Real estate blogs, uptown condos and poutine. This is the Marshall Report.

51 great real estate blogs

I love blogs. I love them because they are real. Unlike newspapers, they are not a vehicle for advertising space. They don’t arrive wet at the end of your driveway. They may be egotistical and opinionated, but the best blogs have one voice and you can either click on it or not.

I came across “Top 50 Canadian Real Estate Blogs” the other day. There are all kinds of real estate blogs. Blogs which provide expert opinions and analysis, original research, news, but also homeowner tips and advice for investors, buyers and sellers. These blogs are not only rich in original content, but are also pleasant to look at, and easy to navigate. The owners cater for these blogs and respond to comments, have all the relevant social media accounts and are active on at least one or two of them. Many of these blogs are frequently updated and their witty posts are shared all across the Canadian real estate blogosphere.

Some of these are really great. Clearly I have a long way to go.


There goes the neighbourhood

My home in Uptown Waterloo will soon be in the shadow of a 14-storey condo building and I have mixed feelings about that.

On the positive side, I’m always for development. Be it the LRT or the student high-rises along King, Erb or Columbia or the Barrel Yard Development, GO Train service, or expanding the airport, I’m always for it. You can’t stand in the way of progress.

However I feel pangs of NIMBY (Not in my back yard) with a monstrosity like this so close to home. How will this change the demographics of my neighbourhood? There will certainly be more traffic and noise. But maybe the vibrancy of UpTown will be kicked up another notch with more restaurants and nightlife.

In the past 15 years I have seen a real transformation of UpTown Waterloo. I suspect the next 15 will be even mores.


Canada according to Bing

It’s Canada Day long weekend and the Microsoft-made search engine Bing, has released a list of top “Canadiana” search terms ahead of Canada Day on July 1. On the list were the obvious newsworthy Canadians like Rob Ford, Jim Carrey and Justin Bieber, retailers like Canadian Tire, the Bay and Home Hardware. TSX, OLG and Via Rail were of the top 50 most searched Canadian terms.

There were a few surprises. MLS ranked 3rd and Poutine ranked 45. Why are we searching for poutine?


Prices up. Volume of sales also up

Home sales were up in 80% of all local markets in Canada in May, but especially so in Calgary, the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal. Generally, Ontario to BC is up, Quebec and down east is down.

The average Canadian home is now worth $336,373 which is roughly the value of the average Kitchener Waterloo home. And, they (CREA) are predicting 1.2% more homes than last year will be sold in 2014.

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