Location still key to real estate, even in a virtual world

You’ve heard the old adage, “The three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location.” A location is of utmost importance because it’s essentially the only thing about real property which can’t be changed. You can buy new carpets, add a coat of paint and even improve a floor plan but you’re definitely limited when it comes to improving the location of your property. You can’t take a home which is in a poor location and move it closer to schools, or further away from negative influences. It is where it is, and it always will be.

Location is of equal importance in the world of “virtual real estate” and the criteria that we use to judge the quality of a “location” is very different. When purchasing residential real property, we tend to associate quiet, low traffic locations with quality. When you market real estate online, you look for locations which boast high levels of traffic. You want your home to be situated in a busy place to maximize the level of exposure to active home buyers and having your home marketed “on the internet” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is being seen.

Every real estate agent will market your home on the most predictable online real estate websites. The real value that an agent brings to the process is found in what they do differently. The real question is; what will you do to make my home stand apart from all others which are for sale.

Unfortunately, many real estate websites exist is a baron wasteland. They attract few visitors, and those that do come, never return. They are little more than an electronic brochure promoting the services of an agent. They can be boring and irrelevant at best; definitely not the kind of location that brings you much value as a home seller.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that my passion is online marketing. I’ve worked hard to build a website with quality content, which is well positioned in the major search engines. Each month, thousands of people visit the Saskatoon Real Estate Resource Centre. We recently joined the Point2 Network, the largest real estate network in the world. For the fourth week in a row, our website has ranked in the top 100 of over 100,000 real estate websites in the network. Our association with Point2 also provides us with the opportunity to syndicate your listing and send it to some of the highest traffic locations available to web marketers.

If you’re looking for a quality location to market your Saskatoon home, our website is hard to beat. I’d love to show you how we can expose your home to thousands of potential buyers.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Average house price trends for Saskatoon neighbourhoods

A number of my clients have asked me how homes in their neighbourhoods have appreciated relative to the Saskatoon real estate market in general. The question sparked an idea for my neighbourhood profiles page. I have prepared and posted a graph for each Saskatoon neighbourhood that shows the average house price trend for that area over a ten year period and compares it to the average house price trend for Saskatoon.

Are you curious about how values are changing in your area? 

Visit our Neighbourhood Profile page and click on your neighbourhood.

I am always looking for ways in which I can improve our website. If you have ideas or suggestions which I might use to provide prospective home buyers and sellers with information about Saskatoon, or the Saskatoon real estate market, I would love to hear them. Please, drop me an email at the link below.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Average Saskatoon house and condominium prices by area for 2006

I have completed my updates to the TeamFisher’s neighbourhood pages for 2006. Each neighbourhood page includes details on sales of houses and condominiums in the area including the low sale price, the high sale price and the average sale price for 2006.

I did something a little different this year in that I also included the average selling price of houses and condominiums for the last six months. I plan to update those numbers on a monthly basis so that a more accurate reflection of what’s happening in the Saskatoon real estate market, and within your neighbourhood can be seen at any time. With the sharp increases our market experienced through 2006, the annual average from the previous year was almost useless as we approached the close of the year. The averages shown didn’t really give an accurate picture of current Saskatoon real estate values.

We get a lot of visits from people who live outside of the province, who are considering a move to Saskatoon so these updated profiles are helpful in determining which areas meet their price objectives.

Another feature which will be added soon (hopefully before the New Year) is a graph which shows the change in average selling prices for each area over a ten year period. I have the data put together and we just need to prepare and post the graphs.

Do you know someone who is moving to Saskatoon? Why not refer them to our website? They’ll find it a great resource in their search for Saskatoon real estate.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Merry Christmas Mr. Hinitt

They say, “all good things must come to an end.” However sad, it’s true. On the front page of this morning’s Star Phoenix, an image of the smiling Mr. Hinitt appears with the headline, “Bob Hinitt Hangs up His Hammer. (story now removed)”

The announcement marks the end of what became a Saskatoon Christmas tradition. For the past 59 years, Bob Hinitt gave us all a gift that brought us joy year after year. Thousands have driven by his Adelaide Churchill area home to enjoy the fabulous Christmas displays which he has constructed on his front lawn faithfully since 1947. A Bug’s Life, 101 Dalmatians, The Lion King, Winnie the Pooh and 54 other magnificent displays of this man’s magical spirit of giving all brought a smile to our chilled faces as we stood and marveled at their brilliance; his brilliance.

According to the Star Phoenix, Mr. Hinitt, who is 80 this year, realized that he could no longer manage this challenging project following a knee replacement surgery this year. “I’m depressed and blue, because, to me, that’s what Christmas was” he is quoted as saying. “What I feel bad about is that (the organizations) won’t have that money this year. The animals need that. They need someone to fend for them.” Mr. Hinitt’s yard display always contained kettles for voluntary donations which were contributed to the Saskatoon Zoo and the SPCA. Last year, he managed to raise $3,000 for the two organizations; another year saw $12,000 land in the kettles.It occurred to me this evening that a donation to one or both of these fine causes would be a beautiful gift to Mr. Hinitt; kind of a fitting way to say “thank you for what you’ve given us.” Can you find a few dollars to give in Mr. Hinitt’s honour? I think I can.

Mr. Hinitt, thank you for all you’ve given this community. Merry Christmas sir!

Saskatoon Zoo Society

Saskatoon SPCA

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra

Saskatoon earns designation as a smart city

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Saskatoon is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with when it comes to leading edge work in natural and applied science fields. There’s the National Research Council’s Plant Biotechnology Institute, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research centre, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, and of course, the Canadian Light Source. All of these exciting ventures promised to give Saskatoon a reputation as an outstanding “science city.” It seems that those promises are being delivered on.

A report released this week by the Scotiabank Group shows that Saskatoon has the strongest annual percentage growth in its science workforce so far over the last ten years. Only KitchenerWaterloo managed to match the growth seen here. The report, Smart Cities: High-knowledge Industries and Regional Prosperities shows that Saskatoon is in fact ahead of the national average when it comes to the percentage of the workforce which earn their income from natural and applied sciences. In 1996, only 4.4% of Saskatoon’s population worked in science related fields. Today, 7 % of our population or 8,900 people do just that.

You’ve got to hand it to Saskatoon people. They can typically be counted on to do things with a sense of pride that yields positive results.

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra