Home buying challenging in the Sault, but still strong

Pam says the best time to sell your house is when you're ready. There is no magic time

You can always learn a thing or two at the annual Chamber of Commerce Spring Home Show, dubbed the “We Are The Soo Home Decor and Renovation Expo”

The expo brings together those interested in home renovation projects or decorating ideas to meet and greet with the professionals , from home builders and designers to furniture or the latest colour schemes. Although the new venue for the expo at the Machine Shop was a little smaller than the past shows, there was still plenty to take in and learn about the local housing market.

“It’s been challenging” said Pam Jaehrling  , a mortgage broker with Mortgage architects and a real estate agent with Realty Executives. “people have to be a lot more patient and provide a lot more documents.Everyone has lost about 30 percent of their buying power” Jaehrling is referring to major changes for mortgage approval since the Federal government’s new measures that started last fall. It now requires potential buyers to qualify for a mortgage rate of 4.64 percent not the going rate. “The rates are still great, we have 2.3 percent” Jaehrling  said. However for you to buy that new $400,000 home you must qualify under the fake rate of 4.64. The government introduced these new measures due to the sky high real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto. What’s happening there has had an impact on how Canadians buy homes and how much they spend.

Despite that however the local real estate market continues to be active said Jaehrling.

“It’s actually been good because people are not over spending. We tend to spend more than what we make and it’s been really good in Sault Ste. Marie for houses under $250,000 as well” Jaehrling said.  This year the focus has been on smaller homes and homes that are “flipped”

Numerous professionals were on hand to take questions

Jaehrling has been a mortgage broker and real estate agent for years and offers some advice on when it’s a good time to sell your home. “People think the best time is in June, July or August, but there’s also more houses on the market and there’s a lot of houses competing, right now there’s not that many homes on the market.

If you are thinking of selling your home Jaehrling says the best advice is to de-clutter. “Take a picture of the space and take a look and take out half the stuff, people have a hard time looking past your stuff”

When it comes to freshening the air, Jaehrling says throw away your scented candles. “If your house smells clean, if it smells like bleach, people love that”  People with allergies may have a reaction to candles and air fresheners.  Freshly baked cookies or bread is also a neat trick she says.

Keeping note of any renovations the seller may have made over the years and as much paper work consisting of tax bills, assessments and utility bills should be readily available for the buyer.

The Home decor and renovation show featured numerous exhibitors from new house construction to plumbing and granite counter tops, mobility equipment and bathrooms.

The annual show ran March 11 and 12th and is one of the Chamber of Commerce’s biggest public events.


  1. People are in for a rude awakening when they find themselves owing 30-50% more than what their homes are actually worth. The real estate market bubble will soon be breaking, the current prices are ludicrous. Anyone looking for a home should wait. Very good advice from someone in the know.

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