

Or learn more about St Bruno National Park

You can read the full Moneysense article on Canada’s 10 best places to raise kids in 2017

Canada’s Best Places to Raise Kids 2017: Top 100

Can statistics really tell you the best place to raise kids? The more you’ll learn about Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que. the more you’ll agree they can. As proud as we are of our approach, even we were amazed by just how perfect our winner is.

To learn more or have any questions about St Bruno don’t hesitate to contact me.

Featured photo by ©Bonnie Meisels, all rights reserved

 

AirBnB And Montreal

Airbnb And Montreal

Airbnb and Montreal, as of the writing of this article, July 23rd 2017, is still a gray area. Just like Uber, it took awhile, years in fact, for the city to figure out a peaceful way forward between Uber & the Taxi industry.  Uber disrupted the status quo for taxi drivers around the globe and Airbnb, the hotel business.

Montreal had to come to terms with the fact that Uber was not going to disappear from the landscape and  similarly, Airbnb is here to stay. According to Leigh Gallagher, in her article 5 Lessons from the story of Airbnb, “Few startups in recent memory have achieved the growth trajectory as the online accommodations platform Airbnb. In less than nine years, it has gone from oddball idea no investor would touch to cultural phenomenon, hospitality industry disruptor and juggernaut with a $30 billion private-market valuation. In fact they now claim a cumulative total of 160 million trips taken on its platform, and their business has doubled almost every single year of it’s existence”.

Currently, the city of Montreal is in the process of creating and implementation new rules and regulations for those running an airbnb operation. “The law, the only one of its kind in Canada, requires people who rent out accommodations for no more than 31 consecutive days to have a permit and pay a hotel tax and individuals who violate the law can be fined between $2500 and $25000 daily, while corporations face penalties of between $5000 and $50000 a day.” (Via CBC News)

Jean-Pierre D’Auteuil, a spokesman for Tourisme Québec, said there are already exemptions. People who rent accommodations out during a specific festival or tourist event are allowed to do so once a year without registering, as are people who rent out their homes when they are away at a cottage.

There were 19,400 Airbnb hosts in Quebec in 2016, according to the company’s data. This is the latest information from the Ville de Montreal as to the Airbnb regulations.

Here’s the color coded map provided by the city that indicates which areas in the Ville Marie neighborhood airbnb will be allowed or forbidden.

 

Read more interesting blogposts on Airbnb

Featured photo © by Bonnie Meisels, all rights reserved

Canada’s Best Value Real Estate Markets

Canada’s Best Value Real Estate Markets

Story Via CTV – Realtor Monte Burris appears on CTV’s Your Morning, Monday, July 10, 2017.

Canada’s best value real estate markets according to Toronto broker Monte Burris, owner of Trust Realty Group, as he told CTV, are not blanketed across Canada, but are to be found in distinct towns and cities.  These are his top choices, based on average sale prices across all housing types in the first quarter of 2017:

1. VICTORIA, B.C. – $585,745 – Fantastic climate, waterfront, huge appreciation potential but much less expensive than Vancouver

2. VERNON, B.C. – $466,678 – All the benefits of the Okanagan but more than $150,000 cheaper than Kelowna, double digit growth rates, great year-round recreation

3. REGINA – $313,903 – Turnaround is underway, growing population, a young city with great energy and affordable lifestyle

4. MONTREAL – $349,549 – A city that is now in a new renaissance when it comes to real estate, great culture, food, nightlife, architecture, double-digit growth

5. THUNDER BAY, Ont.– $219,249 – A great retirement community offering the best bang for a buck, northern Ontario lifestyle and recreation, very affordable when compared to average income

6. GUELPH, Ont. – $441,880 – High-water mark of growth at 26 per cent year over year, Toronto at its doorstep but without Toronto pricing

7. BARRIE, Ont. – $469,700 – Small and affordable community with more northern lifestyle, close to amenities of Toronto, about 10 per cent growth year over year

8. MONCTON, N.B. – $168,300 – Active business community with a lot of culture, extremely affordable compared to incomes

9. CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – $178,489 – A hidden treasure and so inexpensive, great beauty, ocean living

As far as Montreal Real Estate goes, the numbers don’t lie. Here are some articles about why Montreal is currently one of Canada’s best value real estate markets.

Interest-rate increase unlikely to slow Montreal's real-estate market: QFREB

The 0.25 per cent increase in the Bank of Canada’s key interest rate, announced on Wednesday, is unlikely to slow gains in Montreal’s real-estate market, according to Paul Cardinal, the manager of Market Analysis for the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards.

Housing prices continue to rise in Montreal: Royal LePage

Housing prices in Montreal were up across the board during the second quarter of 2017 compared with the year-earlier period, according to a report released by real-estate company Royal LePage on Thursday. However, there were declines in some areas from the previous three-month period.

Featured photo © By Bonnie Meisels, all rights reserved

What’s Happening In Montreal Real Estate July 2017

What’s Happening In Montreal Real Estate July 2017

What’s Happening In Montreal Real Estate July 2017? Well according to the latest quarterly report of The Barometer, published by the QFREB;

  1. The Montreal residential real estate market is up 8% in sales over last year
  2. The condo market registered a whopping 17% increase in sales
  3. Single family homes registered an increase of 4%
  4. The Island of Montreal posted a 12% increase in sales and Ville Marie 36%
  5. Sales of properties $500,000 and more were up 31% and properties $700,000 and more, increased by 40%
  6. The number of active listings across the CMA dropped 14%, thus affecting the inventory supply
  7. Selling times were shorter, with an average of 83 days for a single family home buyer, and condos an average of 109 days
  8. The median price of all three real estate categories, increased substantially in the second quarter.

Watch the video to learn more about Centris Residential sales statistics for June 2017

Access the full report here

You can read and/or download the full Barometer Quarterly Report here

The fact is that Montreal never experienced the frenzy and buying craze of either Toronto nor Vancouver. Our real estate prices remained lower and more stable in comparison to other parts of Canada.  In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of what’s going on across the rest of Canada.

Renewables will be the cheapest form of new power generation by 2020

Renewables will be the cheapest form of new power generation by 2020

Story Via Business Insider

Renewables will be the cheapest form of new power generation by 2020 according to Morgan Stanley. Energy sources like wind and solar will be cheaper than their coal counterparts. In fact they predict that in less than three years, renewables will be the cheapest source of power generation in the world. The bank noted that “The price of solar panels has fallen 50% in less than two years (2016-17).” “We expect the US to exceed the Paris commitment of a 26-28% reduction in US 2005-level carbon emissions by 2025,”

The sudden drop in renewable costs:

The increase in windmill blade lengths has led to an exponential increase in  energy output. “On the solar front, Morgan Stanley says there has been oversupply of solar panels, which is pushing production prices down. Solar installation grew 50% last year, but capacity is still 28% above installations.

The bank also see two possible benefits for utility companies, beyond the environmental ones:

“First, the ability to lower customer bills from utilizing low-cost renewables can improve utilities’ regulatory environment and provide related investment opportunities in grid modernization initiatives,” writes the bank.

“Second, for utilities with large, competitive renewable development businesses, investment in renewable energy projects can generate attractive risk-adjusted returns.”

Infographic by Futurism
Renewables will be the cheapest generation of power by 2020

Buying Affordability In Montreal

Buying Affordability In Montreal

Buying Affordability In Montreal depends on where and what you buy! According to the Montreal Gazette,

“Compared to Vancouver and Toronto, buying a home in Montreal is relatively affordable. But with rising prices, and some areas seeing faster increases than others, affordability often comes down to where — and what — you’re buying.”

According to the QFREB, these are the median condo prices in Montreal:

*Includes central de-merged suburbs of Town of Mount Royal, Westmount, Hampstead and Montreal-West
**Includes municipal Sud-Ouest borough and Verdun

Via the QFREB, these are the median prices for single family homes by neighborhood:

*Includes central de-merged suburbs of Town of Mount Royal, Westmount, Hampstead and Montreal-West
**Includes municipal Sud-Ouest borough and Verdun

As you can see from the chart, there’s a lot of variation depending on the neighborhood. There’s much demand for Pointe-St-Charles, St Henri and Le plateau, but these areas have also really gone up in price. Verdun which was at one time more reasonable is now no longer a secret leading to both a boost in price and demand.

Condos under 450 square feet in areas like Griffintown and Old Montreal, can be had for $250k. Where else in Canada, in a major metropolitan city, can you buy something for 250K in a good location?

As always, the driving factor in any neighborhood remains about the supply and demand equation.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. foreign buyers account for only 1.8 per cent of all real estate transactions between this January and April,

According to Paul Cardinal, the manager of market analysis at the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards,

“When the price of property in the Montreal area begins to rise at a faster pace, as it is now, that trend generally starts in central Montreal, before spreading to nearby suburbs and then to the outer-ring, he says.

“The market is a little more to the advantage of sellers if you’re on the island of Montreal, a little less if you’re in, let’s say, Longueuil, Laval, Brossard,” Cardinal says.

“If you go further, you might find some market conditions that will be either balanced or slightly to the advantage of buyers.”

As prices rise on the Island of Montreal, for single family homes, buyers are forced to move farther out to the suburbs to get more value and larger homes for their dollar. I recently discovered the wonderful and sweet town of Saint-Bruno de Montarville.  It’s approximately thirty minutes from Montreal by car, depending on traffic of course. But what a nice, lovely community with great houses on offer for between 350 – 450k. This market is hopping!

On the island of Montreal, the median price for a single-family home sold between January and May was $432,000. There’s definitely a shortage of good inventory of  affordable three plus bedroom options on the Island of Montreal.

 

12 Charts About Canadian Housing That Will Make You Go WTF

12 Charts About Canadian Housing That Will Make You Go WTF

12 Charts About Canadian Housing That Will Make You Go WTF – article by Huffington Post. Although Canada has never built as many condos, RBC who created many of the charts here are not concerned as there’s still a housing shortage in Toronto and Vancouver where a lot of the construction is concentrated.

In terms of affordability, “Toronto’s Home Affordability Is The Worst It’s Been In A Quarter Century”.
AFFORDABILITY-TORONTO-570
And the situation in Vancouver is even worse:
VANCOUVER-AFFORDABILITY-570

“It costs five times as much to upgrade from a Toronto condo to a house as it did five years ago”

HOUSE-CONDO-PRICE-GAP-TORONTO-570

“By 2016, the gap had increased to some $500,000. It now costs more to upgrade from a Toronto condo to a house than it did just to buy a house five years ago.”

“Despite that, the average house price — as measured by the MLS Home Price Index — rose 28 per cent, much faster than inflation or wages.”

Montreal has the same housing “shortage” as Toronto. So why aren’t Montreal house prices soaring?

TORONTO-MONTREAL-COMPARISON-570

“Given that Montreal is a job-creating powerhouse these days, you’d think people would have the money. Something other than supply and demand is driving up prices in Toronto. Market psychology, maybe?

Vancouver and Toronto are more expensive than Paris, New York and Tokyo

HOUSE-PRICES-WORLDWIDE-570

“When you take the suburbs into account, Toronto is more expensive than Paris, New York or Tokyo. (Here’s the proof if you don’t believe it.) And Vancouver is, additionally, more expensive than London and Los Angeles. Note also that Victoria, B.C., metro population 344,000, is more expensive than New York, Miami or Singapore.”

You can read the full article by the Huffington Post Canada below;

12 Charts About Canadian Housing That Will Make You Go WTF

The evidence is building that Canada’s housing markets – particularly Toronto and Vancouver – are going out of whack. “No duh,” you say, “you noticed prices soaring insanely too, huh?” Well it’s not just that. It’s that these housing markets seem to be violating some basic economic principles.

The Heart Of Our Homes Is The Kitchen

 The Heart Of Our Homes Is The Kitchen

The heart of our homes is the kitchen without a doubt! I’m not sure about you, but after living over 20+ years in my home with my family of three kids, who by the way, still live at home, the kitchen and family are the two rooms we spend most of our time in!

After years of selling real estate, the kitchen can either make or break the sale of the home. For a buyer to fall in love with the home, most of the time, the kitchen has something to do with it. There’s so many incredible kitchen designs today and it’s easy to be inspired. I thought I would share this great selection of twenty kitchen designs featured on DWELL.

20 Modern Home Eat-in Kitchens

Here are 20 well-designed versions that offer an ideal setup for entertaining a group of friends, whipping up an after-school snack, or enjoying dinner-for-one. Join the Kitchen Mailing List Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design

Some other kitchen photos by Houzz,

Farm house tyle kitchen

 

Details of the Hamilton farmhouse kitchen

 

Hamilton farmhouse kitchen eat in nook

 

Contemporary farmhouse kitchen

And For A More Modern Look;

Modern farmhouse kitchen
View some top trends in 2018 for kitchen designs:
To see some kitchen design providers in the Montreal Area;

 

Frank Lloyd Wright Designed House Asks $1.4 Million

Featured photo by Jim Kruger/Landmark Photography

Frank Lloyd Wright Designed House Asks $1.4 Million

This Frank Lloyd Wright Designed House is asking $1.4 Million by the original owners after having lived there for  almost sixty years! To begin with, it’s rare to have a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the market.

“Located on 3.77 acres in Minnesota’s Lake Forest neighborhood is a 2,647-square-foot, three-bedroom home that was designed by Wright in the late-1950s. When Paul and Helen Olfelt commissioned Wright to design a home for their family in 1957, he worked on the project until he passed away in 1959. After moving into the final result by 1960, they settled in, and ended up raising four children there over the years.”

Sitting on a quiet cul de sac, this gorgeous home is made up of almost entirely brick, glass and stone.  This rare find is one of just nine surviving homes in Minnesota that were designed by Wright.

Visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to learn more about this incredible architect

Check out the photos, posted and information source via DWELL

 

Photos by Jim Kruger/Landmark Photography

Photo 2 of 8 in The Original Homeowners of a Frank Lloyd…

Though this home is close to downtown Minneapolis, it sits on a quiet, 3.77-acre piece of land. When you approach the brick home, it immediately becomes clear that it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home-thanks to its wing-like shape and Cherokee Red-painted steps.

 

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