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Mike McCarthy Hamilton Realtor

A Strong Housing Market Expected to Continue into 2021

Sunday Nov 1st, 2020

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local housing market

Circumstances like a once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic and historic inventory shortages might have made you assume that the housing market would lose steam, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. As Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) senior economist, Shaun Cathcart noted, “records [are continually] being broken” in the residential property market.1 Indeed, rather than a slowdown, we are continuing to experience a surprisingly robust real estate market across the... [read more]

5 Secrets Buyers and Sellers Must Know About Virtual Home Tours

Thursday Oct 1st, 2020

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For years now, virtual home tours have helped real estate buyers far and wide find the perfect home. From long-distance military personnel being relocated, to investors expanding their portfolio, to homeowners looking for a vacation getaway, this technology makes finding a house that’s a bit out of driving distance much easier. And for real estate agents, virtual tours have been a useful way to help buyers with their home search and to assist sellers in creatively marketing their... [read more]

Move-Up vs. Second Home: Which One Is Right For You?

Tuesday Sep 1st, 2020

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Move Up Home vs, Second Home

The pandemic has changed the way many of us live, work, and attend school—and those changes have impacted our priorities when it comes to choosing a home. According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, 75% of respondents who have begun working remotely would like to continue doing so—and 66% would consider moving if they no longer had to commute as often. Some of the top reasons were to gain a dedicated office space (31%), a larger home (30%), and more rooms overall... [read more]

Lowest Mortgage Rates in History: What It Means for Homeowners and Buyers

Saturday Aug 1st, 2020

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The interest rate on Canada’s most popular mortgage, the five-year fixed rate, has fallen to its lowest level in history. In early June, HSBC made headlines when it began offering Canadians a five-year fixed-rate mortgage below 2%. Multiple brokers followed suit, and some are now advertising even lower rates. And while many Canadians have rushed to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, others question the hype. Are today’s mortgage rates really a bargain? While... [read more]

Add Value To Your Home With These 9 DIY Improvements

Wednesday Jul 1st, 2020

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9 diy home improvements

Whether you’re prepping your house to go on the market or looking for ways to maximize its long-term appreciation, these nine home improvement projects are great ways to add function, beauty, and real value to your home. The best part is, once you’ve secured the materials, most of these renovations can be completed over the course of a weekend. And they don’t require a lot of specialized skills or experience. So grab your toolbox, then get ready to boost your home’s... [read more]

Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate?

Monday Jun 1st, 2020

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good time to buy or sell a home?

Traditionally, spring is one of the busiest times of the year for real estate. But the coronavirus outbreak—and subsequent stay-at-home orders—led many buyers and sellers to put their moving plans on hold. In April, sales volume fell to its lowest level since 1984, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.1 However, while sales have fallen, prices have remained stable. The average home price in April was down just 1.3% from the same month last year.1 And in many... [read more]

20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

Friday May 1st, 2020

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save money and stretch your hamilton household budget

These days, it seems like everyone’s looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their income a little bit (or a lot) further. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your household expenses without making radical changes to your standard of living. When combined, these small adjustments can add up to significant savings each month. Here are 20 things you can start doing today to lower your bills, secure better deals, and begin working toward your financial... [read more]

The Ontario Land Transfer Tax - Quick Review

Wednesday Apr 15th, 2020

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There is one significant cost that's incurred when purchasing real estate in Ontario that is often overlooked when home buyers are putting their budgets together. Some people might not be aware of this cost, as can be the case with many first time buyers. And for some people, it may have been so long since they purchased a home that they've forgotten about it. So what is it? It is the dreaded Ontario Land Transfer Tax. Who pays land transfer tax on real estate transactions... [read more]

How to Create Functional Spaces in Your Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Wednesday Apr 1st, 2020

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hamilton home tips during coronavirus

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us are spending a lot more time at home than we have ever been used to. We’re all being called upon to avoid public spaces and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of this incredibly infectious disease. While it can be understandably challenging, there are ways you can modify your home and your lifestyle to make the best of this difficult situation. Here are a few tips for creating comfortable and... [read more]

7 Benefits of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Monday Mar 16th, 2020

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Getting your home inspected before you list it for sale can streamline the sales process and help you avoid any unexpected surprises. What most sellers don’t realize is the home inspection is the place where more sales fall apart than any other. A pre-listing home inspection will allow you to get a clear picture about the state of your house – including any problems that may derail a sale. You will have a chance to address major - and minor - issues, and the information you... [read more]

Top 5 Hamilton Home Design Trends for a New Decade

Sunday Mar 1st, 2020

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Top 5 Hamilton Home Design Trends for a New Decade

Whether you’re planning a simple refresh or a full-scale renovation, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in home design. Sellers who make tasteful updates can generate increased buyer interest and, in some cases, a premium selling price. And buyers should consider which features of a home will need updating immediately (or in the near future) so they can factor renovation costs into their overall budget. Even if you have no immediate plans to buy or sell,... [read more]

Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Hamilton Homeowner’s Guide

Saturday Feb 1st, 2020

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Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner’s Guide

Homeownership offers many advantages over renting, including a stable living environment and the freedom to make modifications. Neighbourhoods with high rates of homeownership have less crime and more civic engagement. Additionally, studies show that homeowners are happier and healthier than renters, and their children do better in school.1  But one of the biggest perks of homeownership is the opportunity to build wealth over time. Researchers at the Urban Institute found that... [read more]

2020 Outlook: Canadian Real Estate Market Forecast

Wednesday Jan 1st, 2020

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2020 Outlook: Real Estate Market Forecast

After a two year slump, the future's looking bright again for Canadian real estate. Economists expect positive growth in the national housing market in 2020, supported by low mortgage rates, a solid job market, and a rising population. In fact, in a recent report, RBC Economics called 2019 a “turning point for Canada’s housing market.”1 To understand why—and where the market is headed—I take a closer look at some of the key indicators and summarize... [read more]

Gifts and Gadgets for Every Room in the House

Sunday Dec 1st, 2019

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Gifts and Gadgets for Every Room in the House

Are you searching for new and innovative gift ideas this holiday season? If so, check out my list of the hottest home technology offerings. I've selected a few of my favourites and others that are highly recommended for every room in the house. These smart systems and devices add comfort, convenience, and a “cool factor” that will delight your friends and family.  So think about who you know that loves the latest gadgets … or add a few of these to your own wish... [read more]

5 Steps to Finding Your Next Hamilton Home

Friday Nov 1st, 2019

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finding your home in hamilton

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, shopping for a new Hamilton home can feel daunting. In fact, 56% of buyers said that “finding the right property” was the most difficult step in the home buying process.1  Buying a home is a significant commitment of both time and money. And a home purchase has the power to improve both your current quality of life and your future financial security, so the stakes are high. Follow these five steps—and... [read more]

Are You Covered? A Hamilton Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

Tuesday Oct 1st, 2019

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hamilton homeowners insurance

No one likes to think about disasters. Severe weather, fire, theft—or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe—can wreak havoc on your home and result in thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, a good homeowners' insurance policy can offer you peace of mind that you and your family will be financially protected if disaster strikes.  A homeowners' insurance policy covers your home—as well as the belongings in it—in case of theft, accidental... [read more]

National Snapshot: How’s the Canadian Real Estate Market Doing in 2019?

Sunday Sep 1st, 2019

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national real estate market snapshot

The Canadian real estate market is heating up again!  After a cooldown in 2018, economists predicted a modest rebound this year. However, the housing market has exceeded expectations with total national sales volume on the rise since March. July sales were up 3.5% from the previous month and 12.6% higher than last year.1 So what triggered this faster-than-expected turnaround and renewed market activity? And is it sustainable?  To answer these questions, I take a closer look... [read more]

5 Step Strategy for Downsizing Your Hamilton Home

Friday Aug 30th, 2019

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downsizing your hamilton home

In our “bigger is better” culture, there’s an expectation that each home should be larger and grander than the last. But life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting needs and lifestyle. In fact, the advantages of downsizing are being increasingly recognized. A “tiny house movement” has gained passionate advocates who appreciate the benefits of... [read more]

Will Your Hamilton Home Remodel Pay Off? The Best (and Worst) Ways to Spend Your Budget

Wednesday Jul 31st, 2019

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hamilton home remodel return on investment

Most new homeowners have something about their property that they want to change. And as family needs and design trends shift over time, many will eventually choose to remodel. Some homeowners make updates to their property before listing it to maximize their potential sales revenue. Whatever your reasons are for taking on a home improvement project, it’s wise to consider how the money you invest will impact your home’s value. I’ve taken a look at six popular home... [read more]

Here is the Low-Down on the New First-Time Homebuyer Incentive

Monday Jul 15th, 2019

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first time homebuyer incentive

You may have heard in the past few months that there is a new first-time homebuyer incentive program coming that'll help 1000's of new homeonwers finance their new Hamilton home or in other areas of the Golden Horseshoe (and across Canada). And you have may heard a specific or two here and there, maybe from someone in the business, or maybe from your brother-in-law's best friend's dog's dog-walker. Whatever the case may be, you may still be wondering what EXACTLY is it... [read more]

Serious About Selling? 5 Steps to Make Your Hamilton Home the Best on the Block

Tuesday Jun 25th, 2019

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selling a house in hamilton ontario

We all want to be good neighbours. But when it comes to selling your Hamilton home, it’s not just about “keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s about out-shining them at every opportunity! If you’re looking to sell your home fast and for the most money possible, you’ll need a strategy to set it apart from all the other listings competing for buyers in your area. That’s why I’m outlining my proven, five-step plan for serious... [read more]

Top 6 Home Organization Upgrades that “Spark Joy” for Buyers

Friday May 31st, 2019

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hamilton home organzation

Thanks to Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix series “Tidying Up,” home organization is a hot topic right now. Marie encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and keep only those items that “spark joy.” With spring in full bloom, now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning and add organizational systems to your own home. Not only will you clear out clutter, your efforts can actually increase the value of your home. Ready to give it a try? Here are six... [read more]

Top 10 Myths That Trip Up First-Time Hamilton Home Buyers

Sunday Apr 7th, 2019

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first time hamilton home buying myths

If you’re thinking about buying a home in Hamilton, you’ve probably received your share of advice from family and friends. Add to that the constant stream of TV shows, news segments, and social media posts that over-simplify the home buying process for easy entertainment. With so much information to sift through, it can be tough to distinguish fact from fiction. That’s why I'm revealing the truth behind some of the most common home buyer myths and misconceptions. Buying... [read more]

What’s Your Hamilton Home Actually Worth?

Wednesday Mar 6th, 2019

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Hamilton home values

Discover What Hamilton Home Buyers Will Pay in Today’s Market   It’s easy to look up how much money you have in your savings account or the real-time value of your stock investments. But determining the dollar value of a home is trickier. As a seller, knowing your home’s worth helps you price it correctly when you put it up for sale. If you price it too high, it may sit on the market. But price it too low and you may be losing out on a good chunk of money (nobody... [read more]

3 Home Buyer Turn Offs

Friday Feb 22nd, 2019

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3 Home Buyer Turn Offs

Making a good first impression is important in business, dating, and selling a home. In this fun piece, I lighten it up by comparing home shopping to a first date. Enjoy these first date tips along with how they apply to home showings, and avoid these big turn-offs for your potential home buyers! A first impression is lasting, and you’d never show up on a blind first date not looking and smelling your best. So you shower, apply light fragrance, dress neat, and smile.... [read more]

Top 8 Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2019

Friday Feb 1st, 2019

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hamilton home design trends 2019

If you’re a current Hamilton homeowner, or in the market to buy a home in Hamilton, you’re probably curious about the latest trends in home design. Sellers who make strategic updates before listing their Hamilton property can generate increased interest from buyers and, in some cases, a premium selling price. And buyers should consider which features of a home will need updating immediately (or in the near future) so they can factor renovation costs into their overall... [read more]

Hamilton Real Estate Market Update for December 2018

Tuesday Jan 8th, 2019

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hamilton real estate market update

The Hamilton real estate market stats are out for the month of December 2018 as well as the year 2018. Here is a quick run-through of some of the highlights...and WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU for the year ahead. If you would like the full report, please contact me here and send me your request. Thinking of buying, selling or investing in 2019? Contact me today with your goals, questions and concerns, and together we will get you heading in the right direction! Thanks, Mike [read more]

6 Reasons for Buying or Selling Your Hamilton Home in the Fall

Friday Nov 30th, 2018

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Buying or Selling Your Hamilton Home in the Fall

  Silver medal. Runner-up. Fall. These are all considered to be the second choice, but there are so many benefits to buying or selling a home in Hamilton in fall that I can’t help but push back on any thoughts that the season should be dismissed as subpar. After all, vanilla is the top-selling brand of ice... [read more]

16 General Tips To Get Your Hamilton Home Ready For Sale

Tuesday Oct 16th, 2018

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selling your hamilton house baby vacuuming

What more could you want than getting your Hamilton home sold for top dollar in short order without any hassles? If you take a moment and read through the following suggestions before you put the property on the market, you’ll be on your way to a successful sale. You goal is to simplify, depersonalize, and de-clutter the home in order for it to show larger and brighter, giving a more spacious feeling to potential buyers. These steps will provide you with an advantage over the... [read more]

August 2018 Newsletter - Smart Homes & Water-Saving Tips

Friday Aug 31st, 2018

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hamilton homes newsletter smart homes and water saving tips

Brought to you by Mike McCarthy. Smart Homes: The Way of the Future or a Risk to Homeowners? By Liz Dominguez Glitches of early iterations aside, smart home technology has an increasingly active presence in the lives of Hamilton homeowners who are looking for convenience and savings in a pushed-for-time era. From adaptive thermostats that automatically gauge energy... [read more]

4 Regular Maintenance Tips To Increase The Value Of Your Home

Friday Aug 31st, 2018

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regular maintenance tips to increase the value of your hamilton home

Regular maintenance is an important contributor to the value of your home. The following steps will help you create an actionable maintenance calendar, so you feel confident your home is being cared for and kept in the best condition possible. Make a list of what needs regular maintenance. Walk through the house and yard and jot it all down on a list. Write down small things like weeding the garden beds and big things like cleaning the chimney. Take your list and decide how... [read more]

3 Ways To Keep Your Appliances In Tip Top Shape

Thursday Aug 2nd, 2018

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Inspect your dishwasher

Appliances are a big investment, so it is important to make sure they are regularly maintained so they'll last as long as possible. Cleaning them regularly and checking them for any leaks or mechanical issues is the first step, but there are a few lesser-known maintenance tips that will help keep your appliances humming along for years to come: Clean your refrigerator's coils once every few months. Coils are located at the bottom or in the back of most models and can build up... [read more]

July 2018 Newsletter - Home Improvement Envy & Etiquette

Wednesday Jul 18th, 2018

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Home Improvment Envy

Brought to you by Mike McCarthy. Do You Have Home Improvement Envy? You’re Not Alone Have you found yourself longingly peering into the yard next door to check out their new water feature only to start drawing up the blueprints for your own a week later? If you answered yes, turns out... [read more]

5 Tips to Consider When Attending an Open House

Tuesday Mar 20th, 2018

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5 Tips to Consider When Attending an Open House

If you are planning to acquire a new home in Hamilton, you're probably thinking about attending open houses in the neighbourhood you have chosen. Getting a glimpse of a potential house in its best condition will enable you to get valuable insight into a possible future home. It will also allow you to do a personal appraisal of the space and gauge whether it’s worth the money you are willing to spend, especially if you are serious about placing a offer. A single weekend alone can... [read more]

Top 5 Considerations In Your Hamilton Condo Rental Search

Tuesday Jan 23rd, 2018

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Whether it’s your first or last rental experience, finding a condo or apartment rental in Hamilton that fits both your budget and lifestyle can be overwhelming. Not only will you have to choose a new place from the several options available, but you will also be required to sign a long-term lease agreement that will hold you to your decision for usually at least an entire year. However, to make the process more manageable, it’s important that you understand exactly what you... [read more]

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