Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Strong Ontario Housing Market

Recent Ontario housing forecasts say resale and new home starts will continue to be in record territory through 2008.

CMHC predicts Ontario resale volumes will hit 214,350 for 2007 and reach 206, 250 for 2008. The hottest resale areas in Ontario, for 2008, will be London, Hamilton, Brantford and Sudbury with price gains exceeding the average for Ontario.

Ontario new home starts will improve from 67, 700 units in 2007 to a projected 68, 175 units in 2008.

London statistics for 2007 show a very strong housing market and this trend will continue for 2008. It is expected that the growth will be a little slower next year because of the increase in mortgage carrying costs but still exceeding the projected Ontario average of 3.3%.

If you would like more specific area information for London, including by housing type, I would be happy to answer your phone or email request. I can be reached at or you can call 519-685-4190.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

8 Home Safety Tools

Fire Escape Plan: Have a fire escape plan in place and review it with your family. Talk to your local fire department for helpful hints.

First-Aid Kit: Have a stocked first-aid kit and make sure none of it is expired. Examine it regularly to make sure it is stocked.

First-Aid Training: Even better then a stocked kit is taking the initiative to get professional First-Aid training and certification from an organization like St. John’s. This can save a life.

Fire Extinguisher-type ABC: This is a multipurpose fire extinguisher. Most people may not know that there is actually a type for each material type and unless you have the right type it will not put out your fire. Play it safe and buy a multipurpose extinguisher.

Rechargeable Flashlight: Having a flashlight is very useful in many situations but nothing is worse then having a power failure and dead batteries in it. Take advantage of a wide selection of quality rechargeable flashlights to update your safety tools. There are several on the market that you can also recharge in your vehicle.

Smoke Alarm: I am not sure about your area but most areas have fire codes that require a working smoke alarm on every floor. A good model includes a stop button, test button, and a built-in light. Test it regularly and change your batteries when you change your clocks.

Carbon Monoxide Detector: Some useful features to look for are an emergency backup battery, rechargeable, in case of a power failure. Also, a digital display for present levels with a memory function to record maximum levels reached.

Emergency Power Supply: This can go beyond a basic generator. There are many options out there like digital invertors for a stable power flow. Also some great all in one units that include a tuner, AM, FM, and TV signals; features include 110 volt AC or 12 volt DC current for recharging cell phones and other things.

Homework for your Home

Here is a brief list for each season of things you should be checking to keep your home well maintained. A well cared for home will help with your enjoyment of it and improve its future market value.


Gutters: Check your gutters to make sure they have not been damaged during the winter. You want them clear of debris so water flows freely as intended.

Attic: Inspect the attic for water seepage or condensation issues and have things repaired if needed.

Basement Floor Drains: Check that your drains are functioning properly.

Foundation Walls: Check to see if cracks have appeared or if there were any existing ones that they have not widened.

Flashings on the roof: check that the vents and chimney are in good condition.

Yard Grade: Check the slope and grade of your yard to make sure it will drain away from the foundation as intended. Check that there was not any soil settling over winter.

Decks and Balconies: Check that the railings are in good repair and sturdy. Check the overall condition.

Central Air: Have your C/A serviced and cleaned. Also a good time to have your air filter changed on your furnace.


Windows and Doors: Inspect and repair any issues with your windows and doors.

Exterior Walls: Inspect and repair any issues with the exterior. Redo weak mortar joints in brick facing, repair siding, or paint as needed.

Interior Painting: This is a good time to paint your interior as well if you have plans to do so.

Roofing: Check over your roof to make sure it is good repair and replace shingles if needed.


Baseboard Heaters: Clean and test to make sure they are in working order

Furnace: Clean ducts, change furnace filter, and make sure your furnace is working properly.

Fireplace: Inspect the condition of your fireplace and chimney and repair any issues. Make sure you have them cleaned.

Weather Stripping: Examine windows and doors to make sure the weather stripping is in good repair. Apply new weather stripping if needed.

Attic Vents: Inspect the attic vents and make sure they are clear of debris.

Crawl Space: If you have a heated crawl space make sure you shut the vents.


Stay warm. Drive safely.

Maintaining your home during the warmer months is a great way to make sure you have no winter emergencies. Avoid tragedies like a dead furnace on the coldest day of the year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How I Ended Up In Real Estate: Part 5- Choices and Dreams

Terrified, excited, driven, unsure…those are a few ways to describe how I felt with the unknown before me. The next chapter heading towards self-employment was a hurricane of emotions.

Now I had to make a choice. It was time to center myself, recoup my energy, shed the negative energy, find my direction and pursue it but where? Where would I head? How could I do what I wanted to do, help people, be there for my family, be self-employed, but still do something I would love to do?

Isn’t that everyone’s dream? Maybe it is yours and if it is, or even if it isn’t, I wish that you find your dream. I hope that you can find a way to make your dreams happen. It can be hard though but you can do it.

It is funny how we can miss what is right in front of us the entire time. The answer for me was hitting me in the face daily but it took my family and friends to point out the obvious to me.

I did a mini interview with several of them. I did it individually so they had no way of knowing I even talked to anyone else about my future and options. Amazingly they ALL suggested Real Estate. I couldn’t believe it, of all the choices they could have said that would have met my criteria (on paper anyway) they all picked Real Estate.

Well needless to say I couldn’t ignore that amount of positive energy towards a single choice. I had to pursue it and they were right it has been great so far.

Well that is the short version of how I arrived at this point in my life. I am happy to be where I am and now I want to help others. I want to help others find their dream homes. I want to help others be successful and of course I want to be successful.

Maybe I will hear from you but even if I don’t thank you for reading about me. Feel free to tell me a bit about yourself.

How I Ended Up In Real Estate: Part 4- Important Realizations

The next major period of my life was working with Hercules International. I was Warehouse Manager for about 6.5 years there and it was significant to me for many reasons. I describe some of the skills that are applicable to real estate in the About Me on my website so I won’t go through those. I think it is better to talk about some of the other stuff.

Some of the most important things I learned involved working with a wonderful team of people and developing lasting relationships. It truly helped me appreciate how good it felt to help people in their careers and in their personal lives.

I would like to think that I made a difference in more ways then just the bottom line for my company. I am proud of my accomplishments there and very proud of the staff I worked with. I really miss them but I am excited for the future as well. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done leaving there but it was for the best, for all of us.

I learned that no matter how much you love the people you work with -a few real bad apples could spoil the bunch over time. The longer the time the more sour the stink, heh.

All of this led me to appreciate that I really wanted to help people, that I enjoyed being of service to others. Obviously, I need to make a living as well but there are far more important things in life then money and those are the priority.

How I Ended Up In Real Estate: Part 3 Building the Foundation

My plan called for developing a foundation of skills and experiences that would give me long-term success. To do this I also had to recognize my weaknesses especially that I was an introvert and very analytical. Those can be big advantages in business but from a sales and customer service aspect sometimes you can be taken the wrong way and appear unfriendly.

I picked Sales and Marketing for college because I thought it was singly the best major I could pursue to help improve my weak areas. I could have picked something that I would have naturally excelled at but that was not the purpose. I really had to work hard in college but it paid off and I finished top in my class. Crazy when you think of how much this went against my personality type.

Have you ever done something that you were afraid of, or dreaded so much that you joked about preferring some type of pain? That was how hard it was for me to take that course.

After college it was time to improve on my education with more specific work experiences. It was time to learn how to service clients better and really work with people on a new level.

How I Ended Up In Real Estate: Part 2 Fast Forward

I took with me some significant life lessons from my teenage years. I am sure you did as well and can relate. So many mistakes that I wish I hadn’t made but probably best that I did- learning from our mistakes is key I think. I think I could write a novel just based on those years.

Now that I think about it some of those mistakes and lessons carried into my twenties as well. I laugh when I think back now. It was shortly after that I swallowed my pride and realized no matter how much I really wanted success, or how smart I thought I was, it was never going to come to me unless I set out a plan and followed it.

That meant I needed higher education but not just formal also more specific work education as well. It was time to plan for the skills I wanted to gain. It was time to drive forward with a purpose and move beyond survival.

How I Ended Up In Real Estate: Part 1 The Beginning

I decided years ago that I wanted to own my own business. Actually even when I was young I did too. Of course my primary dream back then was to play in the NHL. What boy didn’t? Fortunately my skills in business have always been better then my puck handling, but oh to dream.

If you just run out and start a business without a lot of homework you are not going to succeed. Without a big savings account you are going to have a lot of trouble too. I came from a lower income family. That pretty much meant I had to work very hard to get a head in life.

I started working pretty young. In Niagara Falls the tourist industry gave me a full time job as a teenager. I started working seasonal full time hours at 13 years old. This helped me fund my hockey addiction and other sports-and gradually I started saving for the future.

I tell you I gained a solid appreciation for hard work and the value of a dollar. It can really motivate you when you work that hard and make only a couple bucks an hour. You come to realize there has to be a better way.

How I Ended Up In Real Estate-Introduction


The purpose of this series of blogs is to give a more personal look into my life and why I came into real estate. Some of you may be genuinely interested and I hope you enjoy my story.

Well I am not a great writer but I did try to make it reasonably interesting for you to read. It is definitely not a sales pitch nor does it hold wondrous real estate secrets. It is strictly me sharing some of my life experiences and lessons learned to get to this point in my life. I hope it has some value to you and thank you for reading it. Feel free to send me an e-mail or comment. Please be nice though :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Market Update

From the desk of your friendly neighbourhood REALTOR Adam Mihm.

Hello neighbours,

I know several of you are curious about the market situation in our area and in London. I know the area quite well because I live right here in East London.

The condominium townhouse market is going very strong at this time and our London inventories are low because the demand is very good. That means it is a really great time to list if you are thinking about selling your London townhouse.

The demand for lower priced properties continues to be very strong. However, medium to high range homes demand has dropped off, making this an excellent time to move up. Call me for more information on this 519-685-4190.

The bank rates for mortgages are staying pretty steady but it is expected that may change in the near future. We have two Mobile Mortgage Specialists that work with us here at Coldwell Banker. One from TD Canada Trust and one from Bank of Montreal if you need any mortgage assistance-they can travel right to your home. If you would like their information just let me know and I can forward it to you, or I can arrange a meeting if you prefer.

So, right now the situation looks really good for selling townhouses and it’s looking on the upswing for buyers looking for other residential free hold homes. This is a really good time to sell your home.

Visit my website for great buying and selling resources as well as the advanced MLS-IDX search engine.

If you would like a Free Home Evaluation, or a no obligation consultation-for your buying or selling interests, please contact me and I will be happy to help you. Coldwell Banker is a great Brokerage and 98% praise our overall performance. We provide Ultimate Service and its Guaranteed!

This is Not Intended to Solicit Properties Already Listed For Sale

My Original Announcement Letter

This was my original announcement letter that I sent to friends and family. The idea behind a letter like this is not to harass your friends and family but to make them aware they now know someone in real estate. You never know when you can help.

I am pleased to announce that I am now a licensed Sales Representative with Coldwell Banker 1st London R.E.S. at 1069 Wellington Road South, London. There are several reasons I’ve chosen Coldwell Banker 1st London R.E.S., just a few of them are:

The Ultimate Service Guarantee, “We Keep Our Promises or You Don’t Keep Us” Coldwell Banker 1st London Ultimate Service Program means consistent, predictable, reliable performance- Guaranteed! Based on what we have learned from out customers we have developed and refined our service standards and practices. We deliver action – Guaranteed!

We provide added value to our clients: real estate experience that is unmatched in the industry. Exclusive to Coldwell Banker, a leading edge and unique innovation to the real estate market… Our concierge Coordinator assists our clients in finding any products and services required before, during and after the listing or buying process.

Leading edge technology of our web site at Ultimate tour on line, and Personal Retriever on line, only at Coldwell Banker, the newest innovation in real estate marketing.

If you are looking for someone to work hard for you and help you either sell your home or buy another or even if all you need is information on current Real Estate market, please do not hesitate to call me. Coldwell Banker has more than 100 years commitment to exceptional service, plus over 300 offices nationwide and more than 4,200 offices internationally.

My goal is to remain committed to providing excellent and comprehensive service and I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at my office or 24 hour pager at 519-685-4190.


Adam Mihm
Sales Representative
Visit my personal website

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Commissions-Did you know?

In real estate these days there are a lot of misconceptions regarding commissions on property. Like most rumours every new story increases in magnitude so I would like to make it a little more transparent for you and hopefully shed new light on the subject.

There are two parts to a commission in a real estate transaction; the first is the Seller's portion (listing) and the second is the Buyer's portion (CB/co-operating brokerage). What the total commission is determined by the Seller with services selected, marketing costs, what the Seller sets as for the Buyer portion just to name a few things.

Despite misconceptions a REALTOR actually only earns a small percentage of the overall commission. A good REALTOR will have earned their commission many times over. Let us review an example commission of 6% since that is a nice easy number to break apart:

A Seller decides to pay a total commission of 6%. The Seller is giving 3% to the Listing brokerage and 3% to the Co-operating Brokerage (Buyer portion). This fee will stay the same even if it is the Listing brokerage who sells the property-they would get the Buyer portion as well as the listing portion on that case.

Each half, 3% in this example, is broken down like this: Brokerage 1%, Expenses 1%, Taxes 0.5%, Sales Representative 0.5%.

This is an example of how commissions are split but I hope it adds some clarity for you. If you have any more questions please feel free to send me an email and I will be happy to try and answer your question. Also you can visit my website for a list of services and information for buyers and sellers.

Take care,

Adam Mihm
Real Estate Sales Representative